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Questions tagged [church-history]

The history of the Church following the book of Acts

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When was papal supremacy accepted by the entirety of the Catholic Church?

The Catholic Church has an unbroken list of Popes from Peter through Francis I. Was there a time when all, or at least the vast majority of, Christianity recognized them as the supreme authority over ...
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2answers
193 views

Did the early church devote themselves to prayer or to “the prayers”, and if the latter, which prayers?

I couldn't decide if this fit better in Hermeneutics or here, but anyways: Acts 2:42 NIV - They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. ...
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168 views

In which writings does Tertullian apply the concept of satisfaction to salvation?

Everett Ferguson, in Church History, I.21.IV, cites Tertullian (d. ~240) as a proto-satisfaction theory of atonement thinker: The sacrificial or satisfaction theory had an initial statement by ...
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351 views

Romans 6:5 and “Where's Wolfius?”

In order to better understand Romans 6:5, I've been doing a word study of the Greek word σύμφυτος (sumphutos), traditionally translated "planted together" or "united with". Commentators usually point ...
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1answer
157 views

Why were Anabaptists called Anabaptists?

Anabaptism, according to the OED, means "a second baptism, re-baptism", but the answer to this question says that Anabaptists only baptize once. Why were Anabaptists called Anabaptists, then?
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In Western communion services, when was the origin of the practice of consistently offering only the bread to the laity?

The practice of "communion in both kinds" by the laity, that is, both the eating of the bread and drinking of the cup, seems to have been the typical practice in the early church. 1 Corinthians 11:28 ...
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175 views

Which 20th-century Orthodox Christians said that the crusades were more oppressive than the Marxist anti-religious campaigns?

Everett Ferguson, in Church History, I, 23.I.D, discusses the brutality of the crusades in the early 13th century, when Constantinople was sacked. One point I found particularly interesting was a ...
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1answer
159 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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351 views

What scriptural arguments for the Trinity were used in the First Council of Nicea?

What scriptural arguments for the Trinity were used in the First Council of Nicea?
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What was the difference between Berengar's view of the Eucharist and that of Zwingli?

Berengar of Tours played a major role in the Second Eucharistic Controversy, which took place in the 11th century. He opposed the increasing acceptance of proto-transubstantiation doctrines, arguing ...
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120 views

Have cardinals ever been deprived of revenue or rations for taking too long to elect a pope?

Yesterday I asked a general question about the pope's ability to revoke decrees of an ecumenical council, in the context of the Second Council of Lyon (1274). In order to ensure that new popes were ...
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When and how can a pope revoke the decrees of an ecumenical council?

I recently learned that Pope John XXI revoked a decree passed at the Second Council of Lyon (1274). The Catholic Encyclopedia reads: Gregory X, to avoid a repetition of the too lengthy vacancies ...
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47 views

How did the pattern of church today come to be? [closed]

How did we come up with the way church services are done. Worship, sermon, communion etc. I want to know the roots. What scriptures tell us to do it like this.
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82 views

What was the difference between Ratramnus's view of the Eucharist and that of Calvin?

In the First Eucharistic Controversy (ninth century), Paschasius Radbertus wrote a monograph arguing that the elements in communion were nothing less than the physical flesh and blood of Jesus. He ...
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207 views

What role do the people of Rome play in the election of a pope?

Everett Ferguson, in Church History, I, 20.I, describes the process for papal election set down in the Lateran decree of 1059 (In nomine Domini) as follows: The election of the pope was to be by ...
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52 views

The Resurrection: early Jewish writings on it? [duplicate]

I'm currently studying the Resurrection, which I believe 100%. What ancient Jewish texts close to the first century speak about the Resurrection, or about the empty tomb that Christians claimed Christ ...
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1answer
204 views

Do saints and church fathers generally make the claim that most people go to a hell of everlasting torment?

In the videos of the Catholic YouTube channel / media enterprise "Church Militant", they often make the claim that most people go to hell, and that hell is a place of everlasting unbearable torment. ...
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105 views

What was the basis for saying that 11th-century Greek churches were “rebaptizing” Latins?

In the run-up to the fateful excommunications of 1054, accusatory letters were exchanged between the Patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Cerularius, and Pope Leo IX. Each had issues with the other's ...
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111 views

According to Roman Catholicism, was the 1054 excommunication of the Patriarch of Constantinople valid, in light of Leo IX's death?

The excommunications of 1054 have long been seen as a pivotal moment in the Great Schism. But recently I found that some people apparently doubt that the excommunication of the Patriarch of ...
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871 views

What did Luther and Calvin believe about “Lucifer” in Isaiah 14?

To many Christians Lucifer of Isaiah 14 (not to be confused with Satan) is considered a visually beautiful, Rock n' Rolling cherub who fell from heaven to deceive mankind. And according to a few ...
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394 views

Did Martin Luther ever admit that his approval of Philip's bigamy was wrong?

I recently learned that in 1540, Martin Luther secretly approved of the bigamous marriage of Philip of Hesse. Philip had married for political purposes, and then fell in love with someone else. ...
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How is the “perpetual” excommunication of Acacius by Felix III currently understood in Catholicism?

Around AD 485, the patriarch of Constantinople, Acacius, was excommunicated by Pope Felix III, in a dispute over both theology and authority. This excommunication, however, seems unique in that it ...
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71 views

What are some comprehensive, reliable resources to learn about the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church?

Dear community members, I am eager to learn more about the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church as well as about the Oriental Orthodox Communion in general. Please provide resources for someone with no ...
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817 views

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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551 views

When did the word “Catholic” become a proper noun?

