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

7
votes
1answer
807 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
833 views

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. * ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

When did the African-American population become Christian?

As someone who's never been to the USA I might be making a completely wrong assumption, but from all the media, it seems that the majority of the African-American population were traditionally ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

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. ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there any tenets of Gnosticism that are still present in the church today?

Towards the end of the New Testament writing, the heresy of gnosticism was one of the chief "false teachings" against which Paul and the other writers were contesting. Could someone present some of ...
6
votes
4answers
644 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
5k views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
984 views

Why is Mark not the first gospel?

We all know that Mark is the earliest gospel ever written: why is it that when the New Testament was compiled, Mark was not listed as the first book in the NT? What are the reasons that the Early ...
6
votes
3answers
6k 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 - ...
6
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
274 views

What is the history of the doctrine of inerrancy?

Is there any reason, biblical or otherwise, not to believe that the doctrine of inerrancy is relatively new (past two hundred years). I found the following statement on Wikipedia. "It has in fact ...
6
votes
3answers
679 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
339 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
260 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: ...
6
votes
2answers
339 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k 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
1answer
88 views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
4k 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." ...
6
votes
2answers
543 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
64 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
371 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
201 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
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
296 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
842 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
428 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
5k 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
1answer
1k 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
2k 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
124 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
4k 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
212 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
183 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
2answers
157 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
162 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
635 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
1k 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
3answers
511 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
390 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
1answer
254 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
681 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
163 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
89 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
88 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
105 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
509 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?
4
votes
3answers
680 views

Has any church organization refused lottery winnings as donation?

Sometimes I've played the lottery when it gets over $100 million, thinking I could retire on a small fortune and then give tens of millions away to charity, including of course, Christian ones. Has ...
4
votes
5answers
204 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
863 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
4k 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 ...