Referring to one of the two historical sources of theology (Scripture, Tradition). Relates to questions that ask about practices that have historically been the norm, and typically looking for an origin explanation

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Identity of Christ's Bride

I've always believed (like Christians around me) that Christ's Bride is the church. However, I recently met two guys that claimed that the Bride is actually the new Jerusalem that comes down from ...
15
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1answer
430 views

On what do Catholics base their doctrine of the eternal virginity of Mary?

I understand that the Catholic Church teaches that Mary is the eternal virgin in that she neither had sexual relations with Joseph (or any other man) either before or after the miraculous conception ...
15
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1answer
223 views

Is the marital act of consumating marriage part of Sacred Tradition in the Catholic Church?

How far back does the idea of consummating a marriage go? Is it tied to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony? Is it like going to confession, but not fully receiving the sacrament of reconciliation ...
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33k views
+200

What's the story behind the traditional haircut associated with monks?

As the title asks: What's the significance of this particular haircut. Why is it associated with monks, and what's the history behind it?
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2answers
423 views

What is the origin of the Christmas tree and is it accepted in all Christian traditions?

What is the origin of the Christmas tree and is it accepted in all Christian traditions? I'm certainly not aware of a "Christmas" tree appearing in the Christmas story, so I'm curious when it was ...
12
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1answer
153 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?
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2answers
1k views

Where does the story of “the Cross on top of Adam's Skull” come from?

On my trip to Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the tour guide told us that inside the church, there is a place where the Cross was located, and right beneath the Cross, there buried the Adam's ( yes, ...
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3answers
5k views

What is the Biblical or traditional precedent or command regarding praying before meals?

A very common Christian practice is to "say grace" or to "give thanks" before each meal. What is the Biblical precedent or command for this? In other words, why do we give thanks then and not before ...
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2answers
425 views

Praying the Liturgy of the Hours in private; out loud

For the laity, when praying the Liturgy of the Hours in private, is it more in keeping with tradition to you pray out loud or silently or does it matter? Also, do you change the way you repeat ...
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3answers
3k views

What evidence is there that the Apostle Paul had been a member of the Sanhedrin?

I remember hearing someone make the claim that Paul had been a member of the Sanhedrin prior to his conversion to Christianity. Is there any evidence for this claim? If so, what is it?
9
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1answer
256 views

How is spiritual progress described in eastern monastic traditions?

Catholic church has a long monastic history, and there are excellent exponents of spiritual progress whose concepts are used even today. Take Theresa of Avila's "interior castle" or Juan de la Cruz' ...
9
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1answer
222 views

When was it established that there were 14,000 innocents martyred?

In the Orthodox Church tradition, as I understand it, the Feast of the 14,000 Martyrs commemorates the deaths of the children massacred by Herod in what is otherwise known as the 'Massacre of the ...
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2answers
272 views

Where did the “humans become angels” tradition come from?

I'm clear that according to scripture, humans don't become angels. I read through the question on the topic (Can Humans become Angels?) and didn't find an answer to my question: Can anyone provide ...
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4answers
3k views

Can Angels die?

In Daniel, there is an angel who has to fight for nearly three weeks in order to deliver his message, and isn't able to overcome until Michael intervenes. If there was a battle this hard, it makes me ...
8
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1answer
303 views

Modern Book of Jasher - Genuine?

I've been reading the book of Jasher (supposedly the one quoted in the book of Samuel) and its quite amazing. But I ask - what is the proof or lack of proof on it's authenticity? There are however a ...
8
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2answers
435 views

Why do Roman Catholics consider eating fish on Friday a good work?

Please forgive me if there are caveats or circumstances to this idea that I am not aware of.
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5answers
792 views

Is there any tradition with regards to Zechariah's prayer in Luke?

Luke 1:5-13 (NIV) 5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of ...
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2answers
38k views

How many children did Adam and Eve have?

I recall someone suggesting to me one time that Adam and Eve had a total or twenty of so children, and that this came from some Jewish writings. Is there any indication, then, from history regarding ...
7
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2answers
571 views

Was the Apostolic Tradition of rejecting soldiers from the church ‘permanent’, or was this ‘tradition' briefly enforced?

In the Bible Jesus encounters Roman soldiers but does not tell them to 'quit their day job'. Jesus encountered a centurion with 'great faith' as recorded in Matthew 8. Peter as well baptized a ...
7
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2answers
622 views

How does the ancient Jewish Wedding tradition foreshadow Christ and the church?

I remember something about the ancient Jewish Wedding Ceremony being a foreshadowing of Christ and the Church. Kay Arthur authored a novel that illustrates this idea, entitled With an Everlasting ...
7
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1answer
3k views

What is the basis for Topical Preaching?

Related: What is the basis for Systematic Expository Preaching? Topical preaching is rather self-explanatory - the preacher picks a topic, then finds bible passages or verses related to or ...
7
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1answer
13k views

From where does the tradition come that Mary rode on a donkey to Bethlehem prior to the birth of Jesus?

It seems that most every movie or depiction of Mary and Joseph on the way to Bethlehem depicts Mary as riding on a donkey. However, I don't recall any place in Scripture from which this idea could be ...
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1answer
550 views

Was regular weekly fasting a widespread, formal tradition in the early Church?

In The Story of Christianity,* author Justo Gonzalez offers the following: There were indeed times set aside for sorrow for one's sins, in particular during the two weekly days of fasting, which ...
7
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1answer
132 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 ...
7
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2answers
130 views

Origin of “This is the Word of the Lord” “Thanks be to God”

In the past I attended a church where at the end of the Scripture reading, the reader would say: This is the Word of the Lord And the congregation would respond: Thanks be to God Does ...
7
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1answer
467 views

Is there any connection between minimum age for marriage in Catholic Church and tradition about Mary's age at Annunciation?

