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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3answers
923 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
106 views

Are there example writings of general refutation from Jesus' time?

There is an apologetic argument that goes like this: If the gospels were not factual, then we should expect to find other writings from the same time which refute them. We do not, therefore the ...
5
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2answers
203 views

What is the earliest recorded instance where Mary is called “Blessed Virgin?”

I was recently spending some thought on this topic which came from this question: What are the common Protestant interpretations of Luke 1:48 (KJV)? I answered the question and proposed as an ...
5
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1answer
117 views

When did the idea of a scriptural “canon” originate?

This question What are the biblical arguments that the Bible canon is NOT closed? made me wonder: 1) When did the idea of a canon originate? I would suppose this should be quite early, and Jews ...
3
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1answer
8k views

When & where did the word “Christian” originate?

The word "Christian" very rarely used in the new testament to refer to those that trust/believe on Jesus. Mostly they were simply called "believers". When/where and by who coined the word ...
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4answers
6k views

Did the teachings of Buddha influence Jesus?

I have heard that Buddha preceded Christ by approximately 500 years and that it may have been possible for the teachings of Buddha to have reached the ears of the young Christ and inspired his ...
6
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1answer
429 views

How did Luther view pilgrimages?

From what I understand there are many people from various denominations who imagine certain places on the earth are 'holier' than other places and that it is good to travel long distances to visit ...
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4answers
233 views

Does the diversity in doctrines among Christian traditions indicate that there are multiple “truths”? [closed]

I am not familiar with the different Christian doctrines but as I've slowly come to understand it, it seems that answers differ depending on doctrine. Does this mean there are no definitive answers to ...
2
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1answer
56 views

How were the quarter-millennium anniversaries of the resurrection of Jesus commemorated?

I am wondering how the 2034 Easter celebration will look like from the perspective of various Christian churches. I am mostly interested in the Roman Catholics. Since we can only guess, I would like ...
7
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4answers
3k 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?
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1answer
78 views

Is Christianity unique in the way it uses the historical method? [closed]

How large an amount of the claims of the Bible is defended on the grounds of the historical method? Is Christianity unique in the way it defends it claims. Often I hear people talk about matters of ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Did Jesus own a home as an adult or was He a nomad?

Did Jesus own a home as an adult or was He a nomad? If He did own a home, did He live with someone else?
10
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3answers
7k 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 ...
7
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3answers
684 views

Where do Catholics believe the historical narrative of the Bible begins?

I heard on the Relevant Radio recently that the Genesis account of the deluge is prehistorical. Meaning, it wasn't really recorded in histories the way other more specific accounts of historical ...
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5answers
1k views

Why is Christmas on December 25th?

Why was December 25th chosen as the day to celebrate Jesus' birth?
17
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3answers
19k views

How long did it take to form the Biblical canon?

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 ...
5
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3answers
3k views

Was Voltaire's house being used by the biblical society?

Is there any valid source for the claim that Voltaire' house has been used by the Bible Society? I heard this many times, but I've never read a valid source for it.
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5answers
1k views

Are Dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible? [closed]

In response to this question How does the bible explain the existence of fossils that are millions of years old? I'm curious to know if Dinosaurs are mentioned in the Bible. I understand that the ...
4
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1answer
242 views

If Noah's Flood was a historical global flood then how is the evidence that Egypt was founded before the Flood explained? [duplicate]

The common consensus is that Noah's flood occurred around the 2200-2300 BCE. If this is so, then how could Egypt have been founded by Narmer in 3100 BCE? Is Mizraim the founder of Egypt? Or is Mizraim ...
5
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4answers
555 views

Was Christmas a replacement of the feast of Hanukkah or of the 'Invincible Sun'?

Was Christmas a replacement of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah that was celebrated by the early Christians or was it to replace the Pagan festival of the 'Invincible Sun' instituted in 274 CE.
5
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3answers
2k views

How did Adam and Eve win at Hide and Seek? [closed]

I began reading the KJV a couple months ago, and one question that keeps plaguing my mind is, "How did Adam and Eve successfully hide from God?" Genesis Chapter 3: 8 And they heard the voice of ...
8
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1answer
997 views

How did the Virgin Mary's title “Mirror of Justice”, used in some Catholic prayers, originate?

The Catholic prayer often known as the Litany of Loreto1 contains a number of descriptive titles of Mary, the mother of God—for example, "Mirror of Justice", "Seat of Wisdom", "Star of the Sea". ...
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1answer
106 views

Yhwh: Exodus 3, 14. «I am that I am» and relationship to Metaphysics as Ontology? [closed]

The passage of Exodus 3:14, where God presents Himself as «I am that I am», is it historically previous to Parmenides, the greek philosopher? I'm reading a manual on metaphysics as the ontology, and ...
15
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5answers
3k views

Where did Baptists get their name and what do they believe?

Where and when did the Baptists get their name and what do they believe that sets them apart from the rest of Protestant denominations? I realize there are different divisions among Baptists as well, ...
8
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4answers
231 views

Is it known who first associated the Beast of Revelation with the Antichrist, and when?

I am NOT asking the similar question "Why is the second beast of Revelation called the Antichrist?" Rather, my question is specifically, when was the first connection made between the two--equating ...
3
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4answers
686 views

When did guitar led worship music become accepted?

When did guitar based worship music become common and accepted in church worship, when organs used to be the standard.
69
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12answers
18k views

When the Bible talks about wine does it mean alcoholic wine?

In discussions I have had in the past over the acceptability of a Christian drinking alcohol I have heard that some 'dry' believers say that the wine in the Bible was not wine as we know it commonly ...
9
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3answers
12k views

Did Abraham, David and Solomon think having many wives was sin?

Did Abraham, David and Solomon think having many wives and concubines was sin?
10
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1answer
1k views

Is there scholarly concensus on the historicity of Foxe's Book of Martyrs?

Foxe's Book of Martyrs purports to recount the lives and deaths of many who are regarded as the heroes of the Christian faith, and is revered as a classic within the genre of Christian literature. The ...
9
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2answers
59k views

How many children did Adam and Eve have?

I recall someone suggesting to me one time that Adam and Eve had a total or twenty of so children, and that this came from some Jewish writings. Is there any indication, then, from history regarding ...
15
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4answers
292 views

What evidence do we have today about Christian groups not represented at the first four ecumenical councils?

Were there any Christian groups that existed during the time of the first four ecumenical councils and that were not represented at them either because they chose not to attend or they were not ...
4
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1answer
117 views

Drawing of a Christian helping his own assailant

A few years back I saw a drawing of a Christian priest helping his own assailant to get up. It was on a wiki page that I cannot remember. I am hoping that some one here knows the page, and maybe even ...
16
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3answers
2k views

What is the significance of the inverted pentagram symbols on the LDS Temple in Salt Lake City?

The Temple in Salt Lake has several inverted pentagrams as decorations. (To see a few, just google "lds temple salt lake inverted pentagrams" and click on images. Or click here) According to ...
10
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1answer
546 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 ...
6
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3answers
888 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 ...
7
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5answers
2k 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 ...
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5answers
766 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 ...
8
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1answer
72 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 ...
6
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3answers
6k views

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 ...
10
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2answers
5k 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 ...
14
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2answers
271 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 ...
11
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
9
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2answers
1k 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 ...
18
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4answers
41k 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
420 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 ...
7
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3answers
216 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 ...
19
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3answers
2k 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
995 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. ...
3
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4answers
1k 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
386 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 ...