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Q&A 1591—Is discipleship optional?

Posted: October 9, 2020

I am going to have a difficult conversation with a visitor in our church who has been a “friend of the family” for years. She is convinced that the call… Read More

Q&A 1590—Smoking mushrooms, the spiritual world, and marijuana

Posted: October 8, 2020

Douglas and John, would you please address the issue of Christians smoking mushrooms, especially for healing, from an eastern medical perspective? What about the spirit world? I know some believers who… Read More

Q&A 1574-1589 (questions further to baptism debate)

Posted: July 27, 2020

Q&A 1574-1580 . Q&A 1581-1589 .. …. Part 1 of Baptism Debate (Dr. Thomas Ross and Dr. Douglas Jacoby) . Part 2 of Baptism Debate (Dr. Thomas Ross and Dr…. Read More

Q&A 1573— What about global warming? (Creation Care IV, with John Clayton)

Posted: July 3, 2020

Used with the permission of John Clayton, of Does God Exist?, who wrote this article Because we live in a time when virtually all of our information comes from news sources… Read More

Q&A 1572—Jesus, John the Baptist, Priests, and age 30

Posted: May 26, 2020

Jesus didn’t start his public ministry until he turned 30. Do you think this had anything to do with Numbers 4, where we read that a Levite needs to be… Read More

Q&A 1571—”Adding” to the finished work of Christ?

Posted: May 6, 2020

How do you answer the objection that belief in baptism being necessary for salvation is false because it adds to the already finished work of the cross? For example, one person… states:… Read More

Q&A 1570—”The Lord put it on my heart”?

Posted: April 15, 2020

I often hear people saying, “The Lord put this on my heart.” Then they talk about their plan, or what they’re asking me to do for them. I do believe… Read More

Q&A 1569—Does 1 Corinthians 11:3 mean women are forever subordinate to men?

Posted: April 7, 2020

Does 1 Corinthians 11:3 mean women are forever subordinate to men? Paul is considered to be a strong advocate for women, yet there is a passage or two in his… Read More

Q&A 1568—Salt losing saltiness?

Posted: January 7, 2020

In Matthew 5:13 we read, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for… Read More

Q&A 1567—Have you smoked marijuana?

Posted: December 16, 2019

What does the bibble [sic] say about marijuana? After all, it is just a plant. Have you smoked it? Have you read about the effects it has on you? This is… Read More

Q&A 1566—What color is Jesus?

Posted: December 16, 2019

Please, you claim to be the only Christians that are right, so tell me have you ever seen Jesus in the flesh, and if so what colour is he? —R.B…. Read More

Q&A 1565—Have any ideas for a personal spiritual retreat?

Posted: October 23, 2019

Q: Thanks for sharing about your personal spiritual retreat in Canada [October 2019]. This is making me curious (and I suspect that others might be wondering also) about what is… Read More

Q&A 1564—Can we dispense with the Old Testament?

Posted: August 26, 2019

The Book of Hebrews says the Old Covenant is obsolete, so since I already believe in Christ, I don’t need to bother with the Old Testament.—E.E. As there is a… Read More

Q&A 1563—Jesus is my husband?

Posted: August 20, 2019

My book club is reading Falling in Love With Jesus: Abandoning Yourself to the Greatest Romance of Your Life. The authors teach that Christian women, whether single or married, should refer to… Read More

Q&A 1562—Recently discovered letter from Egypt shows early Christians worldly?

Posted: July 31, 2019

What do you think about the recently discovered Christian letter? I learned about this through Fox News. The article is titled “1,700-year-old recently discovered Christian letter offers clues into how faithful… Read More

Q&A 1561—Boring to be with God for all eternity?

Posted: July 30, 2019

We believe we Christians will spend eternity with God. No disrespect meant, but sooner or later, wouldn’t that grow old? Maybe the first few years or centuries would be great,… Read More

Q&A 1560—Did Joshua violate the Sabbath?

Posted: July 29, 2019

In Joshua 6, God commanded the Israelites to circle the city 7 days in a row. Therefore, one of those days had to be a Sabbath. Would walking around the… Read More

Q&A 1559—Why Did God Tell Abraham to Sacrifice Isaac?

Posted: June 26, 2019

Why did the Lord tell Abraham to sacrifice Isaac? This seems barbaric. Indeed, this is one of the more disturbing passages of the Old Testament. In the 22nd chapter of… Read More

Q&A 1558—Open communion?

Posted: June 4, 2019

I agree with your take on communion as an actual meal. Concerning excluding unbelievers because they can’t “connect” with it, did the early church use this rationale for any means… Read More

Q&A 1557—Why weren’t Ruth—and David—excluded from Israel?

Posted: June 4, 2019

In Deut 23:3 God gives the command that no descendants of the Moabites even to the tenth generation may enter the assembly of the Lord. I was wondering if Ruth… Read More

Q&A 1556—Divorced couples and adultery

Posted: June 4, 2019

Is it a sin for a divorced couple to have sex even if there was no adultery? —S.K. Yes, since they are no longer married (by definition). Good question, though. Divorce… Read More

Q&A 1555—Did Jesus have two sisters, or more?

Posted: June 4, 2019

You say the minimum number of Jesus’ siblings is seven. Matthew 13 says his brothers are James, Joseph, Simon, Judas, and also mentions “all of his sisters.” Four brothers are… Read More

Q&A 1554— Does God have a soul? 

Posted: June 4, 2019

“Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them” (Isa 1:14). I also find something… Read More

Q&A 1553—Should scientists study prayer?

Posted: February 19, 2019

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Four in five Americans believe in the healing power of prayer, according to surveys, and even a majority of medical doctors say that miraculous healing sometimes occurs…. Read More

Q&A 1552—Do the “watchman” passages apply to all Christians?

Posted: February 18, 2019

Do the “watchman” passages apply to all Christians? I have heard it preached—and I myself have preached—that when we fail to take advantage of an opportunity to share Christ, the… Read More

Q&A 1551—Whatever Happened to the Apostles (after N.T. times)?

