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Q&A 1188 – Jesus’ brothers and John 19

Posted: July 11, 2011

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

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

Posted: July 9, 2011

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

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

Posted: July 7, 2011

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

Q&A 1185 – Virgin birth just a myth?

Posted: July 5, 2011

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

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

Posted: July 3, 2011

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

Q&A 1183 – The Fall

Posted: July 1, 2011

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

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

Posted: June 29, 2011

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

Q&A 1181 – Trinity disproved?

Posted: June 27, 2011

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

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

Posted: June 25, 2011

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

Q&A 1179 – Jesus’ body literally broken?

Posted: June 23, 2011

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

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

Posted: June 21, 2011

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

Q&A 1177 – Fulfilled prophecy in other religions?

Posted: June 19, 2011

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

Q&A 1176 – Wine in communion?

Posted: June 17, 2011

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 1175 – Inaccurate statements in the Bible?

Posted: June 15, 2011

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 1174 – Apostolic Succession

Posted: June 13, 2011

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 1173 – Parable of the Shrewd Manager

Posted: June 11, 2011

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 1172 – Paul not an authentic apostle?

Posted: June 9, 2011

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 1171 – First commandment a statement or an imperative?

Posted: June 7, 2011

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 1170 – Divine Command Theory

Posted: June 5, 2011

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 1169 – Obama the Antichrist in Revelation?

Posted: June 3, 2011

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 1168 – Weekly contribution?

Posted: June 1, 2011

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 1167 – Why is Christianity so divided?

Posted: May 30, 2011

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 1166 – Ancient Roots Translinear Bible

Posted: May 28, 2011

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 1165 – When your company asks you to lie

Posted: May 26, 2011

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 1164 — Aaron & Levi

Posted: May 24, 2011

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 1163 — Randy Alcorn’s Heaven

Posted: May 22, 2011

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 1162 — Conscience and sin

Posted: May 20, 2011

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 1161 — Lending money at interest

Posted: May 18, 2011

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 1160 — Relationship advice

Posted: May 16, 2011

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 1159 — Review of Tolle’s A New Earth

Posted: May 14, 2011

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 1158 — Relatives of Goliath?

Posted: May 12, 2011

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 1157 — Long ages of Genesis

Posted: May 10, 2011

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 1156 – Gay marriage?

Posted: May 8, 2011

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 1155 – Why the Sabbath?

Posted: May 6, 2011

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 1154 – Should we forgive Satan?

Posted: May 4, 2011

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 1153 — David fought against his own people?

Posted: May 2, 2011

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 1152 — Finding the harmony between the Bible and Evolution

Posted: April 30, 2011

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 1151 — Romans 16 original?

Posted: April 28, 2011

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 1150 — Commentary suggestions?

Posted: April 26, 2011

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 1149 — Funeral viewings?

Posted: April 24, 2011

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 1148 — Saving money (David Ramsey)?

Posted: April 22, 2011

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 1147 — Did Paul Use Profanity (skubalon)?

Posted: April 20, 2011

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 1146 — Female presidential candidate?

Posted: April 18, 2011

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 1145 – Jesus and the Talmud

Posted: April 16, 2011

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

Posted: April 14, 2011

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 1143 — Moses afraid, or not?

Posted: April 12, 2011

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 1142 — Asa a good king or a bad one?

Posted: April 10, 2011

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 1141 — The Golden Incense Altar

Posted: April 8, 2011

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 1140 — The end of the miraculous age

Posted: April 6, 2011

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 1139 — The meaning of “blessed”

Posted: April 4, 2011

"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 1138 — Transubstantiation and Catholicism

Posted: April 2, 2011

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 1137 — Matthew 8:11-12

Posted: March 31, 2011

I don’t understand what’s being said in Matthew 8:11-12. Are the many who come from east and west like the centurion — those with great faith — while the subjects are the… Read More

Q&A 1136 — Deliberate sin

Posted: March 29, 2011

The Bible says not to use your freedom as a Christian to indulge the sinful nature… What if I know that something I am involved with is sinful, but I refuse to… Read More

Q&A 1135 — The Ammonite’s heavy crown

Posted: March 27, 2011

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

Q&A 1134 — Psalm 8 (Son of Man)

Posted: March 25, 2011

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 1133 — Dating a divorced man

Posted: March 23, 2011

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 1132 — Forgiving non-Christians

Posted: March 21, 2011

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 1131 — Caffeine addiction?

Posted: March 19, 2011

When we share the gospel with non-Christians, we usually crack down on smoking as sinful because of the effects it has on the body and its addictive nature. We expect… Read More

Q&A 1130—Follow the Rabbi?

