69
votes
12answers
19k views

When the Bible talks about wine does it mean alcoholic wine?

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 was not wine as we know it commonly ...
43
votes
8answers
5k views

How did all the animals fit into Noah's ark? [closed]

During the great flood Noah was ordered by God to fetch two animals of each species and put them into his ark. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind ...
39
votes
8answers
8k views

How do young earth creationists reconcile the age of the universe with the speed of light, and visible distant objects?

I am not trying to be argumentative, this is an earnest question, as this question got me in huge trouble when I was growing up attending a southern baptist Christian middle school. This question (and ...
27
votes
11answers
5k views

Does believing in Jesus Christ save me, or do I have to do something more? [closed]

James 2:17 says that faith is not enough. Does that apply to salvation? Is belief (or faith) in Jesus Christ enough to be saved, or is one expected to act on that faith? If works are required for ...
20
votes
11answers
7k views

Why can't Catholicism just drop its Marian devotion?

Catholicism puts great emphasis on the importance on the Mary, the Mother of God. It honors her and insists upon her perpetual sinlessness and perpetual virginity. And in my observation, it seems as ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

What distinctive kinds of Bible translations are there?

Obviously there is a lot decisions and elbow-grease that go into producing any Bible translation. I hear a lot of different terms used to describe the different methodologies that guide those ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

Why does God resort to genocide and destruction?

According to this answer, God does not want to destroy sinners. And yet, there are several accounts in the Bible of God doing just that. Sodom and Gomorrah is one example, another one is the flood or ...
34
votes
4answers
2k views

How were the books of the New Testament chosen?

I'm interested in finding out: what the process of choosing the books of the New Testament was, when did it occur, who did the choosing, and what are the supporting evidences
31
votes
2answers
3k views

How is Jesus not 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. This sounds to me like a lie. John 7:6-10 (NIV) 6 Therefore Jesus told them, “My time ...
27
votes
5answers
16k views

Why did people live so long before the Flood?

In Genesis 5, some of the descendants of Adam are listed with their ages. The people listed lived very much longer than anybody does today. For example, Adam lived to be 930. The oldest age, 969 years,...
18
votes
2answers
927 views

In Theistic Evolution when do the genealogies in Genesis become real?

In Genesis there is the genealogy of Adam to Noah, then the account of the flood. After that is the genealogy of Noah to Abraham. The accounts of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob's sons then follow. ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the basis of the view that Jesus was separated from the Father and Holy Spirit upon death?

From my limited understanding of this matter, some people believe that Jesus was in some sense separated from the Father. This has come up in the context of discussions of the indivisibility of the ...
43
votes
4answers
27k views

Why don't many churches obey Paul's command that women must be silent in church? [closed]

In 1 Corinthians 14 Paul says that women must be silent in churches and ask questions to their husbands when they get home: Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to ...
26
votes
8answers
1k views

Why did Jesus have to die? [closed]

Some point to a blood-payment mechanic, but I wish to look deeper than this. If payment for sin is required, then why have that in the first place, even before Old Testament ritual was established. I'...
23
votes
2answers
11k views

How do Catholics justify confessing to a priest?

Roman Catholic churches have a practice where congregational members confess their sins and the like to a priest in a confessional. As I was saying to a friend a couple days ago, the practice doesn't ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

How do theistic evolutionists view the Fall of Man?

I haven't really decided what to think about the creation of the world. I'm very familiar with the concept of evolution, scientifically, and if I didn't believe in God I'd certainly believe in ...
17
votes
2answers
4k views

Why do some Christians think it's not a sin to charge interest?

This article presents the view that Christians should not charge interest on loans. As evidence, it cites Nehemiah 5:9-10: 9 Also I said, It is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the origin of the idea that Michael is Jesus?

I recently came across the idea of identifying the angel Michael as Jesus. I'm surprised I hadn't heard it before. Wikipedia documents it as common to Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses. I'...
14
votes
7answers
31k views

What is the difference between man's soul and spirit? [closed]

It is easy to recognize the body as the physical matter that makes up a person. The body is clearly distinct from the soul and spirit in several ways: The body is visible to others. (When I see ...
8
votes
5answers
8k 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
1answer
3k views

Do Catholics believe that they are actually eating the body of Christ? Does this make them cannibals?

The Roman Catholic celebrates the Holy Eucharist in commemoration of the Last Supper in which during the celebration, Catholics believed that bread and wine are transformed into blood and body of ...
33
votes
8answers
2k views

How can we trust the Bible after it has been translated to another language?

Islam considers the Qur'an to be authoritative only in its original language. Many teachings even claim it is a sin to read in any language but it's original, and while not all adhere to this belief, ...
28
votes
3answers
7k views

How do Mormons interpret the warning in Revelation about adding to the book?

How do Mormons interpret the following passage and justify the addition of the Book of Mormon to the canon of scripture? Revelation 22:18-19 (NIV) 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the ...
27
votes
2answers
3k views

Why are there different divisions of the Ten Commandments?

