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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Who first coined the term “Christian”?

It is correct that the term "Christian" was first used in Antioch, but not coined by just someone who made up nicknames, but by St. Ignatius, the 3rd Bishop of Antioch?
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Information on how the early Christians prepared and/or fled from the destruction of Jerusalem?

Does anyone have any information regarding how the early Christians prepared or handled the destruction of Jerusalem? Such as how long before hand they fled and what did they take and where did they ...
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What is the earliest historical instance of state-paid Clergy?

Years ago I read in a book about the days of Constantine and how the early church fathers, who had been ducking the persecutors' swords for so long, were overwhelmed when the Roman State turned benign ...
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Hippolytus’ difference between hearing the Word and hearing the Gospel?

In Apostolic Traditions, Hippolytus (starting at section 15 through section 20 (it is too much to copy and paste)) lines out the qualifications that a catechumen must meet for acceptance as such and a ...
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Does any Church currently incorporate exorcism, three dunkings, and anointing in their baptism rite?

Hippolytus of Rome, in relating the rites and liturgies in use in Rome in the 3rd Century AD in his work called Apostolic Tradition, describes a process of exorcism first to expel evil spirits whereby ...
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Was James the early church leader?

In Acts 15 Paul goes to the Jerusalem council and, although Peter speaks, James has the last word and announces his judgement: "Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the ...
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Did Paul recognize Peter as the earthly leader of the Church?

By suggestion this is a re-posting of one part of a multipart question. Paul appears (under inspiration of the Spirit) indifferent to whatever reputation may have been ascribed to James, Peter, and ...
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What was the reason and the contents of the title pages “Old Testament” and “New Testament” in the earliest codex (extant or not)?

By dividing the collection of books in the Bible into "Old Testament" and "New Testament", the compiler of the books of the Bible made a strong theological statement that something "old" has passed ...
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Was there a time when bishops were not appointed to other sees and did not generally ever relocate?

Today it is common for bishops to relocate to another (probably more prestigious) episcopal see. For example Rainer Wölki was first titular Bishop of Scampa, then Archbishop of Berlin and is now ...
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Were any of the early church leaders Gentile converts to Christianity?

By early, I mean the second half of the first century to the end of the second century. I know, for example, that Paul and Barnabus were ethnic Jews. The Apostle Paul mentions various Christians, ...
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Does Augustine ever say that Christians in his time identify their Deus [God] with the Roman deity Saturn?

I first encountered this notion on p. 30 of R.S. Sugirtharajah's book The Bible and the Third World: Precolonial, Colonial and Postcolonial Encounters (2001, Cambridge University Press). In reference ...
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What have old Christian writers opined about a couple living with in-laws during marriage?

I understand a question has been asked and was closed on this topic previously, but I wanted to more specifically ask about Christian writings on it, preferably early ones. Often people today use ...
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Were the early Christians known by any other name?

We see in Acts 11:24-26 (NRSVCE): "For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were brought to the Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and ...
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Was there any case of a homosexual priest in the early Church and how did the Church handle that?

Was there any case of a homosexual priest in the early Church and how did the Church handle that (if it occurred)?
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How was the church structured during the time of 300 AD - 500 AD?

I know in 1054 AD, the Catholic & Orthodox churches had split - creating the great schism, but I'm curious to learn about the earlier history of the church. Are there any historical sources which ...
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Was the Gathering Relics of Holy Men in 1st Century common in the Early Church?

I am hoping to understand or know if Jesus' apostles would have had gathering relics of something like the crucifixion in mind at some point when it as still possible to locate them (ex: the true ...
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How did Christians get from the biblical feast of Passover to Easter sunday?

Can any one offer an educated answer of how the Christian Church moved from Passover on the 14th day of the first biblical month to the day we now call Easter? (You can even pretend Passover and ...
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When did the Early Church begin and end their twice weekly fasts?

In the Didache, it tells us "8:2 but keep your fast on the fourth and on the preparation day (Friday)." Obviously some actually did keep these weekly fasts, when exactly did they begin and end? ...
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Did early Christians believe the world was about to end?

Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. (Matthew 16:28, NIV) Edit: adding another verse in ...
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Famous Pre Reformation Christian Pastors (Non Catholic)

After the Splintering of the Protestant Revolt, there have been many men who are famous as Pastors and Preachers even up to the present day, the Billy Grahams the Joel Olstiens, John McArthurs, an ...
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How did Christians respond to abortion in the early Church?

I think that the churches (all Christians, Catholics, Protestants, Greek Orthodox and others) should be involved in the fight against legalized abortion. I am looking to the history of the Church to ...
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Why is there no archaeological evidence that Christians existed for 200 years after 70 AD?

This is from the 2/1/2018 issue of Biblical Archaeology Society: ...For almost two hundred years after the crucifixion, Roman cities are entirely devoid of any trace of early Christians; to date, ...
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Are any of Arius' writings extant?

In 325 CE, following the defeat of Arius at the Council of Nicea, Emperor Constantine the Great went on a campaign of book burning to eradicate all memory of Arius and his beliefs: After the First ...
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Did St. James write the Divine Liturgy of St. James?

This is related to the question titled "What is the earliest written surviving liturgy?", but different in what it is asking. I was reading on Infogalactic the following. The Liturgy of Saint James ...
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When was the formal title of Pope first officially bestowed on the Bishops of Rome?

