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13

The new Jerusalem that comes from heaven in Rev 19 is "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (emphasis added) However, I would understand why some might think that Jerusalem is Christ's bride. In the Old Testament, Israel (or Judah or Jerusalem) is described as God's wife: For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy ...


12

Most scholars dismiss this is as fiction. Indeed the Catholic Encyclopedia brings up multiple variations on the story, each of which can be easily debunked. Perhaps the most damning proof that this is a legend would stem from the fact that nobody - including enemies at the time - ever made such accusations. From Wikipedia: It is also notable that ...


12

According to Emmanouela Grypeou and Helen Spurling (The Book of Genesis in Late Antiquity, Brill 2013, p71ff), the earliest Christian reference to this idea is Origen (c. 184-253), who traces it to Jewish tradition: Concerning the place of the skull, it came to me that Hebrews hand down [the tradition that] the body of Adam has been buried there; in ...


11

One of the defining tenets of Protestant Christianity is sola scriptura--that the Scriptures are the fundamental basis for all doctrine. This is in contrast to extra-biblical teachings. The idea is that if it were important enough for us to know, God would have told us in the Scriptures themselves and not have us rely on extra-biblical teachings. ...


10

It's not a purely Christian tradition. Other religions practice this as well. There's an article here on ehow.com that gives an overview of the origins of the practice. Some highlights: According to "Ethnicity and the American Cemetery," the feet of the deceased face east as well. This tradition is based on the belief that when Jesus returns, the ...


10

[...] MONASTIC STYLES Both men and women traditionally had their hair cut or removed in specific ways when they entered a monastery or convent. These haircuts symbolized religious devotion, group identity, and humility as well as the renunciation of worldly things and personal vanity. The practice may relate to ancient rites in which people in ...


9

The origin of the Christmas tree is very well documented elsewhere, including Wikipedia. There are some Christians that disapprove of the use of a Christmas tree (one reason documented also at wikipedia, and further discussed (with rebuttal) here). There are some groups that do not use Christmas trees, for various reasons. Some Amish do not use Christmas ...


9

There is definitely precedent: As Christians, we should be following the example set by Christ, who gave thanks before feeding the multitudes in Matthew 14:19-21 and Matthew 15:34-36. He also did so in Luke 24:30. Matthew 14:19-21 King James Version (KJV) 19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, ...


8

The Catholic "tradition" is just that. It is not an official teaching or doctrine, but rather something one is free to believe. The Church does not take a physiological stance on whether or not Mary experienced pain during child birth. But to understand where this tradition came from, we have to go back to the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve sinned, God ...


8

Concerning the council of Elvira, which was attended by nineteen bishops from all parts of the Peninsula http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05395b.htm and could hardly be considered incumbent on the entirety of the Christendom in a place where The Jews were so numerous and so powerful in Spain during the first centuries of the Christian era that ...


8

This answer is based on the article Christians and the Roman Army AD173-337 by John Helgeland (Church History 43(2):149-163, 200; 1974). The start date of AD173 is the year when we have the first evidence (after the NT) of Christians in the military - in Legio XII Fulminata (the Lightning Legion) under Marcus Aurelius. Prohibitions on members of the (Roman) ...


7

I fundamentally object to all of the sources cited. They all seem to fail to appreciate several important points in Tradition: A Council is something which is binding over the entire Church and its rulings on theology can never be ignored unless the Council specifically says otherwise (such as in the case of certain documents of Vatican II). A synod is a ...


7

First off, your basic premise is spot on. As a lifelong evangelical, my biggest gripe with evangelicalism is that we either dismiss or declare heretical anything that is based on "Tradition," ignoring the fact that all readers of Scripture do so with a tradition in mind. Any theological framework (rapture? trinity? the words don't appear in Scripture!) ...


7

Less than 1011. At least than 7. Assuming that: Adam only had one wife (Eve), which is an argument based strictly on a lack of evidence That Eve's normal gestational period was 9 months and had twins no more than average (1 in 86). That Eve lived approximately the same amount of time as Adam (again an argument from lack of evidence), then we can say: ...


