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 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
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4answers
229 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
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4answers
276 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 ...
9
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1answer
281 views

Reason for drawing water at unusual time

John 4:5-8 New Living Translation (NLT) 5: Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6: Jacob’s well was there; and ...
12
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4answers
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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 ...
16
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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 ...
2
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1answer
223 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
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3answers
702 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 ...
3
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4answers
4k 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 ...
10
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1answer
369 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 ...
10
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6answers
3k views

Was there a reason Jesus came at the time he did?

Concerning what the Bible says, and what might be said in commentary from prominent church leaders, is there a particular reason Jesus came 2000 years ago and not at some other time. One would think ...
8
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2answers
223 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
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2answers
148 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
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3answers
248 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 ...
7
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5answers
1k 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 ...
9
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1answer
515 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 ...
3
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0answers
1k 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 ...
1
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1answer
5k 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
142 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 ...
9
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6answers
22k 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
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5answers
3k 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
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1answer
78 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
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1answer
395 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 ...
10
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1answer
462 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
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1answer
6k 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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5answers
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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 ...
14
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1answer
115 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 ...
10
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3answers
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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
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2answers
129 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
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1answer
259 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
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2answers
583 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 ...
7
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4answers
2k 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?
15
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2answers
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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
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2answers
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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
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1answer
131 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 ...
3
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5answers
905 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?
6
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1answer
239 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
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2answers
182 views

Why was Yeshoua interpreted as Jesus in the new Testament

Inspired by What is the significance of the name "Jesus"?, and previous readings about the name, the interpretation of Yeshoua means Joshua in the old testament and Jesus in the new ...
3
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1answer
260 views

Is it true that Luther claimed Popes and priests commonly practiced sodomy?

This is a simple historical Q & A question regarding the rumor that Luther made this fairly inflammatory accusation.  The question is simple. Is there any solid proof that Luther really thought ...
3
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1answer
661 views

How do Reformed Theologians view Hypnosis?

In particular: is it Biblical? is it Demon possession? is it basically a bad idea? is it Orthogonal to Christianity? (i.e. the question is equivalent to "How do Reformed Theologists think about ...
4
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1answer
2k views

How did Luther view 'confessing intentional sins' to a priest for forgiveness?

The Catholic church at the time of Luther  had refined what they called the sacrament of penance.  It consisted in contrition (genuine remorse for one’s sins), confession (to the priest), and ...
11
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2answers
300 views

According to reformed theology, why are certain important doctrines not “obvious”? [i.e. why does the Westminister Confession even exist?]

Consider the important doctrines of: divinity of Christ doctrine of Trinity doctrine of predestination Consider in general, that the Westminister Confession is shorter than most books of the ...
18
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4answers
96k views

Who was Pharaoh when Moses lived in Egypt?

Do we have a good idea as to which Pharaoh(s) were around during the time of Moses' life? What internal and external evidence exists to back-up those claims? Do any Christian traditions attach any ...
15
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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 ...
1
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1answer
242 views

How did the early church respond to the accusation that Christianity forbid ‘all uses of images’ even if only ‘representing the Divine Being’?

Origen. Contra Celsus BOOK VII. responds to an attack from Celsus on this issue, Celsus accuses Christians and being just like Jews in selecting all forms of images without exception. In this ...
-4
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2answers
304 views

How did the Catholic canon that Christians could not 'share a meal with a Jew' differ in spirit from the Pharisees traditions concerning Gentiles? [closed]

Anyone who has studied the New Testament knows that possibly the greatest offense that the Jewish leaders had against Christ was that he did not respect their traditions. Jews at that time put the ...
0
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1answer
123 views

How did Calvin view the use of religious icons to facilitate worship of God?

Recently I was told in a chat room on this site that the use of icons in the church 'wasn't offensive to anyone'!? I was so amazed that anyone would ever say such a thing, but since I have never had ...
3
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1answer
110 views

When did a Catholic church council first recognize the need to forbid forcing or outwardly compelling unbelievers to the Christian faith?

We all know the sorrowful history of the subject. The very early church would have never felt a need to have a council on the subject, just as they would have been no council declaring that Christians ...
8
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3answers
22k views

In what order were the books in the New Testament written?

I'm just curious as to the actual timeline and known dates of the New Testament books. I know the version fo the Bible I read had the letters from Paul ordered by their size, and not when they were ...
5
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3answers
264 views

When did the church in the city of Rome first try to impose a tradition on other churches?

Just wondering in what year the first historical record of the Church in Rome, against the wishes of other churches, that she should impose her tradition on them? Note: I am simply looked for the ...