16
votes
3answers
3k views

Scholarly discussion of claims that Paul is a “false apostle”

There is a claim in some circles that Paul is a "false apostle", creating a new religion from whole cloth. I fear trying to flesh out any one particular version of such a claim, but one such example ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it historically inaccurate that Jesus is usually portrayed as European looking?

Is it historically inaccurate that Jesus is usually portrayed as European looking, having certain facial and bodily features (muscular)? Would most people follow Him if he did not look white or was ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

What does “in the image of God” mean? [closed]

Genesis 1:26: Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild ...
42
votes
4answers
22k 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. ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

What exactly IS Hell? [closed]

I'm not disputing that Hell exists, what I want to know is WHAT IS HELL? In my opinion there are only two possible answers, but you might inform me of something else. Many people have argued that ...
17
votes
7answers
4k views

What is the Biblical basis for Universal salvation?

Universal salvation, or universal reconciliation is the belief that God will eventually reconcile Himself with every immortal soul. That is, everyone will be saved. This doctrine has a long history. ...
17
votes
4answers
11k views

What is the Bible basis for the idea of a temporary holding place?

A friend once told me about the idea that there are two temporary "holding places", so to speak. If a person died and would go to Heaven, but that time had not yet come, they would go to a temporary ...
14
votes
10answers
764 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
766 views

Under what conditions can a “good” or “charitable” act actually be sin?

In spite of a prevalent cultural attitude towards sin that excuses misbehavior if a person had "good intentions", most Christian traditions do not seem to include the persons feelings in the matter ...
12
votes
5answers
688 views

How did the author of Jonah know about this conversation?

In Jonah 4:9 we read a dialog between God and Jonah: But God said to Jonah, Do you have a right to be angry about the vine? I do, he said. I am angry enough to die. But the LORD said, You have ...
6
votes
5answers
534 views

How are the teachings in the Book of James consistent with Salvation by Grace alone?

I was reading through James today and I understand his point was to convey to the Jews that only having faith - but not showing your gratitude for the grace they've received - is not good. He does get ...
22
votes
9answers
13k views

Does the Bible condemn white lies? [closed]

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 ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the biblical basis for the Immaculate Conception?

According to Catholic Doctrine, the Immaculate Conception refers to the teaching that Mary's own conception (not that of Jesus) was without the stain of original sin. What is the biblical basis for ...
16
votes
4answers
7k views

Is God's name Yahweh or Jehovah?

God's name is written as the Tetragrammaton יהוה‎ (YHWH) in the Old Testament. The name is not vocalized in the manuscripts and it's considered ineffable, forbidden to say aloud, by Jews. For that ...
14
votes
11answers
12k views

What did Jesus mean by “this generation will certainly not pass away..” in Matthew 24:34?

Matthew 24:34 says "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.". I am a Christian, and it is my duty to seek out truth, not plainly ...
14
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 ...
14
votes
11answers
12k views

If we are saved by grace, then why does Jesus say we must be baptized in both spirit and water?

Ephesians 2:4-9 says: But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace ...
12
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

When talking about the Trinity, what does “persons” mean?

The triune God is defined as three persons equal in nature. What does "persons" mean in this statement? Can the word "persons" be replaced with "personalities" or "roles"?
6
votes
4answers
1k 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, ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Are Christians supposed to suffer? [closed]

Consider the following scriptures: James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

When did Christianity originate?

How long has Christianity been around? Not how or why -- just when did it start: As a religion? As a name?
28
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
25
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
24
votes
9answers
2k views

What is God waiting for before He ends the world? [closed]

I probably have this question since I'm very young. Here are some few sample answers that I've got: He's waiting for the right time Until the whole world bow knees and worship only God IMHO, the ...
23
votes
5answers
4k 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" ...
19
votes
3answers
5k 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
5k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
733 views

Do the Catholic Church ex cathedra pronouncements about necessity of Catholicism to be saved still apply?

I think the following was spoken Ex Cathedra: “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but ...
15
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
4answers
5k views

How far is too far when it comes to drinking alcohol? [closed]

Why does the Bible praise the effects of alcohol? How are we supposed to know when those effects have gone too far? I am mostly confused about this verse: Give strong drink unto him that is ready ...
12
votes
5answers
903 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
58k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

When did the split in crufix/empty-cross sybolism occur and why did it happen?

Today, we have Catholic and Orthodox churches (and a few others) using the crucifix, whereas most Protestant denominations use an empty cross in their symbolism. Did this difference in symbolism arise ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does God often permit his children to suffer in this world more than the wicked?

Jesus said: Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

According to Jehovah's Witnesses, who are the 144,000 mentioned in the book of Revelation?

The book of Revelation refers to 144,000 servants of God who will be sealed in two different places. I have heard that the Jehovah's Witnesses often refer to this number. Who, exactly, do the ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there any Biblical basis for hating homosexuals? [on hold]

As I was raised: God is all-loving, and He wants us to be all-loving too. But, as you may know, homosexuals—particularly in America—have been shown hatred, and even violence (1)(2)(3)(4) from some ...
10
votes
3answers
6k views

Do Catholics tithe?

This might seem like a silly question, but I am not a Catholic, and so I do not know the answer! Do Catholics tithe?
9
votes
2answers
619 views

How does the Catholic church view Freemasons?

What are the historic and current views of the Catholic Church concerning Masons?
9
votes
6answers
36k views

What scripture is used to support a “Pre-Tribulation Rapture”?

CLARIFICATION: For those who believe there will be an event in the "end times" in which believers will be "taken up" to meet Jesus "in the clouds", and that there is yet to be a "Great Tribulation", ...
8
votes
4answers
4k 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? ...
6
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
10answers
4k views

Does the Bible have any proof that Jesus Christ is the Only-begotten Son of God?

Apart from John's writings, is there any Biblical evidence that Jesus Christ is the only-begotten son of God? John makes it clear (such as in John 1:18, 3:18), but other parts of the Bible refer to ...
1
vote
3answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
275 views

Why haven't we revised the Bible in centuries? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the biblical arguments that the Bible canon is closed? Preface: This question is not directed at a specific denomination. Why haven't we revised the Bible in ...
20
votes
3answers
606 views

What is the Biblical basis for Unconditional Election?

Calvin, among his other points includes the point that we are Unconditionally Elected and chosen by God alone and nothing we can do can help or hurt this fact. What is the Biblical basis for this?
19
votes
3answers
4k views

Are silent prayers heard?

Growing up in the church, silent prayers are pretty much part of how I pray. However, challenging assumptions, I'm curious to know how biblical this is. Every prayer I've found in the Bible is ...
18
votes
5answers
5k views

Is there a Biblical basis for not believing that Global Warming is occurring?

This is something that has confused me over the years. It appears that many Christians stand against the belief that global warming or climate change is occurring. But I have yet to hear any biblical ...

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