Church history is the chronicle of Christianity and the church including notable historical figures, and the rise and fall of various traditions.

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Can we really claim to have the power of God's heritage?

The Bible says that we are all his children. But our heritage is full of malice and evil - many good and decent things too, but with equal amounts of evil in the mix. Can we claim to have the power of ...
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From where does the teaching on women in ministry come?

First off, since I know this may be a somewhat controversial question in today's climate, let me just state that I'm not intending to take any part in that controversy. I'm just asking this question ...
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+100

Demon Possession of Jesus' Time - Today's Diagnosable Mental Disorders?

Quite a few of the things Jesus and his disciples had to address they had diagnosed as "demons". Today we call things of similar symptoms "disorders". Epilepsy: Matthew 17:14-16 Multiple Personality ...
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Did the Christian practice of having a prayer before Bible study evolve during Martin Luther's time?

In Eric W. Gritsch's book, A History of Lutheranism, he reports, He memorized whole portions of the Bible (available in the Latin translation of St. Jerome, c. 348-420) and used various existing ...
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4answers
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What is the origin of praying hands folded?

I was taught in Sunday school to pray hands folded. On the other hand, there's no biblical mention of the practice (as far as I know). It actually doesn't seem to matter which position we pray in. ...
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8answers
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The Bible seems to allow polygamy. Why doesn't the church?

In Exodus 21:10 and Deuteronomy 21:15-16 (among many other passages), it talks about polygamy as if it were acceptable. Indeed, there are several holy men (Abraham and Solomon come to mind offhand) ...
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1answer
60 views

Covering of the hair for women, and beards in 1st Century Palestine

Note: This is just a historical point, it isn't judging anyone, just trying to understand things in their historical context also. In a lecture I heard that in 1st century Palestine: 1. All women ...
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3answers
160 views

Why is Mark not the first gospel?

We all know that Mark is the earliest gospel ever written: why is it that when the New Testament was compiled, Mark was not listed as the first book in the NT? What are the reasons that the Early ...
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3answers
2k views

Where did the religious symbol of the 'halo' come from?

I once read somewhere that the 'halo' was inherited by Christianity from ancient worshippers of the Sun.  However, although this seems believable I never bothered to verify its historic credibility - ...
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3answers
753 views

What crime was committed by the “thieves” crucified with Jesus?

During yesterday's sermon, the pastor mentioned the theory that the thieves crucified next to Jesus likely weren't simple thieves to warrant such a sentence, but were probably "thieves with a cause." ...
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1answer
103 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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2k views

Why Lot's daughters seduced their father?

According to the Bible, when Lot escaped out of Zoar, he went up to the mountains and settled in a cave. While in there, he was seduced by his daughters so that they could bear children and save ...
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106 views

Marks of the true church in Protestantism or Catholicism?

Although this very related question about the marks of the true church in Reformed Theology has already been asked, my question is whether other Protestant traditions or Catholicism have an equivalent ...
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4answers
2k views

Why was the New Testament Written in Greek?

New Testament was written in Greek. But Jesus lived in Israel and was supposed to be the next King of Israel. I think it is probably fair to assume that he and his twelve apostles spoke Hebrew. Then ...
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1answer
362 views

Did those feet in ancient time walk upon England's mountains green?

William Blake's preface to Milton, commonly called Jerusalem and set to a famous hymn tune by Hubert Parry, questions whether the child Jesus might have visited England. And did those feet in ...
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3answers
286 views

How did the monastic tradition evolve?

In the 4th Century there was a strong monastic tradition, which usually involved living in solitude or small groups in the wilderness. By the 12th Century the monastic life was being lived in large ...
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2answers
241 views

Have the individual commands of the OT Law ever been categorized as “Moral,” “Ceremonial,” and “Civil?”

Are there any historic Christian documents that provide a comprehensive categorization of the commands of the OT Law / mitzvot using the three categories from the WCF? And, if so, then as a secondary ...
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5answers
137 views

Title of Christ?

I was at Bible Study the other night where we watched the new Bible Series that was aired on TV. Someone had asked a question (sorry I forget what), and my Pastor responded by saying something along ...
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3answers
775 views

What language did Jesus speak?

As a young believer I was quickly turned on to the idea of learning some things about the "original languages" of the Bible. After all, how could you understand John 21:15-17 without understanding ...
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4answers
123 views

Does the bible indicate when the ark officially disappeared?

As the title asks, does the bible indicate where / how the ark of the covenant finally disappeared? If not, do we have a likely clue as to which event this happened?
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3answers
322 views

Has any church organization refused lottery winnings as donation?

Sometimes I've played the lottery when it gets over $100 million, thinking I could retire on a small fortune and then give tens of millions away to charity, including of course, Christian ones. Has ...
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1answer
176 views

Did Martin Luther think John Calvin is a “son of the devil”?

I read from here (a Chinese website) that Martin Luther called John Calvin a son of the Devil. Now I have never seen this quote anywhere. Did Luther say something like this to Calvin? If yes, why?
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1answer
88 views

Is there any credible writings that demonize redheads?

Is there anything in the Bible or other ancient texts that downgrade redheads, redheads have suffered a fair bit of persecution over the centuries and still can do today in various parts of the world. ...
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2answers
93 views

How did early “street evangelization” differ from the modern practice?

Biblical "street preachers" gathered interested and/or interactive crowds, often followed by mass conversions. We could conceivably chalk some of this up to the "signs and wonders" they tended to ...
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3answers
699 views

When and why did the devil, or Satan, really emerge as a force in Christian belief?

