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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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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477 views

Was Billy Sunday the first evangelist to equate the “altar call” with salvation?

According to this article from the The Society for Effective Evangelism: Up until Billy Sunday, altar calls were invitations for seekers to come to an after-meeting or inquiry room where ...
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177 views

Why was Aaron not allowed into the promised land?

God judged Moses and Aaron separately at another event, why wasn't Aaron allowed into the promised land?
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265 views

When were the Fasting Patterns of the Eastern Orthodox Church Established?

I am under the impression that the fasting patterns of the Orthodox church were established over the course of several centuries. I am interested in some sources that would clarify when the pattern ...
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0answers
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Is the Tower of Babel happening in our day again? [closed]

Is the internet acting like a Tower of Babel as described in Genesis? Gen 11:6-8 (KJV) And the LORD said, Behold, the people [is] one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: ...
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3answers
979 views

When and why did the Catholic Church first start issuing annulments?

I understand that the Catholic Church issues annulments in place of divorces under certain circumstances. When did this practice first begin and under what was the reasoning given for it and its ...
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2answers
370 views

How do the Dead Sea Scrolls impact modern apologetics?

I understand that the 1946 discovery of almost a thousand ancient texts in caves on the West Bank has had a significant impact, I'm just trying to figure out what specific changes the discovery has ...
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2answers
304 views

Was the Nicene Creed accepted under duress?

In the book Are you Really that Stupid? Observations of a Skeptical Believer, author Joshua Christian makes the claim that the Nicene Creed was accepted under less than ideal (from a theological ...
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209 views

Who was the Egyptian that led the revolt of the Assassins in Acts 21?

When Paul was arrested in Jerusalem he was mistaken for an anarchist Egyptian: Acts 21:37-38 ESV As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the tribune, “May I say something to ...
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196 views

The people of Sodom and Gomorrah

Is there any historical accounts biblical or otherwise that may shed some (or more) light on the issue of what types of people lived in those two cities. I'm especially curious as to the extra ...
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5answers
161 views

What is the case against Gore Vidal's view that St. Paul “invented Christianity”?

I was watching Gore Vidal being interviewed for CSpan's In Depth series and his book Live from Golgotha was being discussed. He claims that St. Paul "invented" Christianity. That Jesus came for the ...
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2answers
176 views

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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1answer
36 views

What is the name of the theory or thesis that the brothers of Jesus came from a previous marriage of St. Joseph?

An important Christian tradition is that the brothers of Jesus, mentioned in the gospels, were born to Joseph by a previous marriage. Is there a name given to this tradition?
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2answers
77 views

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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1answer
124 views

What is the source of the story about the melted gold in the destroyed temple in 70 AD

In Matthew 24:2, Mark 13:2 and Luke 21:6, Jesus seems to indicate that in the coming temple destruction, "not one stone will be left upon another". And, indeed, this seems to be the case from the ...
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1answer
34 views

Was it just Daniel who prayed toward Jerusalem or did all exiles do so?

While studying the book of Daniel I came across: Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he ...
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3answers
10k 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? ...
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1answer
150 views

Where are the tombs of Jesus' original 12 disciples?

I would like a list of the twelve disciples, correlated with their most probable burial location. I understand that many reliquaries containing parts of their bodies were distributed throughout ...
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1answer
149 views

Is there any reference to Abraham building a house of worship? Where is Bakkah?

Is there any reference to Abraham building a house for worship in the Bible? Where is the valley of Bakkah located? In Islam they say Bakkah and Mecca are the same word, and the Kabah is built on ...
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2answers
101 views

Who developed the doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy first - Catholics or Protestants?

This article on Christian Fundamentalism says that it is developed by Protestants at Princeton University. This Catholic source on Biblical inerrancy says that it has always been with the Catholics. ...
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2answers
123 views

When did the massacre of the innocents happen?

When the Magi had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. Get up, he said, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going ...
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1answer
375 views

Where do primary sources for the Bible reside?

Bible translations are made from sources. Where are these sources? In a university, museum, government agency or what?
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3answers
579 views

How did the practice of soliciting the prayers of dead saints originate?

How did the practice of soliciting the prayers of dead saints originate? Did it start based on something in the bible? The apocrypha? A papal decree? On a side note, which groups practice this type ...
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1answer
76 views

Are there example writings of general refutation from Jesus' time?

