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Early Christian Dictionary

Early Christian Dictionary (AD 30 - AD300)

Read freely text sermons and articles from Early Christian Dictionary in text and pdf format. The purpose of any dictionary is to define words and terms. By making use of close to 2,000 quotes from more than 30 different early church writers over a time span of three centuries dating before the time of Constantine, The Early Christian Dictionary lets the early Christians redefine some of the more important Bible concepts. After some investigation, you will probably find their understanding of scripture to be radically different than your own. You may find answers to many questions you�ve always had. The scriptures may come alive to you as you learn to walk in new light.

Or you may decide not to put any reliance on their definitions at all. Even so you must remember that every time you pick up your bible you still rely on the Early Christian writers. That�s because they decided what books to include or not include in the New Testament canon that you use. And after all, if you find you have a serious conflict with the writings of men like Polycarp, you still have to grapple with the fact the these men were favored by both the Lord and the Apostles, and proven faithful even unto death. These are not new truths challenging your old ideas, these are old truths challenging your new ideas.

showing from 1 to 50 of 129 articles

      And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firs ... read more

       If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief fol ... read more

       Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. 1 Timothy 4:15-16 ... read more

       And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. And the LORD Go ... read more

Adornment, Outward
       Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, wh ... read more

       For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries. Matthew 15:19 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So th ... read more

       I. Nature and position of angels (Top) Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire? Psalm 104:4 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. Hebrews 1:7 Neither can they die any ... read more

       Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son. 1 John 2:22 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of s ... read more

       Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute. Luke 11:49 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. Acts 2:43 For I think ... read more

Assembly, Christian
       And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:42 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the mo ... read more

       I. Christ’s ransom (Top) Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee. Job 36:18 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Hosea 13:14 For ... read more

       I. The meaning of baptism II. Mode and description of baptism III. Baptism and heretics I. The meaning of baptism (Top) Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Acts 22:16 For as many of you as ... read more

       Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. Leviticus 19:27 They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their fles ... read more

Beast, Description and Mark of the
       And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. Revelation 11:7 The final stumbling-block (or source of danger) approaches, c ... read more

Beast, Description and Mark of the
       And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. Revelation 11:7 The final stumbling-block (or source of danger) approaches, c ... read more

Bishops and Deacons
       I. Requirements for ordination (Top) For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, ... read more

Blood of Christ
       If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself ... read more

Canon, New Testament
       And the presbyter said this. Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied ... read more

       All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eu ... read more

       Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:14 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold t ... read more

      I. Christ is God II. Relationship to the Father I. Christ is God (Top) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. John 1:1-2 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hithe ... read more

       I. Description of Christians II. Meaning of the name “Christian” III. True accusations of Christians IV. False accusations of Christians I. Description of Christians (Top) Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his sav ... read more

       For in as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded. And for this reason the Scripture says: "Thus the heaven and the earth were finished, and all their adornment. And God brought to a conclusion upon the sixth ... read more

Church and State
       Pray for all the saints. Pray also for kings and powers and princes and for them that persecute and hate you and for the enemies of the cross, that your fruit may be manifest among all men, that you may be perfect in Him. Polycarp (A.D. 69-156) ch.12 ... read more

Church, The
       I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18 Wherefore, brethren, if we do the will of God our Father, we shall be of the first Church, which is spiritual, which was created before the sun and moon; but if ... read more

       The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 22:5 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the h ... read more

Commandments, Keeping
       If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen. Acts 1:2 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I h ... read more

Community, Christian
       All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together wit ... read more

Confession of sin
       If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 In the church you shall acknowledge your transgressions, and you shall not come near for your prayer with an evil conscie ... read more

       Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. Prov. 21:23 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. James 1:19-2 ... read more

       If, then, He takes away anxious care for clothes and food, and superfluities in general, as unnecessary; what are we to imagine ought to be said of love of ornament, and dyeing of wool, and variety of colors, and fastidiousness about gems, and exquisi ... read more

Covenant, Old & New
       Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Matthew 5:1 ... read more

Cross, The
       And he that takes not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:38 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Matthew 16:24 For the prea ... read more

       I. Intermediate state of the dead II. Christ’s descent into Hades I. Intermediate state of the dead (Top) "Because," said he, "these, the apostles and the teachers who preached the name of the Son of God, after they had fallen asleep in t ... read more

Death, Christian attitude towards
       I write to all the churches, and I bid all men know, that of my own free will I die for God, unless you should hinder me. I exhort you, be you not an unseasonable kindness to me. Let me be given to the wild beasts, for through them I can attain unto G ... read more

       But, yielding to unreasoning passion, and to the instigation of evil demons, you punish us without consideration or judgment. For the truth shall be spoken; since of old these evil demons, effecting apparitions of themselves, both defiled women and co ... read more

Deuterocanonical Books
       Compiler's Note: The Deuterocanonical books are found in the Septuagint; unfortunately the Septuagint never was passed on to western Christians. Even still, the dueterocanonical books continued to be included in the western Bibles until the eighteen h ... read more

       Do not long for division, but rather bring those who contend to peace. Judge righteously, and do not respect persons in reproving for transgressions. You shall not be undecided whether or not it shall be. Didache (A.D. 80-140) ch. 4 Every kind of fac ... read more

Divorce and Remarriage
       Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28 It hath been said, Whos ... read more

       We count fasting or kneeling in worship on the Lord's day to be unlawful. We rejoice in the same privilege also from Easter to Whitsunday. Tertullian (A.D. 198) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.3 pg.94 You have sent to me, most faithful and accomplished son ... read more

       And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. Genesis 5:24 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleas ... read more

       I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. Psalm 101:3 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, wit ... read more

Eternal rewards and punishments
       Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. ... read more

       I. Meaning of the Eucharist II. How the Eucharist was celebrated I. Meaning of the Eucharist (Top) The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of th ... read more

       But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. 1 Peter 3:15 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye ma ... read more

       But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them a ... read more

       For numberless demoniacs throughout the whole world, and in your city, many of our Christian men exorcising them in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, have healed and do heal, rendering helpless and driving the possessin ... read more

       Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and ... read more

Fall of man
       And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid ... read more

Fall of man
       And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hi ... read more

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