Posted: March 17, 2011

What do you think about Ray vander Laan’s teachings (“Follow the Rabbi”)? I am sure that Rabbinic Judaism has something to tell us about Jesus’ ministry. But to be honest,… Read More

Q&A 1129 — Church connections?

Posted: March 15, 2011

I read your direction from Q&A 0407 — Church leadership group? I think my congregation is like the second option ("Intermediate church: hybrid between "one-man rule" and eldership). In other… Read More

Q&A 1128 — Peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7)

Posted: March 13, 2011

How can I experience the "peace that passes understanding" (Philippians 4:7)? You know that peace, according to Paul in Philippians 4, when you pray, bringing your anxiety to God: "Have… Read More

Q&A 1127 — Eden as the Promised Land, Long ages because of special creation?

Posted: March 11, 2011

I just finished reading your book Genesis, Science & History. Being a bit of a Bible nerd, I of course enjoyed it and learned some things, too. There are a… Read More

Q&A 1126 — Jesus is God?

Posted: March 9, 2011

I am wondering what your thoughts are about the first part of 1 John 4:12, in light of traditional Christianity’s claim that Jesus was God. It says:"No one has ever… Read More

Q&A 1125 — Proverbs 26

Posted: March 7, 2011

Proverbs 26:4 and 5 seem to contradict one another. How do you resolve the problem? — Aron Kuch (Charleston, South Carolina)  The passage reads, "Answer not the fool according to his… Read More

Q&A 1124 — Judas literally a devil?

Posted: March 5, 2011

In John 6:70-71, we read "Jesus answered them, ‘Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.’ He spoke of Judas the son of Simon… Read More

Q&A 1123 — Should a husband divorce his adulterous wife?

Posted: March 3, 2011

I had a question regarding the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11. Jesus admonished the adulterous woman to leave her life of sin. Would the adulterous woman’s husband be within his rights… Read More

Q&A 1122 — Everyone needs a mate, even if this means a homosexual relationship?

Posted: March 1, 2011

I read your interpretations about homosexuality. My question: If it is so against God, why did Jesus never make mention of it? I have fasted and asked many brothers to help me,… Read More

Q&A 1121—Pacifism would have empowered Hitler?

Posted: February 27, 2011

At the end of your response to Q 0527, you imply that it is wrong to take up arms against your oppressors. What does that make of the Mandelas of… Read More

Q&A 1120 — US to be punished?

Posted: February 25, 2011

I realize God is in control of all things — rulers, authorites, etc. — and that his eye is constanly roaming the earth looking for souls to strengthen and discipline. Is it fair… Read More

Q&A 1119 — Angel of the Lord (Exodus 3)

Posted: February 23, 2011

In Exodus 3:2 it says the angel of the Lord appeared to Moses. Then later it refers to the Lord speaking. It is confusing. Are the angel of the Lord and The… Read More

Q&A 1118 — Bury my father? (Luke 9:59-60)

Posted: February 21, 2011

I am challenged with Luke 9:57-60, in particular Jesus telling the man to “let the dead bury the dead.” I have heard it said in the past that this man’s… Read More

Q&A 1117 – Esther committed fornication?

Posted: February 19, 2011

I just got done reading an incredible book, Hadassah, by Tommy Tenney, a Christian fiction writer. It made me think about Queen Esther and the moral issues she was faced with. If… Read More

Q&A 1116 – Building a romantic relationship with a non-Christian

Posted: February 17, 2011

I was baptized in Kiev (the Ukraine) in 2007. My question is of a romantic nature. The fact is that I’m going out with a girl who isn’t Christian, though she… Read More

Q&A 1115 – Vegetarianism

Posted: February 15, 2011

Is it wrong to eat animals? Don’t they feel pain? After all, in the beginning, God gave mankind plant food to eat. That’s why I believe God intended us to… Read More

Q&A 1114 – Angels in hell and Satan

Posted: February 13, 2011

2 Peter 2:4 says, "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment…" Now,… Read More

Q&A 1113 – Abraham: Only two sons?

