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When was the Church first called “Catholic”?

Full Question

When was the Church first called “Catholic”? I know Scripture tells us when the first Christians were called Christians (at Antioch), but I don’t know when they or the Church was called “Catholic.”

Answer

The earliest document we have in which “Catholic” is used to label the Church is a letter from Ignatius of Antioch, who wrote around A.D. 107, while being taken to Rome for execution. For all we know, the term was used well before that time—which is to say, in the time of the apostles.










14 comments

  1. e p Reply

    The early church members were also called atheists, because they didn’t believe in the multiple gods of the Romans.

  2. Kevin Yerington Reply

    Is “Catholic” the only religion that originates from Latin or Greek, meaning Universal?

    1. Nicholas Kuphos. Reply

      Catholic, Καθολικός in Greek literally means “for all”. It was used in the first days of Christianity to differentiate the new religion from the “ethnic” religion of the Hebrews. Greek was commonly spoken in the entire Eastern part of the Roman empire. The new Testament and all original Church writings are in Greek. In the Nicene Creed (profession of faith) 321 A.D. in Nicaea and 381 A.D. in Constantinople it is professed that all Christians believe “…in one and only, Apostolic and Catholic Church…” meaning (in modern style-…a single Missionary church for all mankind…! When the Eastern and Western Churches were separated about a thousand years ago, at the core of the reasons for the schism was the introduction into the creed by the western Church of the word “filioque”, “and the Son”, meaning Christ could command the Holy Spirit just like the father. In the first 1000 years of the Church all matters of faith were decided by the “Oecumenic” (world) Synods (Councils). Ever since the Western Church calls itself Catholic and the Eastern Church is known as Orthodox -meaning Correct Dogma. His Holiness, the Pope and his All Holiness, the Patriarch of Constantinople are engaged in dialogue to reunify the Church, which lesser men separated a thousand years ago, which n turn precipitated the creation of all sort of protestant and heretical movements.

      1. E Power Reply

        Catholic – The combination ‘the Catholic Church’ (he katholike ekklesia) is found for the first time in the letter of St. Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans, written about the year 110 (New Advent Encyclopedia online).

        1. James Reply

          Catholics are not Christians as they are still under the Law of God and you can’t be under the law and have God’s Grace at the same time, which is Jesus crucifixion on the Cross to fulfill the Law of God. If you want to be a Christian, you must REPENT FROM YOUR SINS and believe in Gods Son Jesus Christ as your only savior and that His Crucifixion, and Resurrection from the dead washed away your sins.

