Answers to Questions

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 Till the Nets Are Full (formerly Shining like Stars), you say that it’s a sin for unmarried men and women to live together. I do agree that… 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

Q&A 0988 – Bad Music

Posted: June 6, 2010

I love hip-hop and rap music, but I hear rappers say a lot of things against God’s word, things that insult him. Then this leads me to think about things… Read More

Q&A 0987 – Bonhoeffer

Posted: June 4, 2010

Not that I agree with their courses of action, but how should we view the actions of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the plot to kill Hitler and those of Eric Rudolph,… Read More

Q&A 0986 – Baptism for forgiveness?

Posted: June 2, 2010

I have been studying the Bible with one of the college students here in Athens. He has agreed with everything until baptism. My question about Acts 2:38 is, What is… Read More

Q&A 0985 – Jeremiah 8:8

Posted: May 31, 2010

Some time ago, I rather surprisingly came across the following Scripture in Jeremiah 8:8: "How can you say, ‘We are wise, for we have the law of the Lord,’ when… Read More

Q&A 0984 – Gentiles killed Jesus

Posted: May 29, 2010

Mark 10 has Jesus saying in reference to his death, "The Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the Law. They will condemn him… Read More

Q&A 0983 – Caught in a cycle of sin

Posted: May 27, 2010

Lately, I have literally insulted God in my thoughts, speech, and actions. I can’t control my thoughts! How can a disciple of Christ commit such sins? I pray God will… Read More

Q&A 0982 – The church the wife of Christ?

Posted: May 25, 2010

The church is often said to be "the wife of Christ." We even sing this in our songs. But it seems to me that the New Jerusalem (after Judgment Day)… Read More

Q&A 0981 – The Spirit envies?

Posted: May 23, 2010

James 4:5 is often translated: "Or do you suppose that the Law speaks in vain when it says that the Spirit, whom God has caused to live in us, longs… Read More

Q&A 0980 – God killing the firstborn of Egypt

Posted: May 21, 2010

A friend of mine said, "It is unfair of God to have killed the firstborn of Egypt and saved the children of Israel. After all, all children are innocent." I… Read More

Q&A 0979 – Being with the Lord

Posted: May 19, 2010

In Philippians 1:23, Paul says that he wants to depart and be with Christ (which is better by far), but according to multiple articles written by you and others –… Read More

Q&A 0978 – The money-changers

Posted: May 17, 2010

In John chapter 2, Jesus drove away the animal sellers and money changers. How did these kind of activities start in the temple? It seems that they did not come… Read More

Q&A 0977 – Persia or Assyria

Posted: May 15, 2010

In Ezra 6:22, should it not be the King of Persia instead of Assyria, as the temple was completed during the reign of Persia? Perhaps I have missed out on… Read More

Q&A 0976 – Shallum and Jeremiah

Posted: May 13, 2010

In 2 Kings 24:18 and 23:31, it is stated that the mother of Jehoahaz and Zedekiah was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah. Is this Jeremiah the prophet, making Jeremiah the father-in-law… Read More

Q&A 0975 – Lilith

Posted: May 11, 2010

I would like to know if you have come across the personality called Lilith before. The name shows up in Isaiah 34:14 (Darby translation). Lilith is not mentioned in most… Read More

Q&A 0974 – Nightmares

Posted: May 9, 2010

I have been having weird nightmares for a long time now and I am wondering what the cause might be. I have a lot of guilt inside and I do… Read More

Q&A 0973 – Communion elements

Posted: May 7, 2010

Someone I respect has come to the conclusion, after research into early Christianity, including Bible study and reading anti-Catholic scholar David Berçot’s opinions, that the wine is blood and bread… Read More

Q&A 0972 – Enoch and Elijah to heaven?

Posted: May 5, 2010

I was studying out heaven and hell, and also the question of where one will go when he dies. I was wondering about the case of Elijah in 2 Kings… Read More

Q&A 0971 – Jesus a rabbi?

