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Q&A 1376 – Did God Kill Uzzah?

Posted: July 7, 2014

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: June 28, 2014

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: June 19, 2014

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: June 10, 2014

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: June 1, 2014

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: May 23, 2014

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: May 14, 2014

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: May 5, 2014

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: April 26, 2014

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: April 17, 2014

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: April 8, 2014

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: March 30, 2014

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: March 21, 2014

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: March 12, 2014

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 1362 – Confess to Crime?

Posted: March 3, 2014

What does the Bible say about confessing to a crime if confessing will destroy your family and friends? Confess and be damned, or spare the hurt and pain it will… Read More

Q&A 1361 – Lower than the angels?

Posted: February 22, 2014

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: February 13, 2014

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: February 4, 2014

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: January 26, 2014

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: January 17, 2014

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: January 8, 2014

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: December 30, 2013

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: December 21, 2013

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: December 12, 2013

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: December 3, 2013

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: November 24, 2013

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: November 15, 2013

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: November 6, 2013

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: October 28, 2013

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: October 19, 2013

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: October 10, 2013

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: October 1, 2013

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: September 22, 2013

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: September 13, 2013

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: September 4, 2013

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: August 26, 2013

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: August 17, 2013

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: August 8, 2013

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: July 30, 2013

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: July 21, 2013

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: July 12, 2013

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 1335 – Does God Have Vision?

Posted: July 3, 2013

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: June 24, 2013

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: June 15, 2013

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: June 6, 2013

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: May 28, 2013

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

Q&A 1330 – Censorship of Christian Songs

Posted: May 19, 2013

Censorship of Christian Songs — replies: Ferguson, Jacoby, and Oakes  It seems that many modern evangelical songs stress blessings and grace, with little emphasis on discipleship or repentance. Some song… Read More

Q&A 1329 – What Was Israel’s Population?

Posted: May 10, 2013

What was ancient Israel’s population? The statistic in Numbers 1:46 implies a nation of millions exiting from Egypt. Was it really that high? Israel’s population was in the millions, but… Read More

Q&A 1328 – Christian Graffiti? (Deut 6:9)

Posted: May 1, 2013

Why were the Jews told to write out scripture on their gates? I get that having God’s word written inside our houses would be a great reminder to stay focused… Read More

Q&A 1327 – Unanswered Prayers for Pregnancy?

Posted: April 22, 2013

My sister and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for the past two years with no success. My mom, who is a very religious woman, wants me to… Read More

Q&A 1326 – Is Life (or other) Insurance Biblical?

Posted: April 13, 2013

Is life insurance, or any other form of insurance, Biblical? Someone told me it is not because it is usury. Also, what about networking or recruiting people for the purpose… Read More

Q&A 1325 – Constant Contact

Posted: April 4, 2013

In the present age has there ever been a church of Christ that lived in constant contact with each other (literally), like the Christians in the first century church did,… Read More

Q&A 1324 – Who are the Captives?

Posted: March 26, 2013

I was studying about heaven and hell, and John 3 says no one is in heaven. How do you understand Ephesians 4:8 –  “When he ascended on high, HE LED… Read More

Q&A 1323 – Life Insurance

Posted: March 17, 2013

Is life insurance, or any other form of insurance, biblical? Someone told me it is not because it is usury. Also, what about networking or recruiting people for the purpose… Read More

Q&A 1322 – Confronting Theft

Posted: March 8, 2013

In as few words as possible… I caught a fellow disciple stealing from the offering. I tried to talk with the person, but they wouldn’t confess it. This person quit… Read More

Q&A 1321 – Why Not Punish David?

Posted: February 27, 2013

My mother-in-law stumped me with this question. Why did God allow David to eat the bread which was lawful only for the priests, but condemn Saul for offering a sacrifice,… Read More

Q&A 1320 – Messianic Jews

Posted: February 18, 2013

I have a question about the Messianic Jewish movement. I searched on both of your sites and couldn’t find if you wrote on this topic. My sister who isn’t part… Read More

Q&A 1319 – Eating Healthy

Posted: February 9, 2013

In a discussion with a friend about eating being an ‘act of worship,’ somehow he was thinking that there was a connection with sin manifesting itself as disease in the… Read More

Q&A 1318 – Why Only Three Days?

Posted: January 31, 2013

If Jesus died for our sins and took the punishment that we deserved, and if our punishment would have been eternal separation from God, then why was Jesus only in… Read More

Q&A 1317 – Thanksgiving For All?

Posted: January 22, 2013

I have a question about 1 Timothy 2:1 – “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people.” Does this mean that… Read More

Q&A 1316 – Goliath a son of Orpah?