Posted: February 11, 2011

In Galatians 4:22, Paul says that it is written that Abraham had two sons. But surely he had more than two sons! Paul never said Abraham had only two sons… Read More

Q&A 1112 – The strong man

Posted: February 9, 2011

Could you please elaborate a little on Matthew 12:29 — about the strong man? What are the most important things to know about this passage? As it turned out, I… Read More

Q&A 1111 – Pornography & Television

Posted: February 7, 2011

How would you define pornography? The reason I ask this is because a few years ago I made a promise to God not to look at pornography. There were a… Read More

Q&A 1110 – Trapped by justice

Posted: February 5, 2011

I heard a line of reasoning posed to me by an agnostic friend yesterday that I can’t seem to answer. It started with the question, "If God makes all the rules,… Read More

Q&A 1109 – The Dead Sea Scrolls & height of Goliath

Posted: February 3, 2011

I recently visited San Diego to see the Dead Sea Scrolls, and there was a mistake where the scribe wrote that Goliath was six and a half feet tall, not… Read More

Q&A 1108 – The paranormal

Posted: February 1, 2011

Can you recommend any books on the paranormal? It seems to be a popular topic these days, at least with some people I have spoken with. I would like to be able… Read More

Q&A 1107 – Dispensational Millennialism

Posted: January 30, 2011

I’m inquiring as to whether you make any distinction between historical and dispensational millennialism, or if you think they’re both false. I accede to your statements about dispensationalism. However, in my… Read More

Q&A 1106 – Romans 4 & James 2

Posted: January 28, 2011

What do you think about the text in James 2:14-26 versus Romans 4:1-25? Are the authors talking about same thing but in two different ways, or do they have opposing… Read More

Q&A 1105 – Women leading singing?

Posted: January 26, 2011

Our church’s musical ministry recently got rated a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10! There are no men available to lead this ministry. A sister who is a professional full-time musician… Read More

Q&A 1104 – Age of the Earth

Posted: January 24, 2011

According to your findings, how old is our earth? If we use simple dendrochronology (a foolproof method involving counting tree rings — we’ve all done it!), the earth has to be at least… Read More

Q&A 1103 – Church staff salaries and bonuses

Posted: January 22, 2011

According to Bible, is there any standard for defining the salary level of interns, preachers, or evangelists? Also, in the business world, it’s common for companies to award employees one-month salary bonuses. (For some very… Read More

Q&A 1102 – God infinitely improbable?

Posted: January 20, 2011

An atheist once told me that the Christian God is more complex than extreme complexity seen in creation — and hence infinitely improbable. How should I respond to him? — Edwin… Read More

Q&A 1101 – The Golden Compass

Posted: January 18, 2011

I wanted to ask for your opinion on the relevant “warning” on the new movie out called The Golden Compass. I personally have not seen it, but am planning to view… Read More

Q&A 1100 – Did Onesimus (in Philemon) really repent?

Posted: January 16, 2011

If Onesimus had wronged his master by stealing from him and then running away, why did Paul allow him to be baptized? Shouldn’t he have been made to wait until he… Read More

Q&A 1099 – Okay to eat sushi and similar foods?

Posted: January 14, 2011

I would appreciate your opinion on whether you think eating sushi is sinful, given James’ statements at the Council in Jerusalem and all. What do you think? — David Rhinehart Jesus… Read More

Q&A 1098 – Female homosexuality (lesbianism)

Posted: January 12, 2011

I heard a professor say today in class that the scriptures say nothing about female homosexuality. I did not counter because I was not sure what I could say. I went… Read More

Q&A 1097 – A Short Course in Miracles

Posted: January 10, 2011

I just wanted to suggest a book for you to read, one I’ve probably read several times. I think that because of a lack of open-mindedness, a lot of true disciples would refuse to… Read More

Q&A 1096 – Chronological contradiction?

Posted: January 8, 2011

I’ve read in a number of commentaries that say the time period mentioned in Exodus 19:1 is the same as the length of time between Passover (or Firstfruits) and Pentecost. Exodus… Read More

Q&A 1095 – Ezekiel 36 and free will

Posted: January 6, 2011

I have started hearing Calvinists use Ezekiel 36:27 now to defend their view because it says, "And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in… Read More

Q&A 1094 – Real presence (communion)?

Posted: January 4, 2011

This Catholic apologetic source is very interesting for the Eucharist since it quotes the very early church fathers. http://www.catholic.com/library/Real_Presence.asp. What do you think? – Tod Shuck Yes, as early as… Read More

Q&A 1093 — Baptism essential?

Posted: January 2, 2011

What is the importance and significance of baptism in salvation? — A.H. Please search the website first, then send many any lingering questions.  I have written a lot about baptism…. Read More

Q&A 1092 – Christ in the Old Testament?

Posted: December 31, 2010

At a conference it was preached that Christ appeared in the Old Testament in Genesis 18:1-15, Genesis 32:22-31, Joshua 5:13-15, and Daniel 3. What is your take? — Derek (San Antonio) … Read More

Q&A 1091 – Does struggle invalidate repentance?

Posted: December 29, 2010

Lately I have really struggled with sin. And I’ve also struggled with believing I’m forgiven. I don’t believe my sin is to the extent where the church would disfellowship me,… Read More

Q&A 1090 – Young Earth Creationism Museum

Posted: December 27, 2010

Thanks for recommending some reading (in the past) so that our family will be able to make an informed decision regarding what we believe about creation. We are a home-schooling family… Read More

Q&A 1089 – Resurrection and Ascension on same day?

