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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Who was Darius the Mede?

And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old. [Daniel 5:31] I have read much about the possible identities of Darius the Mede; to me, the most convincing alias is ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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What biblical and historical support is there for the practice of child communion.

About seven years ago my wife and I (who are childless) left our old church and set out to find the best church we could in the area. We ended up in a church that practices paedo (child) communion. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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. * ...
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How does the Bible explain the existence of fossils that are millions of years old? [closed]

People have been finding fossils for many years. Millions of fossils fill museums and storage vaults around the world, and we've yet to find a single one of a human. This suggests that the animals and ...
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How does the trial of Jesus compare to the judicial standards of the epoch and of the modern times?

I wonder whether Jesus was given enough opportunities to defend himself, whether his trial was fair and whether the investigation was thorough. I want to know how it compares with typical criminal, ...
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750 views

Must a Christian accept the Bible to be infallible and/or inerrant? [closed]

Related question: What is the difference between "infallible" and "inerrant"? I have heard lists of requirements to be considered Christian; among those, I find these the most ...
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482 views

How can I understand the rise of the Egyptians as a race in the Old Testament?

The Old Testament states that God created the world and God created man. We see the lineage of Adam and Eve, to Abraham, and so forth while the Hebrew nation is created. Then, seemingly from left ...
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How did Moses write the events which happened ~2000 years before him?

Except the book of Genesis, I believe that it is possible to make some plausible possibilities on how the books of the Bible were written. Moses wrote about himself, Joshua recorded his conquest of ...
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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 - ...
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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 ...
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831 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 ...
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569 views

Was that Pentecost in the Acts also a time of the year of jubilee?

Was that Pentecost, during which the Holy Spirit was poured out on the apostles in the book of Acts was also a time of jubilee? From what I see, the Pentecost was a holiday to commemorate God's giving ...
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319 views

Is the philosophy of René Girard compatible with mainline Christianity?

Rene Girard is a French historian and philosopher. The premise of his works is summarized by Wikipedia: mimetic desire: all of our desires are borrowed from other people; mimetic rivalry: ...
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What was the Sin of Gomorrah?

We all know the sin of Sodom. But my question is, why was Gomorrah destroyed? Please give references to your answer.
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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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What's the deal with oil?

If you look across the Bible, there are many instances where oil is used. The anointing of Saul and David; Jacob pouring oil over the rock where he had his dream of the staircase to heaven(?); Maria ...
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History of the “three” wise men

From Matthew 2, NIV: 1bMagi from the east came to Jerusalem... 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their ...
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Who was “Zacharias son of Barachias” in Matt. 23:35?

In Matt. 23:35, it is written, That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew ...
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398 views

What happened to the Sarum rite?

The Sarum rite was the traditional rule of liturgical worship for Catholics in England, and to some extent in the rest of the British Isles, for many years. It is related to the Roman rite, and to ...
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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 ...
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What year did the Hebrew nation with Joshua cross the Jordan river into the promised land?

In terms of our current and modern dating system, what year did Joshua and the Hebrew nation cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan? Also, based on this what year would the first Jubilee year have ...
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Who was the first to describe Methodists as the “People of the Extreme Center”?

I've heard Methodists describe themselves as the "People of the Extreme Center". It gets used to mean that Methodists take the center road on a lot of issues. But I would like to know where the ...
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643 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 ...
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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 ...
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How literally is Romans 10:14 supposed to be taken?

I recently learned that St. Augustine held an extremely literal view of a particular verse in Romans... Romans 10:14 (NLT)  14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they ...
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What is the historical reason the King James Version was created?

Many years ago, I heard someone say that the KJV came about because King James I wanted a version of the Bible that supported him getting a divorce. Nowadays, I can't help but wonder how true this is. ...
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545 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.
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The “eye of the needle gate” today

There is a great set of answers that covers some of my question regarding the interpretation of this passage over on the Biblical Hermeneutics site, but it didn't answer all of my questions. Today I ...
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276 views

What did Brigham Young teach regarding Blood Atonement, and is that doctrine still held today in the LDS/Mormon Church?

Brigham Young taught the doctrine of Blood Atonement that indicated the blood of Christ was insufficient to provide forgiveness for some sins. What are the specifics regarding the doctrine of Blood ...
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What is the relation between the First Baptist Church and the Baptist Church?

In my neighboorhood ther has been a Baptist Church for a while. I´m moderately aware of the history of Baptist Church in general. Very recently a temple of The First Baptist Church has been built. ...
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Are there historical accounts of the character of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah?

Are there any historical accounts, biblical or otherwise, that shed light on what types of people lived in Sodom and Gomorrah? I'm especially curious about any extra-biblical accounts of these two ...
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Is there modern evidence that the Sun stood still? [closed]

Has anyone presented tangible, astronomical evidence of a disruption we can see today that is claimed to be caused by the Sun/Moon "stopping" roughly 3500ish years ago as it says in Joshua 10? Has any ...
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140 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 ...
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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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257 views

Was it just Daniel who prayed toward Jerusalem or did all exiles do so?

While studying the book of Daniel I came across: Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he ...
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200 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 ...
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169 views

Did the Emperor Constantine ever present explanations for putting off his baptism?

The Emperor Constantine who favored Christianity as early as 312, and convened the Council of Nicæa in 325, postponed baptism till 337. Did he provide any reasons for doing so?
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What was the Christian response to death-loving practices of Ancient Roman society?

In Ancient Rome, gladiators would fight to the death for the amusement of the crowd. What did Christians do to stop this?
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711 views

Why and when did allegorical interpretations of Scripture lose their appeal?

Gregory of Nyssa's book The Life of Moses is, if nothing else, a very interesting read. He goes through Moses' account in Exodus and ascribes spiritual meanings to every little detail, although it is ...
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77 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 ...
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1answer
115 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 ...
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157 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 ...
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1answer
461 views

Who in the fourth century had milk instead of wine at communion?

While reading up on intinction I found a reference to an early practice of using milk instead of wine at communion. This was condemned in a decree of 340AD by Pope Saint Julius I: For we have ...
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Did the apostle James the Greater travel to Spain and was he martyred in Jerusalem?

There are some legends that say that the apostle James the Greater (brother of John) traveled to the actual territory of Spain where he spread the Word. Also there are some accounts that place his ...
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270 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, ...
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186 views

How did early “street evangelization” differ from the modern practice?

Biblical "street preachers" gathered interested and/or interactive crowds, often followed by mass conversions. We could conceivably chalk some of this up to the "signs and wonders" they tended to ...