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Questions tagged [bible]

Questions about the history, composition and canon of the Bible. Don't use this tag for beliefs and practices in the Bible.

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What does the bible say about homosexuality?

I was recently listening to a podcast and the preacher said that he has looked through the entire bible and could not find anywhere where it says that homosexuality was a sin. Where does the bible ...
29
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6answers
280k views

What are the different names of God in the Bible and what do they mean? [closed]

I see that our current-day Bibles only refer to God as LORD. Can you explain to me what the different names of God are and what they mean?
27
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12answers
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Are there any examples of sarcasm in the bible? [closed]

The closest in tone to sarcasm, though somewhat different, that I am aware of is John 1:45-46 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the ...
26
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3answers
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What does the bible say about interracial marriages? [closed]

This has been a popular topic of debate, at least where I live. As Armenians, we like to...discourage marriages with spouses of a different ethnicity or nationality, simply in order to carry the ...
24
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5answers
1k views

Does being a Christian mean being a Bible literalist? [closed]

Where are the lines for Bible literalism in the Christian faith? Are all aspects of the Bible treated with the same level of literal belief (as actual history), or are some parts considered to be ...
24
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4answers
5k views

What are the biblical arguments that the Bible canon is closed?

Some religions claim to have a newer revelation of God: the Book of Mormon and the Qur'an are presented to be the latest revelation of God. The Old Testament closes with a climax of expectation of ...
23
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7answers
2k views

Why is the Bible a foundation of theological evidence?

Please excuse my ignorance I'm new to this. I've been looking through the Q&A on the site and I've noticed scripture and especially passages from the Bible are cited as evidence for one argument ...
23
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4answers
20k 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.)
23
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4answers
335 views

Hand Picked Bible Applications [closed]

I understand that my question pokes at a sensitive area, but being a nonreligious person in a largely Christian region, I find it extremely dissatisfying to leave such a core aspect of my neighbor's ...
22
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7answers
6k views

Is it possible for The Bible to contain errors? [closed]

For those who profess to follow the word of Christ, everyone agrees that the Bible is the infallible word of God as transcribed by many different men compiled together in one book. But for this ...
22
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4answers
1k views

Was the flood of Noah global or local? [closed]

Genesis 7 and 8 describes the flood of Noah, and says in part: The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, ...
22
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1answer
102k views

In what countries is it illegal to own a Bible (the most banned book in the world)?

It is my understanding that in many countries of the world, it is illegal to print or own a copy of the Bible. Is there any compilation of which countries have banned the Bible? As an aside, if you ...
22
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2answers
30k views

Are any Greek or Roman gods mentioned by name in the Bible?

Are any Greek or Roman gods mentioned by name in the Bible? Also, are any Greek or Roman mythological characters or creatures mentioned in the Bible?
21
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5answers
4k views

Why is God asking questions or appearing uncertain in the Bible if He's omniscient?

Is God omniscient? lists all the passages were it is written that God is omniscient. Reading other passages, I found a few things that seemingly contradict this: In Genesis 3:8-13 God asks Adam and ...
21
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3answers
36k 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 ...
20
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6answers
99k 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 ...
20
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2answers
480 views

By what mechanism could the Bible be inerrant?

For those who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible (or those who understand the positions of those who do), how can the Bible have this status given all the opportunities for any message delivered by ...
19
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6answers
9k views

What are the practical applications of “two will become one flesh”? [closed]

Mark 10:8 (NIV) and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What does this mean for a marriage? What are the practical applications of this? Obviously, this is ...
19
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1answer
717 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 ...
19
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3answers
27k 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? ...
19
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4answers
437 views

Does the Bible itself give us clues about which parts to interpret literally and which figuratively? [closed]

I know that the question may seem a little bit self-referential but I ask it anyway: There is often great controversy among Christians what parts of the Bible are to be interpreted literally and what ...
18
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6answers
4k views

In what order should the books of the (Protestant) Bible be read? [closed]

The Bible is probably one of the most historically significant books for the Western civilization, so it should be a worthwhile read for many a literature geek. In which order should it be read, then?...
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2answers
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Why are psalms in the bible printed with funny spacing?

What is the significance of the awkward spacing (on the right below) when songs are printed in the bible? Is this spacing in the original scripts, or is it assumed by the translator somehow?
18
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4answers
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What specific scholarship is there behind the New World Translation?

The New World Translation of the Bible was produced by the Jehovah's Witnesses. I'm wondering what specific scholarship is behind the translation. Who were the translators? What Greek Manuscripts ...
18
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1answer
4k views

What does CS Lewis mean by True Myth?

