23
votes
9answers
2k views

Why should a sinner suffer forever in hell fire?

In my little knowledge I believe any form of punishment is a way of curbing crimes or wrong doings and for others to learn not to do wrong. When this life ends some would be in heaven and the rest in ...
23
votes
3answers
320 views

In which year was Christ born?

This question is a spin-off from On which date was Christ born? There are differing views on the birth year of Christ, which also affect the dating of the resurrection (as we know Jesus's age on ...
23
votes
2answers
625 views

Has any prominent theologian ever explained why Jesus let a thief be in charge of the money?

From John 12:4-6 we learn that Judas was a thief, but also that he was in charge of the money bag. I've always thought of this as Jesus way of allowing Judas to master it rather than be mastered by ...
23
votes
2answers
1k views

What extrabiblical sources support the existence of Jesus in history?

What sources outside of the Bible give supporting evidence to the existence of Jesus and any of the events in His life?
23
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does Jesus refer to himself as the “Son of Man”?

Why does Jesus refer to himself as the "Son of Man"? This is similar to Why does Jesus speak of himself in the third person?, but I am specifically looking for an explanation of the "Son of Man" ...
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 ...
23
votes
3answers
1k views

What does the Bible say about Capital Punishment?

Some Christians are for and some are against capital punishment. However what does the Bible have to say about it?
23
votes
3answers
660 views

What is the reasoning behind the Amish practice of avoiding technological advances?

The Amish seem to believe that it is somehow wrong to utilize technological advances, such as the automobile, electricity, etc. What is the basis for this belief (among those that do this for ...
23
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
23
votes
6answers
393 views

What was it about the death of Jesus that allows God to forgive us?

I've heard many people state that it was the punishment inflicted by the Romans that allows God to forgive us. This just doesn't make any sense to me. How can a man suffer for a short while here on ...
22
votes
7answers
488 views

Who was Melchizedek? [on hold]

Melchizedek ("King of Justice" in Hebrew) is mentioned in Genesis 14 as receiving the dime from Abraham, and breaking bread with him: 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: ...
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
4answers
5k views

Why was Zachariah punished while Mary was not?

The gospel of Luke states that when the angel Gabriel appeared to Zacharia and told him that his wife Elizabeth would concieve John the Baptist, Zacheria doubts the prophecy and so is temporarily ...
22
votes
7answers
625 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
6answers
4k views

When does the Pope speak ex cathedra?

The Catholic Church considers the Pope infallible, but only in limited circumstances. The Pope is a human being like the rest of us, and capable of sinning. However, when the Pope speaks ex cathedra, ...
22
votes
3answers
13k views

Does the pope get paid for being the pope?

I just started wondering after seeing the white smoke, did the cardinal just receive a raise when he became the pope? What's his salary if he is paid.
22
votes
3answers
486 views

What is “new” in the New Perspective on Paul?

What specially is new and different in the "New Perspective on Paul" movement? How can the differences to the "old" perspective be summarized? Note: Please don't make this question about defending ...
22
votes
6answers
1k views

Is Hell eternal, or do some/all escape it?

In his recent book, Love Wins, author and pastor Rob Bell caused quite a bit of controversy (and anger) by making the argument that Heaven is the state that we are in when we follow God's will and ...
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 ...
22
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the history of the concept of a “personal relationship with Jesus”?

It is common these days to hear questions like: Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? Or... The most important thing is your personal relationship with Jesus. The Bible never ...
21
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 ...
21
votes
9answers
9k views

Does the Bible condemn white lies?

Orthodox views on it state that any sort of lie is a sin by itself. More liberal Christians will say that it doesn't really mean that much provided it doesn't hurt anybody. But more importantly than ...
21
votes
9answers
6k views

What does Jesus mean by saying, “Why do you call me good?”

Luke 18:19 (NKJV) So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. My question is: is this contradictory? What does Jesus mean by this statement?
21
votes
4answers
9k views

Is it appropriate to capitalize pronouns referring to Jesus Christ? [closed]

Somewhere along the line I picked up the habit of capitalizing He, His, Him, etc. when they are referring to Jesus Christ as a form of respect. Likewise I always capitalize Christ, which is the title ...
21
votes
6answers
7k views

What does it mean that Satan is “god of this world”?

In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul refers to Satan as "god of this world". What does it mean that Satan is god of this world? 2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the Roman Catholic view on Matthew 23:9?

