Category Archives: History

Maria von Trapp, plus seven artists, on Jesus the refugee

Many of you know Maria von Trapp as the singing nun-turned-governess in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music. Julie Andrews immortalized the character in the 1965 film adaptation. Though the musical contains fictionalized details, Maria von Trapp (née Kutschera) … Continue reading

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The Two Genealogies of Jesus, the Curse of Jeconiah, and the Royal Line of David

Several passages in the Hebrew Bible (which Christians refer to as the Old Testament) prophesy that David’s throne will be established forever: 2 Samuel 7:12–16; Psalm 89:3–4, 132:11; Isaiah 16:5; and Jeremiah 33:17. Jews, therefore, have taken that to mean … Continue reading

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Instead of Santa, Christkindl

In many parts of Germany the secret delivery of gifts on Christmas Eve is attributed not to Santa Claus but to the Christkind (“Christ Child”)—or, in diminutive form, Christkindl. The idea that the baby Jesus is responsible for such a … Continue reading

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An early Protestant painting (commissioned by Luther)

This Saturday, October 31, is an important commemorative date in the Protestant calendar: on this day in 1517 Martin Luther nailed a written protest to the door of Wittenberg Cathedral, listing ninety-five ways in which the church had departed from … Continue reading

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Get dusty!

An ancient Jewish blessing supposedly goes, “May you be covered in the dust of your rabbi.” The idea is that a rabbi’s disciples—those who took on his yoke, his set of interpretations of scripture—were to follow so closely behind him … Continue reading

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Why Jesus’s most incredible claim gained widespread acceptance

No major religion has a founder who claimed to be God, though some small short-lived cults have had them. While there have been self-deceived people in history who have made divine claims, they never were able to make their assertions … Continue reading

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Who was Saint Patrick?

St. Patrick’s feast day is tomorrow, March 17. Here’s a short clip from the video curriculum Christian History Made Easy that explains why the church commemorates him every year. For more on St. Patrick’s outreach to the Irish, read the … Continue reading

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