Posted: December 25, 2010

Luke seems to describe Christ’s ascension on the same day as his ressurection (Luke 24:13-51), whereas Acts states clearly it was forty days after (Acts 1:3ff). What do you think?… Read More

Q&A 1088 – Eclipse at Pentecost?

Posted: December 23, 2010

I learned from your writings that the prophecy of Joel preached by Peter refers to the day of Pentecost, and the "last days" are probably referring to those days between… Read More

Q&A 1087 – Patristic Support for Infant Baptism?

Posted: December 21, 2010

I was reading some of the early Christian writings recently and was surprised to come across references to infant baptism in the Church from such patristic heavyweights as Iraneus (130-202), Origen (185-254), Tertullian… Read More

Q&A 1086 – Spiritual bodies?

Posted: December 19, 2010

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul writes that all who are in Adam die, and all who are in Christ live. We need to sow the seed that needs to die… Read More

Q&A 1085 – Yeast bad?

Posted: December 17, 2010

Could you explain why yeast was not to be used is some sacrifices, while being used in others? I am aware of the symbolism in the New Testament, but am… Read More

Q&A 1084 – Minor prophets?

Posted: December 15, 2010

Why are the books of prophecy categorized as "major" and "minor"? What makes one major and another minor? — Dovie Bohnhoff In Latin, the language of medieval scholarship and theology, major (maior) means greater,… Read More

Q&A 1083 – Before God?

Posted: December 13, 2010

What was God, before being God? Was he the pleroma?  No, not the pleroma [a term from Gnosticism], if that is what you are thinking. By definition, God is uncaused. He never came… Read More

Q&A 1082 – Why didn’t God forgive Adam?

Posted: December 11, 2010

My seven-year-old son asked me why God did not simply forgive Adam and Eve in the Garden. Why did God have to set in motion the kind of world we now… Read More

Q&A 1081 – Dream from Jesus?

Posted: December 9, 2010

Was Jesus was a real man like you and me? I know this sounds weird, but yesterday I had a dream about the sky. I was flying, and when I turned my… Read More

Q&A 1080 – In-depth Bible study unimportant?

Posted: December 7, 2010

"My regional evangelist told me it wasn’t that important for our church to study our Bible in depth. He said what is important is how we live our life. He… Read More

Q&A 1079 – Why didn’t God stop Satan?

Posted: December 5, 2010

God knows what is going to happen in our lives, what comes up in our minds before we know it. Why didn’t God stop Satan in the Garden of Eden… Read More

Q&A 1078 – Church to last forever (Matthew 16)?

Posted: December 3, 2010

The Bible teaches that there is one church and gates of Hades will not overcome it. My understanding is that it is talking about the eternal church. In Luke 17:21, it consists of… Read More

Q&A 1077 – When is a couple actually married?

Posted: December 1, 2010

At what point is a couple married? After looking through the bible, and having talked with many people, I’m not sure I know. Everyone says that it’s when you get… Read More

Q&A 1076 – Asking forgiveness from God

Posted: November 29, 2010

Does Christ’s sacrifice "once for all" mean that we are already forgiven for every sin we will ever commit in the future, thereby eliminating the need to ever ask for… Read More

Q&A 1075 – The man of peace

Posted: November 27, 2010

In Luke 10:6, the apostles were told to stay at the house of a “man of peace.” What if the house was not occupied by a man of peace? Might not… Read More

Q&A 1074 – Is all debt wrong?

Posted: November 25, 2010

Is debt a sin? Romans 13:8 KJV says, "Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law." I have a religious friend… Read More

Q&A 1073 – Jesus had two wills?

Posted: November 23, 2010

A great deal is made about free will nowadays (nothing new under the sun). When Jesus was in the Garden just prior to his arrest, he spoke of his own… Read More

Q&A 1072 – Walking on the Sea, or by it?

Posted: November 21, 2010

I had a question about John 6:19, after reading the commentary of William Barclay. He says, "They saw Jesus, as the Authorized Version and Revised Standard Version have it, walking ‘on the… Read More

Q&A 1071 – Date of nativity

Posted: November 19, 2010

Matthew dates the nativity to 6/5 BC; and Luke, to 6 AD. Please explain how you reconcile the 2 dates. — Dennis GoffinFirst of all, there are not hard dates… Read More

Q&A 1070 – Baptism by pouring?

Posted: November 17, 2010

I have been scanning your website and was confused on the subject of baptism. I was baptized not by immersion but rather by water being cupped and poured on my… Read More

Q&A 1069 – Worship focus: Sermon or Communion?

