Questions tagged [church-fathers]

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

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Jewish Festival of Lights and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

While I was doing some reading on how Catholics celebrate various feasts and festivals from around the world, I noticed that the city of Lyons, France celebrates the Festival of Lights on December 8th ...
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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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Did Mary pray to give birth to the Messiah although a virgin according to any Church Father? [duplicate]

I have judged this to be a not-so-impossible theory after some time doing a little investigation into the original intention of, and original Hebrew (or at least non-Greek words) underlying, the angel'...
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What is the Adventist response to Justin Martyr?

Justin Martyr described Christians worshiping on Sunday twice in his first apology. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place But ...
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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 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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Did Calvinism borrow its scheme of predestination from Valentinian Gnosticism?

How does the Calvinist notion of predestination differ from that of the Valentinian Gnostics' predestination? There are several sources outlining the Valentinian Gnostic system (anti-heretic "church ...
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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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Did any early church fathers, other than Augustine, condemn or write about numerology?

I came across this quote by St.Augustine: “The good Christian should beware of mathematicians. The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the ...
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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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Did Augustine believe in Purgatory?

Purgatory was one of the doctrines the Reformers reacted most strongly against, though many Reformers claimed Augustine of Hippo as being in agreement with their theology. Did Augustine teach a ...
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Protestant rejection of the Catholic implementation of confession

(Pardon the length - my original post was more concise, but wasn't clearly conveying my question.) Background: I am currently studying the Spiritual Disciplines at a Protestant seminary. For those ...
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What is the Christological difference between the early Church fathers and the Arians?

Arius wrote to Eusebius of Nicomedia referring to the eternal Word that, '[B]efore He was begotten ... He was not, for He was not without beginning.'1 Where he qualified his argument on the fact that ...
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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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Do 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 apostolic ...
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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 origin of the story that the Apostle John taught only “love one another”?

I've heard in a sermon that there is a story about Apostle John's last days, when he was working in Ephesus. The story tells that usually, at the Lord's Supper, John was invited to give a little ...
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Where did St. Jerome say this quote about the manger of the nativity?

I have seen on multiple websites, mostly websites about seeing the Holy Land or otherwise pilgrimage-focused sites, that St. Jerome said: If I could only see that manger in which the Lord lay! Now, ...
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What have old Christian writers opined about a couple living with in-laws during marriage?

I understand a question has been asked and was closed on this topic previously, but I wanted to more specifically ask about Christian writings on it, preferably early ones. Often people today use ...
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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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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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376 views

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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270 views

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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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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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 ...