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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56
votes
12answers
7k views

Does wine really mean wine in the Bible?

In discussions I have had in the past over the acceptability of a Christian drinking alcohol I have heard that some 'dry' believers say that the wine in the Bible is not wine as we know it commonly ...
27
votes
8answers
8k views

What major translations of the Bible are in the Public Domain and therefore not subject to Copyright?

Quoting Biblical text is technically a dicey proposition. While the original manuscripts are obviously public domain, not every translation is. Indeed, the NIV even posts the following copyright ...
24
votes
7answers
801 views

How can the Son not know what the Father knows?

Matthew 24:36 (NLT) Mark 13:32 (NLT)  36 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father ...
23
votes
13answers
16k views

Prominent Theologians' answer to: What is “The Parable of the Shrewd Manager” about?

The Parable of the Shrewd Manager (full text below) is perhaps one of the hardest parables to interpret. At first glance it seems to be about rewarding dishonesty! What lesson is Jesus teaching His ...
23
votes
7answers
9k views

Are some people created to go to Hell?

This answer presents the following statement: God is in control and I believe that His will has always been done. So to say that He's never failed. So, are some people are destined to go to ...
23
votes
7answers
148k 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?
22
votes
4answers
251 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
273 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?
21
votes
3answers
2k 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
votes
3answers
4k views

Interpretation of the scripture “One Lord, one faith, one baptism?”

Ephesians 4:5 states there is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." Some Christians interpret this to mean that a single denomination (with its beliefs, doctrines, and practices) constitutes the "one ...
20
votes
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
7answers
550 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
678 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
5answers
620 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
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 ...
19
votes
4answers
218 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
1k 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
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
327 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
3k 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?
17
votes
10answers
6k 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
3k 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
1answer
24k 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
832 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
399 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
5k 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
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
623 views

What is the Biblical support for Purgatory?

Exactly as the title asks; where do Catholics get their Scriptural support for the idea of Purgatory? To be more specific, how I think of Purgatory (which may be incorrect) is that it's a temporary ...
16
votes
2answers
670 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
1k 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
7answers
33k views

Does the act of sex constitute marriage in God's eyes?

I came across this verse today (bold added): 1 Corinthians 6:15-17 (NASB) 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them ...
15
votes
4answers
2k 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
9k 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
5answers
14k views

Why did Jesus refer to Gentiles as dogs?

The passage below raises two questions in my mind but I suspect they both have the same answer. My questions are: Why did Jesus at first refuse to speak to the Canaanite woman? We know He had no ...
15
votes
2answers
8k views

Who were Jannes and Jambres?

2 Timothy 3v8 "Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected." Who ...
15
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
4k 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
440 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
6answers
875 views

What is the Biblical evidence for Old Earth?

According to a comment by another user in this question Why do OEC discount the literal interpretation of the book of Genesis?, apparently there's Biblical evidence for an Old Earth. As a Young ...
14
votes
1answer
187 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
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
votes
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 ...
14
votes
5answers
713 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
votes
2answers
197 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
3answers
14k 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
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 ...