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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2answers
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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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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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1answer
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Where was Jesus' tomb?

We can be pretty sure it isn't in Japan. The two most referenced sites are: The Aedicule of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and The Garden Tomb. However, both stake their claims by virtue of their ...
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Is there any evidence that Romans viewed Christian teachings on sexual restraint as a liberating influence?

Sarah Ruden (via John Stonestreet) makes an interesting claim about the Roman Empire in the time of Paul: Dreher cites classics scholar Sarah Ruden, whose book “Paul Among the Gentiles” was the ...
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Was Jesus a poor man, in economic sense?

I saw a video of Cesar Vidal and he said, that probably, Jesus was a middle-high class in economic sense, during the period of life before public ministry. I need historical references.
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How do Protestants answer the Catholic accusation of historicity?

The Roman Catholic Church has a claim of apostolic succession, from St. Peter transited by the laying on of hands. Most Protestants reject this understanding of apostolic succession, and instead teach ...
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How many children did Adam and Eve have?

I recall someone suggesting to me one time that Adam and Eve had a total or twenty of so children, and that this came from some Jewish writings. Is there any indication, then, from history regarding ...
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Does the Bible indicate when the Ark of the Covenant officially disappeared?

As the title asks, does the Bible indicate when, where, or how the ark of the covenant finally disappeared? If not, do we have any likely clues?
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What exactly was the purpose of the Council of Nicea?

I heard recently in a bible study class on "How we got the Bible", that the Council of Nicea is not actually responsible for the compilation of the complete, canon biblical texts. I had always thought ...
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Why has Mary Magdalene been portrayed as a prostitute?

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to watch ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. It wasn't all that great and yes I found it a bit offensive, however it did get me thinking. Why does it seem as if Mary ...
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Why Moses is not Sargon I?

This is not going to be a question about the Bible or God but I believe that is related with the Christianity. I believe in God, I came to my Savior several years ago but recently a friend sent me a ...
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Is there scholarly concensus on the historicity of Foxe's Book of Martyrs?

Foxe's Book of Martyrs purports to recount the lives and deaths of many who are regarded as the heroes of the Christian faith, and is revered as a classic within the genre of Christian literature. The ...
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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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Is there a unique characteristic for all canonical books?

Is there any one unique characteristic that would be common for all the books of the Bible besides being chosen by the Church to be a part of canon? I am interested here in the main-stream Protestant ...
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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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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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At what date in history was the last papal anathema officially applied through the death penalty in a papal court against a heretic or protestant?

I was just wondering when in history the official papal death sentences really ended. I am not interested in any killing that was not officially authorized by a pope (or his authorized ...
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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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What are the arguments for the Exodus occuring in 1440BC or 1290BC?

There are two schools of thought on when the Exodus occurred, the "early" date of 1440BC, and the "later" date of 1290BC. How was each date arrived at, and what is the evidence for each?
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Were Jews in Jesus' day binitarian?

Is it true that Jews during Jesus' lifetime were binitarian, that is believing that God was one being in two persons similar to how Christians have historically believed and taught that God is ...
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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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Why did Protestants abandon Liturgy of the Hours?

In Divine office or Liturgy of the Hours as it is practiced in Catholic Church there's nothing bad for Protestants (or at least nothing of which I know that Protestants consider bad); prayer is good ...
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Did Abraham, David and Solomon think having many wives was sin? [closed]

Did Abraham, David and Solomon think having many wives and concubines was sin?
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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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Where did the dates at the bottom of the pages in the Book of Mormon come from?

From these images of an original copy of the Book of Mormon, it appears that the dates and chapter summaries that appear in modern printings do not appear in the original. When exactly did these ...
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Was Peter part of a militant sect?

John 18:10 (NLT)  10 Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave. The pastor at a church I used to go to once said1 that Peter was ...
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What is the history of silent prayer?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe there is much in the way of Biblical or early-church precedence for praying silently. It seems like prayers were generally spoken aloud. In modern times, ...
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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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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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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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Was the temple built in 46 years or was it 46 years old during Jesus' time?

I stumbled on this verse again and would like some clarification: Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? John 2:20 (KJV) Was ...
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Did John Wesley admire and learn from Arminias or did he just have a couple similiar ideas?

I do not know a lot about Wesley, but when I encounter him, I tend to like what he says, even though I am a Calvinist. On the the other hand when I encounter people arguing for Arminian doctrines in ...
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At the greater emergence of democracy in Europe during the 'Enlightenment' did the papacy support democracy?

I was just wondering how did the papacy respond to democracy when it first arose in Europe? On one hand, in a country that was, according to its sovereign, a Catholic country, democracy would be very ...
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Authenticity of the Pontius Pilate's letter to Tiberius Caesar?

Just looking to find out if this alleged Letter of Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar is authentic or a later forgery? I don't care how it physically describes Jesus, just want to know how it was found ...
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Has the Church historically considered biblical texts concerning slavery to be transcultural or finite?

How have the Bible's passages concerning slavery been interpreted and applied throughout Christian history, especially passages such as Exodus 21:2-11, Leviticus 25:44-46, and 1 Timothy 6:1-2? Have ...
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What evidence is there that the Jews thought leprosy was due to sin?

Some Jews seemed to think that lepersy was a punishment for sin, rather than a sin itself. This is most probably going to sound like a stupid question either because there is a specific verse or ...
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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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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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What is the earliest point in history where the cross icon started showing up on artifacts related to Christianity?

I can’t imagine the cross would have become an art-piece while the Romans were still killing Christians. The cross symbol during the persecutions must have in some way seemed similar to the Nazi ...
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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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What is God's shape or form? [closed]

How do we describe God? Does He have a shape or form? Is He human-like, a light, or something else? Does He have a shape? What does Christianity say about it?
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Were any Biblical prophecies understood before they were fulfilled?

In a recent discussion on this site, someone told me that the nature of Biblical Prophecy is such that it cannot be understood prior to its fulfillment; that this is essentially the point of a ...
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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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Are there any tenets of Gnosticism that are still present in the church today?

Towards the end of the New Testament writing, the heresy of gnosticism was one of the chief "false teachings" against which Paul and the other writers were contesting. Could someone present some of ...
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What is the historical reason the King James Version was created?

Many years ago, I heard someone say that the KJV came about because King James I wanted a version of the Bible that supported him getting a divorce. Nowadays, I can't help but wonder how true this is. ...
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When did the African-American population become Christian?

As someone who's never been to the USA I might be making a completely wrong assumption, but from all the media, it seems that the majority of the African-American population were traditionally ...
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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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Why didn't Martin Luther provide for his family to be taken care of after his death?

I recently heard Professor Stephen Nichols of Reformed Theological Seminary state that following Martin Luther's death, his wife, Katie, and his children struggled financially for some time. Did ...
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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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Acts 11:26 regarding the word Christian?

Referring to Acts 11:26: Did the people (unbelievers) of Antioch call the "Believers" Christian, or did the Believers start calling themselves Christian first in Antioch? Here is what I mean: Acts 11:...

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