Posted: January 13, 2013

I was trying to find information about what happens to Orpah, Ruth’s sister, once she turns her back to them. A few websites I found said according to Jewish history… Read More

Q&A 1315 – Poor Widow Significance

Posted: January 4, 2013

Do you believe that Luke 21:1-4 is an example to follow, or a means of convincing someone to tithe? I mean, looking at the surrounding context, it’s just an odd… Read More

Q&A 1314 – Revenge / Killing

Posted: December 26, 2012

Brother, I wanted to ask you about questions that I have been faced with many times here in Lebanon – Is the killing of Gentiles in the Old Testament a… Read More

Q&A 1313 – Dating a non-Christian

Posted: December 17, 2012

Though not a Biblical doctrine or salvation issue, we as the leaders of our church decided to expect our members to only date committed Christians. A woman who was part… Read More

Q&A 1312 – Bankruptcy

Posted: December 8, 2012

Someone in our group (my husband and I are family group leaders) wants to declare bankruptcy. We don’t think this is biblical. Some might argue that filing for bankruptcy is… Read More

Q&A 1311 – Blessed for Leaving?

Posted: November 29, 2012

Why did Jesus include wife in the list of things you can leave and still be blessed (Luke 18:28-30) if elsewhere Jesus commands against divorce, and Paul says that one… Read More

Q&A 1310 – Do I Have To Attend Church?

Posted: November 20, 2012

When I study church with people during Bible study it’s a bit daunting to them. My question is, is the church study a salvation issue? Do people have to attend… Read More

Q&A 1309 – Ebooks

Posted: November 11, 2012

How do I obtain electronic/digital copies of your books, or of other books recommended on this site? Quite a few of my books are available for Kindle, but generally you… Read More

Q&A 1308 – Meditation

Posted: November 2, 2012

My heart’s desire is to be led by the Holy Spirt and continue to grow daily in my prayer life and Bible study. I do realize that I have my… Read More

Q&A 1307 – Should I Be Re-baptized?

Posted: October 24, 2012

This is a question that comes up repeatedly. Some of the reasons given are as follows: The person did not understand Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. The person was confused… Read More

Q&A 1306 – The Plans of Man

Posted: October 15, 2012

[Paraphrased] Hi, Doug! My name is Sergiy Shabashkevich, I was baptized 18 years ago in the Kiev Church of Christ (Ukraine). In the last month I have heard several times… Read More

Q&A 1305 – Studying with Jehovah’s Witness

Posted: October 6, 2012

A couple of women have been coming to my house over the past week, who happen to be Jehovah’s Witnesses. They want to get together and study the Bible, probably… Read More

Q&A 1304 – Hypnotherapy

Posted: September 27, 2012

Please enlighten me regarding hypnotherapy. Can a Christian go for hypnotherapy sessions (for example to stop nail bitting / slimming) or practise hypnotherapy as hypnotherapist? Please advise. — Caroline (Singapore)… Read More

Q&A 1303 – Cremation — is it OK?

Posted: September 18, 2012

Is cremation inconsistent with any biblical or Christian principle, or is it an acceptable alternative to embalment and burial? [Reply from Edward Fudge (of gracEmail), used with permission.] Throughout recorded… Read More

Q&A 1302 – Perfect love drives out fear?

Posted: September 9, 2012

Do you believe the sentence "Perfect love casts out fear" in 1 John 4:18 can be used to mean "since we want to love perfectly as God does, let’s have… Read More

Q&A 1301 – Non-resistance

Posted: August 31, 2012

What do you say about the "doctine of non-resistance"? What about Romans 13? Doesn’t this allow us to kill our enemies, if our own government commands us to do so?… Read More

Q&A 1300 – Satan

Posted: August 22, 2012

I’d like to ask for some advice. Right now I’m struggling with my faith. I’ve always asked questions and really had a desire to seek the truth. In doing so… Read More

Q&A 1299 – Nude art?

Posted: August 13, 2012

This issue has been one lately that I have been researching some. I started with a search online for ‘Christian views of nude art’. I found a lot of articles that take… Read More

Q&A 1298 – How long were the Israelites in Egypt?

Posted: August 4, 2012

How long were the Israelites sojourners in Egypt? Paul assigns a 430-year interval between the Abrahamic covenant given in Genesis and the Mosaic Law introduced at Sinai. The arithmetic gets… Read More

Q&A 1297 – Sabbath Day’s Walk

Posted: July 26, 2012

What’s a Sabbath day’s walk? How far were the ancient Jews allowed to walk on a Sabbath? Exodus 16:29 discouraged long walks on the Sabbath. Traditionally, the limit was 2000… Read More

Q&A 1296 – Eldership reconsidered

Posted: July 17, 2012

The following question came up recently concerning the eldership in our congregation. One of the couples in our oversight group just moved to another city. We believe in the importance of a plurality… Read More

Q&A 1295 – What do you think of Velvet Elvis (by Rob Bell)?

