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Q&As

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

Posted: September 11, 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 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 27, 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 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 0007 – The Trinity

Posted: December 20, 2016

Can you recommend reading material about ‘Trinity’ theology? — Joel Hughes, Triangle, North Carolina Many works – thousands of pages! – have been written about the Trinity. Because this is… 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… 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

Q&A 1376 – Did God Kill Uzzah?

Posted: November 16, 2015

Author: John Clayton of Does God Exist? Used with permission. When Richard Dawkins released his now famous atheist rant against God, he opened the door for many arm-chair atheists on… Read More

Q&A 1375 – Resurrection appearance to Peter?

Posted: November 16, 2015

In Luke 24:34, we read  “…he appeared to Simon.” Your thoughts on how to reconcile this possible discrepancy — doesn’t seem to flow with the narrative in Luke? — Marcus… Read More

Q&A 1374 – Why was circumcision valued more than other O.T. observances?

Posted: November 12, 2015

One of our dear brothers has stopped coming to church because he is wrestling with two questions: (1) Why do many Christian theologians believe that Paul kept Nazirite vows and… Read More

Q&A 1373 — Turning the other cheek?

Posted: November 12, 2015

How should I respond when I am unjustly treated or wronged? When I know I am right or I see the situation as unfair, I plead my case for justice…. Read More

Q&A 1372 – Jesus and Horus (Egyptian god)

Posted: November 12, 2015

What’s the relationship between Jesus and Horus? Are they one and the same, or close relatives? I have heard that the Christians borrowed from Egyptian mythology. There is no relationship… Read More

Q&A 1371 – Automatic healing?

Posted: November 8, 2015

I have a question about 1 Corinthians 12. A little over two years ago I fainted in my kitchen and woke up with a broken neck. I am now a… Read More

Q&A 1370 – Shouldn’t we observe the regulations for the Year of Jubilee?

Posted: November 8, 2015

Is there any country that celebrates or follows the rules for the Year of Jubilee? And when I say follow, I mean they follow what it says in Leviticus 25:8-55:… Read More

Q&A 1369 – Interpret the Bible the simplest way?

Posted: November 8, 2015

The Bible is inerrant; being inerrant, it is consistent; there is no inconsistency possible in the Bible. If there is a difference of interpretation, it cannot be resolved by arguing… Read More

Q&A 1368 – John the Baptist doubted?

Posted: November 7, 2015

In Mathew 11:3 why did John send his disciples to go confirm whether Jesus was the Messiah to come even after baptizing him? Was he doubting him because Jesus failed to assist… Read More

Q&A 1367 – Suicide and Grace?

Posted: November 6, 2015

Is it possible that if a person were to commit suicide due to having a psychotic state of mind, uncontrollable actions, and extreme emotional unrest or distress, that God’s grace… Read More

Q&A 1366 – Time waiting in Hades counted towards final punishment?

Posted: October 18, 2015

You argue that it does not make sense for God to punish a certain number of years of sin with an infinite punishment. What about Hades, the intermediate state of… Read More

Q&A 1365 – Wages of a harlot?

Posted: September 18, 2015

In Isaiah 23:17-18, why is the profit of a prostitute set apart for the LORD? If wicked persons’ income is spent in the service of the LORD, won’t the wicked be inspired… Read More

Q&A 1364 – Vengeful god?

Posted: September 18, 2015

I just listened to your podcast “Yahweh and the Ancient Gods.” You mention the fact that the ancient gods sinned just like humans. One of the sins you mention is vengeance…. Read More

Q&A 1363 – Did Paul write Paul’s letters?

Posted: September 18, 2015

I am currently reading Paul was not a Christian, by Pamela Eisenbaum. At the beginning of her book she is talking about disputed and undisputed letters of Paul. She states that… Read More

Q&A 1361 – Lower than the angels?

Posted: September 11, 2015

In Hebrews 2:9, why does God make Jesus a little lower than the angels? As God’s Son, he had no sins — right? How should I understand this? Originally Psalm 8,… Read More

Q&A 1360 – Hell eternal?

Posted: August 21, 2015

Hello. I just read your pdf file on hell and its terminal punishment. I’ve really enjoyed reading the profound insights that really help motivate me to study the Bible further…. Read More

Q&A 1359 – God’s unconditional love?

Posted: August 21, 2015

Correct me if I’m wrong. It seems like in the scriptures God’s love is conditional. I understand God is love. And people have free will and must choose whether or… Read More

Q&A 1358 – Evangelism for everyone?

Posted: July 15, 2015

Q&A 1358 – Evangelism for everyone? or How much can we read into the scriptures? Douglas, I thoroughly enjoy and am built up by your Q&A section. I’m writing about… Read More

Q&A 1357 – Same-sex Unions: A Response

Posted: July 4, 2015

What is your take on the recent Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriages? And advice? Following the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalize “gay marriages,” here are a… Read More

Q&A 1356 – Sleeping = dead?

Posted: June 28, 2015

In several passages the dead seem to be described as though they were asleep. For example, 1 Cor 15:6 says “Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at… Read More

Q&A 1355 – “Pray Together”

Posted: May 30, 2015

The concept of praying together comes up many times in the NT. Just wanted to know, is it asking all the disciples to pray at the same time or be together and… Read More

Q&A 1354 – “Apostolos” in 1 Corinthians

Posted: May 30, 2015

I am trying to study the meaning of apostolos in 1 Corinthians, and in some sense, it seems to mean an official ambassador sent out on a mission from a… Read More

Q&A 1353 – Nations More Powerful Than God?

