Use the church-history tag for questions about the history of the church, from the time of Acts to the present.

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9
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2answers
180 views

When did people start to deny Jesus as a historical person?

Somewhat related to this question: What extrabiblical sources support the existence of Jesus in history? Is there any record of when people started to give the idea that Jesus never existed? Is ...
7
votes
4answers
211 views

What exactly was the purpose of the Council of Nicea?

I heard recently in a bible study class on "How we got the Bible", that the Council of Nicea is not actually responsible for the compilation of the complete, canon biblical texts. I had always thought ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

What is the history of Irish Catholic resentment toward Protestantism?

In the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Angela's Ashes, the author depicts several instances of Irish Catholic animosity toward Protestants, especially those from America. What is the background of this ...
9
votes
3answers
224 views

Writing / recording capabilities around Jesus's time

I'm wondering if there is any historical information or references that describe the ability to write and record information around the time of Jesus and his disciples. I.e. to what extent were they ...
-1
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4answers
133 views

Sadducees - Ultra Liberal or Ultra Conservative?

The Sadducees - accepted only the torah (thus rejecting the resurrection due to it not being mentioned), they were a part of the priestly caste, the high elite, wealthy, and educated. Would you ...
12
votes
2answers
483 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 ...
2
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4answers
153 views

Why is there a modern misconception about Christianity and Science? [closed]

Those of us who care to look into history even the slightest can see that both devout Christian laymen and Christian leaders have been make scientific strides for almost two millennia. Some examples ...
4
votes
2answers
103 views

Accuracy of History Channel's The Bible [closed]

I am very interested in learning about Christianity and would like to purchase History Channel's The Bible. How close is this to the actual scriptures? Is this series a good introduction to ...
18
votes
5answers
611 views

Why is Christmas on December 25th?

Why was December 25th chosen as the day to celebrate Jesus' birth?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What happened to Jesus' physical body after his death and resurrection?

As the title asks, what do modern Christian religions believe happened to Jesus' physical body after the resurrection? From John 20:11 - 14: Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

What is the history of the doctrine of inerrancy?

Is there any reason, biblical or otherwise, not to believe that the doctrine of inerrancy is relatively new (past two hundred years). I found the following statement on Wikipedia. "It has in fact ...
8
votes
5answers
514 views

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 ...
12
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5answers
3k views

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 ...
0
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3answers
85 views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
199 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
3k 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 - ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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." ...
10
votes
1answer
116 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
140 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
314 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
154 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
384 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
302 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?
5
votes
2answers
113 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
844 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 ...
11
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6answers
2k views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
172 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
110 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) ...
3
votes
1answer
82 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
207 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
224 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
122 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
438 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
167 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
462 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
364 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
140 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.
6
votes
3answers
854 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
428 views

Ancient nations in a young earth

How do "Biblical literalists" and other Young Earth Creationists account for the fact that some cultures have been continuously measuring the years for almost five millenia?
2
votes
4answers
207 views

When was the title of “Mother of God” first ascribed to Mary?

I understand that the phrase "Mother of God" appears in the prayer commonly referred to as the "Hail Mary" prayer. I'm wondering, though, what the origin is of the phrase "Mother of God". Did it ...
6
votes
3answers
677 views

Are there any tenets of Gnosticism that are still present in the church today?

Towards the end of the New Testament writing, the heresy of gnosticism was one of the chief "false teachings" against which Paul and the other writers were contesting. Could someone present some of ...
8
votes
6answers
10k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

Is the register where the first marriage was registered still available?

I read that the Church had little to do with marriage till the 13th century, when it took legal control of marriage. Then, Church registration followed. My questions are: Where was the first ...
5
votes
3answers
275 views

Was Christmas a replacement of the feast of Hanukkah or of the 'Invincible Sun'?

Was Christmas a replacement of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah that was celebrated by the early Christians or was it to replace the Pagan festival of the 'Invincible Sun' instituted in 274 CE.