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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577 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 ...
20
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1answer
56k views

What is the story behind a monk’s tonsure?

As the title asks: What is the significance of this particular haircut (the tonsure), why is it associated with monks and what is the history behind it?
18
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3answers
605 views

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 ...
17
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3answers
321 views

Among modern critics who believe in the attributed authorship of the Gospels, what are their arguments?

According to the many online lectures by biblical scholars, not to mention entries in Wikipedia and other online sites, whether the experts are on either the liberal side or the conservative side of ...
16
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2answers
499 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 ...
15
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1answer
258 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 ...
13
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1answer
187 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?
12
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2answers
5k 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?
12
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2answers
25k views

Who was Thomas's twin?

The sainted apostle "Doubting" Thomas is called Didymus, the Twin. Indeed, Thomas also means Twin. Thomas, called Didymus / Θωμᾶς ὁ λεγόμενος Δίδυμος (John 11:16; 20:24; 21:2) There is no ...
11
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2answers
428 views

Origin of the story that James had knees as hard as a camel's, because of praying

I'm reading John Pollock's "The Apostle - A Life Of Paul" and, at page 85 of the 1969 print, he states that James was a man of such devotion that long praying had made his knees as hard as ...
11
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2answers
3k 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, ...
11
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3answers
8k 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 ...
11
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1answer
264 views

Did St. Thomas come to India?

Did St. Thomas the apostle come to India? Most of the Indian people believe that he came to south India, and spread the good news even before the Roman Catholic Church is formed. However, the church ...
10
votes
5answers
10k views

Was Jesus crucified naked?

Wikipedia's article on crucifixion says While a crucifixion was an execution, it was also a humiliation, by making the condemned as vulnerable as possible. Although artists have traditionally ...
10
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1answer
10k views

What is the significance of a double cross?

What is the significance of a cross with two cross-bars to Christians? Does it carry different symbolism than a normal cross?
10
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1answer
950 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 ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Is there any tradition that informs us of how old Mary was when she gave birth to Jesus?

I have heard that the legal age of marriage was quite young in Jewish culture at the time of Christ. I believe young girls at the age of twelve could marry. However, I find it difficult to imagine ...
10
votes
2answers
522 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 ...
10
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1answer
1k 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 ...
10
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2answers
478 views

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

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 ...
9
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2answers
60k 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 ...
9
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2answers
5k 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.
9
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1answer
298 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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3answers
616 views

Was the Assumption of Mary a belief in the early church?

Was the Assumption of Mary a belief in the early church? If so, where's the evidence? The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life is a defined dogma of the ...
9
votes
1answer
296 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 ...
8
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4answers
4k 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 ...
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2answers
824 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 ...
8
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1answer
522 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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1answer
4k 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 ...
8
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2answers
42k 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?
8
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1answer
25k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
125 views

Is there is any external source about Demas, Paul's fellow worker?

Demas appears at Colossians 4:14 and Philemon 24 as a fellow worker of Paul's ministry, and maybe as Luke's partner like Mark was Aristharcus partner. But in 2 Timothy 4:10 he appears having ...
8
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5answers
1k 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 ...
8
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1answer
178 views

How is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary celebrated within the domestic church, that is, within the Catholic family?

I've heard that in Columbia there is a rich tradition around celebrating the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary. It's a very important feast in the Catholic Church, but it's usually not observed ...
7
votes
2answers
749 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
votes
1answer
566 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
711 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 ...
7
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2answers
2k 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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2answers
2k views

Do any Christian traditions hold the belief that Adam was androgynous?

Genesis 1:27 reads: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. The Hebrew word for "man" here is אָדָם (adam). This seems to imply ...
7
votes
2answers
545 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 ...
6
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3answers
686 views

Does Jewish tradition predate Christian tradition in any meaningful way? [closed]

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
103 views

Is there any Ethiopian ancient source about the eunuch who was evangelized by Philip?

We all know that passage from Acts 8, where Philip preached and baptized the Ethiopian Eunuch. I've read in an article that Ethiopian Christian tradition talks about this Eunuch, who came from ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Why do people call Mary Magdalene the “Black Madonna”?

Today I heard something most peculiar, and was wondering if there is a Biblical basis and/or if there were other denominations that teach this. An older gentleman whom I know very well, and almost ...
6
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3answers
12k 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 ...
6
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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 ...
6
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1answer
173 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 ...
5
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4answers
536 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
votes
2answers
4k 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
1k views

Why do Salvation Army members wear uniforms in the church?

I have seen Salvation Army church members going to church in white uniforms. Here is a sample image (source). What is the role of uniforms in the Salvation Army? Is it compulsory for them to ...