Early Church was more Catholic than Protestantism

History has shows through the writings of the ECF proven to be more Catholic, or Orthodox than Protestantism.

Why are Protestant’s beliefs and doctrines are different from the teachings of the ECF who were taught by the Apostles. When comes to history Protestantism fails.

Cardinal Newman said this. “to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant.”

To be historically Christian is to be Catholics. Protestants appears to be modern and are more distant to the historical church.

Are Ex-Protestants who converted to Catholic or Orthodox change their faith due to study of Christian history?

Early church member writings to not show catholic or protestant things. Just Jewish and Christian behavior. The early church was not run like one world religion with a hierarchiy called a magesterium, they did not pray to Mary or saints, they did not attibute titles to Mary, they did not have a mass sacrifice cermony. No writings show this.

around 400, you start seeing the emergence of some trends that lead to the catholic church, triggered by Constantine’s conversion. But even in John and Paul’s time, there were false Gospels.

Jesus did not ever use the word Catholic or Protestant. On the day of Pentecost, the apostles and others did not start a Catholic Church. There are so many things done by the catholic church today that was not done there.

For example, today, for an adult non-catholic to be baptised in the catholic church. I have go through about 1 year training. Peter instanly baptised many people on Pentecost. These perople “were cut to the heart.” There are other examples of people being instantly baptized in Acts upon their conversion. Yet an adult outside the catholic church cannot do this.

There are tons of things done by the catholic church today that can be proven were not done by early church members.

Studying the Bible, historical context, and history help me see historical truths, but when I Repented from my sins and put my trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, then the Holy Spirit confirmed it.

The Bible is the only Writing that is “Inspired” by God, and therefore cannot be wrong. Prophecy confirms it. Christ fulfilled hundred of Jewish Prophesies. The re-emergence of Israel fulfills amazing prophesies.

Since all historical writings are taken by faith since non of us are there, better to put your faith in a writing that has “proven itself” through accurate prophecy. better to put the most faith in the only Book that is Inspired by God.

If early church writing in the second century are considered inspired, why were they not put in the Bible??

I think you are wrong and you know it about many of the things you are posting here. Christian was not even a word used until after the time of Christ.
There is a lot of evidence of early prayers for the dead, and devotion and giving titles to mary, I will be back with a link for you. oops, Mannyfit75 was the one who was refuting you earlier, I guess I don’t need to be here.

They are not considered inspired in the same way the bible is. Surely God inspired these men to write, just as you believe God moves you to post here. It is not the same as the Divinely inspired Bible. However, the Bible cannot possibly teach everything that the apostles did or said. So we as Catholics look to our earliest examples of christianity to gain insight into the Bible.

As for the waiting to baptise, That is often considered a tradition from under the persecutions, to make sure the church was not being “infultrated” by those wishing to harm christians, and also, to make sure that the people knew what they were getting into. Not a bad thing if you ask me

A lone Raven

The word Christian was used in the Bible in Acts.


  1. Acts 11:26
    And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
  2. Acts 26:28
    Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
  3. 1 Peter 4:16
    Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.


Give me example of what you claim in the first few centuries about Mary and prayer for dead souls. (I alrady know about Mac, that is a whole different debate.)

Thanks you,

Hi rabarcia,
When was acts written? Were people called Christians while Jesus was alive?

No I never claimed such a thing. Jesus never used that term in documented writing. The context of the conversation is not the Bible, but early church history. What Manny called Early Church Fathers, I call early church members.

Acts documents the start of the Christian Church so that is the very beginning of church history.

I would say the reason that they are called Early Church Fathers is because they were leaders in their respective areas. We do not have the writings of bob of alexandria. Remember, books were expensive, letters were important, No one is going to record the thoughts of just any body, but rather, they record the ideas of people that they believe are important, and that speak for an area.

The Early Church Fathers are not infallible. However, they do give us a good insight.
The didache is not in the bible, but it is the teachings of the apostles, so it is useful, but not infallible.

I think that is where you get tripped up

A lone Raven

Here are some early teaching that there was one church.

Pope Clement I

“Owing to the sudden and repeated calamities and misfortunes which have befallen us, we must acknowledge that we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the matters in dispute among you, beloved; and especially that abominable and unholy sedition, alien and foreign to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-willed persons have inflamed to such madness that your venerable and illustrious name, worthy to be loved by all men, has been greatly defamed. . . . Accept our counsel and you will have nothing to regret. . . . If anyone disobey the things which have been said by him [God] through us *, let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger. . . . You will afford us joy and gladness if being obedient to the things which we have written through the Holy Spirit, you will root out the wicked passion of jealousy” (Letter to the Corinthians 1, 58–59, 63 [A.D. 80]).


