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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1answer
480 views

Testimonies of the existence of Mary and Joseph

There are 30+ historical accounts of Jesus's existence. A subset of these would also seem to be evidence for the existence of Mary and Joseph. What is the historical evidence (besides what is ...
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How did attitues to the deutero-canonical books in the Western Churches change during the second millenium? [closed]

What was the pre-Reformation understanding and how did that change during and after the Reformation Era for Protestants and for Catholics? What is the current position?
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Was Paul's Relationship with Jewish Leadership Close Enough to Act as Their Agent?

After reading this question on judaism.SE I wanted to pose a version of it here. (You know, it's facinating to see how Judaism views us....) Paul's letter to the Hebrews could be described (and ...
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1answer
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Did medieval European monasticism provide a release from certain societal pressures?

I seem to recall a science fiction/fantasy author (possibly Marion Zimmer Bradley in the context of her Darkover series) stating that monasticism provided a means of relieving social pressures by ...
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1answer
170 views

When did a Catholic church council first recognize the need to forbid forcing or outwardly compelling unbelievers to the Christian faith?

We all know the sorrowful history of the subject. The very early church would have never felt a need to have a council on the subject, just as they would have been no council declaring that Christians ...
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Annals of John Hyrcanus

1 Maccabees 16:23-24 The rest of John's acts, the battles he fought and the exploits he performed, the city walls he built, and all his other achievements, from the day he succeeded his father ...
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Tombs of Mattathias and Sons

From 1 Maccabees 13:25–30: Simon sent and recovered the bones of his brother Jonathan, and buried him in Modein, the town of his ancestors. All Israel kept solemn mourning for him and long bewailed ...
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Who was the Egyptian that led the revolt of the Assassins in Acts 21?

When Paul was arrested in Jerusalem he was mistaken for an anarchist Egyptian: Acts 21:37-38 ESV As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the tribune, “May I say something to ...
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The “eye of the needle gate” today

There is a great set of answers that covers some of my question regarding the interpretation of this passage over on the Biblical Hermeneutics site, but it didn't answer all of my questions. Today I ...
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2answers
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Is there any extra-Biblical 'evidence' of Herod's murder of babies?

When Herod heard of the news from the kings form east that there was a new king (Jesus) born, he ordered the killing of all boys younger than the age of two. So that would have been a great slaughter. ...
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Is there evidence that Isaiah 53 was viewed as a Messianic prophecy within Judaism, or is it an exclusively Christian interpretation?

The modern Jewish interpretation of the so-called suffering servant song of Isaiah 52:13-53:12 is that it is a prophecy referring to the nation of Israel, not the Messiah. As such, it is sometimes ...
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What role did the Donation of Constantine have on the development of the doctrine of Papal supremacy?

In the late Middle Ages, two documents arose which, together, are called the The Donation of Constantine. They made a large number of statements which would have had the effect of making the Pope the "...
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At what point did Judaism and Christianity diverge?

At what point did Judaism and Christianity diverge? Christianity and Judaism share the Old Testament (The Hebrew Bible), so it should be safe to assume they are the same people at least during the Old ...
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2answers
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Could a lowborn during the middle ages read the bible?

I'm starting to read about the christian faith with more effort and this question popped up in my head. I've read that the bible at that time were really expensive because it was handmade but, could a ...
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Persecution of Jewish people by Christians in Middle Ages?

I want to apologize ahead if my questions sound disrespectful to anybody. This isn't my intent. I grew up in East Asia which has very few Christians, but I have been very interested in the history of ...
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The Resurrection: early Jewish writings on it? [duplicate]

I'm currently studying the Resurrection, which I believe 100%. What ancient Jewish texts close to the first century speak about the Resurrection, or about the empty tomb that Christians claimed Christ ...
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How did the Crusades impact modern Christianity? [closed]

How do the crusades impact modern day Christianity own sense of morality and spirituality? What do these things mean to a person of faith? The Crusades, from Wikipedia The Crusades were a series ...
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4answers
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Before St. Thomas Aquinas, who laid the foundation for the existence of God?

During His preaching ministry, Jesus described the nature of God. But before doing so, did He have to lay a foundation and convince people that God exists? Or had oral tradition and the Old Testament ...
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Where do Catholics believe the historical narrative of the Bible begins?

I heard on the Relevant Radio recently that the Genesis account of the deluge is prehistorical. Meaning, it wasn't really recorded in histories the way other more specific accounts of historical ...
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1answer
698 views

Did William Cowper believe himself to be saved at the end of his life?

The 18th-century poet William Cowper is best-known in Christian circles for the hymns he wrote, like "There is a fountain, filled with blood" and "God moves in a mysterious way." He had deep ...
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2answers
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What biblical and historical support is there for the practice of child communion?

About seven years ago my wife and I (who are childless) left our old church and set out to find the best church we could in the area. We ended up in a church that practices paedocommunion (child ...
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1answer
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Are there documented reports about Jews around the time of Jesus? And what did they say about the first christians?

Are there any reliable documented reports of Jewish individuals, leaders or groups, around the time of Jesus? Who were they? And what did they say about Jesus and/or the first Christians?
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When did the split in crufix/empty-cross sybolism occur and why did it happen?

Today, we have Catholic and Orthodox churches (and a few others) using the crucifix, whereas most Protestant denominations use an empty cross in their symbolism. Did this difference in symbolism arise ...
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Did Jesus own a home as an adult or was He a nomad?

Did Jesus own a home as an adult or was He a nomad? If He did own a home, did He live with someone else?
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What did Christians write about Muhammad during his life?

Are there any records written by Christians about Muhammad that were written during his life? If so, what did they say about him? I would be very surprised if the Church of ~600-630 AD didn't have ...
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Why is St Martin “in-the-Fields”?