          1. James

            Are You Saved?
            Besides the fact that the Ten Commandments were never given to us gentiles as the means through which we are in covenant with God. We have only one way: Jesus.
            No man except Jesus could obey all the commandments all of the time, so we all are guilty before God and dead in our sins. Only through being born again, born of the Spirit, through faith that Jesus stood in our place and is our only righteousness, can one be right with God and have eternal life. Born Again= 1. Repent and believe Jesus is your only Savior and that His blood washed away your Sins by the Death of Jesus Christ and that He was Resurrected by God and to sit on the righthand of God. 2. Be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. 3. Do Jesus Covenant and Commands.
            I am not at all ashamed to proclaim Jesus as the Good News everywhere, in church or wherever. Dont you know that the church is the body of Christ: us, our bodies are the temple of God. We the saved people are the church.
            Don’t you know that in Christ (those born of above) there is no difference between male and female, jew or greek, rich or poor, free or slave, for all are one in Christ. We become a new creation: a spiritual man. No longer looking to people after the flesh but after the Spirit.
            If you have the Spirit of Christ, you have righteousness in you as your new nature, the godly nature. Then you want to do God’s will because you have His Life in you. And yes, salvation is ONLY ONLY by faith in Jesus and by RECEIVING His Spirit inside. Not by works!
            The New Covenenant is the giving of the Spirit within
            It is LIFE that matters, whether you have LIFE inside you, whether you have received the Spirit of Life (of Christ) to indwell you and be the Law of the Spirit of Life written in your heart and mind. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law, He becomes they law in us, the New Living Way.
            The law is established in Jesus’ righteousness (HIS perfect conformity to God’s will and law, which no man could do) – we say yes God’s law is perfect and holy but only Jesus could fullfill it and He came to do it and died in our place for our death sentence because of our transgressions and He was raised from death by God’s power. Jesus became to us the way to God’s acceptance, which is not a way by the works of the law but the way of faith in Christ.)…we say “yes the law is perfect and holy!
            You might be in for the greatest surprise of your life, come Judgment day. The basis of judgment is the law or Ten Commandments. Read Mat.25:31-46. Did Christ the King and Judge say, ” Come blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom..because you keep the Ten Commandments.?” Nope.
            We Christians are no longer to be judged by the law? Why?
            “Christ redeemed us from the CURSE OF THE LAW..so that we might receive the promised SPIRIT by faith.” Gal.3:143,14
            ” A DEATH has occurred that redeems us from the transgressions under the law.” Heb.9:15. Therefore, ” you DIED TO THE LAW through the body of Christ..”ROM.7:4 .” The law is no longer binding on you.” Now you are discharged from the law, DEAD to it.” ROM.7:1,6.
            That is GRACE- ” BY the grace of God, CHRIST TASTED DEATH for everyone.” Heb.2:9.
            ” The GRACE OF GOD that brings SALVATION , has appeared..” Titus 2:11. ” For by grace you HAVE BEEN SAVED through faith. This is not your own doing; this is the GIFT OF GOD. Not of works, lest anyone will boast.” Eph.2:8,9.
            “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved.” Acts 16:31.

            Good News For The Unsaved!
            If you would die today, are you sure that you will go to the Kingdom of God and not straight to Hell?

            Before you answer it, let me share one thing with you.
            The Bible says that God is Holy and we are not. We all have fallen short of the Glory of God and the wages of our sin is DEATH. We don’t deserve to go into the Kingdom of God. We deserve to go to Hell

            Since we have a problem we don’t want to admit, God out of Love send us His 10 Commandments, to show us, there is no way in the world that we will make it to His Kingdom on our own.

            Lets look at a couple of the 10 Commandments. The Bible say:
            a) You shall not lie, ever not even once in your lifetime.
            How many can say they haven’t. If you do you committed a lie.
            b) You may not steal. Not even take anything that is not yours.
            c) You shall not use God’s name in vain and now it became a curse word and made us Blasphemers.
            d) You may not commit adultery and that include, looking at somebody with lust.
            e) You shall not murder and that include to hate someone.

            Just looking at those 5 Laws, we know that we all are sinners and because God is Holy, He will not let us, in His Kingdom. We deserve to die and go to hell!

            HERE IS THE ANSWER:
            God don’t want us to got Hell and is giving us a PARDON. He wants to take you off the DEATH ROW. If you don’t want to take God’s Pardon, your punishment will be DEATH!

            JESUS CHRIST took the DEATH PENALTY in our place and everyday God is reaching out to us, that we must receive His Pardon for our crime.

            PLEASE don’t go threw with your Death Penalty and except God’s Pardon threw the Death of Jesus Christ, to receive the Grace of God and entrance to God’s kingdom.

            PRAYER:
            Dear Jesus, I know I Have broken your Law. I am a Sinner I agree that You are Holy and I am not. I will never make it to God’s Kingdom on my own.
            Please forgive me of all my sins. I believe that you died for me on the Cross and rose again from the grave to pay the price for all of my sins.
            I have turned away from my sins today and turn to you.
            I trust in You Jesus and in you alone to take me to the Kingdom of God.
            Make me into the person, You want me to be.
            I surrender this life to you.
            In Jesus name
            Amen.