Posted: February 13, 2019

We don’t have that much information on the lives of the apostles, apart from a few passages on Peter and John, and of course lots on Paul. But even then… Read More

Q&A 1550—Is God’s Forgiveness Really Unconditional?

Posted: January 30, 2019

I recently heard you state that God’s forgiveness is conditional—which made me feel uncomfortable. Is this a widespread idea? I don’t think I’ve ever heard that before. It would help… Read More

Q&A 1549—Where was Abram called?

Posted: January 3, 2019

Genesis records that when Abram received the divine call he was in Haran (Gen 12:4). Yet Stephen said God called Abram in Ur (Acts 7:3-4). Which was it, Ur or… Read More

Q&A 1548 – Isn’t baptism a “work”?

Posted: January 2, 2019

Isn’t baptism a work? Since we aren’t saved by works (Eph 2:8-9), baptism can’t be part of salvation. What do you teach about this?—Anonymous In the New Testament, baptism is… Read More

Q&A 1547 – Jefferson’s New Testament

Posted: November 14, 2018

Did you know Thomas Jefferson edited his own Bible? I found it here. Apparently he wanted to focus on Jesus rather than on his miracles? What doctrine might have influenced… Read More

Q&A 1546 – Murder mysteries and youth ministry

Posted: November 14, 2018

My question is about murder mysteries. Some in our church really like this genre. Our campus ministry, planning one of these, invited our teens to a locally written murder mystery… Read More

Q&A 1545 – What is meant by “godhead”?

Posted: November 14, 2018

What is meant by the word “godhead”? While many use “godhead” to stand for the trinity, the word actually means (only) divinity. In older English, god-head = god-hood. All three… Read More

Q&A 1544 – Camels in the Bible anachronistic? (a contradiction?)

Posted: November 14, 2018

My professors in seminary told me that the Bible’s claims that there were camels in Israel is false. They say it’s anachronistic. What do you say? Is the Bible wrong?… Read More

Q&A 1543 – The meaning of “everlasting”

Posted: November 2, 2018

I was reading your article on Heaven and Hell. What is your explanation of the words “everlasting destruction” in 2 Thess 1:9? — B.W. You were reading the article on… Read More

Q&A 1542 – John boiled in oil?

Posted: November 2, 2018

At my church this morning it was preached that the apostle John survived being boiled in oil before he was exiled on Patmos. Is this true? It is certainly true… Read More

Q&A 1541 – God tempts the false prophets to lie?

Posted: November 2, 2018

In 1 Kings 22:19-22 it appears God is sending a spirit to tempt false prophets to lie. This would be contrary to James 1:13-14. I see this as similar to… Read More

Q&A 1540 – The eternal destiny of those who die violently?

Posted: October 22, 2018

How do we come to grips with the eternal destiny of the multitudes that die because of weather catastrophes like tsunamis, or atrocities like the Holocaust? First of all, we… Read More

Q&A 1539 – The deaths of innocent children (school shootings)

Posted: October 22, 2018

Why does God allow the death of innocent children, like in school shootings?** Because we have free will. Killing is something that we do to each other, and we can… Read More

Q&A 1538 – Proverbs 22:6 guarantees godly children?

Posted: October 22, 2018

I have frequently heard Proverbs 22:6 referenced as a promise that godly parenting always leads to godly children. One of my children has rejected God. Is this my fault? Certainly… Read More

Q&A 1537 – Birth Defects from Satan?

Posted: October 22, 2018

Are birth defects a work of Satan? Birth defects happen because of genetic accidents. Both biology and physics reveal a certain degree of randomness in our world. This is not… Read More

Q&A 1536 – Painkillers – Opioids

Posted: October 17, 2018

A lot of people I know are on painkillers. Given the role that suffering plays in developing character and a cruciform life, should we avoid taking pills? There are always… Read More

Q&A 1535 – The marriage bed (Heb 13:4)

Posted: October 12, 2018

Hebrew 13:4 says, “Marriage must be respected by all, and the marriage bed kept undefiled, because God will judge immoral people and adulterers.” I recently read a book that claimed, “It… Read More

Q&A 1534 – Zeitgeist

Posted: October 9, 2018

How should we respond to the claims of the Zeitgeist internet movie? Although I have addressed this elsewhere, let me direct you to a useful refutation of the numerous bogus… Read More

Q&A 1533 – Location of the true Holy Sepulchre?

Posted: September 27, 2018

I visited the National Geographic Museum in DC today and went through the “Tomb of Jesus” exhibit, where they have done a good job of showing what the Church of… Read More

Q&A 1532 – David’s (amazing) respect for Saul

Posted: September 27, 2018

Do you think it is plausible that David is basing his conviction in 1 Samuel 24:6, not to kill Saul, on Psalm 105:15? — Reto Zingg (For those who have… Read More

Q&A 1531 – Must Christians fast thrice weekly? And give 100%?

Posted: September 25, 2018

I strongly believe that we Christians should fast thrice a week, not for to be righteous, since (as you point out) this can’t be quantified, but to subordinate flesh to… Read More

1530 – Wrong to watch the news / propaganda?

Posted: September 24, 2018

I was a little surprised when you mentioned you have apps for BBC and CNN, and although I understand we need to get our news from somewhere, these news agencies… Read More

Q&A 1529 – Wealthy families who donate little?

Posted: September 21, 2018

In your podcast, you mentioned fairly wealthy families you know who give very little. How do you deal with this? I think about Ephesians 5, where Paul says no immoral,… Read More

Q&A 1528 – Santa Claus and the Faith of Small Children

Posted: August 24, 2018

I often wonder about how it will affect my daughter when she finds out that Santa is not real. She associates Christmas with Santa and with Jesus. When she finds… Read More

Q&A 1527 – Theudas: Did Luke Make a Mistake?