Posted: May 3, 2010

I have just completed a book by Rob Bell entitled Velvet Elvis. It is very thought-provoking and makes a argument that Jesus was a trained rabbi. Have you read or… Read More

Q&A 0970 – Capital letters

Posted: May 1, 2010

I am a bit confused about the use of capital letter ‘L’ in the use of the word "law" (Matthew 5:17, James 2:10). What is the exact difference between the… Read More

Q&A 0969 – Andrew

Posted: April 29, 2010

What about Andrew’s execution? Where’s a good place to study the lives (and deaths) of the early disciples? —Nikki PierceFor extrabiblical information about the apostles, try The Search for the… Read More

Q&A 0968 – Self-control

Posted: April 27, 2010

In Titus chapter 2, Paul directs Titus to address the issue of self-control ("sound mind") to all sections of the church. Notably, it’s the only thing mentioned for young men. Here… Read More

Q&A 0967 – The Apostles’ Creed

Posted: April 25, 2010

In my old church we used to recite the Nicene Creed, and sometimes the Apostles’ Creed. Does the Apostles’ Creed really go all the way back to the time of… Read More

Q&A 0966 – The eleventh horn in Daniel 7:24

Posted: April 23, 2010

Today’s Q&A is handled by John Oakes, whose apologetics and teaching ministry I heartily commend. John has traveled all over the world building people’s faith. See his website: http://www.evidenceforchristianity.org. What… Read More

Q&A 0965 – The Dake Annotated Reference Bible

Posted: April 21, 2010

I’m wondering if you would take a look at the Dake Annotated Reference Bible, written by Finis Jennings Dake. I don’t agree with some of his theology, but there is… Read More

Q&A 0964 – Pagan sacrifice successful in thwarting Israel?

Posted: April 19, 2010

My question stems from a section of 2 Kings 3:27: "Then he took his firstborn son, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him as a sacrifice on… Read More

Q&A 0963 – Did God put dinosaur fossils in the ground?

Posted: April 17, 2010

My dad is a history PhD and teaches at a small private college. We had a small discussion the other day that skimmed the surface of the dinosaur debate. He… Read More

Q&A 0962 – Psalm 20

Posted: April 15, 2010

Did David write Psalm 20 as a sort of a prayer for King Saul? Do you have any insight into this Psalm? — Vedran Pintek (Zagreb) I do not think… Read More

Q&A 0961 – Smoking Cigars?

Posted: April 13, 2010

I had one question that I was wondering about. There are a few brothers here that smoke cigars. Any thoughts on that scripturally? –Jackson Cheng (Honolulu) Well, a multitude of… Read More

Q&A 0960 – Homosexuality

Posted: April 11, 2010

I was talking to a guy on campus today, and we got into a discussion about God’s view on homosexuality. I began to show him the obvious scriptures: Romans 1… Read More

Q&A 0959 – Effeminacy

Posted: April 9, 2010

Concerning the previous discussion of malakoi and arsenokoites posted on your Q&A board: If the connotation of Paul’s use of the word malakoi is effeminacy, not merely the commission of… Read More

Q&A 0958 – Bible Software

Posted: April 7, 2010

What Bible software would you recommend? Any good programs out there? I purchase most of my theological books and other resources from CBD (Christian Book Distributors). Top of the line… Read More

Q&A 0957 – Little Sins?

Posted: April 5, 2010

I am reading Colossians 2:13-14. Does God have to sacrifice Jesus on the Cross for our sins? We learned are that our sins separated us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2) and… Read More

Q&A 0956 – The Pope on Mariolatry

Posted: April 3, 2010

I came across this encyclical from Pope Benedict… I have only skimmed it but the last section caught my attention in the way the Catholic church uses scripture to back… Read More

Q&A 0955 – All insecurity is pride?

Posted: April 1, 2010

Through many years as a Christian I’ve heard people counseling others with the statement, "The root of all insecurity is pride." Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and… Read More

Q&A 0954 – The Message

Posted: March 30, 2010

What is your opinion on The Message version of the Bible? Would you recommend it as the primary tool for instructing preteens and teens? –Roger Hoelzel (Grand Rapids, Michigan) It… Read More

Q&A 0953 – The Documentary Hypothesis

Posted: March 28, 2010

I didn’t see anything on your website about the documentary hypothesis. Can you help me with a reading suggestion? — Marc-André LaverdièreThe Documentary Hypothesis (or “J-E-D-P”) attempts to find various… Read More

Q&A 0952 – 1 Thessalonians 4:11 (working with our hands)

Posted: March 26, 2010

I was wondering about 1 Thessalonians 4:11. Are all of us supposed to have a job where we work with our hands? I think this is a reference to manual labor… Read More

Q&A 0951 – Is possession just epilepsy?

