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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1answer
186 views

What is the nature of the theory for Pope Joan and the evidence that substantiates it?

Two films, each called Pope Joan one in 1972 and one in 2009 repeat an old legend about a female Pope. What is the nature of this theory, and is there anything to substantiate it?
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4answers
9k 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?
8
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2answers
409 views

What evidence is there that the Jews thought leprosy was due to sin?

Some Jews seemed to think that lepersy was a punishment for sin, rather than a sin itself. This is most probably going to sound like a stupid question either because there is a specific verse ...
7
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1answer
24k views

What happened to Joseph, Jesus's father?

What happened to Joseph the father of Jesus, because the last time he was mentioned in the story of Jesus was "Jesus's finding in the temple" after that he was never mentioned again until the death of ...
7
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3answers
5k 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 ...
7
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5answers
2k 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 ...
6
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2answers
205 views

How does the trial of Jesus compare to the judicial standards of the epoch and of the modern times?

I wonder whether Jesus was given enough opportunities to defend himself, whether his trial was fair and whether the investigation was thorough. I want to know how it compares with typical criminal, ...
6
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6answers
6k views

How does the Bible explain the existence of fossils that are millions of years old? [closed]

People have been finding fossils for many years. Millions of fossils fill museums and storage vaults around the world, and we've yet to find a single one of a human. This suggests that the animals and ...
4
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1answer
312 views

Is it true that Luther claimed Popes and priests commonly practiced sodomy?

This is a simple historical Q & A question regarding the rumor that Luther made this fairly inflammatory accusation.  The question is simple. Is there any solid proof that Luther really thought ...
2
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1answer
154 views

What exactly is manna?

In the Bible account of Exodus, God gives the Jews a type of bread called "Manna". What exactly is manna? What is in it? Do Jews or Christians still eat it today? If so, do they eat it at certain ...
2
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4answers
315 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 ...
17
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1answer
939 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?
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10answers
2k views

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

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 ...
11
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2answers
331 views

According to reformed theology, why are certain important doctrines not “obvious”? [i.e. why does the Westminister Confession even exist?]

Consider the important doctrines of: divinity of Christ doctrine of Trinity doctrine of predestination Consider in general, that the Westminister Confession is shorter than most books of the ...
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4answers
2k views

Why is Rome the holy city?

Why did Rome become the seat of the Pope and the central location for the Church? I would think that Jerusalem would be the first choice. There are also a number of other cities that I would ...
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5answers
3k views

Where did Baptists get their name and what do they believe?

Where and when did the Baptists get their name and what do they believe that sets them apart from the rest of Protestant denominations? I realize there are different divisions among Baptists as well, ...
12
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1answer
812 views

Origin of “The Marks of the True Church”

In Reformed Theology, "the marks of a true church" are often delineated, to the effect of: Church discipline Teaching/preaching Administration of the sacraments (These are the marks often denoted ...
6
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1answer
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From where did the Pearl of Great Price come and how did it become recognized as Scripture in the LDS church?

The LDS church recognizes, among other writing, a book called The Pearl of Great Price. What is the origins of this work and how did it become accepted as Scripture by the LDS church? Also, do any ...
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4answers
4k views

What was the charge levied on Jesus in the courts?

I read that Jesus was charged with the allegation that he claimed to be the "King of Jews". What is the evidence of this and other charges, if any, on Jesus? I am only interested in the charges ...
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4answers
381 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 ...
19
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1answer
566 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 ...
18
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3answers
21k 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? ...
18
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4answers
42k 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. ...
17
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4answers
43k views

What was the difference between the Pharisees and Sadducees?

Jesus often encountered "Pharisees" and "Sadducees". For example, 34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him ...
12
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2answers
768 views

Was the apostle Peter martyred in Rome?

There are some legends that say that Peter traveled to Rome where he was martyred. Is this legend true? Are there any historical accounts that support the legend? Are there any other theories about ...
11
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2answers
530 views

How do Christians reconcile archeology with the Bible in the account of the Battle of Jericho?

