Questions tagged [church-fathers]

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

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6
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1answer
165 views

Did any of the Church Fathers think the current-day Gospels were not inspired?

I heard that some of the Church Fathers referred to the Gospels using terminology which indicates maybe they didn't think they were "inspired". Is there any statement by one of them that indicates ...
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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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1answer
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What did the fathers of the early church think of Tertullian?

Today, Tertullian (c. AD 155–240) has something of a mixed reputation in many Christian circles. He's recognized as a significant thinker and a major contributor to the doctrine of the Trinity. But ...
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384 views

Is there any extra-biblical evidence of tongues from the first, or even second, century?

This is not a question whether tongues exist, yesterday or today, but I'm looking for extra-biblical writings on the existence thereof. Is there any documentation outside of the Bible, either from ...
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1answer
653 views

Why was the epistle of Clement to Corinth not considered canonical?

I'm wondering on this one. I'm reading Eusebius and he states that at least one letter from the Bishop Clement (c. 35 AD - 99 AD) to Corinth was considered worthy to be read and was circulated among ...
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136 views

What is a good starting point for a study of the early Church? [closed]

I'm very interested in the Early Church (after Christ's Ascension) and was wondering what Orthodox writings are available? So far, I have found Eusebius, Papias, Irenaeus, James the Martyr and Philo ...
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3answers
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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'...
6
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1answer
490 views

Why were Pseudo-Dionysius's works accepted as authentic for so long?

Pseudo-Dionysius was a 5th/6th century Christian theologian who claimed to be the Dionysius that Paul converted in Acts 17:34. This claim was widely accepted for almost a millennium, which afforded ...
3
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1answer
129 views

Did the ante-Nicene Church fathers write in uncials?

It’s certain that the earliest manuscripts of the New Testament (e.g., Codex Sinaiticus) were written in uncials, but what about non-biblical manuscripts written by the earliest of the “Early Church ...
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806 views

Was there a “cessation of church fathers” in Catholicism?

I read somewhere in passing that the Orthodox church never set a limit for who can be a church father, and it is therefore possible for someone today to be a church father, or even someone in the ...
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950 views

Where can I find a complete set of Ante-Nicene Writings?

I am a self-learner and am really interested in the writings of the Christian fathers during the Ante-Nicene period. I found an great e-book for a few dollars titled "The Complete Ante-Nicene Church ...
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231 views

According to Catholicism, how did Clement of Rome become a Pope?

We know Clement from the New Testament scripture, but Clement has not written anything about him being a Pope. I have never heard of any other early church fathers who says he was. How does the ...
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52 views

How old was Flavian of Constantinople, roughly, when he died?

I have a timeline of church history that I've been building that includes things like councils, important dates, and lifespans. I would like to add Flavian of Constantinople, but have been unable to ...
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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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1answer
49 views

How can I find this letter from Ambrose?

In more than one work I encountered the following format: (epist. 50[25],2f) or (epist. 49[59],3) In referring to letters(?) written by Ambrosios of Milan, "epist." is explained as "Epistulae." ...
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1answer
570 views

In Romans 16:7, are Andronicus and Junia apostles? AND… is Junia a woman? How did the Church Fathers interpret this? [closed]

In Romans 16:7, are Andronicus and Junia apostles? AND... is Junia a woman? Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they ...
10
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1answer
341 views

Did adherents of apocatastasis in the early church believe that the devil and his demons would be restored?

While reading a fascinating answer on universalism and apocatastasis, I found 1 Corinthians 15:28 quoted as evidence for the idea that all people will ultimately be restored/saved: When all things ...
2
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1answer
173 views

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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1answer
245 views

What does Tertullian mean by the Son being a “portion of the Father's substance”?

What does Tertullian mean by the Son being a "portion of the Father's substance"? "For the Father is the entire substance, but the Son is a derivation and portion of the whole" (Against Praxeas, ...
9
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443 views

What is the earliest mention of how often the Eucharist was celebrated?

There is no explicit mention of how often the Eucharist was celebrated in the Bible. What are the earliest historical documents that make reference to how often the Eucharist was celebrated?
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205 views

Which, if any, of the seven Church Councils viewed as “Ecumenical” by Eastern Orthodox Christians are rejected by the Roman Catholic Church?

I have heard various answers to this question in the blogo- and wiki-spheres, but I would be interested in knowing what has been officially stated by the Roman Catholic Church in Bulls, Encyclicals, ...
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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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466 views

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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In light of the list found in Isaiah 11:1-3, why are there seven gifts of Holy Spirit and not six?

The patristic authors1 enumerate the following list of gifts or emanations of the Holy Spirit among other lists of moral virtues. According these authors, these qualities are completely demonstrated ...
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161 views

What prompted the second century writers to adopt the concept of οὐσία to refer to God's nature?

My question When did the concept of οὐσία begin to refer to God's nature? has been answered and the answer was actually great. However, the answer has led me to ask another question. Conceptually, I ...
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When did the concept of οὐσία begin to refer to God's nature?

