Answers to Questions

Q&A 1658—Are Blood Sports Okay for Christians?

Posted: May 14, 2024

I have never been a boxing fan, but I have to admit when I saw a promo for Mike Tyson vs Jake Paul, I was intrigued, and kind of want… Read More

Q&A 1657—Did Jesus Speak Greek? (Peter Williams)

Posted: April 9, 2024

Apart from on a few occasions where Jesus’s words are given in Aramaic (for example Mark 5:41; 7:34; 15:34) all four Gospels report Jesus’s words in Greek. So did Jesus… Read More

Q&A 1656—Was Luke Wrong about the Census? (David Armitage)

Posted: April 5, 2024

Did Luke make a mistake when he reported the census of Quirinius? Why do so many scholars think he got it wrong? Is it possible to reconcile Luke’s account of… Read More

Q&A 1655—Politarchs of Thessalonica?

Posted: March 29, 2024

What’s up with the “politarchs” of Acts 17:6, 8? Did scholars at one point believe Luke had got it wrong? Yes, so it seems. The unusual word politarch (literally, city… Read More

Q&A 1654—Must Christians perform miracles? (John 14:12)

Posted: March 27, 2024

Must Christians perform miracles? Doesn’t John 14:12 suggest that we should? The passage in question reads Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I… Read More

Q&A 1653—Is Theology boring?

Posted: February 21, 2024

What is theology? Why should anyone study theology? (Isn’t that boring?) That’s a fair question. Sometimes when I tell people my favorite area of study is theology, they have little… Read More

Q&A 1652—Membership Covenants: Cure or Curse? (Cox)

Posted: January 17, 2024

What do you think of membership covenants for congregations? Are they helpful, or harmful? Guest reply by Malcolm Cox (Watford, UK) Lately, from a number of sources, I’ve been hearing… Read More

Q&A 1651—With us, or with you? (‘Immānû -‘Ēl)

Posted: December 19, 2023

Yesterday I heard a preacher say Immanuel [Isa 7:14] means “God with you.” My antennae stood straight up because I think the Bible says “with us.” In my opinion, the… Read More

Q&A 1650—Forcing my prayer agenda onto others? (Malcolm Cox)

Posted: December 13, 2023

Is it acceptable to pray with an “agenda”? I ask this because of something I experienced not too long ago. I was part of a group prayer. The event had… Read More

Q&A 1649—Do you endorse The Bible Project?

Posted: December 6, 2023

What do you think of The Bible Project [many inquiries]? One of the blessings of our technological age is quick access to information, including resources intended to enhance our knowledge… Read More

Q&A 1648—What is Commonwealth Theology?

Posted: October 25, 2023

Q: What is “Commonwealth Theology”? Is it true that we who are non-Jews have Jewish blood in our veins, and are the “House of Ephraim”?  .PDF version TEXT VERSION (following]… Read More

Q&A 1647—How did priests go to the toilet?

Posted: September 29, 2023

When priests were serving at the Jerusalem temple, and they had to go to the toilet, what could they do? Weren’t they required to remain on site? This could have… Read More

Q&A 1646—Alcohol during pregnancy okay?

Posted: September 14, 2023

Is it okay for me to consume alcohol while I’m pregnant? I am not a big drinker. This would be just a couple of glasses of wine now and again…. Read More

Q&A 1645—Is Jesus unsure about being the Messiah?

Posted: August 23, 2023

In Matthew 26, when the high priest asks Jesus whether he is the Messiah, Jesus seems to equivocate. Why does he say “You have said so,” instead of simply saying… Read More

Q&A 1644—Balm of Gilead?

Posted: August 23, 2023

What is “balm of Gilead” (Jeremiah 8:22)? I first heard the phrase in a song we often sang in student devotionals, “There Is a Balm in Gilead.” It’s an old… Read More

Q&A 1643—Were some ancient civilizations more advanced than ours?