Posted: June 26, 2018

Doesn’t Luke get it wrong when he has Gamaliel say, “Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men.  For some time ago Theudas rose… Read More

Q&A 1526 – Can a Christian Go to a Gay Pride Parade? (by Guy Hammond)

Posted: June 24, 2018

It’s Gay Pride Week in Toronto right now, with the festivities ending with the largest Gay Pride Parade in North America tomorrow afternoon. Over the years I have had several… Read More

Q&A 1525 – Refusing medical treatment (fatalism)?

Posted: June 1, 2018

A friend has been diagnosed with cancer. She is refusing treatment, despite her cancer growing from stage 1 to stage 2. Her reasoning: she believes her days are already numbered… Read More

Q&A 1524 – Were the Jews authorized to execute?

Posted: May 16, 2018

In your podcast on John 18 you note that the Jews were prevented by Roman law from inflicting capital punishment during Jesus’ time. But if the Jews were unable to… Read More

Q&A 1523 – Mystical interpretations of Hebrew letters?

Posted: May 16, 2018

I need a little insight from those familiar with the Hebrew language. I ran into someone who claimed that not only does the Hebrew alphabet convey the letters by which… Read More

Q&A 1522 – Spontaneous Quantum Creation?

Posted: April 20, 2018

I’ve been reading an article by Stephen Hawking on his theory of the “Spontaneous Quantum Creation of the Universe,” as promoted in this article. I would love to hear your… Read More

Q&A 1521 – Is Jeremiah really the longest book in the Bible?

Posted: March 30, 2018

“Most of us assume Psalms is the longest book in the Bible, since it has 150 chapters. In your recent Bible quiz, however, you listed Jeremiah as the longest book…. Read More

Q&A 1520 – How best to learn NT Greek?

Posted: March 30, 2018

“I just finished a textbook on New Testament Greek and am honing my linguistic skills. I’d appreciate any advice you may have to offer.” — R. Jones My advice is… Read More

Q&A 1519 – Actual forgiveness in OT times?

Posted: March 30, 2018

“On page 75 of your Exodus book you state, ‘Nowhere either does the Bible associate obedience and works with the old covenant, or faith and grace exclusively with the new… Read More

Q&A 1518 – Did Pharaoh’s Firstborn Son Die in the 10th Plague?

Posted: March 2, 2018

Exodus 12:29-30 says. “At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the… Read More

Q&A 1517 – Dark skin a divine curse?

Posted: March 1, 2018

How can some people say that dark skin is a curse from God? They point to the curse of Ham in Genesis 9. The target of Noah’s curse wasn’t so… Read More

Q&A 1516 – What was myrrh used for?

Posted: February 20, 2018

Myrrh is a strange word. But it’s in the Bible many times. What is this substance? You’re right. It’s in the Bible a lot (Gen 37:27; 43:11; Exod 30:23; Esth… Read More

Q&A 1515 – Angels before Humans?

Posted: February 9, 2018

If angels were made to serve humans (Heb 1:14), then were angels created before there were humans, or after? Guest response by Joe Sciortino I’m not sure, but if God’s… Read More

Q&A 1514 – Could We Be Living in a Computer Simulation?

Posted: January 25, 2018

Are we living in a (computer) simulation? Elon Musk thinks so. Is there Biblical support for the idea that we are living in a “(computer) simulation”? I would love to hear… Read More

Q&A 1513 – (Complete) gladness instead of mourning?

Posted: December 27, 2017

Isaiah 61 is an amazing chapter. It is very meaningful to me, my wife, and many others who have gone through loss. However, I struggle with the words “instead of,”… Read More

Q&A 1512 – Assyria, or Babylon (Ezra 5-6)?

Posted: December 15, 2017

It’s interesting that in Ezra 5-6 the Persian kings are once referred to as Babylonian and once even as Assyrian. Any thoughts on this?  However, in the first year of Cyrus king… Read More

Q&A 1511 – All Commands Equally Important?

Posted: December 4, 2017

Is all sin equal in the eyes of God? “When Pilate heard what they said, he was more afraid than ever, and he went back into the governor’s residence and… Read More

Q&A 1510 – Malakoi, arsenokoitai, and homosexuality

Posted: November 22, 2017

Could you please give me a clear definition of the Greek words malakoi and arsenokoites? I have been unable to find a definition that is not either religious or gay… Read More

Q&A 1509 – When was Jesus’ sacrifice accepted?

Posted: November 8, 2017

From your knowledge of Scripture and logic, is it biblically “comparable (not comparing apples to oranges) to ask: When was Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins acceptable to God?  (A) When… Read More

Q&A 1508 – Noah’s Flood Global?

Posted: November 5, 2017

Was Noah’s Flood really global? Is there evidence for this? Please help me think this through. I am happy to help. Let me say, first off, that whatever one’s conclusion… Read More

Q&A 1507 (0177, español) – Halloween

Posted: October 27, 2017

No celebramos Halloween. Solía tener la idea de que los satanistas ven a Halloween como un día especial. Sin embargo, he intentado investigar en libros, publicaciones periódicas, e internet sobre… Read More

Q&A 1506 – Is the earth young, only 1000s of years old?

Posted: October 20, 2017

Scientists say the world is really old, but my Bible teacher says it only appears old — but it actually young, only 1000s of years old. What is the truth?… Read More

Q&A 1505 – What was the Inquisition? (Torture, witches, Galileo… and lessons for today)

Posted: October 17, 2017

What exactly was the Inquisition? (If you prefer to listen to my reply, click on the arrow for the podcast, The Inquisition (20 min). If you want to save and… Read More

Q&A 1504 – Women prophesying (1 Cor 11)

Posted: September 8, 2017

What do you think is the most accurate translation of “propheteousa” in 1 Corinthians 11:5? A conservative translation would be merely “speak,” but I don’t think that translation accurately captures… Read More

Q&A 1503 – God sets leaders in place?

Posted: September 1, 2017

I’m having a little difficulty with a teaching in my church. There is a belief that everyone in a leadership position has been placed there by God. This doesn’t seem… Read More

Q&A 1502 – How long are the “days” of Genesis 1?

Posted: August 31, 2017

How long are the days in Genesis 1? Some of my friends insist they can only be regular 24-hour days. Others think they may be long periods of time. I’m… Read More

Q&A 1501 – Did Moses write the Torah (Genesis – Deuteronomy)?