There is an apologetic argument that goes like this: If the gospels were not factual, then we should expect to find other writings from the same time which refute them. We do not, therefore the ...
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What is the earliest recorded instance where Mary is called “Blessed Virgin?”

I was recently spending some thought on this topic which came from this question: What are the common Protestant interpretations of Luke 1:48 (KJV)? I answered the question and proposed as an ...
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6answers
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What is significant about the swaddling clothes with which Jesus was wrapped as a baby?

Luke gives the account of Jesus' birth and mentions that Mary wrapped Him in "swaddling cloths". And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a ...
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Is it true that early Christians were baptised naked?

I was told that people were baptised naked in the early Christian church. Is this true? If so, could you provide references please? I would like to investigate this for myself.
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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 ...
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1answer
49 views

When did the idea of a scriptural “canon” originate?

This question What are the biblical arguments that the Bible canon is NOT closed? made me wonder: 1) When did the idea of a canon originate? I would suppose this should be quite early, and Jews ...
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3answers
4k views

Why is the word 'Lord' in all caps in the OT but not in the NT?

My friend asked me the other day why the word 'Lord' is in all capital letters in the Old Testament but not the New Testament? I tend to lean towards the fact that the OT was written in Hebrew and ...
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1answer
593 views

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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4answers
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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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1answer
40 views

Why did the Israelites forsake God a lot? [closed]

1 Samuel 12:25 (NIV): "Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will perish.” They did perish, which was by other people oppressing them (forced labor), they were slaves in Egypt, and ...
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Were witches ever executed by the Eastern Orthodox Church?

If we don't count lynchings, were people ever executed for witchcraft be the Eastern Orthodox Church? In western Christianity, the execution of witches was condemned until 1484, four centuries after ...
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1answer
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What is the decree that Pope Gregory IX issued in 1231?

I came across this in an article about the inquisition: In 1231, Pope Gregory IX published a decree which called for life imprisonment with salutary penance for the heretic who had confessed and ...
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3answers
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Who was “Zacharias son of Barachias” in Matt. 23:35?

In Matt. 23:35, it is written, That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew ...
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2answers
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What is the origin of the moral-civil-ceremonial distinction of the Old Testament law?

This distinction is often called tripartite division of the law. I ran across this series of blog posts: http://maelandcindy.blogspot.com/2008/06/is-mosaic-law-tripartite.html ...
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1answer
137 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 ...
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4answers
220 views

Does the diversity in doctrines among Christian traditions indicate that there are multiple “truths”? [closed]

I am not familiar with the different Christian doctrines but as I've slowly come to understand it, it seems that answers differ depending on doctrine. Does this mean there are no definitive answers to ...
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5answers
8k views

How could Jesus be born during the reign of Herod, and when Quirinius was governor of Syria, if those periods were not contemporary?

In Matthew 2, it makes it clear that Jesus was conceived during the reign of Herod and was a young child when Herod died. After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in ...
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1answer
46 views

How were the quarter-millennium anniversaries of the resurrection of Jesus commemorated?

I am wondering how the 2034 Easter celebration will look like from the perspective of various Christian churches. I am mostly interested in the Roman Catholics. Since we can only guess, I would like ...
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9answers
3k 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 ...
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4answers
6k views

Did Jesus visit India?

Some traditions state that Jesus visited India between the ages of 12 and 33, in order to study and learn. What evidence is there that he did or did not visit India?
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4answers
1k views

How were the books of the New Testament chosen?

I'm interested in finding out: what the process of choosing the books of the New Testament was, when did it occur and who did the choosing
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4answers
2k 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?
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1answer
54 views

Is Christianity unique in the way it uses the historical method? [closed]

How large an amount of the claims of the Bible is defended on the grounds of the historical method? Is Christianity unique in the way it defends it claims. Often I hear people talk about matters of ...
4
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1answer
217 views

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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3answers
5k views

How many New Testament manuscripts do we really have?

How does the Bible size up with other books from the ancient world? Is it really true that the New and Old Testament is the book from the ancient world that has the largest amounmt of extant ...
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3answers
505 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 ...
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5answers
740 views

Why is Christmas on December 25th?

Why was December 25th chosen as the day to celebrate Jesus' birth?