After reading "At what point did the Roman See start self-identifying as the Catholic Church?" on this site I enjoyed a bit of research into the etymology and meaning of the word "Catholic," and as ...
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81 views

Source of the view that the human will is necessitated but not coerced

Consider this excerpt from Aquinas: Some have held that the human will is necessarily moved to choose things. But they did not hold that the will is coerced, since only something from an external ...
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543 views

When did the Latin Catholic Church begin to generally require fasting only one hour prior to the Eucharist?

According to Wikipedia's article on eucharistic discipline, the Latin rite of Catholicism requires only one hour of fasting before the Eucharist (cf. Canon 919 §1), but that prior to 1955, the fasting ...
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Who are the hypocrites associated with fasting in the Didache?

The early Christian teaching Didache states that Christians should not fast like the hypocrites: Your fasts must not be identical with those of the hypocrites. They fast on Mondays and Thursdays; ...
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558 views

What are the first references to a tradition of fasting before partaking of the Lord's Supper?

I recently learned that in Roman Catholicism, it's expected that partakers of the Eucharist will fast for at least an hour. Canon 919, §1 reads: A person who is to receive the Most Holy Eucharist ...
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1answer
168 views

What exactly is a liber ordinarius?

I presume a liber ordinarius contains texts and/or chants used during masses. Does it cover the entire liturgical year? Do I remember correctly that it may contain only incipits of the to be used ...
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184 views

Who first understood the “authorities” in Romans 13 as spiritual, not secular, authorities?

In his forthcoming book, Freedom's Progress, libertarian Gerard Casey describes several different ways of interpreting and applying Romans 13:1–7. One approach in particular I had never encountered ...
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1answer
271 views

Was St. John Chrysostom Pelagian?

In this answer about Pelagianism (Did Pelagius believe in "faith alone"?) the author makes a sort of apology for Pelagianism and claims that St. John Chrysostom was Pelagian himself. The ...
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1answer
255 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
146 views

At what point did the Eastern Church start self-identifying as the Orthodox Church?

The Great (East-West) Schism was a massive trainwreck centuries in the making and centuries in its outworking. At what point in the process did the Eastern Church start identifying itself as the ...
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1answer
318 views

At what point did the Roman See start self-identifying as the Catholic Church?

The Great (East-West) Schism was a massive trainwreck centuries in the making and centuries in its outworking. At what point in the process did the Roman see start identifying itself as the Catholic ...
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224 views

What record is there of a canon of Scripture having been set at the First Ecumenical Council?

According to this synopsis As to Judith, he notes that the Council of Nicæa had, contrary to the Hebrew tradition, included it in the Canon of Scripture, and this, with his friends’ requests, had ...
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1answer
497 views

What is the earliest known instance of a petition directed to Mary?

A recent answer on this site says that "People have always prayed to Mary as a chief intercessor on their behalf." Such a statement will surely seem excessive to Protestants, who would normally ...
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1answer
168 views

Early Christian Reaction to Muhammad

How did Christian react to Muhammad's teachings when they first encountered them? Did they view him as a Christian heretic like Arius? Was the a council to oppose them?
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475 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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1answer
215 views

The history of the Confession sacrament

Recently I had a small discussion with some of my catholic friends: some of them refuse the idea that the Confession act, as it is known in present day - as the acknowledgment of one's sins given in ...
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131 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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346 views

What is the earliest systematic New Testament commentary?

Were Origen's commentaries the earliest attempt to systematically exegete the New Testament texts, so far as there is any record?
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287 views

What are the duties of a Pope? Can a pope be “good” or “bad” in this perspective?

Is there something like "bad" or "good" popes"? What is the meaning when a pope is qualified "good" or "bad", with the historical perspective. For instance, some popes have bad reputation in the ...
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2answers
674 views

Did the early church accept lifelong, faithful concubinage?

In Bryan Litfin's book, Getting to Know the Church Fathers, I was surprised to read the following about concubinage in the early church, in the context of Augustine's life before conversion: In ...
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465 views

Which pre-Nicene Christians who helped shape the trinity doctrine are now considered heretics?

There were several theologians in the early centuries of Christianity whose knowledge of Platonism and other Greek philosophy helped shape what is now known as the trinity doctrine. For example, ...
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749 views

How prominent was “prosperity theology” in the early church?

Prosperity theology, or the "health and wealth gospel," is a recent movement that teaches that God promises material blessings, in this life, to those who have faith in him and who do his will. ...
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124 views

When/where did the practice of giving abbreviated names/initialisms to Bible translations begin?

Many modern Bible translations have standard three-letter or four-letter initials by which they are commonly referred to. Examples are KJV, NKJV, RSV, ASV, NIV, NASB, NLT, RVR (a Spanish version), etc....
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63 views

Was the Second Council of Quierzy (853) controlled by Hincmar against the Augustinians?

In a lecture, Reformed theologian and church historian Douglas Kelly says: Hincmar controlled a council – it was not a really representative council. He stacked it. […] The semi-Augustinian, proto-...
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418 views

From the perspective of Roman Catholicism, what do Orthodox churches have to do to become “Eastern Catholic Churches”?

Recently I answered a question and included an image that attempts to portray, among other things, the relationship between the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Rite Catholic Churches: ...
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2k views

Seeking a graphic or flowchart of the history of the formation of Christian denominations

I'm hoping someone can refer me to a graphic, flowchart or even a list of when various Christian denominations formed. For example, a biggie is the Lutheran church breaking off from the Catholic ...