Posted: November 15, 2010

I have noticed that many congregational worship services are built to climax at the evangelist’s sermon. If our focus is to be on Christ and him crucified, shouldn’t the focus… Read More

Q&A 1068 – The Bible Code

Posted: November 13, 2010

I have a question about The Bible Code. To me, this seems very suspect. And what about claims that they have found the same sorts of codes in other books? I… Read More

Q&A 1067 — NLT and Acts 2:38

Posted: November 11, 2010

My Bible, the New Living Translation, has Acts 2:38 saying baptism is to "show that our sins have been forgiven." But no other translation says this. What is happening? –… Read More

Q&A 1066 – Trees in Gethsemane

Posted: November 9, 2010

How many years can olive trees live? Could the trees in the Garden of Gethsemane be the trees that were alive during the time when Jesus prayed in the garden?… Read More

Q&A 1065 – Rabbits

Posted: November 7, 2010

A friend of mine is really struggling with this one. Leviticus 11:6 says that a rabbit chews the cud. The dictionary says that cud is "partly digested food returned from… Read More

Q&A 1064 – Passover Meal

Posted: November 5, 2010

I attended a Passover meal a few years ago, and my husband and I would like to do one with our Bible discussion group. The one I attended did a… Read More

Q&A 1063 – Acts 8:37

Posted: November 3, 2010

I was reading Acts 8:36-38 and I noticed that verse 37 is missing. I checked in my other NIVs and — much to my surprise — it was missing there… Read More

Q&A 1062 – Masculine & feminine pronouns

Posted: November 1, 2010

I am very close to a sister who has a hard time accepting that the Bible is talking to her when it says “he.”  She thinks that those parts only… Read More

Q&A 1061 – Spanking is abuse?

Posted: October 30, 2010

I have been in discussion with a brother about spanking children. The viewpoint I have taken is that Jesus would not have spanked children because he did not endorse violence…. Read More

Q&A 1060 – Archaeological evidence for the place of sacrifice?

Posted: October 28, 2010

I once heard, in a biblical lecture, that the place where Abraham “sacrificed” Isaac is possibly the same general area where the crucifixion took place. Is there any textual or… Read More

Q&A 1059 – Salt and light?

Posted: October 26, 2010

Jesus says you are the salt… and you are the light. He doesn’t tell them to try to keep trying to be salty or to try to keep shining. How… Read More

Q&A 1058 – Rahab a prostitute, or an innkeeper?

Posted: October 24, 2010

Joshua 2:1 calls Rahab a prostitute, but the footnote says "or possibly an innkeeper." This seems like a huge difference. Is there anything in the Hebrew that clarifies this –or… Read More

Q&A 1057 – House churches?

Posted: October 22, 2010

I have been a faithful (although far from perfect ) disciple for 11 years, and have experienced the highs and lows of the ICOC movement. I am fortunate to be… Read More

Q&A 1056 – How can a wanderer make a comeback? (a discussion)

Posted: October 20, 2010

"I am a lapsed Christian. What if I counted the cost [Luke 14] and decided to follow God’s way and then later on decided to go back to my old ways? I… Read More

Q&A 1055 – Genesis 8:22

Posted: October 18, 2010

We read in Genesis 8:22, As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest,cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease. How do you explain this?… Read More

Q&A 1054 – God rested (got tired)?

Posted: October 16, 2010

Genesis 2:2 says that after the creation days, God rested. But I thought God never gets tired. Doesn’t Psalm 121 say he never needs to sleep? Please explain. The original Hebrew… Read More

Q&A 1053 – Naked people in the Bible?

Posted: October 14, 2010

There are a few passages in the Bible where I am surprised that people seem not to be wearing clothes. In 1 Samuel 19:24, Saul lay down naked. In Isaiah… Read More

Q&A 1052 – The High Priest wore bells?

Posted: October 12, 2010

In Exodus 28:33 and 39:25 we read that the high priest wore bells on his garments. I read somewhere that this was to let the priests standing outside know if… Read More

Q&A 1051 – Is Miranda the Antichrist?

Posted: October 10, 2010

http://www.cegenglish.com/ http://www.religionnewsblog.com/17479/jose-luis-de-jesus-miranda-3

Q&A 1050 – Teenage parenting advice

Posted: October 8, 2010

I’m a single mother of three teenagers, and have been a faithful and dedicated disciple for 10 years. (My children’s father is not at all involved in their life.) I… Read More

Q&A 1049 – Communion (Lord’s Supper)

Posted: October 6, 2010

THE LORD’S SUPPER Putting "Supper" Back in the Lord’s SupperThis essay aims to address one of the basics of the faith: our communion. People have often asked such questions as… Read More

Q&A 1048 – Blind man’s two-part healing?

