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 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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2answers
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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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0answers
32 views

Why was, “for they were Ishmaelites” considered an explanation for why the Midianites had golden earrings in Judges 8:24 [migrated]

Gideon's Ephod Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also, for you have saved us from the hand of Midian.” Gideon said to them, “I will ...
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0answers
36 views

What do christians say before they die? [closed]

I know before some people die a pastor or a priest would come to the hospital and say something & the person would repeat it. What is it that they say? & Does it mean they going straight to ...
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7answers
4k views

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
46 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
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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 ...
2
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1answer
409 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
32 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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2answers
160 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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2answers
867 views

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
88 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
82 views

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
88 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
126 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
219 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
45 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
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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
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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
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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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1answer
86 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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4answers
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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
50 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 ...
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1answer
197 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
4k 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
485 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
730 views

Why is Christmas on December 25th?

Why was December 25th chosen as the day to celebrate Jesus' birth?
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0answers
32 views

What is the historical significance of Shiloh in the Bible? [closed]

Shiloh is mentioned several times in the Old Testament. I believe it is mentioned in a prophecy in Genesis 49:10. The allotment of land for Israel was decided there. It's mentioned a few times in ...
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3answers
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How long did it take to form the Biblical canon?

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 ...
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3answers
986 views

Was Voltaire's house being used by the biblical society?

Is there any valid source for the claim that Voltaire' house has been used by the Bible Society? I heard this many times, but I've never read a valid source for it.
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2answers
130 views

What is the meaning of the bronze serpent used to save the Israelites? [closed]

In Numbers 21: 8,9, Why is a bronze serpent used to save the Israelites, and what does this mean for Christians today? 8Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a ...
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7answers
1k views

Are Dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?

In response to this question How does the bible explain the existence of fossils that are millions of years old? I'm curious to know if Dinosaurs are mentioned in the Bible. I understand that the ...
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1answer
60 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
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1answer
117 views

If Noah's Flood was a historical global flood then how is the evidence that Egypt was founded before the Flood explained? [duplicate]

The common consensus is that Noah's flood occurred around the 2200-2300 BCE. If this is so, then how could Egypt have been founded by Narmer in 3100 BCE? Is Mizraim the founder of Egypt? Or is Mizraim ...
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4answers
408 views

Was Christmas a replacement of the feast of Hanukkah or of the 'Invincible Sun'?

Was Christmas a replacement of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah that was celebrated by the early Christians or was it to replace the Pagan festival of the 'Invincible Sun' instituted in 274 CE.
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3answers
1k views

How did Adam and Eve win at Hide and Seek? [closed]

I began reading the KJV a couple months ago, and one question that keeps plaguing my mind is, "How did Adam and Eve successfully hide from God?" Genesis Chapter 3: 8 And they heard the voice of ...
6
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1answer
141 views

How did the Virgin Mary's title “Mirror of Justice”, used in some Catholic prayers, originate?

The Catholic prayer often known as the Litany of Loreto1 contains a number of descriptive titles of Mary, the mother of God—for example, "Mirror of Justice", "Seat of Wisdom", "Star of the Sea". ...
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1answer
105 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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2answers
877 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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4answers
126 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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1answer
64 views

Yhwh: Exodus 3, 14. «I am that I am» and relationship to Metaphysics as Ontology? [closed]

The passage of Exodus 3:14, where God presents Himself as «I am that I am», is it historically previous to Parmenides, the greek philosopher? I'm reading a manual on metaphysics as the ontology, and ...
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5answers
2k views

Where did Baptists get their name and what do they believe?

Where and when did the Baptists get their name and what do they believe that sets them apart from the rest of Protestant denominations? I realize there are different divisions among Baptists as well, ...
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1answer
102 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 ...
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4answers
159 views

Is it known who first associated the Beast of Revelation with the Antichrist, and when?

I am NOT asking the similar question "Why is the second beast of Revelation called the Antichrist?" Rather, my question is specifically, when was the first connection made between the two--equating ...
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4answers
238 views

When did guitar led worship music become accepted?

When did guitar based worship music become common and accepted in church worship, when organs used to be the standard.
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12answers
10k views

When the Bible talks about wine does it mean alcoholic wine?

In discussions I have had in the past over the acceptability of a Christian drinking alcohol I have heard that some 'dry' believers say that the wine in the Bible was not wine as we know it commonly ...