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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28
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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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6answers
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The Bible seems to allow polygamy. Why doesn't the church? [closed]

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) ...
21
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5answers
1k views

Why is Christmas on December 25th?

Why was December 25th chosen as the day to celebrate Jesus' birth?
18
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5answers
1k views

Are Dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible? [closed]

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 ...
16
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5answers
5k views

At what point did Judaism and Christianity diverge?

At what point did Judaism and Christianity diverge? Christianity and Judaism share the Old Testament (The Hebrew Bible), so it should be safe to assume they are the same people at least during the Old ...
19
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2answers
2k views

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, which considers the division of the law into "moral", "civil", and "ceremonial" parts: Is ...
10
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7answers
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Was there a reason Jesus came at the time he did?

Concerning what the Bible says, and what might be said in commentary from prominent church leaders, is there a particular reason Jesus came 2000 years ago and not at some other time. One would think ...
13
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5answers
591 views

On which date was Christ born? [closed]

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?
12
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3answers
983 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 ...
11
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1answer
752 views

When did Christmas (the birth of Christ) first begin as a Christian celebration?

I remember hearing something about a true Saint Nicholas who maybe helped poor children or something, but to be honest, I really don't know much about when Christmas began to be celebrated by ...
69
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12answers
20k 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 ...
34
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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
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 ...
19
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3answers
3k views

What language did Jesus speak?

As a young believer I was quickly turned on to the idea of learning some things about the "original languages" of the Bible. After all, how could you understand John 21:15-17 without understanding ...
12
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2answers
1k 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 ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Why are the books of the Protestant Bible in the order that they are in?

I am curious why the books of the Protestant Bible are in the order that they are in? Someone told me they thought the books were in some sort of chronological order - is that true? (I know the ...
16
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5answers
3k views

When did the one-way monologue sermon first become a normal feature of church assemblies?

Of course Jesus preached a lot of monologue sermons, but I have noticed that Jesus did not usually preach sermons like nearly every church does today. He never seems to have, or at least rarely ...
10
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2answers
259 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 ...
9
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3answers
33k 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 ...
24
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4answers
156k 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 ...
9
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2answers
656 views

Are there any references to “four canonical Gospels” prior to 100 AD?

According to the "Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung" eleven manuscripts of NT are from within the second century alone, which include: P52 (100-150), P90, 104 (2nd century), P66 (c. AD 175-...
7
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
19
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6answers
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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 ...
15
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2answers
669 views

When was the OT canon as used by Protestants finalized?

At what date (and/or event) was the Old Testament canon currently recognized by most Protestants finalized? What is the earliest occurrence we have of it being referenced in it's current form and who (...
8
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2answers
256 views

Has the Church historically considered biblical texts concerning slavery to be transcultural or finite?

How have the Bible's passages concerning slavery been interpreted and applied throughout Christian history, especially passages such as Exodus 21:2-11, Leviticus 25:44-46, and 1 Timothy 6:1-2? Have ...
2
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1answer
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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?
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3answers
482 views

Resources to learn about Bible canonization [closed]

I am interested in researching the history behind the Bible's canonization. I am particularly interested in writings of early historians, or books that compile facts from these historians in an ...
37
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6answers
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Who were the “giants” mentioned in the Bible? [closed]

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 ...
17
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2answers
494 views

Is there evidence that Isaiah 53 was viewed as a Messianic prophecy within Judaism, or is it an exclusively Christian interpretation?

The modern Jewish interpretation of the so-called suffering servant song of Isaiah 52:13-53:12 is that it is a prophecy referring to the nation of Israel, not the Messiah. As such, it is sometimes ...
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2answers
906 views

Is it true that Christians and Jews were enemies for sacrifice of Jesus by Jews but later united against Muslims at Crusades? [closed]

This is what I heard and usually said in Islam. I want to know if Christians verify this or not.
33
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7answers
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Was baptism practiced before Christ?

A simple word search for "baptism" in the Old Testament turns up no matches. However by the time John the Baptist shows up on the scene and starts dunking people and calling it "for forgiveness of ...
13
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3answers
16k 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 ...
10
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1answer
487 views

What are the arguments for the Exodus occuring in 1440BC or 1290BC?

There are two schools of thought on when the Exodus occurred, the "early" date of 1440BC, and the "later" date of 1290BC. How was each date arrived at, and what is the evidence for each?
29
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5answers
610 views

In which year was Christ born?

This question is a spin-off from On which date was Christ born? There are differing views on the birth year of Christ, which also affect the dating of the resurrection (as we know Jesus's age on ...
8
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2answers
523 views

What evidence is there that the Jews thought leprosy was due to sin?

Some Jews seemed to think that lepersy was a punishment for sin, rather than a sin itself. This is most probably going to sound like a stupid question either because there is a specific verse or ...
8
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5answers
3k views

What is God's shape or form? [closed]

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?
7
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3answers
3k views

How was the Old Testament compiled?

While this question is similar to this question, I'm certain the answer will be very different, and far more complex.... How was the Old Testament compiled?
6
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4answers
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How did Moses write the events which happened ~2000 years before him?

Except the book of Genesis, I believe that it is possible to make some plausible possibilities on how the books of the Bible were written. Moses wrote about himself, Joshua recorded his conquest of ...
3
votes
1answer
332 views

When did the insertion of title-page for Old Testament and New Testament started?

All the Bible I have seen have title-pages for both New Testament and Old Testament. There is always a dedicated page just before the Book of Genesis with the title "The Old Testament" which indicates ...
14
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5answers
844 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?
13
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1answer
199 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?
8
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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.
7
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5answers
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Why did Protestants abandon Liturgy of the Hours?

In Divine office or Liturgy of the Hours as it is practiced in Catholic Church there's nothing bad for Protestants (or at least nothing of which I know that Protestants consider bad); prayer is good ...
7
votes
3answers
696 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 ...
6
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6answers
6k views

How does the Bible explain the existence of fossils that are millions of years old? [closed]

People have been finding fossils for many years. Millions of fossils fill museums and storage vaults around the world, and we've yet to find a single one of a human. This suggests that the animals and ...
4
votes
1answer
320 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
385 views

What evidence is there for the Resurrection of Jesus?

What historical evidence has been used by people who argue for truth of Jesus' Resurrection? It’s important to distinguish between the evidence and the best explanation of that evidence. This ...
2
votes
1answer
157 views

What exactly is manna?

In the Bible account of Exodus, God gives the Jews a type of bread called "Manna". What exactly is manna? What is in it? Do Jews or Christians still eat it today? If so, do they eat it at certain ...
19
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4answers
7k views

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. ...
17
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1answer
986 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?