The history of the Church from the book of Acts and after

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Besides Paul, were there any other enemies of the early church who converted to Christianity?

As I was listening to a debate between Drs. William Lane Craig and Richard Carrier on the historicity of Jesus' resurrection, one thing Dr. Carrier said caught my attention. He claimed that "[Paul] is ...
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155 views

What was the first Spiritual Gifts Inventory book published or who was the first to use the method?

Today there is a plethora of books using questionnaires or similar tools in order to identify what spiritual gifts a person might have. I am wondering who was the first using this methodology and/or ...
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419 views

Was the Nicene Creed accepted under duress?

In the book Are you Really that Stupid? Observations of a Skeptical Believer, author Joshua Christian makes the claim that the Nicene Creed was accepted under less than ideal (from a theological ...
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59 views

In the Latin Catholic Church, would clerics administer the last rites if the sick person's illness is contagious and deadly?

In the Latin Catholic Church, would clerics administer the last rites if the sick person's illness is contagious and deadly? Diseases can be deadly and can spread by water, air, and/or bodily fluids. ...
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42 views

Who first distinguished between the inerrancy of the Bible and the inerrancy of the original autographs?

It's common these days among those who believe in the inerrancy* of the Bible to limit the statement to the original manuscripts. For example, the Chicago Statement reads: We affirm that ...
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What information do we have on the real vision of Pope Leo XIII?

There are a lot of stories, like this one about the vision of Pope Leo XIII which prompted him to write the prayer to Archangel Michael. Stories of a conversation between Jesus and Satan, often being ...
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Is there a heresy that teaches every action is a sin?

Was there ever a heresy that taught that every action a human commits is a sin? Was there a name for this heresy? It would be a sort of extreme Jansenism. Jansenists did not fully trust in God's ...
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Have witches ever been executed by the Eastern Orthodox Church?

If we don't count lynchings, have people ever been executed for witchcraft by the Eastern Orthodox Church? In western Christianity, the execution of witches was condemned until 1484, four centuries ...
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638 views

Was regular weekly fasting a widespread, formal tradition in the early Church?

In The Story of Christianity,* author Justo Gonzalez offers the following: There were indeed times set aside for sorrow for one's sins, in particular during the two weekly days of fasting, which ...
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83 views

Why aren't the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches in communion with each other?

Both the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Church worship the same God and the Blessed Mother Virgin Mary and the Saints and the Holy Trinity. Do language and cultural differences separate them? What ...
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Was Catholicism the first denomination?

In doing research on Martin Luther, I stumbled upon this article. Which had the following quote: If you are Catholic, you know that your religion was founded in the year 33 by Jesus Christ, ...
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52 views

Have commentators historically seen Exodus 21 as referring to miscarriage or premature birth?

Interpretation of Exodus 21:22 has often been a battlefield in the abortion debate. When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out [other translations say "she ...
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1answer
43 views

How did the Roman Punishment “cross” became a holy symbol to Christians? [duplicate]

The Romans used the cross as punishment to those who didn't follow Roman laws & principles. How then did the Roman punishment "cross" became a holy symbol to Christians?
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50 views

What impact did Karl Barth have on Roman Catholic theology?

I ran across a book on Amazon called Karl Barth, Catholic Renewal and Vatican II. It seems strange to me that Karl Barth, a neo-orthodox Protestant, would have an impact like what the book's blurb ...
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4answers
3k views

What color was Augustine's skin?

Ok, let me start by saying I don't think more or less of a person because of the color of their skin. I consider racism to be both misguided and a sin. But, when I visualize a person, I like to think ...
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1answer
180 views

How did the Brownists/Calvinists justify capital punishment for witches?

My ancestors were Brownist pilgrims, leading up to the Salem witch trials, my Great-great-great-something-aunt was hung for having a lack of the fear of God in her. The people at the time were no ...
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2k views

How did the cross come to be a symbol for Christianity?

I understand WHY the cross became a symbol for Christianity, but HOW did it become a symbol? How did it start and how did it evolve into the symbol (or symbols since there are many variants) we all ...
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59 views

Did John Calvin ever read Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica?

I've read in a few places online (here, for example), that John Calvin did not have access to Thomas Aquinas's great treatise, Summa Theologica. This is mind-blowing. Consider: The last edition of ...
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85 views

What is the origin of celibacy for Catholic Priests? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When did the prohibition of marriage for priests in the Catholic church originate? When and why did the Vatican decide that Catholic priests should take a vow of ...
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1answer
2k views

Why would cold running water be preferred for baptism?

The Didache, or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (an early Christian text not part of the New Testament) says of baptism (chapter 7): On the subject of baptism, baptise thus: after having taught ...
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1answer
326 views

Is there any evidence that Paul was a descendant of Jonathan?

Paul being a descendant of Jonathan would have some appeal from a devotional perspective since Jesus' more direct saving of Paul could be viewed as fulfilling the covenant of friendship between David ...
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198 views

Does “Jesus Christ” come from “Hesus Krishna”?

I read this article http://www.sabbathcovenant.com/doctrine/hesus_krishna.htm At the end of that time, Constantine returned to the gathering to discover that the presbyters had not agreed on a ...
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1answer
71 views

When and why did Protestantism begin moving away from liturgy?

I have been to some Protestant churches that have a liturgy on Sunday mornings (Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc) but most of the churches I've attended do not (Baptist, Assembly of God, etc). By ...
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158 views

How has the position of the Catholic Church on drugs changed over time?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: 2211 The political community has a duty to honor the family, to assist it, and to ensure especially [...] the protection of security and health, ...
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1answer
68 views

Did Augustine believe in Purgatory?

