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24
votes
1answer
120k views

What is the story behind a monk’s tonsure?

As the title asks: What is the significance of this particular haircut (the tonsure), why is it associated with monks and what is the history behind it?
23
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the role of Mohammed in the Bible?

John 14:16 and 14:26, which refer to a Paraclete ("comforter"), have been read by Muslims as a prediction that Muhammad will succeed Jesus. "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you ...
23
votes
7answers
1k views

Who was Melchizedek? [closed]

Melchizedek ("King of Justice" in Hebrew) is mentioned in Genesis 14 as receiving the dime from Abraham, and breaking bread with him: 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: ...
23
votes
12answers
7k views

Where can I find out more about other people rising from the dead, when Jesus died on the Cross?

51 When Jesus died, the curtain in the Temple was torn into two pieces. The tear started at the top and tore all the way to the bottom. Also, the earth shook and rocks were broken. 52 The graves ...
23
votes
3answers
7k views

Are silent prayers heard?

Growing up in the church, silent prayers are pretty much part of how I pray. However, challenging assumptions, I'm curious to know how biblical this is. Every prayer I've found in the Bible is ...
23
votes
7answers
22k views

Are Orthodox Christians all the same faith?

I've noticed some churches in my area that are titled things like: "Greek" Orthodox "Russian" Orthodox "Serbian" Orthodox "Antiochian" Orthodox etc... Are these all the same type of Christian Church?
23
votes
7answers
2k views

What are the Biblical and theological problems with theistic evolution?

Theistic evolution holds that God used evolution to create mankind. It seems to follow then that this view must also hold the creation account in Genesis to be unhistorical. So, Adam and Eve may ...
23
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the origin of the Catholic apocrypha?

In the Catholic tradition, several "apocryphal" books are used in addition to the same Old Testament canon used by Protestants. What is the origin of these books and how do they differ from from the ...
23
votes
5answers
3k views

How is offering X Hail Marys not considered vain repetition?

So if the Hail Mary is a prayer and saying the prayer multiple times is encouraged in Catholicism, what established reason does the Catholic church give to justify it not being a vain repetition. ...
23
votes
5answers
72k 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 ...
23
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the Bible give any rules for music? [closed]

Does the Bible provide any rules or even any indication about what kind or style of music is appropriate, both for worship and in general?
23
votes
5answers
75k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
30k 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
votes
8answers
10k 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. ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

Do Evangelicals see Catholics as pagans?

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 ...
23
votes
5answers
10k 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 ...
23
votes
6answers
10k views

Is Hell eternal, or do some/all escape it? [closed]

In his recent book, Love Wins, author and pastor Rob Bell caused quite a bit of controversy (and anger) by making the argument that Heaven is the state that we are in when we follow God's will and ...
23
votes
4answers
36k views

Does the Catholic Church officially recognize Protestants as Christians?

I have always thought that the Pope did not recognize the validity of the faith of those outside of the Catholic church, but in comments from a different post I am surprised to find out I may be ...
23
votes
1answer
2k views

Has a pope ever been corrected publicly by a non-cleric in the presence of cardinals because of the unclear wording of a papal document?

At the moment there is a lot of talk about four cardinals who have submitted a dubia to Pope Francis regarding the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. In one article it stated that: "any 'fraternal ...
23
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the main tenets and/or beliefs of the 'Emergent' Church?

'Emergent' is a word I see gets thrown around a lot. Is there any definition to what is and what isn't emergent? Is it a catch-all for certain points of view? Are there people out there that ...
23
votes
2answers
7k views

How does the Catholic church explain Matthew 19:9, which seems to allow divorce in case of sexual misconduct?

Matthew 19:9 (NIV) 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
21k 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 ...
23
votes
6answers
6k views

What is the biblical basis for the Immaculate Conception?

According to Catholic Doctrine, the Immaculate Conception refers to the teaching that Mary's own conception (not that of Jesus) was without the stain of original sin. What is the biblical basis for ...
23
votes
7answers
5k views

Does the Bible make any allusions to life on other planets? [closed]

What, if anything, does the Bible say either supporting the theory of life on other planets, or suggesting that there is none?
23
votes
3answers
32k views

How should one reconcile a wrong against another person? [closed]

When someone commits a wrong against another person, what is he supposed to do to make things right? Is seeking forgiveness from God sufficient, or do you first need to set things right with the ...
23
votes
3answers
13k views

Why did G.K. Chesterton convert to Catholicism?

G.K. Chesterton is one of my favorite authors. On a lot of subjects, his way of looking at things really astonishes me. He can still show things in a fresh perspective, though his books are about a ...
23
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the Biblical evidence that there are ONLY three persons in the “Trinity”?