Posted: August 23, 2023

I’m reading your book Origins—excellent book [on Genesis 1-11]. I had a question about the Watcher account of 1 Enoch and the knowledge that was passed on to mankind. I… Read More

Q&A 1642—Is there real poverty in the West?

Posted: August 2, 2023

Is “poverty” relative? And should my response be according to what I know? I know what real poverty looks like from working in Haïti. And yet I have to constantly… Read More

Q&A 1641—What’s the difference between covenant and contract?

Posted: August 2, 2023

What’s the difference between a covenant and a contract? While they are equivalent in many contexts, there is an important nuance to covenant. In the words of philosopher Douglas Groothuis,… Read More

Q&A 1640—Cold Contact Evangelism?

Posted: July 19, 2023

Q: In regard to your “conversation” on Matthew 28, I agree that placing emphasis on just one scripture (Mattt 28:18-20) made for a very efficient church-building programme, yet also resulted… Read More

Q&A 1639—Is the Enneagram OK for Christians?

Posted: July 19, 2023

I’ve recently noticed in increase in the use of the enneagram tool in churches. What is your view on using this tool (albeit with good intentions), bearing in mind that… Read More

Q&A 1638—Virgin Birth?

Posted: July 12, 2023

As a Christian do I really have to accept that Jesus was born of a virgin? Couldn’t this just be an ancient way of highlighting his importance? A: That’s a… Read More

Q&A 1637—Are the sexual standards of Scripture “cultural”? (And a word on inerrancy)

Posted: June 21, 2023

I have heard that the biblical authors did not understand sexual orientation or the concept of loving, monogamous gay relationships as we do today—making their writings obsolete. My thinking is… Read More

Q&A 1636—Reading the New Testament through a Jewish Lens (?)

Posted: June 1, 2023

Is it true that the Bible can only be truly understood through a Jewish lens—the views to the rabbis who wrote the Talmud, Mishnah, etc? Some podcasts I’m listening to… Read More

Q&A 1635—Is the washing of Titus 3:5 baptism?

Posted: March 15, 2023

Why can I be positive that apostle Paul, in Titus 3:5, is talking about baptism? He doesn’t use the word “baptism” here. Couldn’t someone argue that it’s just a metaphor… Read More

Q&A 1634—How were women converted to Judaism?

Posted: March 15, 2023

How were women converted to Judaism in ancient times, if they were not circumcised? I looked online and couldn’t find anything.—M.H. I suppose there are two separate questions: (1) How… Read More

Q&A 1633—The circumcision of Moses 

Posted: January 25, 2023

When was Moses circumcised, and by whom? — S.W. First, let’s read the passage about Moses’ birth. We read in Exodus 2:1-2, “Now a man from the house of Levi… Read More

Q&A 1632—Must we utter Jesus’ Aramaic name?

Posted: January 25, 2023

When baptizing or praying in the name of Jesus, is it crucial to use the Aramaic pronunciation of his name? — C.M. Not at all. (As if you or I could… Read More

Q&A 1631—Radiometric dating inaccurate?

Posted: January 18, 2023

Some articles I’ve read in academic journals (about carbon dating) have led me to reject the scientific consensus that the earth is billions of years old. Please look at the… Read More

Q&A 1630–Wedding clothes = baptism?

Posted: January 18, 2023

I have heard people connect Gal 3:26-27 and Matt 22:11-12. They reason that unless you agree with their interpretation on baptism, you’ll be kicked out of the kingdom. I’m not… Read More

Q&A 1629–Jesus goes, the Spirit comes?

Posted: January 17, 2023

Why did Jesus say he had to go in order for the Holy Spirit to come to the disciples? – T.K. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep… Read More

Q&A 1628—Mean-spirited?

Posted: January 17, 2023

I’m reading Ezra and am wondering if you have any insight for me. Ezra 4:1 states that “the enemies of the Jews” wanted to join in the work of building… Read More

Q&A 1627—Heavenly Hosts?

