Questions tagged [early-church]

Relating to first several centuries of the Christian church; usually considered to end in the 4th century

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What was the ante-Nicene Fathers' view on image veneration?

What was the ante-Nicene Fathers' view on image veneration and its use inside churches?
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Did the early church believe in the supremacy of Rome? [duplicate]

Did the early church fathers believe in the supremecy of rome and if so where is the evidance for this? Roman Catholics claim that the church of rome has supreme authority as it is the church of the ...
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Who are called Catholics in the Early Church?

I saw recently that some protestants are trying to label themselves as authentic Catholics. “Protestants: The Most ‘Catholic’ of Christians.” Reforming Catholic Confession Who are called Catholics in ...
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What was the Early Church's (ante-Nicene period) view of the interplay between free will (or lack thereof) and salvation?

Did the Early Church (ante-Nicene period) believe in libertarian free will? Did the Early Church (ante-Nicene period) believe in determinism? Did the Early Church (ante-Nicene period) believe that ...
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Did any Early Church Fathers approve of polygamy?

This question asks whether any Early Church Fathers condemned polygamy. The answer seems to be 'yes'. Did any Early Church Fathers approve of polygamy?
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Did the Early Church Fathers condemn polygamy?

Today I was debating with a Christian who believes in polygamy and claimed that the Early Church Fathers allowed for the act of polygamy, is that true and is there any evidence that the Early Church ...
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Was a Unitarian understanding of God present in the Early Church prior to 400 AD?

As we know, the Trinity is a doctrine that is not explicitly contained in the Bible. Of course Trinitarians would say it is present, but nevertheless it does require a lens of interpretation, so that ...
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How did the Early Church Fathers view homosexuality?

How did the Early Church Fathers view the act of homosexuality, did they condemn it or did they interrupt the verses differently than we do, verses such as: You shall not lie with a male as with a ...
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Did the early church believe that St. Peter was the first pope?

Roman Catholics believe that St. Peter was the first Pope, had primacy over the church and was given a pastoral role by the Lord Jesus Christ himself, we know the scripture argument for the papacy, ...
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How did so many writings of St. John Chrysostom survive?

We have an astonishing number of extant writings by St. John Chrysostom. One source says: Chrysostom is among the most prolific of the Fathers: 17 treatises, more than 700 authentic homilies, ...
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Did the Early Church (ante-Nicene period) believe in the continuation or cessation of the office of Prophet?

What did the Apostolic Fathers, Ante-Nicene Fathers and the Ante-Nicene Church in general believe about the continuation of the office of Prophet? Were they cessationists or continuationists with ...
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Did the Early Church (ante-Nicene period) believe in the continuation or cessation of the office of Apostle?

What did the Apostolic Fathers, Ante-Nicene Fathers and the Ante-Nicene Church in general believe about the continuation of the office of Apostle? Were they cessationists or continuationists with ...
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Church Fathers exegesis of the Rock of Matthew 16:18?

How do Catholics answer this Patristic Exegesis of the Rock of Matthew 16:18 compiled by William Webster? As a Catholic I am a bit confused. Augustine Remember, in this man Peter, the rock. He’s the ...
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Church Fathers on Sola Scriptura

Did early church fathers teach about sola Scriptura? A common definition of sola scriptura is that it: posits the Bible as the sole infallible source of authority for Christian faith (source). P.s- ...
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Did any in the early church require a kosher diet?

In the early church, we see statements suggesting that the dietary laws of clean/unclean meats from Old Testament passages such as Leviticus 11 are no longer binding. For example: As for their [the ...
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Early Christian Lent Fasting Practices

What information do we have about early Lent fasting practices? I saw an interesting reference to Ramadan having grown out of Syrian Lent practices, but aside from that, I haven't found any good ...
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What is the Cessationist view on miracle reports surrounding St. Macarius of Egypt?

Macarius of Egypt: Macarius of Egypt (c. 300 – 391) was a Coptic Christian monk and hermit. He is also known as Macarius the Elder or Macarius the Great. St. Macarius was born in Lower Egypt. A late ...
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What did the Early Church (ante-Nicene period) believe about Gehenna and the Second Death?

