A gracEmail reader writes, “You said that early Christian writers document miracles for several centuries after the New Testament was written. I have been taught that spiritual gifts and miracles stopped when the Apostles all died. Can you give some citations for your statement?”
* * *
Among many Fathers who testify to Christian ministry in the name of Jesus Christ, through which individuals were healed of various diseases or were released from demonic oppression, are the following.
Tertullian, “To Scapula,” chap. 4, written between A.D. 196-212 — “Heaven knows how many distinguished men, to say nothing of common people, have been cured either of devils or of their sicknesses.” [Specific examples follow, of persons named and known to his readers.]
Origen (185-254), “Against Celsus,” chapters 2, 6, 24 — “[W]e can clearly show a countless multitude of Greeks and Barbarians who acknowledge the existence of Jesus. And some give evidence of their having received through this faith a marvellous power by the cures which they perform, invoking no other name . . . than that of the God of all things, and of Jesus . . . . For by these means we too have seen many persons freed from grievous calamities, and from distractions of mind, and madness, and countless other ills, which could be cured neither by men nor devils” (chap. 24).
Athanasius (296-373), “Vita S. Antoni, chapters 83-84 — “[W]e ought not to doubt whether such marvels were wrought by the hand of a man. For it is . . . Jesus himself who saith to His disciples and to all who believe on Him, ‘Heal the sick, cast out demons; freely ye have received, freely give.’ Antony, at any rate, healed not by commanding, but by prayer and speaking the name of Christ. So that it was clear to all that it was not he himself who worked, but the Lord who showed mercy by his means and healed the sufferers” (chap. 83-84).