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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Names of Christians

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in early ages, are manifold, besides those found in the N.T. Thus the Church fathers used various appellations in describing Christians: Catholics, for while the Church remained one and undivided, it was properly called Catholic; Ecclesiastics, men of the Church; Dogmatics, men of the doctrine; Gnostics, men of knowledge. The names of reproach and derision heaped upon Christians were almost endless. The following are of importance in illustrating the condition of the primitive Church: Jews, for at first they were regarded merely as a Jewish sect; Nazarenes, always used in a bad sense; Galikeans, a name used by Julian the Apostate, who died with these words on his lips, "Vicisti, O Galilaee;" Greeks, for by the ancient Romans this was a term expressive of suspicion and contempt; Magicians, Sibyllists, from their being charged with corrupting the Sibylline books; Sarmentitii, from the fagots with which fires were kindled around martyrs at the stake; Senaxii, from the stake to which they were bound; Parabolani, from their being exposed to wild beasts; Βιαθάνατοι , self-murderers, because of their fearlessness of death; ῎Αθεοι, atheists; Νεώτεροι , new lights;, Σταυρολάτραι, worshippers of the cross; Plautinae prosapiae homines, pistores, men of the race of Plautus, bakers (Plautus is said to have hired himself to a baker to grind in his mill); Asinarii, worshippers of an ass; Abjecti, Creduli, Fatui, Hebetes, Idiotce, Imperiti, Lucifugae, Simplices, Stulti, Stupidi, etc.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Names of Christians'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/n/names-of-christians.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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