18
votes
2answers
3k views

When and how did the names Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John get attached to the gospels?

Most of the books of the New Testament—all the letters except Hebrews, plus the Revelation—give the author's name at the beginning. The gospels do not. Only one gospel identifies its ...
18
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
184 views

What is dispensationalism?

Several years ago, I took a class on the book of Revelation and learned about dispensationalism. It made sense to me then, but I can't seem to wrap my head around it now. Also, I hear the term from ...
18
votes
3answers
6k views

Why (how) does Jesus' coat have no seam?

When Jesus is arrested and His captors take His clothes, they split them in four parts. However, His coat they did not split, as John records, "the coat was without seam, woven from the top ...
18
votes
3answers
11k views

On what basis should Christians oppose child marriage? [closed]

In most of the western countries the minimum age for marriage is 18 years. (Some would like to argue that this could be 16 or 15 but none would argue it to be 9) As a Christian I take pride in the ...
18
votes
9answers
32k views

What does it mean that Jesus fulfilled the law but did not abolish it?

We hear that we are no longer under the law. It even says so in Galatians: Galatians 3:23-25 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith ...
18
votes
3answers
467 views

What is the King James only movement?

I'm a non-native English speaker living in Europe myself, so I honestly couldn't read the KJV as my primary Bible and all I know about its popularity in the USA is hearsay. I'd like to know more about ...
18
votes
3answers
292 views

When are souls “received”?

(I'd prefer a Biblically-based answer, but if an early-church author or someone like C.S. Lewis needs to be referenced, that's fine.) Few Christians will dispute that we humans have souls, but the ...
18
votes
14answers
12k views

What exactly does it mean that Jesus Christ is the son of God?

What does it mean to a Christian that Christ is the son of God? On the one hand, obviously, the normal biological meaning of son does not apply. On the other hand, "we are all children of God", but ...
18
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

From where does the doctrine that there is no time in heaven originate?

I'm quite familiar with the fact that God himself is outside of time, this is very easy to show through scripture. However it seems to be an increasingly popular conception that there is no time in ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

How did the cross come to be a symbol for Christianity?

I understand WHY the cross became a symbol for Christianity, but HOW did it become a symbol? How did it start and how did it evolve into the symbol (or symbols since there are many variants) we all ...
17
votes
10answers
7k 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
11answers
3k views

Is it hypocritical to be a Christian and also be against welfare?

Recently someone informed me that it was hypocritical to call myself Christian, and to be against many progressive/liberal policies (the specific argument was about US-run welfare) So my question: is ...
17
votes
5answers
687 views

Is it possible to be a Christian by birth?

My parents are both Christians. When we were kids they always took us to church. Does that make me a Christian?
17
votes
8answers
35k views

Is premarital sex πορνεία (porneia)?

This question is pretty much a spinoff of What does the Bible say about sex before marriage / premarital sex? because its current answer depends on the assumption that premarital sex is πορνεία ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

What exactly is a “Hail Mary”?

The practice of a saying a "Hail Mary" is often referred to in colloquial speech, sometimes as a way to caricaturize Catholics. References to the practice instantly conjure up images of Catholicism, ...
17
votes
4answers
8k views

Why isn't the cross considered an idol?

Exodus 20:1-15 ESV And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods ...
17
votes
9answers
4k 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it okay to have doubts? [closed]

I was raised Christian. I am Armenian, and my parents were raised Christian (however my grandmother was raised Catholic). Every so often I think about my religion, and I can't help but think about ...
17
votes
10answers
1k views

Would it have been possible for Jesus to sin? [closed]

I think most, if not all of us, agree that Jesus did not sin. However, the devil tempted Jesus, at least in the wilderness, prior to Jesus' public ministry (Matthew 4:1-11). Does this mean it would ...
17
votes
12answers
1k views

What is the essence of sin?

There are bound to be lots of questions like "Is X or Y a sin?". However, what is sin at its root and where in the Bible do we get our understanding of it?
17
votes
3answers
4k views

How did Noah preserve fresh water fish?

How did Noah prevent fresh water fish from dying when salt water inundated inland waterways during the claimed floods? I'm not sure which Christian doctrines take the literalist position but what is ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Source of Christian attitudes towards fantasy and role playing games

I've heard many stories of people who abandoned their role-playing hobby, or burned their fantasy book collections, on the grounds that these were opposed to their Christian faith. What is it that ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Are Dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?

In response to this question How does the bible explain the existence of fossils that are millions of years old? I'm curious to know if Dinosaurs are mentioned in the Bible. I understand that the ...
17
votes
6answers
11k views

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

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 ...
17
votes
4answers
7k views

What does the Bible say about Science? [closed]

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 ...
17
votes
2answers
7k views

Why is the word “Ark” used for Noah's boat and the Ark of the Covenant?

