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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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
231 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 ...
7
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1answer
61 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 ...
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2answers
431 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
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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 ...
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2answers
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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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2answers
201 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
481 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?
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
860 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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2answers
666 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 ...
4
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2answers
186 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 ...
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1answer
796 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)?
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4answers
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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. ...
10
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1answer
321 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
198 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
114 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. ...
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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
440 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. ...
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5answers
803 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?
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1answer
282 views

Covering of the hair for women, and beards in 1st Century Palestine

Note: This is just a historical point, it isn't judging anyone, just trying to understand things in their historical context. In a lecture I heard that in 1st century Palestine: 1. All women used ...
2
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1answer
205 views

When did the insertion of title-page for Old Testament and New Testament started?

All the Bible I have seen have title-pages for both New Testament and Old Testament. There is always a dedicated page just before the Book of Genesis with the title "The Old Testament" which indicates ...
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5answers
437 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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5answers
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At what point did Judaism and Christianity diverge?

At what point did Judaism and Christianity diverge? Christianity and Judaism share the Old Testament (The Hebrew Bible), so it should be safe to assume they are the same people at least during the Old ...
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3answers
173 views

Before St. Thomas Aquinas, who laid the foundation for the existence of God?

During His preaching ministry, Jesus described the nature of God. But before doing so, did He have to lay a foundation and convince people that God exists? Or had oral tradition and the Old Testament ...
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3answers
584 views

Altars in today's Christian Churches [duplicate]

Wonder why altars are not prevalent in Christian churches. It seems that a stage is used where all activities during the worship service take place, but there is no set aside place for the presence of ...
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2answers
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What is a Nazirite?

In Judges 13 verse 7, There is an interesting passage. 7 But he said to me, 'You will become pregnant and will have a son. Don't drink wine or beer or eat anything that is unclean, because the boy ...
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4answers
331 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 ...
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1answer
84 views

What are the various evangelical views regarding the agricultural revolution and it's impact on primeval history in Genesis?

According to Genesis 4, both Cain and Abel were agriculturists, however, modern anthropologists and paleontologists hold that human societies had been around for thousands or millions of years prior ...
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1answer
224 views

Was the account of eating forbidden fruit a metaphor?

What is the established church's (Church of England's) view on the theology of the eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil as being a metaphor for the act of questioning God's ...
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1answer
65 views

Was there any christian church that kept the Passover before the 1900?

I was taught that after the Council of Nicea no christian church kept the Passover on the 14th of Nisan. Is there any truth to that? Is there a church in the middle ages that kept the Christian ...
11
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1answer
281 views

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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4answers
920 views

What exactly was the purpose of the Council of Nicea?

I heard recently in a bible study class on "How we got the Bible", that the Council of Nicea is not actually responsible for the compilation of the complete, canon biblical texts. I had always thought ...
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1answer
129 views

What is the history of Irish Catholic resentment toward Protestantism?

In the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Angela's Ashes, the author depicts several instances of Irish Catholic animosity toward Protestants, especially those from America. What is the background of this ...
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3answers
262 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 ...
14
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2answers
583 views

Did those feet in ancient time walk upon England's mountains green?

William Blake's preface to Milton, commonly called Jerusalem and set to a famous hymn tune by Hubert Parry, questions whether the child Jesus might have visited England. And did those feet in ...
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4answers
215 views

Why is there a modern misconception about Christianity and Science? [closed]

Those of us who care to look into history even the slightest can see that both devout Christian laymen and Christian leaders have been make scientific strides for almost two millennia. Some examples ...
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2answers
114 views

Accuracy of History Channel's The Bible [closed]

I am very interested in learning about Christianity and would like to purchase History Channel's The Bible. How close is this to the actual scriptures? Is this series a good introduction to ...
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5answers
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Demon Possession of Jesus' Time - Today's Diagnosable Mental Disorders?

Quite a few of the things Jesus and his disciples had to address they had diagnosed as "demons". Today we call things of similar symptoms "disorders". Epilepsy: Matthew 17:14-16 Multiple Personality ...
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3answers
119 views

Can we really claim to have the power of God's heritage?

The Bible says that we are all his children. But our heritage is full of malice and evil - many good and decent things too, but with equal amounts of evil in the mix. Can we claim to have the power of ...
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3answers
564 views

Why is Mark not the first gospel?

We all know that Mark is the earliest gospel ever written: why is it that when the New Testament was compiled, Mark was not listed as the first book in the NT? What are the reasons that the Early ...
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1answer
123 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 ...
4
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2answers
180 views

Marks of the true church in Protestantism or Catholicism?

Although this very related question about the marks of the true church in Reformed Theology has already been asked, my question is whether other Protestant traditions or Catholicism have an equivalent ...
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3answers
5k 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 ...
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3answers
446 views

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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5answers
196 views

Title of Christ?

I was at Bible Study the other night where we watched the new Bible Series that was aired on TV. Someone had asked a question (sorry I forget what), and my Pastor responded by saying something along ...
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3answers
608 views

Has any church organization refused lottery winnings as donation?

Sometimes I've played the lottery when it gets over $100 million, thinking I could retire on a small fortune and then give tens of millions away to charity, including of course, Christian ones. Has ...
11
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1answer
695 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?
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2answers
152 views

How did early “street evangelization” differ from the modern practice?

Biblical "street preachers" gathered interested and/or interactive crowds, often followed by mass conversions. We could conceivably chalk some of this up to the "signs and wonders" they tended to ...
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3answers
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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 ...