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

18
votes
8answers
2k views

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 ...
13
votes
9answers
2k views

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, ...
7
votes
2answers
13k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
921 views

Why didn't Syriac Christianity keep Aramaic as their liturgical language?

Syriac Christianity (as well as with other oriental orthodoxy denominations) today use Arabic as their liturgical language. It is known that they have been using Arabic since the times of Muslim ...
33
votes
10answers
14k views

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 ...
11
votes
3answers
481 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
947 views

Why did Protestants abandon Liturgy of the Hours?

In Divine office or Liturgy of the Hours as it is practiced in Catholic Church there's nothing bad for Protestants (or at least nothing of which I know that Protestants consider bad); prayer is good ...
-2
votes
5answers
125 views

Is the height of first century Judeans evidence against the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin? [closed]

Does the fact that the average height of Jews in the Roman Province of Judea in the first century was 5'0 impact negatively on the authenticity of the shroud since the height of the figure on the ...
6
votes
2answers
134 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
56 views

Did medieval European monasticism provide a release from certain societal pressures?

I seem to recall a science fiction/fantasy author (possibly Marion Zimmer Bradley in the context of her Darkover series) stating that monasticism provided a means of relieving social pressures by ...
9
votes
2answers
357 views

When did the concept of “wine is grape juice” originate?

A discussion in chat today has lead me to this question. Most of us should be familiar with the debate about whether Jesus drank alcoholic wine, or some other form of wine, or simple grape juice. My ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

How many kinds of Catholics are there?

Until recently I was under the impression that Catholics are unanimous in their beliefs and don't have the kind of fragmentation that Protestants have. But I’ve learned that there are several small ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How did the Crusades impact modern Christianity?

How do the crusades impact modern day Christianity own sense of morality and spirituality? What do these things mean to a person of faith? The Crusades, from Wikipedia The Crusades were a series ...
13
votes
2answers
175 views

Was there doctrinal difference between Lollards and Waldenses?

Lollards and Waldenses are two historical movements that spread out of Catholic church, in England and France, respectively. I know they had similar views such as opposing the corruption of the ...
10
votes
5answers
336 views

Does the bible indicate when the Ark of the Covenant officially disappeared?

As the title asks, does the bible indicate where or how the ark of the covenant finally disappeared? If not, do we have any likely clues?
11
votes
3answers
944 views

Why are the books of the Protestant Bible in the order that they are in?

I am curious why the books of the Protestant Bible are in the order that they are in? Someone told me they thought the books were in some sort of chronological order - is that true? (I know the ...
11
votes
2answers
651 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
508 views

Where did the Young Earth Creationist doctrine originate?

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 ...
16
votes
1answer
271 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?
4
votes
2answers
165 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
714 views

Did Martin Luther know Hebrew or Greek?

I know that Martin Luther knew Latin and German, but did he know other languages? For example, did he know Greek or Hebrew (I mean those Greek and Hebrew that the Bible is written in)?
17
votes
4answers
21k views

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. ...
-4
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there any credible writings that demonize redheads? [closed]

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 today in various parts of the world. ...
10
votes
1answer
283 views

Was Christ's suffering unusually harsh for the standard of the Roman times?

I can understand the political reasons behind His execution. What I can't really understand is why did the Romans go through such a lengthy and gruesome process. I know crucifixion used to be a ...
6
votes
3answers
193 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 prior to the Reformation who had essentially the same understanding of the ...
-1
votes
1answer
99 views

were the ancient Israelites of a darker skin tone?

I have seen ancient depictions of the ancient Israelites and there features were different than I expected. Linguistic experts have stated that hebrew is one of the early Asiatic-African languages. ...
18
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
326 views

What common dog species were the ancient Jews familiar with?

The Bible tends to put dogs in a negative light, which may be appropriate: but I'm wondering if dogs of Bible times existed differently than our highly trained obedient breeds of our time. ...
4
votes
5answers
731 views

What does the Bible have to say about dinosaurs? [duplicate]

Archaeology has found many dinosaur fossils. Does the Bible have anything to say about the existence of dinosaurs?
1
vote
1answer
236 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. In a lecture I heard that in 1st century Palestine: 1. All women used ...
2
votes
1answer
188 views

When did the insertion of title-page for Old Testament and New Testament started?

All the Bible I have seen have title-pages for both New Testament and Old Testament. There is always a dedicated page just before the Book of Genesis with the title "The Old Testament" which indicates ...
16
votes
5answers
419 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

At what point did Judaism and Christianity diverge?

At what point did Judaism and Christianity diverge? Christianity and Judaism share the Old Testament (The Hebrew Bible), so it should be safe to assume they are the same people at least during the Old ...
2
votes
3answers
151 views

Before St. Thomas Aquinas, who laid the foundation for the existence of God?

During His preaching ministry, Jesus described the nature of God. But before doing so, did He have to lay a foundation and convince people that God exists? Or had oral tradition and the Old Testament ...
-1
votes
3answers
365 views

Altars in today's Christian Churches [duplicate]

Wonder why altars are not prevalent in Christian churches. It seems that a stage is used where all activities during the worship service take place, but there is no set aside place for the presence of ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What is a Nazirite?

In Judges 13 verse 7, There is an interesting passage. 7 But he said to me, 'You will become pregnant and will have a son. Don't drink wine or beer or eat anything that is unclean, because the boy ...
-6
votes
4answers
314 views

Has the Gospel been completely preserved textually and linguistically since the time of Jesus?

I was reading a book which made me wonder whether the true message of Jesus has been faithfully passed down to this age. I would like to know whether the Gospels have been preserved textually and ...
15
votes
2answers
978 views

What is the origin of the moral-civil-ceremonial distinction of the Old Testament law?

This distinction is often called tripartite division of the law. I ran across this series of blog posts: http://maelandcindy.blogspot.com/2008/06/is-mosaic-law-tripartite.html ...
-1
votes
1answer
76 views

What are the various evangelical views regarding the agricultural revolution and it's impact on primeval history in Genesis?

According to Genesis 4, both Cain and Abel were agriculturists, however, modern anthropologists and paleontologists hold that human societies had been around for thousands or millions of years prior ...
1
vote
1answer
213 views

Was the account of eating forbidden fruit a metaphor?

What is the established church's (Church of England's) view on the theology of the eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil as being a metaphor for the act of questioning God's ...
5
votes
5answers
5k views

Did Jesus visit India?

Some traditions state that Jesus visited India between the ages of 12 and 33, in order to study and learn. What evidence is there that he did or did not visit India?
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Was there any christian church that kept the Passover before the 1900?

I was taught that after the Council of Nicea no christian church kept the Passover on the 14th of Nisan. Is there any truth to that? Is there a church in the middle ages that kept the Christian ...
11
votes
2answers
222 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
442 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
101 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
242 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
532 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
votes
4answers
196 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
112 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 ...