In the NT, the Greek word οὐσία means "possession, property (substance)." To simply put, it is a thing or stuff that someone owns. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the ...
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271 views

How were women to serve the church according to the Apostolic Fathers?

Did the Apostolic Church Fathers write about the capacity in which women were to serve in the early church, or expand the capacity in which they served the church? In other words, what were they ...
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645 views

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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Did any of the Apostolic Fathers know Paul?

Is there any extra-biblical written evidence that any of the Apostolic Fathers (i.e., the early Christian theologians of the 1st and 2nd centuries) knew the Apostle Paul? If so, what is the written ...
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1answer
548 views

How do the church fathers reconcile the accounts of Jesus calling Peter and Andrew to be apostles?

How do the church fathers reconcile the accounts of Jesus calling Peter and Andrew to be apostles? With scriptures listed below it appears that though John, Andrew, and Peter were the first to ...
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1answer
288 views

Did Justin Martyr and Marcion of Sinope have any contact with one another?

I'm interested to discover if there is any evidence that Justin Martyr and Marcion of Sinope had any direct or indirect contact before Marcion left the Church. I suspect that they may have had ...
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1answer
613 views

What significance do the church fathers attribute to Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross of Christ?

Simon of Cyrene is mentioned by name as carrying the cross for Christ in the synoptic Gospels. Are there writings of early Church fathers (ante-Nicene fathers or post-Nicene up to, let's say, 600 AD) ...
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2answers
952 views

Second Coming of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday?

During the Easter Vigil, the Catholic Church will chant (sing) the traditional Easter Proclamation hymn of the Exsultet. The Exsultet expresses the Church's belief that this is the same night in ...
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1answer
724 views

What arguments do the Church Fathers make for nocturnal emissions not being a sin?

I've run across claims (although I'm having trouble digging them up again; I might be thinking of the implications in this reddit thread) that Augustine and Cassian were almost the only early ...
3
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1answer
328 views

Who wrote the Sub Tuum Praesidium?

The Sub Tuum Praesidium is the oldest known hymn to the Virgin Mary, dating back to somewhere between 250-280. Has any Saint or Church Father ever been ascribed as being the author of this prayer?
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150 views

Is Luke's label for Christianity - “the Way” - used in later Christian writings?

Christianity is referred to several times in the book of Acts as "the Way" (hē hodos), initially at 9:2: [Saul] asked [the high priest] for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he ...
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511 views

What is the source of the quote attributed to Origen, that “the soul has neither beginning nor end”?

Related answer: Is there any substance to the claim that Origen supported reincarnation? The following quote is widely attributed to Origen in books and on the internet (e.g., here and here): The ...
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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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When was “pistis christou” first understood as a statement about Christ’s faith?

There is an ongoing debate among translators and commentators of Paul’s letters about how to understand the phrase Πίστις Χριστοῦ (pistis christou)1 -- “[the] faith[fulness] of Christ" vs. “faith in ...
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165 views

What is the origin of the interpretation of the Song of Solomon as a picture for Christ and the Church?

For today's average Christian, it is commonplace to read Song of Solomon as a prophetic picture of Christ, as the Bridegroom, and the Church, as the Bride. But where did this view have its beginning? ...
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Where the church should gather?

Ok, where i gather, we have a Brethren-like "house church" system, which means that we have no building for the chuch meeting. But the number of members are increasing and we are about to face a ...
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660 views

What did the early church fathers (pre-5th c.) teach with regards to the doctrine of baptism as a necessity for salvation?

The title says it all, really. What did the ECF believe and teach with regards to baptism being or not being necessary for salvation? Related: What did the early church fathers (pre-5th c.) teach ...
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1answer
754 views

What did the early church fathers (pre-5th c.) teach with regards to baptismal regeneration?

The title says it all, really. What did the ECF believe and teach with regards to baptismal regeneration? Did they generally subscribe to it or deny it? Related: What did the early church fathers ...
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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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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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248 views

Did Origen support the idealist view of Christian eschatology?

I've seen it suggested that Origen was in line with the idealist understanding of Christian eschatology. Is anyone able to clarify this? What is the evidence that Origen was in support of the Idealist ...
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How do the early church fathers expound upon the “exaltation of Christ” (Philippians 2:9-11) in light of the immutability of Jesus Christ?

Philippians 2:9-11 NIV 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth ...
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494 views

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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290 views

Have any ante-Nicene writings been discovered in the past 20 years?

Have any writings or fragments of ante-Nicene Church Fathers previously unknown (that is the actual words were not known, not necessarily that the name of the work was also previously unknown) to ...
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1answer
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Gregory of Nazianzus - First Oration - Translation of καὶ ἡ ἀρχὴ δεξιὰ

At the very beginning (§1) of his first oration entitled, "On the Holy Pascha and on His Reluctance/Delay," Gregory writes, Ἀναστάσεως ἡμέρα, καὶ ἡ ἀρχὴ δεξιὰ... Browne/Swallow translate καὶ ἡ ...