I've heard the phrase and even used it before, in potentially dangerous and unintelligent ways. But what did CS Lewis mean when he came to the realization that Christianity was not just Myth, but ...
18
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3answers
23k views

How long did it take to form the Biblical canon?

How long did it take to collect all of the writings that eventually formed the first version of the Bible? In other words, starting with when the first writing was created (I'll say when it was ...
18
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3answers
2k views

Can we trust the Septuagint? [closed]

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
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4answers
676 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 ...
17
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4answers
23k views

What does the Bible say about Science? [closed]

It's a debate that atheists seem to thrive on. Fact vs. Faith. Personally, I believe in a co-existence of the two, but I'm interested in what the Bible has to say about us learning about our ...
17
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3answers
875 views

Are chapter and verse divisions international?

If someone quotes e.g. Leviticus 6:7, will this be the correct position no matter the language or translation?
17
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2answers
27k views

Into how many languages has the Bible been translated?

I understand that the Bible has been translated into more languages than any other book in the world. What is the current total of languages into which the Bible, or part of the Bible, has been ...
17
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3answers
568 views

Who first distinguished between the inerrancy of the Bible and the inerrancy of the original autographs?

It's common these days among those who believe in the inerrancy* of the Bible to limit the statement to the original manuscripts. For example, the Chicago Statement reads: We affirm that ...
17
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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4answers
7k 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)?
16
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7answers
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What does it mean to interpret the Bible literally?

Here are some common definitions from a dictionary for ‘literal’: Being in accordance with, conforming to, or upholding the exact or primary meaning of a word or words. Word for word; verbatim: a ...
16
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7answers
6k 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
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4answers
3k views

What evidence is there to support the position that the Bible is truly the Word of God to mankind?

Christianity generally accepts the Bible to be the Word of God, and the Bible itself makes this claim (i.e. 2 Peter 1:16-21). 16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to ...
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3answers
1k views

Why do Pentecostals believe in a closed canon?

Pentecostals believe the gift of prophecy continues to the present day. From what I understand, most Christians believe the gift of prophecy is what enabled the writers of Scripture to write "inspired"...
16
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1answer
3k views

The voice of God vs the voice of Satan [closed]

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 ...
15
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2answers
301 views

How are verses referenced?

How are Bible verses referenced? For example what is the meaning of: Revelation 21:5 (NIV)? Are there any other methods to reference a verse? (I am not a Christian and this should be treated like a ...
15
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7answers
6k views

How ambitious should a Christian be? [closed]

According to Luke 16:13 (ESV): No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and ...
15
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2answers
444 views

Is it right for a church to be wealthy? [closed]

Jesus preached that the faithful should give up their wealth and worldly possessions and spend a humble existence in servitude of God. A church must have a certain amount of wealth in order to ...
15
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8answers
75k views

What does the Bible say about life before conception?

I recently spoke with a friend of mine and he was wondering if we are alive before conception. We know that there is life after death according to the Bible, but what does the Bible say about "life" ...
15
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1answer
698 views

What writings are held as “biblical canon” by Swedenborgians?

Reading an article on Emanuel Swedenborg, I came across the following fact: It should be noted, however, that Corinthians is not included in the list of books that, according to Swedenborg, ...
15
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1answer
326 views

Are today's Catholics encouraged to study the Bible at home?

How do Catholics view personal scripture study? Are members of the congregation encouraged to do any studying at home?
15
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1answer
2k views

When was the New Testament divided into sentences and paragraphs?

I know that the New Testament was given chapter numberings around 1227 AD, and verse numberings in 1555 (Source). But apparently, the earliest manuscripts didn't have punctuation, spaces, or ...
14
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4answers
10k views

Why was the Bible not available to common people in the Medieval period?

The Bible was not available in the hands of common people in Medieval times (5th - 15th century). Which of these possible reasons are plausible? The common people were poor and could not afford to ...
14
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3answers
988 views

Are these Bible verses referencing UFOs? [closed]

Ezekiel 1:16: This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. Exodus 13:22: ...
14
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4answers
252 views

Does the Bible give any reason as to why its content is sometimes difficult to interpret? [closed]

As evidenced by this site, and the divisions between various Christian denominations, there seems to be a lot of different ways some passages in the bible can be interpreted. One example is ...
14
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3answers
59k views

What is meant by “Get behind me Satan”?

Considering Matthew 16:23: Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Why did Jesus ...