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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7
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4answers
3k views

What is God's shape or form?

How do we describe God? Does He have a shape or form? Is He human-like, a light, or something else? Does He have a shape? What does Christianity say about it?
16
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2answers
72k views

When did “tithing” come to mean “giving 10% of your gross income to the Church”?

I know the word "tithe" has "tenth" built into it, and so some Christians assume that every usage of the word "tithe" in Scripture is referring to "giving 10% of your gross income to the church." But ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

Where Catholicism lost influence and property during the reformation, what did Luther think should be done with the acquired assets?

As a man protesting against the mass of wealth accumulated by the Pope I was wondering what Luther proposed to do with all the lands and endowments obtained in those regions where the Catholic church ...
3
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4answers
996 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?
6
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1answer
381 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
299 views

Is it true that Luther claimed Popes and priests commonly practiced sodomy?

This is a simple historical Q & A question regarding the rumor that Luther made this fairly inflammatory accusation.  The question is simple. Is there any solid proof that Luther really thought ...
4
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1answer
2k 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 ...
11
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2answers
318 views

According to reformed theology, why are certain important doctrines not “obvious”? [i.e. why does the Westminister Confession even exist?]

Consider the important doctrines of: divinity of Christ doctrine of Trinity doctrine of predestination Consider in general, that the Westminister Confession is shorter than most books of the ...
23
votes
4answers
128k views

Who was Pharaoh when Moses lived in Egypt?

Do we have a good idea as to which Pharaoh(s) were around during the time of Moses' life? What internal and external evidence exists to back-up those claims? Do any Christian traditions attach any ...
15
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3answers
2k views

What is the significance of the inverted pentagram symbols on the LDS Temple in Salt Lake City?

The Temple in Salt Lake has several inverted pentagrams as decorations. (To see a few, just google "lds temple salt lake inverted pentagrams" and click on images. Or click here) According to ...
-4
votes
2answers
331 views

How did the Catholic canon that Christians could not 'share a meal with a Jew' differ in spirit from the Pharisees traditions concerning Gentiles? [closed]

Anyone who has studied the New Testament knows that possibly the greatest offense that the Jewish leaders had against Christ was that he did not respect their traditions. Jews at that time put the ...
0
votes
1answer
132 views

How did Calvin view the use of religious icons to facilitate worship of God?

Recently I was told in a chat room on this site that the use of icons in the church 'wasn't offensive to anyone'!? I was so amazed that anyone would ever say such a thing, but since I have never had ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

When did a Catholic church council first recognize the need to forbid forcing or outwardly compelling unbelievers to the Christian faith?

We all know the sorrowful history of the subject. The very early church would have never felt a need to have a council on the subject, just as they would have been no council declaring that Christians ...
9
votes
3answers
28k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
289 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
124 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
1answer
121 views

Besides works versus grace and indulgences, what were the external practices of the Catholics that offended so many reformers?

My question is not focused on the doctrinal issue, but on the external practices which were contributing to the division. For example, I know there were many 'image breakers' similar to traditional ...
-11
votes
2answers
805 views

Is it true that Christians and Jews were enemies for sacrifice of Jesus by Jews but later united against Muslims at Crusades? [closed]

This is what I heard and usually said in Islam. I want to know if Christians verify this or not.
0
votes
3answers
179 views

When and why did the ancient church no longer care about offending a brother? [closed]

Anyone reading the New Testament becomes aware that the early church would avoid practices that offended their brother, out of a spirit of love.  For example, even if it was not technically wrong to ...
6
votes
3answers
8k 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 - ...
7
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
207 views

Did John Wesley admire and learn from Arminias or did he just have a couple similiar ideas?

I do not know a lot about Wesley, but when I encounter him, I tend to like what he says, even though I am a Calvinist. On the the other hand when I encounter people arguing for Arminian doctrines in ...
0
votes
3answers
465 views

Resources to learn about Bible canonization [closed]

I am interested in researching the history behind the Bible's canonization. I am particularly interested in writings of early historians, or books that compile facts from these historians in an ...
20
votes
7answers
4k views

Did early church fathers understand the doctrine of trinity?