Posted: July 8, 2012

A review of Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005) Rob Bell (b.1970), preacher at Mars Hill Bible Church, has become a highly influential speaker and writer… Read More

Q&A 1294 – Locusts or armies (Joel)?

Posted: June 29, 2012

In Joel 1:4 and 2:25, what do the locusts represent?  Some readers understand the locust hordes literally; others, as the invading armies the Lord would use to punish his people…. Read More

Q&A 1293 – Grace and peace

Posted: June 20, 2012

Is there any special meaning to the way Paul so often wishes his readers "grace and peace"?  There is. In the east, people wished one another "peace," just as the Jews said "Shalom"… Read More

Q&A 1292 – How can I be a better Bible student?

Posted: June 11, 2012

Exploring your websites, I have realized that although I’ve been a disciple for almost 20 years, I really don’t know how to study my Bible. I wanted to ask if you… Read More

Q&A 1291 – Filthy rags

Posted: June 2, 2012

“Even when we do our best, our righteousness is filthy rags in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6). Do you agree?” No, I do not. Works-salvation is rightly rejected by scripture, but… Read More

Q&A 1290 – Married in heaven?

Posted: May 24, 2012

I have a question regarding marriage in heaven. In Matthew 22:30, Jesus says that at the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like… Read More

Q&A 1289 – Hope and a future (Jeremiah 29)

Posted: May 15, 2012

I want to find out God’s plan for my life. Jeremiah 29 says he wants us to have prosperity. But things aren’t going so well. What should I do? This… Read More

Q&A 1288 – The Man of Lawlessness

Posted: May 6, 2012

Who is the man of lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians? Many find in this passage a sort of “antichrist”—though the word is not used—whose rise presages the end of the world…. Read More

Q&A 1287 – Predicting the End

Posted: April 27, 2012

Many have tried and failed to predict the end of the world. Is this fruitless, or do you think it’s possible to find out the date by searching the scriptures?It’s… Read More

Q&A 1286 – Why is the Bible so long?

Posted: April 18, 2012

Why is the Bible so long? It’s taking me forever to read it. It isn’t, compared to the scriptures of the Eastern Religions, with many thousands of pages. Or when… Read More

Q&A 1285 – Red letter Bibles

Posted: April 9, 2012

Why are the words of Jesus printed differently in “red-letter” editions of the Bible? Editions of the N.T. with Jesus’ words in red, first appearing in 1899, were intended as… Read More

Q&A 1284 – Interpretation and 2 Peter 1:20

Posted: March 31, 2012

Doesn’t the Bible interpret itself? My preacher pointed out 2 Peter 1:20. Isn’t interpretation how we ended up with so many dissensions and denominations? 2 Peter 1:20 does not forbid… Read More

Q&A 1283 – What is the meaning of “Bible”?

Posted: March 22, 2012

What does “Bible” mean? Ironically, I can’t find the word “Bible” anywhere in my Bible! And why do they call it “The Holy Bible?” Good observation. The word “Bible” does… Read More

Q&A 1282 – Original Bible languages

Posted: March 13, 2012

What language was the original Bible written in?  Think of the Bible as a library, not as a single document. Its constituent books were authored, and edited, over a period… Read More

Q&A 1281 – Has the Bible been changed?

Posted: March 4, 2012

How can I be sure the Bible hasn’t been changed? Isn’t it just a translation of a translation of a translation, and so on? Actually, modern translations are made from… Read More

Q&A 1280 – Magic tricks = sorcery?

Posted: February 24, 2012

Is modern magic equivalent to ancient sorcery? I’m curious to know if magicians today are tapping on the power of demons? I know magic is just tricks, but I got a… Read More

Q&A 1279 – What position should we pray in?

Posted: February 15, 2012

What position should we adopt when we pray to God? — David  Here are some passages for you to consider. Kneeling: 1 Kings 8:54, Daniel 6:10, Acts 21:5Standing: 1 Samuel 1:26, Matthew 6:5,… Read More

Q&A 1278 – Cannibalism?

Posted: February 6, 2012

Were some Jewish people cannibals? I found a passage, Lamentations 4:10, which says "With their own hands compassionate women have cooked their own children." This is shocking. Cannibalism was practiced in… Read More

Q&A 1277 – Genesis 12:3

Posted: January 28, 2012

How did God bless the world through Abraham? Genesis 12 says he would bless all nations, but most nations don’t follow the Bible. Blessing is a major theme of the… Read More

Q&A 1276 – How did God speak to the prophets?

