Questions tagged [church-fathers]

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

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When was the word “trinity” first applied to God in Christianity?

The word "trinity" does not occur in the Bible. When, in early Christian writings and creeds, was the word "trinity" first used in reference to God? After that first (known) occurrence, what are ...
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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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Sources for baptismal exorcism of infants?

Are there any Christian texts before 600 CE which discuss the exorcism of infants or suggest that due to ancestral sin or for similar reasons infants are under the power of evil spirits? In ancient ...
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Was there any case of a homosexual priest in the early Church and how did the Church handle that?

Was there any case of a homosexual priest in the early Church and how did the Church handle that (if it occurred)?
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What was Paul's “revelation” (mentioned in Galatians 2:2)?

Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I ...
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Augustine's importance to eschatology

I have heard recently that both Reformed and Roman Catholic eschatologies are at least somewhat derived from Augustine's views. Is this accurate?
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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 put a question ...
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What Defines an Early Church Father?

There are a number of early writings about Christianity apart from Scriptures (the NT 27 books per this question). Some of those authors are considered by some to be what are called Early Church ...
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Is the Latin Mass, when celebrated not in Full Communion with Rome, not pleasing & acceptable to God?

For brevity, I would clarify my question as relating to the Traditionalist groups who are in full opposition to Pope Francis and to the teachings of Vatican II but would still consider themselves as ...
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Why is Pontius Pilate blamed for killing Jesus in the Apostles' Creed?

In Apostles' Creed, the name of Pontius Pilate is forever associated with the infamy of being Jesus Christ's persecutor. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I ...
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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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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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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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Which church father first taught the perpetual virginity of Mary?

Reformed theologian Herman Bavinck, in his Reformed Dogmatics, III, §366, briefly deals with Mary's perpetual virginity, and touches on the doctrine's history: We do not yet find this idea of Mary'...
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Do any church fathers interpret Luke 18:17 as teaching the necessity of infant baptism?

Luke 18:15-17 (DRB) And they brought unto him also infants, that he might touch them. Which when the disciples saw, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus, calling them together, said: Suffer children to ...
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How and when was the belief that a baptism late in life increases our chances of being saved determined to be false?

The venerable fathers of the Church Sts. Gregory the Theologian, Basil the Great, John Chrysostom and Jerome all seem to have accepted baptism late in their lives on the premise that it would improve ...
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Which church fathers taught involuntary universal salvation?

Which early church fathers (including those now considered heretics like Origen) pre 1054 taught that "all will be saved", including all of the dead without "hearing and believing"? In other words, ...
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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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Why did Clement and Eusebius believe that Paul was married?

In an answer to a related question (What is the evidence that suggests that the Apostle Paul was married?), I encountered the following quote from Eusebius: Clement, indeed, whose words we have ...
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What is the basis for the claim that the entire New Testament can be reconstructed apart from original and copied manuscripts?

Bit of a mouthy title, but I remember reading a few years ago that the entire New Testament (perhaps with the exception of very few verses) and most of the Old Testament could be reconstructed from ...
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Which Ante-Nicene Church Fathers believed that Jesus is the “eternal Son” of the Father?

Economic trinitarianism, in the pre-Nicene sense of the phrase, says that God is a monad who becomes tripartite for the purposes of creation and redemption. Forms of this view were held by Justin ...
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What is the Catholic understanding of “the thousand-year reign of Christ and his people”?

What is the Catholic understanding of the thousand-year reign of Christ and his people? What is the Catholic biblical interpretation and what have the Church Fathers said on the matter?
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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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Are the Seven Sorrows of Mary the seven pillars in Proverbs 9:1?

Proverbs 9:1 English Standard Version (ESV) "Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars." "HEWN" (Thesaurus) Adj. 1. hewn - cut or shaped with hard blows of a heavy cutting ...
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What is the Christological difference between the early Church fathers and the Arians?

There is a debate on whether or not precursor to Arianism can be found among the earliest church fathers before the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea. Among the early Christian authors whom the early ...
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Was universalism the majority belief of the early church?

I recently came upon an article that made this statement: According to historical records, Universal Reconciliation was the majority belief of the church during the first five centuries of the ...
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Early Christians who Defended Licitness of Non-Procreative Sex?

Were there any early Christians who defended non-procreative sex as licit?
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Why were none of the Apostolic fathers' writings included in the last canon accepted in the Ecumenical Councils?

