Questions tagged [church-history]

The history of the Church following the book of Acts

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1answer
91 views

Did the church use stories like the Holy Grail to attract pagans?

Sorry if this has been asked before, but I am avid watcher of the History Channel series on the Templar Knights. In one episode, the character playing the Pope announces that stories like the Holy ...
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749 views

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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Did Saint Paul attend the council of Nicaea? Which other councils did he attend? [closed]

My question is exactly who is Saint Paul? When did he live and when did he die? Did he attend the council of Nicaea? Which councils did He attend?
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539 views

Did John Calvin observe Christmas?

In some strands of Reformed theology, the regulative principle of worship is understood to mean that "church holidays," not specifically established in the Bible, should not be recognized in public ...
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322 views

What is a priest of Rome?

While writing a paper for school, I looked back at this answer so I could use that passage as a reference. In doing so, I got a good look at the title of the book, which I never had before. It’s ...
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Missing work of St. Augustine in Latin?

I have been trying to look for a work of St. Augustine in Latin but I have had no luck of finding it. Not only that, I don't think it's been translated to English. It's called "La Fe, Dedicada a Pedro ...
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226 views

Was the First Apocalypse of James written after the Second Apocalypse of James?

The current version of the Wikipedia article for the First Apocalypse of James has the following sentence at the end of the article: One of the most curious features of the First Apocalypse of ...
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Are there any surviving writings by Marcion or is everything we know of him what his enemies wrote of him?

I'm growing increasingly suspicious that Marcion was more of a dispensationalist or "hyper-dispensationalist" who fell victim to misrepresentation by those who either did not understand him or agree ...
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What was the first recorded near death experience of a Christian claiming to have one?

What is the first recorded description of a Christian claiming to have what we would today call a near death experience? Did perhaps any of the early church fathers describe such an event that ...
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Which Roman Catholic figure(s) has/have accused the Church of Mariolatry?

I seem to remember hearing that an early R.C.C. leader had accused the church of falling into Mariolatry—the worship of Mary. Have any popes or other leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, especially ...
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Epiphaneus: “Martyrdom of Peter and Paul”

I’m researching a particular subject in Epiphanius’ writings and have found every often listed reference except one, despite a long, wearying search in every nook and cranny of Google. This reference ...
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What is the extra value of the body of Christ in the Eucharist when someone is already full of the Holy Spirit?

In the Catholic Church, the Eucharist is almost the central practice of their faith. By eating the bread as the body of Christ, one is united with God, but sometimes a person can be so full of the ...
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Why did Katarina von Bora need to hide in a barrel to escape from her convent?

In the 2003 movie Luther, Katarina von Bora (future wife of Martin Luther) says that she escaped from her convent with other nuns by hiding in herring barrels. But we see that Luther did not need to ...
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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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Did Martin Luther really nail his 95 Theses to the church door?

The traditional story is that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church doors of Wittenberg, Germany, which served as a bulletin board of sorts, on October 31, 1517. However, some sources ...
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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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Were celebrations for the 400th Anniversary of the Reformation held in Germany during World War I?

The 400th anniversary of Luther posting his 95 Theses was October 31, 1917. At this point, Germany was suffering heavy losses in World War I, and the war would continue until November 11th of the ...
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377 views

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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382 views

How did Karl Barth justify his relationship with Charlotte von Kirschbaum?

I recently learned that Karl Barth, while he was married, had a decades-long romantic relationship with his personal assistant, Charlotte von Kirschbaum. She actually moved into the Barths' home in ...
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96 views

Were there indulgences sold for those who had no family when they died?

The book Martin Luther: A Life by James A. Nestingen describes the indulgences around the time of 1517, and says that they could be bought for oneself or others, typically family members. An ...
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Who was the first Devil's Advocate?

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Devil's Advocate (Advocatus Diaboli) was: [a] popular title given to one of the most important officers of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, established ...
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647 views

Was Tetzel robbed by a man who had preemptively bought an indulgence?

Wikipedia recounts a story told by Martin Luther about Johann Tetzel. It goes a little something like this: Tetzel was in Leipzig selling indulgences. After collecting a large sum of money, Tetzel ...
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Did a Seventh Day Adventist start the Jehovah Witness organization?

I have a couple of friends who are JWs, and I mentioned to them about one of the founders having come from a Seventh Day Adventist background, and they acted like they never heard that before. I'm ...
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113 views

Who first addressed a religious male or female with “brother” or “sister,” respectively?

What is the first occurrence in Church history of addressing a religious male or female (i.e., one who has taken vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty) with "brother" or "sister," respectively?
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678 views

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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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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276 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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367 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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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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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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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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455 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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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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655 views

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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