Gehenna according to Strong's Concordance geenna: Gehenna, a valley W. and South of Jer., also a symbolic name for the final place of punishment of the ungodly Original Word: γέεννα, ης, ἡ Part of ...
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Did any Apostolic or Ante-Nicene Fathers believe that Jesus was a created being?

Nothing to add to the title: did any Apostolic or Ante-Nicene Fathers believe that Jesus was a created being? Related questions: Which Ante-Nicene Church Fathers believed that Jesus is the "...
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What did the Apostolic and ante-Nicene Fathers believe about Sheol/Hades?

What did the Apostolic and ante-Nicene Fathers believe about Sheol / Hades? Did they believe that it was a real supernatural place that houses the spirits of the dead? Did they believe that it was a ...
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What proofs that the Jerusalem church held the same belief of St. Paul with regard to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus?

Some critics of Christianity, (Muslims, for example), argue that though Saint Paul believed that Jesus was crucified and his crucifixion has a significance (that he redeems all people from the effects ...
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How did early Christians practice and observe their new religion [closed]

What did early Christians do after they were Baptized? Some were originally Jews who maintained some aspects of their former observance. And others were Gentiles (viz. non-Jews in this context). ...
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Was there ever a period in Nascent Christianity before formalized ritual or dogma?

The title is pretty explicit. But further, if so, is there any reliable documentation of who the adherents were and how they comported themselves?
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Are there any Early Church Fathers, Doctors of the Church or Catholic Saints who believed the world would possibly end by a comet hitting the earth?

Are there any Early Church Fathers or Doctors of the Church or Catholic Saints who believed the world would possibly end by a comet hitting the earth or coming in close contact with it? The other day, ...
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What was the Early Church's position on Purgatory?

I like to look at views that the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Church share. One of those views that they don't share is purgatory. This got me thinking. Is there any evidence that the Early Church ...
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Did the 1st Century Church Accept the Deuterocanonical books?

I understand that both the Eastern Orthodoxy and the Catholic Church accept the Deuterocanonical books as scripture. However, since their founding (I understand that they would both claim to begin ...
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Were priests just dressed in secular garb in the early church?

I was reading about the gift that President Biden gave to Pope Francis and wondering what a "Fiddleback Chasuble" was. What I stumbled upon on wikipedia was this interesting tidbit that it ...
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What did the Early Church Fathers believe about the fate of the unreached?

Many individuals have died and continue to die without ever having heard the message of salvation. Illustrative examples of this are everyone who was born before Jesus, individuals contemporary to ...
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Are there any sources other than Acts 2 reporting Xenoglossy during the first centuries of Christianity?

Xenoglossy, the ability to suddenly speak a language one has never learned or studied, is reported to have taken place at Pentecost in Acts chapter 2. Are there any other independent sources that ...
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Relationship of Salome and Mary

Mary is the mother of Jesus. Salome is mentioned twice in Scripture. There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and ...
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Did the idea of humans being hard-wired for God exist in late antique Christianity?

According to Islamic theology, the belief in a single God (as opposed to polytheism or idolatry) is a natural disposition of the human mind, a concept referred to as Fitrah. Did a similar idea existed ...
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Is there any historical evidence that the supernatural gifts of the Spirit were still in operation after the apostolic age?

Once the apostolic age finished with the death of the apostles, is there any evidence that the supernatural gifts of the Spirit (e.g., tongues, prophecy, words of knowledge, healing, miracles, etc.) ...
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What are the strongest apologetic arguments for the existence of miracles and the supernatural gifts of the Spirit during the apostolic age?

The four gospels, the book of Acts and the epistles by the apostle Paul affirm very clearly that the early Church was endued with power from on high. Christians during the apostolic age had access to ...
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3 votes
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What was the early Church's understanding of the practice of "praying in the Spirit" during the ante-Nicene period?

The Apostle Paul alludes to the practice of "praying in the Spirit" in at least two of his epistles, namely: Ephesians 6:18 (ESV): 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and ...
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Did any of the early church fathers believe they had to follow dietary laws?

