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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9
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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
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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
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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
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1answer
232 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
402 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
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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
32k 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
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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
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1answer
111 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
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5answers
731 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?
4
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1answer
98 views

How did Luther view pilgramages?

From what I understand there are many people from vaious 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
170 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
220 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 ...
2
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1answer
528 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 ...
3
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1answer
1k 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
256 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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3answers
48k 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 ...
5
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1answer
910 views

How did Luther view relics, like the 'preserved head of John the Baptist'?

According to wiki  Roman Catholic tradition holds that the head on display in San Silvestro in Capite in Rome is that of John the Baptist, discovered for the second time, as also maintained by ...
1
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1answer
211 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 ...
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2answers
247 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
110 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
97 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 ...
7
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2answers
13k 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 ...
4
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3answers
233 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 ...
4
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1answer
93 views

How did Luther's view of Mary change after his new birth experience?

The question is as simple as the title. Did Luther have a minor alteration in his view of Mary, or a major one after being born again? Note: By the way Luther did use the term 'born again' for some ...
3
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1answer
109 views

Besides works versus grace and indulgences, what were the external practices of the Catholics that offended so many reformers?

My question is not focused on the doctrinal issue, but on the external practices which were contributing to the division. For example, I know there were many 'image breakers' similar to traditional ...
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2answers
486 views

Is it true that Christians and Jews were enemies for sacrifice of Jesus by Jews but later united against Muslims at Crusades? [closed]

This is what I heard and usually said in Islam. I want to know if Christians verify this or not.
1
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3answers
164 views

When and why did the ancient church no longer care about offending a brother? [closed]

Anyone reading the New Testament becomes aware that the early church would avoid practices that offended their brother, out of a spirit of love.  For example, even if it was not technically wrong to ...
6
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3answers
4k 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 - ...
8
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3answers
4k views

Why is the word Lord in all Capital letters in the Old Testament but not in the new?

My friend asked me the other day why the word Lord is in all capital letters in the old testament but not the new testament? I tend to lean towards the fact that the old testament was written in ...
10
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4answers
1k views

Why did Christianity survive at all?

I was reading about ... hold on, what was I reading about? Nevermind, I was URL surfing. Jumping around from one link to another I somehow got to this - He [Nero] was known for having captured ...
5
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1answer
74 views

Status of the New Testament in the Church of the East in the ancient times

Which books from the current New Testament were used in the ancient Church of the East in, say, Mongolia in the days of Genghis Kahn? The books in the New Testament were fixed after the Church of ...
7
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1answer
642 views

How did Christians of WW1/WW2 view the book of Revelation?

I do not know of a single time period where Christians did not believe that "the end time was near." For many people in the centuries immediately after Christ's death, it's not unthinkable that they ...
4
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2answers
2k views

For what human reason was Christ crucified?

I know that from God the Father's perspective, Christ had to die for the sins of the elect. However, from a secular perspective, why was Christ crucified? I know that the Jews were unhappy with ...
2
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1answer
262 views

Did Arminias believe in Adam's actual guilt imputed against all humanity?

All early reformers believed in the imputation of 'actual guilt' as far as I know. I am fairly certain, however, that Arminians of the 16th century did not believe in the 'imputation of guilt' as ...
8
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1answer
163 views

Did John Wesley admire and learn from Arminias or did he just have a couple similiar ideas?

I do not know a lot about Wesley, but when I encounter him, I tend to like what he says, even though I am a Calvinist. On the the other hand when I encounter people arguing for Arminian doctrines in ...
1
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3answers
352 views

Resources to learn about Bible canonization

I am interested in researching the history behind the Bible's canonization. I am particularly interested in writings of early historians, or books that compile facts from these historians in an ...
18
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8answers
2k views

Did early church fathers understand the doctrine of trinity?

Many historians and religious scholars ... attest to the influence of Greek or Platonic philosophy in the development and acceptance of the Trinity doctrine in the fourth century. ... the ...
3
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1answer
190 views

The Servetus Controversy: What was Calvin's involvement?

I recently watched this YT video that talks about Calvin and Servetus. The "Servetus Controversy" tells of a man named Michael Servetus who was burned at the stake for heresy -- not by Roman Catholic ...
13
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4answers
745 views

What is the purpose and basis for the special garments issued to temple-going Mormons?

I understand that there are certain garments which temple-going Mormons are obliged to wear after going through their initial Temple Ceremony. My question is regarding the basis for this. When did ...
8
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3answers
238 views

Are there any Biblical prophecies that were understood before they were fulfilled?

In a recent discussion on this site, someone told me that the nature of Biblical Prophecy is such that it cannot be understood prior to its fulfillment; that this is essentially the point of a ...
4
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2answers
524 views

From where did the Book of Abraham come and how did it become part of LDS Scripture?

According to the answers to this question, the Pearl of Great Price contains a work of antiquity called the Book of Abraham. Where exactly did the Book of Abraham come from and how did it become ...
2
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1answer
254 views

Is it true the term 'pontifex maximus' was the name of the high priest of the Roman Cult of Emperor Worship, before being adopted by the Pope?

This has always seemed strange to me that the Pope would not want to distance himself with emperor worship as much as possible. If pointifex maximus was a term used by the government of Rome in its ...
5
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1answer
820 views

From where did the Pearl of Great Price come and how did it become recognized as Scripture in the LDS church?

The LDS church recognizes, among other writing, a book called The Pearl of Great Price. What is the origins of this work and how did it become accepted as Scripture by the LDS church? Also, do any ...
11
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3answers
943 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 ...
7
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2answers
430 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 ...
7
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1answer
273 views

When did Christians switch from an ‘immediate baptism’ to ‘after years of instruction and scrutiny’ baptism, such as in the Apostolic Tradition?

According to this article ‘Catechumen’ means one receives instruction from “a catechist in the principles of the Christian religion with a view to baptism”. I understand that some churches have this ...
4
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2answers
595 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 ...
9
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1answer
98 views

What is the earliest point in history where the cross icon started showing up on artifacts related to Christianity?

I can’t imagine the cross would have become an art-piece while the Romans were still killing Christians. The cross symbol during the persecutions must have in some way seemed similar to the Nazi ...