Questions about the history, composition and canon of the Bible. Don't use this tag for beliefs and practices in the Bible.

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1answer
185 views

Are today's Catholics encouraged to study the Bible at home?

How do Catholics view personal scripture study? Are members of the congregation encouraged to do any studying at home?
14
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2answers
3k views

Is there any account of a religious marriage ceremony in the scripture?

I was studying the Puritans recently, and discovered something interesting about William Bradford. According to Wikipedia, he married his wife in a civil ceremony, because "the Separatists could find ...
14
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5answers
668 views

Why is “Jesus” all caps in Matthew 1:21 and Luke 1:31?

It's only in the King James and the New King James, but why? Jesus' name is all caps: And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their ...
13
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2answers
196 views

How are verses referenced?

How are Bible verses referenced? For example what is the meaning of: Revelation 21:5 (NIV)? Are there any other methods to reference a verse? (I am not a Christian and this should be treated like a ...
13
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3answers
13k views

Who never died in the Bible?

I know Jesus is risen and that whole story, but when I was much younger I remember hearing about some people who never actually died in the Bible. Who are these people and how did they leave this ...
13
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4answers
3k views

Why did Jesus use the expression, “I tell you the truth”?

I used to think nothing of it until someone said, "it makes you wonder what he was saying the rest of the time". Now I don't believe for one moment Jesus was a liar, but why did He use that strange ...
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10answers
11k views

Is it possible to be a good Christian and be psychic at the same time?

I've seen many conflicting biblical statements that have been interpreted as condemning psychics and others that promote using "gifts from God". How can a psychic reconcile such a gift without ...
13
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1answer
280 views

How do I track the history of changes to a given verse's actual text? How do I discover it's “lineage”?

Has there been a project that traces the genealogy of each verse of the scripture? I.e., for each verse, it traces back through all the documents it was translated from, the default translations at ...
13
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4answers
1k views

How does entertainment glorify God at all?

In the modern context, we have many things to keep ourselves entertained and motivated to do work - music, videos, movies, games, magazines etc. According to 1 Corinthians 10:31 KJV Whether ...
13
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4answers
222 views

Can the Word of God and God's wisdom be beneficial to an unbeliever?

More specifically I'm wondering in the way that we go to the Bible and to God about concerns or issues that we are facing for instruction and wisdom, can we think biblically about another's concerns ...
13
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2answers
11k views

Into how many languages has the Bible been translated?

I understand that the Bible has been translated into more languages than any other book in the world. What is the current total of languages into which the Bible, or part of the Bible, has been ...
13
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1answer
1k views

What does CS Lewis mean by True Myth?

I've heard the phrase and even used it before, in potentially dangerous and unintelligent ways. But what did CS Lewis mean when he came to the realization that Christianity was not just Myth, but ...
13
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4answers
797 views

Did the gospels really copy from each other?

In school, I learned that the different gospels did copy a lot from each other. This was the explanation for why there are so many overlapping events between the gospels. Is there substantial ...
13
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6answers
24k views

What is the significance of Jesus seeing Nathanael under the fig tree?

In John 1:46-50, Nathanael is introduced to Jesus for the first time. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son ...
13
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2answers
421 views

Does the Bible support the concept of male spiritual headship?

What I mean by this is a little beyond "Wives submit to your husbands." In Joshua 7:22-25 Joshua stones and burns the entire family of Achen, including his children, after he sins by keeping back ...
13
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1answer
326 views

On what do Catholics base their doctrine of the eternal virginity of Mary?

I understand that the Catholic Church teaches that Mary is the eternal virgin in that she neither had sexual relations with Joseph (or any other man) either before or after the miraculous conception ...
13
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1answer
7k views

What is the biblical meaning of “sanctification”

I understand that sanctification is used as a post-reformational theological term to refer to the ongoing process of Christian growth. But, biblically speaking, is this always what is meant? I know ...
13
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1answer
2k views

How can I tell the difference between the Moral law and other laws in the old testament?

Many Christians believe that there are three kinds of law in the Old Testament: The moral law that declares how man should live. The civil law that was the legal structures for the ancient nation of ...
12
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7answers
3k views

What is the message of Matthew 9:5?

Matthew 9:1-8 (NIV) 1 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, ...
12
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7answers
2k views

What does it mean to interpret the Bible literally?

Here are some common definitions from a dictionary for ‘literal’: Being in accordance with, conforming to, or upholding the exact or primary meaning of a word or words. Word for word; verbatim: a ...
12
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3answers
397 views

Did Jesus die earlier than expected? [closed]

The Bible seems to indicate that Jesus died before the others that were being crucified. John 19:31-33 (NIV) 31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. ...
12
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3answers
390 views

What is the case for interpreting the Genesis creation account literally?

I think we can all agree that the entire Bible is not meant to be taken literally. Consider the Song of Solomon (what would his lover look like if we take it literally?) or the book of Revelation. ...
12
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2answers
179 views

Is it right for a church to be wealthy?

Jesus preached that the faithful should give up their wealth and worldly possessions and spend a humble existence in servitude of God. A church must have a certain amount of wealth in order to ...
12
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4answers
193 views

Profanity in entertainment?

Many comedians nowadays rely on the use of profanity to enhance their comedy. This is also present in movies and television (although limited). I know the bible says not to let "unwholesome talk" ...
12
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3answers
454 views

Are these Bible verses referencing UFOs?