I have been asked if any of the early church fathers believed they had to follow dietary laws. Specifically, the person asking wants to know the views of influential early Christians such as Clement ...
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What was the early Church Fathers' understanding of the "baptism with Holy Spirit and fire"?

The concept of "baptism with Holy Spirit and fire" is introduced for the first time by John the Baptist in Matthew 3:11, referencing Jesus as the baptizer. Jesus confirms this in Acts 1:4,8, ...
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Are there any denominations that defend their doctrines by appealing to extra-biblical evidence from the 1st/2nd century of the early Church?

When it comes to controversial doctrines, I have a tendency to pay attention to what the early Church had to say on the subject. Of course, the most important early Church writings are compiled in the ...
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Are there any extra-biblical writings that document what the early Christians believed about the second coming of Christ?

Are there any extra-biblical writings that document what the early Christians believed about the second coming of Christ? For example, any preserved documents that explain what the early Christians ...
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Did the early Church become full preterist after AD 70?

Full preterists believe that the last trumpet call took place in AD 70. A very elaborate presentation of this view can be found in Gina's answer in one of my previous questions. A quote from the ...
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How would believers in Jesus' deity paraphrase 1 Clement 59:4, "Let all the Gentiles know that Thou art the God alone, and Jesus Christ is Thy Son"? [closed]

1 Clement is the only extant uncontested writing of Pope Clement I. It is generally dated to the 1st Century. Along with the Didache and Old Roman Creed, it is an early Christian 'dog that didn't bark'...
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How do believers in Jesus' deity explain that Jesus is never claimed to be God/divine in the Old Roman Creed and the Didache?

In an answer to a previous question of mine, a user argued against the historicity of the belief in the divinity of Jesus in the early stages of Christianity, by pointing out the fact that Jesus is ...
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1 vote
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When did the early church start to require couples to be both baptized Christians before marriage?

This question is prompted by another question that brought up the validity of St. Monica's marriage to Patricius, a pagan. Assuming that Monica and Patricius were married in the church in Thasgate, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Did the early church believe that the damned would be eternally punished in a literal hell of fire?

I recently asked a question on the hermeneutics site with the intention of letting people share their exegetical takes on the words of Jesus found in Mark 9:47-49, where he said: 47 And if your eye ...
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3 votes
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How much authority does Pseudo-Dionysus still have in today's Catholic Church? [duplicate]

Ancient and medieval Church identified the sixth century Syrian Christian Neoplatonist author Dionysius the Areopagite, and not until modern times the truth has been revealed. However, Pseudo-Dionysus ...
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3 votes
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How widespread was the observance of the Jewish Sabbath among Christians during Early Christianity (A.D. 30–324)?

Question How widespread was the observance of the Jewish Sabbath among Christians during Early Christianity (A.D. 30–324)? Further Details As a reminder, the Jewish Sabbath is defined as: [...] the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What is an overview of the early Church's viewpoints on Christology at the time of the Apostolic Era?

What were the beliefs of the early Church regarding the nature of Jesus during the Apostolic Era? By Apostolic Era, I mean the time of the Apostles and their immediate successors who knew them ...
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6 votes
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Is there any historical evidence of Early Church Christians denying the divinity of Jesus during the 1st and 2nd centuries AD?

I'm essentially asking the counter-question to this one. Is there any historical evidence of Early Church Christians (post-New Testament) openly denying the divinity of Jesus in the 1st and 2nd ...
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4 votes
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Is there any historical evidence that the early church believed in the divinity of Jesus?

Is there any historical evidence that the early church believed in the divinity of Jesus? What about the first century? What about the second century (and so on)? Was the belief in the divinity of ...
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3 votes
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Is there any historical evidence of the gifts of healing in operation by the second Century?

I was wanting to know if any of the church fathers have documented anything concerning the gift of healing with eye witness testimony or the gift of Miracles being in operation by the second century?
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Early Christian responses to suicide (source/text identification)?

I'm looking for a text I read some time ago where an Early Church writer (one of the Patristic Fathers?) responds to an argument regarding suicide put forth by some opponents. IIRC, it goes something ...
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