History is crucial for understanding a lot of the Bible, such as the history of Israel, or the Roman Empire. But please use the church-history tag instead for questions about the history of the church since the NT was completed.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
1answer
79 views

Is there any extra-Biblical 'evidence' of Herod's murder of babies?

When Herod heard of the news from the kings form east that there was a new king (Jesus) born, he ordered the killing of all boys younger than the age of two. So that would have been a great slaughter. ...
0
votes
0answers
13 views

What type of “dragon” is implied by the seven headed serpent of revelation? [migrated]

Most symbols of revelation are easy to understand - a lamp, a frog, a city, etc. The "seven headed serpent" however is harder to form a basis for comparison for. In the context of the scriptures and ...
3
votes
3answers
320 views

Were there any female priests in the temple?

Were there any female priests in the temple in Jerusalem at any time?
2
votes
1answer
120 views

Is it true that there is an inscription that says that Yahweh had a wife?

In this video, around 1:08:40, Amihai Mazar, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, says: The name "Yahweh", as the name of an Israelite God, [...] appears for the first time in the inscriptions ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Who first divided the Bible's books into chapters?

I've heard that the Bible's division into verses was made later than the division into chapters. So, whose translation firstly came up with this system of chapter divisions that we have today?
11
votes
1answer
177 views

Who was the first to reject the historicity of Adam?

Since the nineteenth century the early chapters of Genesis have been very controversial. For some issues, like the age of the earth, it is well established that there have been many different ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Are there any accounts of the wise men story outside of scripture?

The wise men were educated and would have documented their experience in detail. Also, they would have shared the Christmas story with everyone they came in contact with on their trip home. Once they ...
8
votes
1answer
170 views

What is the history of silent prayer?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe there is much in the way of Biblical or early-church precedence for praying silently. It seems like prayers were generally spoken aloud. In modern times, ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

Where was Herod's temple built?

The Scripture says that the Second Temple was built on the foundation of Solomon's Temple, but was Herod's Temple built in the same place or was it built next to it? (Do we have any records that say ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Alexander Helios disappearance-Scriptural Nephites?

According to Wikipedia, Alexander Helios is the son of Cleopatra VII. He disappeared fleeing Egypt with his people (roughly 50,000) after being defeated by Octavian in 31 BC. His parents committed ...
-2
votes
1answer
126 views

How was 'years' defined in the book of Genesis?

Genesis 5 clearly shows the number of years people lived from Adam to Noah. In the modern world, we know that 1 year equals to the number of days the earth revolves around the sun, but this knowledge ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

Does the Catholic Church consider the 40 year trek in the wilderness an allegory?

Much of the story about the Israelites 40 year wandering in the desert wilderness is as hard to believe as the flood in Noah's day and the allegorical creation account in Genesis. Does the Catholic ...
7
votes
1answer
122 views

Who were the “scribes” whom Jesus often disputes against in the canonical gospels?

And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. (Matthew 7:28-29 ESV) There are ...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

Did the coins at the time of Jesus have distinct images and inscriptions?

At Matthew 22:18-21(NIV) we read: "... But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a ...
7
votes
1answer
165 views

Who was Darius the Mede?

And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old. [Daniel 5:31] I have read much about the possible identities of Darius the Mede; to me, the most convincing alias is ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

What did Jesus do regarding the Jews believing that some diseases were sometimes due to sin?

In relation to these two questions: What evidence is there that the Jews thought leprosy was due to sin? What does it mean to say that mental illness is a modern-day leprosy? Obviously, Jesus ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Why did Jesus come when he did? [duplicate]

Jeremiah 23:5–6 (NIV) "The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. ...
1
vote
4answers
144 views

Did Paul/Saul teach Christianity with Jewish traditions to Gentiles like what we see in Messianic Judaism today?

As the question clearly describes. Did Paul/Saul, during his era, teach Christianity with Jewish traditions to Gentiles like what we see in Messianic Judaism today? Some background for this ...
5
votes
1answer
87 views

What is the evidence that Thomas Aquinas was assassinated?

Reading the Wikipedia article on Thomas Aquinas, I stumbled on something rather peculiar. Apparently he fell ill and died at the age of 49 on his way to the Second Council of Lyon, where he had been ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

Caesar Augustus' census in Luke 2 - is it a-historical? Fabricated story? [closed]

Luke 2 speaks of a census by Caesar Augustus that everyone should go to their town of birth to be counted/enrolled. I recall, from a number curses on "historical Jesus", that there is a claim that ...
0
votes
1answer
162 views

What were the advantages of a monarchy system that Israel wanted? [closed]

From Israel's perspective, what were the advantages of being a monarchy "just like other nations" (1 Samuel 8:5)? What negative effects during the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon did Israel ...
-3
votes
1answer
84 views

Where is the jug of oil that never ran dry?

Following this question I'd like to ask if there are any records where the jar was left. 1 Kings 17:16 (NIV) For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in ...
15
votes
2answers
372 views

Is there evidence that Isaiah 53 was viewed as a Messianic prophecy within Judaism, or is it an exclusively Christian interpretation?

The modern Jewish interpretation of the so-called suffering servant song of Isaiah 52:13-53:12 is that it is a prophecy referring to the nation of Israel, not the Messiah. As such, it is sometimes ...
1
vote
3answers
324 views

What evidence is there for the Resurrection of Jesus?

What historical evidence has been used by people who argue for truth of Jesus' Resurrection? It’s important to distinguish between the evidence and the best explanation of that evidence. This ...
1
vote
1answer
266 views

What are the names of two thieves who were crucified along with Jesus?

