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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Has Christianity ever come down in opposition of arranged marriages?

Many cultures in many ages have practiced arranged marriages. I understand that in Jewish culture --at about the time of Christ-- arranged marriages were considered a normal way of life. Obviously if ...
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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 ...
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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?
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What is the Toronto Blessing?

Just over a decade ago there was much hype in the media about the Toronto Blessing, a phenomenon that began at Toronto Airport Church and subsequently spread from there. What is it? Is it still ...
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How do the Dead Sea Scrolls impact modern apologetics?

I understand that the 1946 discovery of almost a thousand ancient texts in caves on the West Bank has had a significant impact, I'm just trying to figure out what specific changes the discovery has ...
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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 ...
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How long did it take to form the Bible?

How long did it take to collect all of the writings that eventually formed the first version of the Bible? In other words, starting with when the first writing was created (i'll say when it was ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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How does the doctrine of the URC differ from its predecessors?

The United Reformed Church is a denomination in Britain that was formed out of a merger of the Congregationalist and Presbyterian denominations in 1972. What doctrinal compromises had to be made for ...
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How did the monastic tradition evolve?

In the 4th Century there was a strong monastic tradition, which usually involved living in solitude or small groups in the wilderness. By the 12th Century the monastic life was being lived in large ...
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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 ...
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497 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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328 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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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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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 ...
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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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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?
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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
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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324 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?
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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 ...
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When (and why) did the empty cross v.s. crucifix split happen?

Today, we have Catholic and Orthodox churches (and a few others) using the crucifix whereas most Protestant denominations have an empty cross. Did this empty-cross split happen around when Martin ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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.