Questions tagged [church-fathers]

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

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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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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 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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Where in St. Ambrose's writings do Virgin Mary's title "Mother of the Church" appear?

About Mater Ecclesiae When reading the Wikipedia article Mother of the Church (Mater Ecclesiae), I was surprised how ancient the title was, and how it was only rediscovered in 1947 by a German Jesuit ...
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What are the important gifts and graces given to Mary to become Mother of the Church?

Catholic Church Tradition already embraced the view of Mary's role as Mother of the Church. It says Saint Augustine and Pope Saint Leo the Great both reflected on the Virgin Mary’s importance in the ...
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Who first distinguished between the inerrancy of the Bible and the inerrancy of the original autographs?

It's common these days among those who believe in the inerrancy* of the Bible to limit the statement to the original manuscripts. For example, the Chicago Statement reads: We affirm that ...
2 votes
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Earliest quote by a Church Father on how saints can add their merit to the treasury which can then be applied to others

About Treasury of Merit The teaching of the treasury of merit (GotQuestions article here) in connection to the communion of saints and indulgences is explained in CCC 1476-1477 and is based on the ...
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Did the church fathers or OT talk about the visible and invisible church?

In the Reformation, the doctrine of the distinction between the visible and invisible church was important in the Reformers' claim not to have started a rogue church. I am wondering... Given that it ...
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Church Fathers on the Queenship of Mary

My Question: Which Church Fathers thought of Mary as a Queen? The Church Fathers can be both early and late (max 500AD).
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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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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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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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Do any Church Fathers directly connect "speaking in tongues" with anything other than existing human languages?

One of the arguments made by those who believe that the gift of speaking in tongues has ceased (cessationists) is that the "tongues" spoken of in both Acts and 1 Corinthians 12–14 are "real" human ...
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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 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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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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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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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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1 answer
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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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
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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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Is it true that no post-apostolic theologians before St. Augustine believed in Eternal Security / Assurance of Salvation?

According to Wikipedia in it's entry of 'perseverance of the saints', eternal security has its roots in Church Father St. Augustine of Hippo. Considering that Augustine lived centuries after the ...
18 votes
1 answer
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Did anyone understand the Holy Spirit to be a person prior to the Council of Constantinople in AD 381?

Do we know of any case of the concept of the Holy Spirit being a person existing among Christians before the Constantinople council of 381 A.D.? The reason I am asking this question is because one ...
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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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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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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 ...
5 votes
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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 ...
6 votes
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Did the early church fathers view "monogenes" as "only" or "only-begotten"?

Did the early church fathers view "monogenes" as "only" or "only-begotten"? The following Bible verses have "monogenes" in it: Verse KJV NET John 1:14 only ...
2 votes
1 answer
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Did any other early church fathers besides Origen teach the pre-existence of souls?

Origen taught about the pre-existence of our souls, which, among many other of his teachings, was later condemned as heresy. Did any other early church fathers teach this doctrine?
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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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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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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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Do any Early Church Fathers ever argue that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 2:9) is the Law or Torah?

Did any early Church fathers ever reason that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 2:9) either is or symbolizes the Torah or the Law?
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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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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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Were there women leaders in the early church?

We have a lot of documents from early church fathers, who were as far as I'm aware always male, but is there any accounts of females acting in a leadership or authority role similar to that of the ...
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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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