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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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 ...
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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 ...
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160 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 ...
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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 ...
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Did the apostle James the Greater travel to Spain and was he martyred in Jerusalem?

There are some legends that say that the apostle James the Greater (brother of John) traveled to the actual territory of Spain where he spread the Word. Also there are some accounts that place his ...
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Are there any accounts of the wise men story outside of scripture?

The wise men were educated and would have documented their experience in detail. Also, they would have shared the Christmas story with everyone they came in contact with on their trip home. Once they ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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What specifically is in the Pentateuch that later writers could not have known?

I have heard people say that the Five Books of Moses had to be divine and written 3-4 thousand years ago because there is content in it that later writers (a la Documentary Hypothesis) simply could ...
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What is the evidence that Thomas Aquinas was assassinated?

Reading the Wikipedia article on Thomas Aquinas, I stumbled on something rather peculiar. Apparently he fell ill and died at the age of 49 on his way to the Second Council of Lyon, where he had been ...
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992 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 ...
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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 ...
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Did the events of Good Friday take place during winter?

Peter went to a camp fire when Jesus was being crucified, but we celebrate Good Friday in the spring/early summer. That Peter required a camp fire makes me doubt that the events happened at the time ...
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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 ...
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299 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 ...
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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 ...
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663 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 ...
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320 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 ...
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Did Jesus own a home as an adult or was He a nomad?

Did Jesus own a home as an adult or was He a nomad? If He did own a home, did He live with someone else?
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If Noah's Flood was a historical global flood then how is the evidence that Egypt was founded before the Flood explained? [duplicate]

The common consensus is that Noah's flood occurred around the 2200-2300 BCE. If this is so, then how could Egypt have been founded by Narmer in 3100 BCE? Is Mizraim the founder of Egypt? Or is Mizraim ...
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Did Jesus consider OT events to be literal history? [closed]

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 choose?...
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Are there any traditions or schools of thought that track Jesus' movements?

I'm trying to put together a timeline of Jesus' ministry and it would be really cool to be able to say with some confidence where Jesus was when he spoke this or that given verse. Hoping some ...
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281 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 ...
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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 ...
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What is the origin of throwing dust over head (as a sign of mourning) in the Bible?

In Job 2:12, when Job's friends first see Job at a distance, they "did not recognize him, and they raised their voices, and wept aloud; they tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads....
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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”. ...
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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. ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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What indication is there that the famous census under Quirinius is the first-ever done in the region?

Besides Luke's Gospel (which is grammatical difficult and may not mean "first" chronologically, but rather "most prominent/important"), is there any evidence that the famous census conducted by ...
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135 views

Who first divided the Bible's books into chapters?

I've heard that the Bible's division into verses was made later than the division into chapters. So, whose translation firstly came up with this system of chapter divisions that we have today?
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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 ...
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Who produced the first Concordance?

Prior to this new-fangled electronic thing called the internet, people who were looking to find a particular verse in the Bible resorted to a manual index called a concordance. In such a book, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Where was Herod's temple built?

The Scripture says that the Second Temple was built on the foundation of Solomon's Temple, but was Herod's Temple built in the same place or was it built next to it? (Do we have any records that say ...
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Is there any evidence that Paul was a descendant of Jonathan?

Paul being a descendant of Jonathan would have some appeal from a devotional perspective since Jesus' more direct saving of Paul could be viewed as fulfilling the covenant of friendship between David ...
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185 views

Does specific authorship of a given book of the Bible “matter”? [closed]

Based on a variety of previous questions, it seems that specific authorship of many parts of the Bible are not known for sure. For example (though I realize there are traditions of who wrote what): ...
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What happened to the main disciples after Pentecost? [closed]

We know that Jesus commanded his disciples to go to make disciples of all nations and to spread the word to the entire world (Matthew 28:19), but we know little of what happened to the twelve ...
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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 ...
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Did the teachings of Buddha influence Jesus?

I have heard that Buddha preceded Christ by approximately 500 years and that it may have been possible for the teachings of Buddha to have reached the ears of the young Christ and inspired his ...
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Are the early followers of Christ considered Christians or Jews in today's context? If not, when was the religion created? [duplicate]

From sometime after 4 BC and up to and sometime between the destruction of the Second Temple (C. 70) and Council of Nicaea (AD 325), Christians were considered Jewish with Jesus as their leader. When ...
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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?
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When did guitar led worship music become accepted?

When did guitar based worship music become common and accepted in church worship, when organs used to be the standard.
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When & where did the word “Christian” originate?

The word "Christian" very rarely used in the new testament to refer to those that trust/believe on Jesus. Mostly they were simply called "believers". When/where and by who coined the word "...
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Are the gospels comparable(equal) to contemporary works of historians?

Are the gospels (and especially claims on the identity of Jesus in the Gospels) comparable(equal) to contemporary works of contemporary historians like Tacitus and Josephus, in terms of objectivity( ...
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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 ...
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Were there any female priests in the temple?

Were there any female priests in the temple in Jerusalem at any time?
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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 ...