Posted: October 4, 2010

In Mark 8:22-24, the blind man says, "I see people; they look like trees walking around." Why is this different from all the other healings of the blind? Why did it… Read More

Q&A 1047 – Cannabis in the OT?

Posted: October 2, 2010

In Exodus 30:22-23 (KJV) where it talks about the anointing oil, are the sweet calamus or fragrant canes actually cannabis? I tend to think not, but in some ways to… Read More

Q&A 1046 – Church-hopping

Posted: September 30, 2010

What is your view on the importance of church loyalty? I see a trend in my church: disciples "not getting their needs met" decide to visit or even join some church… Read More

Q&A 1045 – Samaritans more righteous?

Posted: September 28, 2010

Considering the Parable of the Good Samaritan [Luke 10], the openness of the Samaritan woman [John 4], and other passages in the gospels, can it be said that Samaritans were more God-fearing in heart than the Jews in… Read More

Q&A 1044 – 2 Samuel 7: Solomon & Christ

Posted: September 26, 2010

I wanted to do a study on Messianic prophecies, so I found a website that had a list of many. I’m not sure if this is a credible website, because one of… Read More

Q&A 1043 – Pure in heart

Posted: September 24, 2010

I have a very hard time keeping myself pure, avoiding lustful thoughts. It seems like every minute there is a thought I have to sweep away. I have shared this with my wife… Read More

Q&A 1042 – Involving ex-leaders

Posted: September 22, 2010

What is your advice regarding disciples who used to be leading or on staff, disagreed with the way things were being done and spoke up — but felt no one… Read More

Q&A 1041 – Breaking the law?

Posted: September 20, 2010

Why is it true that if I break one part of the law I am guilty of breaking all of it? Why can’t I just repent over that one infraction through… Read More

Q&A 1040 – Institutional continuity (Orthodox Church)

Posted: September 18, 2010

I live in a nation where the Orthodox Church has great power. They teach that true church must have continuity with consistent succession of members from person to person all… Read More

Q&A 1039 – Consulting No Man: Saul’s conversion (Acts) and Gal 1:15-24

Posted: September 16, 2010

I am trying to resolve the seeming disagreement between Paul’s conversion story in Acts and what he writes to in Galatians 1. We know the Damascus road story has him immediately… Read More

Q&A 1038 – Leaders the Lord’s Anointed?

Posted: September 14, 2010

I have a question about the phrase "touch not my anointed and do my prophets no harm" (Psalms 105:15), used by David when he had an opportunity to kill Saul. This… Read More

Q&A 1037 – Galatians 2:18

Posted: September 12, 2010

Okay, I have been wrestling with Galatians 2:18 for too long now! When Paul speaks of rebuilding what he destroyed, is he speaking of the law he destroyed through dying… Read More

Q&A 1036 – Paul baptizing a lion?

Posted: September 10, 2010

You mentioned somewhere that one of the apocryphal books has Paul baptizing a lion. Where can I find that? –Jack Spencer It is from the Acts of Paul. This is not a biblical… Read More

Q&A 1035 – Lawsuits okay for Christians?

Posted: September 8, 2010

Is there ever a righteous time for a disciple of Jesus to bring a lawsuit against someone, whether or not the other person is a disciple? I looked at Jesus’ teaching… Read More

Q&A 1034 – Thursday crucifixion?

Posted: September 6, 2010

The gospel of Mark indicates that the last supper taken by the apostles was prepared on "the day the Passover lamb was sacrificed," after which Jesus was betrayed and later… Read More

Q&A 1033 – The Secret (per Oprah Winfrey)

Posted: September 4, 2010

We need to hear something from you about “The Secret” as seen on Oprah. This is beginning to sweep through our church and I know it must be affecting others… Read More

Q&A 1032 – The Family Tomb of Jesus?

Posted: September 2, 2010

I am sure you have seen the articles floating around about the tomb discovered in the early ’80s that some claim is the tomb of Jesus Christ and his family. My attention… Read More

Q&A 1031 – Baptism in a bathtub?

Posted: August 31, 2010

Some brothers feel it is wrong and unclean to baptize in a bathtub? What do you think? We must ask, does the Bible state where someone ought to be baptized? If… Read More

Q&A 1030 – Moneychangers

Posted: August 29, 2010

Our church place is in a business center also registered as a company which during the week we use it as a school to help support the church. Some brothers thinks… Read More

Q&A 1029 – The American Revolution

Posted: August 27, 2010

Were the founders of the US sinful in creating a rebellion against authority (this would seem to go against Romans 13)? Should we as American Christians be proud of the… Read More

Q&A 1028 – The harvest: plentiful or sparse?

