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Questions tagged [church-history]

The history of the Church following the book of Acts

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1answer
381 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 ...
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0answers
58 views

Why did no New Testament books mention AD70? [duplicate]

My full question is; which of the New Testament books were written after AD70? Assuming there are several, why did none of them mention the 'earth-shattering' events of AD70? The destruction of the ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Acts 11:26 regarding the word Christian?

Referring to Acts 11:26: Did the people (unbelievers) of Antioch call the "Believers" Christian, or did the Believers start calling themselves Christian first in Antioch? Here is what I mean: Acts 11:...
3
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1answer
96 views

What oil was used at the time of James?

James 5:14-17 discusses healing through the anointing of oil. Surely these days we have plenty of different types of oils but what oil was used at the time of this scripture being written?
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0answers
87 views

Where does Jonathan Edwards describe his expectations of the second coming of Jesus?

In a few places I've seen claims that Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) believed in the imminence of Christ's return. For example: [Jonathan Edwards] was convinced that the world was going to the dogs ...
8
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1answer
169 views

What liturgical languages were used in the worldwide church/broad christiandom around 500AD?

I understand that the western church used Latin, the eastern church used Greek, and the far eastern church was using Syriac. Was it only those three languages? Or were other languages in use as well ...
2
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1answer
251 views

What did John Wycliffe teach about the fate of infants who die?

I saw a movie of John Wycliffe's life, and it portrayed him as disagreeing that those dying in infancy go to hell. Instead, he cited David's belief of seeing again his dead infant son as proof that ...
3
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2answers
362 views

How did the threefold distinction of Deacon, Priest and Bishop come about?

I was reading in another question, and I've heard it said before, that in the early church (Apostolic era), there was not a clear-cut distinction between Deacon, Priest and Bishop in the sacrament of ...
7
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2answers
195 views

Where did Roman Catholicism connect modern heresies with the Reformation?

Protestant theologian R. C. Sproul, in his series Contemporary Theology, comments on Rome's view of the connection between the Reformation and modern heresies: In the latter part of the 19th ...
8
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2answers
90 views

What, if any, are some first-millenium mentions of prohibitions or approval of interracial or international marriages?

While in the last few centuries there have been particularly American Christians arguing against interracial/intercultural/international marriage (I believe the term is "kinism"), I do not know of ...
2
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1answer
261 views

Request: Christian demographic statistics at the time of the reformation

I suspect I won't be able to get any good answers but I think it's worth asking anyway. I'm curious about what Christian demographics looked like at different points in history. For example what ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Why do Catholics usually baptize by pouring?

CCC 1214 This sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptizein) means to "plunge" or "immerse"; the "plunge" into the water symbolizes the ...
5
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2answers
210 views

Why are Catholic bishops styled as archbishops?

In the British Isles, bishops of both the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Churches are all styled "Right Reverend"; archbishops are "Most Reverend": The Rt Revd John Smith, Bishop of ...
4
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1answer
192 views

Did the original reformers believe in a Magisterium?

I have seen the original reformers referred to as the "Magisterial reformers" a couple of times over the past few years, and I'm only now wondering what the significance of that phrase is. Does it ...
10
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2answers
197 views

What is the basis for saying that the Gospel of Thomas was accepted as scripture by early Christians?

In an answer here, Dick Harfield writes: we know that [the Gospel of Thomas] and (probably) Q were treated as scripture by early Christians. Reading the Wikipedia article on the Gospel of Thomas, ...
11
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1answer
651 views

Why Was Jesus Represented as Being Born in a Cave?

I'm wondering why Jesus's birth/Nativity started being represented as occurring in a cave, as opposed to some structure having a manger in it (Luke) or the family home (Matthew). This first occurred ...
5
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2answers
72 views

Anathemas concerning the soul

In pre-search-engine days, I once found a volume in the library that documented the outcomes of many church councils. At the time, I was particularly interested in the doctrine of the soul, and I ...
4
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1answer
50 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 ...
0
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1answer
292 views

Is there a reason why the story Bel and the Dragon is included in the Book of Daniel by some churches and not by others? [closed]

The story of Bel and the Dragon seems disjointed and like a strangely put together fairy tale, yet most churches include it as apocryphal literature and others believe it to be canonical. What were ...
7
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1answer
86 views

What was the organizing principle of Melanchthon's Loci Communes?

Herman Bavinck, in his Reformed Dogmatics (BakerAcademic, Vol I, Chapter 1, pp 26 - 27), claims that while Melanchthon when writing his "Common Places" drew material from the book of Romans, his ...
6
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2answers
711 views

What was first, sola scriptura or sola fide?

I just watched a video with an Orthodox professor, in which he said that "Sola Scriptura" came first, and then "Sola Fide". Is that true? The best I can gather from the Wiki articles on these two ...
3
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0answers
86 views

What happened with the schools of Luther and Melanchthon?

I know that Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon tried to oppose the school system introduced by the Catholic Church (according to Luther, Oxford and Cambridge model was influenced by the Paris ...
10
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1answer
172 views

Did Philip Melanchthon teach penal substitution?

This question is a follow-up to my question, "Did Martin Luther teach penal substitution?" The Wikipedia article on Philip Melanchthon states in its opening paragraphs: Philip Melanchthon . . . (...
6
votes
3answers
295 views

What is an overview of Lutheran faith-alone systematically taught before Martin Luther?

Are there records of Lutheran doctrine of faith-alone taught by theologians prior to him whether explicitly? I read in the Catholic Encyclopedia's article on Justification that Luther was ...
7
votes
1answer
188 views

What effect did the 1897 decree regarding the Johannine Comma have on Catholic scholarship?