Posted: January 19, 2012

The Old Testament has so many prophets. How did they get their messages from God?The answer surprises most people. The prophets received their prophetic messages in visions, and these visions often… Read More

Q&A 1275 – Did Jesus claim to be the Son of God?

Posted: January 10, 2012

What’s going on in Matthew 26:64? Why doesn’t Jesus directly admit he’s the Son of God when he is asked by the high priest? You are right. In Matthew 26:64,… Read More

Q&A 1274 – Did Jesus have free will?

Posted: January 1, 2012

Did Jesus have free will to sin if he wanted to? Wouldn’t He need that to be human? Was He sinless by divine intervention or choice? Wouldn’t that be robotic… Read More

Q&A 1273 – “Spiritual pornography” to read the Qur’an?

Posted: December 30, 2011

In regard to the Qur’an, is there any part of that book that is productively applicable to our lives? Is there a danger in reading it? Wouldn’t this be the… Read More

Q&A 1272 – Were the ancient Jews polytheistic?

Posted: December 28, 2011

I have read of claims that the early Israelites were heavily influenced by their neighbors (Canaanite religion), and were in a sense polytheistic. They believed in the supremacy of YAHVEH… Read More

Q&A 1271 – Preachers and sound exegesis (exposition)

Posted: December 26, 2011

There is somewhat of a mild debate going on in the church I attend. One brother with a degree in theology, understanding of Greek etc, always gets on to the… Read More

Q&A 1270 – Violent Jesus?

Posted: December 24, 2011

Thank you for your websites. I am a premium member, which is good, as my sons are reaching the age of many difficult questions… I have a question of my… Read More

Q&A 1269 – The view of Jesus in other religions

Posted: December 22, 2011

I want to understand how other religions view Jesus. Have you written anything on that topic? I want to make sure I am on base as I share this information… Read More

Q&A 1268 – Elohim: plural God? Waters above the firmament?

Posted: December 20, 2011

Why does the bible refer to "God" as Elohim when "Elohim" is plural for "gods"? And in Genesis the verse that talks about two types of water and the expanse:… Read More

Q&A 1267 – The New Atheists

Posted: December 18, 2011

I have heard a new movement on the rise called the "New Atheists," and they recently held a "Blasphemy Day." They have attacked, mocked and belittled God, and it made… Read More

Q&A 1266 – Helping a husband get spiritually engaged

Posted: December 16, 2011

What’s the best way for a Christian woman to help her husband get spiritually engaged?  It seems that he’s a true introvert and not close to many of the brothers,… Read More

Q&A 1265 – Edomite god

Posted: December 14, 2011

What god did the nation of Edom serve? I have been searching for weeks and can’t find anything. — Mike Harris Whereas the gods of the Moabites, Ammonites, Philistines, et… Read More

Q&A 1264 – Evangelizing someone with a learning disadvantage

Posted: December 12, 2011

I recently reached out to a young man, and although he speaks English fairly fluently, he cannot read and write very well. He was orphaned as a young child, and… Read More

Q&A 1263 – Open Theism: If the Lord knows the future, do we have free will?

Posted: December 10, 2011

When you said you believe "God’s future knowledge is conditional on our free-will choices," do you believe in open theism? — Adam Great question. I find open theism untenable in its… Read More

Q&A 1262 – Read the Psalms

Posted: December 8, 2011

I hope all’s well and that the year is fantastic for you! If it’s all right, I was hoping to pose a couple of questions: Do you have any advice… Read More

Q&A 1261 – Numbers 3 contradiction?

Posted: December 6, 2011

Help me please to understand one instance in Numbers: "Those numbered of them, by the number of every male from a month old and upward—those numbered of them were 7,500… By the… Read More

Q&A 1260 — John the earliest and most Jewish of the gospels?

Posted: December 4, 2011

I found the following excerpt from a book I’m reading, The Ancient Library of Qumran, 3rd Edition, by Frank Moore Cross. He writes: "[Essene] parallels to John and the Johannine Epistles will… Read More

Q&A 1259 – Black Hebrew Israelites

Posted: December 2, 2011

What do you know about Black Hebrew Israelites? During the twentieth century there have been several African-American groups that organized themselves around the belief that they were the "true" descendants… Read More

Q&A 1258 – The Virgin Mary

Posted: November 30, 2011

What is your belief about the importance of the Virgin Mary to all humanity in our search for God’s mercy? I believe that she is a very important person because… Read More

Q&A 1257 – Division

Posted: November 28, 2011

Can you elaborate on the idea of godly division v. sinful division? — Ed  Good question. I hope these general comments about division help clarify the issue at hand. God… Read More

Q&A 1256 – Best Spanish Bible?

