Questions tagged [church-fathers]

Theologians and church leaders of the post-apostolic period up to the 7th century.

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Who is the earliest Church Father affirming the present Catholic interpretation of Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant?

One of the strongest scriptural basis for the Catholic Marian dogmas is the Catholic interpretation of Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant, appealing to the Glory of the LORD which filled the ...
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Did the early church believe in self defence?

Does any of the early church fathers teach that we as Christians are allowed to defend ourselves if our life is in severe danger and if so what church fathers taught this?
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What was the early church fathers view of interfaith marriage?

I am very opposed to interfaith marriage and believe interfaith marriage to be a fundamentally wrong view, but what was the Early Church Fathers view of interfaith marriage - ie a marriage between ...
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Who thinks women are not made in the image of God?

Which Christians have asserted that women are not made in the image of God? Another question asks about the biblical basis for the claim that women are made in the image of God. I'm wondering which ...
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What were the early church fathers' views on the authority of the early church fathers?

Quite often we get questions about what the early church fathers (a surprisingly vast range of time, from 100-800) opinions were on some matter. Implicitly, there is sometimes an argument that the ...
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What was the Early Church Fathers' view of female teachers in the Church?

There is a lot of debate between Roman Catholics and Protestants on if women can be reverends or pastors within the church and have and maintain a leadership role. What was the early church fathers' ...
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Were the Early Church Fathers pacifists?

My friend is a pacifist Christian and said that not only was Jesus Christ a pacifist, but that the Early Church Fathers as well were pacifist - is this true and was the early church pacifist, if so ...
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Did the Early Church believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary? [duplicate]

Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians believe that the blessed Mary remained a perpetual virgin until she sadly passed away, but what was the Early Church Fathers view on the perpetual virginity of ...
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What was the Early Church's view of sexual immorality and sex outside of marriage?

What was the early church's perspective of sexual immorality and sex outside of marriage? I know the biblical perspective, but I am incredibly interested in how the early church fathers viewed this ...
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What was the Early Church Fathers’ teachings on the death penalty?

I am supportive of the death penalty and believe it to be justified biblically, but what was the Early Church Fathers (out as late as 600 AD) view of the death penalty and did they have one? I am ...
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Did the early church believe in the supremacy of Rome? [duplicate]

Did the early church fathers believe in the supremecy of rome and if so where is the evidance for this? Roman Catholics claim that the church of rome has supreme authority as it is the church of the ...
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Did the early church believe that St. Peter was the first pope?

Roman Catholics believe that St. Peter was the first Pope, had primacy over the church and was given a pastoral role by the Lord Jesus Christ himself, we know the scripture argument for the papacy, ...
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How did so many writings of St. John Chrysostom survive?

We have an astonishing number of extant writings by St. John Chrysostom. One source says: Chrysostom is among the most prolific of the Fathers: 17 treatises, more than 700 authentic homilies, ...
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Is there a Church Father or Doctor of the Church who wrote that Judas Iscariot was saved?

Is there a Church Father or Doctor of the Church who wrote that Judas Iscariot was saved and indicated why he believed this was so? I actually think one actually put forth their reasons for this, but ...
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Church Fathers exegesis of the Rock of Matthew 16:18?

How do Catholics answer this Patristic Exegesis of the Rock of Matthew 16:18 compiled by William Webster? As a Catholic I am a bit confused. Augustine Remember, in this man Peter, the rock. He’s the ...
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Did church fathers express a view of Elihu?

Elihu is a figure in Job, and he can have quite a lot of interpretations, radically different ones as seen on this answer on Bible Hermeneutics. Is he a repetitive arrogant youth or a prefiguration of ...
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Church Fathers on Sola Scriptura

Did early church fathers teach about sola Scriptura? A common definition of sola scriptura is that it: posits the Bible as the sole infallible source of authority for Christian faith (source). P.s- ...
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How do the Church Fathers approach the Speeches of Job's Comforters?

