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 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 ...
12
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3answers
9k 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? ...
43
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6answers
8k views

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) ...
2
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1answer
147 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 ...
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3answers
7k views

Did Abraham, David and Solomon think having many wives was sin?

Did Abraham, David and Solomon think having many wives and concubines was sin?
8
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1answer
600 views

Is there scholarly concensus on the historicity of Foxe's Book of Martyrs?

Foxe's Book of Martyrs purports to recount the lives and deaths of many who are regarded as the heroes of the Christian faith, and is revered as a classic within the genre of Christian literature. The ...
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6answers
2k views

What is the history of the concept of a “personal relationship with Jesus”?

It is common these days to hear questions like: Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? Or... The most important thing is your personal relationship with Jesus. The Bible never ...
4
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1answer
709 views

Did the city of Nazareth exist in the time of Jesus?

The question stems from this video. Additionally, I would like to know any books, articles and other credible sources that deals with this question for further reading*. Thank you for your time. * ...
7
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2answers
28k 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 ...
14
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4answers
276 views

What evidence do we have today about Christian groups not represented at the first four ecumenical councils?

Were there any Christian groups that existed during the time of the first four ecumenical councils and that were not represented at them either because they chose not to attend or they were not ...
18
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2answers
2k views

How did the cross come to be a symbol for Christianity?

I understand WHY the cross became a symbol for Christianity, but HOW did it become a symbol? How did it start and how did it evolve into the symbol (or symbols since there are many variants) we all ...
3
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1answer
87 views

Drawing of a Christian helping his own assailant

A few years back I saw a drawing of a Christian priest helping his own assailant to get up. It was on a wiki page that I cannot remember. I am hoping that some one here knows the page, and maybe even ...
6
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3answers
2k 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." ...
15
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3answers
2k views

What is the significance of the inverted pentagram symbols on the LDS Temple in Salt Lake City?

The Temple in Salt Lake has several inverted pentagrams as decorations. (To see a few, just google "lds temple salt lake inverted pentagrams" and click on images. Or click here) According to ...
9
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1answer
373 views

How many witnesses are there who physically saw and/or touched the golden plates from which the Book of Mormon was reportedly translated?

I understand the Book of Mormon has a list of witnesses. However, I have heard that these witnesses may not have actually ever seen the gold plates that contained the original manuscripts for the ...
9
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1answer
242 views

What has the LDS Church (Mormons) historically taught about the Curse of Cain and dark skin?

I have heard that people with black skin had been denied certain things in the Mormon Church until the past 30 years or so and that this has something to do with the Curse of Cain. What has been the ...
7
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4answers
4k views

Did Paul write other letters that are not in the Bible?

I've heard it said that Paul wrote other letters that didn't make it into the Bible, including at least one more letter to the church at Corinth, and a letter to the church at Laodicea. What is the ...
6
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3answers
578 views

Persecution of Jewish people by Christians in Middle Ages?

I want to apologize ahead if my questions sound disrespectful to anybody. This isn't my intent. I grew up in East Asia which has very few Christians, but I have been very interested in the history of ...
10
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4answers
1k views

Why did Christianity survive at all?

I was reading about ... hold on, what was I reading about? Nevermind, I was URL surfing. Jumping around from one link to another I somehow got to this - He [Nero] was known for having captured ...
5
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2answers
3k 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 ...
7
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2answers
4k 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, ...
13
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9answers
3k 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
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2answers
14k 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
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2answers
982 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 ...
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10answers
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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 ...
11
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3answers
512 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
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2answers
7k 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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6answers
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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 ...
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5answers
156 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
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2answers
158 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
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1answer
58 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
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2answers
386 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 ...
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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
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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
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2answers
181 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
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5answers
388 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
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3answers
988 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
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2answers
721 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
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2answers
556 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
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1answer
299 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
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2answers
173 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
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1answer
738 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
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4answers
22k 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. ...
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1answer
2k 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
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1answer
291 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
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3answers
195 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 ...
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1answer
105 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
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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 ...
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3answers
373 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
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5answers
765 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?