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Questions tagged [origin]

Questions about the origins of beliefs, concepts, and terminology

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5 answers
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What is the origin of the idea that Michael is Jesus?

I recently came across the idea of identifying the angel Michael as Jesus. I'm surprised I hadn't heard it before. Wikipedia documents it as common to Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses. I'...
djeikyb's user avatar
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21 votes
2 answers
5k views

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: ...
Ray's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
3k views

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 ...
pterandon's user avatar
  • 4,851
20 votes
2 answers
2k views

How old is old earth creationism?

The answers to What is the biblical evidence for an old Earth? say that biblical arguments for old Earth creationism are based on the ambiguous words used for describing lengths of time in Genesis. ...
hammar's user avatar
  • 1,385
10 votes
1 answer
861 views

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 ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
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21 votes
1 answer
744 views

When in the development of trinitarian doctrine was the word "persons" first applied to God?

In the Bible, the word "persons" is not used in reference to God, nor are the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit called "persons." When, in early Christian writings and creeds, was the word "persons" (...
Lee Woofenden's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
18k views

Adam and Eve Clothed in Light Before the Fall - Origin of this belief?

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 ...
user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
24k views

What is the origin of the story that James had knees as hard as a camel's, because of his praying?

I'm reading John Pollock's "The Apostle - A Life Of Paul" and, at page 85 of the 1969 print, he states that James was a man of such devotion that long praying had made his knees as hard as camel's,...
Filipe Merker's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
4k views

Where does the belief that the Earth is relatively young (6000 years) come from?

Some christians believe the Earth is only 6000 to 12,000 years old. Where does this age originate from?
Cavere Mendacia's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
4k views

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 ...
Thunderforge's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
5k views

When did Christianity originate?

How long has Christianity been around? Not how or why -- just when did it start: As a religion? As a name?
Caleb's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
2k views

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 ...
Peter Turner's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
256 views

What is the basis for the belief "It is possible to have free-will and be incapable of sinning, but it is not possible to be created in that state"?

Some Christians believe that "It is possible to have free-will and at the same time be incapable of sinning, but it is not possible to be created in that state". For example, in my recently ...
Mark's user avatar
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24 votes
2 answers
7k views

From where does the doctrine that there is no time in heaven originate?

I'm quite familiar with the fact that God himself is outside of time, this is very easy to show through scripture. However it seems to be an increasingly popular conception that there is no time in ...
2tim424's user avatar
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22 votes
2 answers
3k views

Swear to tell the truth 'so help me God'?

I know that in court if you don't believe in God you are allowed to simply give an "Affirmation" instead of an Oath. But what I want to know is why any Christian would swear an Oath to tell the truth "...
2tim424's user avatar
  • 3,468
19 votes
7 answers
1k views

How old is the idea of premillenial rapture?

Wikipedia claims that the doctrine of rapture was first formed in the 17th century: The concept of the Rapture, in connection with premillennialism, was expressed by the 17th-century American ...
StackExchange saddens dancek's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
26k views

What is the origin of the Good Friday tradition?

As suggested by this question and this answer, it seems possible that Jesus actually died on a Wednesday, not on a Friday. In light of these competing theories, what is the origin of the Good Friday ...
Flimzy's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
883 views

When and how was the doctrine of the one divine will established?

Many (perhaps most) Trinitarian theologians says that the Father, Son, and Spirit each possess the one singular divine will. This is a stronger statement than saying they are "united in will", which ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
1k views

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'...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
27 votes
6 answers
12k views

What is the history of the concept of a "personal relationship with Jesus"?

It is common these days to hear questions like: Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? Or... The most important thing is your personal relationship with Jesus. The Bible never uses ...
Flimzy's user avatar
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21 votes
2 answers
33k views

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 ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 851
20 votes
7 answers
9k views

Why is the number 666 considered evil?

People always make jokes about the number 666 and how it's evil and such. What is the basis of this?
Flimzy's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
2k views

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 ...
Kazark's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
10k views

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'...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
5k views

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 ...
Darryl's user avatar
  • 385
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

When and where does the statement, "Christ paid the penalty for our sins" first appear?

The statement, "Christ paid the penalty for our sins" does not appear in the Bible. When in the history of Christian theology did this specific statement first appear? Who said it? Please provide ...
Lee Woofenden's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
381 views

What are the earliest references to Jesus' birthday being December 25?

One of the arguments in favor of the traditional date of December 25 being the actual date of Jesus birth is that of church tradition. Of course, it's possible that the early church just picked a date ...
Jess's user avatar
  • 3,562
17 votes
1 answer
879 views

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 ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the earliest historical testimony of the celebration of the nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ?

