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

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8
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4answers
437 views

Ancient nations in a young earth

How do "Biblical literalists" and other Young Earth Creationists account for the fact that some cultures have been continuously measuring the years for almost five millenia?
20
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5answers
1k views

What is the history of the concept of a “personal relationship with Jesus”?

It is common these days to hear questions like: Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? Or... The most important thing is your personal relationship with Jesus. The Bible never ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
93 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
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 ...
11
votes
1answer
405 views

Origin of “The Marks of the True Church”

In Reformed Theology, "the marks of a true church" are often delineated, to the effect of: Church discipline Teaching/preaching Administration of the sacraments (These are the marks often denoted ...
13
votes
3answers
454 views

Are there “rational” criteria for which books appear in the Bible?

When I looked into "canon criticism" or "canonology" a while back, I came across numerous (alleged) criteria for whether a book is/was included in canon, such as "Old Testament books had to be written ...
9
votes
3answers
337 views

Biblical Prophecy and Fulfillment

I often hear the argument that the veracity of Christ's claims in the gospels can be considered reliable based upon two things: miracles and fulfilled prophecy. This pre-supposes the validity of the ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

What was the debate at the Reformation concerning “non extra carnem” vs. “extra calvinisticum”?

In the debate concerning the "hypostatic union" and the "kenosis" the Lutheran church stood opposed to the majority position. I can not seem to find a good resource to explain the distinctives of the ...
6
votes
3answers
284 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
165 views

What is known (and/or alleged) about the moral character of the 12 disciples?

I've been following some (often less than civil) conversations about the character of pastors lately in which how morally upstanding a church leader should be expected to be is questioned. At several ...
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?
-1
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3answers
439 views

How is it that sinful people who do not believe, still get the blessings of the Lord?

Why do great things happen to unbelievers and even bad people? In Church there is talk about blessings of the Lord for those who love Him, etc. But what about those that are blessed that don't love ...
10
votes
1answer
223 views

Where was Jesus' tomb?

We can be pretty sure it isn't in Japan. The two most referenced sites are: The Aedicule of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and The Garden Tomb. However, both stake their claims by virtue of ...
7
votes
1answer
286 views

What was Martin Luther King, Jr.'s understanding of salvation?

I've been reading A Testament of Hope which is a compilation of sermons by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. I also know he's a Baptist. (I even got to stand and preach for a minute in his pulpit last ...
5
votes
1answer
467 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
381 views

Where do Catholics believe the historical narrative of the Bible begins?

I heard on the Relevant Radio recently that the Genesis account of the deluge is prehistorical. Meaning, it wasn't really recorded in histories the way other more specific accounts of historical ...
8
votes
2answers
468 views

What role did the Donation of Constantine have on the development of the doctrine of Papal supremacy?

In the late Middle Ages, two documents arose which, together, are called the The Donation of Constantine. They made a large number of statements which would have had the effect of making the Pope the ...
7
votes
2answers
240 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
184 views

How long has the church been observing Lent?

At what point in church history did the Lenten season become a significant part of the church year? Obviously Easter came first, but I don't see the biblical basis for 40 days of preparation for ...
5
votes
1answer
354 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?
2
votes
1answer
23k views

How did the world get populated according to Bible?

Adam and Eve had only three sons (Cain, Abel, and Seth), but no daughters: how did the world get populated?
7
votes
2answers
681 views

What was it like in the Temple at the time of Jesus?

In the New Testament, there are many stories of Jesus and the apostles spending time in the Temple teaching and preaching. The apostles also do this after the resurrection. What was the structure of ...
3
votes
2answers
647 views

Voltaire and his house being used by the biblical society?

His there any valid source that one of Voltaire house have been used by the Bible Society? I heard many times the illustration, but I never read a valid source of this.
3
votes
2answers
120 views

How diverse or united is Christian history on the imagery of “Father” and “Son”?

