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 didn't Syriac Christianity keep Aramaic as their liturgical language?

Syriac Christianity (as well as with other oriental orthodoxy denominations) today use Arabic as their liturgical language. It is known that they have been using Arabic since the times of Muslim ...
12
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3answers
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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.
3
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1answer
51 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
273 views

Is the philosophy of René Girard compatible with mainline Christianity?

Rene Girard is a French historian and philosopher. The premise of his works is summarized by Wikipedia: mimetic desire: all of our desires are borrowed from other people; mimetic rivalry: ...
4
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1answer
99 views

Which Prominent Modern Religions Came from the “Great Awakenings” and What Have They Done For the World?

Since the 1700's there have been a number of so-called "Great Awakenings". What are in fact the most prominent religions to come from the Awakenings and what are they most known to have introduced? ...
3
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1answer
313 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 ...
13
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4answers
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When was Job alive?

The first chapter of Job describes a man who was favored by God (Job). 1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. ...
8
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3answers
283 views

Were any Biblical prophecies understood before they were fulfilled?

In a recent discussion on this site, someone told me that the nature of Biblical Prophecy is such that it cannot be understood prior to its fulfillment; that this is essentially the point of a ...
9
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4answers
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What exactly was the purpose of the Council of Nicea?

I heard recently in a bible study class on "How we got the Bible", that the Council of Nicea is not actually responsible for the compilation of the complete, canon biblical texts. I had always thought ...
3
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1answer
105 views

When was the last time, if ever, the secular world acknowledged a demonic possession?

The gospels seem to be peppered with demonic possessions that are nonchalantly noted by the author. Is there evidence that the ruling secular powers of the day acknowledged these as demonic ...
27
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2answers
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Why are there different divisions of the Ten Commandments?

The Ten Commandments is often shown as a nice list with ten short statements, whereas in the Bible it exists as a long block of text in Exodus 20:2–17 and Deuteronomy 5:6–21. For reference: Exodus ...
32
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6answers
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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 ...
8
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1answer
139 views

Where did the dates at the bottom of the pages in the Book of Mormon come from?

From these images of an original copy of the Book of Mormon, it appears that the dates and chapter summaries that appear in modern printings do not appear in the original. When exactly did these ...
9
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8answers
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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 ...
0
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1answer
40 views

Where is there official writings from Perpetua or Felicity?

Supposedly there was a diary written by a woman named "Perpetua" just before she was killed in the arenas for her faith. Another similar account is concerning Felicity. Did these women actually ...
3
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1answer
133 views

Could a lowborn during the middle ages read the bible?

I'm starting to read about the christian faith with more effort and this question popped up in my head. I've read that the bible at that time were really expensive because it was handmade but, could a ...
3
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1answer
95 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 ...
18
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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 ...
12
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2answers
656 views

Was the apostle Peter martyred in Rome?

There are some legends that say that Peter traveled to Rome where he was martyred. Is this legend true? Are there any historical accounts that support the legend? Are there any other theories about ...
3
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2answers
520 views

What happened to the apostle John after the Biblical account of his life ends?

There is a legend that says that John traveled to Ephesus where he took care of Virgin Mary and that he lived there until the end of his life. Is this legend true? Are there any historical accounts ...
11
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2answers
443 views

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 ...
23
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3answers
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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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2answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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Are there any tenets of Gnosticism that are still present in the church today?

Towards the end of the New Testament writing, the heresy of gnosticism was one of the chief "false teachings" against which Paul and the other writers were contesting. Could someone present some of ...
23
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6answers
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What is the history of the concept of a “personal relationship with Jesus”?

It is common these days to hear questions like: Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? Or... The most important thing is your personal relationship with Jesus. The Bible never ...
12
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5answers
649 views

Ancient nations in a young earth

How do "Biblical literalists" and other Young Earth Creationists account for the fact that some cultures have been continuously measuring the years for almost five millenia?
8
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4answers
584 views

How should a Christian deal with destructive higher criticism of the Bible? [closed]

In recent times authorship of Biblical books has been called into question by modern scholars. It is believed that Isaiah didn't write Isaiah, John didn't write John, Matthew didn't write Matthew, ...
4
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3answers
258 views

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 ...
18
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4answers
90k views

Who was Pharaoh when Moses lived in Egypt?

Do we have a good idea as to which Pharaoh(s) were around during the time of Moses' life? What internal and external evidence exists to back-up those claims? Do any Christian traditions attach any ...
20
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4answers
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Why is Rome the holy city?

Why did Rome become the seat of the Pope and the central location for the Church? I would think that Jerusalem would be the first choice. There are also a number of other cities that I would ...
6
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2answers
856 views

Did the city of Nazareth exist in the time of Jesus?

The question stems from this video. Additionally, I would like to know any books, articles and other credible sources that deals with this question for further reading*. Thank you for your time. * ...
7
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2answers
323 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 ...
0
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2answers
123 views

How were the authors of the four gospels literate?

I'm curious how the authors of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) actually knew how to write. They were fishermen and simple people, and very few people knew how to write back then. ...
8
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2answers
188 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 ...
47
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6answers
12k 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
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1answer
810 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
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1answer
111 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
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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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3answers
161 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
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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 ...
15
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4answers
393 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
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4answers
2k 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
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1answer
211 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 ...
5
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3answers
878 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
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2answers
103 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 ...
6
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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
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3answers
886 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
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4answers
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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 ...
20
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9answers
4k 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 ...