25

The branches come from difference in opinion. Here is a diagram showing where Christianity diverged. Image source From the beginning Christianity diverged from Judaism1: where Christianity emphasizes correct belief (or orthodoxy), focusing on the New Covenant as mediated through Jesus Christ, as recorded in the New Testament. Judaism places emphasis on ...


24

Word origin As stated in previous answers, the "X" in "Xmas" comes from the Greek word for Christ, Χριστός. However, since precision is important, I want to clarify when the abbreviation was first used in English. The 1511 date comes from the Oxford English Dictionary entry for ''Xmas'', which reads: 1551 in E. Lodge Illustr. Brit. ...


22

The evidence for Paul being married is fairly scant. He writes in 1 Corinthians 9:5: "Don't we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas?" The implication could be made that Paul was complaining about leaving some wife behind. In Galatians 1:14, Paul says: "I was advancing in ...


22

Wikipedia's article on Christian denominations appears to have what you are looking for. The major branches are listed in one graphic: Branches of Protestantism are best shown separately, for ease of viewing: Note that these are simple representations of complex movements, so lines connecting one tradition with another won't provide the whole picture. ...


22

Martin Luther writing to Johann Hass: Use medicine; take potions which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor does not need your presence or has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire which instead of consuming wood and ...


21

Technically, the first ecclesiastical authority to say that heretics should be persecuted was Pope Gregory IX in 1229. The first Church Father to say that heretics should be compelled to recant would be Augustine around 400 AD. The first heretic actually put to death (385AD) was killed by the Emperor - and the Pope was very annoyed at the development. It ...


21

"See" comes from the Latin word sedes, which means "seat" or "chair". "Holy See" is Sedes Apostolica (lit. "Apostolic Chair") in Latin. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) gives this etymology for see, n.1: Etymology: < Anglo-Norman see, sed, sied, siet, sez, siez, Anglo-Norman and Old French se, sie, Middle French sie, siet dwelling (c 1100), ...


20

The King James (KJV) was translated from a different Greek text than most modern translations. In the early 1500s, Desiderius Erasmus took the best copies of the Greek New Testament available to him, and compared and collated them to create the Textus Receptus (TR), the first Greek New Testament to be printed rather than hand-written. The TR was the Greek ...


20

What does “see” in “The Holy See” mean? Each bishop and archbishop has the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of an episcopal see. The Roman Pontiff (Pope) has complete jurisdiction of the Holy See, also known as Vatican City. An episcopal see is, in the usual meaning of the phrase, the area of a bishop's ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Phrases concerning ...


19

The Nicene Creed is a long-standing tradition in Christianity, and "defines the mainstream definition of Christianity for most Christians". It has been independently accepted by the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran (pdf link), and plenty of Protestant churches. Joshua Christian seems to have presented a fanciful (or at least misleading) view of the ...


19

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word apple has, until recently, always meant simply "fruit" in English. This was certainly the case at the time of the earliest English Bible translations in the 1600s. In Middle English and as late as 17c., it was a generic term for all fruit other than berries but including nuts (e.g. Old English ...


19

The 'Christ myth theory' Wikipedia page actually provides quite an in-depth exposition on the development of the concept Jesus wasn't a historical person: The beginnings of the formal denial of the existence of Jesus can be traced to late 18th century France, and the works of Constantin François Chassebœuf de Volney (1757–1820) and Charles-François Dupuis ...


19

Great Britain monks used "X" for "Christ" nearly a thousand years ago. They used "X" for "Christ" while transcribing manuscripts in Old English. They did so because the Greek word for Christ, ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, begins with the letters "chi" (or “X”) and "rho" (or "P"). And the monks used either "X" or "XP" in writing as an abbreviation for "Christ." The first ...


18

The clear and correct answer is simply: God's will. God ensured that it happened. Now, suppose one rephrased the question as: how could one explain the survival of Christianity in purely athiest terms -- with no mention of God whatsoever -- what is the closest approximation one could do? Measuring love in units of sacrifice. There's something fundamentally ...