Posted: August 29, 2017

Did Moses really write Genesis? Is he the author of the “Books of Moses,” the Old Testament Law? Jewish tradition holds that Moses either wrote or was responsible for the… Read More

Q&A 1500 – Are eclipses signs from God that we should pay attention to?

Posted: August 26, 2017

[On the total solar eclipse of 21 Aug 2017.] I remember well my tremendous enthusiasm for the last total solar eclipse in the U.S. (1970). It’s been a long wait…. Read More

Q&A 1499 – Israel, or Palestine?

Posted: August 1, 2017

What’s the correct name for the Holy Land, Israel or Palestine? And what’s the difference between the two? Are Israelis different than Palestinians? Not at all; Israelis and Palestinians are not the… Read More

Q&A 1498 – Above the angels

Posted: July 20, 2017

I was reading your reply to Q 1361, ‘Lower than the angels?’. Your answer directly supports and describes the temporary and voluntary surrender of Christ’s higher authority while he was… Read More

Q&A 1497 – What were the Crusades, and why does it matter?

Posted: July 19, 2017

Our church is initiating a “Crusade” to take our city for Christ. This makes we wonder, what about the Crusades in the Middle Ages. What were they? As a Christian… Read More

Q&A 1496 – Miraculous knowledge in the numbers of the Qur’an?

Posted: July 12, 2017

Is there miraculous knowledge in the numbers of the Qur’an? I have heard it said, for example, that the word “day” turns up exactly 365 times in the Qur’an –… Read More

Q&A 1495 – Islam means peace?

Posted: July 5, 2017

Is “Islam” really the Arabic word for peace? For some time now, and especially since the attacks of 9/11, many Muslims have made the claim: Islam means peace. (Not that it’s… Read More

Q&A 1494 – Appointing deacons

Posted: July 5, 2017

In the controversy of Acts 6, is the apostolic requirement that these leaders (the Seven) be full of the spirit, respected, and faithful still the rule for us today? And is this… Read More

Q&A 1493 – Is marijuana completely wrong?

Posted: July 5, 2017

Before I became a Christian, I smoked marijuana regularly for over 10 years. It helped me with anxiety and depression, and I wasn’t “high” when I smoked it. I took it in… Read More

Q&A 1492 – Which “law” is in view in 1 John 3:4?

Posted: July 5, 2017

In 1 John 3:4, sin is defined as transgression of the law of God. Can you please tell me which law is being referenced? Thanks. — Cyndi H. In 1 John… Read More

Q&A 1491 – The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse indicated by Islamic flags?

Posted: June 28, 2017

I found a website proving that radical Islam is prophesized in the book of Revelations 6:1-8. Surely it cannot be a coincidence that the colors of the four horsemen of the apocalypse –… Read More

Q&A 1490 – The race to Mars: a waste of money?

Posted: June 23, 2017

What is your viewpoint on scientists’ attempt to land on Mars in order to search for signs of life? Is the exploration of Mars a progressive endeavour, or is it a waste of… Read More

Q&A 1489 – Paul trained by the Romans to kill Christians?

Posted: June 23, 2017

I heard from a preacher that when Paul was watching Stephen being killed (Acts 7:58), and as he continued to persecute Christians, he was doing what he had been trained to… Read More

Q&A 1488 – Answering the JW claim about John 1:1 + NT Greek

Posted: June 21, 2017

I have a concern about the translation of John 1:1. Should the Greek text be translated “the word was God,” “the word was a god,” or “the word was divine”?… Read More

Q&A 1487 – Flat Earth?

Posted: May 31, 2017

Hi Douglas, not sure how much time you’ve spent digging into this, but are you familiar with the case for a flat earth? A dear friend of mine has been studying it… Read More

Q&A 1486 – Why is there no more sea in Revelation 21?

Posted: May 24, 2017

Revelation 21:1 says, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.”… Read More

Q&A 1485 – Do angels have the Holy Spirit?

Posted: May 23, 2017

Good evening! A young Christian just asked if angels have the Holy Spirit. I never thought about it: Is “having” the Spirit necessary in heaven? The Spirit is there….. We’re given… Read More

Q&A 1484 – Gen 10:5 and 11:1 — a contradiction?

Posted: May 6, 2017

In Genesis 10:5 we read: “From these the maritime peoples spread out into their territories by their clans within their nations, each with its own language.” But in Genesis 11:1 we… Read More

Q&A 1483 – Zakir Naik, Jonah, and the Resurrection

Posted: May 4, 2017

[Islamic televangelist] Zakir Naik points out that Jonah was still alive when he was in the belly of the fish. But [we say] Jesus was dead and resurrected after three days. So… Read More

Q&A 1482 – Iron-clad objection?

Posted: May 2, 2017

A friend recently raised an interesting matter, and I was hoping you could provide some clarification. He pointed out that Joshua 17:18 indicates the Israelites would be able to defeat… Read More

Q&A 1481 – What do you teach about salvation?

Posted: May 2, 2017

Douglas, you are thought of by some as quite broad-minded. What do you teach about how to become a Christian? I hope my teaching on salvation is no broader than… Read More

Q&A 1480 – Epistle to the Bereans?

Posted: May 1, 2017

Why isn’t there a book to the Bereans, and why isn’t there more mention of them in the N.T. since they were “of more noble character than the Thessalonians”? I… Read More

Q&A 1479 – Two covenants today? (Repentance & baptism for 1st C. Jews only?)

Posted: April 28, 2017

I’ve been hearing a lot lately the idea that there was a gospel of the kingdom for the Jews only, and another message, a gospel of grace, for the Gentiles…. Read More

Q&A 1478 – Is Survivalism Christian?

Posted: April 16, 2017

What about survivalism? Are these people on the right track biblically? Can Christians be “survivalists”? Survivalism as a popular movement is well worth understanding, especially as some Christians are attracted to… Read More

Q&A 1477 – Same-day conversion / baptism?

