13
votes
5answers
2k views

Did Paul write the Epistle to the Hebrews?

The authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews is an open question. The common scholarly opinion is that the author certainly wasn't Paul. Most modern Bible translations make no mention of the author, ...
12
votes
10answers
563 views

Are there truths that can only be known through spiritual means?

The motivation for this question basically comes from reading the discussion around the question Is it necessary to Biblically support arguments within discussions about Christianity? and a question ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the Biblical basis for disbelief in the doctrine of the Trinity?

In related form to a previous question on the basis for the Trinity, what is the Biblical basis for disbelief of the doctrine? Not all Christians (and perhaps not all branches of Christendom) hold to ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

What does “scripture” mean in NT writing?

This is slightly a take-off from: What does it mean that all scripture is God-Breathed? The Bible as we know it today wasn't canonized and compiled into a single volume until much later. In ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

What are the biblical arguments against the papacy and papal succession?

The Catholic Church teaches that Peter was the first pope and that papal succession continued down through history to the present day. However, neither the Orthodox nor the Protestant churches ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

How does one discern between thoughts inspired by the Holy Spirit and those produced from themselves [closed]

This question has been nagging at me for a while, how can one tell the difference between honest-to-God inspiration from the Holy Spirit and thoughts that are induced by themselves out of the needs or ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Theology question: why hasn't God stopped Satan and his demons? [closed]

I'm just trying to find some theological or philosophical discussion of why God hasn't stopped Satan and his demons. Why not imprison them? Why not take away their free will? Why not annihilate them? ...
31
votes
7answers
6k views

Why did Jesus not want to be known as the Messiah?

Jesus, when talking to his disciples in Matthew 16 specifically instructed them not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. Matthew 16:20 (NIV) Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone ...
25
votes
9answers
7k views

As a protestant, may I participate in the Eucharist (Communion) when visiting a Catholic church?

I think the title sums it up. I'm a protestant Christian, and have many Catholic friends. When I visit their churches, is it permissible for me to participate in the Eucharist/Communion ceremony by ...
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)... ...
19
votes
5answers
666 views

Why is Christmas on December 25th?

Why was December 25th chosen as the day to celebrate Jesus' birth?
19
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between 'Biblical' and 'Systematic' theology?

Particularly among Protestant traditions, it is common to classify books and classes that cover broad looks at theological issues as either "Biblical' or 'Systematic'. Sometimes this is even extended ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

Why are there so many different denominations in Christianity? [closed]

Christianity seems to have many Denominations within it - Roman Catholic, Protestant, Presbyterian, Mormons, Baptists, Methodists to name a few. This is (as far as I know) a lot more than in other ...
19
votes
4answers
651 views

Does the Bible give us a purpose to life?

I'm not sure that I know of any place in the Bible that directly states, "this is the purpose to life." But does it give us any idea as the exact purpose as to why we were created. If God is truly ...
14
votes
4answers
357 views

What was the problem at Babel?

In the Genesis account of the tower of Babel a bunch of guys got together to build a really tall tower somewhere in the desert. God gets wind of the affair but it doesn't sit well: Genesis 11:5-6 ...
13
votes
12answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
614 views

In what different ways is the word “cult” used as a label inside Christianity?

The word "cult" gets bandied about quite a bit, but is there an official definition or some kind of formula which can be used to consistently identify whether a group is a cult or not? Baring an ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How is the historical accuracy of the Bible defended?

Loosely tied to the idea of Biblical Inerrancy, one of the basic tenets of Christianity is that Scripture is reliable. This includes the idea of being reliable as a source of "doctrine, for reproof, ...
11
votes
5answers
736 views

Why is the Bible so short? [closed]

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
votes
2answers
373 views

On what do Mormons base their practice of proxy-baptisms on behalf of the dead?

How does the LDS Church define their practice of performing baptisms on behalf of people who have died? I realize there is the following verse, but there seems to be few other Biblical references to ...
10
votes
9answers
15k views

If Jesus was Emmanuel why was he named Yeshua?

It was foretold that a virgin shall give birth and the new born will be named Emmanuel then why was Jesus named "Yeshua". Please explain...
10
votes
3answers
8k views

Do Jehovah's Witnesses believe in annihilation?

What is the official position of the Jehovah's Witnesses in regards to hell, specifically the doctrine of annihilation which says that people will not go on existing, that eventually God will just ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

List of papal teachings considered infallible

After reading When does the Pope speak ex cathedra? I became curious and searched for a list of statements, but couldn't find one. Does such list exist and if not, why is this the case?
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Do animals go to heaven/hell?

If animals don't have eternal souls, then it seems they would not be present in heaven/hell. Is heaven devoid of animals? Growing up I frequently saw art depicting the lion and the lamb together, in ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the consequences of suicide according to the Roman Catholic church?

What are the consequences of suicide according to the Roman Catholic church? Are there exceptions or special penalties?
9
votes
2answers
500 views

Of what nature is Satan?

