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.

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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." ...
2
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2answers
195 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 ...
4
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1answer
194 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 ...
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3answers
663 views

Why was Paul allowed to write in jail?

We know that Paul was held under some brutal conditions—his feet in stocks in one case. Yet he was still able to write many letters from prison. Was this during some of his "nicer accommodations", or ...
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5answers
6k 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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9answers
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Did early church fathers understand the doctrine of trinity?

Many historians and religious scholars ... attest to the influence of Greek or Platonic philosophy in the development and acceptance of the Trinity doctrine in the fourth century. ... the ...
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2answers
105 views

Why wasn't the Bible enough for the founding fathers of America? [closed]

In light of the 4th of July in America, the founding fathers created new and brilliant ideas and concepts by which the "new world" would and still live by. It is almost as if they created a new ...
6
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1answer
70 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, ...
4
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2answers
733 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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3answers
17k views

In what order were the books in the New Testament written?

I'm just curious as to the actual timeline and known dates of the New Testament books. I know the version fo the Bible I read had the letters from Paul ordered by their size, and not when they were ...
8
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1answer
92 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 ...
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4answers
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Why did Luther curse those who oppose indulgences?

In the 95 Theses, Luther makes a stand against corruption in the Catholic church of that day. This resulted in events leading to the separation between the Catholic and Protestant churches. It seems ...
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9answers
934 views

Has God created anything since he rested on the 7th day?

Genesis 2 indicates that on the 7th day after creation God rested. Genesis 2:1-3 NIV 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God ...
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11answers
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Who were the “giants” mentioned in the Bible?

I've come across several verses in the Bible that speak of "giants". For example: Gen 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the ...
6
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1answer
100 views

What misconceptions about the LDS church are a product of Mark Hofmann's forgeries?

I've heard a lot of strange stories about LDS church history. What I didn't know is that many of them were created by a man who is considered by forensic experts to be the best forger yet caught. ...
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4answers
5k views

Why did Daniel consider the allotment of food and wine to be wrong for him to eat?

When Nebuchadnezzar conquered Israel and took Daniel and other Jewish men into his court, he assigned them food and wine from the king's table. The king appointed for them a daily ration from the ...
10
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2answers
884 views

When did the split in crufix/empty-cross sybolism occur and why did it happen?

Today, we have Catholic and Orthodox churches (and a few others) using the crucifix, whereas most Protestant denominations use an empty cross in their symbolism. Did this difference in symbolism arise ...
0
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1answer
105 views

When did the “upside down cross” become a sign of anti-Christianity?

When did the "upside down cross" become a sign of anti-Christianity? I can find no mention of it in the Bible. However there is, in Christian history, the story of Peter's execution - which really ...
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1answer
35 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 ...
9
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2answers
156 views

Which year did Jesus die? What is the most commonly held view

Is there a commonly held year for Jesus' crucifixion? What is the basis? In particular I would like to see biblical-basis. If not which Christian denominations teach a specific year for His ...
6
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3answers
6k 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 - ...
4
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2answers
201 views

Historicity of which Biblical characters is recognized by Archaeology/History? [closed]

I know that Historicity of certain Old testament Kings is recognized. However some like Jonah or Job aren't know to fields of Archaeology or History. What information, evidence do we have and for ...
14
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2answers
9k views

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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3answers
333 views

Are the gospels comparable(equal) to contemporary works of historians?

Are the gospels (and especially claims on the identity of Jesus in the Gospels) comparable(equal) to contemporary works of contemporary historians like Tacitus and Josephus, in terms of objectivity( ...
6
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2answers
510 views

Was Billy Sunday the first evangelist to equate the “altar call” with salvation?

According to this article from the The Society for Effective Evangelism: Up until Billy Sunday, altar calls were invitations for seekers to come to an after-meeting or inquiry room where ...
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2answers
364 views

Why was Aaron not allowed into the promised land?