Posted: April 5, 2017

In Luke 19:9-10, Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to… Read More

Q&A 1476 – Marriage to the rapist? (!) (Deut 22:28-29)

Posted: March 29, 2017

Of all the passages you’ve submitted, none may be more shocking than this. “Here is a scripture that confuses me because it is unfair to the rape victim. In Deut 22:28-29, the rape… Read More

Q&A 1475 – Incubus & succubus: demon possession or something else?

Posted: March 25, 2017

I met a young lady who was desperate. She says she is under the control of a demon who makes love to her in her dream (incubus and succubus). This teaching… Read More

Q&A 1474 – Heterosexuality a modern concept?

Posted: March 23, 2017

I noticed The invention of “heterosexuality” on the BBC News App. “A century ago, people had a very different idea of what it means to be heterosexual. Understanding that shift in thinking… Read More

Q&A 1473 – God a Violent king?

Posted: March 16, 2017

In Luke 19:27, the Parable of the Minas, the king orders his servants to arrest those who rejected him “and slaughter them in front of me.” I remember seeing a… Read More

Q&A 1472 – Why did Jesus tell Mary not to touch him?

Posted: March 15, 2017

When Jesus met Mary Magdalene after his resurrection, we read “Jesus replied, “Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. Go to my brothers and… Read More

Q&A 1471 – Why would we die if we saw the face of God?

Posted: February 13, 2017

Why does someone have to die if he sees the face of God? A few years ago I would think that our sinful physical body could not bear the presence… Read More

Q&A 1470 – Imagination, meditation, and revelation

Posted: February 12, 2017

{1} Please give me your thoughts on contemplative prayer. My church is diving in head first into this “new way” of communicating with God (contemplative prayer), and I am nervous… Read More

Q&A 1469 – Witchcraft (Gal 5:20 — pharmakeia) and marijuana

Posted: February 10, 2017

My question concerns Galatians 5:20, where witchcraft is listed as a sin. I read in Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words that the Greek word is pharmakia. The definition states that pharmakia “denotes… Read More

Q&A 1468 – Which generation? (fig tree analogy)

Posted: February 9, 2017

Jesus tells his disciples in Mark 13:28-30, “Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In… Read More

Q&A 1467 – Did God regret creating humans?

Posted: February 7, 2017

If God knows what people will choose, why did God regret creating human beings on the earth? Did God know that people would be bad but He didn’t know how… Read More

Q&A 1466 – Wedding planners & gay weddings?

Posted: February 6, 2017

What if a person has a business in event planning, and they are asked to do work for a gay/lesbian wedding,? Is it wrong for a Christian to do this? — Mary… Read More

Q&A 1465 – Bible software?

Posted: February 3, 2017

What is a good Bible software program? Any recommendations? — Jide [Reply by Joey Harris, Bible teacher in Augusta, Georgia] Choosing Bible software is not that easy. It depends on… Read More

Q&A 1464—Praying to saints?

Posted: February 3, 2017

Why should people not pray to the saints? My Catholic friend says she is asking these people to pray (intercede) for her, and that it is just like asking a… Read More

Q&A 1463 – “Messianic” Judaism?

Posted: February 3, 2017

A brother in a church in my state has been making the use of “Yahweh” (God’s name, in Hebrew, in the Old Testament) a matter of salvation. He is now going… Read More

Q&A 1462 – Praying in the Spirit

Posted: February 3, 2017

In 1 Corinthians 14:14 I read “If I pray in tongue, my spirit is in prayer but my mind is unfruitful.” I do not believe that the gift of tongue-speaking exists… Read More

Q&A 1461 – Should I work for a company producing weapons?

Posted: February 3, 2017

I am considering a job offer from a company whose parent company is involved in the weapons industry. This obviously raised some questions for me as a Christian. On the one… Read More

Q&A 1460 – Muhammad prophesied in the Bible?

Posted: February 3, 2017

I happened to watch a video by a Muslim apologist. He claims that the Comforter mentioned in the Bible [in John 14] is Muhammad, and that he is also mentioned in… Read More

Q&A 1459 – Public letter of confession?

Posted: January 27, 2017

Is there a biblical precedent for a church leader asking a church member to write and publicly read before the entire church a letter confessing a personal, private sin—such as… Read More

Q&A 1458 – Reiki and Acupuncture

Posted: January 20, 2017

What do you think about Reiki, especially with its Buddhist component? Is Reiki okay for Christians, or is this idolatrous? AND Is it wrong for a Christian to engage in a Reiki… Read More

Q&A 1457 – Fasting with mourning?

Posted: January 20, 2017

Thanks for the podcast on Fasting and Prayer. Today I was read Neh 1:4. After reading other scriptures about fasting and prayer, I notice that mourning sometimes accompanies fasting (2 Sam 1:12;… Read More

Q&A 1456 – Praying in the Spirit?

Posted: January 20, 2017

I have some questions about 1 Corinthians 14:14: “If I pray in tongues, my spirit is in prayer but my mind is unfruitful.” I understand that today there no longer exists the… Read More

Q&A 1455 – Why were the leaders upset (John 19:19)?

Posted: January 8, 2017

I heard a sermon online recently that claimed the inscription Pilate had placed on the cross, “This is Jesus, King of the Jews”, INRI in Greek, in Hebrew actually translates… Read More

Q&A 1454 – 500 believers, or 120?

Posted: January 5, 2017

I’d be interested in your response to a question. In 1 Cor 15, Paul mentions that Jesus appeared to more than 500 of the brothers, yet in Acts 1:15, the… Read More

Q&A 1453 – Should a Christian Attend a Gay Wedding? – John Sherwood

Posted: January 4, 2017

[Guest article] December 19, 2016 So here we find ourselves in the United States, a full decade behind our neighboring Canadians, in a land where gay marriage is not only… Read More

Q&A 1452 – Smothered by fundamentalists?

Posted: December 29, 2016

 A few years back I read your Genesis, Science & History. For me this book placed the creation account soundly out of the reach of “scientific creationism” and into its actual… Read More

Q&A 1451 – Was Jesus ignorant when he was on earth?