Posted: March 24, 2010

My religion professor explained to us that since epilepsy was not understood in ancient times, it was attributed to demons. Biblically, is there a difference? Am I reading the Bible… Read More

Q&A 0950 – Evangelists are deacons?

Posted: March 22, 2010

After reading your "Evangelists, elders, deacons" paper (2003, revised), I get the impression that your view of the evangelist is that he represents a type of deacon (a servant of… Read More

Q&A 0949 – Intelligent Design

Posted: March 20, 2010

Do you believe in Intelligent Design, and if you do or don’t what’s your main argument? None of my colleagues at my workplace believes in Intelligent Design. They all argue… Read More

Q&A 0948 – Hebrews 11:11

Posted: March 18, 2010

What is up with the NIV rendition of Hebrews 11:11? It seems to create the first half of the verse out of thin air. No other translation or Greek manuscript… Read More

Q&A 0947 – Predestination

Posted: March 16, 2010

I read your answer on predestination and I appreciate your diligence! Is it true that God chooses those who will be saved before they are even born? Though I did… Read More

Q&A 0946 – Passover and Lamb

Posted: March 14, 2010

I have been studying the feasts of Israel, and in particular, the Passover. As you teach, I agree that the crucifixion was not on Friday. It would also seem clear… Read More

Q&A 0945 – Children of God

Posted: March 12, 2010

I have a question regarding a teaching I’ve heard about who the children of God are. It has been said that we are all children of God but have been… Read More

Q&A 0944 – The NET Bible

Posted: March 10, 2010

What is your opinion of the NET Bible, both the translation itself and the extensive footnotes? Also, are you familiar with their Theology Program courses, and would it be worth… Read More

Q&A 0943 – Sharon, Partition, and God’s Judgment

Posted: March 8, 2010

Pat Robertson recently claimed that the Lord struck Ariel Sharon because he had partitioned Israel, God’s holy land. Do you think he is right? Note: For details of Robertson’s statement,… Read More

Q&A 0942 – Calvinism and Predestination

Posted: March 6, 2010

Can you please recommend a couple of books on the subject of predestination? I read what you wrote in Shining Like Stars [now Till the Nets Are Full] but want more…. Read More

Q&A 0941 – Answered prayers for people following wrong doctrine?

Posted: March 4, 2010

Paul warns twice that those preaching another gospel are under the anathema of God (Galatians 1:8,9). Yet many people who claim answered prayers are from churches or religions who preach… Read More

Q&A 0940 – The Dark Ages and the remnant

Posted: March 2, 2010

What happened during the dark ages? God says that he always has a remnant. Can you share your thoughts on the subject? Does Romans 11:5 apply to every generation? — Oswald… Read More

Q&A 0939 – The Alchemist

Posted: February 28, 2010

What do you think about the book The Alchemist? Paulo Coelho’s 1988 work (English version 1993) was well written and certainly an interesting read. It moves quickly, and its North… Read More

Q&A 0938 – The death penalty

Posted: February 26, 2010

What do the scriptures say about the death penalty? In California, a major gang member was in jail for 25 years and sentenced to death. Some people were in an… Read More

Q&A 0937 – The Spirit and Isaiah 61

Posted: February 24, 2010

Isaiah 61:1 tells of the binding up of the brokenhearted and freedom for the captives. "The spirit of the sovereign Lord is on me." Who is me? I always thought… Read More

Q&A 0936 – Proverbs 31:6-7 — Strong drink

Posted: February 22, 2010

I’m having a hard time trying to understand how this is Godly. I know we do not live in the Old Testament days, so I can sort of see how… Read More

Q&A 0935 – How to stay saved

Posted: February 20, 2010

From my understanding of the Scriptures, in order for someone to be saved, one must believe, repent and be baptized. Then the blood of Jesus forgives one’s sins and one… Read More

Q&A 0934 – Imputed guilt and inherited guilt

Posted: February 18, 2010

I was talking with a friend about original sin again and he said that he believed that we have "imputed" guilt, not "inherited guilt." What in the world is the… Read More

Q&A 0933 – Clergy and laity

Posted: February 16, 2010

Could you please define/explain what things… actions… thoughts… mindsets, etc… you’re thinking of when you refer to "clergy/laity"? — Joel Suggs (Cincinnati) I refer to clergy as professional church workers,… Read More

Q&A 0932 – John 1:1-5 — a mystical interpretation?

