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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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Has there ever existed a Catholic local church feast at Rome in honor of the Domine Quo Vadis?

The Church of St. Mary in Palmis at Rome, originally was called the Church of Domine Quo Vadis. The title of this church takes its' name from a pious tradition that St. Peter one day decided to leave ...
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Was defining the New Testament originally condemned as heresy?

This BBC documentary describes how during the first two centuries, scriptures about Jesus circulated without any author mentioned in them. It then goes on to suggest that actually writing down a New ...
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Was the “Nicene Creed” of AD 381 an update of the Nicene Creed of AD 325?

When people talk about "The Nicene Creed," it seems that they are often referring to the document associated with the Council of Constantinople (AD 381). I'm sure there are many reasons for this, one ...
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Early church writers opposed to the baptism of infants?

In his book On Baptism, Chapter 18, "Of the Persons to Whom, and the Time When, Baptism is to Be Administered," Tertullian says According to the circumstances and disposition, and even age, of each ...
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Is there any Ethiopian ancient source about the eunuch who was evangelized by Philip?

We all know that passage from Acts 8, where Philip preached and baptized the Ethiopian Eunuch. I've read in an article that Ethiopian Christian tradition talks about this Eunuch, who came from ...
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Where the church should gather?

Ok, where i gather, we have a Brethren-like "house church" system, which means that we have no building for the chuch meeting. But the number of members are increasing and we are about to face a ...
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What is the origin of the story that the Apostle John taught only “love one another”?

I've heard in a sermon that there is a story about Apostle John's last days, when he was working in Ephesus. The story tells that usually, at the Lord's Supper, John was invited to give a little ...
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Why did Justin Martyr speak so harshly about Christians who ate meat sacrificed to idols?

In his Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter XXXV, Justin replies to Trypho's charge that Christians eat meat sacrificed to idols by saying that such people serve to show more distinctly who are the true ...
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Did Origen support the idealist view of Christian eschatology?

I've seen it suggested that Origen was in line with the idealist understanding of Christian eschatology. Is anyone able to clarify this? What is the evidence that Origen was in support of the Idealist ...
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Have any ante-Nicene writings been discovered in the past 20 years?

Have any writings or fragments of ante-Nicene Church Fathers previously unknown (that is the actual words were not known, not necessarily that the name of the work was also previously unknown) to ...
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What did the early church believe about the “rapture”?

There are a lot of differing opinions on when the rapture will take place (pre-tribulation, post-tribulation, or mid-tribulation). From my own attempts to research the topic and look at Scripture from ...
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How did the Church fathers of the first four centuries understand 2 Corinthians 5:21?

God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21, NET) I'm interested in an overview of the understanding of the ...
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What is the historical cause between the discrepancy of evangelical approaches to original sin and Jewish ones? [closed]

(Modern) Judaism is usually described as not subscribing to the original sin doctrine, where humanity is seen as inherently doomed per the actions of Adam and Eve. (It looks like it's a generalisation,...
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What view of eschatology did the early church believe?

I have recently been studying eschatology and have been looking at the main views of eschatology. So far, I have found four (I apologize in advance if I have misrepresented your view. I would ...
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Besides Paul, were there any other enemies of the early church who converted to Christianity?

As I was listening to a debate between Drs. William Lane Craig and Richard Carrier on the historicity of Jesus' resurrection, something Dr. Carrier said caught my attention. He claimed that "[Paul] is ...
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Which Ante-Nicene Church Fathers believed that Jesus is the “eternal Son” of the Father?

Economic trinitarianism, in the pre-Nicene sense of the phrase, says that God is a monad who becomes tripartite for the purposes of creation and redemption. Forms of this view were held by Justin ...
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What was the Biblical Basis Tertullian used to support what he termed the “refrigerium interim”? [duplicate]

The early Christian theologian Tertullian used the term refrigerium interim to describe a happy state in which the souls of the blessed are refreshed while they await the Last Judgment and their ...
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What is the purpose of asceticism?

Christians have been practicing asceticism for thousands of years. Why? I would prefer sources from before the Great Schism. If not are available I will accept Orthodox teaching from after that time. ...
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What explanations have scholars proposed for the rejection of the Didache from the Canon?

The Didache (full text) is an early Christian document giving advice on various "practical matters" such as how to baptize, when to fast, how to celebrate the Lord's Supper, etc. It's hard to date, ...
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When did the early church begin reciting the Lord's Prayer in corporate worship?

I'm reading a book on prayer, and one of the claims that the author makes is that the Lord's Prayer was not intended to be recited word-for-word in corporate worship. Part of his argument relates to ...
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Did the early church condemn the teaching that God the Father is a person with a body living in space somewhere?

I have spent my life under the impression that the belief that God the Father is a humanoid being possessing a body and living somewhere in the universe in a manner similar to ourselves is a named ...
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Did anyone understand the Holy Spirit to be a person prior to the Council of Constantinople in AD 381?

Do we know of any case of the concept of the Holy Spirit being a person existing among Christians before the Constantinople council of 381 A.D.? The reason I am asking this question is because one ...
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Why did the mid-early church consider the Gospel of Matthew to be reliable?

The Gospel of Matthew is now considered to be important, however the 1st century and 2nd century references to it are surprisingly confusing and sparse. Which authors in the 1st and 2nd century ...
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What exactly is Peter's connection to Rome according to Catholic dogma?

