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45

The first instance of sarcasm that jumps into my mind is 1 Kings 18:27, where Elijah is taunting the prophets of Baal because their sacrifice is not burning up (they were having a sort of contest). The NET renders the verse: "At noon Elijah mocked them, 'Yell louder! After all, he is a god; he may be deep in thought, or perhaps he stepped out for a moment ...


42

There's an entire Wikipedia post regarding this subject. (Thus it's my source as it's easily referenced.) 1 Leviticus 20:13 is the first: 13 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. 2 Genesis 18-19 has the ...


33

Elohim Genesis 1:1 (ESV) 1 In the beginning, God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth. Pslam 19:1 (ESV) 1 The heavens declare the glory of God, [Elohim]    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. The name "Elohim" means "God" and is a reference to God's power and might. Adonai Malachi 1:6 (ESV) … And if I am a master, where is my fear? says ...


33

In the Old Testament the Jews are forbidden from marriage with non-Jews. See, for example, Deuteronomy 7:3-4. However that was on the basis of religious rather than racial purity, as it was clearly stated that the reason was to prevent the Jews from "following other Gods". It is also notable that in the Book of Ruth, Ruth is a non-Jew married to a Jew, and ...


32

The "AD/BC" way of counting dates that you want dates to 525 AD by Dionysius Exiguus. Prior to that, people kept time in "regnal" time, meaning that they would count the Xth year of the reign of Y. Since the Old Testament was pretty much complete by 400BC (nearly a milennia earlier) and the New Testament by 95 AD, it would be every bit as odd to see an "AD/...


31

Yes, it is absolutely possible for editions of the Bible to contain errors. There is no magical mechanism to prevent this. There are some notorious printing mistakes, for example: A 1631 printing of the King James version is now called the "Wicked Bible", owing to its rendering of Exodus 20:14, Thou shalt commit adultery In 1763, the "Fool's Bible" said ...


29

What is the significance of the awkward spacing (on the right below) when songs are printed in the bible? First, to state the obvious: the translators have determined that this represents poetry. Within the domain of poetry, the "awkward spacing" you ask about has a technical name: stichometric division. Unfortunately, neither what constitutes poetry nor ...


27

Reading the Bible as a story is a good way to get a lot out of it and broaden your understanding. The narrative books in order are: Genesis Exodus Numbers Joshua Judges 1 Samuel 2 Samuel 1 Kings 2 Kings Ezra Nehemiah 1 Maccabees Luke Acts This is what T3 Bible timeline uses (which we used in our parish Religious Ed. teacher formation), and it was the ...


25

Yes, you're absolutely right! Jesus never broke any bones. That's a fulfillment of the prophecy from Old Testament and it's written about in John. John 19:36 (NIV) These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken," The prophecy that John refers to is found in Psalms 34:20: Psalms 34:19-20 (NIV) ...


25

The type of work you are looking for is called an apparatus, such as Bruce Metzger's Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament which explains the choices made in compiling the UBS4 Nestle-Aland 27 (one of the best Greek texts, pulling together most of the known codexes, manuscripts, and papyri out here) When using an apparatus, you should become ...


25

Regrettably, there are many countries with legal or customary restrictions on the Bible. While a total ban is comparatively rare (e.g., North Korea punishes any possession of religious literature by death or imprisonment), it is more common for ownership or distribution to be limited: To certain government-approved groups only. For example, China allows ...


24

In addition to Richard's post, it's important to keep Acts 15 in mind. The clearest and most unambiguous prohibitions against homosexual acts in the Bible come from the Law of Moses. It's frequently pointed out that the Law was fulfilled in Christ and Christians aren't expected to be held to its many precepts and prohibitions, such as being forbidden to ...


23

You don't need to (as in should), but you can if you want to. Don't allow them any special authority if they're not in your Bible; use common sense. Apocryphal books and other writings of the time might be interesting in many ways, e.g. historically. There's an important distinction to be made between 1&2 Maccabees and the Gospel of Thomas. This ...


23

They are our neighbors and we should love them as ourselves. John 13:34-35 (NIV)    34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” If it turns out that they are our enemies then we should love them ...


23

In my opinion, Paul provides the best example. Here he is, in Galatians, having just given his opinion on circumcision (not necessary for Christians), then giving his opinion on those who insist on it for salvation: As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! Galatians 5:12 In other words, don't stop at the ...


