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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Resources to learn about Bible canonization

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 ...
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The Servetus Controversy: What was Calvin's involvement?

I recently watched this YT video that talks about Calvin and Servetus. The "Servetus Controversy" tells of a man named Michael Servetus who was burned at the stake for heresy -- not by Roman Catholic ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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Historicity of which Biblical characters is recognized by Archaeology/History?

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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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On which date was Christ born?

Most Christians celebrate the birth of Christ (Christmas) on December 25. But was this really the day of Christ's birth? What was the actual date of Christ's birth?
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In which year was Christ born?

This question is a spin-off from On which date was Christ born? There are differing views on the birth year of Christ, which also affect the dating of the resurrection (as we know Jesus's age on ...
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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?
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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 ...
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When was the OT canon as used by Protestants finalized?

At what date (and/or event) was the Old Testament canon currently recognized by most Protestants finalized? What is the earliest occurrence we have of it being referenced in it's current form and who ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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Why did Luther curse those who oppose indulgences?

In the 95 Theses, Luther makes a stand against corruption in the Catholic church of that day. This resulted in events leading to the separation between the Catholic and Protestant churches. It seems ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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Which prophecies have definitely been fulfilled? [closed]

The Bible (particularly the Old Testament) makes many predictions about the future, often regarding nations or peoples quite distant from those making the prophecy. If we ignore any arguments about ...
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How do Christians reconcile archeology with the Bible in the account of the Battle of Jericho?

Wikipedia explains three archaeological studies of the Jericho site, and concludes that the city was abandoned at the time the supposed Biblical battle took place. How do Christians reconcile the ...
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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 ...
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When (and why) did the empty cross v.s. crucifix split happen?

Today, we have Catholic and Orthodox churches (and a few others) using the crucifix whereas most Protestant denominations have an empty cross. Did this empty-cross split happen around when Martin ...
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What were the beliefs, teachings, and practices of the church regarding slavery in the New World?

When the New World was discovered, slavery was virtually unknown in Europe. Soon after the discovery of the New World, European powers began to make slaves there, and to transport slaves from Africa ...
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Has Christianity ever come down in opposition of arranged marriages?

Many cultures in many ages have practiced arranged marriages. I understand that in Jewish culture --at about the time of Christ-- arranged marriages were considered a normal way of life. Obviously if ...
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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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What is the relation between the First Baptist Church and the Baptist Church?

In my neighboorhood ther has been a Baptist Church for a while. I´m moderately aware of the history of Baptist Church in general. Very recently a temple of The First Baptist Church has been built. ...
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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 ...
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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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How long did it take to form the Bible?

How long did it take to collect all of the writings that eventually formed the first version of the Bible? In other words, starting with when the first writing was created (i'll say when it was ...