16
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
5k views

Is God's name Yahweh or Jehovah?

God's name is written as the Tetragrammaton יהוה‎ (YHWH) in the Old Testament. The name is not vocalized in the manuscripts and it's considered ineffable, forbidden to say aloud, by Jews. For that ...
16
votes
6answers
14k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
697 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. ...
16
votes
1answer
399 views

How do I track the history of changes to a given verse's actual text? How do I discover it's “lineage”?

Has there been a project that traces the genealogy of each verse of the scripture? I.e., for each verse, it traces back through all the documents it was translated from, the default translations at ...
16
votes
4answers
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: ...
16
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

How should Reformed Christians deal with homosexual marriage of individuals prior to their conversion to Christianity?

I've been pondering this for several weeks and I believe that the reformed church (really, the church in general) is woefully unprepared to answer the following question: How should the church deal ...
16
votes
4answers
801 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 ...
16
votes
8answers
369 views

Can seeking arguments against Christianity strengthen Christianity? [closed]

Some take the position that some knowledge is the work of Satan. Some take the position that critical analysis can strengthen good ideas and weaken bad ones. Should Christians seek out information ...
16
votes
2answers
11k views

Who were Jannes and Jambres?

2 Timothy 3v8 "Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected." Who ...
16
votes
4answers
8k 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
26k 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
20k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
354 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
704 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
553 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
5answers
7k 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?
16
votes
1answer
498 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
13k 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
575 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
576 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
493 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
690 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
420 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
763 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
3answers
300 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
12k 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
835 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
1answer
530 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
315 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
6k 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
4k 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

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
483 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
5k 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
4answers
16k views

Was Onan really struck dead by God for masturbating?

Historically, Onan in Genesis 38 has been accused of masturbation, and for this supposed transgression was struck dead. The term Onanism (or in German Onanie) is still used to describe this practice. ...
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
6answers
2k views

How do Protestants interpret Matthew 16:13-20

The verses reads like this: 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; ...

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