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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Did the early church believe that the dead were conscious during the 1st and 2nd centuries AD?

What did the early church (1st/2nd century AD) believe regarding the consciousness of the dead? Did early Christians believe that a person would remain conscious after their spirit has departed from ...
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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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What is the earliest manuscript of the Gloria in excelsis Deo (Greater Doxology) hymn?

What is the earliest manuscript of the Gloria in excelsis Deo (Greater Doxology) hymn?
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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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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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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

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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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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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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Is there any historical evidence that the early church believed in the doctrine of intercession of saints during the 1st and 2nd centuries AD?

Motivated by a related question, I would like to know if there is any historical evidence that the early church believed in the doctrine of intercession of saints during the 1st and 2nd centuries AD.
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Were there women leaders in the early church?

We have a lot of documents from early church fathers, who were as far as I'm aware always male, but is there any accounts of females acting in a leadership or authority role similar to that of the ...
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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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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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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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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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Identifying a source for this C S Lewis quote (reflecting St Augustine and St Paul)

There is a C. S. Lewis quote from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe that resembles a famous quote by St Augustine. Here is St. Augustine: The very thing which is now called the Christian ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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Did any early Church Fathers record the event of the ceasing of spiritual gifts?

A central belief held by an overwhelming majority of Cessationists is that the "supernatural spiritual gifts" (e.g., tongues, prophecy, healing, miracles, etc.) ceased with the end of the ...
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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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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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Does Irenaeus indicate that people were raised from the dead in the 2nd century?

The following words of Irenaeus are recorded in Eusebius's Church History: For some of them drive out demons effectually and truly, so that those who have been cleansed from evil spirits frequently ...
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How did the early church fathers refute Adoptionism?

Adoptionism is a Christological heresy which denies the pre-existence of Jesus, and therefore denies Jesus's title as "God the Son" in the Trinitarian conception of the Christian God. See 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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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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What did the early church fathers have to say about “eternal security” or “assurance of salvation”

I am trying to find out what the early church fathers had to say about “eternal security” or “assurance of salvation”. By that, I refer to the following Bible verses: To Him who is able to keep you ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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Why were the apostles still going to the temple for prayer and rituals?

In the book of Acts you read how the Apostles attend the temple, offer rituals, prayers etc. So it is clear they are still obeying the Law. How is it that they didn't understand modern day ...
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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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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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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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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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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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Did some Christians ,before the 7th century read the Jewish Mishnah?

Did some Christians ,before the 7th century read the Jewish Mishnah? was it possible for some Christians to get a written copy of the Mishnah?
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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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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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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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Did any ancient source believe in more than four gospels?

I'm listening to a lecture series by Dale Martin (Professor of Religious Studies, Yale), and he makes the passing claim that during development of the New Testament canon there were some who thought ...

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