Many historians and religious scholars ... attest to the influence of Greek or Platonic philosophy in the development and acceptance of the Trinity doctrine in the fourth century. ... the ...
13
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4answers
1k views

What is the purpose and basis for the special garments issued to temple-going Mormons?

I understand that there are certain garments which temple-going Mormons are obliged to wear after going through their initial Temple Ceremony. My question is regarding the basis for this. When did ...
8
votes
3answers
299 views

Were any Biblical prophecies understood before they were fulfilled?

In a recent discussion on this site, someone told me that the nature of Biblical Prophecy is such that it cannot be understood prior to its fulfillment; that this is essentially the point of a ...
4
votes
2answers
640 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
339 views

Is it true the term 'pontifex maximus' was the name of the high priest of the Roman Cult of Emperor Worship, before being adopted by the Pope?

This has always seemed strange to me that the Pope would not want to distance himself with emperor worship as much as possible. If pointifex maximus was a term used by the government of Rome in its ...
6
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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
710 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
369 views

When did Christians switch from an ‘immediate baptism’ to ‘after years of instruction and scrutiny’ baptism, such as in the Apostolic Tradition?

According to this article ‘Catechumen’ means one receives instruction from “a catechist in the principles of the Christian religion with a view to baptism”. I understand that some churches have this ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

Does ‘palm branches’ in Palm Sunday draw meaning from Jewish culture, or Greco-Roman culture that the Jews adopted?

Two verses connected two 'palm branches' are: They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the King of ...
9
votes
1answer
125 views

What is the earliest point in history where the cross icon started showing up on artifacts related to Christianity?

I can’t imagine the cross would have become an art-piece while the Romans were still killing Christians. The cross symbol during the persecutions must have in some way seemed similar to the Nazi ...
13
votes
4answers
658 views

What official statements represent Christianity's position on the Gospel of Barnabas?

The Gospel of Barnabas is a text that has turned up in the form of 16th century manuscripts in Italian and Spanish. The text claims to be the witness of Jesus' disciple Barnabas, however its content ...
18
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
237 views

Is there a unique characteristic for all canonical books?

Is there any one unique characteristic that would be common for all the books of the Bible besides being chosen by the Church to be a part of canon? I am interested here in the main-stream Protestant ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Diocletian's four decrees & Persecution of christians

I am looking for a link or reference to the four decrees from Diocletian in 303 re the Roman Persecution?
6
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
460 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
663 views

Why is the KJV frequently said to be the “true” translation?

This question actually centers on the KJV translation itself. It's not hard to find a church in America (particularly in the south) where they believe that the KJV is the one true translation and that ...
16
votes
4answers
38k views

What was the difference between the Pharisees and Sadducees?

Jesus often encountered "Pharisees" and "Sadducees". For example, 34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Old testament accuracy of God's Word

As has been discussed before there are differences between the old and new testament. What I wish to know is this: How accurate is the word of God written in the old testament? How much of it is/was ...
7
votes
4answers
649 views

How should a Christian deal with destructive higher criticism of the Bible? [closed]

In recent times authorship of Biblical books has been called into question by modern scholars. It is believed that Isaiah didn't write Isaiah, John didn't write John, Matthew didn't write Matthew, ...
4
votes
2answers
215 views

Historicity of which Biblical characters is recognized by Archaeology/History? [closed]

I know that Historicity of certain Old testament Kings is recognized. However some like Jonah or Job aren't know to fields of Archaeology or History. What information, evidence do we have and for ...
5
votes
2answers
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?
7
votes
1answer
840 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
760 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?
8
votes
3answers
1k views

How much did Paul's travels cost?

The Apostle Paul famously made an extensive series of missionary journeys around the eastern Mediterranean (in various company, and stopping off in some places for months or years, also getting ...