Posted: December 27, 2022

Exactly what are the “heavenly hosts,” as in Luke 2:13? Are these choirs of angels? That’s what I used to think, probably because of the Christmas hymn “Oh, Come, All… Read More

Q&A 1626—Kosher Christians?

Posted: December 27, 2022

The Messianic Jews say the Old Testament food laws were never repealed. I also heard on the Bema podcast that part of Mark 7:19 (“Thus Jesus declared all foods clean”)… Read More

Q&A 1625–December 25th after all?

Posted: December 21, 2022

Could Jesus have been born on 25 December? (My own question.) A: As Christmas nears, I wanted to reconsider the matter of the date of the first Christmas. Why? A friend (Chuck… Read More

Q&A 1624—Is God Opposed to Instrumental Music in Church?

Posted: December 11, 2022

My church teaches that it is wrong and unbiblical to use musical instruments in the assembly. I know there are instances of instrumental music in the Old Testament, but those… Read More

Q&A 1623—Zombies in Jerusalem?

Posted: December 7, 2022

I was listening to your message on zombies—which I enjoyed! You asked, “What scripture comes to mind when you think of zombies?” I was surprised you didn’t discuss the passage… Read More

Q&A 1622—The Bloody Sweat, or Is Douglas Misleading Others?

Posted: August 22, 2022

You’re wrong in your history. You are misleading others with false information. If you study cases of Hidrosis [sweating] you will find that there are cases of actual capillaries rupturing… Read More

Q&A 1621—Touch not my anointed ones?

Posted: July 30, 2022

Does Psalm 105:15 (“Touch not my anointed ones, do any prophets no harm”) mean that we are never to criticize our leaders? When I try to bring something up, even… Read More

Q&A 1620—Four Required Fasts?

Posted: July 27, 2022

What are the four fasts mentioned in Zechariah 8:19? I thought the Jews were only required to fast on Yom Kippur. Great question. Here is your passage: This is what the… Read More

Q&A 1619—Under the Sun?

Posted: July 19, 2022

What does the writer of Ecclesiastes mean by the words “under the sun”?  In this book of the Old Testament Wisdom Literature, a common phrase is “under the sun”—as in… Read More

Q&A 1618—Who was Caesar?

Posted: July 13, 2022

Who was Caesar? I’ve heard the name, but who is he, and when did he live? And were the others who also claimed to be Caesar? Julius Caesar was a Roman… Read More

Q&A 1617—Is divine “election” biblical?

Posted: June 7, 2022

Talking with one of my religious friends, I’ve just heard a new term called “election.” Is this biblical? Actually, election is an old term, since it appears in the Bible… Read More

Q&A 1616—Santiago de Compostela

Posted: January 7, 2022

Do you think the remains of James the Just are in the church of St. James of Compostela (Santiago de Compostela) in Spain?  Reply from Joseph Harris (Augusta, GA):  No,… Read More

Q&A 1615—Bema

Posted: October 6, 2021

The Bema Podcast has been very helpful in providing the Jewish / Eastern context of the Scriptures, as well as many things I have missed for many years. It has… Read More

Q&A 1614—John 1:19-28

Posted: October 6, 2021

I have a question about John 1:19-28. I noticed that the priests and Levites asked John the Baptist whether he is the Messiah, Elijah or the Prophet, multiple times. Additionally,… Read More

Q&A 1613—Inquiring of the dead

Posted: October 6, 2021

I’m inspired by the teachings of “Christian Spirituality,” found at https://www.glz.org/en/knowledge/introduction. Much is well explained in the many books that I am currently working through (transcriptions of medium transmissions in deep trance). In… Read More

Q&A 1612—Overinterpreting metanoia?

Posted: October 6, 2021

I was reading an article [by Richard Rohr, an American priest focusing on spirituality] and came across the following explanation of metanoia, and it surprised me. “Remember, presence does not happen in the… Read More

Q&A 1611—Is a Christian religious exemption from Coronavirus vaccination justifiable?