According to Canonic law, the minimum age for marryage to be valid for girls is fourteen (it can be and usually is higher for the marriage not to be illicit): Can. 1083 §1. A man before he has ...
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2answers
504 views

Are there any traditions regarding the non-disciple casting out demons in Jesus' name?

Luke 9:49-50 (NLT) 49 John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he isn’t in our group.” 50 But Jesus said, “Don’t ...
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3answers
1k views

How old were Joseph & Mary when they marrried?

A nun in my Catholic school taught us that Mary was 14 and Joseph was 17 and that this was not atypical for the day. Also that in Joseph's case his Marriage to Mary was his second. Would there be any ...
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3answers
535 views

Does Jewish tradition predate Christian tradition in any meaningful way?

Many people assume that because Judaism is the super ancient religion and Christianity relatively modern, although ancient by any standards, that if someone wants to dig up some meaningful bit of ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Why do some Christains feel the obligation to remove their hats during prayer?

As far as I know, Judaism has no tradition of removing a head covering / hat during prayer. Therefore, the Christian tradition started sometime after the split and it is not an inherited tradition. ...
5
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3answers
428 views

Mary's painless birth

Where does the Catholic tradition that Mary's birth was painless come from? My wife just got home from a non-denominational study about Mary and she said she thought everybody knew this, but ...
5
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2answers
17k views

Why are people traditionally Buried facing East?

During a burial today, I noticed the coffin was buried facing East. Where does this Christian tradition come from?
5
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2answers
236 views

How does this fit in with “we are incapable of following the law”?

While reading through the Torah, the following verses caught my eye. Deuteronomy 30:11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in ...
5
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1answer
218 views

Does Sola Scriptura go hand in hand with personal interpretation?

I asked this question on Sola Scriptura a few months ago and got the answer that denied my premise that Sola Scriptura is about private interpretation. Unfortunately, I didn't get a good reason as to ...
5
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1answer
464 views

Why are the same palms used on Palm Sunday used for Ash Wednesday services the next year?

In the Episcopal church, the traditional source of ashes on Ash Wednesday comes from the burnt remains of the previous year's Palm Sunday fronds. How did this practice originate, and what is the ...
5
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2answers
99 views

According to Catholic Church tradition, where, when, how and by whom did the devotion of the Stations of the Cross begin?

Lent is approaching and during Holy Week, it is my understanding that every year at the Colosseum, the Pope leads the faithful in a devotion called the of the Way of the Cross [cf. this photo ...
5
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1answer
2k views

What was Paul's “revelation” (mentioned in Galatians 2:2)?

Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which ...
5
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1answer
717 views

Why are there fourteen stations of the cross?

So, I would have expected 12 stations of the cross. I mean, lets face it, a lot of things in the Bible happen in 12. 12 disciples, 12 tribes, etc... Seeing as the stations of the cross are not ...
5
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1answer
715 views

Why keep baptismal fonts full in the Roman Catholic Church?

In our (Presbyterian) church, we have a stone baptismal font in which we fill with water whenever we need to baptize somebody. At other times, it's empty, more for reasons of plumbing than doctrine - ...
5
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1answer
538 views

What is the basis for Systematic Expository Preaching?

Related: What is the basis for Topical Preaching? Expository preaching is, in short, preaching through the Bible or a complete portion of the Bible and expounding upon the topics and applications ...
5
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1answer
65 views

What is the process by which Pope Shenuda (Coptic) will be replaced?

Following the death of the highest bishop of the Coptic church on March 17, 2012, what is the process by which he will be replaced?
5
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1answer
185 views

What is the difference between Tradition and Revelation according to Catholicism?

From what I think I understand, the Catholic Church believes that there is no direct revelation from heaven to lead the church, and that the scriptures alone are not enough to rely on, this is why ...
5
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1answer
234 views

According to Catholic Tradition - Was Jesus' experience on Earth scripted? Or did human actors shape it?

God does not play dice with the universe. - Albert Einstein The Bible gives us reason to believe that God (presumably, God the Father) chose the time of Jesus' arrival on Earth. My Question: ...
5
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2answers
491 views

How is the feet-washing ritual observed during Lent?

How is the feet-washing ritual observed during Lent? How many denominations actually do this, besides the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England? What is significance of maintaining this ...
5
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1answer
138 views

Origins of Ash Wednesday

There has been a long standing association between ashes and repentance within Christianity stretching all the way back to Tertullian not to mention various grief filled moments of repentance found in ...
4
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5answers
620 views

What do Protestants say was the source for the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary?

Not counting Martin Luther, who appears to have believed in the doctrine of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, what do other Protestants think is the source and reason for Catholic adherence to the ...
4
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2answers
195 views

Does Scripture mention whether it rained before the flood?

I've often heard it said that the flood of Noah was the first time that the earth experienced rain. This is the passage people use: Genesis 2:5-6 ESV When no bush of the field was yet in the land ...
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1answer
3k views

When and where did the Catholic tradition of first communion at 7 years old start?

I found out a few weeks ago from a friend that she celebrated her first communion around her 7th birthday, which seemed like an oddly specific age. In addition, the way she talked about it, and the ...
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2answers
124 views

From a “traditional”, Trinitarian perspective, what is the effect of the doctrine of sin in the doctrine of creation?

Really, I am looking for an answer from a "Trinitarian" perspective, but specifically whoever that Joy Ann McDougall is citing. Source: McDougall, Joy Ann. "A Trinitarian Grammar Of Sin." Modern ...
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2answers
77 views

When is earliest mention of the Church tradition that Jesus was born in a cave?

The birth of Jesus as recounted by Luke says that: 7 And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them ...