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Q&As

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

Q&A 1330 – Censorship of Christian Songs

Posted: March 27, 2014

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: February 22, 2014

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: February 8, 2014

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: January 25, 2014

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: January 13, 2014

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: December 29, 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: December 15, 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: November 10, 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: October 26, 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 1362 – Confess to Crime?

Posted: October 9, 2013

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 1321 – Why Not Punish David?

Posted: August 22, 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 1301 – Non-resistance

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1302 – Perfect love drives out fear?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1303 – Cremation — is it OK?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1297 – Sabbath Day’s Walk

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1298 – How long were the Israelites in Egypt?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1299 – Nude art?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1300 – Satan

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1292 – How can I be a better Bible student?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1293 – Grace and peace

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1294 – Locusts or armies (Joel)?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1296 – Eldership reconsidered

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1290 – Married in heaven?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1291 – Filthy rags

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 so… Read More

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1284 – Interpretation and 2 Peter 1:20

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1285 – Red letter Bibles

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1286 – Why is the Bible so long?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1287 – Predicting the End

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1288 – The Man of Lawlessness

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1289 – Hope and a future (Jeremiah 29)

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1281 – Has the Bible been changed?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1282 – Original Bible languages

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1279 – What position should we pray in?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1280 – Magic tricks = sorcery?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1276 – How did God speak to the prophets?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1277 – Genesis 12:3

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1278 – Cannibalism?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1268 – Elohim: plural God? Waters above the firmament?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1269 – The view of Jesus in other religions

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1270 – Violent Jesus?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1271 – Preachers and sound exegesis (exposition)

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1272 – Were the ancient Jews polytheistic?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1274 – Did Jesus have free will?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1265 – Edomite god

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1266 – Helping a husband get spiritually engaged

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1267 – The New Atheists

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1258 – The Virgin Mary

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1259 – Black Hebrew Israelites

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1260 — John the earliest and most Jewish of the gospels?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1261 – Numbers 3 contradiction?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1262 – Read the Psalms

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1264 – Evangelizing someone with a learning disadvantage

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1254 – The End of the Age in Matthew 28

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1255 – Repetition implies significance?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1256 – Best Spanish Bible?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1257 – Division

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1251 – Genealogies in Matthew and Luke

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1252 – Palm branches?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1253 – Is Matthew 27:25 antisemitic?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1237 – Is God feminine?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1234 – Meek inherit earth?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1235 – Seeing God (a contradiction)?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1236 – Jesus a coward (Bible contradiction)?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1238 – Jesus’ foot bones broken in crucifixion?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1239 – Making restitution before returning to the fellowship

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1240 – When did the Shekinah leave the Temple?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1243 – Pork permanently prohibited?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1244 – Animal abuse?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1245 – How can Mary and Elizabeth be related?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1246 – Conquest of Palestine

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1247 – Moral relativism?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1233 – Brains hard-wired for sin?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1227 – Rastafarianism

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1228 – Allegory in Ezekiel 16 (women and beauty)

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1229 – Coveting

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1232 – Bereans

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1225 – Forwarding worldly emails?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1226 – Daniel and friends eunuchs?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1219 – Motivating the sluggish to read their Bibles

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1220 – Mental cursing

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1222 – Apostle John validated the papacy?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1223 – Romantic competition in church?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1224 – “Addicted” to fornication?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1217 – 1 Samuel 16:12

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1218 – The names Solomon and Jedidiah

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1211 – God unfaithful (Psalm 89)?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1212 – Were all of the desert generation lost?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1213 – Forgiveness & remembering

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1214 – Will the Lord return in the year 2012?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1215 – Eating food offered to saints / idols

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1216 – Seeing angels is deadly?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1209 – Canaanite extermination?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1210 – God an alien?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1201 – Scapegoat (Azazel) in Leviticus 16

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1202 – Discerning God’s will in prayer

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1203 – Hebrews 11:1 — certainty?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1204 – Vivid dreams

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1206 – 1 Timothy 5:22

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1207 – Did Jesus marry himself?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1208 – Interpretation question

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1199 – Jesus a false witness?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1194 – Demonology

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1195 – Shortest verse in the Bible

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1196 – Archaeological discovery proves Jesus a magician?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1197 – How should Americans vote?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1184 – Hebrews 8:8 — Why the old covenant?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 31, 2013

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 1188 – Jesus’ brothers and John 19

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1190 – Manuscript variants

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 31, 2013

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 1191 – Singles overlooked by church leaders?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1192 – Home-schooling

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1193 – Unhealthy diet = blatant sin?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1185 – Virgin birth just a myth?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1182 – Jesus just another “sun-god”?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1183 – The Fall

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1181 – Trinity disproved?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1172 – Paul not an authentic apostle?