Posted: October 6, 2021

Guest Q&A from John Oakes, of evidenceforchristianity.org. Recently, a friend who is a minister in a Christian church was approached by a few members to sign a request for a… Read More

Q&A 1610—Does God actually hate divorce?

Posted: September 7, 2021

Does God actually hate divorce, as we have often heard? The older rendering of Malachi 2:16, “I hate divorce,” is taken to imply that the Lord disapproves of all divorce… Read More

Q&A 1609—Vaccination and the mark of the Beast

Posted: August 27, 2021

I’ve had reservations regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, and believe Satan has been attacking me with doubt, through the scripture about “the mark of the beast.” I keep thinking about how… Read More

Q&A 1608—Atheism and the ontology of evil

Posted: August 25, 2021

Thanks for getting back to me. I recently listened to one of your audio CDs. It was the disc about atheism in “From Facts to Faith.” My question concerns your claim about… Read More

Q&A 1607—Memory work

Posted: August 17, 2021

Tell me, Douglas: I want to “up my game” in memorising scripture. Is there any good literature you can refer me to where I can learn effective techniques? There are… Read More

Q&A 1606—”Physician, heal thyself”

Posted: August 13, 2021

In Luke 4:23 we read “… You will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself’…” Do you know the origin of this proverb? – B.B. I don’t know its origin, though… Read More

Q&A 1605—Prophets dialoguing with the Israelites? (Question from a Muslim)

Posted: August 13, 2021

The Qur’an mentions prophets being sent to other nations, and records dialogues with the nations, but where in the Bible is it recorded that Iddo, Jonah, Joel, Obadiah, Habakkuk, and… Read More

Q&A 1604—How could Sarah, age 65, be “beautiful”?

Posted: May 5, 2021

Following is a question I’ve come across only twice in my life, but it’s a good one, emerging from a Western cultural perspective, and deserves a response. It has to… Read More

Q&A 1603—Prophecy of resurrection on third day?

Posted: April 7, 2021

In 1 Corinthians 15:4 I read about Christ “that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” What scripture was Paul referring to? —… Read More

Q&A 1602—Eucharist: Representation or Re-presentation?

Posted: April 7, 2021

Does the Roman Catholic church correctly interpret the nature of the eucharist [the Lord’s Supper]? Is Christ’s body sacrificed in this ceremony? My friend told me that’s not what they teach…. Read More

Q&A 1601—If Jesus is real, why are there so many different churches?

Posted: March 16, 2021

If Jesus is real, why are there so many different churches? Because there are many different Jesuses (2 Cor 11:4)! The only way to know we are following the real… Read More

Q&A 1600—Do the 12 apostles connect to the 12 tribes of Israel? 

Posted: March 16, 2021

Does Jesus’ appointment of 12 apostles connect to the 12 tribes of Israel?  Yes, indeed. The 12 patriarchs (Levi, Judah, Benjamin, Dan…) were the 12 sons of Jacob, whose covenant name… Read More

Q&A 1599—Why did Jesus speak Aramaic and not Hebrew?   

Posted: March 16, 2021

Why did Jesus speak Aramaic and not Hebrew?    Why don’t Italians still speak Latin? Why don’t Britons speak Middle English—or even early Modern English (Shakespeare, KJV)? Because languages are constantly… Read More

Q&A 1598—How long was Jesus’s hair?

Posted: March 16, 2021

Any thought on the hair length of Jesus as he is currently portrayed, in light of historical norms? In far too many films and works of art, Jesus is portrayed… Read More

Q&A 1597—Connecting with atheists, without using scripture

Posted: March 16, 2021

Since most atheists require evidence, what would be the best way to approach them, aside from using scripture? Why not the way Paul approached the Athenians (Acts 17), or the… Read More

Q&A 1596—Is Panentheism Christian?

