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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

26
votes
6answers
251k 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?
24
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
23
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
283 views

Hand Picked Bible Applications [closed]

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
5answers
930 views

Does being a Christian mean being a Bible literalist? [closed]

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 ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

What does the bible say about interracial marriages? [closed]

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 ...
22
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
21
votes
1answer
59k 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 ...
20
votes
10answers
10k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
406 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
13k views

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

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?
20
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
388 views

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

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 ...
19
votes
6answers
3k 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, ...
19
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
996 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
3answers
8k 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.)
18
votes
3answers
960 views

Can we trust the Septuagint? [closed]

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 ...
18
votes
6answers
56k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
11k 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? ...
18
votes
3answers
20k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
19k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
410 views

Why do Pentecostals believe in a closed canon?

Pentecostals believe the gift of prophecy continues to the present day. From what I understand, most Christians believe the gift of prophecy is what enabled the writers of Scripture to write ...
17
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

The voice of God vs the voice of Satan [closed]

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 ...
16
votes
4answers
5k views

Should a Protestant read the apocryphal books of the Bible? [closed]

The Protestant Bible has 66 books. Should we read apocryphal books (e.g. 1&2 Maccabees and Gospel of Thomas)?
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are psalms in the bible printed with funny spacing?

What is the significance of the awkward spacing (on the right below) when songs are printed in the bible? Is this spacing in the original scripts, or is it assumed by the translator somehow?
16
votes
4answers
12k views

What does the Bible say about Science? [closed]

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
5k 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
votes
1answer
491 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
23k 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
7answers
5k 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
1answer
3k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the biblical arguments that the Bible canon is closed?

Some religions claim to have a newer revelation of God: the Book of Mormon and the Qur'an are presented to be the latest revelation of God. The Old Testament closes with a climax of expectation of ...
15
votes
4answers
550 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
34k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
264 views

Is it right for a church to be wealthy? [closed]

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 ...
15
votes
5answers
7k views

What specific scholarship is there behind the New World Translation?

The New World Translation of the Bible was produced by the Jehovah's Witnesses. I'm wondering what specific scholarship is behind the translation. Who were the translators? What Greek Manuscripts ...
15
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
291 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?
15
votes
4answers
327 views

Who first distinguished between the inerrancy of the Bible and the inerrancy of the original autographs?

It's common these days among those who believe in the inerrancy* of the Bible to limit the statement to the original manuscripts. For example, the Chicago Statement reads: We affirm that ...
14
votes
2answers
252 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
336 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
579 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?
14
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
14
votes
11answers
4k views

Does the Bible espouse moral absolutism or moral relativism? [closed]

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, ...
14
votes
1answer
382 views

When was the New Testament divided into sentences and paragraphs?

I know that the New Testament was given chapter numberings around 1227 AD, and verse numberings in 1555 (Source). But apparently, the earliest manuscripts didn't have punctuation, spaces, or ...
13
votes
3answers
666 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. ...