Posted: November 26, 2011

What do you think is the ideal Spanish version of the Bible to use? There seem to be a few out there. Well, Dios Habla Hoy is extremely popular, though… Read More

Q&A 1255 – Repetition implies significance?

Posted: November 24, 2011

Is there any validity to the idea that certain commands are more important than others, based on the number of times they’re mentioned in the Bible? For example, some people… Read More

Q&A 1254 – The End of the Age in Matthew 28

Posted: November 22, 2011

What was Jesus referring to in Matthew 28:18-20’s "end of the age"? — C.G. In my view, there are two ways to look at this phrase: 1) The end of… Read More

Q&A 1253 – Is Matthew 27:25 antisemitic?

Posted: November 20, 2011

In Matthew 27 the Jews say, "His blood be on us and our children." But isn’t this just a case of Christian antisemitism? Would they really have said such words? Yes,… Read More

Q&A 1252 – Palm branches?

Posted: November 18, 2011

When Jesus makes his triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday), what is the significance or symbolism of the palm fronds? You are referring to the event recorded in John 12:13… Read More

Q&A 1251 – Genealogies in Matthew and Luke

Posted: November 16, 2011

I am confused about the two genealogies we find for Jesus. Matthew and Luke give differing lines of descent. How are we to understand this? In the words of H…. Read More

Q&A 1250 – Which version of the Qur’an should I read?

Posted: November 14, 2011

I am looking for a version of the Koran in English. What would you recommend? Is there more than one good version? There are three “authorized” versions in English, which… Read More

Q&A 1249 – Wasn’t it unfair of God to harden Pharaoh’s heart?

Posted: November 12, 2011

In Exodus it says God hardens Pharaoh’s heart. Isn’t this unfair? I thought God didn’t override our free will! You are right about free will. God is sovereign and omniscient, but… Read More

Q&A 1248 – What do you say about the Levites killing 3000 in Exodus 32?

Posted: November 10, 2011

How can we explain Exodus 32, where the Levites put thousands of Israelite idolaters to the sword? This passage makes me stumble. Here are a few of my observations about the… Read More

Q&A 1247 – Moral relativism?

Posted: November 8, 2011

I feel that as Christians we tend to take a morally relativistic approach to explain past cultures in the Bible by saying, "That was just the culture at the time"…. Read More

Q&A 1246 – Conquest of Palestine

Posted: November 6, 2011

Someone said, "In my biblical archaeology class I learned that the archaeological record just doesn’t support the account of the conquest of Palestine found in the Book of Exodus –… Read More

Q&A 1245 – How can Mary and Elizabeth be related?

Posted: November 4, 2011

Luke 1:36 says that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a relative of Elizabeth. And yet how is this possible, if one comes from the tribe of Judah, and the other from… Read More

Q&A 1244 – Animal abuse?

Posted: November 2, 2011

Hello! I have a friend who is both vegan and Christian, and I recently got interested in the idea of how we need to treat animals. Clearly eating meat isn’t a sin,… Read More

Q&A 1243 – Pork permanently prohibited?

Posted: October 31, 2011

Does Isaiah 66:16-18 tell me not to eat pork, or else the Lord will destroy me for doing so? Was the Lord really talking to the Jews only? — Chris… Read More

Q&A 1242 – Why don’t you take the Bible literally?

Posted: October 29, 2011

You wrote to me, "Christians would say that some OT laws were concessions. Progressive revelation came as the people were ready to accept it." But I think that’s a little… Read More

Q&A 1241 – What does celibacy look like in a Christian’s life?

Posted: October 27, 2011

I read your previous comments on this topic but couldn’t find an answer to my two-part question. I know the definition of celibacy, but: (1) What does it look like… Read More

Q&A 1240 – When did the Shekinah leave the Temple?

Posted: October 25, 2011

I recently read an article which said, "The Jewish Temple was the center of religious Jewish worship. It housed the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant… Read More

Q&A 1239 – Making restitution before returning to the fellowship

Posted: October 23, 2011

I’m helping to bring back an ex-member of the church. He is eager to be with God again and he has an awesome heart. We had been talking about sin… Read More

Q&A 1238 – Jesus’ foot bones broken in crucifixion?

Posted: October 21, 2011

I’ve searched for quite a bit, but can’t find anything on the site. Q&A 1179 ("Jesus’ body literally broken") doesn’t really answer my question. The medical accounts of the crucifixion that… Read More

Q&A 1237 – Is God feminine?

Posted: October 19, 2011

A seminarian friend recently referred to God as “she.” I asked why. To paraphrase her answer, “In the original language of the scriptures Holy Spirit is always feminine, or the verb describing what… Read More

Q&A 1236 – Jesus a coward (Bible contradiction)?