Posted: February 14, 2010

I was reading a devotional on a weblog, and it quoted John 1:1-5: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. Read More

Q&A 0931 – Seeking first the Kingdom

Posted: February 12, 2010

I have heard that "seeking first the kingdom" means putting my church first and foremost in my life. Is this a right interpretation? — V.J. In the Sermon on the… Read More

Q&A 0930 – Hebrews 13:7 and 13:17 — which leaders?

Posted: February 10, 2010

Which leaders exactly are being referred to in Hebrews 13:7 and 17? I am unclear. Most scholars agree that the leaders, the outcome of whose way of life we are… Read More

Q&A 0929 – John’s Baptism and the Spirit

Posted: February 8, 2010

You wrote that those who received John’s baptism probably didn’t get baptized again. So how then did they get the indwelling or seal of the Holy Spirit? Did John’s baptism… Read More

Q&A 0928 – Yoga

Posted: February 6, 2010

Am I misleading people by practicing and teaching yoga? I run a wellness studio, and yoga is a practice I teach for physical fitness. I teach students how to calm… Read More

Q&A 0927 – The nature of religious experience

Posted: February 4, 2010

Aren’t all the mystical experiences of spiritual persons essentially the same, regardless of the culture or religious context in which they occur? It is fashionable to posit a mystical connection… Read More

Q&A 0926 – Ananias

Posted: February 2, 2010

In reference to the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, I’ve always believed from the Scriptures that the only people who had these gifts were the apostles and whoever the… Read More

Q&A 0925 – John 7 — Jesus lying (white lie)?

Posted: January 31, 2010

In John 7, Jesus mentions to his brothers that he is not going to the Feast. But in verse 10 it says Jesus went also, but in secret. Was this… Read More

Q&A 0924 – Jesus’ priorities, biblical priorities and financial giving

Posted: January 29, 2010

I believe that priorities in financial giving need to be changed. Christians feel their obligation to God has been fulfilled if they give to support the work of the ministry… Read More

Q&A 0923 – Recovery Version

Posted: January 27, 2010

There is a new version of the Bible out called the Recovery Version. Have you any information on the accuracy and reliability of this version? — Mike Armstrong (Athens) I… Read More

Q&A 0922 – Proverbs 11:30 (fruit)

Posted: January 25, 2010

Proverbs 11:30 is translated by the Holman Christian Standard Bible: "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, but violence takes lives," whereas the NIV says: "The fruit… Read More

Q&A 0921 – Free Will?

Posted: January 23, 2010

Conversations usually become heated when discussing free will, Calvinism, and the seeker-sensitive movement. How would you answer this statement: “Once you affirm that man has the ability to choose, the… Read More

Q&A 0920 – God-breathed scriptures

Posted: January 21, 2010

I have a question regarding 2 Timothy 3:16 ("All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness"). How do you understand the term God-breathed… Read More

Q&A 0919 – Observing senseless laws

Posted: January 19, 2010

My question is about Romans 13:1-5, which says we are to obey the authorities, and the extent to which we should we follow every human law. In some countries, if… Read More

Q&A 0918 – Jesus exempt from sin and temptation

Posted: January 17, 2010

I have a question about Jesus. The Bible says everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Jesus came down as a man to be just like… Read More

Q&A 0917 – Joshua married Rahab?

Posted: January 15, 2010

I read about the belief of some that the Rahab of Joshua 2 is not the same Rahab listed in the lineage of Jesus. I also read that according to… Read More

Q&A 0916 – The Internet

Posted: January 13, 2010

What should I make of all the things I am reading about my church on the internet? Much of it is negative, and I do not know what to make… Read More

Q&A 0915 – Luke 19:10

Posted: January 11, 2010

I was wondering about Luke 19:10. I have heard many say Jesus came "to seek and save the lost," when in fact I haven’t found a translation that says that…. Read More

Q&A 0914 – The meaning of “lukewarm”

Posted: January 9, 2010

I am starting to do a study on this subject of “lukewarmness,” a term bandied about often these days. The word lukewarm (chliaros) only occurs once in the NT, in… Read More

Q&A 0913 – The time of salvation

Posted: January 7, 2010

A dear friend and brother says that a person will be saved when a person believes and get baptized (Mark 16:16), even if he thinks he was saved before the… Read More

