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26
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the scriptural basis for clerical celibacy?

In the Catholic Church, priests are required to stay celibate. (As far as I know, protestant priests that convert to Catholicism are allowed an exception -- they can become Catholic priests even if ...
26
votes
6answers
18k views

Interpretation of the scripture “One Lord, one faith, one baptism?” [closed]

Ephesians 4:5 states there is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." Some Christians interpret this to mean that a single denomination (with its beliefs, doctrines, and practices) constitutes the "one ...
26
votes
1answer
9k views

How can I tell the difference between the Moral law and other laws in the old testament?

Many Christians believe that there are three kinds of law in the Old Testament: The moral law that declares how man should live. The civil law that was the legal structures for the ancient nation of ...
25
votes
8answers
26k views

Sex outside of marriage is a sin. But what about “less than sex”? [closed]

Inspired by Is masturbation a sin? This is a tough subject that I've grappled with my whole life. It's clear in God's word that sex outside of marriage (adultery) is a sin. But, what is acceptable ...
25
votes
13answers
404k views

Why was God so upset with Moses for striking the rock the second time in the desert?

In Exodus, God commands Moses to strike a rock, and promises to make water flow in the desert for the people. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the ...
25
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the Biblical evidence against the perpetual virginity of Mary?

I understand that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary is the eternal virgin in that she never had sexual relations with Joseph (or any other man)--either before or after the miraculous ...
25
votes
5answers
64k views

Did Christ's original twelve apostles have families?

We know that Peter was married because Christ healed his mother-in-law. Do we know if he had children? Do we know whether any of the other apostles were married and if they had children?
25
votes
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 ...
25
votes
6answers
6k views

What explanations have been offered for the “messianic secret” passages?

In a number of places in the Gospel accounts, Jesus performs a miracle and then tells the healed person and others who witnessed it not to spread the word. For example, After healing a leper, And ...
25
votes
6answers
14k views

How did the livestock of the Egyptians die twice?

Yesterday we were studying the ten plagues in Exodus. One of the things that confused us was this. Exodus 9:6 reads: 6 And the next day the Lord did it: All the livestock of the Egyptians died, ...
25
votes
4answers
24k views

Should we love Satan since he is our greatest enemy? [closed]

Jesus asked us to love our enemy Mat 5:43-44: 43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, ...
25
votes
7answers
44k views

Are some people created to go to Hell? [closed]

This answer presents the following statement: God is in control and I believe that His will has always been done. So to say that He's never failed. So, are some people are destined to go to hell?...
25
votes
4answers
17k views

What languages did Jesus speak?

As a young believer I was quickly turned on to the idea of learning some things about the "original languages" of the Bible. After all, how could you understand John 21:15-17 without ...
25
votes
7answers
52k views

How could Jesus be born during the reign of Herod, and when Quirinius was governor of Syria, if those periods were not contemporary?

In Matthew 2, it makes it clear that Jesus was conceived during the reign of Herod and was a young child when Herod died. After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in ...
25
votes
6answers
20k views

What does it mean that Satan is “god of this world”?

In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul refers to Satan as "god of this world". What does it mean that Satan is god of this world? 2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the ...
25
votes
13answers
34k views

If God controls our decisions, does this mean we don't have free will? [closed]

This was originally part of this question However, it's really a separate line of logic (and therefore a different question, imo). If others prefer, I can remerge this into the original. God is ...
25
votes
9answers
17k views

How did Peter recognize Elijah and Moses?

Matthew 17:3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. 4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—...
25
votes
8answers
122k views

If God set the maximum age to 120, then how could Jacob be 130 years old?

At the time of Noah, God said: Genesis 6:3 NIV Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” Now, ...
25
votes
7answers
5k views

Why does Jesus refer to himself as the “Son of Man”?

Why does Jesus refer to himself as the "Son of Man"? This is similar to Why does Jesus speak of himself in the third person?, but I am specifically looking for an explanation of the "Son of Man" ...
25
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
25
votes
2answers
2k views

What does the Bible say about Capital Punishment? [closed]

Some Christians are for and some are against capital punishment. However what does the Bible have to say about it?
25
votes
6answers
34k views

How should I understand the emphasis on “begotten, not made” in the Nicene Creed?

I'm trying to understand the importance the repetition of "begotten" in the Nicene creed. It states (emphasis mine): We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,     the only Son of God,     ...
25
votes
5answers
2k views

Did reformation leaders throw out the Summa Theologica?

St. Thomas Aquinas's seminal work the Summa Theologica was an attempt to catalog all the theological arguments ever conceived. Much of the reasoning is rooted in the Natural Law and it's what ...
25
votes
2answers
4k views

What denominations, besides JWs, hold that the Star of Bethlehem was sent by Satan?

I looked up information about the Star of Bethlehem on Jehovah's Witnesses website and it looks like their point on it was that it was actually created by Satan in an attempt to kill Jesus. Now of ...
24
votes
8answers
94k views

What's is the case for premarital sex being an instance of πορνεία (porneia)?

