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Has a pope ever been corrected publicly by a non-cleric in the presence of cardinals because of the unclear wording of a papal document?

It has happened to the present Pope. Dr. Anca-Maria Cernea, Doctor at the Center for Diagnosis and Treatment-Victor Babes and President of the Association of Catholic Doctors of Bucharest (Romania) ...
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27 votes

Can somebody summarize the different "branches" of Christianity to me, and explain why they exist in the first place?

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 ...
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21 votes
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How do Protestants answer the Catholic accusation of historicity?

Protestant reformers were at pains to argue that all they sought to do was restore the church to purity which had become corrupted in medieval times. They wanted to ensure that their teachings were ...
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19 votes
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Why did John Newton oppose Handel's Messiah?

Newton did indeed have issues with Handel's Messiah, so much so that in 1784–85 he gave a series of 50 sermons at his own church (St. Mary Woolnoth) in response to the oratorio being played at ...
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18 votes

Is there evidence that Isaiah 53 was viewed as a Messianic prophecy within Judaism, or is it an exclusively Christian interpretation?

The existing answer provides a learned and fascinating discussion for tracing the interpretative history of Isaiah 52:13-53:12 (often conveniently abbreviated to "Isaiah 53", the so-called "Fourth ...
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18 votes
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What is the earliest use of the phrase "God the Son"?

This question is complicated, of course, by the fact that we must work with translations of the original texts in order to find this wording. However, at least three second-century authors use this ...
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18 votes

Can somebody summarize the different "branches" of Christianity to me, and explain why they exist in the first place?

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 ...
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17 votes
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What crime was committed by the "thieves" crucified with Jesus?

Survey of Roman law A now deleted (near) duplicate of this question asked if a claim that the Roman law forbid the crucifixion of thieves, so I'll start with that question, which is highly relevant to ...
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17 votes

Where do primary sources for the Bible reside?

The short answer to the question is: in museums and libraries throughout the world. The sheer number of fragments alone means that no one academic entity - let alone even one government or ...
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17 votes

Was Jesus crucified naked?

He most likely was crucified naked - this is consistent with the biblical narrative of the guards casting lots for his garment and with standard historical practice. In the paintings, the artists ...
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17 votes
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Where are the tombs of Jesus' original 12 Apostles

I got most of this information by perusing Wikipedia. Simon Peter (brother of Andrew) - traditionally said to be buried in Rome, under St. Peter's Basilica. The tomb dates between 130 and 300. James (...
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16 votes

Is there evidence that Isaiah 53 was viewed as a Messianic prophecy within Judaism, or is it an exclusively Christian interpretation?

First, it should be noted that even if Jews did not view the passage as Messianic before Jesus, that does not prove that it is a invalid interpretation. In Old Testament times, Biblical prophecies ...
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14 votes
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How do believers in post-mortal consciousness respond to objections by the Jewish Encyclopedia article on the immortality of the soul?

How do believers in post-mortal consciousness respond to this article? First, by comparing it to this article from JewishEncyclopedia, which disagrees. We'll call the article cited in the OP "...
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13 votes
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When & where did the word "Christian" originate?

Actually, the word Christian is used three times in the New Testament. The first occasion answers your question (Acts 11:26c): It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians. ...
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13 votes

Were the names Matthew, Mark, Luke and John common in the time of Jesus?

The names of the authors of the Gospels have been adapted into English from the Greek of the New Testament.1 However, Hebrew and/or Aramaic were likely the mother tongue(s) of three of the evangelists ...
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13 votes

How do Christians who reject pre-fall death reconcile their views with the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event (66 million years ago)?

Those creationist Christians typically place the "extinction event" in Noah's day, thus long after the fall of the historic Adam. An example is from the well-known Young Earth model defender,...
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12 votes
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Why did Protestants abandon Liturgy of the Hours?

Protestantism is so broad that you can't avoid getting a broad answer. As the protestant church has no official head there is no official answer and there was never an official LOTH rejection meeting. ...
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12 votes
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Does the Bible indicate when the Ark of the Covenant officially disappeared?

No, the Bible does not. This is the last mention of the ark in the Old Testament: 2 Chronicles 35:3 And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the LORD, Put the holy ...
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12 votes
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Did Jesus own a home as an adult or was He a nomad?

There are two places in scripture where people are surprised to discover that Jesus is in a house, probably his or his family's. The first place is where Mary and Joseph are living when the wise men ...
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12 votes
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What is the source of the story about the melted gold in the destroyed temple in 70 AD?

The Mystery of the Temple's 'Molten Metals' Two recent apologists told the story, apparently independently, of molten gold seeping between the temple`s foundation stones during the Siege of Jerusalem ...
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12 votes

How were the authors of the four gospels literate?

I think you've cross wired your history a little bit. The lower overall literacy rate at the time doesn't mean nobody was literate. It certainly doesn't follow that a hand picked set of men must be ...
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12 votes

How possible is it that the Septuagint / LXX wasn't specifically quoted in the NT?

It is highly unlikely. I will address the OP's commentary/questions in turn: The reason why I ask this is because I can't really seem to find much proof of the age of the Septuagint. I offer the ...
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12 votes

Why is the word "dragon" in the Bible?

The word Dragon occurs 13 times in the Bible but only in the highly symbolic book of Revelation. From the Ancient Greek drakôn (δράκων), meaning "giant serpent", depicting a terrifying monster, a ...
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12 votes

What was the language that Enoch spoke and did the Book of Enoch get written 3000 years BC is there any proof or carbon dating of that?

Just because it's called the Book of Enoch doesn't mean it's written by him. It's considered one of Pseudopigraphical book, literally "false attribution" (See: Pseudepigrapha (Wikipedia). ...
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11 votes
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What is the history of silent prayer?

There is indeed much evidence that silent prayer was taught and practiced in the early church. Several examples from the first few centuries will demonstrate this: Clement of Alexandria (150–215) ...
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11 votes

Was Jesus a Hindu saint and belong to the religion of Hinduism?

It's quite possible that someone with a similar name was born in India at around that time, but this person is not Jesus as understood by Christianity. Our understanding of the details of his life ...
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11 votes
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What are the arguments that Acts was written prior to 70 AD?

J. A. T. Robinson, in Redating the New Testament (1976), lays out a thorough case for a pre-70 date for the publication of Acts. His main points are also maintained by other conservative scholars, ...
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11 votes

Can somebody summarize the different "branches" of Christianity to me, and explain why they exist in the first place?

The other answers here are good, but I'll try to directly address some questions with more detail. And this is the sort of question where a lot of answers are "it's complicated, and no one perspective ...
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