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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181 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 ...
3
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1answer
770 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
24k 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. ...
10
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1answer
298 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 ...
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3answers
196 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
113 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. ...
18
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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 ...
4
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3answers
421 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. ...
4
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5answers
787 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
269 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
201 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
434 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
2k views

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
164 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
520 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 ...
12
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2answers
2k views

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
323 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
220 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 ...
2
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1answer
63 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
261 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
732 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
122 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
254 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 ...
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2answers
562 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
211 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
1k views

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
115 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
440 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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3answers
5k views

Where did the religious symbol of the 'halo' come from?

I once read somewhere that the 'halo' was inherited by Christianity from ancient worshippers of the Sun.  However, although this seems believable I never bothered to verify its historic credibility - ...
10
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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
175 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
430 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
193 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 ...
3
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3answers
588 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
657 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
151 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
1k 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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1answer
138 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) ...
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4answers
2k 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 ...
3
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2answers
263 views

Is reference to “God” as a rock unique to Judeo-Christian usage?

Throughout the Old Testament God is likened to a “Rock” and within the New Testament the Rock that Moses struck is identified as Christ. For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our ...
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2answers
266 views

In which denominations are Sunday school classes categorized distinctly by grade/age level?

There was one time, a long time ago, somewhere between mid- to late-1990s, I went to a church with family at night. I thought the adults would worship on the first floor, while the children were taken ...
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2answers
2k 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
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2answers
201 views

Has the Church historically considered biblical texts concerning slavery to be transcultural or finite?

How have the Bible's passages concerning slavery been interpreted and applied throughout Christian history, especially passages such as Exodus 21:2-11, Leviticus 25:44-46, and 1 Timothy 6:1-2? Have ...
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2answers
662 views

Does any church follow the Apostolic Tradition of Baptism ‘in the nude’, or was that never the tradition?

The Apostolic Tradition was the work of Hippolytus, written somewhere between 215 and 400 AD. Recent scholars seem to take the later date (source). The whole writing can be found here: Apostolic ...
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1answer
5k views

When did the practice of Confession in the Catholic Church begin?

Confession, specifically the practice of confessing one's sins to a priest, is a quite common practice in the Catholic Church. When and how did this sacrament first originate and become codified as ...
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2answers
19k 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 ...
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2answers
518 views

Was the Apostolic Tradition of rejecting soldiers from the church ‘permanent’, or was this ‘tradition' briefly enforced?

In the Bible Jesus encounters Roman soldiers but does not tell them to 'quit their day job'. Jesus encountered a centurion with 'great faith' as recorded in Matthew 8. Peter as well baptized a ...