In many places the speeches of Job's comforters are beautiful, they appear to be true, and Paul quotes one of them. Yet, at the end of the book the Lord condemns them for speaking falsely. Yet, all ...
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Did the early Church fathers believe the Law of Moses was never able to justify?

I am looking for the quotes of early Church Fathers describing the ability of the law. Did they believe the law was never meant & able to justify or give life? In other words, it did not justify ...
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Is Ignatius' claim that Christians didn't keep the Sabbath correctly translated?

According to this pro-Sabbatarian source, Ignatius' statement, normally translated thus, is incorrect (emphasis mine): If then those who had walked in ancient practices attained unto newness of hope, ...
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Why didn't Polycarp mention John in his Epistle?

Polycarp is said to be a student of the Apostle John. Yet he never mentions it in his epistle, nor does he quote the Gospel of John. Why is that?
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Early Christian Lent Fasting Practices

What information do we have about early Lent fasting practices? I saw an interesting reference to Ramadan having grown out of Syrian Lent practices, but aside from that, I haven't found any good ...
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Bible with commentaries of the Church Fathers

I am looking for a Bible gathering commentaries of the Church Fathers verse by verse. Is there such a book or website?
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Who first used the term "spirit of fornication" (𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘴)?

Who first used the term "spirit of fornication" (spiritus fornicationis)? It appears in the Litany of the Saints (Litaniæ Sanctorum): A spiritu fornicationis, ℟. libera nos, Domine. From ...
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Are there any Church Fathers that Martin Luther particularly disliked?

I know in some of his writings Luther condemns Jerome for writing "virginity merits heaven and marriage the earth". Are there any other Church Fathers and any sayings/writings Luther ...
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Enoch and the Inclusion of the Gentiles

Enoch and the Inclusion of the Gentiles The Book of Dream Visions, the fourth section of the Book of Enoch, closes with a summary of the history of Israel told in terms of animals. (Wikipedia offers a ...
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What is the earliest example of the observance of a Pope in Rome?

The Pope in Rome has (arguably) succession all the way back to Peter. I am wondering what the earliest acknowledgment of some kind of pastoral power over the church in Rome, whether it be in letter or ...
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Did any Early Church Fathers avoid the philosophical use of the term 'ousia'?

The origin of the use of the Greek word οὐσία to refer to an attribute of Deity is queried, and answered, on this site ; the source being from Greek philosophers, not the apostles. The word is only ...
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What was the Early Church's position on Purgatory?

I like to look at views that the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Church share. One of those views that they don't share is purgatory. This got me thinking. Is there any evidence that the Early Church ...
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Was Chrysostom mistaken about the cessation of charismatic gifts in the late 4th century?

John Chrysostom (AD 347-407), while commenting on 2 Thessalonians 2:7, writes about how some in his day thought the prevalence of the full range of charismatic gifts functioned to restrain the coming ...
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Cyprian of Carthage manuscript and authentication help

Do we have dated manuscripts and authentication that Cyprian of Carthage wrote de ecclesiae catholicae unitate? I've been looking around the internet and can't find any authentication, aside from it ...
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What did the Early Church Fathers believe about the fate of the unreached?

Many individuals have died and continue to die without ever having heard the message of salvation. Illustrative examples of this are everyone who was born before Jesus, individuals contemporary to ...
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Why do protestants accept Augustine's teachings? [closed]

St Augustine seemed to believe in the catholic doctrine of Mediatrix, infant baptism and purgatory: "May the sins we bring before Almighty God through thee, become pardonable through thee; may ...
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Quotations from the early church fathers who support the Jewish year 6000 as significant to eschatology

In Judaism, Year 6000 (2239 AD) marks the latest time for the initiation of the Messianic Age so the Year 6000 will mark the beginning of Sabbath day for God. 2 Peter 3:8 says: But do not overlook ...
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Did the idea of humans being hard-wired for God exist in late antique Christianity?

