16
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4answers
547 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
623 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
321 views

Living the Golden Rule in an individualistic society

This question poses a conflict between two philosophies, but is not meant to necessarily compare their strengths. Only if Love of Neighbor is indeed the antithesis of the libertarian philosophy. ...
16
votes
3answers
469 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
4answers
313 views

Do we know there are only three persons in the “Trinity”?

A followup to the various answers provided to this question: The specific concept of 'trinity' isn't specifically spelled out in the Bible. Instead, we have deduced from various scripture verses ...
16
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
595 views

What is the Biblical support for Purgatory?

Exactly as the title asks; where do Catholics get their Scriptural support for the idea of Purgatory? To be more specific, how I think of Purgatory (which may be incorrect) is that it's a temporary ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Biblical basis for the separation of church and state

I know there are a lot of non-biblical arguments for the separation of church and state. Some Christians also support it on biblical grounds, but I've never looked into the matter myself. Which ...
16
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
722 views

How does Matthew 25:31-46 (“The Sheep and the Goats”) reconcile with salvation by faith?

In Matthew 25:31-46 (a passage subtitled "The Sheep and the Goats" in the NIV), Jesus seems to be drawing a direct relationship between good works and salvation. Matthew 25:31-46 NIV: 31 “When ...
16
votes
2answers
502 views

What scholarship exists behind the WikiSource translation of the Bible?

In response to a question about Onan, @RonMaimon chose the WikiSource translation. Not being familiar with it, I tried to examine it's pedigree, but could not find one. I'd like to know a little about ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Why doesn't the Catholic Bible include all books from Septuagint?

The Catholic Bible (as opposed to the Protestant Bible) includes the so-called deuterocanonical books. It's commonly simply stated that the books in Septuagint are included in the Catholic canon. ...
16
votes
1answer
362 views

When did the pronunciation of “Jesus” change?

When did the pronunciation of Jesus change from Yeh-sus to Gee-zus? Why did the name change? How? Where? Update: how did the name pronunciation change? Wouldn't there be people to correct ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

What evidence exists for post-Biblical miracles?

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
5answers
465 views

Is Christian mysticism an oxymoron or is it a legitimate path for a Christian?

I've been in a debate online with another Christian of a different tradition (I'm Catholic, he is Baptist, I think) regarding mysticism, specifically Christian mysticism. He stated that mysticism is ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

a Christian response to dying in dignity or assisted suicide?

There is a raging debate in the province of Quebec on the question "Does someone have the right to kill another because the first one is suffering?" There are more and more cases in the news that look ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

Are there any statistics that show how many scientists are Christians or otherwise believe in a personal God?

I was reading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and he mentions a study regarding the percentages of believers in the National Academy of Sciences and Royal Society. I was wondering if these figures ...
16
votes
3answers
253 views

Absent apostolic succession, what is the argument for the authority of the church?

I realize that Catholics believe in apostolic succession, and that they were explicitly given authority by Jesus himself. In other denominations, what, if anything, other than the choice made by its ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the Biblical basis for withholding communion from believers who are unbaptized?

My home church has a policy of asking non-believers not to participate in communion, but never asks if a believer has yet been baptized. I have visited or attended several other churches where ...
16
votes
11answers
5k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
555 views

Does God hate Sinners like he hates Sin?

I've heard it a thousand times, God loves the sinner but hates the sin. Recently I came across a verse in Psalms 5:5 Psalm 5:5 (KJV) The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Wave offering; What exactly was the point?

In Leviticus 7 verse 30, This passage is written: 30 With their own hands they are to present the food offering to the LORD; they are to bring the fat, together with the breast, and wave the ...
16
votes
6answers
8k views

How should I understand the emphasis on “begotten, not made” in the Nicene Creed?

I'm trying to understand the importance the repetition of "begotten" in the Nicene creed. It states (emphasis mine): We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,     the only Son ...
16
votes
1answer
342 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
645 views

Is Knuth's 3:16 project unique?

Famous computer scientist Donald Knuth is also the author of 3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated (A-R Editions, 1990). This is a tour of the Bible using the methodology of "stratified random sampling", where ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

The voice of God vs the voice of Satan

I listen to heavy music and I have had people tell me on numerous occasions the vocals sound like the voice of Satan, even when the band is clearly Christian (see For Today if you are curious). Movies ...
16
votes
5answers
392 views

Have the individual commands of the OT Law ever been categorized as “Moral,” “Ceremonial,” and “Civil?”