“Therefore shall you [Hermas] write two little books and send one to Clement [Bishop of Rome] and one to Grapte. Clement shall then send it to the cities abroad, because that is his duty” (The Shepherd 2:4:3 [A.D. 80]).

Ignatius of Antioch

“Ignatius . . . to the church also which holds the presidency, in the location of the country of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of blessing, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and, because you hold the presidency in love, named after Christ and named after the Father” (Letter to the Romans 1:1 [A.D. 110]).

“You [the church at Rome] have envied no one, but others you have taught. I desire only that what you have enjoined in your instructions may remain in force” (ibid., 3:1).

Now those are both very early, either during, or just after the death of the apostles.

A lone Raven*

And here are some early writings on the saints.

“[The Shepherd said:] ‘But those who are weak and slothful in prayer, hesitate to ask anything from the Lord; but the Lord is full of compassion, and gives without fail to all who ask him. But you, [Hermas,] having been strengthened by the holy angel [you saw], and having obtained from him such intercession, and not being slothful, why do not you ask of the Lord understanding, and receive it from him?’” (The Shepherd 3:5:4 [A.D. 80]).

Clement of Alexandria

“In this way is he [the true Christian] always pure for prayer. He also prays in the society of angels, as being already of angelic rank, and he is never out of their holy keeping; and though he pray alone, he has the choir of the saints standing with him [in prayer]” (Miscellanies 7:12 [A.D. 208]).


“But not the high priest [Christ] alone prays for those who pray sincerely, but also the angels . . . as also the souls of the saints who have already fallen asleep” (Prayer 11 [A.D. 233]).

Cyprian of Carthage

“Let us remember one another in concord and unanimity. Let us on both sides [of death] always pray for one another. Let us relieve burdens and afflictions by mutual love, that if one of us, by the swiftness of divine condescension, shall go hence first, our love may continue in the presence of the Lord, and our prayers for our brethren and sisters not cease in the presence of the Father’s mercy” (Letters 56[60]:5 [A.D. 253]).

Both of these come from Catholic answers library.

Why am I tripped up? I have read early Christian writings. Some of the writings themselves need interpretation as well. As such, we we really get is a historical chain of people today, interpeting historical writings, that in itself tries to interpret older writing, which in itself interpret the Bible.

Doctrines like Transubstantiation did not come till much later, and it is rationalized interpretations by statements of early church members. How do you know you are interpreting the early church members correctly? Certainly, those writers point to Biblical events and therefore are interpreting themselves.

For example, the quotes from this post are from early church members (what you call ECF) and lend themselves against Transubstantionation:


I am not saying they are infallible, I am saying they are helpful.

Also, how do I know I am interpreting them correctly. Because I believe that Christ established a Church and said the gates of hell will not prevail against it. If the church taught grave error, I would say that is the gates of hell prevailing.

A lone Raven

The church are the members of Christ. And the gates of hell has not prevailed over it. But Christ, the Apostles did say that believers would be persecuted. The ultimate victory will belong to the Lord.

The catholic church and the muslim religion are the 2 biggest religions in the world.

Likewise, in America, there is a huge number of protestants.

Israel was always a smaller group of people among the nations.

The majority of members of these world religions have to be fooling themselves.

Christ said:


Mat 7

13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.


What did Jesus mean here?

We don’t believe all Catholics automatically go to Heaven. If that applies to those formal members of the Church, how little hope can we have for those outside it? There is always hope with Christ, but for this reason people need as much truth and grace as possible :thumbsup:

Really? I mean, the writings of St. Ignatius, third bishop of Antioch and student of the Apostle John, seem pretty cut and dry to me: (Ignatius died between 107 and 110 AD)

Let us all therefore love one another in harmony, and let no one look upon his neighbor according to the flesh, but in Christ Jesus. Let nothing exist among you which may divide you; but be united with your bishop, being through him subject to God in Christ.” (letter to the Magnesians)

It is therefore necessary, whatsoever things you do, to do nothing without the bishop. And be subject also to the presbytery, as to the apostles of Jesus Christ, in whom, if we live, we shall [at last] be found. … apart from these there is no church.” (letter to the Trallians)

Wherefore I write boldly to your love, which is worthy of God, and exhort you to have but one faith, and one [kind of] preaching, and one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ; and His blood which was shed for us is one; one loaf also is broken to all [the communicants], and one cup is distributed among them all: there is but one altar for the whole Church, and one bishop, with the presbytery and deacons, my fellow-servants.” (letter to the Philadephians)

“***Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude[of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.***” (letter to the Smyrnaeans)

As I stated earlier, St. Ignatius was a student of the Apostle John and the third bishop of Antioch. He died at the very beginning of the first century, before the end of 110 A.D.

