Questions tagged [church-fathers]

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Do the church fathers ever include quotes of Jesus that aren't from the Bible?

Jesus Seminar believes that Parable of the Empty Jar in Gospel of Thomas is authentic saying of Jesus: The kingdom of the father is like a certain woman who was carrying a jar full of meal. While ...
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Did any early Church Fathers record the event of the ceasing of spiritual gifts?

A central belief held by an overwhelming majority of Cessationists is that the "supernatural spiritual gifts" (e.g., tongues, prophecy, healing, miracles, etc.) ceased with the end of the ...
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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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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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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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301 views

Does Catholicism or any church father make a connection between Eve and Mary in Genesis 2:18 and John 14:26?

"The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” - Genesis 2:18 (NIV) And here: "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will ...
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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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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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How did the early church fathers refute Adoptionism?

Adoptionism is a Christological heresy which denies the pre-existence of Jesus, and therefore denies Jesus's title as "God the Son" in the Trinitarian conception of the Christian God. See the ...
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Books on Patristics [closed]

What book(s) do you recommend on church history with emphasis on the church fathers? Would prefer something which is not biassed toward a given denomination or church, but an objective overview of the ...
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What did the early church fathers have to say about “eternal security” or “assurance of salvation”

I am trying to find out what the early church fathers had to say about “eternal security” or “assurance of salvation”. By that, I refer to the following Bible verses: To Him who is able to keep you ...
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What is the difference between Jesus "resurrected body" and Mary's "glorified body"?

Jesus is Ascended into Heaven with a "resurrected body". Mary was Assumed into Heaven with a "glorified body? Revelation 21:27 "Nothing defiled shall enter the Kingdom..." I ...
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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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What were the views of the Church Fathers on Jews and Judaism during the Patristic Era?

I am currently learning about the holocaust in History class right now. It was mentioned that during the Middle Ages, some Christians were anti-semitic. I wondered how the Early Church (Pre-Schism) ...
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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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Is the dignity of man pertains to his soul only or to the wholeness of his being meaning body & soul?

The Teaching of Tradition that support the Council of Trent interpretation on death penalty cited the reflections or teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine: "They will never be beasts, ...
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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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312 views

How do Orthodox Christians explain that the Father and the Son are not two different Gods?

How do Orthodox Christians explain that the Father and the Son are not two different Gods? Orthodox Christians had a different version of the Trinity in that for them the one God is the Father as ...
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284 views

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 old was St. Joseph when he married the Blessed Virgin Mary?

According to the Church Fathers or other Catholic theologians, how old was St. Joseph when he married the Blessed Virgin Mary?
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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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How did "credibile est, quia ineptum est" become "credo quia absurdum"?

The quote "Credo quia absurdum" (I believe, because it is absurd) is ascribed to Tertullian. But Tertullian never wrote this: what he wrote (De Carne Christi, V, 4) was "Prorsus credibile est, quia ...
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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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Where are the manuscripts of Dean John Burgon?

Dean John Burgon (1813-1888) says in his book 'Revisions Revised' that he had catalogued 96,000 references to the scriptures in the early church fathers (such as Jerome, Eusebius, Augustine etc) in ...
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Are there biblical passages supporting a "quasi-incarnation" attributed to the mystical union of the Holy Spirit and Mary?

The Logos or the Incarnate Word became flesh in what known to be "hypostatic union". Jesus Christ the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity became flesh and dwelt among us having two nature both ...
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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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Quotation from Desert Fathers

I am looking for a particular quotation that I believe comes from the desert fathers. I searched the Philokalia but didn't find it. I don't think it was from there anyway, but I looked. In the ...
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Did any church fathers after Chrysostom believe that Mary committed sin?

The belief that Mary never committed sin has been around a long time, much longer than the final formulation of the doctrine of her immaculate conception (which happened around the 13th century). ...
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What did the early church believe about the "rapture"?

There are a lot of differing opinions on when the rapture will take place (pre-tribulation, post-tribulation, or mid-tribulation). From my own attempts to research the topic and look at Scripture from ...
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What are the early Church Fathers' views on the veneration/honoring of Saints

I recently watched a video from the youtube channel Ascension Presents and Fr. Mike Schmitz on whether or not Catholics worship the saints. He quoted St. Augustine who said that we give the saints ...
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Did any Church Fathers write anything about mental illnesses?

Did any of the Church Fathers write about what today with modern medicine we know to be mental illnesses?
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Do any Church Fathers comment on the merciful Nature of Stoning (Catholicism)?

The Mosaic Law's penal system (among others) includes the severe punishment of death by stoning. To be a little gruesome here: it takes a while to be killed in this way, and so there would ...
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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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Has the term "born again" always been synonymous with baptism with the Christians of the Early Church?

Has the term "born again" always been synonymous with baptism with the Christians of the Early Church? St. Irenaeus (202) wrote the following in 185, which many claim it refers to infant baptism: ...

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