Q&A 0912 – False humility, self-imposed worship

Posted: January 5, 2010

I am having some trouble understanding the meaning of "false humility" in Colossians. Also I am trying to understand the concept of self-imposed worship, and just what exactly was going… Read More

Q&A 0911 – Single for the kingdom

Posted: January 3, 2010

My number one priority is to spread the gospel, not to get a wife. But that doesn’t mean I’m not attracted to women, or that I have the gift of… Read More

Q&A 0910 – Timothy’s circumcision

Posted: January 1, 2010

In Acts 16, why did Timothy allow Paul to circumcise him? Especially after in chapter 15 he realized and taught that the yoke of the law was unbearable, and a… Read More

Q&A 0909 – Consistency and sin

Posted: December 30, 2009

I’m facing a dilemma. It seems that the Bible says we cannot totally conquer sin and are destined to be sinners until we die (e.g. Romans 7:14-20). This seems problematic… Read More

Q&A 0908 – Knowing we’re saved, and developing consistency

Posted: December 28, 2009

How can one be sure he is saved? I mean there are baptism conversion, faith, and love for God. The latter seems to waver quite often in my life. God’s… Read More

Q&A 0907 – Chronology of Ezra

Posted: December 26, 2009

I’m reading Ezra and Haggai together right now in the NET Bible. Some of the footnotes refer to the time period certain kings ruled. I’m confused about the chronology of… Read More

Q&A 0906 – Righteousness imparted by the Spirit?

Posted: December 24, 2009

When Jesus died on the cross, did he impart his righteousness to us through the Holy Spirit? Please help me also with scriptural references. — Art The answer is yes… Read More

Q&A 0905 – Did Paul have a wife?

Posted: December 22, 2009

I am reading a book called The Man Who Shook the World, by John Pollock. I’m not sure if you’ve read it or heard of it, but it is a… Read More

Q&A 0904—Polygamy and homosexual marriage

Posted: December 20, 2009

In your Q&A on polygamy you state that if the laws of a country allow polygamy then we should obey it. How then can we not recognize homosexual marriage if… Read More

Q&A 0903 – Satan bound for a thousand years (millennium)

Posted: December 18, 2009

My question comes from Revelation 20, where we read that Satan will be bound for 1000 years while the people who have not worshiped the beast will be with God…. Read More

Q&A 0902 – The dead: aware? sleeping?

Posted: December 16, 2009

My mother, whom I had the privilege of baptizing, passed away last year. I accept the fact that she is not in heaven yet, and that she is happy and… Read More

Q&A 0901 – Baptism and the Jews still under the old covenant

Posted: December 14, 2009

I’m teaching a three-part series on baptism and have a question. With John’s baptism and the disciples baptizing while Jesus was alive, how could these baptisms be for the forgiveness… Read More

Q&A 0900 – Sisters “leading” brothers in church

Posted: December 12, 2009

In my local church, a couple of times a sister has led church songs, or led the benevolence offering (prayed and read scripture). My understanding was that leading songs would… Read More

Q&A 0899 – The house swept clean

Posted: December 10, 2009

In Luke 11:24-26, the spirit leaves and later returns, finding the house looking good. It would seem like that would communicate that the spirit is no longer welcome. Instead he… Read More

Q&A 0898 – Overseeing evangelists

Posted: December 8, 2009

Some have proposed that we need overseeing evangelists who have charge of, or responsibility for, more than their local congregation or church. Some go so far as to say this… Read More

Q&A 0897 – Biblical Edom

Posted: December 6, 2009

Is there any evidence for the biblical land of Edom? I have been told that this is just a figment of Israelite archaeological imagination. "Critics of the Bible try very… Read More

Q&A 0896 – Jesus and Krishna

Posted: December 4, 2009

I am facing a little persecution from my family, who are trying to convince me that Hinduism came earlier than Christianity. However, I defended my faith, as I believe that… Read More

Q&A 0895 – Baha’is

Posted: December 2, 2009

Do you have any references for the Baha’i Faith and their teachings? I have seen references to most other religions on your website, but not this one. What can you… Read More

Q&A 0894 – Jonah

Posted: November 30, 2009

I was just reading through Jonah chapters 1-3, and couldn’t figure out how Jonah got to Nineveh the second time. I know that the fish spat him out on the… Read More

Q&A 0893 – Christians bearing arms

Posted: November 28, 2009

I know several brothers who own firearms. What do you think about Christians owning firearms for self defense? — Jason Reichert (Atlanta) Weapons for hunting are one thing… killing one’s… Read More

Q&A 0892 – Are Christian Morals Out of Date?