Posted: July 31, 2013

In my study I have come to realize a few things. One of them is that Paul, "called to be an apostle," never really knew Jesus. How then can he… Read More

Q&A 1173 – Parable of the Shrewd Manager

Posted: July 31, 2013

Luke 16:1-8 seems to have Jesus praising the efforts of the dishonest manager, and his master praised him as well. Jesus tells us to use worldly wealth to gain friends for… Read More

Q&A 1174 – Apostolic Succession

Posted: July 31, 2013

I have a friend who is Catholic, and we have had many discussions on the topic of "apostolic succession." Can you give me your thoughts and point me in the right… Read More

Q&A 1175 – Inaccurate statements in the Bible?

Posted: July 31, 2013

As an atheist, I bring you no "hate mail" of any kind. I would rather you talk to me through email if at all possible (as busy as you are)…. Read More

Q&A 1176 – Wine in communion?

Posted: July 31, 2013

My question is about the "wine" used in the Lord’s Supper. Should we use real wine, or just juice made from grapes? In my church we used to drink real… Read More

Q&A 1177 – Fulfilled prophecy in other religions?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1179 – Jesus’ body literally broken?

Posted: July 31, 2013

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

Posted: July 31, 2013

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 1169 – Obama the Antichrist in Revelation?

Posted: July 31, 2013

There’s a lot of speculation and rumors flying around about Obama being the Antichrist spoken of in Revelation. Just curious what your thoughts are on the subject. — Christina Mayes Yes, every… Read More

Q&A 1170 – Divine Command Theory

Posted: July 31, 2013

My wife is taking a class where she has to prove that modern slavery is unethical by using one of various theories, among them the "divine command theory." This states… Read More

Q&A 1171 – First commandment a statement or an imperative?

Posted: July 31, 2013

Studying the ten commandments made me wonder whether the first commandment is an action command, or a call to faith, or even perhaps an "action point" about our worship? I… Read More

Q&A 1164 — Aaron & Levi

Posted: July 31, 2013

I have been tormented by a Bible question which may be esoteric… In 1 Chronicles 27:17, where the author enumerates the dudes who were the heads of the tribes of Israel at the… Read More

Q&A 1165 – When your company asks you to lie

Posted: July 31, 2013

Working as a call center agent is one of the most common jobs here in our country today. Some companies have a policy to say we’re in the United States,… Read More

Q&A 1166 – Ancient Roots Translinear Bible

Posted: July 31, 2013

Have you ever seen this translation? This particular page on the site highlights the consistent translation of the original text. I think I’ll get hold of a full copy. Of course, it… Read More

Q&A 1167 – Why is Christianity so divided?

Posted: July 31, 2013

Why are there so many differing views of Christianity? The amount of theological debate going on out there about baptism, predestination, salvation, etc is overwhelming! How can one approach these subjects without… Read More

Q&A 1168 – Weekly contribution?

Posted: July 31, 2013

Do you think it is appropriate to have a portion of the worship service dedicated to the giving, where we spend 5 to 10 minutes inspiring members to give, or… Read More

Q&A 1163 — Randy Alcorn’s Heaven

Posted: July 31, 2013

What do you think about Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven? Is he right that heaven will be down here on earth? When I read Alcorn’s 2004 bestseller Heaven, I expected to… Read More

Q&A 1157 — Long ages of Genesis

Posted: July 31, 2013

Did ancient humans really live for hundreds of years, as mentioned in Genesis? What is your explanation? In ancient Egypt, one did not have to be a centenarian in order… Read More

Q&A 1158 — Relatives of Goliath?

Posted: July 31, 2013

I recently read in John Maxwell’s book Attitude 101 that Goliath had four sons [or brothers, in some versions]. Maxwell explained that the reason David grabbed five stones is that… Read More

Q&A 1159 — Review of Tolle’s A New Earth

Posted: July 31, 2013

As a Christian sister, I am very interested in Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth. What is your opinion about this book? I was just wondering. Tolle’s popular A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose has… Read More

Q&A 1160 — Relationship advice

Posted: July 31, 2013

I recently came out of a seven-year relationship (off and on). I’m only 26 years old and it really became a hindrance to my walk with God. That person has now… Read More

Q&A 1161 — Lending money at interest

Posted: July 31, 2013

I would just like to know what the Bible says about lending money with interest in return. — a disciple in Manila The Old Testament absolutely forbids this (Exodus 22:25; Leviticus… Read More

Q&A 1162 — Conscience and sin

Posted: July 31, 2013

I have been doing some study on the relationship between sin and the conscience. Is it likely that the "knowledge of good and evil" as described in Genesis was in… Read More

Q&A 1153 — David fought against his own people?

Posted: July 31, 2013

Before being rejected by the Philistines in 1 Samuel 29, was David really willing to fight on their side against Israel and his own people? If so, was this not… Read More

Q&A 1154 – Should we forgive Satan?

Posted: July 31, 2013

You are to forgive those who have done wrong to you. Must you also forgive Satan?  There is nothing I have read in the Bible that answers this question. Can you help… Read More

Q&A 1155 – Why the Sabbath?

Posted: July 31, 2013

What do the Jews teach is the purpose of the Sabbath? What do they do with all that free time? Orthodox Jews teach that Shabbat is for the purpose of… Read More

Q&A 1156 – Gay marriage?

