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30 votes
Accepted

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) ...
Andrew Leach's user avatar
  • 14.2k
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 ...
depperm's user avatar
  • 9,900
21 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Phill Sacre's user avatar
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19 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
19 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 ...
Michael Kay's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
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 ...
Susan's user avatar
  • 4,333
13 votes
Accepted

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 "...
Hold To The Rod's user avatar
12 votes

How do Christians reconcile archeology with the Bible in the account of the Battle of Jericho?

Several methods of dating put the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC, the beginning of the building of Solomon's Temple in 967 BC, the Fall of Jericho in 1406 BC, and the descent into Egypt of Jacob ...
Andrew Shanks's user avatar
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 ...
Susan's user avatar
  • 4,333
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). ...
GratefulDisciple's user avatar
12 votes

Evangelical Christians claim Jerusalem was destroyed in either 587 or 586 BCE. What is the evidence?

First of all, there were two sieges of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar II: 597 BCE: a military campaign carried out by Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon. In 605 BC, he defeated Pharaoh Necho at the ...
Codosaur's user avatar
  • 1,407
12 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,...
GratefulDisciple's user avatar
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 ...
Mason Wheeler's user avatar
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11 votes
Accepted

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, ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
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 ...
ReallyBigRock's user avatar
10 votes

Authenticity of the Pontius Pilate's letter to Tiberius Caesar?

I would say probable forgery. First searching for the letter before a link/source was added revealed at least 3 letters, each is written differently: Letter of Pilate to Tiberius 1 - Unable to verify ...
depperm's user avatar
  • 9,900
9 votes
Accepted

How long was David on the run from Saul?

The short answer is: We don't know for sure because there are very few dates or ages given in the stories of Saul and David in the Bible. We cannot even be certain of the length of Saul's reign, or ...
Lee Woofenden's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

What oil was used at the time of James?

The base was almost certainly olive oil, since that was the most readily available vegetable oil in the Mediterranean area (at least in the ancient world). The Wikipedia article (which references ...
AthanasiusOfAlex's user avatar
8 votes

Reason for drawing water at unusual time

This is a quite fascinating question, where we can speculate to our hearts' content! First, it must be pointed out that the New Living Translation you have quoted is dogmatic in its assertion that it ...
Andrew Shanks's user avatar
8 votes

Acts 11:26 regarding the word Christian?

Strictly speaking, the reference in Acts is to "disciples" (μαθητὰς) and not "believers" (πιστεύοντες), though the latter word seems to be used elsewhere synonymously in Acts (e.g. 5:14). The Greek ...
guest37's user avatar
  • 5,667
8 votes
Accepted

How did scripture get the name bible?

See: What Does "Bible" Mean and How Did it Get That Name? Origin of the word: The word Bible itself is simply a transliteration of the Greek word bíblos (βίβλος), meaning "book." So the Bible ...
Paul Chernoch's user avatar
8 votes

Were birthdays celebrated by believers anywhere in Holy Scriptures?

Were birthdays celebrated by believers? The answer would turn on one's definition of "celebrate". Does "celebrate" mean only the inclusion of cake, ice cream, balloons, streamers, presents, friends, ...
SLM's user avatar
  • 13.9k
8 votes

Is there extra-biblical evidence for the Exodus?

"I've heard from multiple sources that there isn't even the slightest of (extra-biblical) evidence of the Exodus story or even evidence for the presence of Israelites in Egypt. If this is true.......
Andrew Shanks's user avatar
8 votes

The matter of Pope Benedictus XVI and Nazism?

I'm a Protestant and have some serious differences with the Catholic Church. Benedict XVI was born in 1927 and thus was 11 or 12 when WW2 began. I understand he was compulsorily enrolled in the Hitler ...
AncientGiantPottedPlant's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Why is Boaz's marrying a Moabitess accepted when later it was found necessary for Ezra to break up such a marriage?

The Moabites were under a curse because of how cruelly they treated the Jews and because of their idolatry. The Moabite wives in Ezra’s day were a snare, bringing unrepentant idolatry in their homes. ...
Paul Chernoch's user avatar
8 votes

What lines of evidence and arguments refute the notion that the gospels are nothing more than dismissible 'reports of reports of reports of reports'?

Although the question is worded with a kind of sarcasm that could be considered on the border of rude, I would simply rephrase it to say 'Why do so many people believe the that the gospel accounts are ...
Mike's user avatar
  • 33.1k
7 votes

Did the events of Good Friday take place during winter?

Good Friday is the traditional day of Jesus crucifixion. It takes place on the Friday afternoon before the Passover. Passover Timing The Passover was one of the most important holy days to the Jews. ...
Joshua's user avatar
  • 2,134
7 votes

What are the six original sons of Israel that Exodus 28 speaks off?

The “original sons” the passage speaks of refers to all twelve sons of Israel, since it reads as follows from Exodus 28:9–10: “Take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the tribes of ...
greychr's user avatar
  • 71

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