7

Well, the word "manna" itself means "What is it?" so I'm not sure you're going to find a perfectly satisfactory answer to your question. :-) In addition, it was created supernaturally by God, and He didn't share the recipe. :-) Since it was a single miracle, and not something that people still eat today, no one really knows personally what it tastes like. ...


6

The BBC has quite a good critique on the subject. It is of course a convenient way of getting good quality ash, but there is a theological significance. The Palm Sunday palms symbolise Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and converting them into ash is a reminder that defeat and crucifixion followed soon after. The ashing is a mark of penitence, and ...


6

It has it's origins in the reformation. One German legend claims that Martin Luther was responsible for introducing the use of Christmas trees in the home, in Germany. According to the legend, on his way home one evening, Martin Luther was so overcome by the beauty of a fir tree and stars in the sky, he wanted to tell his family about it. However, upon ...


6

Hesychasm, one of the monastic traditions this question is about, is still practiced on the Greek peninsula, Mount Athos. For over a thousand years, monks have practiced the discipline of continual prayer and worship, which goes back at least as far as the 4th century Desert Fathers. And of course, the concept of praying continually goes back at least to ...


6

As I understand it all Jewish brides are stolen, they are snatched away. All Jewish brides were said to be “stolen, caught up, or snatched up by surprise.” The bride was then led to the groom’s house by a wedding procession of women carrying lighted lamps, similar to the Parable of the Ten Virgins that we will explore in next month’s Personal ...


6

I think you may be confusing the terms a little. There's a simple solution to your question. Easter is the joyful celebration of Christ's resurrection. Lent is the forty-day* period leading up to Easter. It is a time of penitence and fasting. Many Christians observing the Western-style liturgical calendar (this probably includes your friend) fast in some ...


6

Catholicism doesn't currently set a specific age at which First Communion is taken. The New Advent article on Communion of Children says this (Emphasis mine): The existing legislation with regard to the Communion of children has been definitely settled by the Fourth Lateran Council, which was afterwards confirmed by the authority of the Council of ...


5

Liturgy in the strict sense is a public activity, so as such it should be prayed out loud, either recited in less formal settings or chanted with a melody, as monastic communities still do, or somewhere in between. When you are praying the hours privately it's enough to just read the prayers, psalms and collects to yourself, though of course you are free to ...


5

I think you hit the nail on the head with your mention of the brother's and sisters of Christ mentioned in Mark. All scripture says that Christ would be born of a virgin, it says nothing about her having to stay a virgin forever. On top of that there is this scripture in Matt: Matt 1: 24-25 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angle of ...


5

The key difference is that the Torah is speaking to the letter of the law, Paul is speaking to what Jesus says of it. As Jesus says in Matthew 5: 17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not ...


5

One answer that has been suggested is the Infancy Gospel of James (AKA The Protoevangelium of James). This document dates to roughly the middle of the second century and focuses largely on the person of Mary from her birth to the birth of Jesus. As the central character, Mary's honor and purity are defended in great detail. Mary's virginity is repeatedly ...


5

As far as Apostolic Tradition is concerned, angels cannot die, because they are spirits. Death = reduction of a composite being into its component parts. Man is a composite being- body + soul. So man can die if these components are separated. Since angels are not composite beings, angels cannot die.


5

The revelation was most likely simply a directive from God to go up to Jerusalem to talk with the apostles. This is the most natural way to read the verse, and there would be nothing surprising about this conclusion on the basis of the rest of Paul's life, since he was an apostle. An apostle had to be someone who had seen Christ directly with his eyes. This ...


5

Though I personally tend to favour expository preaching in practice, topical preaching certainly has its place. Scriptural Basis A case could be made from Scriptural example... Jesus's Preaching Jesus's recorded preaching was purely topical - as far as I know, he never took a passage from the Old Testament and expanded on it. Rather, he chose topics ...


5

Quoth newadvent.org: With regard to the number of Stations it is not at all easy to determine how this came to be fixed at fourteen, for it seems to have varied considerably at different times and places. The article as a whole actually goes into quite a few different variations which are found and expounds on those which were varied and altogether ...



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