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Questions tagged [origin]

Questions about the origins of beliefs, concepts, and terminology

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What is the earliest explicit mention of infant baptism?

The Bible describes several adults being baptized (notably Jesus and the Ethiopian eunuch that Phillip baptized). And while it mentions many others being baptized, it doesn't explicitly mention ...
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1answer
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What is the origin of holding hands when praying around a circle before a meal?

My impression is that, among many Christians, people around a table saying a prayer thanking Jesus for a meal hold hands with one another. What is the origin of this practice, and are there any ...
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What's the origin of this approach of trying to obtain meaning from the individual letters of Hebrew words?

In a recent question about the names of God, two answers from different people wrote that the letters of the Tetragrammaton by themselves give the meaning of: The Hebrew letters mean “Behold the ...
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What is the origin of the belief that Satan tortures the unsaved in Hell?

There's a thought that Satan (the devil) tortures the unsaved in Hell. For example, a brief search revealed a website wherein a member posted the following: I think of Satan more of a psycopath ...
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What is the origin of the “religion vs. relationship” dichotomy?

These days the word "religion" often has a bad connotation. Christians (including myself) often emphasize that they have a "relationship" with Jesus, not that they are "religious." But this doesn'...
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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 from the ...
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Which church father first taught the perpetual virginity of Mary?

Reformed theologian Herman Bavinck, in his Reformed Dogmatics, III, §366, briefly deals with Mary's perpetual virginity, and touches on the doctrine's history: We do not yet find this idea of Mary'...
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What's the origin of the Catholic object that is a staff with a crucifix on top?

Like I asked in the title, what's the name and origin of a staff with a crucifix on top? Like the one depicted in the picture.
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Did the myth of the holy grail originate from Catholicism?

Or its practices? Catholic church sanctioned holy wars suggest they didn't think the Holy Grail a myth back then. The question is about its' origins, source.
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What is the origin of the moral-civil-ceremonial distinction of the Old Testament law?

This distinction is often called tripartite division of the law. I ran across this series of blog posts, which considers the division of the law into "moral", "civil", and "ceremonial" parts: ...
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135 views

Did St. James write the Divine Liturgy of St. James?

This is related to the question titled "What is the earliest written surviving liturgy?", but different in what it is asking. I was reading on Infogalactic the following. The Liturgy of Saint James ...
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1answer
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What is the origin of the cope?

I've heard that the cope originated as a raincoat the priests would wear in outdoor processions, and it was never dropped as part of priestly vestments per the mode of the Church in general, not to ...
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What is the origin of the term Prima Scriptura and the background against which it was defined?

Prima Scriptura is the doctrine that canonized scripture is "first" or "above all" other sources of divine revelation. Implicitly, this view acknowledges that, besides canonical scripture, there ...
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3answers
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Is Xmas a secular name for Christmas?

I heard that Xmas is a secular way of "taking Christ out of Christmas". When and why did this practice originate? Is there any truth to the claim that it has a secular or "un-Christian" origin?
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What is the modern origin of the phrase “hell is the absence of God”?

I'm familiar with debates about the theological implications of the statement "Hell is the absence of God" (see here for instance), but I have not been able to find a source for the phrase nor in what ...
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What is the origin of the idea that Miriam, sister of Moses, was a virgin?

Church father Chromatius, writing around the turn of the 4th century, appeals to an interesting OT example to defend the perpetual virginity of Mary: Remember that Miriam the prophetess of the Old ...
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What is the origin of the tradition that priests had a rope tired around them when they went into the Holy of Holies?

We have been told that it was custom for priests to have a rope tied on to them before they entered the tent where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, just in case something happened to them while they ...
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Discrepancy between Yahweh (Christian Bibles) and Eh-yeh (Torah)

I am currently working on a religious drama and outsmarted myself. I come to you for help. Growing up Jewish, I did not hear the term Yahweh until I was 14 in Western Civilization. "Well, you know, ...
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1answer
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How do various Christian traditions view the expression “crossing over Jordan”?

John Bunyan's 'The Pilgrim’s Progress' (published 1678) makes reference to "crossing the River" in order to get to the Celestial City. Chapter 20 mentions that only Enoch and Elijah did not have to ...
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1answer
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What is the earliest known instance of a petition directed to Mary?

A recent answer on this site says that "People have always prayed to Mary as a chief intercessor on their behalf." Such a statement will surely seem excessive to Protestants, who would normally ...
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Adam and Eve Clothed in Light Before the Fall - Origin of Teaching?

I've stumbled multiple times across the claim that Adam and Eve were clothed in light before the fall, and afterward they saw their nakedess not merely as a new form of enlightenment ("Suddenly I feel ...
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What is a Catechism and when and how did they originate

One Protestant source says it wasn't until the 16th century that the word "catechism" came into use and it refers to the Heidelberg Catechism, first published in 1563 and approved by the Synod of Dort ...
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Origin of the saying: Ex Deo Nascimur, In Christo Morimur

Ex Deo Nascimur, In Christo Morimur, Per Spiritum Sanctum Reviviscimus From God we are born, In Christ we die, (and) in (/per) the Holy Spirit we are reborn (revived) This is an old ...
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When did the concept of “wine is grape juice” originate?

