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19 votes
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What is the earliest known instance of a petition directed to Mary?

Sub Tuum Praesidium The earliest known, extant petition prayer to Mary the Θεοτόκος (Theotokos), or Dei Genetrix (the Greek and Latin, respectively, for 'God-bearer' or 'Birthgiver-of-God') is found ...
Sola Gratia's user avatar
  • 8,380
16 votes

What is the history behind/Origin of the doxology that often gets added to the end of the Lord's prayer?

I can't find this doxology in the lords prayer as recorded in scripture It is in the King James Version: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, ...
guest37's user avatar
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15 votes
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What is the origin of the Christian tradition of praying before eating?

It appears to be a custom that predates establishment of the Christian religion, but you can find a scriptural example in 1 Corinthians 11:23-25(KJV) That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he ...
KorvinStarmast's user avatar
13 votes
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What are the first references to a tradition of fasting before partaking of the Lord's Supper?

This practice is attested as early as the first half of the third century, by Tertullian and particularly Hippolytus. Tertullian addresses the topic tangentially while addressing the dangers of women ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
12 votes
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How did the doctrine of the pope having "supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls" originate?

Paragraph 937 of the Catechism is part of an "In Brief" section that occurs at the end of every topic of the Catechism. The "In Brief" sections are intended to summarize the ...
Matt Gutting's user avatar
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10 votes
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Where did the formula, "Good works are the fruits of faith," originate?

Clement of Rome, Clement of Alexandria, and Didymus the Blind said things that could be mistaken for the formula, but don't fit all the criteria. The first one to use it unmistakably is Origen, in ...
Mr. Bultitude's user avatar
10 votes

Which church father first taught the perpetual virginity of Mary?

As with many doctrines in the first few hundred years of the church, they tended not to be explicitly defined until heretics arose forcing the church to define doctrine. This is why history is ...
emeth's user avatar
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10 votes
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What is the earliest systematic New Testament commentary?

Origen's commentaries do indeed appear to be the earliest surviving line-by-line, self-contained biblical commentaries. This becomes evident when we examine his closest competitors. We'll look first ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
10 votes
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When were Protestants first called 'Protestants' and what were they, originally, protesting about?

The year was 1529, the event was the Second Diet of Speyer, and the particular matter that brought about labeling of Evangelicals as 'Protestants' was their objecting to undemocratic religious ...
Anne's user avatar
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10 votes

Where did Christian monasteries originate from?

Where Christian monasteries originate from? Christian Monasticism developed out from the eremitical way of life of the Desert Fathers of the second and third centuries. The Desert Fathers, and other ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
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9 votes

What is the history behind/Origin of the doxology that often gets added to the end of the Lord's prayer?

A Catholic priest, Father William Saunders, answers here: Who Added The Doxology? To summarize: The doxology is very old, going back to the first century. To quote the article: In the early ...
Paul Chernoch's user avatar
9 votes

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

Several commentators before Jerome make this connection. We'll mention three,1 starting with Cyril of Jerusalem (313–386), who indicates that he is not the originator of this interpretation: The ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
8 votes

What is the origin of the Christian tradition of praying before eating?

There are numerous biblical examples of this that serve as a basis for the practice. At the feeding of the 5000: Matthew 14:19 (ESV) Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
8 votes
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Where did the idea of the inerrancy of the King James Bible come from?

Today's "King James-only" movement, and its argument that the KJV is itself inspired, does indeed have historical precedence, though it's debatable if the 20th-century movement can claim a ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
8 votes

What is the origin of the moral-civil-ceremonial distinction of the Old Testament law?

Division of the law in the early church The law has been "divided" since the early church, but at first only into two parts. Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Augustine, and others described a ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
7 votes
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When was Sunday first called the Sabbath?

The first writer to clearly make this connection appears to be Petrus Alphonsi in the 12th century. This is argued by 17th century historian Peter Heylyn, who writes: The first who ever used [the ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
7 votes
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What is the historical origin of the "Last Supper" expression?

