Questions tagged [early-church]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
26 votes
4 answers
9k views

Do any Church Fathers directly connect "speaking in tongues" with anything other than existing human languages?

One of the arguments made by those who believe that the gift of speaking in tongues has ceased (cessationists) is that the "tongues" spoken of in both Acts and 1 Corinthians 12–14 are "real" human ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
23 votes
5 answers
12k views

Was tithing 10% required or encouraged by the early church?

I cannot find in the New Testament an obligation on Christians to tithe 10% of their income. Instead I read that it is up the individual to decide: 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV1984) Each man should ...
Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE's user avatar
22 votes
2 answers
15k views

When and how did men and women start sitting together in church?

As I understand it, the early church began in homes but then at some point (it's another question) started meeting together in larger meetings. My question is: did men and women sit together from the ...
Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE's user avatar
21 votes
3 answers
3k views

Did the Apostles' Creed originate with the Apostles?

The Apostles' Creed is perhaps the oldest statement of faith in the Christian tradition. Is there any evidence that it was used by Jesus' first followers? If not, when did it originate?
Bruce Alderman's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
787 views

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 ...
Kazark's user avatar
  • 1,905
19 votes
3 answers
16k views

Is it true that early Christians were baptised naked?

I was told that people were baptised naked in the early Christian church. Is this true? If so, could you provide references please?
WalidSaladin's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
1k views

How prominent was "prosperity theology" in the early church?

Prosperity theology, or the "health and wealth gospel," is a recent movement that teaches that God promises material blessings, in this life, to those who have faith in him and who do his will. ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
18 votes
9 answers
10k views

For how long did the early Christians share all their possessions?

According to Acts 4:32-37, the early Christians pooled all their possessions and had no private ownership. Is there any record of how long this lasted, and why it ended?
Bruce Alderman's user avatar
18 votes
3 answers
17k views

What is the earliest written surviving liturgy?

The Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, for example, has been traced to the fourth century, and is purported to be based upon even earlier forms. The Liturgy of St James is even more ancient, and is ...
John Peyton's user avatar
  • 1,114
17 votes
1 answer
718 views

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 ...
brilliant's user avatar
  • 9,915
17 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did Tertullian forbid Christians from being school teachers?

While reading Bruce Shelley's Church History in Plain Language, I came across the following quote, in the context of how early Christians separated themselves from the world around them for fear of ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
17 votes
5 answers
3k views

When was the Bible formally declared to be inerrant and/or infallible?

Fundamentally*, an inerrant Bible is one without errors and an infallible Bible is one that cannot have errors, as David Stratton pointed out in his answer. As for the Roman Catholic Church, all of ...
El'endia Starman's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the basis for the claim that the entire New Testament can be reconstructed apart from original and copied manuscripts?

Bit of a mouthy title, but I remember reading a few years ago that the entire New Testament (perhaps with the exception of very few verses) and most of the Old Testament could be reconstructed from ...
El'endia Starman's user avatar
16 votes
4 answers
56k views

What are the key differences between the Western and Eastern Christianity?

I'm currently reading about Eastern Christianity as a part of my study. Those are the churches that have existed since early times, such as the Nestorians, the Jacobites, the Coptics, and others. But ...
deathlock's user avatar
  • 568
15 votes
8 answers
30k views

Why did early Christians in Acts still go to the Jewish temple every day?

In the Acts of the Apostles we find that the early believers were every day visiting the temple and afterwards meeting in each others homes. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple ...
Mike's user avatar
  • 31.9k
15 votes
4 answers
12k views

Did the first Christian believers keep the Sabbath and if so on which day?

According to Colossians, there appears to be some disagreement amongst the first century church on whether to keep the Sabbath: Colossians 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat ...
Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
723 views

What is the earliest use of the phrase "God the Son"?

Does the phrase "God the Son" appear in manuscripts or early translations (Textus Receptus, Vulgate, etc.) of the New Testament scriptures? If not, when did the phrase enter into the Christian ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 8,131
15 votes
6 answers
12k views

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 Proverbs 8:22–25: ...
Rosie's user avatar
  • 327
14 votes
5 answers
5k views

Why did Christianity survive at all? [closed]

I was reading about ... hold on, what was I reading about? Nevermind, I was URL surfing. Jumping around from one link to another I somehow got to this - He [Nero] was known for having captured ...
Monika Michael's user avatar
14 votes
6 answers
17k views

Which NT books were written after the destruction of the temple?

The temple was destroyed sometime around AD 70. Which New Testament books were written after that catastrophe? Do these books comment at all on the destruction of the temple?
Jas 3.1's user avatar
  • 13.1k
14 votes
4 answers
6k views

What were the early Christians officially persecuted for?

I wonder what the early Christians were officially persecuted for by the high priests? In the book of Acts we see that Saul, before his conversion, received some letters from the high priest that ...
brilliant's user avatar
  • 9,915
14 votes
3 answers
4k views

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?
user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why didn't Syriac Christianity keep Aramaic as their liturgical language?