Posted: August 25, 2010

I am fully aware that truth cannot contradict truth, so I expect no real contradictions in the Bible. However, this seems to be one that I am wrestling with. I… Read More

Q&A 1027 – Publishing

Posted: August 23, 2010

I have a question for you on behalf of another sister. She has written her first book about focusing on God while being faithful about getting married someday. It is… Read More

Q&A 1026 – Jesus for the Jews

Posted: August 21, 2010

I’m trying to witness to an orthodox Jew about Jesus being the sin offering for mankind per Leviticus/Yom Kippur atonement and he keeps referring me to Ezekiel 33:11 and Micah… Read More

Q&A 1025 – The Ephod

Posted: August 19, 2010

I am been reading the books of Samuel and have a question for you. The ephod was to be worn only by the high priest to discern the will of… Read More

Q&A 1024 – Acts

Posted: August 17, 2010

I am studying the book of Acts, generally presumed to be written by Luke. Most of the book is written in the third person, as Luke is presumably writing an… Read More

Q&A 1023 – Polycarp baptized as an infant?

Posted: August 15, 2010

Polycarp declared, "Eighty and six years have I served him, and he never did me injury. How can I blaspheme my King and Savior?” (Polycarp, Martyrdom of Polycarp 9, c…. Read More

Q&A 1022 – Living together is sin?

Posted: August 13, 2010

In your book Shining like Stars, you say that it’s a sin for unmarried men and women to live together. I do agree that this is not the optimal situation,… Read More

Q&A 1021 – To marry despite deep spiritual disagreement?

Posted: August 11, 2010

My fiancée and I do not see eye to eye on how someone becomes a Christian. Because of my views, I consider certain people to be right with God that… Read More

Q&A 1020 – Books on Biblical customs

Posted: August 9, 2010

I have spent hours on your website perusing and searching but can find no reference to a book specifically about 1st century Roman/Jewish culture or Old Testament Jewish culture. I… Read More

Q&A 1019 – Cleansed by baptism, or by the blood of Christ?

Posted: August 7, 2010

The blood of Christ cleanses us from sin (1 Peter 1:19), but on the other hand baptism is for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). There are people who say… Read More

Q&A 1018 – Satan repenting?

Posted: August 5, 2010

Paul wrote, ”more than I can ask or imagine…" With this in view, is there any sense in praying for Satan? He is my enemy; should he be loved as… Read More

Q&A 1017 – Perfect in Heaven?

Posted: August 3, 2010

Here’s a thought that sometimes lurks in the back of my mind. I am not sure how to square it with the Bible. We affirm that a pure and holy… Read More

Q&A 1016 – Eli, Eli — Aramaic insight?

Posted: August 1, 2010

I’ve read that Jesus’ cry in Matthew 27:46 on the cross is actually an Aramaic idiom meaning something like "..for this I was spared." This is, of course, quite different… Read More

Q&A 1015 – Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary

Posted: July 30, 2010

What is your favorite Bible dictionary? I recently acquired the ISBE. I was wondering if it is possible to read this work online. I am looking for access to some… Read More

Q&A 1014 – Sighing in the Spirit

Posted: July 28, 2010

Some of Watchman Nee’s writings speak of ways in which a spirit can "sense." He calls this intuition. Examples are Mark 2:8 (perceiving in his spirit), Mark 8:12 (He sighed… Read More

Q&A 1013 – Kissing before marriage

Posted: July 26, 2010

As a single man, I’ve been pondering a question for a long time. Is kissing before marriage wrong? What is your input? Do the Scriptures speak on this subject? –… Read More

Q&A 1012 – The Ransom

Posted: July 24, 2010

To whom is the "ransom" referred to in Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45, 1 Timothy 2:6, and Hebrews 9:15 actually paid? — Mike Windland Technically speaking, I believe the ransom is… Read More

Q&A 1011 – Numbers in the Bible

Posted: July 22, 2010

Could you tell me if there is a good reference book about the meaning behind God’s repetition of numbers in the Bible? (3, 7, and 40 come immediately to mind.)… Read More

Q&A 1010 – To break up or stay together?

Posted: July 20, 2010

I need your advice on something. I am dating and planning to get married this year, but found out that my and my fiancée’s genotypes are AS. We were advised… Read More

Q&A 1009 – Woman or wife in 1 Timothy 3:11?