Posted: October 17, 2011

Was Jesus brave, or was he just a coward? After all, he said, "And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after… Read More

Q&A 1235 – Seeing God (a contradiction)?

Posted: October 15, 2011

Isn’t the following a contradiction? "… I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (Genesis 32:30). "No man hath seen God at any time…" (John 1:18)…. Read More

Q&A 1234 – Meek inherit earth?

Posted: October 13, 2011

In Matthew 5:5 what does "inherit the earth" mean? I can find loads of information about the first part of the verse, referring to the meaning of "meek," but I can’t… Read More

Q&A 1233 – Brains hard-wired for sin?

Posted: October 11, 2011

What do you think of this article in New Scientist? My father-in-law is mocking the Bible because of its stance on homosexuality; he claims people are gay because of their biology. –… Read More

Q&A 1232 – Bereans

Posted: October 9, 2011

It says in Acts 17:11 that the Bereans examined the scriptures daily. Now back then there weren’t any personal Bibles like today. I understand that communities had copies of scripture,… Read More

Q&A 1231 – Belief in N.T. inspiration a requirement for salvation?

Posted: October 7, 2011

I have an interesting biblical question that a brother and I were discussing over dinner yesterday, and I wanted to pose it to you. We were comparing the beliefs that we hold… Read More

Q&A 1230 – Leviticus: anointing the ear, thumb, and toe of the priest

Posted: October 5, 2011

What do you think is the significance of the placing of the sacrificial blood and oil in the Old Testament atonement? Such is stated in Leviticus 14:14: tip of the… Read More

Q&A 1229 – Coveting

Posted: October 3, 2011

Is the Old Testament word covet essentially the same thing as lust in the New Testament? I noticed the words are used in different ways, depending on the context –… Read More

Q&A 1228 – Allegory in Ezekiel 16 (women and beauty)

Posted: October 1, 2011

About women’s appearance — I would like to get some clarification on Ezekiel 16, because I have seen this passage used time and time again to say that God intended… Read More

Q&A 1227 – Rastafarianism

Posted: September 29, 2011

Do you have any suggestions on where I can learn more about the Rastafarians? Rastafarianism is one of the more exotic man-made religions on the planet, rivaled perhaps by Mormonism… Read More

Q&A 1226 – Daniel and friends eunuchs?

Posted: September 27, 2011

When Daniel and his 3 friends were drafted into Nebuchadnezzar’s court, was castration one of the requirements? I noted there were eunuchs who sided with King Jehu in 2 Kings 9:30-33,… Read More

Q&A 1225 – Forwarding worldly emails?

Posted: September 25, 2011

What is your conviction or opinion about e-mails that say, "Send this to ten people and your wish will come true, or something good will happen to you, etc.."? I… Read More

Q&A 1224 – “Addicted” to fornication?

Posted: September 23, 2011

A very close friend of mine and sister in Christ is suffering from sexual addiction. I don’t think it would be appropriate to go too deep into her problem, but… Read More

Q&A 1223 – Romantic competition in church?

Posted: September 21, 2011

If two brothers in the same church like the same sister, what’s the wiset thing to do? Is it okay to let the sister know how you feel so you… Read More

Q&A 1222 – Apostle John validated the papacy?

Posted: September 19, 2011

I have been speaking to a Roman Catholic friend, and his argument for the validity of the papacy was that John was still alive for the first pope, and there was… Read More

Q&A 1221 – Abishag (the young virgin in bed with David)

Posted: September 17, 2011

I have a question about 1 Kings 1:2. The aging king David is too cold, and the solution to keep warm is to have a concubine/nurse lie down with him…. Read More

Q&A 1220 – Mental cursing

Posted: September 15, 2011

I have been struggling with cursing in my mind. I have read the scriptures about getting rid of filthy language. Yet when I read the scriptures and pray I fail…. Read More

Q&A 1219 – Motivating the sluggish to read their Bibles

Posted: September 13, 2011

On another note, my wife and I have been discipling a couple who said to me one evening that the reason he does not spend so much time reading the… Read More

Q&A 1218 – The names Solomon and Jedidiah

Posted: September 11, 2011

It seems strange that Solomon ("peace") was not known by the name the Lord directed Nathan to give him, Jedidiah, ("loved by the Lord"). This latter name doesn’t seem to appear… Read More

Q&A 1217 – 1 Samuel 16:12

Posted: September 9, 2011

In 1 Samuel 16:12 we read: "He [David] was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features" (NIV); "He had beautiful eyes and a healthy, handsome appearance" (HCSB); and "Now he was ruddy, with… Read More

Q&A 1216 – Seeing angels is deadly?

