4
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the differences between demoninations regarding baptism/confirmation?

Specifically, which churches practice child-baptism but not confirmation? A Brazilian friend recently shocked me by saying that her church does not practice confirmations. The wiki page for Baptism ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

When the Bible says “forever,” how can we tell it really means forever?

For instance, it is clear that God wanted the Sabbath laws to continue forever, based on these passages: Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath ...
9
votes
2answers
643 views

How does the Catholic church view Freemasons?

What are the historic and current views of the Catholic Church concerning Masons?
11
votes
2answers
7k views

Why did God describe the light as being good, but not the darkness?

In the account of creation in Genesis 1, it seems that God describes many of the things He creates as being "good". Verse 2 indicates that prior to there being light, there was "darkness over the ...
7
votes
2answers
253 views

Was Solomon interested in studying the Scriptures?

1 Kings 4:29-34 (NIV) God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the ...
4
votes
2answers
181 views

How is Sabbath a metaphor of Jesus Christ?

Matthew 11:28 (NIV) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 12:8 (NIV) For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. From these verses, some ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Was the Book of the Law (Torah) ever kept inside the Ark of the Covenant?

Deuteronomy 31:24-26 (NIV) After Moses finished writing in a book the words of this law from beginning to end, he gave this command to the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the ...
12
votes
3answers
70k views

What was inside the Ark of the Covenant?

1 Kings 8:9 (NIV) There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of ...
9
votes
2answers
273 views

At the greater emergence of democracy in Europe during the 'Enlightenment' did the papacy support democracy?

I was just wondering how did the papacy respond to democracy when it first arose in Europe? On one hand, in a country that was, according to its sovereign, a Catholic country, democracy would be very ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What is being said in Proverbs 25:2

Proverbs 25:2 King James Version (KJV) 2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. I came across this today on this site when I found the ...
5
votes
1answer
998 views

What is the basis for anointing of physical objects and who practices this?

It's been a tradition of my family and friends to anoint a home with oil when a family moves in. I understand the significance of praying and dedicating the space as God's, used for His purposes and ...
2
votes
3answers
10k views

What is the difference between Jehovah's Witnesses and Pentecostals?

What are the dogmatic differences between Jehovah's Witness Churches and Pentecostal Churches? Until recently I thought both churches were one and the same in beliefs.
2
votes
3answers
9k views

Why does God punish us when He gives us free-will? [closed]

God gives us free-will. But why does God punish us for exercising our free-will in certain ways (disobeying Him, sinning)? Why even both to give us free will, if we are to be punished for exercising ...
2
votes
4answers
713 views

Why is the curse of original sin not specific to humans?

From what I learned in church the whole world "fell" after Adam sinned. Now the typical question is why should everyone have to pay the price and is usually answered by we would have done the same if ...
18
votes
3answers
20k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
274 views

Why did the Catholic Church decide to have a Bible?

As far as I know, the Catholic Church considers God's revealed truth in Sacred Scripture to be part of, but by no means the sum total of Divine Revelation. Sacred Scripture is the written part of our ...
5
votes
2answers
217 views

What is the basis of the non catholic denominations to hold catholics as Idolaters

I was reading this article on an authoritative bible site . I was wondering what is the doctrinal bases to hold Catholics as Idolaters Here is the excerpt: Life Magazine, reporting the ...
-6
votes
2answers
447 views

Why is Jesus the Son of God and the Truth, but not Mansoor Hallaj? [closed]

What makes Jesus the Son of God? How do we know that Mansoor Hallaj is not also the Truth? Mansoor Hallaj also claimed to be the Truth, so according to Christianity, what makes Jesus differ from Al ...
5
votes
0answers
67 views

How can all animals fit in Noah's ark [duplicate]

Genesis 6 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress[c] wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, ...
9
votes
1answer
297 views

At what date in history was the last papal anathema officially applied through the death penalty in a papal court against a heretic or protestant?

I was just wondering when in history the official papal death sentences really ended. I am not interested in any killing that was not officially authorized by a pope (or his authorized ...
5
votes
2answers
178 views

What is the Biblical evidence that Jesus' mother was one of His disciples?

The Roman Catholic Church venerates Mary as not only having been blessed to be the mother of Christ, but also as having been born without sin (Immaculate Conception), and to have been a perpetual ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Did Dante's Divine Comedy describe or define Christian views on the afterlife?

Dante's Divine Comedy, the 14th century epic poem describing a journey through the various levels of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven and the persons or types of persons who inhabit each level (including ...
5
votes
0answers
152 views

How does prayer and action affect God's plan? [duplicate]

Here is a scenario to explain my question. If God planned to give you a car on your 30th birthday but you did not pray for it, will he not give it to you? Or what if its not in his plan to give you ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Are there any churches that do not accept the teachings of Paul?

From different discussions (including some on this site) it seems that Paul's teachings were different from the teachings of Jesus and the other apostles in some aspects. In light of this are there ...
12
votes
6answers
7k views

Is it hypocritical for Paul to circumcise Timothy in Act 16:3? [closed]

Acts 16:1-3 (NASB) 1 Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek, 2 and he was well ...
26
votes
8answers
1k views

Why did Jesus have to die? [closed]

Some point to a blood-payment mechanic, but I wish to look deeper than this. If payment for sin is required, then why have that in the first place, even before Old Testament ritual was established. ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do Christians appeal to personal gain and inducing fear when attempting to “convert” people?