          2. James

            1Co 6:7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
            1Co 6:8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
            1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
            1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
            1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
            1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
            1Co 6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
            1Co 6:14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
            1Co 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
            1Co 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
            1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
            1Co 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
            1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
            1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

            1Jn 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him(God), because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His(God) sight.
            1Jn 3:23 And this is His(God) commandment, That we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He(Jesus) gave us commandment.
            1Jn 3:24 And he that keepeth His(Jesus) commandments dwelleth in Him(Jesus), and He(Jesus) in him. And hereby we know that He(God) abideth in us, by the Spirit which He(God) hath given us.

            Rom 2:23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the Law, dishonourest thou God?
            Rom 2:24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
            Rom 2:25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law, but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

            Rom 3:1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
            Rom 3:2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.
            Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
            Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
            Rom 3:5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)
            Rom 3:6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?
            Rom 3:7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
            Rom 3:8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
            Rom 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
            Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
            Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
            Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
            Rom 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
            Rom 3:14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
            Rom 3:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
            Rom 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
            Rom 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known:
            Rom 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
            Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
            Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
            Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
            Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
            Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
            Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
            Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
            Rom 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
            Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
            Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
            Rom 3:29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
            Rom 3:30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
            Rom 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

            1Co 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
            1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
            1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
            1Co 6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
            1Co 6:5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
            1Co 6:6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
            1Co 6:7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
            1Co 6:8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
            1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
            1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
            1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
            1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
            1Co 6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
            1Co 6:14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
            1Co 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
            1Co 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
            1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
            1Co 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
            1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
            1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

            Gal 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
            Gal 4:2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
            Gal 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
            Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
            Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
            Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
            Gal 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
            Gal 4:8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
            Gal 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
            Gal 4:10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
            Gal 4:11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
            Gal 4:12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.
            Gal 4:13 Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.
            Gal 4:14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
            Gal 4:15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.
            Gal 4:16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
            Gal 4:17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.
            Gal 4:18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.
            Gal 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
            Gal 4:20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
            Gal 4:21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
            Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
            Gal 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
            Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
            Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
            Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
            Gal 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
            Gal 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
            Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
            Gal 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
            Gal 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

            Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
            Gal 5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
            Gal 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
            Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
            Gal 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
            Gal 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
            Gal 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

            Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
            Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
            Heb 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
            Heb 4:4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
            Heb 4:5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
            Heb 4:6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
            Heb 4:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
            Heb 4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
            Heb 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
            Heb 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
            Heb 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
            Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
            Heb 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
            Heb 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
            Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
            Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

            And that should told you that the RCC is deceitful in their false doctrines. The RCC want people to be under the Law, knowingly that it means eternal death, because no one can or will be able to keep all the Laws and will receive the eternal death penalty. That is why the RCC wants the One World Religion established so that they can make it a law, that you must obey the Law of God so that nobody will receive the Grace of God and enter the Kingdom of God and receive eternal Life. (RCC= Demons of Lucifer)

          3. Robert Narvaez

            James, please do more homework

  3. carmen Reply

    I read somewhere an earlier date than that but I would have to look it up, it was a book of different religions.

  4. DOLORES J. GINN Reply

    A GREAT LADY AT THE UNITED BAPTIST CHURCH TOLD ME ABOUT IT , YEARS AGO!
    I WAS SO SURPRISED! JESUS IS THE ONE WHO ESTABLISHED THE CATHOLIC CHURCH! FIRST POPE ST. PETER. & SO ON !

    1. James Reply

      Dolores J.Ginn. Don’t be deceived. The church that Jesus talked about is You and not a religion. You are his Church. God made your Heart a Temple of His. The Church Building is just a building and without you it is a empty building where people come together to Honor Gods Grace threw Jesus Christ.

  5. Douglas E. DeBlase Reply

    I was always taught that Christ said to simon”I shall call you peter (which translated meant the rock) And upon you I shall build the Universal Church. And Universal translated meant Catholic… this was taught to me by Nuns and Priests my whole life. So someone here doesnt know their religion

  6. James Reply

    Why do you take my comment ABOUT THE RCC away. IT IS BECAUSE YOU WANT ONLY TO PLACE YOUR DECEITFUL POST HERE AND NOT THE REAL THRUTH ABOUT THE RCC. rcc= demons of lucifer

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