Posted: September 7, 2011

When angels appeared to people, why did they begin by saying, "Do not be afraid," as in Matthew 28:5 and in Luke 2:10? I’ve heard that it was because sometimes people… Read More

Q&A 1215 – Eating food offered to saints / idols

Posted: September 5, 2011

Here in our country, the Roman Catholics celebrate feasts in honor of saints. 1 Corinthians 10:14-33 is an instruction about idol feasts, but this scripture is a source of debate even… Read More

Q&A 1214 – Will the Lord return in the year 2012?

Posted: September 3, 2011

There are and were many false predictions about when the end will come. But this I don’t know: Before a few weeks ago I had no idea about year 2012, but now it’s… Read More

Q&A 1213 – Forgiveness & remembering

Posted: September 1, 2011

We preach forgiveness — forgiving others the way we want God to forgive us, etc. We talk about "no record of wrongs," but Christian counselors tell people it will take as long… Read More

Q&A 1212 – Were all of the desert generation lost?

Posted: August 30, 2011

I have a question regarding those people who died in the desert. Most of Israelites were baptized in Moses and in the Red Sea, and yet they died in the desert…. Read More

Q&A 1211 – God unfaithful (Psalm 89)?

Posted: August 28, 2011

I just finished reading Psalm 89 and it seems like Ethan the Ezrahite directly accuses God of breaking his promise to David. v.39: "You have renounced your covenant with your… Read More

Q&A 1210 – God an alien?

Posted: August 26, 2011

Some people say that God is an alien but with special powers. Is this true? — Jeffrey No, since if he were a creature (created being) like an alien, he… Read More

Q&A 1209 – Canaanite extermination?

Posted: August 24, 2011

I am a young Christian, and I have been reading Joshua. The book explains that God commanded Joshua to invade and kill different civilizations. My question is, Why? When earlier-on… Read More

Q&A 1208 – Interpretation question

Posted: August 22, 2011

What is the oil of Matthew 25? ("Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2… Read More

Q&A 1207 – Did Jesus marry himself?

Posted: August 20, 2011

If the church is the body of Christ, and the church is also Jesus’ bride, does that mean Jesus married himself? I hope this isn’t too confusing.No, it isn’t too confusing. But… Read More

Q&A 1206 – 1 Timothy 5:22

Posted: August 18, 2011

1 Timothy 5:22 reads, "Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure." I’ve searched your Q&As… Read More

Q&A 1205 – Candidate’s stance on abortion to determine our vote?

Posted: August 16, 2011

Do you think disciples should let the abortion issue rule who they should vote for in the election? — several questioners. No. There are so many issues! Both main parties in the U.S…. Read More

Q&A 1204 – Vivid dreams

Posted: August 14, 2011

A couple years ago I had a dream about an enormous archive with tall rows of books, and one book standing out in particular. It was a very large book… Read More

Q&A 1203 – Hebrews 11:1 — certainty?

Posted: August 12, 2011

The HCSB translates Hebrews 11:1 differently than do the NASB and the ESV, which render it more or less the same, though the HCSB gives the same translation options as… Read More

Q&A 1202 – Discerning God’s will in prayer

Posted: August 10, 2011

In Luke 11:5-11 and Luke 18:1-8 we are taught to faithfully persevere in prayer to God for something we want or need — to not give up asking. However, Matthew 26:36-42… Read More

Q&A 1201 – Scapegoat (Azazel) in Leviticus 16

Posted: August 8, 2011

I am reading Leviticus and came across references to a scapegoat offering to the desert (Leviticus 16). The footnotes in the NIV mention Azazel, but the Message translation attributes the goat… Read More

Q&A 1200 – What does the term “poor” mean for the modern church?

Posted: August 6, 2011

Deuteronomy 15:1-15 says, "There should be no poor among you." How do you think the word poor should be defined in the modern church? Deep question I know…any random thoughts are valued…. Read More

Q&A 1199 – Jesus a false witness?

Posted: August 2, 2011

Do you acknowledge the flaws of your Bible? For example, contrast "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true" (John 5:31) to "I am one that bears… Read More

Q&A 1198 – Do we have free will? Is Reformed Theology correct?

Posted: July 31, 2011

Do we have free will? What did the early church teach about this? [Thanks to Jonathan Lenzi for the following information. See also www.scrollpublishing.com for more on what the early… Read More

Q&A 1197 – How should Americans vote?

Posted: July 29, 2011

I didn’t want to bother you about the 2008 US Presidential election, but I believe my conscience is seared right now. I’ll get right to the point: I support the Republican candidate because I think… Read More

Q&A 1196 – Archaeological discovery proves Jesus a magician?

