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47

To be clear, most Christians do not celebrate "The Sabbath" on Sunday. Strictly speaking, Christians do not celebrate the Sabbath at all* (although many Christians still refer to their "day of rest" as their "sabbath day", even though this has no direct relationship to the Jewish Sabbath.) Christians traditionally celebrate on Sundays because this is the ...


31

The idea that Jesus died on a Wednesday is a fabrication. It is nothing more than an attempt to force a modernistic interpretation onto Matthew 12:40. In the early church the common understanding of "three days and three nights" did not require "three full days and also three full nights". Fourth century scholar/priest St. Jerome explains in his Commentary ...


26

The Sabbath will always be Friday night into Saturday. However, the celebration is not the Sabbath. Christians can worship God whenever and wherever they please in spirit and truth! John 4:21-24 (NIV)    21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. ...


22

Nobody in ancient times could have imagined that the earth was billions of years old, so you won't see any explicit attempts to reconcile the Genesis creation stories with an old earth. However, the early Christians did see discrepancies that made them question how literally the creation stories should be understood. Second century Christian apologist ...


22

The evidence for Paul being married is fairly scant. He writes in 1 Corinthians 9:5: "Don't we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas?" The implication could be made that Paul was complaining about leaving some wife behind. In Galatians 1:14, Paul says: "I was advancing ...


21

Word origin As stated in previous answers, the "X" in "Xmas" comes from the Greek word for Christ, Χριστός. However, since precision is important, I want to clarify when the abbreviation was first used in English. The 1511 date comes from the Oxford English Dictionary entry for ''Xmas'', which reads: 1551 in E. Lodge Illustr. Brit. Hist. (1791) I. 145 ...


19

The King James (KJV) was translated from a different Greek text than most modern translations. In the early 1500s, Desiderius Erasmus took the best copies of the Greek New Testament available to him, and compared and collated them to create the Textus Receptus (TR), the first Greek New Testament to be printed rather than hand-written. The TR was the Greek ...


19

Great Britain monks used "X" for "Christ" nearly a thousand years ago. They used "X" for "Christ" while transcribing manuscripts in Old English. They did so because the Greek word for Christ, ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, begins with the letters "chi" (or “X”) and "rho" (or "P"). And the monks used either "X" or "XP" in writing as an abbreviation for "Christ." The first ...


17

Without question, Theophilus of Antioch (d. 183) is your man. He wrote in Greek: [God's creations on the first three days--light, sky, and vegetation--] are types of the Trinity [Τριάδος], of God, and His Word, and His wisdom. And the fourth [day, the creation of the moon and stars,] is the type of man, who needs light, that so there may be God, the Word,...


16

The clear and correct answer is simply: God's will. God ensured that it happened. Now, suppose one rephrased the question as: how could one explain the survival of Christianity in purely athiest terms -- with no mention of God whatsoever -- what is the closest approximation one could do? Measuring love in units of sacrifice. There's something ...


15

The general consensus, following Paul's teaching, seems to be that marriage is good but celibacy is better. Tertullian may have been the first to write about it: In short, there is no place at all where we read that nuptials are prohibited; of course on the ground that they are “a good thing.” What, however, is better than this “good,” we learn from ...


15

I have never previously heard anyone claim that Sabbath is on Sunday. Rather, I think Sabbath is on Saturday and the reason (a lot of) Christians have Sunday as the holy day has to do with the early church. There are passages from which it could be deduced that the early church met on Sunday, the first day of the week, to remember Jesus's resurrection that ...


15

The word tithe itself comes from the Old English teogoþa, meaning "tenth" - so technically, tithing is the giving of a tenth by definition. But of course that's not what you're asking! The idea of giving a tenth comes from the Old Testament: Leviticus 27:30-33 (MSG): "A tenth of the land's produce, whether grain from the ground or fruit from the ...


15

Probably the oldest text you'll find is the Phos Hilaron, sometimes known as "Hail gladdening light". The earliest music for it was a Byzantine Chant, and it's still largely sung in churches worldwide, though not so much in the West. David Crowder released a version on his album "Church Music". http://www.hymnary.org/text/...