From what I understand, the devil is not a character who appears obviously in any part of the Bible. If this is true, when was it that Satan/the devil began to terrify people who called themselves ...
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4answers
565 views

Why is Christmas on December 25th?

Why was December 25th chosen as the day to celebrate Jesus' birth?
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6answers
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Was tithing 10% required or encouraged by the early church?

I cannot find in the New Testament an obligation on Christians to tithe 10% of their income. Instead I read that it is up the individual to decide: 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV1984) Each man should ...
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2answers
5k views

How many children did Adam and Eve have?

I recall someone suggesting to me one time that Adam and Eve had a total or twenty of so children, and that this came from some Jewish writings. Is there any indication, then, from history regarding ...
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1answer
148 views

Are there any writings from the church fathers teaching Original Sin before Augustine?

It has been said by some that Augustine was the first to teach Original Sin, "It was Augustine (354-430 A.D.) who first promoted the idea that; "the fallen nature of Adam was transmitted ...
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1answer
117 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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1answer
76 views

Where can I find sources showing ecclesiastical vestments of the 1200s?

In 1215 at Runneymeade, barons and clerics gathered to get King John to set his seal to the Barons' Charter. According to Roger of Wendover, among them were the pope's representative, Master (bishop) ...
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1answer
48 views

Is there any reference to Abraham building a house of worship? Where is Bakkah?

Is there any reference to Abraham building a house for worship in the Bible? Where is the valley of Bakkah located? In Islam they say Bakkah and Mecca are the same word, and the Kabah is built on ...
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7answers
976 views

Why was the Bible not available to common people in the Medieval period?

The Bible was not available in the hands of common people in Medieval times (5th - 15th century). Which of these possible reasons are plausible? The common people were poor and could not afford to ...
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2answers
6k views

Where did Goliath come from?

The popular story of David and Goliath describes Goliath as very tall ("six cubits and a span"--apparently roughly 9 feet 9 inches, or 297cm). Most children are just told he was a "giant" in Sunday ...
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2answers
194 views

Where did the Young Earth Creationist doctrine originate from?

I heard the other day that the literalist interpretation of biblical creation (A literal 7 day creation of the universe) isn't the classical historical interpretation that past Christians held. I was ...
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1answer
161 views

How do the Dead Sea Scrolls impact modern apologetics?

I understand that the 1946 discovery of almost a thousand ancient texts in caves on the West Bank has had a significant impact, I'm just trying to figure out what specific changes the discovery has ...
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2answers
192 views

Is reference to “God” as a rock unique to Judeo-Christian usage?

Throughout the Old Testament God is likened to a “Rock” and within the New Testament the Rock that Moses struck is identified as Christ. For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our ...
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83 views

In which denominations are Sunday school classes categorized distinctly by grade/age level?

There was one time, a long time ago, somewhere between mid- to late-1990s, I went to a church with family at night. I thought the adults would worship on the first floor, while the children were taken ...
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2answers
197 views

When did the African-American population become Christian?

As someone who's never been to the USA I might be making a completely wrong assumption, but from all the media, it seems that the majority of the African-American population were traditionally ...
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2answers
154 views

Has the Church historically considered biblical texts concerning slavery to be transcultural or finite?

How have the Bible's passages concerning slavery been interpreted and applied throughout Christian history, especially passages such as Exodus 21:2-11, Leviticus 25:44-46, and 1 Timothy 6:1-2? Have ...
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2answers
159 views

Is 'sola gratia' as a soteriology traceable in the period leading to the Protestant Reformation?

Protestants often consider the Roman Catholic church to have significantly distorted the gospel. Were there Christians pior to the Reformation who had essentially the same understanding of the ...
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2answers
358 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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5answers
3k views

Whether Jesus visited India during his age 12 to 33?

Whether Jesus visited India during his age 12 to 33? Was he in India for study during these unknown years? Else where was he?(This is not a duplicate question as my previous question was marked ...
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2answers
2k views

When did the practice of Confession in the Catholic Church begin?

Confession, specifically the practice of confessing one's sins to a priest, is a quite common practice in the Catholic Church. When and how did this sacrament first originate and become codified as ...
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3answers
8k views

What happened to the two trees in the Garden of Eden?

In Genesis 2, we are told that there were two named trees in the Garden of Eden--the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. When Adam and Eve ate fruit from the Tree of the ...
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2answers
293 views

Was the Apostolic Tradition of rejecting soldiers from the church ‘permanent’, or was this ‘tradition' briefly enforced?

In the Bible Jesus encounters Roman soldiers but does not tell them to 'quit their day job'. Jesus encountered a centurion with 'great faith' as recorded in Matthew 8. Peter as well baptized a ...
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11answers
5k views

Does wine really mean wine in the Bible?

In discussions I have had in the past over the acceptability of a Christian drinking alcohol I have heard that some 'dry' believers say that the wine in the Bible is not wine as we know it commonly ...
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5answers
907 views

When did the one-way monologue sermon first become a normal feature of church assemblies?

Of course Jesus preached a lot of monologue sermons, but I have noticed that Jesus did not usually preach sermons like nearly every church does today. He never seems to have, or at least rarely ...
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120 views

how does the bible WORD FOR WORD say that homosexuality is wrong? [duplicate]

I'm just really curious and trying to put down some speculations my friends and I have.
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3answers
656 views

How did Adam and Eve win at Hide and Seek?

I began reading the KJV a couple months ago, and one question that keeps plaguing my mind is, "How did Adam and Eve successfully hide from God?" Genesis Chapter 3: 8 And they heard the voice of ...