17
votes
5answers
32k 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
948 views

What is “faith?” [closed]

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
9answers
10k views

What is the biblical basis for the prohibition of instruments in worship?

I understand that some Protestant churches prohibit the use of musical instruments in their worship services. What is the specific biblical basis for this practice, or, if there is no specific ...
17
votes
4answers
585 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
4answers
902 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
6answers
7k views

Why did Jesus question God on the cross? [closed]

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 ...
17
votes
4answers
5k views

Was tithing 10% required or encouraged by the early church?

I cannot find in the New Testament an obligation on Christians to tithe 10% of their income. Instead I read that it is up the individual to decide: 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV1984) Each man should ...
17
votes
5answers
3k 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
7answers
667 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
2k views

What is the support for saying Jesus believed Genesis was a literal account of creation?

Ken Ham has said "I take Genesis as literal history, as Jesus did." I've also seen this stated other places, but haven't seen anything that Jesus said which backs up this train of thought. What is ...
17
votes
2answers
6k 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
7k 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
859 views

In Theistic Evolution when do the genealogies in Genesis become real?

In Genesis there is the genealogy of Adam to Noah, then the account of the flood. After that is the genealogy of Noah to Abraham. The accounts of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob's sons then follow. ...
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
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
7answers
6k views

What is the oldest hymn (with music) that is still sung in churches today?

Using any of the standard hymnals, what is the oldest hymn that people are still singing? For example: The Baptist Hymnal 1975 / 1991 / 2008, The Faith We Sing (Methodist, right?), The ...
17
votes
4answers
1k 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
9answers
11k views

What is the Protestant argument against the doctrine of Purgatory?

The Roman Catholic Church teaches the idea of Purgatory, which is defined by Wikipedia as follows: Purgatory is, according to Catholic teaching, the state or place of purification or temporary ...
17
votes
4answers
931 views

Are Catholics like pagans, in Evangelical vision?

This question is based on my personal experience. Some time ago I had a discussion with a friend of mine who's an evangelical pastor. In a very subtle way, he was asserting that I actually believe ...
17
votes
3answers
11k views

How does free will fit with the doctrine of predestination?

The Calvinistic doctrine of predestination states that God has chosen who will live and who will die. That Christians are unconditionally elected for salvation or damnation. However, how does this ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

Does Jeremiah 8:8 imply that the scriptures were corrupted?

Most Christians think the Bible has been accurately preserved over the ages, and that the textual differences that exist are largely insignificant. But I came across this verse which makes me ...
17
votes
4answers
9k views

Why were both criminals that were crucified with Jesus abusing him in Mark, and not in Luke?

Two thing stick out to me in the gospel accounts of Jesus on the Cross: Mark 15:27-32 They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults ...
17
votes
2answers
2k 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
5answers
32k views

Why didn't the Jews understand “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani”?

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" Some of those who stood there, when they ...
17
votes
3answers
1k 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
5answers
5k views

When was Job alive?

The first chapter of Job describes a man who was favored by God (Job). 1 In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. ...
17
votes
1answer
20k 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
2answers
5k 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
30k views

What is the purpose of a Rosary?

I am not Catholic and I am pretty sure the Rosary is mainly a Catholic artifact, and in modern times devout Catholics seem to always have a Rosary (as in, you know they're Catholic because of the ...
17
votes
4answers
13k views

What is the difference between Reformed and Presbyterian

I feel like this is a dumb question, but maybe, just maybe, I'm not the only one confused by this. Maybe if I'm willing to stick my neck out and look stupid, the answer will be here for those poor ...
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
711 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
891 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
623 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
1answer
3k 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. ...
17
votes
3answers
576 views

Identity of Christ's Bride

I've always believed (like Christians around me) that Christ's Bride is the church. However, I recently met two guys that claimed that the Bride is actually the new Jerusalem that comes down from ...
17
votes
1answer
507 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
52k views

What is the significance of Jesus seeing Nathanael under the fig tree?

In John 1:46-50, Nathanael is introduced to Jesus for the first time. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son ...
17
votes
1answer
11k 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: ...
17
votes
3answers
7k 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
5answers
928 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 ...
17
votes
8answers
6k 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
4answers
10k views

Are there 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?
17
votes
5answers
10k views

Does Genesis 9:5 say that God holds animals accountable for killing humans?

I was looking back over Genesis 9, just after the flood, when God allowed man to eat animals for food. The text is fairly interesting here: 4 “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood ...
17
votes
6answers
10k 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
8k 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
3answers
17k 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
3answers
10k views

The symbolic use of “horn”

It has proved difficult to find an answer to this question A quick concordance search of "horn" and you will find many different uses for the word. My center-column notes say "strength." But why? ...
17
votes
3answers
18k 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? ...
17
votes
1answer
3k views

Why did Rome and Constantinople split in 1054 AD?

The Great Schism represents the break between the Eastern and Western churches. I know that a primary bone of contention that the East had with the West was Rome's insistence on Papal Supremacy. My ...

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