Answers to Questions
Q&A 1419 – Mutations really random?
Posted: July 29, 2015
When Calvinist scientists and theologians embrace evolutionary creationism, do they deny that random mutations are random? Maybe this is a silly question, but could creation ever be considered truly random… Read More
Q&A 1418 – Are singles the “pillars” of the church?
Posted: July 20, 2015
First, thanks for all the teaching you provide. Today I write with a concern. In my congregation we are sometimes told that singles are “the pillars of the church.” Now… Read More
Q&A 1417 – Concubinage
Posted: July 11, 2015
I am troubled by the concubinage element of polygamy. I have a difficult time understanding how David, a man whose only recorded sexual sin condemned by God was being with… Read More
Q&A 1416 – Religious Jewelry = Idolatry?
Posted: July 2, 2015
Greetings from New Delhi. I see many disciples wearing a cross made of gold around their neck as jewelry. Isn’t this an act of idolatry? In India, we ask Hindus… Read More
Q&A 1415 – Is the church the kingdom?
Posted: June 23, 2015
Is the church the same thing as the kingdom? Not exactly. Often I hear brothers and sisters identifying the kingdom with the church. Some even teach that “Seek first the… Read More
Q&A 1414 – Creation myths, the Great Pyramid, and more
Posted: June 14, 2015
“About two years ago, I had a few atheist friends over who during a conversation about a great many things proposed that the Bible was merely a copy of many… Read More
Q&A 1413 – Does God still speak through people?
Posted: June 5, 2015
“Does God still speak through people? I ask this because sometimes brothers and sisters say that God could be using them to let one know something.” — Lester Luna (Nicaragua)… Read More
Q&A 1412 – Does divine forgiveness rule out punishment?
Posted: May 27, 2015
“I am somewhat confused about the concept of the LORD’s forgiveness and punishment for the same sins, especially as described in Numbers 14, when the Israelites grumbled against Moses and… Read More
Q&A 1411 – How could they see God?
Posted: May 18, 2015
“In Exodus 24:10 it says Moses and 70s others ‘saw the God of Israel.’ Yet in 1 John 4:12 and John 1:18, both verses say ‘No one has ever seen… Read More
Q&A 1410 – Doesn’t Numbers 23:19 rule out Jesus being God’s Son?
Posted: May 9, 2015
“A Muslim friend of mine rejects the incarnation. He says the following verse makes it impossible: ‘God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he… Read More
Q&A 1409 – Sin transfer?
Posted: April 30, 2015
“Recently a friend asked me this. ‘If sin cannot be transferred from father to son [as stated in Ezekiel 18], how can our sins be transferred to Jesus on the… Read More
Q&A 1408 – Can I protect my family from physical harm?
Posted: April 21, 2015
If my wife and children were being physically harmed or threatened, would I as a Christian be permitted to protect them? Or would I have to let them be harmed?… Read More
Q&A 1407 – Communion potentially lethal?
Posted: April 12, 2015
A new disciple asked me a question about this. So I looked at your website and found this article on communion. I was a little surprised. My questions: (1) Is… Read More
Q&A 1406 — Okay to call priests “father”?
Posted: April 3, 2015
Does Matthew 23:8-9 contradict the Catholic Church’s teaching of calling the priest “Father”? Yes, the practice of calling a leader “father” seems to fly in the face of Jesus’ plain… Read More
Q&A 1405 — Controlling cult?
Posted: March 25, 2015
“I’m studying the bible with this friend who I recently met. He is apart of a sect [name deleted] I’d never heard of. He told me today that his church is international… Read More
Q&A 1404 – Jesus beating around the bush? And how to distinguish questions?
Posted: March 16, 2015
“In our ‘Bible Chat’ at our Catholic church this morning we were reading the various accounts of Jesus’ trial before Pilate, and we came across an exchange that has always… Read More
Q&A 1403 – Thirteen the minimum age for baptism?
Posted: March 7, 2015
“I wanted to ask your opinion about an article I wrote on the ‘age of accountability.’ At age 12, Jesus is referred to as a ‘boy/child,’ and the (little) girl… Read More
Q&A 1402 – How do we know God is perfect?
Posted: February 26, 2015
“I’m studying the Bible with a friend who is still coming to faith. This question came up: ‘Just because God exists doesn’t mean he must be a perfect being, does… Read More
Q&A 1401 – Contradictions invalidate the message?
Posted: February 17, 2015
We are studying Bible with a Muslim friend who is asking us a lot of questions. For him it seems like the Bible is self-contradictory. For example, he finds contradictions in the books of Samuel,… Read More
Q&A 1400 – Christ in Zechariah
Posted: February 8, 2015
I came across Zechariah 14, and am hearing lots of interpretation, from future apocalyptic to that these events have already happened. Since much of the material in the prophets (like… Read More
Q&A 1399 – Binding and Loosing
Posted: January 30, 2015
Christians from a Pentecostal background often talk about ‘binding’ negative/evil things. I am confused – do we as Christians have the authority to bind and loose spiritual things? My question… Read More
Q&A 1398 – Randomness, Suffering, and the Will of God
Posted: January 21, 2015
I frequently think about the suffering in this life — more and more with every year — including very painful emotional distress. It seems like there is a randomness to life. We… Read More
Q&A 1397 – Jesus in the O.T. (study ideas)
Posted: January 12, 2015
I was wondering if you had any suggestions on books to read. I’m looking for something that traces the threads of the Gospel and Jesus through the Old Testament. Any suggestions? — Guy… Read More
Q&A 1396 – Aliens seeding life – no need for a creator God?
