Questions tagged [church-fathers]

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

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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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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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107 views

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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 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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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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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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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 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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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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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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What do Protestants think about canon laws given by the Church Fathers?

In the seven ecumenical councils, and throughout early Christian history, various Church Fathers gave certain canon laws, or rules that the clergy and laity had to follow. What do Protestants think ...
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Ancient Western Christianity & Indian Christians

India is well outside the bounds of Roman influence, but there is evidence of Christianity in India very early. After the faith reached India, how much contact was there with Christianity in the ...
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106 views

Trouble finding these quotes from St. John Chrysostom

I stumbled upon the following quotations from St. Alphonsus' book "The History of Heresies and their Refutation": Gratia Dei semper in beneficiis priores sibi partes vindicat. (St. Chrysos. Hom. ...
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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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What was the socioeconomic makeup of early Christian Gnostic sects?

There is ample evidence that early Christianity was socioeconomically very inclusive, being made up of the poor, the wealthy, men, women, the educated, uneducated, etc. For example, Pliny the ...
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Identify this story about the end times from the Desert Fathers

I heard a story similar to the following at some point, but for the life of me I can't find an authoritative source. I believe that it's one of the Desert Fathers, but I'm not certain of that, either. ...
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Did any Church Fathers believe that angels could still choose to become demons?

The Scriptural teaching regarding the nature and origin of the devil and demons has been summarized by the Orthodox theologian Michael Pomazanski: According to the testimony of the word of God, the ...
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What did early Christians say about apostolic succession?

Did early Christian writers teach apostolic succession or reject it? How do their teachings on this topic compare with contemporary and significant historical understandings of apostolic succession?
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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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What was the general opinion of the Early Church Fathers concerning the giants/nephilims?

What was the general opinion of the Early Church Fathers concerning the giants/nephilims, described in the following verses? Genesis 6:4 4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and ...
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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 86,000 references to the scriptures in the early church fathers (such as Jerome, Eusebius, Augustine etc) in ...
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Where is it documented that some people didn't want Gospel of John to be included as canonical?

I have heard in some debates that the Gospel of John had some push back from people (Church Fathers?) from being included into the Canon. Can someone shed some light on this topic? Or provide a book ...
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Who was Theophylact?

As mentioned in this question, this commentary mentions one "Theophylact" who was apparently a contemporary of Athanasius. Wikipedia only provides a list of figures who lived well past Athanasius's ...
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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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Why did so many early church fathers say that sex was a consequence of the Fall?

According to an Orthodox that replies to someone else in an exchange regarding marital sex, he states "remember the words of Psalm 50" (Psalm 51 in Masoretic-based Bibles): I was conceived in ...
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Early Church Fathers and “Q”

Starting with the early church, a large portion of Christian tradition has held the Augustinian hypothesis which believes that Matthew's Gospel was the first to be written, then Mark's, then Luke's, ...
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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 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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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?