16
votes
5answers
23k views

Why did God accept Abel's offering and not Cain's?

In Genesis 4, we read the following account of Cain and Abel: So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also ...
16
votes
4answers
7k views

Do not boil a goat in its mothers milk [closed]

Some of the laws I can directly see why they were given, however I do not understand the last part of the verse below regarding not boiling a kid in its mothers milk. Deuteronomy 14:21 NIV Do not ...
16
votes
5answers
24k views

Why did Jesus refer to Gentiles as dogs?

The passage below raises two questions in my mind but I suspect they both have the same answer. My questions are: Why did Jesus at first refuse to speak to the Canaanite woman? We know He had no ...
16
votes
4answers
352 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
7answers
4k 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
5answers
2k views

Is there a basis for Christian holidays in the Bible? [closed]

I was just curious if holiday celebrations like Christmas and Easter were written in the Bible, not merely mentioned but specifically indicating that people should celebrate them. It seems to me that ...
16
votes
4answers
5k 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
3answers
677 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
3k views

What's the Mormon view of Freemasonry?

I've got the idea from somewhere that Mormons aren't allowed to be freemasons. Is this true? If so, what is the reasoning? I think I've heard allegations of similarity between Freemasonry and some ...
16
votes
2answers
488 views

What process was used to translate the KJV?

Who were the translators that created the venerate KJV translation and what guidelines did they use? What "kind" of translation was intended and how is it generally categorized today? Note that there ...
16
votes
5answers
1k 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
1answer
427 views

Where do primary sources for the Bible reside?

Bible translations are made from sources. Where are these sources? In a university, museum, government agency or what?
16
votes
3answers
10k views

Who wrote the Book of Revelation?

More specifically: What authorities claim that the Book of Revelation was written by the Apostle John? What authorities claim otherwise? This C.SE answer apparently references Pliny and Tacitus in ...
16
votes
2answers
560 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
6answers
574 views

How is it that someone who lived thousands of years ago can “represent” me?

The assertion that all of humanity "sinned" when Adam sinned, or "through Adam" is often made as a foundation to other Christian doctrines. What specific doctrine points to Adam being a representative ...
16
votes
1answer
2k 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
472 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
3answers
633 views

Can we trust the Septuagint?

I've previously used the Apostolic Bible for digging deeper into the meanings of passages. However, I've found that some passages in the Old Testament make no sense compared to the modern ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

How does the Catholic church explain Matthew 19:9 which seems to allow divorce in case of sexual misconduct

Matthew 19:9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery. On a simple examination, it seems to imply that sexual ...
16
votes
1answer
8k views

What should I expect at a Roman Catholic funeral?

A funeral notice announces a "mass of Christian burial" (at a Roman Catholic church in the US) followed by a burial followed by a luncheon. As an outsider I have a few questions about what to expect: ...
16
votes
1answer
402 views

What is the argument for papal succession?

First off, I do not mean for this question to sound as an attack on the Catholic Church. I would like to know the stance of the church regarding this. I found this resource, which documents the ...
16
votes
5answers
700 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
4answers
6k views

Is there a theological differences between the Greek Orthodox church and the Coptic (Egyptian) Orthodox church?

Is there a theological difference between the Greek Orthodox church and the Coptic (Egyptian) Orthodox church?
16
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
292 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
6k 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
3answers
11k views

When was Abraham alive?

It is generally accepted that Abraham lived 175 years. However, the dates when he lived are rather fuzzy and hotly debated. When was he alive and what reasons would you give for your conclusion? ...
16
votes
4answers
766 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
307 views

At what point did humans evolve enough to be considered special to God?

Disclaimer - Even though my personal views are well-established, I'd like to point out that I am not out to make a point with this question, and I am absolutely not out to establish whether any ...
16
votes
7answers
5k views

“God desires all men to be saved” from a Calvinist perspective?

If I understand correctly, Calvinists believe that God selects certain people for salvation based solely on His will... that is, the selection has nothing to do with the people themselves. My ...
16
votes
2answers
3k 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
2answers
1k views

What is the origin of the moral-civil-ceremonial distinction of the Old Testament law?

This distinction is often called tripartite division of the law. I ran across this series of blog posts: http://maelandcindy.blogspot.com/2008/06/is-mosaic-law-tripartite.html ...
16
votes
2answers
1k 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
2k 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
440 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
11answers
4k views

How should we dress when attending church? [closed]

What are some verses from the Bible which instructs us on our attire when attending church worship services and activies? Is "formal" dress good / bad / required / optional / recommended?
15
votes
8answers
43k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Should a Protestant read the apocryphal books of the Bible? [closed]

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

God created male and female… What about those who do not fit in the box?

Often times I hear the argument that marriage is between a man and a woman, God made them male and female, (adam and eve not adam and steve ..etc). My question is for those who do not fit into the ...
15
votes
9answers
9k 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
5answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
5k views

Are inter-faith marriages prohibited by the Bible?

Setting aside marriages of couples from two different Christian faiths, does the Bible address whether a Christian may marry a non-Christian? I believe that the Old Testament prohibits Jews from ...
15
votes
9answers
3k views

Why does God not show Himself beyond reasonable doubt? [closed]

In this answer I commented that Christians believe that "God does not show himself as this would take away free will", to which I was answered "The only reason he would not show himself it's that it ...
15
votes
8answers
416 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
2answers
1k views

Do Catholics view atheism as a sin?

Are there any passages in the Holy Bible or any Catholic doctrine saying that it is a sin to be an atheist? Please, don't refer to me any Biblical assertion where it is stated that you should follow ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Praying for someone's salvation. Is there a point? [closed]

According to I Timothy 2:4 (NIV), God "...wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth". But since we have free will, God cannot make us choose to accept the salvation that is ...
15
votes
3answers
621 views

Is it possible to be both a humanist and a Christian? [closed]

The following definition of a humanist was given by Andrew Copson As a humanist I try: • To be rational, looking to science in an attempt to understand the universe • To be ethical, ...
15
votes
9answers
2k views

How can a loving God make a deal with the devil?

In the book of Job, as best as I can see, God ruined Job's life over a bet (Job 1:9-12, 2:4-6). People and livestock who weren't even involved died (Job 1:13-19). Moreover, God literally made this ...
15
votes
4answers
3k 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
2answers
642 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. ...

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