Posted: July 27, 2011

Have you seen the bowl with the inscription of Christ on it? Here is the MSN link. What do you think of it? – Paul  The bowl may date to a little before the time… Read More

Q&A 1195 – Shortest verse in the Bible

Posted: July 25, 2011

I remember a guest preacher telling us that the shortest verse in the Bible was not "Jesus wept" as is commonly believed. He said that in the original language, there… Read More

Q&A 1194 – Demonology

Posted: July 23, 2011

I have been reading Matthew lately with commentaries, and I’ve found two opposite readings of Matthew 8. There is "demon", as in Satan’s angels, and there is "wicked spirits", meaning… Read More

Q&A 1193 – Unhealthy diet = blatant sin?

Posted: July 21, 2011

The Bible states that we are not our own, that we were bought at a price, and therefore ought to honor God with our bodies. My question: If someone blatantly eats… Read More

Q&A 1192 – Home-schooling

Posted: July 19, 2011

We are considering home-schooling. I want to keep my daughter from being exposed to the world; however, she has to experience it to learn how to deal with it. What… Read More

Q&A 1191 – Singles overlooked by church leaders?

Posted: July 17, 2011

I found this opinion, and wanted to know your response: "There are lots of opinions out there regarding finding that special someone in God’s kingdom — a potential husband or… Read More

Q&A 1190 – Manuscript variants

Posted: July 15, 2011

The original texts of the biblical books were inerrant and inspired 100%, not just not the preservation, right? For example, in the case of Kings, Chronicles, Samuel, Nehemiah, Ezra, Gospels, etc…. Read More

Q&A 1189 – Christ’s Temptation in John?

Posted: July 13, 2011

Why is it that the book of John doesn’t mention Jesus’ 40 days of temptation in the desert? Moreover, why does John explain seeing Jesus the day after his baptism,… Read More

Q&A 1188 – Jesus’ brothers and John 19

Posted: July 11, 2011

I noticed that you indicated in a question concerning how many were in Jesus’ family, that he may have had 4 brothers and at least 3 sisters. My question –… Read More

Q&A 1187 – Grace in the lives of non-Christians? (Titus 2:11)

Posted: July 9, 2011

Often individuals who claim to be Christians point to a radically-changed life as "proof" of their being real Christians, although they have not been baptized. In response, I refer to… Read More

Q&A 1186 – God-of-the-gaps and evidence for the Designer

Posted: July 7, 2011

Having watched your debate with Michael Shermer on the existence of God, I wish to commend you for your ability to grasp the point of an argument with great accuracy,… Read More

Q&A 1185 – Virgin birth just a myth?

Posted: July 5, 2011

Some critics of Christianity argue that in ancient times attributing virgin birth to a historical figure was a way of enhancing that person’s credibility or divine prerogatives. We see this… Read More

Q&A 1184 – Hebrews 8:8 — Why the old covenant?

Posted: July 3, 2011

According to Hebrews 8, the old covenant had something wrong with it because of humans breaking the covenant. How do you respond when asked, "Why did the all-knowing God create… Read More

Q&A 1183 – The Fall

Posted: July 1, 2011

Why didn’t Adam and Eve realize they were naked until only after Adam tasted of the fruit? And if this is the case, does this suggest that man was considered… Read More

Q&A 1182 – Jesus just another “sun-god”?

Posted: June 29, 2011

Though I found the idea quite amusing, I was curious as to any input you might have on refuting the notion that Jesus was not truly the Christ, but only another "sun god" made… Read More

Q&A 1181 – Trinity disproved?

Posted: June 27, 2011

How can you explain Numbers 23:19  — "God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind"? Wouldn’t that disprove… Read More

Q&A 1180 – 1 Peter 5:5: “older” spiritually, or biologically?

Posted: June 25, 2011

The Bible teaches in 1 Peter 5:5 that the younger men should submit to the older ones. What does the bilble mean by young or old in that passage? Does it… Read More

Q&A 1179 – Jesus’ body literally broken?

Posted: June 23, 2011

I hear a lot of brothers say that Jesus’ body was broken for us. Yet the Bible says that, in fulfillment of scripture, no bones of his body were broken…. Read More

Q&A 1178 – Daniel 5 and humility in the face of scholarly doubt

Posted: June 21, 2011

Question to Douglas Jacoby and John Oakes: I’m reading the book on Daniel (John Oakes’ Book) after listening to the sermon at Riverside back in 2005 about the book of… Read More

Q&A 1177 – Fulfilled prophecy in other religions?

Posted: June 19, 2011

Of the over 200 religious texts from religions ranging from Asatru to Zoroastrianism, do any of them have grounds to claim prophecy fulfilled in totality, as the NT is to the… Read More

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