The Comma Johanneum, found in some versions of 1 John 5:7–8, such as the KJV, is a disputed text that has been used since at least the Middle Ages to defend trinitarian doctrine. Scholars now widely ...
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2answers
118 views

Why has the Church moved toward the West since it began? [closed]

The principle is the that Church began in Antioch by the name Church from Jerusalem and then moved to Turkey, to Greece, to Italy, to Spain and England, and now to China and Russia in force. Why ...
7
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1answer
352 views

Did Pentecostalism lead to Cessationism in the modern Reformed churches?

I understand that several theologians throughout church history believed that the gifts of the Spirit had ceased or mostly ceased. It didn't seem like a huge point of contention for them as it is ...
2
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0answers
53 views

Did Churches plant a tree at their entrance in 13th century Christian Spain?

Nahmanides (in his commentary to Deut. 16:22) writes that the Christians in his time had a custom of planting a tree at the entrance of their Churches in order to mark them. Is there any ...
4
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2answers
458 views

What differentiates a priest, a clerk, a capellanus, a subdeacon and a rector?

I have been looking at the list of rectors of Eversholt church, Bedfordshire, from the Bedfordshire Archives Service Catalogue. The various people listed there are each described as one of: (with ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Did Martin Luther teach penal substitution?

The Wikipedia article on Penal Substitution states (under the heading "Differing views"): Critics, however, argue that the theory of penal substitution is solely a later development, only forming ...
4
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1answer
545 views

In what ways did early Jansenists believe that their doctrine of salvation differed from that of Calvinism?

The soteriology of Jansenism appears to bear some resemblance to that of Calvinism, as both emphasize doctrines like original sin, predestination, and irresistible grace. The two movements also share ...
4
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1answer
805 views

What major changes have American Presbyterians made to the Westminster Confession of Faith?

As someone who generally affirms the Westminster Confession of Faith, one comment I hear periodically is that I therefore must believe that the Pope is the Antichrist. However, the Confession ...
6
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3answers
237 views

Who first explicitly understood “works of the law” in Galatians 3:10 as referring to only the ritual law, and not the Mosaic law generally?

One of the key verses used to defend the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith alone is Galatians 3:10: For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be ...
9
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1answer
451 views

Was William of Ockham the first sedevacantist?

Ockham (cf. this article on him by the Catholic logician Paul V. Spade) invented his dead-end nominalist philosophy in order to justify his being against the papacy (cf. Thomist John Deely's Four Ages ...
11
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2answers
558 views

When was Sunday first called the Sabbath?

I am looking for the first extant record of Sunday being referred to specifically as the "Sabbath" or "Christian Sabbath" I am not asking which day the early church gathered. I am not asking which ...
1
vote
1answer
224 views

Is there any historical evidence that Gnosticism disappeared because Gnostics converted to Christianity?

In his article "Mysticism in the Early Church, in The American Journal of Theology, Aurther C McGiffert says, Closely connected with Paul, John, and Ignatius are the Gnosics, the most famous ...
18
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2answers
621 views

What is the origin of the idea that Matthew, Mark, and Luke didn't mention Lazarus in order to protect him?

As discussed in another question, on why Matthew, Mark, and Luke didn't mention the raising of Lazarus, this miracle is only related in John 11 – the Synoptics, though they presumably knew about it, ...
4
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2answers
104 views

How was Pelagianism originally formally defined?

The terms "Pelagianism" and "Semipelagianism" are often used in polemical contexts, but what was specifically anathematized by the church when the Pelagian heresy was originally condemned?
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2answers
284 views

Did the Second Council of Orange deny the “certain efficacy” of grace?

B. B. Warfield says in The Plan of Salvation [PDF]: Into the place of Pelagianism there stepped at once Semipelagianism; and when the controversy with Semi-pelagianism had been fought and won, into ...
2
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1answer
158 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
214 views

Did Waldensians believe in unconditional election?

I have read about the history of the Waldensians. It appears they were largely honorable in their dealings; unfortunately it is hard to know exactly what they believed prior to their accepting ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Which version of the Gospels do the authors of the Philokalia refer to?

Which version of the Gospels do the authors of the Philokalia (such as Gregory Palamas) refer to? Clearly this would be some Greek version. But I would like to know what would be the closest thing ...
18
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3answers
768 views

When is the first time in church history we find a prayer ending with “in Jesus' name, amen”?

It is commonplace in Christianity today to close prayers "in Jesus' name, amen". I don't see any prayer in the apostolic writings prayed in this way. When does this first emerge in history?
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2answers
287 views

Was Joseph Smith interested in and familiar with Kabbalah?

We know that historically Joseph Smith taught himself Hebrew (as to how well, I'm not sure), and that he held beliefs similar to Jewish mysticism (degrees of heaven, preexistence, fall of angels, etc.)...
9
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1answer
2k views

Why do Christians have different books in their Bible?

Some Bibles have all 4 Maccabees books, for example, while others don't. Some Bibles have Esdras and Wisdom, and yet others don't. Why is this? If there was an agreement on what books would be in the ...
9
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1answer
414 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?
3
votes
1answer
181 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, ...
9
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2answers
551 views

Which specific canons of the Second Council of Constantinople do Lutherans and Calvinists reject?

The Wikipedia article on the Second Council of Constantinople (the fifth Ecumenical Council) claims that Lutherans and Calvinists accept only the first four Ecumenical Councils as being canonical. My ...
6
votes
1answer
263 views

When was Good Friday first called “Good”?

In my other question, I discovered that special commemoration on Friday was held as early as the 3rd century. I also discovered that there was not necessarily a connection to the title "Good" Friday....
5
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2answers
223 views

What is the first recorded observation of Good Friday?

When was the first Good Friday commemoration observed, distinct from Pascha/Passover or Sunday Easter? Related: What is the origin of the Good Friday tradition? However, I am not interested in ...