Posted: November 26, 2009

Aren’t Christian morals out of date? "In spite of all the claims that Christian moral ethics are out of date for the age in which we live, the evidence gets… Read More

Q&A 0891 – Essenes

Posted: November 24, 2009

I was told that the early Christians were Essenes, and that Paul lied when he painted his picture of Judaism and Christianity in the New Testament. What do you say?… Read More

Q&A 0890 – Authority and advice

Posted: November 22, 2009

When giving advice, people may give their "opinion" backed up by scripture, but not necessarily offer a biblical command or instruction. I believe some of this can fall into the… Read More

Q&A 0889 – Bribery

Posted: November 20, 2009

Proverbs 17:8 says "A bribe is a charm in the sight of its owner; wherever he turns, he prospers" (NASB). I checked the NIV and it translates about the same…. Read More

Q&A 0888 – Which giant?

Posted: November 18, 2009

2 Samuel 21:19 says that Elhanan the son of Jair the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 1 Chronicles 20:5 says… Read More

Q&A 0887 – Old Testament discipline among New Testament churches

Posted: November 16, 2009

Do you think that the lessons of the Old Testament kings and leaders can be applied today? What I mean is I know that when God was angry with the… Read More

Q&A 0886 – Blessings / thanksgiving for babies

Posted: November 14, 2009

What is your view on having a formal thanksgiving ceremony for a baby just born, at the request of the parents, especially as part of the worship service? I have… Read More

Q&A 0885 – Old Testament Violence

Posted: November 12, 2009

I have trouble reconciling some of the violence in the Old Testament. I detest today’s Islamic violence in the Middle East, but it mirrors the destruction of the Promised Land… Read More

Q&A 0884 – Animal sacrifice in Leviticus 3:3-4

Posted: November 10, 2009

I have a question regarding animal sacrifice in Leviticus. Is there any significance to taking out the fat "that covers the inner parts" or "both kidneys with the fat on… Read More

Q&A 0883 – Baptism metaphorical

Posted: November 8, 2009

A friend was telling me that Jesus in John 3, speaking of being born of water and the Spirit, was referring to the womb (amniotic fluid), representing natural birth, and… Read More

Q&A 0882 – Cornelius and baptism

Posted: November 6, 2009

I was talking to an old pastor friend and he cited the example of Cornelius receiving salvation and the Holy Spirit before being baptized. He said this was proof that… Read More

Q&A 0881 – Medical marijuana

Posted: November 4, 2009

Most Christians reject use of marijuana as sinful. I agree that if you’re not abiding by the law, you’re in the wrong. But what if you have permission from a… Read More

Q&A 0880 – Women speaking

Posted: November 2, 2009

In majority of the churches I am familiar with, the women speak on Sunday during the welcome, communion, etc — anything except the actual sermon. Is this biblically acceptable (1… Read More

Q&A 0879 – Matthew 28 a commision for all Christians?

Posted: October 31, 2009

I am contesting that Matthew 28 must be interpreted to imply that all disciples are commanded to go and make disciples of all nations. The premise for this interpretation is… Read More

Q&A 0878 – Time, times, and half a time

Posted: October 29, 2009

Would you please tell me your understanding of "time, times, and half a time," as in Daniel 7, Daniel 12, and Revelation 12? — Noel Honey (Johannesburg) You are referring… Read More

Q&A 0877 – Does our sin hurt God?

Posted: October 27, 2009

Does our sin hurt God? I believe that if I make sinful decisions now, I actually add to the pain Jesus had to endure on the cross. I have believed… Read More

Q&A 0876 – Heavenly body

Posted: October 25, 2009

Mark 9:43-47 says, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell,… Read More

Q&A 0875 – Post mortem sin?

Posted: October 23, 2009

You teach that once we die, the saved and those that will be punished will reside in different parts of Hades. Is it possible to still sin after death? Will… Read More

Q&A 0874 – Hades

Posted: October 21, 2009

I’m reading Revelation for the first time, and I’m confused about the concept of Hades. I read your response in Q&A 0227 which states Hades has two compartments, one for… Read More

Q&A 0873 – Heaven will pass away

Posted: October 19, 2009

My question comes from Matthew 24:35: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." Can you explain the meaning of that passage? Will heaven really… Read More

Q&A 0872 – Existence of God: a leap of faith?