What are the names of two thieves who were crucified along with Jesus? I was informed that their names were Dismas and Gestas. When I searched on the Internet, I got similar info. Is it true that ...
8
votes
2answers
298 views

What evidence is there that the Jews thought leprosy was due to sin?

Some Jews seemed to think that lepersy was a punishment for sin, rather than a sin itself. This is most probably going to sound like a stupid question either because there is a specific verse ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

What indication is there that the famous census under Quirinius is the first-ever done in the region?

Besides Luke's Gospel (which is grammatical difficult and may not mean "first" chronologically, but rather "most prominent/important"), is there any evidence that the famous census conducted by ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

When was the last time, if ever, the secular world acknowledged a demonic possession?

The gospels seem to be peppered with demonic possessions that are nonchalantly noted by the author. Is there evidence that the ruling secular powers of the day acknowledged these as demonic ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Where is there official writings from Perpetua or Felicity?

Supposedly there was a diary written by a woman named "Perpetua" just before she was killed in the arenas for her faith. Another similar account is concerning Felicity. Did these women actually ...
4
votes
1answer
109 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? ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

Could a lowborn during the middle ages read the bible?

I'm starting to read about the christian faith with more effort and this question popped up in my head. I've read that the bible at that time were really expensive because it was handmade but, could a ...
1
vote
2answers
342 views

How were the authors of the four gospels literate?

I'm curious how the authors of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) actually knew how to write. They were fishermen and simple people, and very few people knew how to write back then. ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What year did the Hebrew nation with Joshua cross the Jordan river into the promised land?

In terms of our current and modern dating system, what year did Joshua and the Hebrew nation cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan? Also, based on this what year would the first Jubilee year have ...
2
votes
2answers
127 views

In Christ's time, who possessed the written word?

2000 years ago, written works were extremely valuable. It's not like every Jewish family had their own "family scroll" that they read to their children every night. It's doubtful even that every Rabbi ...
7
votes
1answer
472 views

What is the significance of Palm branches?

I've been pondering this question for a while. With Easter right around the corner, I figured this is the perfect time to ask. See these verses: Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, ...
8
votes
2answers
435 views

Was Luke, the author of the Gospel and Acts, a slave?

"It is possible that Paul’s “relative” Lucius is Luke, the author of the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. On his second missionary journey, Paul may have gone to Troas (where Luke lived—or ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

At what age should Christians be confirmed according to St. Thomas Aquinas?

I've read this in Saint Thomas Aquinas' sermons on the Apostles' Creed (emphasis mine): “Confirmation.”—The second Sacrament is Confirmation. Just as they who are physically born need certain ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

What is the name of the theory or thesis that the brothers of Jesus came from a previous marriage of St. Joseph?

An important Christian tradition is that the brothers of Jesus, mentioned in the gospels, were born to Joseph by a previous marriage. Is there a name given to this tradition?
5
votes
2answers
257 views

Was it just Daniel who prayed toward Jerusalem or did all exiles do so?

While studying the book of Daniel I came across: Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Where are the tombs of Jesus' original 12 Apostles

I would like a list of the twelve Apostles, correlated with their most probable burial location. I understand that many reliquaries containing parts of their bodies were distributed throughout ...
10
votes
5answers
7k views

Was Jesus crucified naked?

Wikipedia's article on crucifixion says While a crucifixion was an execution, it was also a humiliation, by making the condemned as vulnerable as possible. Although artists have traditionally ...
-7
votes
2answers
853 views

How many people saw Jesus raised from the death?

Besides some of the apostles, is the Bible specific about how many people saw the resurrection of Jesus? I mean, those that can testify to having seen Jesus alive after his death. Since we are all ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

Are there example writings of general refutation from Jesus' time?

There is an apologetic argument that goes like this: If the gospels were not factual, then we should expect to find other writings from the same time which refute them. We do not, therefore the ...
5
votes
1answer
115 views

When did the idea of a scriptural “canon” originate?

This question What are the biblical arguments that the Bible canon is NOT closed? made me wonder: 1) When did the idea of a canon originate? I would suppose this should be quite early, and Jews ...
4
votes
1answer
299 views

What is the decree that Pope Gregory IX issued in 1231?

I came across this in an article about the inquisition: In 1231, Pope Gregory IX published a decree which called for life imprisonment with salutary penance for the heretic who had confessed and ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Who was “Zacharias son of Barachias” in Matt. 23:35?

In Matt. 23:35, it is written, That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew ...
1
vote
2answers
295 views

When did the massacre of the innocents happen? [duplicate]

When the Magi had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. Get up, he said, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going ...
-2
votes
1answer
76 views

Is Christianity unique in the way it uses the historical method? [closed]

How large an amount of the claims of the Bible is defended on the grounds of the historical method? Is Christianity unique in the way it defends it claims. Often I hear people talk about matters of ...
9
votes
2answers
694 views

What is the source of the story about the melted gold in the destroyed temple in 70 AD

In Matthew 24:2, Mark 13:2 and Luke 21:6, Jesus seems to indicate that in the coming temple destruction, "not one stone will be left upon another". And, indeed, this seems to be the case from the ...
2
votes
0answers
378 views

What is the historical significance of Shiloh in the Bible? [closed]

Shiloh is mentioned several times in the Old Testament. I believe it is mentioned in a prophecy in Genesis 49:10. The allotment of land for Israel was decided there. It's mentioned a few times in ...