What is the earliest historical testimony (e.g., in writing) of the celebration (i.e., a feast) of the nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ, whether it be on the equivalent of December 25, January 6, or ...
user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
1k views

What are the first references to a tradition of fasting before partaking of the Lord's Supper?

I recently learned that in Roman Catholicism, it's expected that partakers of the Eucharist will fast for at least an hour. Canon 919, §1 reads: A person who is to receive the Most Holy Eucharist ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
3k views

When was the word "trinity" first applied to God in Christianity?

The word "trinity" does not occur in the Bible. When, in early Christian writings and creeds, was the word "trinity" first used in reference to God? After that first (known) occurrence, what are ...
Lee Woofenden's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
2k views

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 ...
Joshua's user avatar
  • 2,134
13 votes
3 answers
8k views

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 ...
user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
793 views

What is the historical origin of the "Last Supper" expression?

This is not a question about the meaning (self-explanatory) of the expression, but on its origin. In particular, about who, where, and when. There seems to be nothing about this around. The New ...
luchonacho's user avatar
  • 4,682
12 votes
3 answers
914 views

What is the origin of the Covenant of Grace?

In Covenant Theology the Covenant of Grace refers to an overarching theological covenant which God made on the basis of grace. The various Biblical covenants such as Abraham's, the Mosaic/Deuteronomic,...
curiousdannii's user avatar
  • 20.4k
11 votes
3 answers
972 views

Does the Protestant Bible mention Satan punishing non-believers after death?

I have always heard people say that when you die and haven't accepted Christ and go to hell, that you're going to be punished by Satan, and we have this great plethora of contemporary culture showing ...
jcolebrand's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
18k views

Where did the religious symbol of the 'halo' come from?

I once read somewhere that the 'halo' was inherited by Christianity from ancient worshippers of the Sun.  However, although this seems believable I never bothered to verify its historic credibility - ...
Mike's user avatar
  • 32.9k
9 votes
2 answers
5k views

What is the origin of the idea that the baby Jesus did not cry?

"...the cattle are lowing. The baby awakes. But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes." ~ 2nd verse to Away In A Manger Did this idea originate from historical Christian doctrine? Where did ...
LCIII's user avatar
  • 9,387
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the origin of the story of the penitent thief as a young boy?

During the Easter sermon our priest told a small story. It goes somewhat like this: 'When Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus fled to Egypt, on the way there was a little boy who was given the task of ...
Akas Antony's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
337 views

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 ...
kutschkem's user avatar
  • 5,603
7 votes
2 answers
472 views

What is the earliest documented usage of the term "Sola Scriptura"?

While the concept may have existed far prior, a recent discussion has left me wondering - What is the earliest documented usage of the term "Sola Scriptura" in Christian writings. I am not interested ...
James Shewey's user avatar
  • 2,636
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

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 ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
6k views

What are the origins and history of shaking, trembling, jerking, contorting, collapsing, fainting and similar manifestations in Christianity?

I'm interested in learning about the origins and evolution throughout Church history of manifestations such as shaking, trembling, jerking, contorting, collapsing or fainting attributed to the Holy ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
5k views

What is the origin of the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

How old is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and in what manner was it conceived and instituted?
Andrew's user avatar
  • 8,131
6 votes
2 answers
873 views

What is the first recorded observation of Good Friday?

When was the first Good Friday commemoration observed, distinct from Pascha/Passover or Sunday Easter? Related: What is the origin of the Good Friday tradition? However, I am not interested in ...
Joshua's user avatar
  • 2,134
6 votes
3 answers
4k views

When did sin and evil in the universe first appear?

According to Catholicism and Protestantism (I am not aware of any division over this) When did evil in the universe first appear and what was the originating cause of it? Note: I mean the immediate ...
Mike's user avatar
  • 32.9k
5 votes
1 answer
7k views

According to Biblical Literalists, who is Satan? Where did he come from? What is he? And what will happen to him?

According to Protestant Biblical Literalists: Who is Satan? Where did he come from? Where is he going or what will happen to him? I'm interested in answers with citations from the Bible.
Narnian's user avatar
  • 63.9k
5 votes
4 answers
330 views

When was the "Evangelist" title first applied to the Gospel authors?

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are known as the "Four Evangelists" because they are believed to have written the four canonical Gospels. The word "evangelist" means a messenger of ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
  • 20.4k
5 votes
1 answer
249 views

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 ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
3k views

In Catholicism since when did willfully violating Sunday Mass obligation become mortal sin?

In the history of the Catholic Church, what led to the classification of willfully violating Sunday Mass obligation to be mortal sin? I'm looking for the origin of canon law, council document, ...
GratefulDisciple's user avatar