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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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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

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 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 ...


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

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

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." ...


19

This is a moving target as more translations are being completed all the time (a friend of mine went to the dedication of the Inuktitut Bible only a few weeks ago). The Bible is also usually translated in stages, so the number of languages with some of the Bible translated is higher than those with all of it translated. The United Bible Socities in October ...


19

Countries which ban the possession of the bible include: Saudi Arabia At present, the Bible has been banned in Saudi Arabia. In a number of countries, bible translation, distribution, sale or promotion is prohibited or made difficult, and the Bible may be considered extremist materials. Historically, some countries banned the Bible in certain languages ...


18

It's really not a denominational issue, per se, but a doctrinal issue or a simple preference. The King James Only movement are people and churches that believe that the King James version is the only one to use. They have various reasons for this. James White has broken it down into five primary reasons for sticking with the KJV: "I Like the KJV Best" - ...


18

Considering that he was born in 570 AD, and the last of the books of the Bible were written by contemporaries of Christ in the first century AD and compiled in present form by the 4th century AD, this is an extremely unlikely claim. He was obviously not mentioned as a historical or contemporary figure, due to the chronology. And had he been mentioned in ...


18

You might want to look at this question, which is virtually identical. To summarize: It is a simple matter to search the entire contents of the Bible. Doing so will reveal no occurrences of the words Muhammad or Ahmad or any of their spelling variants. Manuscripts of the New Testament have been found going back to the first few decades after Jesus, and in ...


17

Wow, this is a really fundamental question. And the basic answer is, because the Bible is the foundation of Christian theology. I hope that doesn't sound like a tautology. What I mean by that is that the Bible is where we find the description of what Christianity is and what it's about. The first few chapters of Genesis give us the creation of the world, ...


16

I can't answer this definitively, but I can tell you what I've come to as a conclusion. The community can vote as to whether or not they agree, and I'm sure someone else would have a different answer, but here goes. Looking at how God's method of communication has changed over time, it should not be surprising that such "gifts" are not as common as they ...


16

The usual criticism is readability. The KJV was originally translated in the 1600's, and even though it's been updated several times since then, there are still words that have different meanings now than they did in the English of the time. The literary style is clearly less modern than more recent translations. Another criticism is based on the ...


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