Posted: January 3, 2015
A non-believing friend counters the idea of a creationist God by contending for seeding from aliens. I realize this idea is preposterous to you, but I didn’t find anything specifically… Read More
Q&A 1395 – Tension between Peter and Paul?
Posted: December 25, 2014
I was reading Acts 21 today and was struck by reading how when Paul came to Jerusalem he went to see James. What seems odd about that there is no mention of… Read More
Q&A 1394 – Trial by ordeal?
Posted: December 16, 2014
“Number 5:11-31 speaks of a test for an unfaithful wife and the law of jealousy. I’ve read some insightful commentaries, but would love to hear from you your understanding of… Read More
Q&A 1393—The meaning of Luke 11:13
Posted: December 7, 2014
What is Jesus talking about in Luke 11:13, since we receive the Spirit at baptism? — S.F. Here’s the passage, in case anybody isn’t familiar with it: 11 “Which of you… Read More
Q&A 1392—Corpse and Vultures
Posted: November 28, 2014
What is the meaning of Luke 17:37? I don’t understand the question or the significance of Jesus’ response to the question. Are the disciples asking where the will these people be taken?… Read More
Q&A 1391 – Consummating a marriage?
Posted: November 19, 2014
If possible, a couple should consummate the marriage sexually, fulfilling the physical aspect of the “one flesh” principle. But if they don’t, is such a couple still considered married in… Read More
Q&A 1390 — Evidence for Domitian’s persecution?
Posted: November 10, 2014
I am thoroughly enjoying your audio recording of Revelation & the End of the World. I am almost finished with my research but have reached a point of uncertainty concerning Domitian… Read More
Q&A 1389 — Is it biblical to register a church?
Posted: November 1, 2014
I have recently had discussions with a believer outside our fellowship regarding discipleship and church membership. I have been faced with a difficult question that I can’t answer. Where does… Read More
Q&A 1388 — Machete attack
Posted: October 23, 2014
What would you do if, while walking with your wife along the street, a man came up and started to attack her with a machete? Would you use violence, which Jesus… Read More
Q&A 1387 – Generational curses?
Posted: October 14, 2014
I would like to find out about generational curses, which seem so common here in Africa. Are they real? What should a Christian’s response be? What are practical, biblical ways… Read More
Q&A 1386 – Elf on a Shelf
Posted: October 5, 2014
What do you think about this “elf on a shelf”? A fictional character watches your children and reports to Santa. They are told to be obedient so that the elf… Read More
Q&A 1385 – With human divinity, is there a “quadrinity”?
Posted: September 26, 2014
Is there a quadrinity? Clearly, the Bible supports the triune nature of God. Moreover, the Scriptures demonstrate mutual love, honor, submission, and dependency between each part. I cannot help but notice… Read More
Q&A 1384 – Taking whose thoughts captive?
Posted: September 17, 2014
I was reading 2 Corinthians 10 and I noticed something about verses 1-5. It seems to me that he is talking about how they handle opposition. The part that hit… Read More
Q&A 1383 – 2nd Beast = American presidential stonemason Illuminati?
Posted: September 8, 2014
I listened to your podcast series on Revelation. I thought you did an excellent job of exegesis on Revelation 13; the first beast being the political/military branch of Rome (or… Read More
Q&A 1382 – Baha’í and Christian at the same time?
Posted: August 30, 2014
Dear Dr. J, I just found, and listened to your podcast. I enjoyed listening to it. Thank you! Here is a challenging question for you: Can you be both a… Read More
Q&A 1381 – Singles Leading Ministries?
Posted: August 21, 2014
What does the Bible say about a single leading a ministry? As far as I’ve seen, there hasn’t been any single officially hired to lead a ministry full-time. And often,… Read More
Q&A 1380 – The missing day of Joshua, or Misuse of the Bible in Christian Evidences
Posted: August 12, 2014
Is there astronomical evidence for the missing day of Joshua 10? I saw somewhere that there is, and once heard a preacher confirm it. Often more harm than good is done… Read More
Q&A 1379 — How should we read the Great Commission (Matt 28)?
Posted: August 3, 2014
After his death and resurrection, Jesus gave the charge, the “Great Commission,” to the eleven faithful apostles. Let’s take a look at this passage and see what conclusions we can… Read More
Q&A 1378 – Burial of waste and bacterial contamination
Posted: July 25, 2014
What is going on in the Law, where the Israelites are told to bury their waste? I’ve heard that God’s main intention was to protect his people from sickness. Am… Read More
Q&A 1377 – Manuscript discovery proves Jesus married?
Posted: July 16, 2014
Recent claims that Jesus was married — always sure to draw a crowd — are based on the discovery of an ancient manuscript that has come to light. It’s not… Read More
Q&A 1376 – Did God Kill Uzzah?
Posted: 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
Biblically 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