This question is pretty much a spinoff of What does the Bible say about sex before marriage / premarital sex? because its current answer depends on the assumption that premarital sex is πορνεία (...
24
votes
5answers
6k views

Do LDS believe other churches to be the church of Satan?

I was once informed by some LDS missionaries that other churches to them are the church of Satan? Is this an LDS doctrine or the view of some members?
24
votes
5answers
3k views

Can people speak in tongues today? [closed]

The Bible refers to people speaking in tongues--most notably at Pentecost. Is this something that legitimately happens today? I've been in church services where speaking in tongues has happened, but ...
24
votes
3answers
8k views

What's up with churches and guitars in this joke from The Big Bang Theory?

From The Big Bang Theory S10E12: Mary: Thank you, God, for the food we are about to receive and for the nourishment of our bodies and bless the hands that prepared it. Amen. Sheldon: Given that your ...
24
votes
7answers
10k views

How do Protestants interpret Matthew 16:13–20?

The verses read 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; ...
24
votes
10answers
26k views

Why do many churches use grape juice in communion?

Some Baptists and many other evangelicals use grape juice in communion. Is this explained on any catechism (or systematic theology available online) ? Does the reason for not using wine have to do ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

What does the Bible say about tithing? [closed]

Do we have to tithe? Why does God need us to tithe? What are the results of NOT tithing?
24
votes
5answers
20k views

What were the Nephilim, and what role did they play in the Bible beyond just being mentioned?

Did the Nephilim that are mentioned in Genesis 6:4 do anything beyond just existing?
24
votes
4answers
10k views

Why do Catholic churches have a red lamp burning inside?

Is there any significance to the red lamp that is lit inside Catholic churches? I ask because I recently saw a green lamp lit at the entrance to a Church of Scotland village church and wondered if ...
24
votes
4answers
2k views

How would 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 would the church deal ...
24
votes
7answers
112k views

Why did Jesus tell His disciples to buy a sword?

At the Last Supper, Luke records this dialogue: He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And ...
24
votes
11answers
18k views

What is the Biblical Basis for a Good person going to hell simply for not believing?

The scenario is as follows: Believer, average life, many mistakes/sins. Asks forgiveness and tries everyday to be better. Goes to heaven. Non-believer, better life than the believer, fewer mistakes ...
24
votes
6answers
8k views

Did early church fathers understand the doctrine of trinity?

Many historians and religious scholars ... attest to the influence of Greek or Platonic philosophy in the development and acceptance of the Trinity doctrine in the fourth century. ... the famous ...
24
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there evidence that Isaiah 53 was viewed as a Messianic prophecy within Judaism, or is it an exclusively Christian interpretation?

The modern Jewish interpretation of the so-called suffering servant song of Isaiah 52:13-53:12 is that it is a prophecy referring to the nation of Israel, not the Messiah. As such, it is sometimes ...
24
votes
3answers
4k views

What are the differences between the different millenialisms?

Revelation 20:1-6 tells of 1000 years in which Christ will reign. I've heard there are different views on this 1000 years, mainly premillenialism, postmillenialism, and amillenialism. What are the ...
24
votes
9answers
82k views

What does it mean that Jesus fulfilled the law but did not abolish it?

We hear that we are no longer under the law. It even says so in Galatians: Galatians 3:23-25 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith ...
24
votes
5answers
33k views

What color was Augustine's skin?

Ok, let me start by saying I don't think more or less of a person because of the color of their skin. I consider racism to be both misguided and a sin. But, when I visualize a person, I like to think ...
24
votes
2answers
143k views

When did “tithing” come to mean “giving 10% of your gross income to the Church”?

I know the word "tithe" has "tenth" built into it, and so some Christians assume that every usage of the word "tithe" in Scripture is referring to "giving 10% of your gross income to the church." But ...
24
votes
4answers
9k views

In which other churches do Roman Catholics recognize apostolic succession?

The Roman Catholic Church derives much of its claim to legitimacy from the teaching of "apostolic succession". Other churches also believe that their priests derive their authority in an unbroken ...
24
votes
3answers
5k views

According to the Catholic Church, are Jews saved without faith in Jesus?

According to recent news stories, the Vatican has issued a report saying that Jews can be saved without faith in Jesus (see for example here). This sounds very strange, so my questions are: Does ...
24
votes
13answers
23k views

Who said “he would be called a Nazarene”?

Matthew 2:23 NIV and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene. From what research I have done, it does ...
24
votes
1answer
7k 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. ...
24
votes
2answers
9k views

Why were Deuterocanonical books rejected in the Reformation?

The Deuterocanonical books were included in the Septuagint, but not the Hebrew Bible. They are mostly included in the Catholic Old Testament, but not in the Protestant one. I understand the choice ...
24
votes
5answers
18k views

How did the cross come to be a symbol for Christianity?

I understand WHY the cross became a symbol for Christianity, but HOW did it become a symbol? How did it start and how did it evolve into the symbol (or symbols since there are many variants) we all ...
24
votes
6answers
12k 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 question ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

Who is a Christian according to the Russian Orthodox Church

I was told by my Russian Orthodox friends on several occasions that according to their beliefs only members of the Orthodox Church are Christians. (For example, they pointed out that my statement that ...

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