Wikipedia explains three archaeological studies of the Jericho site, and concludes that the city was abandoned at the time the supposed Biblical battle took place. How do Christians reconcile the ...
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2answers
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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 ...
10
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1answer
555 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
2k views

To what are the scriptures referring when they speak of the books of the “chronicles of the kings”?

In the books of 1 and 2 Kings, there are quite a few places where the author refers to "the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah" or "the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel". ...
8
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1answer
217 views

Did John Wesley admire and learn from Arminias or did he just have a couple similiar ideas?

I do not know a lot about Wesley, but when I encounter him, I tend to like what he says, even though I am a Calvinist. On the the other hand when I encounter people arguing for Arminian doctrines in ...
5
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3answers
8k views

The “eye of the needle gate” today

There is a great set of answers that covers some of my question regarding the interpretation of this passage over on the Biblical Hermeneutics site, but it didn't answer all of my questions. Today I ...
5
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4answers
332 views

How literally is Romans 10:14 supposed to be taken?

I recently learned that St. Augustine held an extremely literal view of a particular verse in Romans... Romans 10:14 (NLT)  14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they ...
4
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2answers
137 views

How diverse or united is Christian history on the imagery of “Father” and “Son”?

The original languages of the Bible itself and, to my knowledge, most of Christian history, are replete with the filial language of God being known as a “Father” and Jesus being known as his “Son”. ...
4
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1answer
149 views

Did Jesus consider OT events to be literal history?

Did Jesus consider the historic references in the OT to be literal in the sense that people and events where historical as recorded or did he view them as symbolic/figurative or did he pick and ...
2
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1answer
148 views

Does the Catholic Church consider the 40 year trek in the wilderness an allegory?

Much of the story about the Israelites 40 year wandering in the desert wilderness is as hard to believe as the flood in Noah's day and the allegorical creation account in Genesis. Does the Catholic ...
17
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2answers
81k views

When did “tithing” come to mean “giving 10% of your gross income to the Church”?

I know the word "tithe" has "tenth" built into it, and so some Christians assume that every usage of the word "tithe" in Scripture is referring to "giving 10% of your gross income to the church." But ...
16
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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 ...
13
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3answers
666 views

Did Jesus die earlier than expected? [closed]

The Bible seems to indicate that Jesus died before the others that were being crucified. John 19:31-33 (NIV) 31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. ...
12
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3answers
603 views

Are there “rational” criteria for which books appear in the Bible?

When I looked into "canon criticism" or "canonology" a while back, I came across numerous (alleged) criteria for whether a book is/was included in canon, such as "Old Testament books had to be written ...
11
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4answers
11k 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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3answers
4k views

Apostle John lived in Ephesus - what sources claim that?

Which earliest sources does Christianity posses that claim that apostle John spent the last years of his life in Ephesus?
10
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3answers
7k views

How many New Testament manuscripts do we really have?

How does the Bible size up with other books from the ancient world? Is it really true that the New and Old Testament is the book from the ancient world that has the largest amounmt of extant ...
10
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6answers
34k 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 ...
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8answers
8k 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 ...
9
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2answers
333 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 ...
9
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1answer
297 views

At what date in history was the last papal anathema officially applied through the death penalty in a papal court against a heretic or protestant?

I was just wondering when in history the official papal death sentences really ended. I am not interested in any killing that was not officially authorized by a pope (or his authorized ...
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3answers
3k views

What is the historical reason the King James Version was created?

Many years ago, I heard someone say that the KJV came about because King James I wanted a version of the Bible that supported him getting a divorce. Nowadays, I can't help but wonder how true this is. ...
5
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1answer
651 views

Why did John Wycliffe oppose papal authority in the 14th century?

He's been called the "Eosphoros of the Reformation", but how did he come to realise that it was the Bible which spoke against papal authority above government authority?
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4answers
6k views

Protestant rejection of the Catholic implementation of confession

(Pardon the length - my original post was more concise, but wasn't clearly conveying my question.) Background: I am currently studying the Spiritual Disciplines at a Protestant seminary. For those ...
3
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4answers
701 views

When did guitar led worship music become accepted?

When did guitar based worship music become common and accepted in church worship, when organs used to be the standard.