The original languages of the Bible itself and, to my knowledge, most of Christian history, are replete with the filial language of God being known as a “Father” and Jesus being known as his “Son”. ...
12
votes
4answers
250 views

What evidence do we have today about Christian groups not represented at the first four ecumenical councils?

Were there any Christian groups that existed during the time of the first four ecumenical councils and that were not represented at them either because they chose not to attend or they were not ...
3
votes
1answer
612 views

Did Martin Luther know Hebrew or Greek?

I know that Martin Luther knew Latin and German, but did he know other languages? For example, did he know Greek or Hebrew (I mean those Greek and Hebrew that the Bible is written in)?
3
votes
1answer
81 views

Which languages did Huldrych Zwingli know? [closed]

Which languages did Huldrych Zwingli know? As far as I know, he knew Latin and, of course, he knew his own mother tongue (which was German or Romanch?), but did he know some other languages? I am ...
3
votes
2answers
212 views

Sources on Historical Reliability of the New Testament

Unlike many of the other great religions of the world - Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, even Judaism to some extent - Christianity is founded not on a philosophy or a metaphysical idea, but on an ...
18
votes
5answers
613 views

Why is Christmas on December 25th?

Why was December 25th chosen as the day to celebrate Jesus' birth?
3
votes
2answers
170 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
286 views

What are the arguments for the Exodus occuring in 1440BC or 1290BC?

There are two schools of thought on when the Exodus occurred, the "early" date of 1440BC, and the "later" date of 1290BC. How was each date arrived at, and what is the evidence for each?
6
votes
3answers
694 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
213 views

What has the LDS Church (Mormons) historically taught about the Curse of Cain and dark skin?

I have heard that people with black skin had been denied certain things in the Mormon Church until the past 30 years or so and that this has something to do with the Curse of Cain. What has been the ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the Toronto Blessing?

Just over a decade ago there was much hype in the media about the Toronto Blessing, a phenomenon that began at Toronto Airport Church and subsequently spread from there. What is it? Is it still ...
10
votes
1answer
311 views

When did Christmas (the birth of Christ) first begin as a Christian celebration?

I remember hearing something about a true Saint Nicholas who maybe helped poor children or something, but to be honest, I really don't know much about when Christmas began to be celebrated by ...
11
votes
1answer
189 views

How does the doctrine of the URC differ from its predecessors?

The United Reformed Church is a denomination in Britain that was formed out of a merger of the Congregationalist and Presbyterian denominations in 1972. What doctrinal compromises had to be made for ...
19
votes
2answers
934 views

What extrabiblical sources support the existence of Jesus in history?

What sources outside of the Bible give supporting evidence to the existence of Jesus and any of the events in His life?
11
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6answers
2k views

Was tithing 10% required or encouraged by the early church?

I cannot find in the New Testament an obligation on Christians to tithe 10% of their income. Instead I read that it is up the individual to decide: 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV1984) Each man should ...
8
votes
3answers
5k 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
1answer
115 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
408 views

Did Jesus die earlier than expected? [closed]

The Bible seems to indicate that Jesus died before the others that were being crucified. John 19:31-33 (NIV) 31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. ...
-4
votes
2answers
313 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
225 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
7k views

When was Abraham alive?

It is generally accepted that Abraham lived 175 years. However, the dates when he lived are rather fuzzy and hotly debated. When was he alive and what reasons would you give for your conclusion? ...
6
votes
4answers
440 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How did the Crusades impact modern Christianity?

How do the crusades impact modern day Christianity own sense of morality and spirituality? What do these things mean to a person of faith? The Crusades, from Wikipedia The Crusades were a series ...
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. ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How was the Old Testament compiled?

While this question is similar to this question, I'm certain the answer will be very different, and far more complex.... How was the Old Testament compiled?
12
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5answers
3k views

What is the origin of the Good Friday tradition?

As suggested by this question and this answer, it seems possible that Jesus actually died on a Wednesday, not on a Friday. In light of these competing theories, what is the origin of the Good Friday ...