Recently, a good friend of mine posed the question: What (or who) is Satan and how do we know? I answered him, saying that Satan is an evil angel because this is what I've been taught since I ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

What are the key differences between the Western and Eastern Christianity?

I'm currently reading about Eastern Christianity as a part of my study. Those are the churches that have existed since early times, such as the Nestorians, the Jacobites, the Coptics, and others. But ...
8
votes
2answers
395 views

When was it first said in Christianity by a Church Father that heretics must be put to death?

When was it first said in Christianity by a Church Father that heretics must be put to death? Who was the first one of the Church Fathers who came up with this idea and presented it?
8
votes
4answers
276 views

What is theistic evolution?

Theistic evolution sounds similar to Old Earth Creationism. Both ideas start with the premise that God created. After this, I've heard tale of wars fought between the two camps. What is the gist of ...
7
votes
1answer
572 views

Are there any secular historical references to the natural phenomenon that occurred at the crucifixion and resurrection?

The Scriptures record that there was three hours of darkness during the crucifixion of Jesus. This is a pretty significant meteorological event. Furthermore, the morning of Jesus' resurrection, the ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

Are the gifts of the Holy Spirit still active today? [closed]

In first Corinthians and other places, there is a lot of talk about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. For example: Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Was there a reason Jesus came at the time he did?

Concerning what the Bible says and what might be said in commentary from prominent church leaders is there a particular reason Jesus came 2000 years ago and not some other time. One would think ...
6
votes
7answers
452 views

Are there any conditions which make oneself completely unredeemable in the eyes of God?

I am curious if there are any actions or conditions which "seal your fate" so to speak, such that should you do them—no matter how much you repent or accept Jesus or pray—that you are doomed forever ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Is “hate the sin, love the sinner” a Christian idea?

The expression "hate the sin, love the sinner" gets thrown about in both Christian and non-Christian circles, but it does not seem to a bible verse. Is it a biblical concept or just a popular cliche? ...
5
votes
1answer
221 views

What is “Apologetics”, exactly, and how is it used to defend the Christian faith?

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, or those who have only a passing familiarity, what is apologetics, in relation to Christianity? Is it "proving the existence of God"? For that matter, ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How do we know Mary was a virgin at the time of Jesus' conception?

Luke 1:26-26: 26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of ...
4
votes
2answers
208 views

Who killed Goliath?

These two passages appear to be contradictory: So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. (1 Samuel ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

What is the biblical support for the moral-civil-ceremonial distinction of Old Testament laws?

I just asked this question looking for where this view point came from and when it was made popular. Ceremonial Law: This type of law relates to Israel's worship. (Lev 1:1-13) The laws pointed ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Why was Jesus baptised by John the Baptist?

We know the story: 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 Jesus ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How do Christians respond to and/or explain the similarities between other societies' Gods and that of Jesus [closed]

God: Attis Born of a virgin Born on December 25th Crucified Dead for 3 days Resurrected God: Krishna Born of a virgin Star in the east Performed miracles Resurrected God: Dionsyus Born of a ...
23
votes
3answers
479 views

How did Judas die?

Judas Iscariot committed suicide when he realized the evil that he had done. Matthew 27:3-5 (KJV) 3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

What are the theological implications/problems with theistic evolution?

Theistic evolution holds that God used evolution to create mankind. It seems to follow then that this view must also hold the creation account in Genesis to be unhistorical. So, Adam and Eve may ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

When did the one-way monologue sermon first become a normal feature of church assemblies?

Of course Jesus preached a lot of monologue sermons, but I have noticed that Jesus did not usually preach sermons like nearly every church does today. He never seems to have, or at least rarely ...
14
votes
5answers
78k views

What is the difference between a pastor, a priest, and a minister?

No, this is not the start of a joke about a bunch of people walking into a bar. Rather, I thought it would be helpful to clarify various titles that people give to leadership roles in churches.
14
votes
7answers
1k views

Into whose name should Christians be baptised? [closed]

Jesus said, "...go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." However, the early church apparently baptised in the name of ...
13
votes
8answers
13k views

Why did God make garments of skin for Adam and Eve when they had already made clothing for themselves?

Immediately after Adam and Eve sinned, we are told that they made clothing for themselves. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together ...
13
votes
2answers
475 views

What works do the LDS Church recognize as Scripture?

I understand the LDS Church recognizes the Book of Mormon and the Old and New Testaments as well. What other works are also considered Scripture? Any Apocryphal works? Doctrines and Covenants?
13
votes
10answers
4k views

How can Jesus, born of mankind, be sinless?

Very simple question really. If the sin of Adam is passed down through the generations, so that all of us are born with a sin nature, how can it be that Jesus was born of Mary (a human being), yet ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

According to the Mormon doctrines, who created the universe?

This may be related to a previous question about the first god who began eternal progression. This is something I've really been wondering for a while. If the Almighty God began life as a man, he ...
12
votes
1answer
128 views

What is Common Grace?

The term "Common Grace" is often thrown around in reformed circles. What is this concept? What is the scriptural basis for the belief?

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