Questions tagged [history]

For questions related to history generally. Use the [church-history] tag for the history of the post-NT church.

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2
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2answers
223 views

What's the first ancient document composed by a non-Christian denying the resurrection?

What is the first ancient document composed by a non-Christian denying the resurrection of Jesus that we have access to? I am specifically looking for a document actually penned by a non-Christian, ...
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2answers
4k views

What evidence is there that Jesus died on the cross? [closed]

Inspired by How long was Jesus in the tomb?, the question could be reasonably raised "if Jesus was only in the tomb for a day and a half, can we be sure that he really died, or were the witnesses ...
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2answers
724 views

In Christ's time, who possessed the written word?

2000 years ago, written works were extremely valuable. It's not like every Jewish family had their own "family scroll" that they read to their children every night. It's doubtful even that every Rabbi ...
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3answers
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Has any church organization refused lottery winnings as donation? [closed]

Sometimes I've played the lottery when it gets over $100 million, thinking I could retire on a small fortune and then give tens of millions away to charity, including of course, Christian ones. Has ...
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1answer
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Were the names Matthew, Mark, Luke and John common in the time of Jesus?

Were the names Matthew, Mark, Luke and John common names in the time of Jesus? If not, what were their real names and why were they changed?
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3answers
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How can I understand the rise of the Egyptians as a race in the Old Testament?

The Old Testament states that God created the world and God created man. We see the lineage of Adam and Eve, to Abraham, and so forth while the Hebrew nation is created. Then, seemingly from left ...
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4answers
8k 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 ...
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2answers
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How did Pope Urban II justify the first Crusade?

According to the ten commandments, you shall not kill anyone. How did Pope Urban II justify from a theological standpoint the First Crusade? Since it was successful, Pope Urban II must have had to ...
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3answers
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Why was Paul allowed to write in jail?

We know that Paul was held under some brutal conditions—his feet in stocks in one case. Yet he was still able to write many letters from prison. Was this during some of his "nicer accommodations", or ...
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0answers
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Ties between the Jesuits and the Byzantine?

I am reading into Society of Jesus, seeking to uncover its parallels and differences with Orthodox Christianity. It is attested the Jesuit order was formed in France on August 15th 1534, by Ignatius ...
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1answer
872 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 ...
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Which year did Jesus die? What is the most commonly held view

Is there a commonly held year for Jesus' crucifixion? What is the basis? In particular I would like to see biblical-basis. If not which Christian denominations teach a specific year for His ...
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3answers
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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?
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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 ...
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2answers
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What is the significance of Palm branches?

I've been pondering this question for a while. With Easter right around the corner, I figured this is the perfect time to ask. See these verses: Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, ...
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1answer
270 views

Why is Christianity fixated on ancient Israeli culture? Is such a 'spacetime-lock' evidence of falsehood?

When I studied Mohammed's religion, I thought the insistence and enforcement of 7th century Arabian culture (e.g. diet, clothing, marriage, law) on the entire planet unreasonable, and evidence it was ...
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Which prophecies does Justin Martyr claim predict Jesus' Advent? Please identify them

In his First Apology Justin Martyr writes: We find it also predicted that certain persons should be sent by Him into every nation to publish these things, and that rather among the Gentiles [than ...
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2answers
239 views

Does the Minimal Facts Argument have the potential to the biggest Christian revelation over the last thousand years? [closed]

I recently came across the "Minimal Facts Argument" by Dr Gary Habermas. In short, the argument is that there are a half dozen reliable historical facts (even for those who'd judge the NT as ...
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1answer
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What was the name of the Pharaoh during the time of Moses?

In the Bible it never mentions Pharaoh's name but every other king/queen is mentioned by name. Did I miss it? What's his name?
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2answers
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Why didn't Syriac Christianity keep Aramaic as their liturgical language?

Syriac Christianity (as well as with other oriental orthodoxy denominations) today use Arabic as their liturgical language. It is known that they have been using Arabic since the times of Muslim ...
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3answers
832 views

What was the amount of bread and wine used when Jesus did communion?

I could imagine that times then were hard and food somewhat scarce. A whole loaf of bread divided equally would be a small meal and a bottle of wine could serve well to wash down the bread. I could ...
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Why did the Commonwealth Parliament ban theatre?

I've known for a while that theatre was banned under Cromwell, because the Puritans disapproved of it. What was their objection? Wikipedia adds this information: Pastimes such as the theatre and ...
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3answers
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What biblical basis is there for written records being kept around Jesus's time [closed]

I'm wondering if there is any historical information or biblical references that describe the ability to write and record information around the time of Jesus and his disciples. I.e. to what extent ...
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1answer
227 views

Was Judas based on the story of Buddha and Devadatta? [closed]

To oversimplify greatly, Devadatta was a cousin of the Buddha when he was teaching his core disciples. Devadatta and the Buddha had many disagreements on things such as Asceticism. This cause and ...
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4answers
964 views

What official statements represent Christianity's position on the Gospel of Barnabas?

The Gospel of Barnabas is a text that has turned up in the form of 16th century manuscripts in Italian and Spanish. The text claims to be the witness of Jesus' disciple Barnabas, however its content ...
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6answers
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What was the charge levied against Jesus in the courts?