Posted: October 17, 2009

Is there anyway of proving absolutely that God exists, or must we take a leap of faith? — Tony Lopez Let’s put it this way: The leap is based on… Read More

Q&A 0871 – Iraq & the War on Terror

Posted: October 15, 2009

As an American and a Christian, I have been in conflict on my support for American-led Iraq war and also for the war on terror. Initially I was afraid and… Read More

Q&A 0870 – Calling on the Name of the Lord

Posted: October 13, 2009

In Acts 22:16, where Paul is told, “Arise, be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord,” my Amplified Bible says that the phrase “wash… Read More

Q&A 0869 – Thallus and the darkness at the Crucifixion

Posted: October 11, 2009

Who was Thallus? All I have been told is that he was a Samaritan historian, writing in 52 AD, who amongst many other things wrote about the death and resurrection… Read More

Q&A 0868 – Homosexuality in the Bible

Posted: October 9, 2009

I see that you have addressed the topic of homosexuality and the Bible in your Q&A. But I wanted to draw your attention to a short study a man has… Read More

Q&A 0867 – How can God allow murder and rape?

Posted: October 7, 2009

My friend was asking why God lets murders and rapes happen in the Bible. He quoted scriptures like Judges 21:10-24; Numbers 31:7-18; Deuteronomy 20:10-14, 22:28-29, 21:10-14; Judges 5:30; Exodus 21:7-11;… Read More

Q&A 0866 – Free Will

Posted: October 5, 2009

I am currently taking a philosophy class in college, and the question of free will was recently a topic of discussion. As a Christian, I have always believed, by default,… Read More

Q&A 0865 – Explaining the atonement

Posted: October 3, 2009

How do you explain how Jesus’ incarnation, holy life and death on the cross achieve our salvation? Most Protestants adhere to the so-called "legal doctrine of the atonement," which holds… Read More

Q&A 0864 – Hard Questions

Posted: October 1, 2009

I studied the Bible the other day with a guy who posed some pretty interesting questions. For one, he asked: "If God is so ‘unconditionally loving’ and compassionate, then why… Read More

Q&A 0863 – Paul’s wife

Posted: September 29, 2009

In 1 Corinthians 7:8, Paul states that he is unmarried, but in 1 Corinthians 9:5 he claims to have the right, along with the other apostles, to take a believing… Read More

Q&A 0862 – When there is no vision

Posted: September 27, 2009

I’ve heard Proverbs 29:18 used to teach that we must have vision for our lives. I agree with the point, but not with the passage pressed to support the idea…. Read More

Q&A 0861 – Family Left Behind

Posted: September 25, 2009

Here in the GCC countries, we are facing a common situation: disciples who come here to work while leaving their spouse and children behind. These situations vary tremendously. Sometimes the… Read More

Q&A 0860 – Better Life

Posted: September 23, 2009

Someone said. "It is unbiblical to move because you want a better life for your family." This person did not say that it’s wrong to take care of your family,… Read More

Q&A 0859 – John present at the Crucifixion?

Posted: September 21, 2009

Was John present during Jesus Crucifixion? Where is it in the Bible? After Jesus was arrested in Gethsemane, where did James and John go? Can you give me book, chapter… Read More

Q&A 0858 – Philemon 6 and the TNIV

Posted: September 19, 2009

I came across a preview copy of the TNIV (Today’s New International Version). Have you looked at this or had any feedback on this version? It seems to have been… Read More

Q&A 0857 – Alexander Campbell

Posted: September 17, 2009

In your opinion, what, if any, influence did Alexander Campbell have on American society of his day, and has any of it carried over to present day America? — Donald… Read More

Q&A 0856 – Blacks in the Bible

Posted: September 15, 2009

I have been researching blacks in the Bible. Here is a link to someone’s study that seems fair and logical: http://www.wcg.org/wn/98May/black.html. What are your thoughts? — Jeff Marcantonio (Lawrenceville, Georgia)… Read More

Q&A 0855 – A call to ministry?