Doing a quick search of Patrology, I found the expression ultimam coenam in St Augustine of Hippo's tractatus 109 on Jn 17:20: Dominus Iesus iam sua propinquante passione, cum orasset pro ...
Wtrmute's user avatar
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6 votes

What is the origin of the tradition that Mary lived in Turkey after John took her there?

There seems to be only two historical possibilities as to where Mary ended the pilgrim journey on earth: Jerusalem or Ephesus? Historically, there are proponents to both sides of this question as can ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
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6 votes
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Perseverance of the Saints – Historical Interpretations before Calvin

To briefly summarize, in Calvinism, the central point of the doctrine of the "perseverance of the saints" is that those whom God has saved can never permanently fall away. Some implications ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
6 votes
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What was the earliest reference to the 3 States of the Church?

ALL TOGETHER NOW The mediaeval schoolmen distinguished three stages in the catholic church as to its locality,—the militant church on earth (ecclesia militans), the church of the departed or the ...
SLM's user avatar
  • 13.9k
6 votes

What is the earliest surviving reference to the Paschal Greeting?

There is a tradition in the Eastern Orthodox Church that the saying was made popular by Mary Magdalene when she supposedly addressed Emperor Tiberius in Rome with the words “Christ is risen.” Mary ...
Lesley's user avatar
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6 votes
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What is a Catechism and when and how did they originate

Have a read of the Wikipedia article on Catechesis: churches have long been using the terms "catechist" to refer to teachers and "catechumens" to refer to students, both based on the Greek word ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
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6 votes
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Does the Old Testament word Sheol have Greek or Hebrew origins?

The word "Sheol" was not coined by the scribes of the Greek Septuagint. It is Hebrew. One reference is Strong's Concordance and Lexicon, in which its rendering in Deuteronomy 32:22 has ...
Jonathan Brickman of Topeka KS's user avatar
5 votes
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What is the earliest indication of controversy regarding the anarthrous θεός in John 1:1?

The earliest mention of controversy appears to be in the writings of Origen of Alexandria, in the third century. He indicates that some debate already existed on the matter in his time, and he ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
5 votes
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Who first came up with the phrase "an over-realized eschatology" and in what context?

The term appears to me to be original to William Lane in his 1965 discussion of the beliefs of the Corinthians to whom Paul wrote (Lane, William L. "I Tim. IV. 1–3. An Early Instance of Over-Realized ...
sondra.kinsey's user avatar
5 votes
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When was Good Friday first called "Good"?

When did Good Friday first get called “Good”? To be honest, we do not know for sure, but then possibly in 1290 if you accept "guode friday" as meaning Good Friday! We honestly don’t know. ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
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5 votes

What is the historical origin of the "Last Supper" expression?

"Last supper" does refer to Christ's last supper where John and Luke call the same Passover event a supper (John 13:2, Luke 22:20). "Last supper" appears c420 CE with Augustine of Hippo in Tractates ...
SLM's user avatar
  • 13.9k
5 votes

In Roman Catholicism, how far back in history does the process (Sacrament) of Confirmation go?

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the sacrament of Confirmation comes directly from the beginning of the Church, as performed by the Apostles, and thus, it is part of the Oral Revelation (or ...
luchonacho's user avatar
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5 votes
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What is the earliest explicit mention of infant baptism?

What is the earliest explicit mention of infant baptism? It seems that St. Irenaeus (202 AD) is the earliest to reference to the practice of infant baptism. In 185 AD, he wrote the following: ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
  • 73.5k
5 votes

What is the origin of the "religion vs. relationship" dichotomy?

Summary The dichotomy started when some Christians (notably, evangelicals) began to define "religion" along the lines of this one: Religion is a set of rules that people must follow in order to ...
GratefulDisciple's user avatar

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