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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23
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7answers
175k views

What are the different names of God in the Bible and what do they mean? [closed]

I see that our current-day Bibles only refer to God as LORD. Can you explain to me what the different names of God are and what they mean?
23
votes
4answers
260 views

Hand Picked Bible Applications

I understand that my question pokes at a sensitive area, but being a nonreligious person in a largely Christian region, I find it extremely dissatisfying to leave such a core aspect of my neighbor's ...
22
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it possible for The Bible to contain errors?

For those who profess to follow the word of Christ, everyone agrees that the Bible is the infallible word of God as transcribed by many different men compiled together in one book. But for this ...
22
votes
7answers
627 views

Why is the Bible a foundation of theological evidence?

Please excuse my ignorance I'm new to this. I've been looking through the Q&A on the site and I've noticed scripture and especially passages from the Bible are cited as evidence for one argument ...
22
votes
2answers
303 views

Does the Bible give any rules for music?

Does the Bible provide any rules or even any indication about what kind or style of music is appropriate, both for worship and in general?
22
votes
3answers
3k views

Why do Protestants allow contraception?

The Catholic Church is strongly against contraception. Most Protestants nowadays accept it; I gather it was less common in the past. Of course it's possible that Protestants have just given in to ...
21
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3answers
3k views

What does the bible say about interracial marriages?

This has been a popular topic of debate, at least where I live. As Armenians, we like to...discourage marriages with spouses of a different ethnicity or nationality, simply in order to carry the ...
20
votes
5answers
702 views

Does being a Christian mean being a Bible literalist?

Where are the lines for Bible literalism in the Christian faith? Are all aspects of the Bible treated with the same level of literal belief (as actual history), or are some parts considered to be ...
19
votes
4answers
731 views

Was the flood of Noah global or local? [closed]

Genesis 7 and 8 describes the flood of Noah, and says in part: The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, ...
19
votes
2answers
353 views

By what mechanism could the Bible be inerrant?

For those who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible (or those who understand the positions of those who do), how can the Bible have this status given all the opportunities for any message delivered by ...
19
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2answers
4k views

Are any Greek or Roman gods mentioned by name in the Bible?

Also, are any Greek or Roman mythological characters or creatures mentioned in the Bible?
19
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4answers
298 views

Does the Bible itself give us clues about which parts to interpret literally and which figuratively?

I know that the question may seem a little bit self-referential but I ask it anyway: There is often great controversy among Christians what parts of the Bible are to be interpreted literally and what ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

Where did Noah find polar bears and penguins in Palestine?

The biblical account of Noah's Ark and the flood seems implausible to me due to this detail... How could animals accustom to thriving in extreme temperatures be found in a common place for ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

In what order should the books of the (Protestant) Bible be read? [closed]

The Bible is probably one of the most historically significant books for the Western civilization, so it should be a worthwhile read for many a literature geek. In which order should it be read, ...
18
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6answers
6k views

What are the practical applications of “two will become one flesh”? [closed]

Mark 10:8 (NIV) and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What does this mean for a marriage? What are the practical applications of this? Obviously, this is ...
17
votes
10answers
7k views

Are there any examples of sarcasm in the bible?

The closest in tone to sarcasm, though somewhat different, that I am aware of is John 1:45-46 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Where do the names of books of Bible come from?

Where does the name of each book come from? (I am not a Christian and this should be treated like a novice question.)
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Why is God asking questions or appearing uncertain in the Bible if He's omniscient?

Is God omniscient? lists all the passages were it is written that God is omniscient. Reading other passages, I found a few things that seemingly contradict this: In Genesis 3:8-13 God asks Adam and ...
17
votes
1answer
29k views

In what countries is it illegal to own a Bible (the most banned book in the world)?

It is my understanding that in many countries of the world, it is illegal to print or own a copy of the Bible. Is there any compilation of which countries have banned the Bible? As an aside, if you ...
16
votes
4answers
944 views

What is the role of Mohammed in Bible?

With reference to the below verse: John 14:16 and 14:26, referring to a Paraclete ("comforter"), have been read by Muslims as a prediction that Muhammad will follow Jesus. John 14:16 "And I will ...
16
votes
4answers
410 views

Where does the Bible stand on vegetarianism? [closed]

The subject of vegetarianism (or dietary recommendations in general) appears to me to be a bit ambivalent in the Bible. For example, Genesis 1:29 , Romans 14:21 and Isaiah 65:21-25 appear to endorse ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Do not allow a sorceress/witch to live?

I saw a witch a while back being mistreated, which deeply troubled me. I am strong proponent for Luke 6:31. I am familiar with Exodus 22:18 which usually translates to something like: Do not allow a ...
16
votes
4answers
6k views

What does the Bible say about Science?

It's a debate that atheists seem to thrive on. Fact vs. Faith. Personally, I believe in a co-existence of the two, but I'm interested in what the Bible has to say about us learning about our ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

How ambitious should a Christian be? [closed]

According to Luke 16:13 (ESV): No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God ...
16
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6answers
3k views

If the Bible has been changed over the years, can we still trust it?

I read that there are passages that exist today that are not in some of the oldest scrolls. Since these passages were added along the way—maybe to help explain something—can we trust that ...
16
votes
3answers
14k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
806 views

Is Knuth's 3:16 project unique?

Famous computer scientist Donald Knuth is also the author of 3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated (A-R Editions, 1990). This is a tour of the Bible using the methodology of "stratified random sampling", where ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

The voice of God vs the voice of Satan

I listen to heavy music and I have had people tell me on numerous occasions the vocals sound like the voice of Satan, even when the band is clearly Christian (see For Today if you are curious). Movies ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Should a Protestant read the apocryphal books of the Bible?

The Protestant Bible has 66 books. Should we read apocryphal books (e.g. 1&2 Maccabees and Gospel of Thomas)?
15
votes
6answers
11k views

Why did the apostle John call himself, “the disciple whom Jesus loved”?

John refers to himself, on at least four occasions, as "the disciple whom Jesus loved"? (John 13:23, 19:26, 21:7 & 21:20). Why is this? It seems a bit arrogant, especially as Jesus loved the ...
15
votes
7answers
1k views

What is the significance of the number 666?

People always make jokes about the number 666, or how it's evil, etc. What is the basis of this, and is it really something that Christians should be concerned with?
15
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
510 views

Can we trust the Septuagint?

I've previously used the Apostolic Bible for digging deeper into the meanings of passages. However, I've found that some passages in the Old Testament make no sense compared to the modern ...
14
votes
1answer
336 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
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 ...
14
votes
6answers
31k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
13k views

How long did it take to form the Biblical canon?

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 ...
14
votes
1answer
202 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
votes
2answers
5k 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
votes
1answer
10k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
445 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. ...
13
votes
2answers
204 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
votes
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 ...
13
votes
4answers
248 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
votes
1answer
2k 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
votes
4answers
1k 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
votes
3answers
498 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
503 views

Does the Bible support the concept of male spiritual headship? [on hold]

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 ...