Church history is the chronicle of Christianity and the church including notable historical figures, and the rise and fall of various traditions.

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What evidence is available that Mt Moriah is actually the Temple Mount?

In Sunday school this week we discussed (among several other things) the sacrifice of Isaac. The teacher pointed us to a footnote that appears in several editions of the scripture. It seems that ...
11
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3answers
3k 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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4answers
185 views

Why did the conclave elect Pope Stephen I, when he died prior to taking office?

According to Wikipedia, Pope Stephen I was elected to the papacy in March of 752 A.D., but died a few days later, prior to being installed. As I understand it, Catholic teaching indicates that God's ...
10
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3answers
396 views

Exorcisms: effective remedy or historical curiosity?

Are exorcisms considered, in the various Christian Professions, an effective remedy for possession? I thought they were just a curiosity from the past, but here's what I found on Wikipedia: ...
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7answers
979 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 ...
10
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1answer
102 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?
10
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1answer
178 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?
10
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2answers
207 views

At the greater emergence of democracy in Europe during the 'Enlightenment' did the papacy support democracy?

I was just wondering how did the papacy respond to democracy when it first arose in Europe? On one hand, in a country that was, according to its sovereign, a Catholic country, democracy would be very ...
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1answer
327 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 ...
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2answers
378 views

Did the Church Fathers advocate celibacy?

What were the Church Fathers' views on celibacy? Did they see celibacy as a higher or more spiritual calling than marriage? Did they see marriage as incompatible with a spiritual life? Was there ...
10
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1answer
295 views

When did Christmas (the birth of Christ) first begin as a Christian celebration?

I remember hearing something about a true Saint Nicholas who maybe helped poor children or something, but to be honest, I really don't know much about when Christmas began to be celebrated by ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
10
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2answers
225 views

What were the beliefs, teachings, and practices of the church regarding slavery in the New World?

When the New World was discovered, slavery was virtually unknown in Europe. Soon after the discovery of the New World, European powers began to make slaves there, and to transport slaves from Africa ...
10
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1answer
239 views

What is the basis for the solicitation of prayers from dead saints?

How did the practice of soliciting the prayers of dead saints originate? Is it in the bible? The apocrypha? A papal decree? On a side note, which groups practice this type of prayer? I am ...
10
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1answer
152 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 ...
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1answer
2k views

Did Saint Patrick actually explain the Trinity using a shamrock?

The shamrock is a pretty bad analogy for the Trinity. In fact, it's somewhat of a heretical explanation if one puts much emphasis on it. It's partialism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQLfgaUoQCw ...
10
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1answer
513 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 ...
10
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2answers
291 views

What evidence is there that the Chinese script reflects a knowledge of Genesis 1-11?

It has been asserted that the author of the Chinese alphabet could very well been knowledgeable of the accounts in Genesis 1-11--those that occurred prior to the division of peoples and languages at ...
10
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1answer
281 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 ...
10
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1answer
179 views

Is there any evidence that Romans viewed Christian teachings on sexual restraint as a liberating influence?

Sarah Ruden (via John Stonestreet) makes an interesting claim about the Roman Empire in the time of Paul: Dreher cites classics scholar Sarah Ruden, whose book “Paul Among the Gentiles” was the ...
10
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1answer
206 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 ...
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2answers
241 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 ...
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4answers
1k views

Why did Luther curse those who oppose indulgences?

In the 95 Theses, Luther makes a stand against corruption in the Catholic church of that day. This resulted in events leading to the separation between the Catholic and Protestant churches. It seems ...
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3answers
654 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
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1answer
200 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 ...
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2answers
158 views

Is there a unique characteristic for all canonical books?

Is there any one unique characteristic that would be common for all the books of the Bible besides being chosen by the Church to be a part of canon? I am interested here in the main-stream Protestant ...
9
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3answers
278 views

Biblical Prophecy and Fulfillment

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 ...
9
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1answer
183 views

How long has the church been observing Lent?

At what point in church history did the Lenten season become a significant part of the church year? Obviously Easter came first, but I don't see the biblical basis for 40 days of preparation for ...
9
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1answer
104 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 ...
9
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3answers
8k 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 ...
9
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1answer
201 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 ...
9
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1answer
84 views

What is the earliest point in history where the cross icon started showing up on artifacts related to Christianity?

I can’t imagine the cross would have become an art-piece while the Romans were still killing Christians. The cross symbol during the persecutions must have in some way seemed similar to the Nazi ...
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3answers
203 views

Are there any Biblical prophecies that were understood before they were fulfilled?

In a recent discussion on this site, someone told me that the nature of Biblical Prophecy is such that it cannot be understood prior to its fulfillment; that this is essentially the point of a ...
8
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4answers
294 views

Why is the KJV frequently said to be the “true” translation?

This question actually centers on the KJV translation itself. It's not hard to find a church in America (particularly in the south) where they believe that the KJV is the one true translation and that ...
8
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4answers
794 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 ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Why is the word Lord in all Capital letters in the Old Testament but not in the new?

My friend asked me the other day why the word Lord is in all capital letters in the old testament but not the new testament? I tend to lean towards the fact that the old testament was written in ...
8
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3answers
184 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 ...
8
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4answers
392 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?
8
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6answers
9k 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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5answers
1k views

Was Jesus a poor man, in economic sense?

I saw a video of Cesar Vidal and he said, that probably, Jesus was a middle-high class in economic sense, during the period of life before public ministry. I need historical references.
8
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3answers
425 views

Is it biblical to burn the heretics?

This article has a list of people burned as heretics by the Church in the past. Is there any Biblical basis for burning the heretics? Which specific verse was used for the judgement on the heretics, ...
8
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4answers
2k 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 ...
8
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1answer
73 views

Where did the dates at the bottom of the pages in the Book of Mormon come from?

From these images of an original copy of the Book of Mormon, it appears that the dates and chapter summaries that appear in modern printings do not appear in the original. When exactly did these ...
8
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1answer
174 views

Why didn't Martin Luther provide for his family to be taken care of after his death?

I recently heard Professor Stephen Nichols of Reformed Theological Seminary state that following Martin Luther's death, his wife, Katie, and his children struggled financially for some time. Did ...
8
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3answers
2k 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 ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Is it true that early Christians were baptised naked?

I was told that people were baptised naked in the early Christian church. Is this true? If so, could you provide references please? I would like to investigate this for myself. Regards, Walid
8
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1answer
290 views

Are there any references to “four canonical Gospels” prior to 100 AD?

According to the "Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung" eleven manuscripts of NT are from within the second century alone, which include: P52 (100-150), P90, 104 (2nd century), P66 (c. AD ...
8
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1answer
266 views

What are the arguments for the Exodus occuring in 1440BC or 1290BC?

There are two schools of thought on when the Exodus occurred, the "early" date of 1440BC, and the "later" date of 1290BC. How was each date arrived at, and what is the evidence for each?
8
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1answer
78 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) ...
8
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3answers
752 views

What evidence is there that the Apostle Paul had been a member of the Sanhedrin?

I remember hearing someone make the claim that Paul had been a member of the Sanhedrin prior to his conversion to Christianity. Is there any evidence for this claim? If so, what is it?