Posted: December 29, 2016

In Matthew 24:36 Jesus said that only God knows the day and time (not even the Son). Is that only because Jesus was human and limited, though once back in glory,… Read More

Q&A 1450 – John 8 and converting non-believers

Posted: December 29, 2016

My personal experience in converting from non-believer to believer was very much supported by your book True & Reasonable [now Compelling Evidence]. However, my moment of accepting the scriptures came about… Read More

Q&A 1449 – Okay for Christians to rewrite worldly songs / sing them in church?

Posted: December 18, 2016

A brother recently wrote to me, “I would love some biblical input on rewriting well known songs from the world and singing them in church services. Do the lyrics’ original… Read More

Q&A 1448 – Giving to those who beg

Posted: December 18, 2016

Whet about the issue of giving to people who beg on the streets? I am conflicted as to when that is the right thing to do and when it might… Read More

Q&A 1447 – Salvation a free gift, or conditional on obedience?

Posted: November 29, 2016

I’ve heard many times that salvation is a “free gift” and one can do nothing to earn it, and that’s what sets Christianity apart from other religions. But obedience to… Read More

Q&A 1446 – Jesus and protesting

Posted: November 21, 2016

A disciple recently posted this article. https://sojo.net/articles/jesus-was-protester. I’m not sure why, but it bothered me. What do you think about it? Interesting…  Yesterday I passed a group of protesters — in front of… Read More

Q&A 1445 – Women praying in front of the church?

Posted: November 21, 2016

I hope you are doing well. I’d like to ask a quick question. The other day at church a brother was chairing the communion while a sister was going to share…. Read More

Q&A 1444 – The Resurrection (minimal facts)

Posted: November 11, 2016

I would be interested in knowing what you consider a strong argument for the resurrection of Christ. The vast majority of biblical scholars, whether Christian, Jewish, agnostic or atheist, admit… Read More

Q&A 1443 – Doesn’t religion cause wars?

Posted: November 4, 2016

Pascal’s Wager can be used to assess the fact that believing in the existence of God is the Nash equilibrium or the dominant strategy for the game. However, this won’t… Read More

Q&A 1442—Did Moses have more than one wife?

Posted: November 4, 2016

I was reading Numbers 12 and some questions came up. Did Moses have more than one wife? Was Zipporah a Cushite?—Mike C. . It seems to me that Zipporah was… Read More

Q&A 1441 – The “resurrections” of Matt 27

Posted: September 6, 2016

I have enjoyed the way you broaden people’s understanding of the Bible, and wish to wholeheartedly thank you. My question regards Matt 27:51-53, where as Jesus dies and many holy people are… Read More

Q&A 1440 – Genetic fallacy

Posted: September 5, 2016

My brother is a great hearted and very intelligent person who seems to be searching for answers about God. We are having a great conversation about Christianity. He recently said, “Sure…. Read More

Q&A 1439 – Excommunication for smoking?

Posted: September 3, 2016

I was happy to see you and listen to your speech when you came to Russia. My question is about Mathew 18:17. What does it mean — to treat a sinner as… Read More

Q&A 1438 — Is wearing a cross idolatry?

Posted: September 1, 2016

Greetings from New Delhi! I see many disciples wearing crosses of gold around their necks as jewelry. Isn’t this idolatry? In India, we ask Hindus to give up every form… Read More

Q&A 1437 – Must baptism candidates understand Jesus is the Son of God?

Posted: August 31, 2016

So, no one brings up the fact that Jesus is God’s Son in the first 7 chapters of Acts. Yet this is noticeably absent from the first gospel sermon in… Read More

Q&A 1436 – Clearing the Temple

Posted: August 23, 2016

When Jesus cleanses the Temple (Matt 21:12-13), he seems to have left himself open to charges of being violent or emotional or even sinful. What are we to make of… Read More

Q&A 1435 – Water from the rock: a contradiction?

Posted: August 20, 2016

I was reading the Torah, and I noticed that the stories in Numbers 20 and Exodus 17 are most likely parallels. Both have Moses giving the Israelites water from the… Read More

Q&A 1434 – Missing generation in Matt 1?

Posted: August 17, 2016

I’ve been discussing the issue of the missing 42nd generation with a good friend of mine, and quite frankly, we’re stuck. We’ve searched through Kings and Chronicles and it seems like… Read More

Q&A 1433 – Tyre rebuilt, or not?

Posted: August 5, 2016

In Ezekiel 26:14, 21, we read about Tyre, never to be rebuilt and never to be found again. However, it seems Tyre was rebuilt. Can you help me understand this? –… Read More

Q&A 1432 – Non-irrevocable devoted things

Posted: August 2, 2016

I am doing a devotional on “Devoted” for the SW Women’s Conference. In looking at Leviticus 27:28-29, there is a reference to “nothing a man owns and devoted to the… Read More

Q&A 1431 – OT passage against polygamy?

Posted: July 29, 2016

Is the following an OT statement against polygamy? “Then Laban said, ‘This mound is a witness between me and you today.’ Therefore the place was called Galeed, and Mizpah, for… Read More

Q&A 1430 – Was Bathsheba “raped”?

Posted: July 29, 2016

I recently read a book on Bathsheba (fiction), and I really liked it because it made the story come alive. (It was Unspoken, by Francine Rivers.) I’ve read other books,… Read More

Q&A 1429 – God manipulated by Satan?

Posted: July 29, 2016

In Job 2:3, does Satan manipulate God to “ruin” Job without reason? — Ed That seems to be the intent. But God is not manipulated by anyone. He is clearly… Read More

Q&A 1428 – In the Bible, is land of special significance?

Posted: July 25, 2016

I am Temi, a Christian in Abuja. I’m going over Genesis 12. When God called Abram to leave his country and family he promised to show Abram a land, to… Read More

Q&A 1427 – Better never to have been born?