Posted: July 31, 2013

In this posting I respond to the questioner section-by-section, since the question was much longer than the normal 100-word limit allows. His words are in italics (as usual); mine, in… Read More

Q&A 0847 – Jesus Wept

Posted: July 31, 2013

I have a question about John 11:35, "Jesus wept." Today in a Bible discussion with a non-Christian, a discussion leader shared this scripture and said that Jesus wept because of… Read More

Q&A 1140 — The end of the miraculous age

Posted: July 31, 2013

I’ve been considering the Holy Spirit. I wonder: if you were left only to the scriptures, what would you conclude about the Holy Spirit and whether or not the miraculous aspect… Read More

Q&A 1141 — The Golden Incense Altar

Posted: July 31, 2013

I had a question about Hebrews 9, where the writer says the altar of incense was in the Most Holy Place. My study Bible says that the writer was trying… Read More

Q&A 1142 — Asa a good king or a bad one?

Posted: July 31, 2013

Can you let me know your thoughts about this? The account in 1 Kings 15:14: "Although he did not remove the high places, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the… Read More

Q&A 1147 — Did Paul Use Profanity (skubalon)?

Posted: July 31, 2013

I was wondering what your definition of the Greek word skubalon is, and how Paul is using it in Philippians 3:8? I looked it up and found two meanings: 1…. Read More

Q&A 1143 — Moses afraid, or not?

Posted: July 31, 2013

In Exodus 2:14, we read, "Then Moses was afraid." After he learned that Pharaoh had heard about what he had done, he fled to Midian. It seems fairly obvious to… Read More

Q&A 1144 — Jeremiah 31:40: Jerusalem never to be destroyed?

Posted: July 31, 2013

In Jeremiah 31:40, the prophet says that the city of Jerusalem would be rebuilt and never again destroyed. The context is the new covenant, so is it referring to the… Read More

Q&A 1145 – Jesus and the Talmud

Posted: July 31, 2013

I would like to hear your opinion about Jesus and the Jewish Talmud. Personally, I do not believe Jesus regarded the Talmud as a “book” of authority, considering his opposition… Read More

Q&A 1146 — Female presidential candidate?

Posted: July 31, 2013

My question is in regard to politics. I like to keep up with what is going on in the United States, and as you know we currently have a female presidential… Read More

Q&A 1148 — Saving money (David Ramsey)?

Posted: July 31, 2013

In our congregation we are doing a financial seminar sponsored by David Ramsey’s book and Financial Freedom Seminars. It sounds very logical, but I often get a little confused when reading… Read More

Q&A 1149 — Funeral viewings?

Posted: July 31, 2013

We presently have a situation in the church here in Monrovia and need all the biblical help and advice we can get. Is it wrong or right biblically to put… Read More

Q&A 1150 — Commentary suggestions?

Posted: July 31, 2013

Greetings from Mumbai. It is so fullfilling to read all the Q&As at your website. Currently I am using commentaries from E-Sword, and for the New Testament, Matthew Henry’s. However, I am… Read More

Q&A 1151 — Romans 16 original?

Posted: July 31, 2013

I have read in several places the theory that Romans 16 was not an original part of Paul’s letter to the Romans. Some scholars contend that it is more likely that… Read More

Q&A 1152 — Finding the harmony between the Bible and Evolution

Posted: July 31, 2013

I have been doing a personal inventory on my belief system, and kind of rearranging some of my ideas. As a science teacher who believes in God, I often feel I… Read More

Q&A 1138 — Transubstantiation and Catholicism

Posted: July 31, 2013

I can’t understand the Protestant interpretation of John 6. In your opinion, is there anything true in the Catholic Church’s teachings today? It is making some outlandish claims, notably that you… Read More

Q&A 1139 — The meaning of “blessed”

Posted: July 31, 2013

"While most English Bibles use ‘blessed,’ a few modern translations have preferred ‘happy’: ‘How happy are the poor of spirit…’ " ‘ "Happy" isn’t good enough," Rabbi Steven Schwarzschild once… Read More

Q&A 1132 — Forgiving non-Christians

Posted: July 31, 2013

Are Christians supposed to forgive non-Christians? And if so, why? If God doesn’t forgive non-Christians, why would he expect Christians to? Does God expect humans to be more forgiving than himself? If Christians… Read More

Q&A 1133 — Dating a divorced man

Posted: July 31, 2013

I have a question about divorce and remarriage. I know that you have studied it out and I do have a copy of the paper at the website and it is… Read More

Q&A 1134 — Psalm 8 (Son of Man)

Posted: July 31, 2013

I read Psalm 8 for my personal Bible study this morning and I don’t understand who David is referring to when he says "son of man." I know that this… Read More

Q&A 1135 — The Ammonite’s heavy crown

Posted: July 31, 2013

In describing David’s conquest of Rabbah in 1 Chronicles 20:2, it says that after Joab and the army laid waste to the city, they put the Ammonite king’s crown on David… Read More