What exactly is the meaning of an "ark" that applies to a boat and that thing that melts off the Nazi's faces in the first Indiana Jones movie?
17
votes
7answers
1k views

How should Christians meditate?

In the recent years the word Meditation is used widely by everyone, and the word is used widely in non-religious context too. Should we, Christians meditate? If yes, what should we do while ...
17
votes
4answers
429 views

Scripted Prayers

Matthew 6:7 (KJV) 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. My understanding of this scripture it is ...
17
votes
5answers
9k views

What does the Bible say about “bad” words?

I know the Bible says not to let "unwholesome talk" come out of our mouths (Ephesians 4:29), but to my knowledge it doesn't speak specifically about "bad words." In fact, to my knowledge, the English ...
17
votes
7answers
1k views

Why neither David nor Solomon were stoned to death?

David was a murderer and an adulterer. Both crimes were punishable by death by the law. Solomon had ... how many wives and concubines? I don't even remember. Why neither David nor Solomon were ...
17
votes
4answers
746 views

Can Satan read our minds? [closed]

I come from the assumption that God can read our minds. That we can pray silently and that God will hear our prayers. However, can Satan hear our prayers as well? Can he hear our other thoughts? I ...
17
votes
7answers
488 views

How old is the idea of premillenial rapture?

Wikipedia claims that the doctrine of rapture was first formed in the 17th century: The concept of the Rapture, in connection with premillennialism, was expressed by the 17th-century American ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

What do you tithe from? Why tithe income? [closed]

According to Scripture, we should pay tithe from increase from our land and cattle. I don't find anything about tithing monetary income, so why do you pay from income or salary? Also, if the income ...
17
votes
4answers
574 views

What is “faith?”

The Bible and Christians talk about faith a lot. Matthew 12:32 talks about "faith as a mustard seed" for instance. I've heard many Christians say things like "I don't have enough faith," or "I want ...
17
votes
6answers
3k 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
3answers
4k 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
3answers
8k views

From a Fundamentalist standpoint, what does the phrase “Inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God” mean?

Many denominations teach that the Bible is the "Inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God." Detractors of Christianity, and even other denominations within Christianity disagree with all or some of ...
17
votes
4answers
878 views

What significance, if any, does the doctrine of the eternal virginity of Mary have?

I understand that the Catholic Church (and perhaps the Orthodox church as well) teaches that Mary is "the eternal virgin" Mary. If this were an important doctrine, it seems there would be fairly ...
17
votes
8answers
29k 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.” ...
17
votes
3answers
890 views

Protestant arguments for perpetual virginity of Mary

It's common knowledge that Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodoxy have the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary. Protestants generally don't have that belief. Less known is that Zwingli and ...
17
votes
1answer
35k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Did Luther Really Use Bar Tunes for his Hymns?

The title sums it up: I often hear it said during the debates on liturgy and music styles that are appropriate for worship that even Luther used common bar tunes (equivalent to days pop songs) for his ...
17
votes
6answers
583 views

How is offering X Hail Marys not considered vain repetition?

So if the Hail Mary is a prayer and saying the prayer multiple times is encouraged in Catholicism, what established reason does the Catholic church give to justify it not being a vain repetition. ...
17
votes
1answer
9k views

Why did the KKK “light” aka burn crosses?

So, the KKK claimed itself to be a "Christian" organization, originally based on a lot of anti-Catholic and obviously anti-Black sentiment. Famously, one of their intimidation techniques was to burn ...
17
votes
3answers
898 views

Does “Mere Christianity” represent the core of Christian belief?

I just finished reading C. S. Lewis in A Time of War by Justin Phillips. It seems Lewis went to great lengths to ensure that everything he said in his BBC talks that became Mere Christianity was ...
17
votes
4answers
801 views

How can things considered bad when done by humans become good when God does them?

The following is one of the central questions concerning moral values in Christianity. I am referring to an answer Caleb gave earlier on here. There he says, and I believe this is the standard stance ...
17
votes
4answers
5k views

Why does communion frequency vary in different denominations?

Different churches celebrate the Eucharist (Communion, Lord's Supper, ...) with different frequency. At one extreme, Catholic and high Anglican churches tend to celebrate it at least daily. Many ...
17
votes
9answers
10k views

Is “Love God and do whatever you please” scriptural?

St Augustine is famous for this quote, the full quote being: "Love God and do whatever you please: for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the One who is Beloved." I've ...

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