Posted: July 21, 2016

Greetings from the historic city of Bamberg, Germany – what a marvelous place. It’s me, André from Düsseldorf. I won’t ask if you remember the burgers we shared along with Vicki and… Read More

Q&A 1426 – The Pledge

Posted: July 21, 2016

My 14 year-old son fancies himself a deep thinker/seeker, and our spiritual “household culture” conforms to your “unexamined faith” mantra: we try to encourage independent examination and free discussion. This has… Read More

Q&A 1425 – Get involved in the Ecumenical Movement?

Posted: July 15, 2016

Has your church fellowship ever given any serious consideration to exploring the possibility of membership in the ecumenical organization of the World Council of Churches (WCC) as a means of… Read More

Q&A 1424 – Ahab’s descendants unfairly punished?

Posted: July 15, 2016

Why does God essentially declare death to all of Ahab’s descendants (1 Kings 21:22,29) as a result of his sin, yet also proclaim (2 Kings 14:6/Deuteronomy 24:16 ) that children… Read More

Q&A 1423 – Angels & demons only metaphorical?

Posted: July 15, 2016

Thanks for explaining the doctrine of God’s “two books,” as I value science very much, and value rationality. A brother in another city in my country tends to think that it’s not necessary… Read More

Q&A 1422 – How can we prove Jesus is the Messiah from the O.T.?

Posted: June 30, 2016

I am from a Jewish background. Would you please explain how Jesus Christ can be the Messiah, using the Hebrew Bible? Thanks. A fair question — and especially when you’ve… Read More

Q&A 1421 – Is contraception biblically permissible?

Posted: June 14, 2016

What does the Bible say about contraception? I belong to a church that forbids it. Can you please help me figure this out? I would like to invite you to… Read More

Q&A 1420 – Sexual molestation

Posted: June 13, 2016

I am agonizing over something that happened to me when I was a child, before I was 11 years old. I’m almost certain that what happened to me was sexual molestation. I blame… Read More

Q&A 1419 – Mutations really random?

Posted: May 13, 2016

When Calvinist scientists and theologians embrace evolutionary creationism, do they deny that random mutations are random? Maybe this is a silly question, but could creation ever be considered truly random… Read More

Q&A 1418 – Are singles the “pillars” of the church?

Posted: April 22, 2016

First, thanks for all the teaching you provide. Today I write with a concern. In my congregation we are sometimes told that singles are “the pillars of the church.” Now… Read More

Q&A 1417 – Concubinage

Posted: April 22, 2016

I am troubled by the concubinage element of polygamy. I have a difficult time understanding how David, a man whose only recorded sexual sin  condemned by God was being with… Read More

Q&A 1416 – Religious Jewelry = Idolatry?

Posted: April 15, 2016

Greetings from New Delhi. I see many disciples wearing a cross made of gold around their neck as jewelry. Isn’t this an act of idolatry? In India, we ask Hindus… Read More

Q&A 1415 – Is the church the kingdom?

Posted: April 6, 2016

Is the church the same thing as the kingdom? Not exactly. Often I hear brothers and sisters identifying the kingdom with the church. Some even teach that “Seek first the… Read More

Q&A 1414 – Creation myths, the Great Pyramid, and more

Posted: April 2, 2016

“About two years ago, I had a few atheist friends over who during a conversation about a great many things proposed that the Bible was merely a copy of many… Read More

Q&A 1413 – Does God still speak through people?

Posted: March 27, 2016

“Does God still speak through people? I ask this because sometimes brothers and sisters say that God could be using them to let one know something.” — Lester Luna (Nicaragua)… Read More

Q&A 1412 – Does divine forgiveness rule out punishment?

Posted: March 26, 2016

“I am somewhat confused about the concept of the LORD’s forgiveness and punishment for the same sins, especially as described in Numbers 14, when the Israelites grumbled against Moses and… Read More

Q&A 1411 – How could they see God?

Posted: March 26, 2016

“In Exodus 24:10 it says Moses and 70s others ‘saw the God of Israel.’ Yet in 1 John 4:12 and John 1:18, both verses say ‘No one has ever seen… Read More

Q&A 1410 – Doesn’t Numbers 23:19 rule out Jesus being God’s Son?

Posted: March 26, 2016

“A Muslim friend of mine rejects the incarnation. He says the following verse makes it impossible: ‘God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he… Read More

Q&A 1409 – Sin transfer?

Posted: March 26, 2016

“Recently a friend asked me this. ‘If sin cannot be transferred from father to son [as stated in Ezekiel 18], how can our sins be transferred to Jesus on the… Read More

Q&A 1408 – Can I protect my family from physical harm?

Posted: March 21, 2016

If my wife and children were being physically harmed or threatened, would I as a Christian be permitted to protect them? Or would I have to let them be harmed?… Read More

Q&A 1407 – Communion potentially lethal?

Posted: March 19, 2016

A new disciple asked me a question about this. So I looked at your website and found this article on communion. I was a little surprised. My questions: (1) Is… Read More

Q&A 1406 — Okay to call priests “father”?

Posted: March 14, 2016

Does Matthew 23:8-9 contradict the Catholic Church’s teaching of calling the priest “Father”? Yes, the practice of calling a leader “father” seems to fly in the face of Jesus’ plain… Read More

Q&A 1405 — Controlling cult?

Posted: March 13, 2016

“I’m studying the bible with this friend who I recently met. He is apart of a sect [name deleted] I’d never heard of. He told me today that his church is international… Read More

Q&A 1404 – Jesus beating around the bush? And how to distinguish questions?

Posted: March 2, 2016

“In our ‘Bible Chat’ at our Catholic church this morning we were reading the various accounts of Jesus’ trial before Pilate, and we came across an exchange that has always… Read More

Q&A 1403 – Thirteen the minimum age for baptism?

Posted: March 2, 2016

“I wanted to ask your opinion about an article I wrote on the ‘age of accountability.’ At age 12, Jesus is referred to as a ‘boy/child,’ and the (little) girl… Read More

Q&A 1402 – How do we know God is perfect?

Posted: March 2, 2016

“I’m studying the Bible with a friend who is still coming to faith. This question came up: ‘Just because God exists doesn’t mean he must be a perfect being, does… Read More

Q&A 1401 – Contradictions invalidate the message?

