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25

Nobody in ancient times could have imagined that the earth was billions of years old, so you won't see any explicit attempts to reconcile the Genesis creation stories with an old earth. However, the early Christians did see discrepancies that made them question how literally the creation stories should be understood. Second century Christian apologist ...


24

Word origin As stated in previous answers, the "X" in "Xmas" comes from the Greek word for Christ, Χριστός. However, since precision is important, I want to clarify when the abbreviation was first used in English. The 1511 date comes from the Oxford English Dictionary entry for ''Xmas'', which reads: 1551 in E. Lodge Illustr. Brit. Hist. (1791) I. 145 ...


23

There is much negative information on the internet on this subject making it very difficult to earnestly study it and where the belief that the Archangel Michael is Jesus Christ originated. The Jehovah's Witnesses surely inherrited it from Charles Taze Russell, the founder of the movement that led to the formulation of the Jehovah's Witnesses. He equates ...


19

Great Britain monks used "X" for "Christ" nearly a thousand years ago. They used "X" for "Christ" while transcribing manuscripts in Old English. They did so because the Greek word for Christ, ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, begins with the letters "chi" (or “X”) and "rho" (or "P"). And the monks used either "X" or "XP" in writing as an abbreviation for "Christ." The first ...


18

Without question, Theophilus of Antioch (d. 183) is your man. He wrote in Greek: [God's creations on the first three days--light, sky, and vegetation--] are types of the Trinity [Τριάδος], of God, and His Word, and His wisdom. And the fourth [day, the creation of the moon and stars,] is the type of man, who needs light, that so there may be God, the Word, ...


16

Attitudes on birthdays In the early church, birthdays (in general) were not seen as something to celebrate. For example, in Origen's 8th homily on Leviticus he writes: But the saints not only do not celebrate a festival on their birth days, but, filled with the Holy Spirit, they curse that day. According to an article by Andrew McGowan (Bible Review, ...


16

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, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. but the underlying Greek is missing in some manuscripts. Metzger's Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (...


16

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 in an Egyptian papyrus from the 3rd century (commonly dated to around A.D. 250-280 but as late as 300—I could not find a dating later than the 4th century) and ...


15

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 was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance ...


14

Protestantism and Tradition I'm coming at this answer from a Protestant perspective. Since I've seen a variety of folk in my branch of Christianity hold hands during prayer, I'll assume you've been observing my people. We've inherited from Paul a suspicion of traditional rites and practices. When we do observe some custom, we are very likely to either: ...


14

Augustine of Hippo is basically universally credited with the coinage of the phrase. It is an idea which can easily be supported by the Bible, but he was the first to say it in a form close to its present proverbial form. He probably didn't think he was coining a cliche, since it was neatly hidden away in a letter to a convent. This blog has a summary of the ...


14

It's from Jerome's Commentary on Galatians, 6:10: The blessed John the Evangelist lived in Ephesus until extreme old age. His disciples could barely carry him to church and he could not muster the voice to speak many words. During individual gatherings he usually said nothing but, "Little children, love one another." The disciples and brothers in ...


13

One of the defining tenets of Protestant Christianity is sola scriptura--that the Scriptures are the fundamental basis for all doctrine. This is in contrast to extra-biblical teachings. The idea is that if it were important enough for us to know, God would have told us in the Scriptures themselves and not have us rely on extra-biblical teachings. ...


13

Asking this question against all of "Christianity" turns this into an overview question of a very broad scope. In order to answer such a broad question, one must paint with broad strokes. There are two basic approaches taken. Deny the validity or applicability of any scientific claims that directly conflict with the origin of man being God's direct creation....


13

The story is found in the Apocryphal Arabic Gospel of the Infancy of the Saviour: (23) And turning away from this place, they came to a desert; and hearing that it was infested by robbers, Joseph and the Lady Mary resolved to cross this region by night. But as they go along, behold, they see two robbers lying in the way, and along with them a great number ...


13

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 marrying non-Christians. Their husbands will notice their Christian practices, such as fasting before taking communion, and may put pressure on them to stop: ...


12

One answer that has been suggested is the Infancy Gospel of James (AKA The Protoevangelium of James). This document dates to roughly the middle of the second century and focuses largely on the person of Mary from her birth to the birth of Jesus. As the central character, Mary's honor and purity are defended in great detail. Mary's virginity is repeatedly ...


12

The Mystery of the Temple's 'Molten Metals' Two recent apologists told the story, apparently independently, of molten gold seeping between the temple`s foundation stones during the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Both implied the source was Josephus, but neither provided references. Unfortunately, both had theological motivations for adding these details to ...


12

The first recorded instance of the tradition comes from Hegesippus, a second century Christian writer. Unfortunately, his works have been lost, except for a small portion of his writings quoted by later authors. In his Church History (c. 325), Eusibius writes: But Hegesippus, who lived immediately after the apostles, gives the most accurate account in ...


12

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 paragraphs that have gone before. In this case, the paragraph is restating material that occurs in paragraphs 881 and 882. In particular: "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his ...


11

Calvin The first extant writing to contain the phrase is John Calvin's Antidote to the Council of Trent (1547). First, for context, Calvin was responding to Canon 11 of the sixth session of the Council of Trent (which you can read at the above link): Whosoever shall say that men are justified by the mere imputation of Christ's righteousness, or by the ...


10

First you should read The Wikipedia article on the halo to get a good idea of the use of the halo in the past. You will see that it was indeed used by the Romans and possibly the Greeks as well as in Asian art. Wikipedia states (without citation) that it was first used in Christian art around the 4th Century. Roman art in particular used the halo to indicate ...


10

Summary: As you noted, the concept of a "personal relationship with Jesus" could be argued from Scripture, but it is certainly not emphasized in any way. Relationship with God is almost exclusively described in Scripture as a communal experience. The emphasis on "personal relationship" is a modern emphasis, and is rooted more in Enlightenment thinking ...


10

Within Christianity, the belief that humans become angels seems to stem from a misinterpretation of Jesus' words: For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. (Matthew 22:30) And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain ...


10

Tertullian: Earliest extant use of term Tertullian (155 - 240) was, famously, the first Latin writer to use the word "trinity" in his anti-Sabellian treatise Against Praxeas. It also contains the earliest known uses (16 total) of the word "persons" in reference to the Godhead. The mystery of the dispensation is still guarded, which distributes the Unity ...


10

There is no biblical support for Satan or any of his demons torturing people in Hell. Rather, the adversary, Satan is said to travel around the world (Job 1:7) and even to have access to God's presence (Job 1:6). In the gospel and Acts accounts, we find demonic figures not in Hell but on earth, dwelling in men (Matthew 12:22). Interestingly, in Matthew 12:43-...


10

Foundations: Taxation and private property are in tension The commandment (Exodus 20) "Thou shalt not steal" implies the right to private property, and this is everywhere assumed in Scripture (even in Acts 5). If princes had the unlimited right to tax, to any extent and for any purpose, there could be no private property. All would belong to the state, or ...


10

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 at Greek-speaking authors, and then at Latin. Greek About a hundred years before Origen's commentaries were written, Papias of Hierapolis wrote a lengthy ...


10

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 fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall surpass all kingdoms. And that this kingdom is that of the Romans, has been the tradition of the ...


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