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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6
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3answers
7k 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 ...
14
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4answers
26k views

Where did Goliath come from?

The popular story of David and Goliath describes Goliath as very tall ("six cubits and a span"--apparently roughly 9 feet 9 inches, or 297cm). Most children are just told he was a "giant" in Sunday ...
14
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2answers
285 views

Was there doctrinal difference between Lollards and Waldenses?

Lollards and Waldenses are two historical movements that spread out of Catholic church, in England and France, respectively. I know they had similar views such as opposing the corruption of the ...
11
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Where did the Young Earth Creationist doctrine originate?

I heard the other day that the literalist interpretation of biblical creation (A literal 7 day creation of the universe) isn't the classical historical interpretation that past Christians held. I was ...
18
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4answers
44k views

What is the origin of praying hands folded?

I was taught in Sunday school to pray hands folded. On the other hand, there's no biblical mention of the practice (as far as I know). It actually doesn't seem to matter which position we pray in. ...
10
votes
1answer
427 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
217 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 ...
19
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3answers
3k views

What language did Jesus speak?

As a young believer I was quickly turned on to the idea of learning some things about the "original languages" of the Bible. After all, how could you understand John 21:15-17 without understanding ...
4
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3answers
1k 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. ...
3
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4answers
1k 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?
1
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1answer
417 views

Covering of the hair for women, and beards in 1st Century Palestine

Note: This is just a historical point, it isn't judging anyone, just trying to understand things in their historical context. In a lecture I heard that in 1st century Palestine: 1. All women used ...
16
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5answers
5k views

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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3answers
210 views

Before St. Thomas Aquinas, who laid the foundation for the existence of God?

During His preaching ministry, Jesus described the nature of God. But before doing so, did He have to lay a foundation and convince people that God exists? Or had oral tradition and the Old Testament ...
0
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3answers
2k views

Altars in today's Christian Churches [duplicate]

Wonder why altars are not prevalent in Christian churches. It seems that a stage is used where all activities during the worship service take place, but there is no set aside place for the presence of ...
13
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2answers
3k views

What is a Nazirite?

In Judges 13 verse 7, There is an interesting passage. 7 But he said to me, 'You will become pregnant and will have a son. Don't drink wine or beer or eat anything that is unclean, because the boy ...
-9
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4answers
386 views

Has the Gospel been completely preserved textually and linguistically since the time of Jesus? [closed]

I was reading a book which made me wonder whether the true message of Jesus has been faithfully passed down to this age. I would like to know whether the Gospels have been preserved textually and ...
-1
votes
1answer
109 views

What are the various evangelical views regarding the agricultural revolution and it's impact on primeval history in Genesis?

According to Genesis 4, both Cain and Abel were agriculturists, however, modern anthropologists and paleontologists hold that human societies had been around for thousands or millions of years prior ...
2
votes
1answer
275 views

Was the account of eating forbidden fruit a metaphor?

What is the established church's (Church of England's) view on the theology of the eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil as being a metaphor for the act of questioning God's ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Was there any christian church that kept the Passover before the 1900?

I was taught that after the Council of Nicea no christian church kept the Passover on the 14th of Nisan. Is there any truth to that? Is there a church in the middle ages that kept the Christian ...
1
vote
1answer
261 views

What is the history of Irish Catholic resentment toward Protestantism?

In the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Angela's Ashes, the author depicts several instances of Irish Catholic animosity toward Protestants, especially those from America. What is the background of this ...
9
votes
3answers
449 views

Writing / recording capabilities around Jesus's time

I'm wondering if there is any historical information or references that describe the ability to write and record information around the time of Jesus and his disciples. I.e. to what extent were they ...
15
votes
2answers
778 views

Did those feet in ancient time walk upon England's mountains green?