This answer confused me. I tried wading through the sources, but then I decided I'd just ask here. According to Catholic dogma: Was Peter ever in Rome? I'm sure the answer is yes, but I'd like to see ...
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What is an overview of early church opposition to authorities?

What is an overview of early church father expressions of opposition against authorities? I'm looking for things like: Protests against state-/government-sponsored injustice Arguments against the ...
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Is there any explanation from the early church Fathers as to why there is no record of the Apostles being baptized?

I never really noticed this before but it does seem odd that everyone is to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, yet it does not appear that the Apostles were. At least there is ...
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How did the Christian movement distinguish itself from Judaism?

Can anyone explain to me how Christianity distanced itself from Judaism and set itself apart?
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In what way did the ante-nicene church read Sapiental passages like Proverbs 8:22 christologically?

Commentators like Ellicott indicate that the ante-nicene Christian writers (from A.D. 100 to the Council of Nicaea) read Proverbs 8:22 christologically, that is, in reference to Christ. In what way ...
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Are there any authors that who believe Eph. 4:11 is not describing titles but general characteristics of how God created the church to work together?

Ephesians 4:11ff reads: And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to ...
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What is the Christological difference between the early Church fathers and the Arians?

There is a debate on whether or not precursor to Arianism can be found among the earliest church fathers before the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea. Among the early Christian authors whom the early ...
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What Scriptures did Arius use to support teaching that Jesus was created?

Arius probably quoted the following: Revelation 3:14: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God. Psalm 8:5–6: thou madest Him ...
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Are Catholic Bishops the successors of the Apostles alone or the Elders too?

In researching my answer for this question I started to think about the doctrine that the Bishops are the successors of the Apostles as being a bit unfair to the other folks. For instance, if St. ...
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How does the Catholic Church explain their belief that Jesus chose Peter to build upon?

Jesus was God and knew well the character and faults of Peter his disciple. The gospels give us a look at his impetuosity, asking Jesus 'if it is you, tell me to walk on the water'; arrogance, ...
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According to the LDS church, when was the priesthood lost?

I suppose this has no definitive answer, but maybe I am wrong, so: From an LDS view, when was divine authority in the early church lost? From all I have read and heard so far about the early church, ...
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Is a claim of 50,000,000 Baptist martyrs accurate?

In the book The Trail of Blood by James M Carroll, the author makes the claim that 50,000,000 early Baptists were martyred under persecution by the Catholic Church. The author makes the claim ...
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Can an early date for the certain Pauline epistles and a late date for Luke-Acts be reconciled?

Is there a respectable scholarly position that would ratify/explain an orthodox date for the Pauline Epistles (50-60 CE) and a late date for Luke-Acts (100-125 CE)?
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Why were the General Epistles written? [closed]

The six New Testament epistles known as James; 1 and 2 Peter; 1 and 2 John; and Jude are not directed to any one person or specific branch of the Church. The first verse in each epistle indicates who ...
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What is the biblical basis for why the sending of the Holy Spirit was necessary?

Why couldn't the disciples begin following the great commission right after Jesus ascended into heaven? Why was the sending of the Holy Spirit necessary?
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How was the word preached in NT era churches?

In many churches today, the word is preached as follows: a pastor / priest talks for the entirety of the meeting (generally 1 hour) a large group of Christians listen. In the Watchmen Nee inspired ...
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Did any other early church fathers besides Origen teach the pre-existence of souls?

Origen taught about the pre-existence of our souls, which, among many other of his teachings, was later condemned as heresy. Did any other early church fathers teach this doctrine?
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Was the Assumption of Mary a belief in the early church?

Was the Assumption of Mary a belief in the early church? If so, where's the evidence? The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life is a defined dogma of the ...
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Do any Christian groups sell all their possessions as it seems the Early Church did?

In Luke 12:33 (NIV) Jesus says: Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes ...
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544 views

Does Jesus's soul exist before his incarnation?

I am referring to clause III in "The Anathematisms of the Emperor Justinian Against Origen": If anyone says or thinks that the soul of the Lord pre-existed and was united with God the Word before ...
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Where did Catholics and Catholicism come from? [duplicate]

Catholicism seems to have begun so quickly after the dispersion of the Apostles that I'm wondering where even it even came from. I'm especially curious to know when Christians began calling ...
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894 views

Was Paul the ideal Christian we were meant to emulate? [closed]

Did God intend for Paul to show us the kind of Christian life we were all meant to live? I don't mean every nitty-gritty detail. Obviously things would be different if you were born a woman or mute ...
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Why does only one person “teach” during a church meeting?

Consider these scriptures: "And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit: speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing ...
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How did early “street evangelization” differ from the modern practice?

Biblical "street preachers" gathered interested and/or interactive crowds, often followed by mass conversions. We could conceivably chalk some of this up to the "signs and wonders" they tended to ...
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807 views

What was Martin Luther's perspective on the early Christian church?

Was Luther's belief that the church's foundation was faulty to begin with, or that through time it fell into an apostate state and needed to be reformed back?
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Did the early church record other events of handing people over to Satan?

Did the early church record other events of handing people over to Satan? So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to ...
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Who were the intended audience in the Epistle to Romans?

Romans 1:7 (ESV) To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Who were the members of the Church ...