Posted: February 16, 2016

We are studying Bible with a Muslim friend who is asking us a lot of questions. For him it seems like the Bible is self-contradictory. For example, he finds contradictions in the books of Samuel,… Read More

Q&A 1400 – Christ in Zechariah

Posted: February 16, 2016

I came across Zechariah 14, and am hearing lots of interpretation, from future apocalyptic to that these events have already happened. Since much of the material in the prophets (like… Read More

Q&A 1399 – Binding and Loosing

Posted: February 10, 2016

Christians from a Pentecostal background often talk about ‘binding’ negative/evil things. I am confused – do we as Christians have the authority to bind and loose spiritual things? My question… Read More

Q&A 1398 – Randomness, Suffering, and the Will of God

Posted: February 10, 2016

I frequently think about the suffering in this life — more and more with every year — including very painful emotional distress. It seems like there is a randomness to life. We… Read More

Q&A 1397 – Jesus in the O.T. (study ideas)

Posted: February 6, 2016

I was wondering if you had any suggestions on books to read. I’m looking for something that traces the threads of the Gospel and Jesus through the Old Testament. Any suggestions? — Guy… Read More

Q&A 1396 – Aliens seeding life – no need for a creator God?

Posted: February 6, 2016

A non-believing friend counters the idea of a creationist God by contending for seeding from aliens. I realize this idea is preposterous to you, but I didn’t find anything specifically… Read More

Q&A 1395 – Tension between Peter and Paul?

Posted: February 4, 2016

I was reading Acts 21 today and was struck by reading how when Paul came to Jerusalem he went to see James. What seems odd about that there is no mention of… Read More

Q&A 1394 – Trial by ordeal?

Posted: January 22, 2016

“Number 5:11-31 speaks of a test for an unfaithful wife and the law of jealousy. I’ve read some insightful commentaries, but would love to hear from you your understanding of… Read More

Q&A 1393 — The meaning of Luke 11:13

Posted: January 19, 2016

What is Jesus talking about in Luke 11:13, since we receive the Spirit at baptism? — S.F. Here’s the passage, in case anybody isn’t familiar with it: 11 “Which of you… Read More

Q&A 1392 – Corpse and Vultures

Posted: January 19, 2016

What is the meaning of Luke 17:37? I don’t understand the question or the significance of Jesus’ response to the question. Are the disciples asking where the will these people be taken?… Read More

Q&A 1391 – Consummating a marriage?

Posted: January 14, 2016

If possible, a couple should consummate the marriage sexually, fulfilling the physical aspect of the “one flesh” principle. But if they don’t, is such a couple still considered married in… Read More

Q&A 1390 — Evidence for Domitian’s persecution?

Posted: January 7, 2016

I am thoroughly enjoying your audio recording of Revelation & the End of the World. I am almost finished with my research but have reached a point of uncertainty concerning Domitian… Read More

Q&A 1389 — Is it biblical to register a church?

Posted: January 7, 2016

I have recently had discussions with a believer outside our fellowship regarding discipleship and church membership. I have been faced with a difficult question that I can’t answer. Where does… Read More

Q&A 1388 — Machete attack

Posted: January 5, 2016

What would you do if, while walking with your wife along the street, a man came up and started to attack her with a machete? Would you use violence, which Jesus… Read More

Q&A 1387 – Generational curses?

Posted: January 5, 2016

I would like to find out about generational curses, which seem so common here in Africa. Are they real? What should a Christian’s response be? What are practical, biblical ways… Read More

Q&A 1386 – Elf on a Shelf

Posted: December 19, 2015

What do you think about this “elf on a shelf”? A fictional character watches your children and reports to Santa. They are told to be obedient so that the elf… Read More

Q&A 1385 – With human divinity, is there a “quadrinity”?

Posted: December 19, 2015

Is there a quadrinity? Clearly, the Bible supports the triune nature of God. Moreover, the Scriptures demonstrate mutual love, honor, submission, and dependency between each part. I cannot help but notice… Read More

Q&A 1384 – Taking whose thoughts captive?

Posted: December 14, 2015

I was reading 2 Corinthians 10 and I noticed something about verses 1-5. It seems to me that he is talking about how they handle opposition. The part that hit… Read More

Q&A 1383 – 2nd Beast = American presidential stonemason Illuminati?

Posted: December 14, 2015

I listened to your podcast series on Revelation. I thought you did an excellent job of exegesis on Revelation 13; the first beast being the political/military branch of Rome (or… Read More

Q&A 1382 – Baha’í and Christian at the same time?

Posted: November 30, 2015

Dear Dr. J, I just found, and listened to your podcast. I enjoyed listening to it. Thank you!  Here is a challenging question for you: Can you be both a… Read More

Q&A 1381 – Singles Leading Ministries?

Posted: November 25, 2015

What does the Bible say about a single leading a ministry? As far as I’ve seen, there hasn’t been any single officially hired to lead a ministry full-time. And often,… Read More

Q&A 1380 – The missing day of Joshua, or Misuse of the Bible in Christian Evidences

Posted: November 20, 2015

Is there astronomical evidence for the missing day of Joshua 10? I saw somewhere that there is, and once heard a preacher confirm it. Often more harm than good is done… Read More

Q&A 1379 — How should we read the Great Commission (Matt 28)?

Posted: November 19, 2015

After his death and resurrection, Jesus gave the charge, the “Great Commission,” to the eleven faithful apostles. Let’s take a look at this passage and see what conclusions we can… Read More

Q&A 1378 – Burial of waste and bacterial contamination

Posted: November 18, 2015

What is going on in the Law, where the Israelites are told to bury their waste? I’ve heard that God’s main intention was to protect his people from sickness. Am… Read More

Q&A 1377 – Manuscript discovery proves Jesus married?

Posted: November 17, 2015

Recent claims that Jesus was married — always sure to draw a crowd — are based on the discovery of an ancient manuscript that has come to light. It’s not… Read More

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