A discussion in chat today has lead me to this question. Most of us should be familiar with the debate about whether Jesus drank alcoholic wine, or some other form of wine, or simple grape juice. My ...
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Origin of quote: “If you wish to speak or hear about God, renounce your own body…”

I've been reading Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky and encountered this quote attributed to St. Basil the Great: If you wish to speak or hear about God, renounce your ...
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Who first understood the “authorities” in Romans 13 as spiritual, not secular, authorities?

In his forthcoming book, Freedom's Progress, libertarian Gerard Casey describes several different ways of interpreting and applying Romans 13:1–7. One approach in particular I had never encountered ...
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Where did the belief that Saul fell from a horse come from?

Many people (especially Catholics; I don't know about others, but some say that Protestants usually don't believe this) think that Saul/Paul fell from a horse at the moment of his conversion, perhaps ...
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What do Protestants say was the source for the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary?

Not counting Martin Luther, who appears to have believed in the doctrine of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, what do other Protestants think is the source and reason for Catholic adherence to the ...
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What is the origin of the tradition that Mary lived in Turkey after John took her there?

This website says that the last home of Mary, the mother of Jesus, was in Ephesus, Turkey. Where did this idea originate?
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1answer
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What is the earliest surviving reference to the Paschal Greeting?

It's common in some traditions to greet one another with a "Paschal Greeting" on Easter, such as "Christ is risen," with the response "He is risen indeed." The custom seems to have originated in the ...
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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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Why do many old churches face east?

Many of the old churches including Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox ones face east. My question is: Was the tradition of construction of churches facing east, a product of certain beliefs, or was it ...
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What was the earliest reference to the 3 States of the Church?

The Churches Militant, Penitent and Triumphant are used quite regularly not only in The Catholic Church but also in some Protestant denominations. The Catechism has a reference to the three states of ...
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1answer
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Origin of the Reformed “Marks of the True Church”

In Reformed Theology, "the marks of a true church" are often delineated, to the effect of: Church discipline Teaching/preaching Administration of the sacraments (These are the marks often denoted in ...
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In Roman Catholicism, how far back in history does the process (Sacrament) of Confirmation go?

Does the Sacrament of Confirmation go back to the early Church? Also, has it always occurred around the age 14 (except in situations where it would occur later, such as conversions)?
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1answer
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Perseverance of the Saints – Historical Interpretations before Calvin

When I read the writings of early Christians I am constantly seeing references to persevering to the end and absolutely nothing resembling this teaching. It is almost as if everything taught prior to ...
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2answers
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When was Sunday first called the Sabbath?

I am looking for the first extant record of Sunday being referred to specifically as the "Sabbath" or "Christian Sabbath" I am not asking which day the early church gathered. I am not asking which ...
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480 views

Where did the idea of the inerrancy of the King James Bible come from?

Many Christians believe that the King James Bible is the only correct translation of the word of God. And they say that all other versions of the Bible are not inerrant. What is the historical origin ...
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635 views

What is the origin of the idea that Matthew, Mark, and Luke didn't mention Lazarus in order to protect him?

As discussed in another question, on why Matthew, Mark, and Luke didn't mention the raising of Lazarus, this miracle is only related in John 11 – the Synoptics, though they presumably knew about it, ...
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When was the number of the beast, 666, first identified as referring to Emperor Nero?

The belief that the number of the beast in Revelation, 666, refers to Nero is a common theory now. When was this identification first suggested?
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Who first associated the fourth beast of Daniel 7 with the Roman Empire?

Daniel's vision of the four beasts in Daniel 7 has long intrigued commentators. Regarding the vision of the fourth beast, the text reads: 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a ...
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According to Catholicism, what is the difference between forgiveness and release from punishment?

The first thing to note is that forgiveness of a sin is separate from punishment for the sin. Through sacramental confession we obtain forgiveness, but we aren't let off the hook as far as punishment ...
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Where did the idiom “asking Jesus into your heart” come from?

Where did the idea of "asking Jesus into your heart" come from? That figure of speech is not explicitly from the bible or probably even early church history. Can anyone find its first use and maybe ...
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How did the doctrine of the pope having “supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls” originate?

The Pope enjoys, by divine institution, "supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls" This is the text of paragraph 937 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. How did this ...
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What is the basis for King Melchizedek actually being Jesus? Where did this idea come from?

I have heard people state that King Melchizedek was actually Jesus. What is the biblical basis for this idea? Where in church history did this idea begin?
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In Western communion services, when was the origin of the practice of consistently offering only the bread to the laity?

The practice of "communion in both kinds" by the laity, that is, both the eating of the bread and drinking of the cup, seems to have been the typical practice in the early church. 1 Corinthians 11:28 ...
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What is the history of the doctrine of inerrancy?

Is there any reason, biblical or otherwise, not to believe that the doctrine of inerrancy is relatively new (past two hundred years). I found the following statement on Wikipedia. "It has in fact ...
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82 views

Source of the view that the human will is necessitated but not coerced

Consider this excerpt from Aquinas: Some have held that the human will is necessarily moved to choose things. But they did not hold that the will is coerced, since only something from an external ...
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What is the source of the belief that the deceased become angels?

An associate wrote an open letter (email) of condolence to a friend who'd lost a child. The letter stated that that deceased was now an angel in heaven with wings. What is the ultimate source of this ...
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Is Luther really the originator of “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone”?

The quote "We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone" is commonly attributed to Martin Luther, but is this actually so? If so, in what context did he say or write this? If ...