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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
3answers
379 views

Are the gospels comparable(equal) to contemporary works of historians?

Are the gospels (and especially claims on the identity of Jesus in the Gospels) comparable(equal) to contemporary works of contemporary historians like Tacitus and Josephus, in terms of objectivity( ...
7
votes
2answers
562 views

When were the Fasting Patterns of the Eastern Orthodox Church Established?

I am under the impression that the fasting patterns of the Orthodox church were established over the course of several centuries. I am interested in some sources that would clarify when the pattern ...
13
votes
2answers
740 views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Who was the Egyptian that led the revolt of the Assassins in Acts 21?

When Paul was arrested in Jerusalem he was mistaken for an anarchist Egyptian: Acts 21:37-38 ESV As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the tribune, “May I say something to ...
2
votes
5answers
302 views

What is the case against Gore Vidal's view that St. Paul “invented Christianity”?

I was watching Gore Vidal being interviewed for CSpan's In Depth series and his book Live from Golgotha was being discussed. He claims that St. Paul "invented" Christianity. That Jesus came for the ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

What is the name of the theory or thesis that the brothers of Jesus came from a previous marriage of St. Joseph?

An important Christian tradition is that the brothers of Jesus, mentioned in the gospels, were born to Joseph by a previous marriage. Is there a name given to this tradition?
4
votes
2answers
98 views

Are there any traditions or schools of thought that track Jesus' movements?

I'm trying to put together a timeline of Jesus' ministry and it would be really cool to be able to say with some confidence where Jesus was when he spoke this or that given verse. Hoping some ...
1
vote
2answers
343 views

When did the massacre of the innocents happen? [duplicate]

When the Magi had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. Get up, he said, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to ...
17
votes
1answer
967 views

Where do primary sources for the Bible reside?

Bible translations are made from sources. Where are these sources? In a university, museum, government agency or what?
12
votes
3answers
962 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
vote
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
votes
2answers
205 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
votes
1answer
119 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
votes
1answer
9k 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 "...
3
votes
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
votes
1answer
455 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 ...
-2
votes
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
votes
1answer
59 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
79 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
votes
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
votes
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
votes
3answers
693 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 ...
21
votes
5answers
1k views

Why is Christmas on December 25th?

Why was December 25th chosen as the day to celebrate Jesus' birth?
17
votes
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
votes
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.
18
votes
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
votes
1answer
260 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
votes
4answers
558 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
1k 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". ...
-2
votes
1answer
108 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
votes
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
votes
4answers
234 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
votes
4answers
732 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
votes
12answers
19k 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
votes
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
votes
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
votes
2answers
61k 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
votes
4answers
293 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
119 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
557 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
votes
3answers
932 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
votes
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 ...
-2
votes
5answers
847 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
votes
1answer
73 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
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
25k views

Where did Goliath come from?

The popular story of David and Goliath describes Goliath as very tall ("six cubits and a span"--apparently roughly 9 feet 9 inches, or 297cm). Most children are just told he was a "giant" in Sunday ...
14
votes
2answers
281 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
votes
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 ...