23

It's not even a Christian perspective that's needed. It's a historical one. Christianity sprang from Judaism, and Judaism and Islam share common roots. All three are known as "Abrahamic religions" because they trace their history to the covenant God made with Abraham in the Hebrew Bible. All of the events you listed were from before Abraham. Talmudic ...


22

In the strictest sense, I would doubt anyone is truly a literalist. For example, when Jesus says that he is the door, it would be a difficult position to hold that Jesus literally is made of wood and swings on hinges. What most people mean, on the other hand, when they speak of belief that the Bible is "literally true", is merely that what is claimed in ...


22

Gaining information is not the only reason for asking questions. Asking questions is a very powerful teaching device--not because the teacher does not know the answer, but because in the answering of the questions the students learn. Adam was hiding from an omniscient God. He had never felt the need to hide from God before. The question helped Adam ...


22

There is a spectrum of literal biblical reading, but basically it boils down to the degree to which one believes in the historicity (in the modern sense) of the Bible. Archeological evidence only goes back as far as a steele mentioning the "House of David," so for modern academics, the historicity of say, Moses, Abraham, and Adam and Eve are all at least ...


21

The Bible is made up of many different "books", or documents, compiled into a single volume. The traditional Protestant Bible has 66 books. The Catholic Bible uses 73. Some other Christian groups also use a few other religious texts, that are usually referenced in the same way. Each book is divided into chapters (apart from the very short ones, where ...


21

Yes, he did. The Romans were experts at this and knew exactly what it took to kill someone and what it took to make that process slow. Crucifixion was designed to drag the act of dying out over a long period of time. As you note in the John passage, Jesus died more quickly than they expected. The trial and execution had been rushed into an abnormal ...


21

The word myth, in its academic definition, means a story with deep power and symbolic meaning. When studied in the academic sense, it's that meaning that is important, not whether the story actually happened or not. Thus ancient 'myths' like the founding of Rome, or the stories of Hercules were important (to their societies) for what they said and the effect ...


21

First, the Bible is the entire collection of Jewish scripture (known by Christians as the "Old Testament") and Christian scripture (which also includes the "New Testament") as recognized by modern Christian groups. Most Protestant Christian groups recognize 66 "books" (or individual pieces of literature) as their Bible. Greek Orthodox and Catholics ...


21

The Catholic Church does indeed believe that if the sinner fulfills certain conditions, any sin can indeed be forgiven. Paragraph 982 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: There is no offense, however serious, that the Church cannot forgive. "There is no one, however wicked and guilty, who may not confidently hope for forgiveness, provided his ...


20

The various books get their names in different ways. Most of the Old Testament books are named for their theme. For example, the book of Genesis tells of the beginning (or genesis) of the world, and human history. The book of Exodus tells of the story of the Israelites' exodus out of Egypt. Psalms and Proverbs, are collections of, respectively, psalms (...


20

The normal generic word for God is "alaha"/"aloho" (ܐܠܗܐ), which is linguistically related to the Hebrew word for God "elohim". The translation of the tetragrammaton, YHWH, on the other hand, is "maria"/"morio" (ܡܪܝܐ), usually decomposed as mar-yah, Lord-Yah ("mar", lord, also being used by syriac speaking churches as a title for saints/doctors of the ...


20

First of all, these two translations are extremely different. Here's Genesis 1:1 in The Street Bible: First off, nothing. No light, no time, no substance, no matter. Second off, God starts it all off and WHAP! Stuff everywhere! And in the KJV: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. There's obviously a significant difference between ...


19

The Bible doesn't ever use the term Science because it didn't exist at the time. However the Bible has a lot to say about gaining knowledge and wisdom. It is the glory of God to conceal things,but the glory of kings is to search things out. Proverbs 25:2 The LORD said to Moses, "See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the ...


19

There are two major variations in the Bible which has caused rifts over time: translation and canon. Translation It's important to not underestimate the value of translation. The New World Translation, for example, is a translation used exclusively by the Jehovah's Witnesses. This "Bible" can be considered the Jehovah's Witness Bible. Other ...


19

The problem with this question is that the Bible is not a single book, and as such does not directly address what "other books" are considered canon. Peter, for instance, writes that Paul's books are highly profitable for reading, "even if they are sometimes hard to understand," but there is no book anywhere that says "these books are canon, these are not." ...


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