Use the church-history tag for questions about the history of the church, from the time of Acts to the present.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

6
votes
1answer
432 views

Are there any secular historical references to the natural phenomenon that occurred at the crucifixion and resurrection?

The Scriptures record that there was three hours of darkness during the crucifixion of Jesus. This is a pretty significant meteorological event. Furthermore, the morning of Jesus' resurrection, the ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What does TS Eliot mean by “old dispensation” in The Journey of the Magi?

In T. S. Eliot's poem The Journey of the Magi he's offering a imaginative view into the interior experience of one of the wise men from the East who came to Jesus's birthplace. The last few lines of ...
6
votes
2answers
311 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
votes
1answer
60 views

Were the “prophecies” in Montanism related to the paganistic oracles?

I was reading about Montanism and saw this passage (from Wikipedia): The Montanist prophets did not speak as messengers of God but were described as possessed by God while being unable to resist. ...
6
votes
1answer
260 views

John Wesley's influence by ancient fathers

I have been told that John Wesley read the pre-Schism fathers a lot, and was influenced by them. Is this so, and if so, to what extent and how was his doctrine influenced by them?
6
votes
3answers
187 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
4k views

Did Jesus visit India?

Some traditions state that Jesus visited India between the ages of 12 and 33, in order to study and learn. What evidence is there that he did or did not visit India?
5
votes
4answers
236 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
272 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
1answer
632 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
715 views

Was the temple built in 46 years or was it 46 years old during Jesus time?

I stumbled on this verse again and would like some clarification: John 2:20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? Was the ...
5
votes
2answers
105 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
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
112 views

Did Jesus consider OT events to be literal history?

Did Jesus consider the historic references in the OT to be literal in the sense that people and events where historical as recorded or did he view them as symbolic/figurative or did he pick and ...
5
votes
1answer
193 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: ...
5
votes
1answer
9k 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
votes
2answers
141 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?
5
votes
1answer
139 views

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?
5
votes
1answer
440 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
701 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
272 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What crime was committed by the “thieves” crucified with Jesus?

During yesterday's sermon, the pastor mentioned the theory that the thieves crucified next to Jesus likely weren't simple thieves to warrant such a sentence, but were probably "thieves with a cause." ...
5
votes
1answer
203 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
393 views

Why did the Commonwealth Parliament ban theatre?

I've known for a while that theatre was banned under Cromwell, because the Puritans disapproved of it. What was their objection? Wikipedia adds this information: Pastimes such as the theatre and ...
5
votes
2answers
111 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
75 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
67 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
92 views

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. ...
5
votes
1answer
343 views

Why did John Wycliffe oppose papal authority in the 14th century?

He's been called the "Eosphoros of the Reformation", but how did he come to realise that it was the Bible which spoke against papal authority above government authority?
5
votes
0answers
115 views

When did the concept of “wine is grape juice” originate?

A discussion in chat today has lead me to this question. Most of us should be familiar with the debate about whether Jesus drank alcoholic wine, or some other form of wine, or simple grape juice. My ...
4
votes
5answers
148 views

Title of Christ?

I was at Bible Study the other night where we watched the new Bible Series that was aired on TV. Someone had asked a question (sorry I forget what), and my Pastor responded by saying something along ...
4
votes
5answers
613 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
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
250 views

How do we know the events described in the bible are true? [closed]

Many Christians will quote passages from the bible as proof or evidence when needed. However, given that it is a story written, translated, interpreted, re-written, re-translated and re-interpreted by ...
4
votes
2answers
455 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
436 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Protestant rejection of the Catholic implementation of confession

(Pardon the length - my original post was more concise, but wasn't clearly conveying my question.) Background: I am currently studying the Spiritual Disciplines at a Protestant seminary. For those ...
4
votes
2answers
4k 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?
4
votes
3answers
210 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
264 views

The synagogue of Satan and those who claim to be Jews but are not

In the letter to the Church of Philadelphia in Revelation 3, John writes concerning the synagogue of Satan and those who claim to be Jews, but are not. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue ...
4
votes
2answers
135 views

Marks of the true church in Protestantism or Catholicism?

Although this very related question about the marks of the true church in Reformed Theology has already been asked, my question is whether other Protestant traditions or Catholicism have an equivalent ...
4
votes
3answers
619 views

Why did God only cure Naaman?

Jesus said (Luke 4:27): "There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian." Several possible interpretations occur ...
4
votes
1answer
77 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
88 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

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. ...
4
votes
1answer
70 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
138 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
71 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?
4
votes
2answers
181 views

Were the Waldensians like a Protestant church in the middle ages?

I do not know anything about the Waldensians. Specifically, do we actually know what their doctrine was and why the Catholic church opposed them?