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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4answers
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Was the apostle Peter martyred in Rome?

There are some legends that say that Peter traveled to Rome where he was martyred. Is this legend true? Are there any historical accounts that support the legend? Are there any other theories about ...
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What is the source of the story about the melted gold in the destroyed temple in 70 AD?

In Matthew 24:2, Mark 13:2 and Luke 21:6, Jesus seems to indicate that in the coming temple destruction, "not one stone will be left upon another". And, indeed, this seems to be the case ...
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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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Is there any evidence for the claim that the Catholic church suppressed translation of Scripture?

There is a popular Protestant polemic that Catholics don't (or didn't) want people to read the Bible. It is often furthermore assumed that the Catholic Church went so far as to ban people from having ...
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How do Christians who reject pre-fall death reconcile their views with the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event (66 million years ago)?

Many Christians believe that creation was cursed because of Adam & Eve's fall into sin, and that death entered creation because of the fall but not before. In other words, the idea of pre-fall ...
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Reason for drawing water at unusual time

John 4:5-8 New Living Translation (NLT) 5: Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6: Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the ...
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What is the purpose and basis for the special garments issued to temple-going Mormons?

I understand that there are certain garments which temple-going Mormons are obliged to wear after going through their initial Temple Ceremony. My question is regarding the basis for this. When did ...
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Why did Daniel consider the allotment of food and wine to be wrong for him to eat? [closed]

When Nebuchadnezzar conquered Israel and took Daniel and other Jewish men into his court, he assigned them food and wine from the king's table. The king appointed for them a daily ration from the ...
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Apostle John lived in Ephesus - what sources claim that?

Which earliest sources does Christianity posses that claim that apostle John spent the last years of his life in Ephesus?
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Was Jesus recorded on the census?

I've heard before that Jesus was recorded on the census that is mentioned in Luke 2:1, and that his name was the last name recorded. I've also heard that Herod would then use this census when he ...
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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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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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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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What evidence is there that the Chinese script reflects a knowledge of Genesis 1-11?

It has been asserted that the author of the Chinese alphabet could very well been knowledgeable of the accounts in Genesis 1-11--those that occurred prior to the division of peoples and languages at ...
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Where did Goliath come from?

The popular story of David and Goliath describes Goliath as very tall ("six cubits and a span"--apparently roughly 9 feet 9 inches, or 297cm). Most children are just told he was a "giant" in Sunday ...
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7answers
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Was there a reason Jesus came at the time he did?

Concerning what the Bible says, and what might be said in commentary from prominent church leaders, is there a particular reason Jesus came 2000 years ago and not at some other time. One would think ...
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What is significant about the swaddling clothes with which Jesus was wrapped as a baby?

Luke gives the account of Jesus' birth and mentions that Mary wrapped Him in "swaddling cloths". And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a ...
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According to reformed theology, why are certain important doctrines not “obvious”? [i.e. why does the Westminister Confession even exist?]

Consider the important doctrines of: divinity of Christ doctrine of Trinity doctrine of predestination Consider in general, that the Westminister Confession is shorter than most books of the Bible. ...
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What is a Nazirite?

In Judges 13 verse 7, There is an interesting passage. 7 But he said to me, 'You will become pregnant and will have a son. Don't drink wine or beer or eat anything that is unclean, because the boy ...
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What are the arguments that Acts was written prior to 70 AD?

What are the reasons, whether theological or secular, for concluding that the book of Acts was written prior to 70 AD? Please also view the related question What are the arguments that the book of ...
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1answer
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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?
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Did Saint Patrick actually explain the Trinity using a shamrock?

The shamrock is a pretty bad analogy for the Trinity. In fact, it's somewhat of a heretical explanation if one puts much emphasis on it. It's partialism: St. Patrick's Bad Analogies (YouTube) So, ...
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Why are the books of the Protestant Bible in the order that they are in?

I am curious why the books of the Protestant Bible are in the order that they are in? Someone told me they thought the books were in some sort of chronological order - is that true? (I know the ...
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Biblical Prophecy and Fulfillment [closed]

I often hear the argument that the veracity of Christ's claims in the gospels can be considered reliable based upon two things: miracles and fulfilled prophecy. This pre-supposes the validity of the ...
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What were the beliefs, teachings, and practices of the church regarding slavery in the New World?

When the New World was discovered, slavery was virtually unknown in Europe. Soon after the discovery of the New World, European powers began to make slaves there, and to transport slaves from Africa ...
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1answer
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Did Martin Luther think John Calvin is a “son of the devil”?

