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Are there any references that people of the book have actually had ties to the Ka'ba?

Whether there are references to Mecca in previous scripture is a matter of debate, for which Islam Stack Exchange is not the right forum. Furthermore, any such references will not carry authoritative ...
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The Asbab Al-Nuzul (Historical Background) of Surah 4:157

For this specific verse no reason for revelation (sabab an-Nuzul) was mentioned in any reliable source or tafsir.
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Is it possible to shave head before departing for Hajj

It's better you don't cut your scalp hair in such a manner that sufficient hair is not available for cutting/shaving, crop cut look is better to be avoided before embarking. Cutting of scalp hair or ...
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Are there any references that people of the book have actually had ties to the Ka'ba?

Yes. Believers from among the People of the Book respected it, protected it and did rites there. For example, there is the story of Tubba (upon the religion of Moses) and how he was considering ...
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