God judged Moses and Aaron separately at another event, why wasn't Aaron allowed into the promised land?
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2answers
311 views

When were the Fasting Patterns of the Eastern Orthodox Church Established?

I am under the impression that the fasting patterns of the Orthodox church were established over the course of several centuries. I am interested in some sources that would clarify when the pattern ...
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3answers
1k views

When and why did the Catholic Church first start issuing annulments?

I understand that the Catholic Church issues annulments in place of divorces under certain circumstances. When did this practice first begin and under what was the reasoning given for it and its ...
12
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2answers
412 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
332 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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3answers
270 views

Who was the Egyptian that led the revolt of the Assassins in Acts 21?

When Paul was arrested in Jerusalem he was mistaken for an anarchist Egyptian: Acts 21:37-38 ESV As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the tribune, “May I say something to ...
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2answers
200 views

The people of Sodom and Gomorrah

Is there any historical accounts biblical or otherwise that may shed some (or more) light on the issue of what types of people lived in those two cities. I'm especially curious as to the extra ...
2
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5answers
165 views

What is the case against Gore Vidal's view that St. Paul “invented Christianity”?

I was watching Gore Vidal being interviewed for CSpan's In Depth series and his book Live from Golgotha was being discussed. He claims that St. Paul "invented" Christianity. That Jesus came for the ...
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1answer
45 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?
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2answers
78 views

Are there any traditions or schools of thought that track Jesus' movements?

I'm trying to put together a timeline of Jesus' ministry and it would be really cool to be able to say with some confidence where Jesus was when he spoke this or that given verse. Hoping some ...
3
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1answer
47 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 ...
16
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3answers
11k views

When was Abraham alive?

It is generally accepted that Abraham lived 175 years. However, the dates when he lived are rather fuzzy and hotly debated. When was he alive and what reasons would you give for your conclusion? ...
9
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1answer
260 views

Where are the tombs of Jesus' original 12 disciples?

I would like a list of the twelve disciples, correlated with their most probable burial location. I understand that many reliquaries containing parts of their bodies were distributed throughout ...
3
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1answer
163 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 ...
3
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2answers
123 views

Who developed the doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy first - Catholics or Protestants?

This article on Christian Fundamentalism says that it is developed by Protestants at Princeton University. This Catholic source on Biblical inerrancy says that it has always been with the Catholics. ...
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2answers
139 views

When did the massacre of the innocents happen?

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 ...
16
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1answer
426 views

Where do primary sources for the Bible reside?

Bible translations are made from sources. Where are these sources? In a university, museum, government agency or what?
12
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3answers
615 views

How did the practice of soliciting the prayers of dead saints originate?

How did the practice of soliciting the prayers of dead saints originate? Did it start based on something in the bible? The apocrypha? A papal decree? On a side note, which groups practice this type ...
1
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1answer
83 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
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2answers
176 views

What is the earliest recorded instance where Mary is called “Blessed Virgin?”

I was recently spending some thought on this topic which came from this question: What are the common Protestant interpretations of Luke 1:48 (KJV)? I answered the question and proposed as an ...
9
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6answers
21k views

What is significant about the swaddling clothes with which Jesus was wrapped as a baby?

Luke gives the account of Jesus' birth and mentions that Mary wrapped Him in "swaddling cloths". And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a ...
12
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2answers
2k views

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? I would like to investigate this for myself.
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5answers
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What is the origin of the Good Friday tradition?

As suggested by this question and this answer, it seems possible that Jesus actually died on a Wednesday, not on a Friday. In light of these competing theories, what is the origin of the Good Friday ...
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1answer
63 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 ...
12
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3answers
5k views

Why is the word 'Lord' in all caps in the OT but not in the NT?

My friend asked me the other day why the word 'Lord' is in all capital letters in the Old Testament but not the New Testament? I tend to lean towards the fact that the OT was written in Hebrew and ...