17
votes
7answers
543 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
2answers
4k views

Where did angels get their wings?

The Bible does not record angels having wings at any point, but this is a popular depiction of angels. Do any Christian groups teach that angels do have wings, in extra-biblical materials? Where does ...
17
votes
3answers
5k 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
2answers
1k views

What is the argument and Biblical basis that it is possible to know God from nature?

Is it possible for someone to learn about God without learning about him from the Bible or another believer, such as from nature? What is the Biblical basis for this argument?
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Did Paul preach Jesus's message?

In the four Gospels, Jesus seems to talk a lot about the Law, about how to behave, about "the Kingdom" and how to restore social order. It doesn't seem like he talks about what Paul talks about: ...
17
votes
4answers
971 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
35k 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
7answers
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
905 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
6answers
699 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
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
1answer
15k 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
940 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
2answers
4k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
497 views

What sects believe Jesus is buried in Japan?

The town of Shingo in Japan claims to be the burial site of Jesus of Nazareth: someone took his place on the cross, and he made his way to Japan, where he died. (Wikipedia.) Do, or did, any ...
17
votes
5answers
495 views

What is the Biblical evidence that 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
587 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

Is an action morally good because God commands it, or does God command it because it is good? [closed]

The christian morality derives from God, and God is benevolent so whatever he commands is morally good. Does that mean that anything God does or commands is morally right? Or does God only act and ...
17
votes
2answers
889 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Did Jephthah sacrifice his daughter?

In Judges 11, Jephthah vows to give whatever comes out of the door of his house as a burnt offering. Judges 11:30-40 (ESV) [emphases mine] 30 And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD and said, ...
17
votes
3answers
6k views

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

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 ...
17
votes
8answers
5k 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
7k views

What does Jesus mean with “this generation” and “all these things” in Mark 13:30

In Mark 13, Jesus tells about the last days and the tribulation. In this context, he says in verse 30 (KJV): Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be ...
17
votes
6answers
8k views

Did the pool of Bethesda have healing powers? [closed]

Recently while reading John 5 with my wife's family, we had a discussion about whether the pool of Bethesda really had healing powers. Some said the story is written as if the pool really could heal: ...
17
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
763 views

How do Catholics support transubstantiation?

As I understand it, the doctrine of transubstantiation maintains that bread and wine *literally** become the body and blood of Christ... yet it is impossible to detect this. That is, they do not ...
17
votes
1answer
3k views

What were Martin Luther's main disagreements with the Catholic Church?

What were Martin Luther's main disagreements with the Catholic Church? Were these beliefs of Luther's and his disagreements with the Catholic Church the origin of the Lutheran Church?
17
votes
3answers
11k views

Is there any account of a religious marriage ceremony in the scripture?

I was studying the Puritans recently, and discovered something interesting about William Bradford. According to Wikipedia, he married his wife in a civil ceremony, because "the Separatists could find ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Should women give sermons? [closed]

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let ...
17
votes
4answers
29k views

What is the origin of praying hands folded?

I was taught in Sunday school to pray hands folded. On the other hand, there's no biblical mention of the practice (as far as I know). It actually doesn't seem to matter which position we pray in. ...
17
votes
1answer
539 views

Why was Martin Luther attempting to change the canon?

While researching an answer to a different question, I found that Martin Luther attempted to remove Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation from the Bible. What was his purpose in removing these four ...
17
votes
4answers
10k views

What does it mean that Jesus was the “second Adam”?

I often hear Jesus referred to as the "second Adam" or sometimes as the "last Adam". What meaning does this title carry? Does it mean that things didn't work out so well for Adam and so God had to try ...
17
votes
6answers
10k views

Why was taking census a bad thing?

In Chronicles, David took a census on the people of Israel. However, God became angry at this, and he proceeded to destory about 70,000 people in result. 1 Chronicles 21:1-16: 1Satan rose up ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Why did Mormons stop practicing polygamy?

I know that early in the formation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, polygamy was common. It's my understanding that it was an everlasting command from God to Joseph Smith. ...
17
votes
1answer
461 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
1answer
5k views

How can I tell the difference between the Moral law and other laws in the old testament?

Many Christians believe that there are three kinds of law in the Old Testament: The moral law that declares how man should live. The civil law that was the legal structures for the ancient nation of ...
17
votes
1answer
598 views

Why, according to the Catholic Church, did the Reformation happen?

Has the Catholic church ever put forth a theological theory or statement as to why the Reformation happened? Please note.... I'm not asking about how the Reformation happened. History is what it ...
17
votes
1answer
504 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 ...
16
votes
8answers
47k views

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

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 ...
16
votes
11answers
5k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
549 views

If we're not specifically instructed to do something, can we? [closed]

My question is spawned from the Church of Christ doctrine. I go to a Church of Christ university and our chapel is fully a Capella. However I've been raised baptist and music was always a part of ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Blood transfusions and Christianity? [closed]

Inspired by this question, if we choose to allow a doctor to heal us, how far is too far? In Lev 17:13-14: 13 “‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing among you who hunts any animal or bird ...
16
votes
16answers
4k views

Why is faith so much more important than being a good person?

I recently had a debate with one of my friends in which he asked "Why would a good and just God not make salvation dependent on ethics, but rather on gullibility, as the Christian God has?" and I ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

At what point did Judaism and Christianity diverge?

At what point did Judaism and Christianity diverge? Christianity and Judaism share the Old Testament (The Hebrew Bible), so it should be safe to assume they are the same people at least during the Old ...
16
votes
10answers
1k views

Has God created anything since he rested on the 7th day? [closed]

Genesis 2 indicates that on the 7th day after creation God rested. Genesis 2:1-3 NIV 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God ...
16
votes
4answers
485 views

Where does the Bible stand on vegetarianism? [closed]

The subject of vegetarianism (or dietary recommendations in general) appears to me to be a bit ambivalent in the Bible. For example, Genesis 1:29 , Romans 14:21 and Isaiah 65:21-25 appear to endorse ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

A Christian view of Mohammad [closed]

I would like to present a summary of the Muslim point of view about Christ and in return I ask for the same: Who was Muhammad according to Christians? It's not about who is right or wrong. I just want ...

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