I was reading about the Anglican church St Martin-in-the-Fields and was curious about the in-the-Fields part of the name. It is named after Martin of Tours who was a saint in France during the 4th ...
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What are the duties of a Pope? Can a pope be “good” or “bad” in this perspective?

Is there something like "bad" or "good" popes"? What is the meaning when a pope is qualified "good" or "bad", with the historical perspective. For instance, some popes have bad reputation in the ...
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How did the Virgin Mary's title “Mirror of Justice”, used in some Catholic prayers, originate?

The Catholic prayer often known as the Litany of Loreto1 contains a number of descriptive titles of Mary, the mother of God—for example, "Mirror of Justice", "Seat of Wisdom", "Star of the Sea". ...
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1answer
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When was the first African American ordained in a US Presbyterian denomination?

In Presbyterianism, a distinction is typically made between preachers who are "licensed" and those who are "ordained." One who is licensed has permission to preach regularly in a particular ...
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What evidence is there for the Resurrection of Jesus?

What historical evidence has been used by people who argue for truth of Jesus' Resurrection? It’s important to distinguish between the evidence and the best explanation of that evidence. This ...
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1answer
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Biblical era gesture signifying peace between two parties? [closed]

I am working on a painting set in the Biblical era which shows a military group confronting another group. I am trying to find a gesture which the leader of one army would make to indicate that they ...
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Was there doctrinal difference between Lollards and Waldenses?

Lollards and Waldenses are two historical movements that spread out of Catholic church, in England and France, respectively. I know they had similar views such as opposing the corruption of the ...
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3answers
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Did those feet in ancient time walk upon England's mountains green? (Origin of the story)

William Blake's preface to Milton, commonly called Jerusalem and set to a famous hymn tune by Hubert Parry, questions whether the child Jesus might have visited England. And did those feet in ...
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How did the monastic tradition evolve?

In the 4th Century there was a strong monastic tradition, which usually involved living in solitude or small groups in the wilderness. By the 12th Century the monastic life was being lived in large ...
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2answers
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When did the idea of a scriptural “canon” originate?

This question What are the biblical arguments that the Bible canon is NOT closed? made me wonder: 1) When did the idea of a canon originate? I would suppose this should be quite early, and Jews ...
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1answer
329 views

How possible is it that the Septuagint / LXX wasn't specifically quoted in the NT?

Couldn't it be possible that the NT writers quoted from a Hebrew or Aramaic Old Testament, and that the Septuagint was transliterated afterwards, or that the NT was later translated to match the ...
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2answers
700 views

When will be the end of the Catholic Church on earth by definition?

Matthew 16:18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church,* and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. Is there any teaching of the ...
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1answer
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What oil was used at the time of James?

James 5:14-17 discusses healing through the anointing of oil. Surely these days we have plenty of different types of oils but what oil was used at the time of this scripture being written?
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In what order were the books in the New Testament written?

I'm just curious as to the actual timeline and known dates of the New Testament books. I know the version fo the Bible I read had the letters from Paul ordered by their size, and not when they were ...
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1answer
979 views

If Noah's Flood was a historical global flood then how is the evidence that Egypt was founded before the Flood explained? [duplicate]

The common consensus is that Noah's flood occurred around the 2200-2300 BCE. If this is so, then how could Egypt have been founded by Narmer in 3100 BCE? Is Mizraim the founder of Egypt? Or is Mizraim ...
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1answer
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Was any of Flavius Josephus' work relevant to the Council of Nicea?

I noticed that Eusebius transcribes the entirety of Josephus' Testimonium Flavianum in 324 AD, and that the First Council of Nicea occurs in 325 AD. Does any of Josephus' work feature throughout the ...
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1answer
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Does the Russian Orthodox Church venerate the saints of the Orthodox Church in America?

After the Russian Revolution, the Orthodox Church in America became nominally independent of the mother church. The OCA has since canonized saints who lived in Russian America such as German and Petr (...
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1answer
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Did St. Thomas Aquinas write anything about historiography?

I was curious as to whether or not St. Thomas Aquinas every formally laid out any principles to be adhered to when writing/studying/interpreting history or ever elucidated a theory of the "nature" of ...
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1answer
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How did Christians of WW1/WW2 view the book of Revelation?

I do not know of a single time period where Christians did not believe that "the end time was near." For many people in the centuries immediately after Christ's death, it's not unthinkable that they ...
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Where was Joseph when Mary visited Jesus on the cross? [duplicate]

Not much was mentioned about Jesus's foster-father. Mary visited Jesus, but where was Joseph at when Jesus was being crucified?
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875 views

Did some Christian sects ever hold the opinion that ritual slaughter was obligatory, before the 10th century?

Like this question, I am curious about whether Christian doctrines used to hold the opinion that a ritual slaughter (with it rules and conditions) had to be done when slaughtering animals, ...
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1answer
89 views

Are there any positive statements of the golden rule in extra-biblical literature?

What is commonly called the golden rule is stated by Jesus in Matthew 7:12: In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets. (NET) ...
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1answer
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How did early childhood baptisms started in Catholicism?

Jesus got baptized at an age old enough to decide for himself. Today, I always see infants getting baptized. According to Catholicism, when, where and how did early childhood (infant) baptisms got ...
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1answer
301 views

Request: Christian demographic statistics at the time of the reformation

I suspect I won't be able to get any good answers but I think it's worth asking anyway. I'm curious about what Christian demographics looked like at different points in history. For example what ...
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2answers
378 views

Was Catholicism chosen by the Roman Empire because of synergies to Roman hierarchy?

I was watching a documentary on the History Channel recently and they mentioned that when the Roman Empire converted to Christianity, they chose Catholicism because of its similarities to the ...

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