Are there any historic Christian documents that provide a comprehensive categorization of the commands of the OT Law / mitzvot using the three categories from the WCF? And, if so, then as a secondary ...
15
votes
7answers
31k views

Does the act of sex constitute marriage in God's eyes?

I came across this verse today (bold added): 1 Corinthians 6:15-17 (NASB) 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them ...
15
votes
11answers
2k views

How should we dress when attending church worship/activities/services?

As a geek, I can't even start to understand why do we have to dress "formally" when attending church. What are some verses from the Bible which instructs us on our attire when attending church ...
15
votes
13answers
57k views

Why was God so upset with Moses for striking the rock the second time in the desert?

In Exodus, God commands Moses to strike a rock, and promises to make water flow in the desert for the people. Later on, God tells Moses to speak to a rock, promising to make water flow in the desert ...
15
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the Biblical evidence against the perpetual virginity of Mary?

I understand that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary is the eternal virgin in that she never had sexual relations with Joseph (or any other man)--either before or after the miraculous ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Should a Protestant read the apocryphal books of the Bible?

The Protestant Bible has 66 books. Should we read apocryphal books (e.g. 1&2 Maccabees and Gospel of Thomas)?
15
votes
9answers
5k views

Can we pray from any position?

I enjoy praying lying in bed just before I sleep ... until I fall asleep. In church I usually pray with my hands simply by my side or even with my hands in my pockets. I just let them stay wherever ...
15
votes
8answers
388 views

The Grace Gambit

You might be familiar with Pascal's Wager, also known as Pascal's Gambit. It states that one is best off believing in Christianity, because, if it is true, you'll be saved and go to heaven, and if it ...
15
votes
6answers
3k views

Why did Jesus question God on the cross?

Jesus was sent to earth to die for our sins. He knew it when the time came but from this verse: "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that ...
15
votes
5answers
782 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?

“And on the morrow, when they had come out of Bethany, he [Jesus] hungered. And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if perhaps he might find anything thereon: and when he came to ...
15
votes
11answers
6k views

How can Heaven exist if we know that people in Hell will suffer?

Suppose for the following scenario that both the Christian Heaven and Hell exist. My mother is a good Christian and loves me dearly. I am an atheist, and will therefore go to hell upon death. [If ...
15
votes
2answers
501 views

How old is old earth creationism?

The answers to What is the biblical evidence for an old Earth? say that biblical arguments for old Earth creationism are based on the ambiguous words used for describing lengths of time in Genesis. ...
15
votes
5answers
11k views

Why the difference in depiction of the cross between Catholics and Protestants?

As I understand it, Roman Catholic crosses have Jesus hanging on them, but Protestant crosses do not. I understood that Protestant crosses do not because they want to focus on the Resurrection, not ...
15
votes
5answers
4k views

Under what conditions does the Bible support divorce?

It seems that Jesus talks out against divorce. But in other places, divorce is allowed. How does this all play out and where does the bible really stand on this? Is it a sin or is it just part of ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Significance of virgins in the Catholic church

Why are virgins so popular in the Catholic church (specifically in Mexico or Latin America)? Aside from the obvious, virgin Mary, there are "virgins" of practically every major Catholic church ...
15
votes
3answers
357 views

How should Christians participate in a democracy? [closed]

There is currently a debate in my country, Australia, about gay marriage. Amongst those who believe homosexual sex is wrong, there is a split with regards the correct approach. Some say that ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego - who is understood as the fourth person in the fire?

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who is understood as the fourth person in the fire? In the third chapter of book of Daniel after King Nebicanesor throws Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the ...
15
votes
6answers
8k views

Why did the apostle John call himself, “the disciple whom Jesus loved”?

John refers to himself, on at least four occasions, as "the disciple whom Jesus loved"? (John 13:23, 19:26, 21:7 & 21:20). Why is this? It seems a bit arrogant, especially as Jesus loved the ...
15
votes
4answers
868 views

How could a loving, just, merciful God have created such an unfair test for humans?

According to the Bible, God is loving: 1 John 4 (NIV) 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4 (NIV) 16 And so we know and rely on the love God ...
15
votes
1answer
12k views

What were the main doctrinal disagreements between Luther and Calvin?

What were the main doctrinal disagreements between Luther and Calvin? Can anybody give an overview, please?
15
votes
7answers
1k views

What is the significance of the number 666?

People always make jokes about the number 666, or how it's evil, etc. What is the basis of this, and is it really something that Christians should be concerned with?
15
votes
8answers
447 views

Was Jesus finite or infinite? (human or God?)

I've always heard it said that Jesus was "completely human" and "completely God". How could he be both human (finite by very nature) and God (infinite by very nature)?

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