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
4
votes
2answers
469 views

Were the early Christians an apocalyptic sect?

I saw a documentary with David Suchet about Paul the apostle. Suchet stated that Paul was convinced the world was about to end. Is this an accurate representation of the early church?
4
votes
2answers
405 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
395 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
353 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
730 views

How did the threefold distinction of Deacon, Priest and Bishop come about?

I was reading in another question, and I've heard it said before, that in the early church (Apostolic era), there was not a clear-cut distinction between Deacon, Priest and Bishop in the sacrament of ...
4
votes
2answers
296 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
195 views

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?
4
votes
1answer
296 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Why did the early Christian church stop building and worshiping in temples?

The use of temples was central during the Old and New Testaments. Christ himself even cleansed the temple by throwing out the money changers who were defiling his Fathers house. John 2:16 Why did that ...
4
votes
1answer
59 views

What is a Council?

In this other question a Council was mentioned - Are Orthodox Christians all the same faith? What is a council? Was it something in the early church? What was its purpose and function?
4
votes
1answer
422 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

What did "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" say about the Epiphany?

I was reading the "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" to answer another question on this site and chanced upon a strange tidbit that I don't understand the meaning of: The apostles further ...
4
votes
1answer
388 views

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. ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
240 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
254 views

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. ...
4
votes
1answer
580 views

Any instructions given by the church fathers on how to receive the gift of tongues?

1 Corinthians 14:39 (NIV) Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. In the early church, the gift of tongues was a common gift which ...
4
votes
0answers
109 views

What were the Apostolic Fathers's contributions to Christology which survived to Nicene (325 AD) and Chalcedon (451 AD)?

The Apostolic Fathers is a special group of church fathers who personally knew or taught by the apostles. Some of their writings were even considered to be included in the canon although ultimately ...
3
votes
4answers
418 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
451 views

Are the gospels comparable(equal) to contemporary works of historians?

Are the gospels (and especially claims on the identity of Jesus in the Gospels) comparable(equal) to contemporary works of contemporary historians like Tacitus and Josephus, in terms of objectivity( ...
3
votes
3answers
237 views

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'...
3
votes
2answers
218 views

Why is the Bishop of Jerusalem still Greek?

I understand that after the Bar Kokhba Revolt of 135 AD, that Jews (not even Christian Jews) were not allowed in Jerusalem, and that Christian bishops were forced to be gentiles. The last known bishop ...
3
votes
3answers
409 views

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 ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Church Giving to the Poor

The Bible and Jesus clearly speak of giving money to the church and in turn fellow Christians should give up all they have and look out for one another. So my question is why does this not happen now ...
3
votes
2answers
213 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
255 views

Why did Theodore of Mopsuestia interpret John 20:28 as an exclamation?

John 20:28 says (KJV)... And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Greek... ἀπεκρίθη Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ὁ κύριός μου καὶ ὁ θεός μου. According to Meyer's NT Commentary... ...
3
votes
3answers
141 views

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?
3
votes
1answer
143 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
70 views

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?
3
votes
1answer
161 views

Is there any historical evidence of Sabbath keeping by Gentiles during the first centuries of Christianity?

Did Gentiles use to keep the Sabbath (sunset Friday to sunset Saturday) during the first centuries of Christianity? How widespread was the practice in comparison with Sunday meetings? What does the ...
3
votes
1answer
160 views

What was the difference between Jerusalem's honorary primacy and the primacy of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch?

In Church History in Plain Language, 144, Bruce Shelley writes about the "primacy" that certain bishops enjoyed in the early church: The Council of Nicaea recognized the bishops of Alexandria, ...
3
votes
3answers
452 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
127 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
246 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
89 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
149 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
213 views

Why did ancient catechumens delay baptism as long as possible?

The Wikipedia articles on affusion and catechesis contain the following (unsourced) claims: The most common use [of affusion], however, was for ill or dying people who could not rise from their beds. ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between the Ebionites and Nazarenes?

The Ebionites and Nazarenes were Jewish–Christian sects during the Second Temple era. We know that the Ebionites believed Yeshu was born of a natural generation between Joseph and Mary; while some ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
565 views

How did the early church respond to the accusation that Christianity forbid ‘all uses of images’ even if only ‘representing the Divine Being’?

Origen, in Contra Celsus, Book VII, responds to an attack from Celsus: that Christians are just like Jews in rejecting all forms of images without exception. In this rebuttal by Origen, we clearly ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

In regards to Commentaries by Origen Adamantius, what were "characteristics of divine inspiration" for authors that create church doctrines?

After reading works by Origen Adamantius regarding scepticism surrounding the divine inspiration of 1 Corinthians 7:17 & 2 Timothy 3:16 written by the apostle Paul, disciples might wonder if early ...
3
votes
0answers
88 views

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 ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

How did the Christian movement distinguish itself from Judaism?

Can anyone explain to me how Christianity distanced itself from Judaism and set itself apart?
2
votes
5answers
16k views

Do angels still visit us on earth [closed]

I know that throughout the Bible Angels met with humans for very specific reasons. An obvious example can be found in Luke 1:26-38. Gabriel speaks to Mary and informs her she will give birth to a son ...
2
votes
3answers
275 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

What was the dominant theory of atonement shown in the Apostolic Fathers's writings?

Most articles I read about the theory of atonement in the early church say that Ransom Theory was the prevailing one, although some disagree. This thinking was promoted by a landmark book on the ...