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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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 Bible....
12
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1answer
822 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
1k views

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 ...
5
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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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 ...
-8
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4answers
385 views

Has the Gospel been completely preserved textually and linguistically since the time of Jesus? [on hold]

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 ...
18
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3answers
22k 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
votes
4answers
43k 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. ...
14
votes
4answers
670 views

What official statements represent Christianity's position on the Gospel of Barnabas?

The Gospel of Barnabas is a text that has turned up in the form of 16th century manuscripts in Italian and Spanish. The text claims to be the witness of Jesus' disciple Barnabas, however its content ...
11
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2answers
543 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 ...
11
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3answers
459 views

Biblical Prophecy and Fulfillment [closed]

I often hear the argument that the veracity of Christ's claims in the gospels can be considered reliable based upon two things: miracles and fulfilled prophecy. This pre-supposes the validity of the ...
10
votes
1answer
557 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 ...
10
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2answers
5k views

How did the Crusades impact modern Christianity? [closed]

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
732 views

What role did the Donation of Constantine have on the development of the doctrine of Papal supremacy?

In the late Middle Ages, two documents arose which, together, are called the The Donation of Constantine. They made a large number of statements which would have had the effect of making the Pope the "...
8
votes
1answer
221 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
151 views

Did Jesus consider OT events to be literal history? [on hold]

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 choose?...
2
votes
1answer
151 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 ...
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
votes
3answers
680 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
votes
3answers
604 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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1answer
363 views

Where was Jesus' tomb?

We can be pretty sure it isn't in Japan. The two most referenced sites are: The Aedicule of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and The Garden Tomb. However, both stake their claims by virtue of ...
11
votes
4answers
12k 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
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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8answers
9k 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 ...
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?
9
votes
1answer
302 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 ...
8
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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. ...
7
votes
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
206 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
votes
1answer
668 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 believe that the Bible opposes the idea that papal authority is above government authority?
4
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4answers
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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
1k 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?
2
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4answers
317 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
189 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 ...