The early church was not yet a “world religion” but it definitely had structure. As Paul Whitcomb puts it – Our Lord said: “There shall be one fold and one shepherd, yet it is well know that the various Christian denominations cannot agree on what Christ actually taught. Since Christ roundly condemned inter-denominationalism, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3:25),

Perhaps you should go walk the catacombs in Rome and read the writings of the early church fathers. To say that the early church did not practice the mass in insane and unfounded.

Protestants say the darnedest things! The Edict of Milan was signed in 313 and legalized a religion that was already thriving. The first public council was held in Nicea not too long after.

As I posted earlier, the church was called “The Catholic Church” in the first century.

Of course He would not refer to Protestants as they didn’t exist until the 15th century! Christ difinitely refered to the Catholic Church He founded, telling us to be ONE. Again, refer to the early church fathers. For the record, Christ never used the words “Bible,” “Trinity,” or even “Christian,” either. :wink:

Why do you think that is? There are thousands upon thousand of diagreeing sects in existence today. To partake of the Eucharist is a big deal. To do so in an unworthy manner brings judgement on your soul. Since Baptism brings you into the Catholic Church and opens all of her graces up to you, it is imperitive that the new member understand not only the tenents and history of the faith, but what happens if your enter into it in an unworthy manner. In the time of Christ, you didn’t have Bob Jones whispering in one ear and Brigham Young in the other. You didn’t have everyday know it alls who thought that their personal interpretation of the Bible was infallible. Add in the secular teachings of our hedonistic world and … BAM! Not all who would enter the faith would do so with an honest … or knowing heart.

Back during the times of Christ and the few years after His death and resurrection, there was one Christian faith and the source of the teachings right there in front of you. It was much easier to understand and enter the faith.

Let’s see… there was no Christian Bible until the end of the fourth century, so what’s your point? The Bible is sacred and inspired, yes. But so are the Sacred Traditions of the Church … and they were here before the Bible.

Furthermore, Christ never, ever commanded His followers to record a single thing. The gathering of various letters into a Christian New Testament occured because the church was fighting herectical teachings from groups such as the Arians and the Gnostics. It was never meant to be the sole rule of faith for followers of Christ. It’s simply not the pillar of truth for the Christian …

I find it interesting that you say as much grace as possible. Grace by definition is un unmerited act of favor. It’s this favor that GOD has for us and it’s the very reason HE sent Jesus to us to die for our sins. How much more favor or grace do you want. Your implication is that believing in Jesus is not enough. That somehow that will not keep us in GOD’s favor enough. This always get’s back to us being able to perform actions that will put us in favor with GOD or will somehow give us a better shot at getting to Heaven. How do you explain this??

Many letters, sermons, and directives of the bishops and saints who lived shortly after the time of the apostles were accurate, inspiring, and reflected the teachings the apostles. They were not put in the New Testament because the Church (Catholic), led by the Holy Spirit, did not choose to include them. The Church established certain criteria for which books they would include as sacred scripture such as they had to be written by apostles or those who had known them. Even some which fit those criteria were not chosen.

There was discussion over a long period of time about which writings should be admitted into the ‘canon’ or official list of books which make up the bible. A final decision did not come until late in the 300’s. I only recently found out that one reason the canon was established was to determine which writings were to be used in the mass.

You should realize that God didn’t personally write the bible and hand it directly to the translators of the King James version. The Holy Spirit guided the church to gather the books together and to discern which would be called holy scripture.

I would not say that the early church was MORE Catholic. The early Church and the current Catholic church are ONE and THE SAME Church. There is not room for any other possibility, the historical record is clear as well as infallible church teaching.

The earlly church was more Jewish than it was Roman.

The Early Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. The Church has a visible head, the Pope starting with Peter as the first Pope and the invisible head is Jesus Christ. Christianity started out as a Jewish sect. They were called Nazarean but were called Christian in Antioch. By the time of St. Ignatius of Antioch in 110 AD, the Christian Church was called “Catholic Church.”

[quote=St. Ignatius of Antioch]See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.

The Catholic Church in the early dates consist of five Metropolitan Sees. Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Rome, and Constantinople. These are called Patriarchiates. These are the major churches. There are other Churches too like those in Ephesus, Philadelphia, etc.

I thought that St. Irenaeus tells us that Linus was the first bishop of Rome and Cletus the second. :hmmm:

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