Why is it so that none of the Apostolic fathers' writings was included in the last canon accepted during the time of the Seven Ecumenical Councils? By the "last canon" I mean the one that we have ...
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What are the most striking disagreements (if any) between the early Church Fathers of the second century?

What are the most striking disagreements (if any) between the early Church Fathers of the second century? EDIT: The unanimity of the early Church Fathers is something that is often presented as an ...
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What are the most striking disagreements between Clement of Alexandria and Irenaeus?

What are the most striking disagreements (if any) between Clement of Alexandria and Irenaeus? The unanimity of the early Church Fathers is something that is often presented as an indisputable fact. ...
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Do any of the Church Fathers draw a connection between Eve and the Holy Spirit?

In Wild at Heart, author John Eldredge takes some effort to describe the language used in Genesis 2:18 to refer to Eve. While some translations and commentors translate the hebrew "עֵ֖זֶר כְּנֶגְדּֽוֹ׃...
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What is the meaning of “Advocata Nostra” according to Catholic Tradition & Teaching?

The famous hymn "Salve Regina" in Latin contains the words "Advocata Nostra" and it is recited at the end of the Holy Rosary. What is the meaning of that phrase "Advocata Nostra" according to Church ...
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Was there a non-Augustinian response to universalism in the early Church?

Most are aware of Augustine's abandonment of his universalism and his later adoption of eternal conscious torment in literal fire. His rejection of universalism is ultimately founded upon a ...
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What are the historical arguments against a literal interpretation of Luke 22:44?

This question led me to reread Luke 22:44 in various translations, and I noticed that all of them used a comparison, as if Jesus’s sweat was similar to great drops of blood, but not actually great ...
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When and from whom is the source that for Christians, God dwells in buildings you go to, rather than in believers?

The question of when Christians started attending church at a building rather than their homes led to a few answers and comments. One got me to thinking and asking this question. When did the ...
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Did the early Church fathers see a distinction between Matthias' and Paul's apostleship appointment, considering Paul's peculiar verbiage choice?

When reading the appointment of Matthias, you come across very specific actions and precise language. Consider, of course: Acts 1:21-26 ESV 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all ...
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Did Ignatius believe in the doctrine of Eternal Generation of the Son?

Ignatius wrote in A.D. 110 that Jesus was gennetos kai agennetos, meaning “begotten and not begotten.” Did Ignatius believe in the doctrine of Eternal Generation of the Son? Why did he say that Jesus ...
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Is “quasi-incarnation” been attributed to 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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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, but ...
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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 ...
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Does Catholicism or any church father make a connection between Eve and Mary in Genesis 2:18 and John 14:26?

Genesis 2:18 New International Version (NIV) "The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”(Genesis2:18) and John 14:26 New King ...
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Were any of the Apostolic Fathers Jews?

A simple question; I am reading the Apostolic Fathers and have noticed how they frequently refer to themselves as 'Gods Chosen' and speak of the Old Testament prophets as 'Our Forefathers'. This ...
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Was Mary’s appearance to St.James the Greater in year 40 AD an apparition or bilocation?

Tradition has it that the Blessed Virgin Mary, sometime before her bodily Assumption into heaven, appeared to the Apostle St. James the Elder while he was living and preaching in Spain. After ...
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Jesus said I am the Way, how does the Catholic Church best explain this passage?

John 14:6 New International Version (NIV) "Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." This passage from St.John Gospel had a strong ...
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Why is Origen considered a Church Father, but not a saint?

I've heard and read in "Worlds Made by Words: Scholarship and Community in the Modern West" (book by Anthony Grafton, page 222) that Origen was considered a Church Father but not a Saint by either the ...
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What is the source of this quote from St. Augustine?

In a sermon many years ago a priest (now dead) quoted a phrase from St Augustine : God was drawn down from heaven by the weight of his love. I realise that this is a translation from Latin & ...
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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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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 view of eschatology did the early church believe?

I have recently been studying eschatology and have been looking at the main views of eschatology. So far, I have found four (I apologize in advance if I have misrepresented your view. I would ...
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When was it first said in Christianity by a Church Father that heretics must be put to death?

When was it first said in Christianity by a Church Father that heretics must be put to death? Who was the first one of the Church Fathers who came up with this idea and presented it?