15

Quick answer: Yes, nude baptism was practiced in Ancient times. From A Dictionary of Christian Antiquities p 160 ed W Smith & S Cheetam (1875) A comparison of all the evidence leads to the conclusion that the catechumens entered the font in a state of absolute nakedness. See particularly St Cyril, Hieros. Myst. Catech. ii ad init; St Ambrose, Serm. ...


15

No, he did not address the issue of slavery in any published works. We know this because of a recently published paper revealing an unpublished draft letter by Edwards that does deal with slavery. It is described by the paper author thus: It is the only known instance of Edwards writing, however abstrusely, about slavery. Also it discloses differing ...


15

Attitudes on birthdays In the early church, birthdays (in general) were not seen as something to celebrate. For example, in Origen's 8th homily on Leviticus he writes: But the saints not only do not celebrate a festival on their birth days, but, filled with the Holy Spirit, they curse that day. According to an article by Andrew McGowan (Bible Review, ...


14

As you note, there are lots of different traditions here. My ancestry is Scottish and some old Scottish churches only celebrate communion once a year. I've looked through the some liturgies for these services that basically run all day, and it's quite an affair. I have even heard it advocated that once in a life-time ought to do the job, sort of like baptism....


14

On a historical note, as with Pope Joan story, this too never happened. These the two myths became connected in a well circulated rumor which what eye-witnesses to medieval papal coronations believed they were watching. The result was the often repeated report of a public rite always seen by others, never by the narrator. If Pope Joan story is not true, ...


14

The 'Christ myth theory' Wikipedia page actually provides quite an in-depth exposition on the development of the concept Jesus wasn't a historical person: The beginnings of the formal denial of the existence of Jesus can be traced to late 18th century France, and the works of Constantin François Chassebœuf de Volney (1757–1820) and Charles-François ...


14

"Secret" is probably about the worst possible translation I can think of for the original term. The "Archivio Segreto Vaticano" is the current term in Italian, as documented on the Archive's website. This translates the Latin "Archivium Secretum Vaticanum" (see for example the references here). Secretum in Latin, however, does not necessarily mean "secret". ...


13

Here are some quotes from and references to Catholic and Protestant sources that attest to the changing of the Saturday Sabbath to the Sunday Sabbath (to speak simply). "Sunday is a Catholic institution, and its claim to observance can be defended only on Catholic principles... From beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that ...


13

The answer is that the theory that Christ died on a Wednesday is only about 300 years old, whereas the Good Friday tradition is nearly 2000 years old. So at the time Good Friday was established as tradition, the Wednesday crucification theory hadn't been considered yet. The Wednesday crucifixion theory seems to have originated in the early 1700s, and was ...


13

The Toronto Blessing is described as a "Revival". The term "revival" means different things to different denominations, and can even mean the different things within a denomination. In this case, the term describes an outpouring of the Holy Spirit from a Charismatic point of view. The Toronto Blessing consisted of signs accepted by Charismatics as ...


13

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word apple has, until recently, always meant simply "fruit" in English. This was certainly the case at the time of the earliest English Bible translations in the 1600s. In Middle English and as late as 17c., it was a generic term for all fruit other than berries but including nuts (e.g. Old English ...


12

Technically… no. The Catholic Church has never decanonized a saint in the sense of saying "This guy used to be a saint, and now he's not." But the reason is actually quite fascinating. Canonization doesn't actually make someone a saint, per se. A Catholic "canonization" is the process by which the Church ultimately recognizes something God has ...


12

Most early Eastern theologians didn't believe in witches (technically, neither did Western theologians, as is evidenced by Canon Episcopi), but most common folk did. Without getting into the confounded history of witch-burning, it is generally held that theologians prior to the 10th century did not believe in witches. The 9th century Canon Episcopi that I ...


12

Update: The short answer: No; it seems that partialism is not a "real," historically defined heresy. Explanation: Before writing this post, I checked the applicable titles from among my usual textual sources -- a variety of historic theological works that are now in the public domain and available online. When that yielded no references to "partialism," I ...


12

No, there is not general agreement as to the exact historical accuracy of John Foxe's work. The majority of events are considered to be historical and widely accepted to be based on good sources such as eyewitness records, however doubt is often cast on the retelling aspect. The primary accusation brought against Foxe's Book of Martyrs (originally titled ...



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