William Blake's preface to Milton, commonly called Jerusalem and set to a famous hymn tune by Hubert Parry, questions whether the child Jesus might have visited England. And did those feet in ...
2
votes
4answers
250 views

Why is there a modern misconception about Christianity and Science? [closed]

Those of us who care to look into history even the slightest can see that both devout Christian laymen and Christian leaders have been make scientific strides for almost two millennia. Some examples ...
4
votes
2answers
124 views

Accuracy of History Channel's The Bible [closed]

I am very interested in learning about Christianity and would like to purchase History Channel's The Bible. How close is this to the actual scriptures? Is this series a good introduction to ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Demon Possession of Jesus' Time - Today's Diagnosable Mental Disorders?

Quite a few of the things Jesus and his disciples had to address they had diagnosed as "demons". Today we call things of similar symptoms "disorders". Epilepsy: Matthew 17:14-16 Multiple Personality ...
4
votes
2answers
279 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 ...
11
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3answers
582 views

How did the monastic tradition evolve?

In the 4th Century there was a strong monastic tradition, which usually involved living in solitude or small groups in the wilderness. By the 12th Century the monastic life was being lived in large ...
4
votes
5answers
268 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
3answers
991 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Did Martin Luther think John Calvin is a “son of the devil”?

I read from here (a Chinese website) that Martin Luther called John Calvin a son of the Devil. Now I have never seen this quote anywhere. Did Luther say something like this to Calvin? If yes, why?
5
votes
2answers
194 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
3answers
2k views

When and why did the devil, or Satan, really emerge as a force in Christian belief?

From what I understand, the devil is not a character who appears obviously in any part of the Bible. If this is true, when was it that Satan/the devil began to terrify people who called themselves ...
9
votes
1answer
189 views

Where can I find sources showing ecclesiastical vestments of the 1200s?

In 1215 at Runneymeade, barons and clerics gathered to get King John to set his seal to the Barons' Charter. According to Roger of Wendover, among them were the pope's representative, Master (bishop) ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

Why was the Bible not available to common people in the Medieval period?

The Bible was not available in the hands of common people in Medieval times (5th - 15th century). Which of these possible reasons are plausible? The common people were poor and could not afford to ...
4
votes
2answers
326 views

Is reference to “God” as a rock unique to Judeo-Christian usage?

Throughout the Old Testament God is likened to a “Rock” and within the New Testament the Rock that Moses struck is identified as Christ. For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our ...
2
votes
2answers
621 views

In which denominations are Sunday school classes categorized distinctly by grade/age level?

There was one time, a long time ago, somewhere between mid- to late-1990s, I went to a church with family at night. I thought the adults would worship on the first floor, while the children were taken ...
8
votes
2answers
256 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
41k views

What happened to the two trees in the Garden of Eden?

In Genesis 2, we are told that there were two named trees in the Garden of Eden--the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. When Adam and Eve ate fruit from the Tree of the ...
7
votes
2answers
763 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
215 views

how does the bible WORD FOR WORD say that homosexuality is wrong? [duplicate]

I'm just really curious and trying to put down some speculations my friends and I have.
2
votes
4answers
320 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
190 views

Is the register where the first marriage was registered still available?

I read that the Church had little to do with marriage till the 13th century, when it took legal control of marriage. Then, Church registration followed. My questions are: Where was the first ...
-5
votes
2answers
393 views

Take away the gospels, and how do we know that Jesus did what he was recorded to have done in terms of miracles?

My understanding is that the gospels were written several hundred years A.D. Given the way people pass around information even within one lifetime, and the apparent ability to record information ...
1
vote
1answer
706 views

In what countries is Christianity banned? [closed]

I am doing a history day project and ours is on the rights and responsibilities and we wanted to know in what countries is Christianity banned and for what reason.
4
votes
3answers
293 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 ...
-11
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2answers
906 views
3
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5answers
232 views

Evidence towards Christianity [closed]

I have been a Christian for my entire life. Lately, I have been in a low spot in faith, and have had some skepticism towards a few things in the bible. I do have faith in the bible, but I would like ...
4
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...