Syriac Christianity (as well as with other oriental orthodoxy denominations) today use Arabic as their liturgical language. It is known that they have been using Arabic since the times of Muslim ...
deathlock's user avatar
  • 568
14 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did the early church accept lifelong, faithful concubinage?

In Bryan Litfin's book, Getting to Know the Church Fathers, I was surprised to read the following about concubinage in the early church, in the context of Augustine's life before conversion: In ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
382 views

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 ...
ThaddeusB's user avatar
  • 7,773
13 votes
4 answers
6k views

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 ...
Zachary's user avatar
  • 987
13 votes
7 answers
6k views

Into whose name should Christians be baptised? [closed]

Jesus said, "...go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." However, the early church apparently baptised in the name of ...
Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
10k views

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, ...
ThaddeusB's user avatar
  • 7,773
13 votes
2 answers
3k views

Who are the hypocrites associated with fasting in the Didache?

The early Christian teaching Didache states that Christians should not fast like the hypocrites: Your fasts must not be identical with those of the hypocrites. They fast on Mondays and Thursdays; ...
mi name's user avatar
  • 163
13 votes
2 answers
800 views

Did St. Thomas come to India?

Did St. Thomas the apostle come to India? Most of the Indian people believe that he came to south India, and spread the good news even before the Roman Catholic Church is formed. However, the church ...
dimancrown's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
1k views

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, ...
Lesley's user avatar
  • 31.5k
12 votes
4 answers
8k views

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 ...
Crisett's user avatar
  • 183
12 votes
2 answers
1k views

What did "one baptism" in the Nicene Creed mean back then?

In the following statement in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (AD 381), what exactly does "one" mean for the framers (i.e., not to subsequent interpretation)? English: We [or I] ...
GratefulDisciple's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
10k views

Which church father first taught the perpetual virginity of Mary?

Reformed theologian Herman Bavinck, in his Reformed Dogmatics, III, §366, briefly deals with Mary's perpetual virginity, and touches on the doctrine's history: We do not yet find this idea of Mary'...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
541 views

When was the early Christian apology "Dialogue with Trypho" written?

I recently became aware of the Dialogue with Trypho, a Christian apology regarding Jesus being the Messiah, written by Justin Martyr sometime during his lifetime (in the years 100–165). However, ...
Thunderforge's user avatar
  • 6,367
12 votes
2 answers
652 views

Who first associated the fourth beast of Daniel 7 with the Roman Empire?

Daniel's vision of the four beasts in Daniel 7 has long intrigued commentators. Regarding the vision of the fourth beast, the text reads: 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

Did the church fathers or OT talk about the visible and invisible church?

In the Reformation, the doctrine of the distinction between the visible and invisible church was important in the Reformers' claim not to have started a rogue church. I am wondering... Given that it ...
Kazark's user avatar
  • 1,905
12 votes
1 answer
508 views

Was Augustine opposed to the death penalty?

In Henry Chadwick's translation of the Confessions, I find him making a surprising claim: Like most of the Church Fathers, Augustine was against capital punishment. (page 21) The context is ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
535 views

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 ...
RichJ's user avatar
  • 119
11 votes
3 answers
3k views

Are there any biblical examples of Early Church disciples praying to deceased saints in order to request their intercessory prayer?

Certain Christian denominations, notably Catholicism and Orthodoxy, hold the belief that living Christians can pray to deceased saints in order to request their supportive intercessory prayer. Is ...
user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

What support is there in the Patristic writings for Marian Devotion?

Specifically, I want to know if there is evidence in the early Church of Christians venerating Mary. Evidence from the time following Mary's earthly life is preferred, though not required.
brader24's user avatar
  • 571
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

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 ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
3k views

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 ...
R. Brown's user avatar
  • 6,441
11 votes
2 answers
4k views

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 ...
Thunderforge's user avatar
  • 6,367
11 votes
1 answer
3k views

Was regular weekly fasting a widespread, formal tradition in the early Church?

In The Story of Christianity,* author Justo Gonzalez offers the following: There were indeed times set aside for sorrow for one's sins, in particular during the two weekly days of fasting, which ...
Philip Schaff's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

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 ...
Justin's user avatar
  • 454
11 votes
3 answers
4k views

Did any church fathers after Chrysostom believe that Mary committed sin?

The belief that Mary never committed sin has been around a long time, much longer than the final formulation of the doctrine of her immaculate conception (which happened around the 13th century). ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
837 views

Which canon did the Early Church recognize?

I’m trying to compile the History of the Bible, at least the Christian recognition of what was inspired and what wasn’t in the Old Testament. I‘ll neglect the question of who had the authority to ...
BigRob's user avatar
  • 111
11 votes
2 answers
564 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, ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
872 views

When and how was the doctrine of the one divine will established?

Many (perhaps most) Trinitarian theologians says that the Father, Son, and Spirit each possess the one singular divine will. This is a stronger statement than saying they are "united in will", which ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
  • 20.3k

1
2 3 4 5
8