I have many times witnessed christians trying to convince or convert atheists or people of other religions to christianity as well as all sorts of arguments and quarrels regarding christianity. I'm ...
12
votes
3answers
717 views

How could a sinless Mary die?

Ignatius Theophorus's answer to this question about the assumption of Mary states: In addition, there is an ancient document which actually relates the death of Mary and the assumption of her ...
6
votes
1answer
582 views

Did Mary die, or was she translated like Enoch and Elijah?

According to the Bible, did Mary die? From a comment on another question, it seems that at least some denominations (including the Roman Catholic Church) teach that, like Elijah and Enoch, Mary did ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

Is there any methodology according to Bible to drive out demons from possessed people?

There are numerous instances in the Bible where Jesus drives out demons from people who were possessed by them. If we take a general view of these events during the ministry of Jesus, we find that ...
3
votes
4answers
973 views

What is the difference between the grave and Hades? [closed]

Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise ...
3
votes
1answer
237 views

Why are some miracles hard to explain and some are not?

Here is a related question but they are not the same Do miracles violate the laws of physics? Looking at most miracles in the bible, they can be explained based on what we already understand ...
10
votes
3answers
7k views

How many New Testament manuscripts do we really have?

How does the Bible size up with other books from the ancient world? Is it really true that the New and Old Testament is the book from the ancient world that has the largest amounmt of extant ...
15
votes
1answer
7k views

What is the origin of holding hands when praying around a circle before a meal?

My impression is that, among many Christians, people around a table saying a prayer thanking Jesus for a meal hold hands with one another. What is the origin of this practice, and are there any ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

Which sects interpret “Day and Hour unknown” literally?

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. Matthew 25:13 (NKJV) Is there any Christian sect which literally interprets this verse and says ...
10
votes
2answers
312 views

Is the Eastern Orthodox Church independent from regional governments?

I have heard that interference from Moscow has been the cause of some dissent and even a schism within the Russian Orthodox Church in America. I think the very existence of the Russian Orthodox ...
3
votes
1answer
214 views

Whose morals are being referenced by NT authors in the expression “sexual immorality”?

When the expression "Sexual Immorality" appears in bible translations (Namely, when Paul uses that word/phrase 1 Corinthians) — to whose morals is it referring? The morals of the body of the church ...
1
vote
1answer
294 views

Does God shape your destiny by the genes you inherit? [closed]

From the Christian perspective: Does God allow the process of recessive genes being over-powered by dominant genes to create who you are - personality traits, interests etc. - and then see how a ...
-1
votes
1answer
142 views

Why the change of heart for Peter in John 18? [closed]

In John 18:10 Peter demonstrates courage during Jesus's arrest when Peter uses his sword to defend Jesus. A few verses later during Jesus's trial Peter denies Jesus. It seems that Peter would risk ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Was the temple built in 46 years or was it 46 years old during Jesus' time?

I stumbled on this verse again and would like some clarification: Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? John 2:20 (KJV) ...
-1
votes
2answers
149 views

Controversy regarding the birth of man [closed]

Scientists say that humans are from apes. But the Bible says that God created adam and eve Can somebody explain this controversy ?
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does Mark 15:34 say “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani”?

In all Christian Bibles the translators wrote this verse in the same language and translated it, (maybe it's Hebrew which I don't know) but why only Mark 15:34 in the whole, is it because when Jesus ...
11
votes
4answers
266 views

What does “the saints are not keepers of the law, but legislators” mean?

In a recent encyclical marking the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, wrote: The Wisdom of God, the Lady Theotokos our ...
11
votes
2answers
13k views

What is the Biblical basis for the belief that a living person may visit heaven or hell?

As you may know there are many books where people have said they had been in hell and in heaven, and that even Jesus guided them. And that sounds a lot like Divine Comedy. I'm pretty sure that's not ...
4
votes
0answers
41 views

Did everyone go to hell before Jesus died for our sins? [duplicate]

I've seen a couple of answers in this site which explained the meaning of "Jesus died for our sins". In these answers I gathered that Jesus (a representation of God himself) died so we could be ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

Why is it rare to combine Reformed/Calvinist doctrine and Dispensationalism?

I've been told that it's rare to find someone who combines Dispensationalism and Reformed/Calvinistic doctrine (such as John MacArthur). Why is this? What ideas don't mesh well?
14
votes
4answers
579 views

Criteria for translation

I know there are a TON of translations out there and that some people prefer things like King James Only. But I was wondering: What are some good criteria for choosing a translation and why?
4
votes
1answer
14k views

Did the Lord God agree with “an eye for an eye”? [duplicate]

In the Old Testament there is a scripture about an eye for an eye law: [Exodus 21:23~25] And if [any] mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, ...
40
votes
8answers
35k views

What major translations of the Bible are in the Public Domain?

Quoting Biblical text is technically a dicey proposition. While the original manuscripts are obviously public domain, not every translation is. Indeed, the NIV even posts the following copyright ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What does Paul intend to say in 1 Corinthians 5:5?

To be more clear, how can the person be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ by delivering such person (sexual immoral) to Satan for the destruction of the flesh? 1 Corinthians 5:5 (NKJV) ...

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