In Matthew 23:9, Jesus says: Matthew 23:9 (NIV) And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. What is the Roman Catholic view on this? In the Roman ...
21
votes
5answers
75k views

Where in the Bible does it say that Lucifer is an angel?

Where in the Bible does it say that Lucifer was one of the angels or an archangel?
21
votes
2answers
371 views

What are the theological implications of “filioque”?

Depending on your tradition, the Nicene Creed may or may not say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son as well as from the Father: (Greek) τὸ ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον - who from the Father ...
21
votes
5answers
396 views

What is Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and how does it differ from water baptism? Do all Christians experience Baptism of the Holy Spirit? EDIT A few references to Baptisim of the Holy Spirit, or ...
21
votes
2answers
569 views

What is the basis for clerical celibacy?

In the Catholic Church, priests are required to stay celibate. (As far as I know, protestant priests that convert to Catholicism are allowed an exception -- they can become Catholic priests even if ...
21
votes
2answers
444 views

What are the primary differences and implications of a propitiatory view of the atonement versus an expiatory view?

Western theology tends to view atonement as propitiation, while Eastern tends to view it as expiation. What are the primary differences and implications of each perspective? Are they antithetical or ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

When and how did men and women start sitting together in church?

As I understand it, the early church began in homes but then at some point (it's another question) started meeting together in larger meetings. My question is: did men and women sit together from the ...
21
votes
5answers
709 views

Why did Jesus have to die?

Some point to a blood->payment mechanic, but I wish to look deeper than this: if payment for sin is required, why the blood->payment mechanic in the first place, even before Old Testament ritual was ...
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 ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Is Jesus lying in John 7?

In John 7, Jesus tells his brothers that he is not going up to the festival. Then he goes up in secret. Is this a lie? How is this reconciled? John 7:6-10 (NIV) 6 Therefore Jesus told them, ...
20
votes
7answers
525 views

Is Christianity with reason wrong?

Is it wrong to try to reach God with reason instead of faith? I really believe that logical reasoning is the way to get closer to God but since I was a kid my parents and relatives keep telling me ...
20
votes
5answers
10k views

Is incest a sin? [closed]

If we all descended from one man and one woman then it's quite apparent that a third generation was not possible without the sexual union of close relatives. Does the Bible (or other Christian ...
20
votes
7answers
1k views

What is the doctrine of the Trinity?

What is the doctrine of the Trinity as defined by Christianity? Obviously there are three entities involved: God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, but is there more to the definition?
20
votes
6answers
690 views

Why do OEC discount the literal interpretation of the book of Genesis?

This is to rephrase the question Are scientific findings a test to Christians' Faith? It seems to me that, without any outside interference, the Bible itself gives no suggestion that the Book of ...
20
votes
4answers
849 views

Is it ok to pray in public?

Matthew 6:6 (NIV) says: But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Does this ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

Is “the ends justify the means” compatible with Christianity?

This cliche is usually quoted in the context of "the ends don't justify the means", but in practice most folks seem to live as if the ends did justify the means even if the means involved sin. However ...
20
votes
5answers
517 views

What is the physical evidence for a global flood?

I would imagine that a geological event on the scale of a global flood would leave extensive evidence in its wake. To what extent can phsyical data be interpreted as consistent with the idea of a ...
20
votes
11answers
3k views

What happens to unborn, unbaptized babies who die?

If we accept that unborn babies are human beings and not merely a non-human organism, and further we require baptism as a prerequisite for salvation (using it as justification for infant baptism)... ...
20
votes
1answer
331 views

Why do we use the order “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”?

The three persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are united in an undivided Trinity, in which all are equal in stature, according to orthodox trinitarian Christianity. Given that our language is ...
20
votes
2answers
487 views

Will blind people be blind in Heaven?

Matthew 18:9, NIV: And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. ...
20
votes
6answers
2k views

Does the Bible make any allusions to life on other planets?

What, if anything, does the Bible say either supporting the theory of life on other planets, or suggesting that there is none?
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Does God need our praise and glory? [closed]

From what I've heard, God wants us to glorify him and give him praise, and he enjoys when we do this. Does God need us to do this for some reason?
19
votes
5answers
664 views

Why is Christmas on December 25th?

Why was December 25th chosen as the day to celebrate Jesus' birth?
19
votes
5answers
4k views

Why is “elohim” translated as “God” and not “gods”? [closed]

I was looking at the Holman Christian Standard Bible and I saw that Elohim is plural. Were it to be translated plural it would read something like: "In the beginning, gods created the heavens and ...

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