I’ve read conflicting claims about who the first Pope was. I read this question in a newspaper - "Was Boniface the first true Pope?" Boniface I (418-22) was spoken of as a pope, but so were his ...
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Is Christianity evolved from shamanism? [closed]

Latest researches show with an abundance of evidence, that modern religion (including Christianity) are evolved from primordial believes system as a reflection of its social and political structure. ...
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Why is the Textus Receptus important?

I've seen it mentioned that some translations use the Textus Receptus and others don't, so why is this document important?
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True Doctrines Or Heresies?

I am a Protestant. I have been trying to trace the church from the time of Jesus to the current day. I have a question. In the first half a century I see great debates in the defense and ...
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Who was the first person on record who was killed by a Christian or group of Christians for religious disagreements?

I am trying to learn when did things start to go wrong in Christianity and when did it start to change from a peaceful, loving religious group into a movement that engaged in war and physical ...
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Early Christians who Defended Licitness of Non-Procreative Sex?

Were there any early Christians who defended non-procreative sex as licit?
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Did the early church teach that God performed the first animal sacrifice in Gen 3:21?

An earlier question asks about the first animal sacrifice. The two top answers both suggest that God instituted animal sacrifice by example when He killed an animal to provide Adam and Eve with ...
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Was Origen and/or certain teachings considered a heretic and/or heretical?

What was clear enough has become muddled for reasons unknown about Origen. We can speculate the resurgence of the idea of universal salvation is one reason for Origen's rise. In the seventeenth ...
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Which church fathers taught involuntary universal salvation?

Which early church fathers (including those now considered heretics like Origen) pre 1054 taught that "all will be saved", including all of the dead without "hearing and believing"? In other words, ...
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Salvation Possible After Death

Which early church fathers (pre 500) taught it was possible for a person after their death to hear and receive salvation in Christ Jesus? We know some groups teach the necessity of water baptism to ...
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Was universalism the majority belief of the early church?

I recently came upon an article that made this statement: According to historical records, Universal Reconciliation was the majority belief of the church during the first five centuries of the ...
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Did anyone before Augustine teach Original Sin? [duplicate]

From what I understand Augustine was the first to introduce the idea of original sin. Did anyone before Augustine state that Adam and Eve's sin was a punishment to all humanity?
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When and from whom is the source that for Christians, God dwells in buildings you go to, rather than in believers?

The question of when Christians started attending church at a building rather than their homes led to a few answers and comments. One got me to thinking and asking this question. When did the ...
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Has anyone in history suffered God’s visible wrath by uttering disrespect & attack on the dignity of the Vicar of Christ?

We know from Apostle’s times that Jesus claimed that an attack or persecution to the Church member’s is a direct attack on Himself what more to a Vicar of Christ. The Road to Damascus "As Saul ...
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Is it true that no post-apostolic theologians before St. Augustine believed in Eternal Security / Assurance of Salvation?

According to Wikipedia in it's entry of 'perseverance of the saints', eternal security has its roots in Church Father St. Augustine of Hippo. Considering that Augustine lived centuries after the ...
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Was any early martyr of the Church sawn in two, as mentioned in Hebrews?

In Hebrews 11:35–37 the author writes: ...Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and ...
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Jesus said I am the Way, how does the Catholic Church best explain this passage?

John 14:6 New International Version (NIV) "Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." This passage from St.John Gospel had a strong ...
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Are the Seven Sorrows of Mary the seven pillars in Proverbs 9:1?

Proverbs 9:1 English Standard Version (ESV) "Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars." "HEWN" (Thesaurus) Adj. 1. hewn - cut or shaped with hard blows of a heavy cutting ...
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Was Mary’s appearance to St. James the Greater in year 40 AD an apparition or bilocation?

Tradition has it that the Blessed Virgin Mary, sometime before her bodily Assumption into heaven, appeared to the Apostle St. James the Elder while he was living and preaching in Spain. After ...
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Is there a sound doctrine or biblical explanation why Satan is called “the ape of God”?

I encountered this word in the book entitled "The Devil", I forgot the name of the author. It was Tertullian who called Satan the "ape of God" but offered very little explanation. We know from the ...
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Nature of the Church in 1st Corinthians

In 1 Corinthians 1:10-12 - (“10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same ...
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Are there eyewitness accounts of Jesus Christ written during (or closely after) his lifetime?

In recent times, it has come to my understanding, that the New Testament was written in its entirety only after Jesus Christ has died. I ask for in the search of documents which date to Jesus' ...
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What denominations of Christianity forbid meat from strangled animals?

In Acts 15, at the end of the Apostolic Council the Church sends the following letter to Gentile Christians: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria ...
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Was there any meaningful difference between the terms “presbyter” and “priest” in early Christianity?

There has been much debate between Christian denominations on whether or not there is a special priesthood rooted in apostolic succession. I do not mean to disturb this debate with my question, but I ...
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Has the term “born again” always been synonymous with baptism with the Christians of the Early Church?

Has the term "born again" always been synonymous with baptism with the Christians of the Early Church? St. Irenaeus (202) wrote the following in 185, which many claim it refers to infant baptism: ...
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What is the earliest explicit mention of infant baptism?

The Bible describes several adults being baptized (notably Jesus and the Ethiopian eunuch that Phillip baptized). And while it mentions many others being baptized, it doesn't explicitly mention ...

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