Posted: July 18, 2010

I would like some help with the Strong’s NT Word 1135, gyne, meaning woman or wife. I know that in French, the word femme can mean both woman or wife…. Read More

Q&A 1008 – Human decision in John 1

Posted: July 16, 2010

John 1:13 reads, "children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God." What does "nor of human decision" mean here? I… Read More

Q&A 1007 – Legality of Execution (the Crucifixion)

Posted: July 14, 2010

The Jews had to get permission to execute Jesus, yet it seems to me that they acted on their own for most of the other executions mentioned in the NT…. Read More

Q&A 1006 – Going past Edom

Posted: July 12, 2010

In Numbers 20:14-21, Moses and the Israelites are denied passage through Edom. The Edomites "came out to confront the Israelites with a large force of heavily armed people." So "Israel turned… Read More

Q&A 1005 – The Filioque controversy

Posted: July 10, 2010

Where do you stand on the Filioque controversy? — Roger Hoelzel (Grand Rapids) [For those not familiar with the controversy, the Latin form of the Nicene Creed states that the… Read More

Q&A 1004 – Passing over sins (Romans 3:25)?

Posted: July 8, 2010

What Paul did mean in Romans 3:25, where he wrote, "He passed over the sins previously committed"? Does 2 Peter 3:9, 15 help, or is that about a different subject?… Read More

Q&A 1003 – The anointed ones of Zechariah 4:14

Posted: July 6, 2010

Who are the "two who are anointed" in Zechariah 4:14? I have studied this out myself and I cannot seem to figure it out. Maybe you could help. — Chuck… Read More

Q&A 1002 – Are we Christian Jews?

Posted: July 4, 2010

You wrote, "To qualify as a Jew, you would need to be a descendant of Jacob, whose twelve sons became the twelve tribes (recalling that Jacob’s other name was Israel)."… Read More

Q&A 1001 – House church movement on the right track?

Posted: July 2, 2010

I am curious if you have studied or know anything about the links below. The first link is one to “A Home Fellowship Community of Jesus’ Disciples.” It is very… Read More

Q&A 1000 – Unity Proposal

Posted: June 30, 2010

Since I’ve seen a post from other church teachers (Gordon Ferguson and Steve Staten) regarding their feelings about the unity proposal, should we expect some analysis or comments from you… Read More

Q&A 0999 – Children of elders: patristic writers

Posted: June 28, 2010

In a posting in 2003 there was a question regarding eldership, and you mentioned that the writings of the early fathers speak of the children of elders. I have read… Read More

Q&A 0998 – Leaders who listen

Posted: June 26, 2010

In my church, I feel that I cannot express any difference of opinion to the leaders. It feels like all disagreement is viewed as "divisiveness." What can I do? If… Read More

Q&A 0997 – When your leaders go beyond the scriptures

Posted: June 24, 2010

At the present point, I believe the leadership in the church are going beyond what is written. I met with the leading evangelist about his teaching, and even met with… Read More

Q&A 0996 – Christian lawyers

Posted: June 22, 2010

Christians who are lawyers and operate within the Mexican legal system face corruption all the time. We will treat the theme with a group of Christian lawyers in an upcoming… Read More

Q&A 0995 – Leviticus 21 – Deformities in the presence of God

Posted: June 20, 2010

In Leviticus 21:16-23, God doesn’t want the blind, the lame, the disfigured/deformed, the crippled, the hunchbacked, the dwarfed, those with eye defects, running sores, or damaged testicles to come near… Read More

Q&A 0994 – Ahaziah’s death

Posted: June 18, 2010

In 2 Chronicles 22:7-9 and 2 Kings 9:27, there are two accounts of Ahaziah’s death. In the version from Kings, Ahaziah is said to have escaped to Megiddo and then… Read More

Q&A 0993 – The 12 Tribes and Heaven?

Posted: June 16, 2010

In Joshua, the land is apportioned to the tribes. Each tribe as follows: Reuben, Simeon, Levi (no land, because they were priests), Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Ephraim… Read More

Q&A 0992 – First century personal Bible studies?

Posted: June 14, 2010

How did Christians in the first century study the Bible with non-Christians? Do you think there was a system of study or indoctrination they used? –Isabelle Glemmestad While there is… Read More

Q&A 0991 – Communion Symbolism

Posted: June 12, 2010

Further to Q&A 0594, do you have any thoughts about the bread and wine of the communion being the real flesh and blood of the Lord? –Roy Rudl Jesus says… Read More

Q&A 0990 – Easter contradiction

Posted: June 10, 2010

Greetings from Manila! Today is Easter morning, so I decided to read the Easter accounts for my quiet time. In Matthew, Mark, and John, its clear that Jesus and his… Read More

Q&A 0989 — Okay to take shots (alcoholic)?

Posted: June 8, 2010

There is something that does not sit well with my conscience. Disciples all around me are turning 21 and see no problem in taking shots. Of course they say, "Well,… Read More

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