According to Islamic theology, the belief in a single God (as opposed to polytheism or idolatry) is a natural disposition of the human mind, a concept referred to as Fitrah. Did a similar idea existed ...
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Did any of the early church fathers believe they had to follow dietary laws?

I have been asked if any of the early church fathers believed they had to follow dietary laws. Specifically, the person asking wants to know the views of influential early Christians such as Clement ...
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What was the early Church Fathers' understanding of the "baptism with Holy Spirit and fire"?

The concept of "baptism with Holy Spirit and fire" is introduced for the first time by John the Baptist in Matthew 3:11, referencing Jesus as the baptizer. Jesus confirms this in Acts 1:4,8, ...
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Which Church Fathers say the New Adam married the New Eve at the wedding of Cana?

Bishop Josephus Meile (†1957) claims in Die jungfräulichen Seelen in der Welt (The Virgin Souls in the World) p. 28 that At the time of the wedding at Cana, as the Fathers of the Church testify, ...
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How do Unitarians respond to quotations from Ignatius of Antioch that seem to show Ignatius believes Jesus is God?

Ignatius of Antioch is one of the Apostolic Church Fathers - one of 4 from whom we have significant writings (along with Pope Clement I, Polycarp of Smyrna, and Papias of Hierapolis). Of the 4, the ...
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How much authority does Pseudo-Dionysus still have in today's Catholic Church? [duplicate]

Ancient and medieval Church identified the sixth century Syrian Christian Neoplatonist author Dionysius the Areopagite, and not until modern times the truth has been revealed. However, Pseudo-Dionysus ...
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Quote of Pope Clement I

On Catholic Answers' website on sola scriptura, they include a quote from Pope Clement I saying "Then the reverence of the law is chanted, and the grace of the prophets is known, and the faith ...
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Did Christ incarnate primarily to have a mother?

Are there any theologians (e.g., Doctors or Fathers of the Church) who thought that, regardless whether Adam had sinned, Christ still would have incarnated, primarily to have a mother and sanctify her*...
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Did a Church Father ever write an epistle encouraging Christians to observe the Jewish Sabbath, and if so, what was the earliest instance?

Did a Church Father ever write an epistle in which he explicitly encouraged Christians to embrace the observance of the Jewish Sabbath? I've looked at the matter, but only managed to find examples of ...
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4 votes
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Identifying a source for this C.S. Lewis quote "This also is Thou: neither is this Thou"

In C.S. Lewis's Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer Letter 14 about different ways of conceptualizing God's presence among His creation, balancing between complete otherness and Pantheism. The ...
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Did the Church Fathers ever reference the six jars of wine at the Wedding in Cana as symbolising the six followers of Jesus at the wedding?

John 1 describes in some detail Jesus calling his first five disciples - Andrew, Simon, Philip, Nathanael and presumably John. John 2 1-2 says that Jesus' mother was at the wedding and Jesus was there ...
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Early Christian responses to suicide (source/text identification)?

I'm looking for a text I read some time ago where an Early Church writer (one of the Patristic Fathers?) responds to an argument regarding suicide put forth by some opponents. IIRC, it goes something ...
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Theologians who thought Christ incarnated primarily to reveal the doctrine of the Trinity?

Are there any theologians (Doctors or Fathers of the Church) who thought that, regardless whether Adam had sinned, Christ still would have incarnated, primarily to reveal the doctrine of the Trinity?
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What is the biblical basis for thinking God established the principle of birthright and inheritance

What is the biblical basis for thinking God established the principle of birthright and inheritance and that He has sovereign control over who He elects Was God himself the author of this teaching or ...
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Why aren't the Apostles called the Church Fathers?

If the traditional “Church Fathers' are from about 160-380 AD, why are they called the Church Fathers? The Church was started by Jesus and ministered by the apostles from the very beginning - teaching,...
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Are there any other early non-canonical nativity accounts besides the Gospel of James?

In the spirit of the season, I wanted to peruse some nativity accounts in ante-Nicene or near-post-Nicene literature. I've read the Gospel of James of course, but I don't really know of any other non-...
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