Posted: September 13, 2009

I’m interested in starting a speaker team that would travel to speak at conferences and conduct workshops (national and international), publish books, tapes, etc. So far I have a ministry… Read More

Q&A 0854 – Rich Man and Lazarus

Posted: September 11, 2009

I was studying Luke 16 this morning and focused specifically on the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. I have heard that one interpretation of this parable is that… Read More

Q&A 0853 – Lukewarmness

Posted: September 9, 2009

We recently heard a speaker who preached that to be “lukewarm” is to be a Christian who is neither hot nor cold spiritually. He proceeded to give his definition of… Read More

Q&A 0852 – A Gnostic brother?

Posted: September 7, 2009

How would you treat a brother who believes that Jesus is the son of God, but who does not believe that he is God in flesh? How would you treat… Read More

Q&A 0851 – The Name

Posted: September 5, 2009

When I was in Israel, I heard from several Jewish friends that they couldn’t ever write down the name of God or utter it. They could only say hashem. If… Read More

Q&A 0850 – Archaeology in Ethiopia and the Ark of the Covenant

Posted: September 3, 2009

Are there digs in Ethiopia for manuscripts? That seems like a place replete with biblical finds, but that hasn’t been explored like, say, Palestine. Have there been any finds or… Read More

Q&A 0849 – Do Christians go straight to heaven when they die?

Posted: September 1, 2009

When Christians die, are they in heaven immediately? If this is the case, lots of people are already there! Or do we have to wait for the Second Coming of… Read More

Q&A 0848 – Stem Cell Research

Posted: August 30, 2009

There is a possibility that I may take a job which will put me right at the center of the embryonic stem cell debate, so I’m trying to figure out… Read More

Q&A 0847 – Jesus Wept

Posted: August 28, 2009

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

Q&A 0846 – Greed

Posted: August 26, 2009

I was wondering if you could please instruct me in the biblical/Greek definition of greed, specifically as it appears in 1 Corinthians 5:10-11 and Ephesians 5:3 and 5:5. How would… Read More

Q&A 0845 – Zion

Posted: August 24, 2009

What exactly is Zion? I know it’s a place, but I can’t figure out where to start on my own study about it. It is almost as if the name… Read More

Q&A 0844 – Elaborate study series

Posted: August 22, 2009

In the book of Acts, the 3000, the Ethiopian eunuch, Saul, Cornelius, and others didn’t have elaborate doctrinal studies to complete as a prerequisite to baptism. We should provide a… Read More

Q&A 0843 – The Thief on the Cross

Posted: August 20, 2009

The thief (robber) on the cross couldn’t get baptized and was still saved. How can we explain that? Do extraordinary faith and confession of Jesus as Lord save us, as… Read More

Q&A 0842 – Sacrifice of defenseless animals

Posted: August 18, 2009

I don’t understand how and why God would have people slaughter defenseless animals for sacrifice, or why he would make us so we are carnivores and eat animals rather than… Read More

Q&A 0841 – Ezekiel 8 — the idolatrous elders

Posted: August 16, 2009

Concerning Ezekiel 8, I don’t quite understand the magnitude of the sins and the hurt that God is feeling against his people. I know that he showed Ezekiel four different… Read More

Q&A 0840 – Miracles, signs, wonders

Posted: August 14, 2009

Why do Matthew, Mark, and Luke speak of miracles (dynameis), while John speaks of signs (erga, thaumasia, dynameis, and semeia)? — Filipe Barreto (Recife, Brazil) Actually, these words appear in… Read More

Q&A 0839 – Smokers saved?

Posted: August 12, 2009

Some people think a person can be saved even if he is still smoking, as long as he’s cut down on the number of cigarettes smoked a day. The goal… Read More

Q&A 0838 – Raising Pigs?

Posted: August 10, 2009

In Mark 5, when Jesus drove the legion of demons into the pigs, the people were very upset with him. But weren’t they being hypocritical? I mean, they shouldn’t have… Read More

Q&A 0837 – Christians do not need to obey law?

Posted: August 8, 2009

The apostle Paul says that law was abolished. This means that there is no law to follow and no law to condemn us (when we break it), doesn’t it? Now,… Read More

Q&A 0836 – All of Paul’s Corinthian letters inspired?

Posted: August 6, 2009

In your teaching on the Corinthian letters, you indicated that there are at least two other letters written by Paul to these churches. Since those letters have not survived to… Read More

Q&A 0835 – Guardian angels

Posted: August 4, 2009

What do you think Matthew 18:10 means? Do you believe in guardian angels? Do we all get our own angels assigned to us? — Ian Mohlie (Richmond) The verse in… Read More