Tagged Questions

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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10
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2answers
222 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
186 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
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
987 views

Was the temple built in 46 years or was it 46 years old during Jesus time?

I stumbled on this verse again and would like some clarification: John 2:20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? Was the ...
11
votes
1answer
211 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 ...
2
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0answers
36 views

Is it possible the Biblical and scientific timelines for the age of the earth could link up? [duplicate]

In many versions of the Bible I have e read, in fiitnotes/endotes they say the Hebrew term for "day" could also mean "period of time." So if you took period of time to mean oh say, a billion years, ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Who produced the first Concordance?

Prior to this new-fangled electronic thing called the internet, people who were looking to find a particular verse in the Bible resorted to a manual index called a concordance. In such a book, ...
4
votes
1answer
636 views

Did the city of Nazareth exist in the time of Jesus?

The question stems from this video. Additionally, I would like to know any books, articles and other credible sources that deals with this question for further reading*. Thank you for your time. * ...
7
votes
1answer
607 views

To what are the scriptures referring when they speak of the books of the “chronicles of the kings”?

In the books of 1 and 2 Kings, there are quite a few places where the author refers to "the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah" or "the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel". ...
4
votes
1answer
71 views

Did the American Constitution and independence from England usher in the first full separation of Church and state?

I have noticed that even among theologians that postulated full separation of church and state, like Luther, they did not force the subject so fully as our modern world understands. In fact there was ...
9
votes
2answers
15k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
888 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
140 views

Was the mode of execution for Jesus required to be crucifixion?

Did Jesus need to die on a cross or were there alternative endings? Would being stabbed with a sword or if he died during the beatings have been good enough? Specifically, are there prophecies held ...
1
vote
3answers
622 views

Are the early followers of Christ considered Christians or Jews in today's context? If not, when was the religion created? [duplicate]

From sometime after 4 BC and up to and sometime between the destruction of the Second Temple (C. 70) and Council of Nicaea (AD 325), Christians were considered Jewish with Jesus as their leader. When ...
19
votes
3answers
808 views

Why is Rome the holy city?

Why did Rome become the seat of the Pope and the central location for the Church? I would think that Jerusalem would be the first choice. There are also a number of other cities that I would ...
10
votes
4answers
201 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
226 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
136 views

Conversion of Romans and Bible Portrayal of Romans

I have trouble understanding how Romans converted to Christianity. In the Bible, Romans weren't portrayed very nicely. For example, Herod the Great did quite a lot of awful things. Jesus was crucified ...
6
votes
3answers
543 views

Persecution of Jewish people by Christians in Middle Ages?

I want to apologize ahead if my questions sound disrespectful to anybody. This isn't my intent. I grew up in East Asia which has very few Christians, but I have been very interested in the history of ...
10
votes
1answer
276 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
votes
2answers
177 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
130 views

Did Zachariah ask for a son to God?

This is related to this question. I found this verses from Qur'an. Surah 19:1-7 Kaf- Ha-Ya-'Ain-Sad. (This is) a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His slave Zakariya (Zachariah). When ...
0
votes
3answers
215 views

The Popes Prophecy of St. Malachy [closed]

I am a young Christian and at times I fall into traps that I read one thing that isn't written in the bible then I believe it. I read the Prophesy of St Malachy and now I am convincing myself that ...
6
votes
1answer
548 views

Are there any secular historical references to the natural phenomenon that occurred at the crucifixion and resurrection?

The Scriptures record that there was three hours of darkness during the crucifixion of Jesus. This is a pretty significant meteorological event. Furthermore, the morning of Jesus' resurrection, the ...
7
votes
6answers
895 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
413 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
858 views

Was Satan an Angel [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where in the Bible does it say that Lucifer is an angel? Of what nature is Satan? Most people refer to the following scripture as support for the fact that Satan was ...
6
votes
2answers
770 views

Were witches ever executed by the Eastern Orthodox Church?

If we don't count lynchings, were people ever executed for witchcraft be the Eastern Orthodox Church? In western Christianity, the execution of witches was condemned until 1484, four centuries after ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What does it means INRI in Jesus Cross? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does INRI stand for? In Jesus Cross there is symbol like INRI, What does it exactly means and why they are keeping this still in cross any conditions or story ...
8
votes
1answer
91 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
votes
6answers
12k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
2k 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.
4
votes
1answer
72 views

Does an understanding of how the Bible was written, play a strong role in any Christian sect?

There is sometimes a misunderstanding or differing opinion of who wrote what in the Bible. Is this issue relevant to any particular Christian sect? Does the topic play an important role?
8
votes
1answer
264 views

How much time did medieval Christians devote to prayer?

I was critiqued on this answer concerning it taking less time out of the day for someone to be a Muslim than a Christian, and that may be untrue for a majority of Christians today. But how much ...
9
votes
1answer
344 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

When did the one-way monologue sermon first become a normal feature of church assemblies?

Of course Jesus preached a lot of monologue sermons, but I have noticed that Jesus did not usually preach sermons like nearly every church does today. He never seems to have, or at least rarely ...
13
votes
1answer
100 views

Are there any surviving hymns from the Valdensian movement?

The Valdensians preached and celebrated the Lords Supper in the native tongue of the people, not in Latin. However, every source I've read about their customs focus on what was spoken, and I also want ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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
10
votes
3answers
2k 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?
5
votes
2answers
116 views

What is the basis for ascribing any fiscal policy to Jesus?

In the United States, specifically on the Right, many Republican / Tea-Party, Evangelical Christians have very little problem in ascribing a moral motive for a tight fiscal policy which restricts ...
5
votes
1answer
229 views

What is the origin of the doctrine of perspecuity?

Fundamentally, Catholics and Protestants read Scripture differently. Catholics believe that any private interpretation of Scripture is subject to the teachings of the church, whereas Protestants, ...
6
votes
2answers
390 views

Was Billy Sunday the first evangelist to equate the “altar call” with salvation?

According to this article from the The Society for Effective Evangelism: Up until Billy Sunday, altar calls were invitations for seekers to come to an after-meeting or inquiry room where ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What is God's shape or form?

How do we describe God? Does He have a shape or form? Is He human-like, a light, or something else? Does He have a shape? What does Christianity say about it?
14
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2answers
30k views

When did “tithing” come to mean “giving 10% of your gross income to the Church”?

I know the word "tithe" has "tenth" built into it, and so some Christians assume that every usage of the word "tithe" in Scripture is referring to "giving 10% of your gross income to the church." But ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Why Lot's daughters seduced their father?

According to the Bible, when Lot escaped out of Zoar, he went up to the mountains and settled in a cave. While in there, he was seduced by his daughters so that they could bear children and save ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

Where Catholicism lost influence and property during the reformation, what did Luther think should be done with the acquired assets?

As a man protesting against the mass of wealth accumulated by the Pope I was wondering what Luther proposed to do with all the lands and endowments obtained in those regions where the Catholic church ...
4
votes
5answers
717 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?