I read that Jesus was charged with the allegation that he claimed to be the "King of Jews". What is the evidence of this and other charges, if any, on Jesus? I am only interested in the charges ...
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When did the term “New Testament” first come into usage?

While reading William Bridge's, "The Wounded Conscience Cured," (1642) I came across Bridge's usage of the term "New Testament" : "And in the New Testament, Romans 13.1..." -William Bridge, "...
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1answer
175 views

What was the literal meaning of the term 'stone rejected by builders'? [closed]

Matthew 21:42 (NASB) says: Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, This became the chief corner stone; This came about from the Lord, ...
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Origin of the (mis)translation “Ten Commandments”

The Old Testament speaks of the עשרת הדברים in Deuteronomy 4:13, a phrase which is translated almost without exception to be the "Ten Commandments" (see here). However, the word הדברים is never else ...
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2answers
403 views

How were missionaries able to convert native populations? [closed]

What made it possible for Christian missionnaires to convert natives of America, Africa and Asia to another religion despite the fact that they already had beliefs and gods ?
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1answer
11k views

How long did David live?

From my general knowledge, I know that David lived 70 years. Can be this be demonstrated with the Bible? In 1 Kings 2:10, 11 we find how long he reigned over Israel: So David slept with his fathers, ...
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1answer
140 views

Why were Catholic fasting obligations steadily relaxed?

It seems that since the Middle Ages, the fasts prescribed by the Catholic Church were gradually but steadily reduced. Much can be read about the history of these relaxations, but little is said about ...
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0answers
231 views

How many people were killed by Protestant Inquisition style tribunals? Asking for references

It's relatively easy to find estimates for the number of people killed during the Catholic Inquisition; one just needs to check the Wikipedia page, to see several estimates of the number of people ...
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2answers
468 views

Marks of the true church in Protestantism or Catholicism? [duplicate]

Although this very related question about the marks of the true church in Reformed Theology has already been asked, my question is whether other Protestant traditions or Catholicism have an equivalent ...
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0answers
63 views

What was the socioeconomic makeup of early Christian Gnostic sects?

There is ample evidence that early Christianity was socioeconomically very inclusive, being made up of the poor, the wealthy, men, women, the educated, uneducated, etc. For example, Pliny the ...
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3answers
363 views

How is the ‘Resurrection of the Holy Ones’ in Mt.27:51-53 understood by those who consider it a literal, historical event?

This question is very similar to a question I just asked, but it's not a duplicate (just hear me out). Since there are many ways to read the Bible, I wanted to understand multiple points of view, that ...
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0answers
91 views

What's the Greek manuscripts of John with the oldest discovery date?

I'm trying to figure out what are the oldest complete manuscripts of the Gospel of John in Greek. New Testament (Wikipedia) For example, papyrus 66 They say 66 is the oldest and nearly complete; ...
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3answers
11k views

How many New Testament manuscripts do we really have?

How does the Bible size up with other books from the ancient world? Is it really true that the New and Old Testament is the book from the ancient world that has the largest amounmt of extant ...
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2answers
35k views

When & where did the word “Christian” originate?

The word "Christian" very rarely used in the new testament to refer to those that trust/believe on Jesus. Mostly they were simply called "believers". When/where and by who coined the word "...
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5answers
3k 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?
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2answers
7k views

How many people saw Christ Jesus rise from the dead?

Initially, I did a Google search, but I wasn't happy. I wonder if you guys know if the Bible specifies how many people witness the resurrection of Christ Jesus. By witness I mean, a person that saw ...
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2answers
478 views

What prompted the change in Christian attitude towards usury?

Lending with interest between Jews is a sin in the Old Testament, which should have gone away for non-Jewish Christians According to Wikipedia, it was only proscribed by Christianity later; at ...
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3answers
5k views

Why is the word “dragon” in the Bible?

I'm not asking about what is the dragon, it's the devil okay, but my question is why is it called "dragon", why dragons exists in the Bible, when they are nothing more than mythical creatures. ...
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0answers
181 views

The right to read a Catholic church's sacramental register

In the era of handwritten parish registers, when a diocesan or missionary priest performed a sacramental rite, he wrote it up in a semi-structured form in a record book. Sometimes that priest was the ...
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2answers
13k views

What is the meaning of the bronze serpent used to save the Israelites? [closed]

In Numbers 21: 8,9, Why is a bronze serpent used to save the Israelites, and what does this mean for Christians today? 8Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; ...
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2answers
97 views

What, if any, are some first-millenium mentions of prohibitions or approval of interracial or international marriages?

While in the last few centuries there have been particularly American Christians arguing against interracial/intercultural/international marriage (I believe the term is "kinism"), I do not know of ...
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1answer
1k views

How much time did medieval Christians devote to prayer? [closed]

I was critiqued on this answer concerning it taking less time out of the day for someone to be a Muslim than a Christian, and that may be untrue for a majority of Christians today. But how much ...
11
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1answer
261 views

Where can I find sources showing ecclesiastical vestments of the 1200s?

In 1215 at Runneymeade, barons and clerics gathered to get King John to set his seal to the Barons' Charter. According to Roger of Wendover, among them were the pope's representative, Master (bishop) ...
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3answers
75k views

What was the difference between the Pharisees and Sadducees?

Jesus often encountered "Pharisees" and "Sadducees". For example, 34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him ...
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2answers
865 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 (...

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