18

Without question, Theophilus of Antioch (d. 183) is your man. He wrote in Greek: [God's creations on the first three days--light, sky, and vegetation--] are types of the Trinity [Τριάδος], of God, and His Word, and His wisdom. And the fourth [day, the creation of the moon and stars,] is the type of man, who needs light, that so there may be God, the Word, ...


17

Quick answer: Yes, nude baptism was practiced in Ancient times. From A Dictionary of Christian Antiquities p 160 ed W Smith & S Cheetam (1875) A comparison of all the evidence leads to the conclusion that the catechumens entered the font in a state of absolute nakedness. See particularly St Cyril, Hieros. Myst. Catech. ii ad init; St Ambrose, Serm. ...


17

The chair was real, but its actual function is different from what the legend says. And actually, it seems to have been three chairs: one "commode"-type seat, and two porphyry "pierced" chairs. Read on for more. In Misconceptions About the Middle Ages (page 66-7; ed. Harris and Grigsby), a description is given of the chairs' function in papal coronations: ...


17

Such a simple question, and so difficult to provide a simple answer! Probably the main reasons for Christianity dividing into branches and sects are: (a) issues of dogma: disagreements about points of doctrine some of which seem with hindsight to be incredibly hair-splitting, such as the precise relationship between Jesus' physical nature as a man and his ...


17

Cyprian wrote the following during the plague of 250 AD to remind his diocese that Christians are not to expect special protection from disease: It disturbs some believers that the power of this Disease attacks our people equally with the unbelievers, as if the Christian believed for this purpose - that he might have the enjoyment of the world and this ...


16

Here are some quotes from and references to Catholic and Protestant sources that attest to the changing of the Saturday Sabbath to the Sunday Sabbath (to speak simply). "Sunday is a Catholic institution, and its claim to observance can be defended only on Catholic principles... From beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that warrants ...


16

On a historical note, as with Pope Joan story, this too never happened. These the two myths became connected in a well circulated rumor which what eye-witnesses to medieval papal coronations believed they were watching. The result was the often repeated report of a public rite always seen by others, never by the narrator. If Pope Joan story is not true, ...


16

Attitudes on birthdays In the early church, birthdays (in general) were not seen as something to celebrate. For example, in Origen's 8th homily on Leviticus he writes: But the saints not only do not celebrate a festival on their birth days, but, filled with the Holy Spirit, they curse that day. According to an article by Andrew McGowan (Bible Review, ...


16

Sub Tuum Praesidium The earliest known, extant petition prayer to Mary the Θεοτόκος (Theotokos), or Dei Genetrix (the Greek and Latin, respectively, for 'God-bearer' or 'Birthgiver-of-God') is found in an Egyptian papyrus from the 3rd century (commonly dated to around A.D. 250-280 but as late as 300—I could not find a dating later than the 4th century) and ...


15

Overall, general accessibility to books was difficult for two of the reasons you mention: The were extremely expensive to make According to this source, we have the report of a book taking four weeks to copy (by hand, of course, and costing "53 shillings." At that same point in time, a pig was 10 pence, meaning that one book would have been equivalent to ...


15

No, he did not address the issue of slavery in any published works. We know this because of a recently published paper revealing an unpublished draft letter by Edwards that does deal with slavery. It is described by the paper author thus: It is the only known instance of Edwards writing, however abstrusely, about slavery. Also it discloses differing ...


15

The answer, in essence, is “no.” In principle, there is no obstacle to the marriage of any baptized Catholic man to any baptized Catholic woman, regardless of race. This is a principle at least as old as St. Paul: For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is ...


15

"Secret" is probably about the worst possible translation I can think of for the original term. The "Archivio Segreto Vaticano" is the current term in Italian, as documented on the Archive's website. This translates the Latin "Archivium Secretum Vaticanum" (see for example the references here). Secretum in Latin, however, does ...


15

The earliest indication may be in the Didache, typically dated at the end of the first century. It describes the celebration of the Lord's Supper in terms of the cup and breaking bread, and then says: But every Lord's day gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may ...


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