I read from here (a Chinese website) that Martin Luther called John Calvin a son of the Devil. Now I have never seen this quote anywhere. Did Luther say something like this to Calvin? If yes, why?
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How did Christians cultivate their knowledge of the Bible before mass-printing of the Bible?

The Bible is by far the most sold book ever. As this site says: Bible Society’s attempt to calculate the number printed between 1816 and 1975 produced the figure of 2,458,000,000 – almost 2 and a ...
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1answer
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Who was the first to reject the historicity of Adam?

Since the nineteenth century the early chapters of Genesis have been very controversial. For some issues, like the age of the earth, it is well established that there have been many different ...
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Did Jesus die earlier than expected? [closed]

The Bible seems to indicate that Jesus died before the others that were being crucified. John 19:31-33 (NIV) 31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. ...
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1answer
641 views

Does Joseph Smith fail the test of a prophet? [closed]

The test of a prophet. Deuteronomy 18 NKJV 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing ...
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Who was Darius the Mede?

And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old. [Daniel 5:31] I have read much about the possible identities of Darius the Mede; to me, the most convincing alias is that of ...
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Are there “rational” criteria for which books appear in the Bible?

When I looked into "canon criticism" or "canonology" a while back, I came across numerous (alleged) criteria for whether a book is/was included in canon, such as "Old Testament books had to be written ...
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1answer
305 views

How long has the church been observing Lent?

At what point in church history did the Lenten season become a significant part of the church year? Obviously Easter came first, but I don't see the biblical basis for 40 days of preparation for ...
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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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1answer
409 views

How does the doctrine of the URC differ from its predecessors?

The United Reformed Church is a denomination in Britain that was formed out of a merger of the Congregationalist and Presbyterian denominations in 1972. What doctrinal compromises had to be made for ...
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4answers
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Did Jesus visit India?

Some traditions state that Jesus visited India between the ages of 12 and 33, in order to study and learn. What evidence is there that he did or did not visit India?
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Why did the conclave elect Pope Stephen I, when he died prior to taking office?

According to Wikipedia, Pope Stephen I was elected to the papacy in March of 752 A.D., but died a few days later, prior to being installed. As I understand it, Catholic teaching indicates that God's ...
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How many witnesses are there who physically saw and/or touched the golden plates from which the Book of Mormon was reportedly translated?

I understand the Book of Mormon has a list of witnesses. However, I have heard that these witnesses may not have actually ever seen the gold plates that contained the original manuscripts for the ...
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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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Has Christianity ever come down in opposition of arranged marriages?

Many cultures in many ages have practiced arranged marriages. I understand that in Jewish culture --at about the time of Christ-- arranged marriages were considered a normal way of life. Obviously if ...
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3answers
937 views

What happened to the Sarum rite?

The Sarum rite was the traditional rule of liturgical worship for Catholics in England, and to some extent in the rest of the British Isles, for many years. It is related to the Roman rite, and to ...
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2answers
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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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What happened to the two trees in the Garden of Eden?

In Genesis 2, we are told that there were two named trees in the Garden of Eden--the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. When Adam and Eve ate fruit from the Tree of the ...
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When did Christmas (the birth of Christ) first begin as a Christian celebration?

I remember hearing something about a true Saint Nicholas who maybe helped poor children or something, but to be honest, I really don't know much about when Christmas began to be celebrated by ...
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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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Are there any references to “four canonical Gospels” prior to 100 AD?

According to the "Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung" eleven manuscripts of NT are from within the second century alone, which include: P52 (100-150), P90, 104 (2nd century), P66 (c. AD 175-...
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1answer
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When did Christians switch from an ‘immediate baptism’ to ‘after years of instruction and scrutiny’ baptism, such as in the Apostolic Tradition?

According to this article ‘Catechumen’ means one receives instruction from “a catechist in the principles of the Christian religion with a view to baptism”. I understand that some churches have this ...
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Where did the Young Earth Creationist doctrine originate?

I heard the other day that the literalist interpretation of biblical creation (A literal 7 day creation of the universe) isn't the classical historical interpretation that past Christians held. I was ...
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1answer
695 views

Was Christ's suffering unusually harsh for the standard of the Roman times?

I can understand the political reasons behind His execution. What I can't really understand is why did the Romans go through such a lengthy and gruesome process. I know crucifixion used to be a ...
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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 ...

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