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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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 ...
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1answer
240 views

Did Plotinus get his ideas from the Bible? [closed]

Is there evidence that Plotinus and the Neoplatonists got their philosophy of their 'trinity' from the Bible or from Christian sources? Or the other way round, was Augustine influenced by Plotinus ...
6
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1answer
100 views

Who was the first to describe Methodists as the “People of the Extreme Center”?

I've heard Methodists describe themselves as the "People of the Extreme Center". It gets used to mean that Methodists take the center road on a lot of issues. But I would like to know where the ...
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3answers
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Apostle John lived in Ephesus - what sources claim that?

Which earliest sources does Christianity posses that claim that apostle John spent the last years of his life in Ephesus?
13
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1answer
187 views

What is the nature of the theory for Pope Joan and the evidence that substantiates it?

Two films, each called Pope Joan one in 1972 and one in 2009 repeat an old legend about a female Pope. What is the nature of this theory, and is there anything to substantiate it?
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2answers
343 views

Did the pope choose sides between the Allies and the Axis in World War 2?

Simple question. I was just wondering how the Catholic church positioned itself politically at the time of world war 2. Did it align with the Allies, Axis, or neither? Did the pope choose sides ...
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3answers
1k views

Is there any evidence for the claim that the Catholic church suppressed translation of Scripture?

There is a popular Protestant polemic that Catholics don't (or didn't) want people to read the Bible. It is often furthermore assumed that the Catholic Church went so far as to ban people from having ...
1
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1answer
82 views

What biblical or historical reasons have been given for avoiding creeds & catechisms?

I read a book by George Fox, founder of Quakerism, where he spoke of his reluctance to endorse any creed, and part of the reason seemed to be the abuse he received in prison for being a heretic. ...
4
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1answer
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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5answers
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Was Jesus a poor man, in economic sense?

I saw a video of Cesar Vidal and he said, that probably, Jesus was a middle-high class in economic sense, during the period of life before public ministry. I need historical references.
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1answer
6k views

Did Saint Patrick actually explain the Trinity using a shamrock?

The shamrock is a pretty bad analogy for the Trinity. In fact, it's somewhat of a heretical explanation if one puts much emphasis on it. It's partialism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQLfgaUoQCw ...
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4answers
248 views

Why did the conclave elect Pope Stephen I, when he died prior to taking office?

According to Wikipedia, Pope Stephen I was elected to the papacy in March of 752 A.D., but died a few days later, prior to being installed. As I understand it, Catholic teaching indicates that God's ...
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2answers
177 views

When was the first man created? [closed]

As with reference to the Genesis when did the God create man? And also the difference between two verses below Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he ...
8
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1answer
248 views

Why didn't Martin Luther provide for his family to be taken care of after his death?

I recently heard Professor Stephen Nichols of Reformed Theological Seminary state that following Martin Luther's death, his wife, Katie, and his children struggled financially for some time. Did ...
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2answers
422 views

If God is unable to change, why did he (after the Flood)? [closed]

If God is All-Knowing (as I've heard) and unable to change, then why did he change his mind after the Flood? And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again ...
6
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2answers
415 views

What happened to the Sarum rite?

The Sarum rite was the traditional rule of liturgical worship for Catholics in England, and to some extent in the rest of the British Isles, for many years. It is related to the Roman rite, and to ...
4
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4answers
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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 ...
10
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2answers
249 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
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1answer
347 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 ...
11
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2answers
331 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 ...
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3answers
245 views

Was Peter part of a militant sect?

John 18:10 (NLT)  10 Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave. The pastor at a church I used to go to once said1 that Peter was ...
9
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2answers
274 views

At the greater emergence of democracy in Europe during the 'Enlightenment' did the papacy support democracy?

I was just wondering how did the papacy respond to democracy when it first arose in Europe? On one hand, in a country that was, according to its sovereign, a Catholic country, democracy would be very ...
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1answer
270 views

Is there any evidence that Romans viewed Christian teachings on sexual restraint as a liberating influence?

Sarah Ruden (via John Stonestreet) makes an interesting claim about the Roman Empire in the time of Paul: Dreher cites classics scholar Sarah Ruden, whose book “Paul Among the Gentiles” was the ...
9
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1answer
297 views

At what date in history was the last papal anathema officially applied through the death penalty in a papal court against a heretic or protestant?

I was just wondering when in history the official papal death sentences really ended. I am not interested in any killing that was not officially authorized by a pope (or his authorized ...
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1answer
78k 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?
4
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1answer
130 views

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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1answer
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To what are the scriptures referring when they speak of the books of the “chronicles of the kings”?

In the books of 1 and 2 Kings, there are quite a few places where the author refers to "the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah" or "the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel". ...
5
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1answer
80 views

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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2answers
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What effect did the Reformation have inside the Catholic Church?

I confess my knowledge of church history branches at about the Reformation. I know a quite a bit about Catholicism today, and I have an idea of what it was before the Reformation. These are not at all ...
5
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1answer
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 ...
3
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3answers
1k views

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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1answer
394 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 ...
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2answers
137 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”. ...
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2answers
171 views

Did Zachariah ask for a son to God?

This is related to this question. I found this verses from Qur'an. Surah 19:1-7 Kaf- Ha-Ya-'Ain-Sad. (This is) a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His slave Zakariya (Zachariah). When ...
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0answers
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Was Satan an Angel [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where in the Bible does it say that Lucifer is an angel? Of what nature is Satan? Most people refer to the following scripture as support for the fact that Satan was ...
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1answer
499 views

John Wesley's influence by ancient fathers

I have been told that John Wesley read the pre-Schism fathers a lot, and was influenced by them. Is this so, and if so, to what extent and how was his doctrine influenced by them?
5
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2answers
171 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?
14
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4answers
667 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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1answer
7k views

What does it means INRI in Jesus Cross? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does INRI stand for? In Jesus Cross there is symbol like INRI, What does it exactly means and why they are keeping this still in cross any conditions or story ...
6
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3answers
415 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 ...
4
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1answer
80 views

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?
8
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1answer
550 views

How much time did medieval Christians devote to prayer?

I was critiqued on this answer concerning it taking less time out of the day for someone to be a Muslim than a Christian, and that may be untrue for a majority of Christians today. But how much ...
16
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1answer
129 views

Are there any surviving hymns from the Valdensian movement?

The Valdensians preached and celebrated the Lords Supper in the native tongue of the people, not in Latin. However, every source I've read about their customs focus on what was spoken, and I also want ...
5
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2answers
151 views

What is the basis for ascribing any fiscal policy to Jesus?

In the United States, specifically on the Right, many Republican / Tea-Party, Evangelical Christians have very little problem in ascribing a moral motive for a tight fiscal policy which restricts ...
4
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1answer
122 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 ...
3
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1answer
143 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 ...
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3answers
185 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 ...
4
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1answer
313 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 ...
3
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1answer
120 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 ...