Purgatory was one of the doctrines the Reformers reacted most strongly against, though many Reformers claimed Augustine of Hippo as being in agreement with their theology. Did Augustine teach a ...
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1answer
73 views

Why do Protestants accept the inerrancy of the canon, while rejecting other decisions of the Roman Church?

Why do Protestants accept the inerrancy of the current canon of scripture but reject many of the other decisions made by the Roman Church at the time the Bible was being canonized? Take the Council ...
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How did the Crusades affect the Pope's power and authority?

How did the Crusades affect the Pope's power/authority, during and after the Crusades? The Crusades, from Wikipedia The Crusades were a series of religiously sanctioned military campaigns, called ...
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941 views

Does any church follow the Apostolic Tradition of Baptism ‘in the nude’, or was that never the tradition?

The Apostolic Tradition was the work of Hippolytus, written somewhere between 215 and 400 AD. Recent scholars seem to take the later date (source). The whole writing can be found here: Apostolic ...
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Is it true that early Christians were baptised naked?

I was told that people were baptised naked in the early Christian church. Is this true? If so, could you provide references please?
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Did any of the Catholic or Protestant paramilitary groups of the Northern Ireland conflicts of the 60s and 70s ever have an actual theological creed?

I have been reading old newspapers for fun and noticed a lot of conflicts in Northern Ireland making the newspaper during the 60s and 70s (along with the usual Vietnam and Israel conflicts). When I ...
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70 views

Have any churches allowed for sex between betrothed people before their marriage ceremony?

Have there been any churches which endorsed a 'betrothed' state (in which sex is allowed by the church) before a marriage ceremony occurs?
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1answer
140 views

Who is the author referred to in the Pope's 4 April 2014 homily?

I'll keep my question short. Does anyone know to whom Pope Francis was referring in today's homily, when he discussed an author whose books were initially banned by the Church, but now this person is ...
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1answer
819 views

To whom does Pope Francis confess?

So, Popes sin too. (At least, I assume they do.) Presumably, they confess their sin and do penance. Who hears his confession? Is it an office that rotates, or one individual? And, does the Pope ...
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361 views

How novel is John Paul II's theology of the family as “ecclesia domestica”?

The Second Vatican Council wrote in Lumen gentium 11 (English, Latin): The family is, so to speak, the domestic church. In it parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of ...
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1answer
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How did Luther view relics, like the 'preserved head of John the Baptist'?

According to wiki  Roman Catholic tradition holds that the head on display in San Silvestro in Capite in Rome is that of John the Baptist, discovered for the second time, as also maintained by ...
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Why did Christianity survive at all?

I was reading about ... hold on, what was I reading about? Nevermind, I was URL surfing. Jumping around from one link to another I somehow got to this - He [Nero] was known for having captured ...
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Why is Mary Magdalene the patron saint of hairdressers?

Why is Mary Magdalene the patron saint of hairdressers and when was the first time she was assigned this role? From Wikipedia: Patronage Apothecaries; Kawit, Cavite; Atrani, Italy; ...
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3answers
985 views

Where did the custom of dancing with flags during worship originate?

I'm trying to get some background about the custom of dancing with flags during worship. I come from eastern Europe and I have seen many "trends" that came from the west (especially from ...
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226 views

Why (and when) did the Apostles stop requiring exactly twelve apostles? Why was James not replaced?

In Acts 1:12-26 we read the story of how Matthias was chosen to replace Judas. This kept the number of apostles at Twelve. Sometime later, James, the brother of John was murdered (Acts 12:2). James ...
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136 views

Where is the story that James (the 'brother') shared one-half of his inheritance with Jesus?

The story is, I believe, apocryphal; but the "brothers of Jesus, sons of Joseph" rejected sharing their inheritance with Jesus and James, a follower of Jesus and leader of the early church (per Acts), ...
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73 views

What were the scriptural arguments used for modern western racism?

A blight on the modern western church is that the bible has been used by certain people to justify racism--specifically dark-skinned people's inferiority and light-skinned people's superiority. Some ...
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1answer
127 views

When did the “descent into hell” become part of the Apostles' Creed?

There seems to be much more debate over one clause of the Apostles' Creed than the entire rest of it put together, and that is the "descent into hell" (or "hades"), also known as the "harrowing of ...
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54 views

What is the origin of the tradition that Thaddeus founded the Armenian Church?

According to tradition, Thaddeus (aka Jude) and Bartholomew were the first disciples to bring the Gospel to Armenia. As such, they are commemorated as the patron saints of that church. What is the ...
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67 views

Catholic Church's History Reflects The life of Christ?

Background: A while back I had a very devout friend of mine explain to me that the life (or as I understood, the History) of the Catholic Church sort of paralleled the life of Jesus. That, like Jesus, ...
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387 views

Did Augustine teach sola fide?

It is popularly taught that the reformers declared five distinctive elements of theology that differentiated them from Rome: salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the ...
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42 views

What arguments were made against William Carey's missions efforts?

I am aware that William Carey's efforts to form a missions society and travel overseas as a missionary were opposed by some of his Calvinist (or hyper-Calvinist) Baptist peers. I'm vaguely aware of ...
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Aren't the Nicolaitans the guys who formed the Roman Catholic Church?

Aren't the Nicolaitans the guys who formed the Roman Catholic Church? It seems to me to be so. I mean the practice of ruling over the laity is very strong in that church, and it even is a practice ...
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103 views

Which Prominent Modern Religions Came from the “Great Awakenings” and What Have They Done For the World?

Since the 1700's there have been a number of so-called "Great Awakenings". What are in fact the most prominent religions to come from the Awakenings and what are they most known to have introduced? ...
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67 views

What is the origin among the Church of England of the Paschal Greeting?

He is Risen! So the Eastern Churches practice the paschal greeting as an Easter thing and I've picked up that tradition as a Roman Catholic because I think it's awesome. One of my close friends who ...