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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7answers
5k views

Did Paul write other letters that are not in the Bible?

I've heard it said that Paul wrote other letters that didn't make it into the Bible, including at least one more letter to the church at Corinth, and a letter to the church at Laodicea. What is the ...
8
votes
2answers
136 views

Was Luke, the author of the Gospel and Acts, a slave?

"It is possible that Paul’s “relative” Lucius is Luke, the author of the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. On his second missionary journey, Paul may have gone to Troas (where Luke lived—or ...
3
votes
1answer
249 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 ...
47
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6answers
10k views

The Bible seems to allow polygamy. Why doesn't the church?

In Exodus 21:10 and Deuteronomy 21:15-16 (among many other passages), it talks about polygamy as if it were acceptable. Indeed, there are several holy men (Abraham and Solomon come to mind offhand) ...
9
votes
1answer
395 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
66 views

What year did the Hebrew nation with Joshua cross the Jordan river into the promised land?

In terms of our current and modern dating system, what year did Joshua and the Hebrew nation cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan? Also, based on this what year would the first Jubilee year have ...
4
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4answers
4k views

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. ...
-1
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3answers
146 views

Can we really claim to have the power of God's heritage? [closed]

The Bible says that we are all his children. But our heritage is full of malice and evil - many good and decent things too, but with equal amounts of evil in the mix. Can we claim to have the power of ...
16
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10answers
1k views

Has God created anything since he rested on the 7th day? [closed]

Genesis 2 indicates that on the 7th day after creation God rested. Genesis 2:1-3 NIV 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

How did the cross come to be a symbol for Christianity?

I understand WHY the cross became a symbol for Christianity, but HOW did it become a symbol? How did it start and how did it evolve into the symbol (or symbols since there are many variants) we all ...
15
votes
4answers
376 views

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?
14
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2answers
10k views

How did the Crusades affect the Pope's power and authority?

How did the Crusades affect the Pope's power/authority, during and after the Crusades? The Crusades, from Wikipedia The Crusades were a series of religiously sanctioned military campaigns, called ...
30
votes
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, who did the choosing, and what are the supporting evidences
7
votes
1answer
127 views

Where did the belief that Saul fell from a horse come from?

Many people (especially Catholics; I don't know about others, but some say that protestants usually don't believe this) think that Saul/Paul fell from a horse at the moment of his conversion, perhaps ...
4
votes
1answer
252 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
795 views

Does any church follow the Apostolic Tradition of Baptism ‘in the nude’, or was that never the tradition?

The Apostolic Tradition was the work of Hippolytus, written somewhere between 215 and 400 AD. Recent scholars seem to take the later date (source). The whole writing can be found here: Apostolic ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

In Christ's time, who possessed the written word?

2000 years ago, written works were extremely valuable. It's not like every Jewish family had their own "family scroll" that they read to their children every night. It's doubtful even that every Rabbi ...
12
votes
2answers
992 views

Are there any writings from the church fathers teaching Original Sin before Augustine?

It has been said by some that Augustine was the first to teach Original Sin, "It was Augustine (354-430 A.D.) who first promoted the idea that; "the fallen nature of Adam was transmitted ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

What crime was committed by the “thieves” crucified with Jesus?

During yesterday's sermon, the pastor mentioned the theory that the thieves crucified next to Jesus likely weren't simple thieves to warrant such a sentence, but were probably "thieves with a cause." ...
9
votes
3answers
725 views

Why was Paul allowed to write in jail?

We know that Paul was held under some brutal conditions—his feet in stocks in one case. Yet he was still able to write many letters from prison. Was this during some of his "nicer accommodations", or ...
12
votes
5answers
6k views

Why was the New Testament Written in Greek?

New Testament was written in Greek. But Jesus lived in Israel and was supposed to be the next King of Israel. I think it is probably fair to assume that he and his twelve apostles spoke Hebrew. Then ...
19
votes
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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
105 views

Why wasn't the Bible enough for the founding fathers of America? [closed]

In light of the 4th of July in America, the founding fathers created new and brilliant ideas and concepts by which the "new world" would and still live by. It is almost as if they created a new ...
6
votes
1answer
89 views

What is the significance of Palm branches?

I've been pondering this question for a while. With Easter right around the corner, I figured this is the perfect time to ask. See these verses: Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, ...
8
votes
3answers
18k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
32
votes
11answers
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Who were the “giants” mentioned in the Bible?

I've come across several verses in the Bible that speak of "giants". For example: Gen 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the ...
6
votes
1answer
107 views

What misconceptions about the LDS church are a product of Mark Hofmann's forgeries?

I've heard a lot of strange stories about LDS church history. What I didn't know is that many of them were created by a man who is considered by forensic experts to be the best forger yet caught. ...
7
votes
4answers
6k views

Why did Daniel consider the allotment of food and wine to be wrong for him to eat?

When Nebuchadnezzar conquered Israel and took Daniel and other Jewish men into his court, he assigned them food and wine from the king's table. The king appointed for them a daily ration from the ...
10
votes
2answers
899 views

When did the split in crufix/empty-cross sybolism occur and why did it happen?

Today, we have Catholic and Orthodox churches (and a few others) using the crucifix, whereas most Protestant denominations use an empty cross in their symbolism. Did this difference in symbolism arise ...
0
votes
1answer
130 views

When did the “upside down cross” become a sign of anti-Christianity?

When did the "upside down cross" become a sign of anti-Christianity? I can find no mention of it in the Bible. However there is, in Christian history, the story of Peter's execution - which really ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

At what age should Christians be confirmed according to St. Thomas Aquinas?

I've read this in Saint Thomas Aquinas' sermons on the Apostles' Creed (emphasis mine): “Confirmation.”—The second Sacrament is Confirmation. Just as they who are physically born need certain ...
9
votes
2answers
163 views

Which year did Jesus die? What is the most commonly held view

Is there a commonly held year for Jesus' crucifixion? What is the basis? In particular I would like to see biblical-basis. If not which Christian denominations teach a specific year for His ...
6
votes
3answers
6k 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 - ...
4
votes
2answers
201 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
336 views

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( ...
6
votes
2answers
529 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 ...
2
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2answers
486 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?
7
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2answers
322 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
440 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
350 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
314 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
212 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
180 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
50 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?
4
votes
2answers
78 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
59 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 ...
16
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3answers
12k 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? ...