The Ten Commandments is often shown as a nice list with ten short statements, whereas in the Bible it exists as a long block of text in Exodus 20:2–17 and Deuteronomy 5:6–21. For reference: Exodus ...
25
votes
8answers
12k views

Sex outside of marriage is a sin. But what about “less than sex”? [closed]

Inspired by Is masturbation a sin? This is a tough subject that I've grappled with my whole life. It's clear in God's word that sex outside of marriage (adultery) is a sin. But, what is acceptable ...
22
votes
7answers
3k views

How do Protestants interpret Matthew 16:13–20?

The verses read like this: 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; ...
22
votes
8answers
53k views

If God set the maximum age to 120, then how could Jacob be 130 years old?

At the time of Noah, God said: Genesis 6:3 NIV Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” Now,...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the origin of the Catholic apocrypha?

In the Catholic tradition, several "apocryphal" books are used in addition to the same Old Testament canon used by Protestants. What is the origin of these books and how do they differ from from the ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a hierarchy in the Trinity?

It seems that there is some form of hierarchy within the Trinity. For example, these passages seem to indicate that the Holy Spirit is subservient to the Father and Jesus: John 14:26 (NIV) ...
20
votes
0answers
17k views

Why didn't Jesus allow demons to say he was God? [duplicate]

After Jesus cast out demons from possessed people, he made sure that these demons didn't reveal his true identity. Why? Example from Mar 1:24-25,34 (NIV): 24“What do you want with us, Jesus of ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

What language did Jesus speak?

As a young believer I was quickly turned on to the idea of learning some things about the "original languages" of the Bible. After all, how could you understand John 21:15-17 without understanding ...
18
votes
1answer
501 views

What is the Biblical basis for Irresistible Grace?

Calvin, among his other points, includes the point that when we are saved, we are irresistibly drawn to God and that there is nothing we can do to prevent this or cause this. What is the Biblical ...
17
votes
8answers
7k views

What evidence exists for post-Biblical miracles? [closed]

I think any Christian will agree that real-life miracles happened at the time of the Old and New Testament. I've also heard that modern day miracles are more common in developing countries than they ...
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
3answers
873 views

Was the Last Supper not the Passover meal?

The accepted answer on How long was Jesus in the tomb? would only have been possible if the Last Supper was not the Passover meal, which I had always thought it was. Was the Last Supper in fact not ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the Biblical basis for unitarianism?

I ask this mostly in reaction to this question: What is the Biblical basis for the doctrine of the Trinity? From what I've seen, the majority of Christians believe in Trinitarianism, but some believe ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Do Jehovah's Witnesses use different language for theological reasons?

They don't have churches: they have Kingdom Halls (though it's not wrong to refer to a Kingdom Hall as a type of church). They don't have hymns: they have Kingdom Songs (though it's not wrong to ...
15
votes
5answers
3k 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, ...
14
votes
9answers
1k views

Was Jesus a separate god? [closed]

The New World Translation of John 1 seems to indicate that Jesus was a separate god from the Father. 1 In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. 2 ...
14
votes
4answers
591 views

What guidelines or rules should be used when interpreting the Bible? [closed]

It seems that a lot of misunderstanding of the Bible comes from scripture being taken out of context. What are some other rules or guidelines for taking a literal or first interpretation (like 'Jesus ...
14
votes
3answers
981 views

What is an apostle?

Often the apostles are referred to as "the twelve apostles" - the twelve disciples called by name by Jesus. But Paul called himself and Barnabus apostles. Were Paul and Barnabus really apostles?
10
votes
5answers
3k 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
2answers
374 views

How do the proponents of the idea that salvation once received cannot be lost explain Hebrews 6:4-6 and 10:26-29?

How do the proponents of the idea that salvation once received cannot be lost explain the following verses: Hebrews 6:4-6: For [it is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Do parts of Hebrews 3 and 4 imply that saved Christians can become unsaved?

A few nights ago, a friend and I were reading through Hebrews 3 and 4. A few verses in particular caught my attention... Hebrews 3:11-13 (NLT) 11 So in my anger I took an oath,   &...
25
votes
3answers
1k views

What does the Bible say about tithing? [closed]

Do we have to tithe? Why does God need us to tithe? What are the results of NOT tithing?
20
votes
12answers
4k views

What happens to unborn, unbaptized babies who die? [closed]

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
3answers
6k 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
3answers
7k views

What is the Biblical basis against inter-faith marriages?

Setting aside marriages of couples from two different Christian denominations, what passages in the New Testament prohibit a Christian from marrying a non-Christian? I believe that the Old Testament ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

Why were Deuterocanonical books rejected in the Reformation?

The Deuterocanonical books were included in the Septuagint, but not the Hebrew Bible. They are mostly included in the Catholic Old Testament, but not in the Protestant one. I understand the choice ...
14
votes
6answers
65k views

Are Jehovah's Witnesses allowed to marry outside the faith?

Some Christian denominations allow their members to marry whomever they please, others discourage it, and others just don't allow it (you are either disfellowshipped or the church refuses to perform ...

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