Posted: February 10, 2021

From Wikipedia: “Panentheism (‘all in God’), from the Greek πᾶν, pân, ‘all,’ ἐν, en, ‘in,’ and Θεός, theós, ‘God’) is the belief that the divine pervades and interpenetrates every part… Read More

Q&A 1595—Does the True Bible Have Only 11 Books?

Posted: February 3, 2021

I recently came across something claiming to be “The Very First Bible.” It claims to be an authentic translation. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this—whether we need to know… Read More

Q&A 1594—Spare the rod?

Posted: January 20, 2021

Is the “rod” in Proverbs 13:24 actually an implement for disciplining a child? Does the Bible require corporal punishment for disobedient children? This is a fair question, and an increasingly… Read More

Q&A 1593—Put a knife to your throat (gluttony)?

Posted: January 13, 2021

Gluttony is a real struggle for me sometimes. Proverbs 23:2 says to put a knife to your throat if you’re given to gluttony. What is meant by “put a knife… Read More

Q&A 1592—Is “iniquity” generational?

Posted: January 13, 2021

I came across a book outlining the difference between sin and iniquity. The author defines iniquity as generational soul sin. I’m finding the book interesting and enlightening, but perplexing too…. Read More

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 8, 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: November 22, 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: November 8, 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 25, 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: October 11, 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: September 27, 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: September 13, 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: August 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: August 16, 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: August 2, 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: July 19, 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: July 5, 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 21, 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 7, 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: May 24, 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: May 10, 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: April 26, 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: April 12, 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: March 29, 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: March 15, 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: March 1, 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: February 15, 2019

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: February 1, 2019

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: January 18, 2019

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: January 4, 2019

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: December 21, 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: December 7, 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 23, 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: November 9, 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 26, 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 12, 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: September 28, 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: September 14, 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: August 31, 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: August 17, 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: August 3, 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: July 20, 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: July 6, 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

Q&A 1530 – Wrong to watch the news / propaganda?

Posted: June 22, 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: June 8, 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: May 25, 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: May 11, 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: April 27, 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: April 13, 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: March 30, 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: March 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: March 2, 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: February 16, 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: February 2, 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: January 19, 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: January 5, 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: December 27, 2017

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: December 18, 2017

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: December 9, 2017

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: November 30, 2017

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: November 21, 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: November 12, 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: November 3, 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: October 25, 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: October 16, 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: October 7, 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: September 28, 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: September 19, 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: September 10, 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 1, 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: August 23, 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 14, 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 5, 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: July 27, 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: July 18, 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 9, 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: June 30, 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: June 21, 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: June 12, 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: June 3, 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: May 25, 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: May 16, 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: May 7, 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: April 28, 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: April 19, 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: April 10, 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: April 1, 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: March 23, 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: March 14, 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: March 5, 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: February 24, 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: February 15, 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: February 6, 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: January 28, 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: January 19, 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: January 10, 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: January 1, 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: December 23, 2016

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: December 14, 2016

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: December 5, 2016

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: November 26, 2016

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: November 17, 2016

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: November 8, 2016

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: October 30, 2016

{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: October 21, 2016

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: October 12, 2016

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: October 3, 2016

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: September 24, 2016

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: September 15, 2016

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: September 6, 2016

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: August 28, 2016

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—Is Numbers 24:17 really a Messianic Prophecy?

Posted: August 27, 2016

How is Numbers 24:17 a Messianic prophecy? I’m not convinced. After all, these are the words of Balaam, who led the Israelites into sin. Help me out. To begin with,… Read More

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

Posted: August 10, 2016

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: August 1, 2016

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: July 23, 2016

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: July 14, 2016

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: July 5, 2016

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: June 26, 2016

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: June 17, 2016

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: June 8, 2016

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? – Jon Sherwood

Posted: May 30, 2016

[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: May 21, 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: May 12, 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: May 3, 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: April 24, 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: April 15, 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: April 6, 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: March 28, 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: March 19, 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: March 10, 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