Posted: May 30, 2015

Zechariah 1:15 and Isaiah 47:6 confuse me. How did nations go far beyond what God intended? In the Book of Job, God put a limit on what Satan could do… Read More

Q&A 1352 – Children’s gender choices fluid?

Posted: May 8, 2015

I have seen a couple of articles on CNN where parents are letting their kids at a very early age transition to the opposite gender: http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/27/health/transgender-kids/index.html http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/24/us/colorado-transgender-girl-school/index.html http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/19/politics/mike-honda-transgender-granddaughter/index.html This one… Read More

Q&A 1351 – What is sackcloth?

Posted: April 10, 2015

In 2 Kings 6:30, the passage where the two women are arguing about whose son to eat, the king is wearing sackcloth under his regular robes. Why would he do… Read More

Q&A 1350 – How do I study the Bible with a Muslim?

Posted: March 21, 2015

How do you study the Bible with a devout Muslim? What would you look at first, second, third, etc? I may have an opportunity to do regular studies with a pretty… Read More

Q&A 1349 – What about baptismal cognizance? (by John Oakes)

Posted: March 5, 2015

Posted on October 4, 2008 by John Oakes at his website, Evidence for Christianity. Used with permission. I was just reading an excerpt out of the book Who is My… Read More

Q&A 1348 – Sun & Moon stood still?

Posted: February 17, 2015

I’m wondering about the sun and moon event in Joshua 10, and I read you short bit on it in Your Bible Questions Answered. If the event is meant to… Read More

Q&A 1347 – Did God create Jesus?

Posted: February 17, 2015

Did God create Jesus? I was reading John 5:26 (For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself). But I thought… Read More

Q&A 1346 – A case of academic cheating?

Posted: February 12, 2015

Is writing term papers and doing assignments for students in overseas universities for pay a sin for the writer? I know disciples who have opened companies and receive term papers… Read More

Q&A 1345 – Forgiveness without salvation?

Posted: February 10, 2015

A friend of mine is wondering if there is any place in the bible where forgiveness of sin is not connected to salvation. She thinks someone can be forgiven of… Read More

Q&A 1344 – Religion Used As A Weapon?

Posted: February 7, 2015

How would you answer an eastern European atheist who grew up in communist state atheism, and was taught that religion is a way for authorities to make people compliant and… Read More

Q&A 1343 – Are Married Christians Required To Have Children?

Posted: January 31, 2015

Biblicaliy speaking, are married couples who are physically able required to have children, or can a couple come together in marriage for the sheer enjoyment of one another’s company and… Read More

Q&A 1342 — Response to The Gay Debate: The Bible & Homosexuality

Posted: January 13, 2015

I am reaching out to  a woman who has a gay brother. This man is in a committed relationship and is also a committed church member in a large denomination that… Read More

Q&A 1341 – Can Christians Die From Starvation?

Posted: December 20, 2014

Matthew 6:25-34 seems to suggest that it would be impossible for a Christian to starve to death, yet church history seems to teach otherwise. How does one harmonize what appears… Read More

Q&A 1340 – “Lion” or “Pierced” in Psalm 22?

Posted: November 29, 2014

It seems that ‘ari means “lion” throughout the OT, but in Psalm 22 KJV and NIV translate it “pierced.” I believe Jews now claim that it can’t mean “pierced” in Psalm 22. How… Read More

Q&A 1339 – Do Demons Still Exist (On Earth)?

Posted: November 22, 2014

1 Timothy 4:1 says that “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” Does this mean… Read More

Q&A 1338 – Is Technology Bad?

Posted: November 15, 2014

Dr. Jacoby, my question is simple. Based on scripture: is technology beneficial or detrimental to mankind? A loyal fan- Miguel Gutierrez Brownsville Texas. Technology is bad in Gen 11 — the Tower… Read More

Q&A 1337 – Proper Pronunciation, by Joey Harris

Posted: August 30, 2014

I have been trying to improve my ability to pronounce words from the Bible. I found it to be a difficult task, because I have trouble finding a standard. It… Read More

Q&A 1336 – Free Will vs. Prayer

Posted: August 9, 2014

I have a question regarding the idea of free will and how it affects prayer. My understanding of free will, according to a Christian’s point of view, is that God… Read More

Q&A 0229 – Hippocratic Oath

Posted: July 16, 2014

Wasn’t there once a pledge doctors used to have to make about not performing abortions? Yes indeed! Please listen to the words of Hippocrates, the great ancient Greek physician (died… Read More

Q&A 1335 – Does God Have Vision?

Posted: June 10, 2014

Does God have vision for humankind?  In 1 Timothy 2:4, God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. So is it correct… Read More

Q&A 1334 – Go Anywhere, Do Anything, Give up Everything?

Posted: May 28, 2014

I recently heard a sermon from a young evangelist. He repeated a well know refrain in many churches, calling the crowd to be willing to “go anywhere, do anything, and… Read More

Q&A 1333 – Conscience at Work

Posted: May 11, 2014

I worked as a graphic editor for a newspaper. But in this paper, there are topics like horoscope, new age, the meaning of names…to the point where I feel like my… Read More

Q&A 1332 – Jesus’ Wife Papyrus

Posted: April 16, 2014

Q&A 1333 – What about the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife? I am wondering if you have any thoughts on this new finding? In 2012 an ancient papyrus fragment, about the… Read More

Q&A 1331 – Exact Words?

Posted: April 12, 2014

Do the speeches in the Bible record the exact words of Peter, Paul, or Jesus? And if not, why should we trust them? In ancient times, transcription from dictation was… Read More