(This is a followup to the various answers for the question What is the Biblical basis for the doctrine of the Trinity?) The specific concept of 'trinity' isn't specifically spelled out in the Bible. ...
23
votes
6answers
3k 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 “...
23
votes
3answers
868 views

What is the Biblical basis for Unconditional Election?

Calvin, among his other points includes the point that we are Unconditionally Elected and chosen by God alone and nothing we can do can help or hurt this fact. What is the Biblical basis for this?
23
votes
4answers
371 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 ...
23
votes
5answers
712 views

What is Baptism of the Holy Spirit? [closed]

What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and how does it differ from water baptism? Do all Christians experience Baptism of the Holy Spirit? EDIT A few references to Baptisim of the Holy Spirit, or ...
23
votes
8answers
39k views

Why was taking census a bad thing?

In Chronicles, David took a census on the people of Israel. However, God became angry at this, and he proceeded to destroy about 70,000 people in result. 1 Chronicles 21:1-16: 1Satan rose up ...
23
votes
14answers
23k views

What exactly does it mean that Jesus Christ is the son of God?

What does it mean to a Christian that Christ is the son of God? On the one hand, obviously, the normal biological meaning of son does not apply. On the other hand, "we are all children of God", but ...
23
votes
2answers
9k views

What were Martin Luther's main disagreements with the Catholic Church?

What were Martin Luther's main disagreements with the Catholic Church? Were these beliefs of Luther's and his disagreements with the Catholic Church the origin of the Lutheran Church?
23
votes
3answers
1k views

According to theistic evolutionists, 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

How do Catholics support transubstantiation?

As I understand it, the doctrine of transubstantiation maintains that bread and wine literally* become the body and blood of Christ... yet it is impossible to detect this. That is, they do not ...
23
votes
7answers
1k views

What is the physical evidence for a global flood?

Young Earth Creationists believe in a young earth, followed by a literal global flood based on the belief that Scripture is written as history. Often, in comments, discussion forums, and discussions ...
23
votes
6answers
8k views

At what time of day was Jesus crucified?

Mark 15:25, 18 KJV And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. and And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! John 19:14-16 KJV And it was the preparation of the passover, and ...
23
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the primary differences and implications of a propitiatory view of the atonement versus an expiatory view?

Western theology tends to view atonement as propitiation, while Eastern tends to view it as expiation. What are the primary differences and implications of each perspective? Are they antithetical or ...
23
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the Biblical basis for Limited Atonement?

Calvin, among his other points, includes the point that Atonement is Limited; i.e., that Christ's death was sufficient for all but only effective for the elect. What is the Biblical basis for this ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

What distinctive kinds of Bible translations are there?

Obviously there is a lot decisions and elbow-grease that go into producing any Bible translation. I hear a lot of different terms used to describe the different methodologies that guide those ...
23
votes
5answers
85k views

What is the meaning and origin of bridal veils in Christian weddings?

Does the practice of brides wearing veils have its origin in either the Bible or Christian tradition? If so, where exactly did it originate and what is it supposed to symbolize?
23
votes
3answers
889 views

How much variation is in the Hebrew language of the Old Testament?

Is there a difference in the Hebrew between the earliest Old Testament books and the relatively newer books? In other words: are there linguistic differences (syntax, grammar, word usage) in older ...
23
votes
2answers
6k views

From where does the doctrine that there is no time in heaven originate?

I'm quite familiar with the fact that God himself is outside of time, this is very easy to show through scripture. However it seems to be an increasingly popular conception that there is no time in ...
22
votes
7answers
4k views

What have Christians taught during past plagues and pandemics?

Christians have lived through many major plagues, epidemics, and pandemics over the past two thousand years. Some of the most severe pandemics were the Plague of Justinian and the Black Death, both of ...
22
votes
5answers
21k views

What exactly is a “Hail Mary”?

The practice of a saying a "Hail Mary" is often referred to in colloquial speech, sometimes as a way to caricaturize Catholics. References to the practice instantly conjure up images of Catholicism, ...
22
votes
4answers
59k 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. ...
22
votes
5answers
6k views

According to those holding that Jesus was literally born of a virgin, why did Paul not mention it?

Matthew and Luke each open with an account of Jesus' miraculous virginal conception and birth. The virgin birth is widely seen as an essential belief in Christianity, being found for example in the ...
22
votes
4answers
57k views

Why isn't the cross considered an idol?

Exodus 20:1-15 ESV And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before ...
22
votes
5answers
5k views

Did Paul write the Epistle to the Hebrews?

The authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews is an open question. The common scholarly opinion is that the author certainly wasn't Paul. Most modern Bible translations make no mention of the author, ...

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