Ezekiel 1:16: This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. Exodus 13:22: ...
12
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3answers
11k views

What is meant by “Get behind me Satan”?

Considering Matthew 16:23: Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Why did Jesus ...
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5answers
1k views

What evidence is there to support the position that the Bible is truly the Word of God to mankind?

Christianity generally accepts the Bible to be the Word of God, and the Bible itself makes this claim (i.e. 2 Peter 1:16-21). 16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to ...
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4answers
328 views

Criteria for translation

I know there are a TON of translations out there and that some people prefer things like King James Only. But I was wondering: What are some good criteria for choosing a translation and why?
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10answers
2k views

Does the Bible espouse moral absolutism or moral relativism?

I believe that throughout both the Old Testament and the New Testament, the Bible espouses moral absolutism. Yet, I recently read on this site a response to a question about slavery: As stated, ...
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2answers
3k views

Who wrote the Book of Revelation?

More specifically: What authorities claim that the Book of Revelation was written by the Apostle John? What authorities claim otherwise? This C.SE answer apparently references Pliny and Tacitus in ...
12
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3answers
431 views

Are there “rational” criteria for which books appear in the Bible?

When I looked into "canon criticism" or "canonology" a while back, I came across numerous (alleged) criteria for whether a book is/was included in canon, such as "Old Testament books had to be written ...
12
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3answers
552 views

Is 1 Corinthians 7:26-40 not the 'Word of God'?

Paul makes clear in 1 Corinthians 7:25 that the following section is not a word from God but his (Paul's) opinion: Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my ...
12
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2answers
448 views

What does it mean to comment on scripture with scripture?

What does it mean to "comment on a verse with a verse" or "only scripture can explain scripture"? I see these kinds of comments popping up in comment threads that discuss the meaning of a verse. What ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Is there a Biblical Ban on Gambling?

Most churches and many Christians I know are strongly against gambling, but I can't recall any passage in the Bible that declares that we shouldn't gamble. Does such a passage exist? To clarify ...
12
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5answers
182 views

Is a moral society more open to the gospel than an immoral one? [closed]

One of the answers to Why do many Christians object to same-sex civil marriage? got me thinking. If we work to make the common morals of our society more in line with Biblical morality does that make ...
12
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2answers
4k views

The symbolic use of “horn”

It has proved difficult to find an answer to this question A quick concordance search of "horn" and you will find many different uses for the word. My center-column notes say "strength." But why? ...
11
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10answers
3k views

Why does God command us to have children?

Genesis 1:28 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Have many children. Fill the earth and take control of it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds ...
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5answers
1k views

How should Christians act toward non-Christians?

How should Christians act toward non-Christians? One example I have found is 2 Corinthians 6:14 [KJV]. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath ...
11
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10answers
15k views

Ruling on eating pork in Christianity as per Bible?

I am very new to Christanity and so kindly bear with me if my question appears novice. I want to know what is the ruling on eating pork in Christianity as per Bible?
11
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6answers
2k views

Was tithing 10% required or encouraged by the early church?

I cannot find in the New Testament an obligation on Christians to tithe 10% of their income. Instead I read that it is up the individual to decide: 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV1984) Each man should ...
11
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5answers
628 views

Why is the Bible so short? [on hold]

The Old Testament checks in at about 580,000 - 590,000 words (depending on the translation), and the New Testament has about 180,000. That means the 66 distinct books combined have a total of about ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Did the Romans not breaking Jesus' legs fulfill a prophecy?

I seem to remember that Jesus having already died and not needing his legs broken fulfilled an OT prophecy. Where was this prophecy recorded and what did it say?
11
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4answers
1k views

Why was the Bible not available to common people in the Medieval period?

The Bible was not available in the hands of common people in Medieval times (5th - 15th century). Which of these possible reasons are plausible? The common people were poor and could not afford to ...
11
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2answers
6k views

How many Bibles--not translations--are there?

I've noticed recently on this site there is a push to enforce the rule that, in one's questions, one ought to state "which Bible" one is interested in learning about--whether that is the "Catholic ...
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8answers
18k views

What does the Bible say about life before conception?

I recently spoke with a friend of mine and he was wondering if we are alive before conception. We know that there is life after death according to the Bible, but what does the Bible say about "life" ...
11
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4answers
485 views

What is the argument in support of personal interpretation of the Scriptures?

The Catholic church teaches that only the Church (Magisterium) has the right to interpret Scriptures whereas Protestant churches typically believe that anyone has that right. What is the argument ...
11
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5answers
1k views

How does 1 John 2:19 fit with the teaching that Christians can lose their salvation

A common belief (not my own, but fairly common) is that believers may lose or abandon their salvation. A number of Bible verses seem to contradict this teaching, but in particular, 1 John 2:19 stands ...
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3answers
399 views

Is there any correlation between national prosperity and percentage of Christians?

I have heard of anecdotal evidence suggesting that the proportion of Christians in a population directly (positively) impacts national prosperity. In other words, the more Christians in a nation, the ...
11
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2answers
10k views

How long did it take to form the Bible?

How long did it take to collect all of the writings that eventually formed the first version of the Bible? In other words, starting with when the first writing was created (i'll say when it was ...
11
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4answers
6k views

What does the parable of the Fig Tree mean?

Luke 13:6-9 (NIV) 6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took ...