Answers to Questions

Q&A 0832 – What Bible are you reading these days, Doug?

Posted: July 29, 2009

What Bible are you reading these days, Doug? Last year you were going through the Holman Christian Standard Bible. I bought that and am really enjoying it. I still like… Read More

Q&A 0831 – Jesus as a created being

Posted: July 27, 2009

Hebrews 1 and Psalms 2, taken together with several passages including Genesis 1, John 1, 1 John 1, Revelation 19 (Jesus the "Word of God") and Philippians 2 lead me… Read More

Q&A 0830 – Prayer Advice

Posted: July 25, 2009

Do you have any advice about how to pray? I am stuck in a rut. Great question–and by no means unique! This is an especially important question, since we all… Read More

Q&A 0829 – Authorized Version

Posted: July 23, 2009

I would like your thoughts about the seriously debunked “Lucian Recension theory” on which textual critics (like Westcott and Hort) chose and still choose to justify their stance against the… Read More

Q&A 0828 – Is Satan 4-dimensional?

Posted: July 21, 2009

I know that God is four-dimensional and we humans are three-dimensional. So as one of God’s creatures, is Satan four-dimensional or three-dimensional? It would make sense to me that he… Read More

Q&A 0827 – God speaking to us today?

Posted: July 19, 2009

Between the last book of the O.T. and the start of the N.T. there was no record of God speaking to his people — a period of over 400 years…. Read More

Q&A 0826 – The Rock

Posted: July 17, 2009

What are your thoughts on the interpretation of Matthew 16:13-20, which suggests that the "rock" Jesus was referring to when Peter confessed that Jesus as Christ was a mountain where… Read More

Q&A 0825 – Purging = cleansing or making into excrement?

Posted: July 15, 2009

In Mark 7:19, the NIV reads "In saying this, Jesus declared all foods ‘clean’ ". The KJV reads "purging all meats"; the ASV, "making all meats clean"; and the NKJV,… Read More

Q&A 0824 – When was Revelation written?

Posted: July 13, 2009

I have heard numerous thoughts about when the book of Revelation was written. It seems the opinions range from 70-95/6 AD. What would be your take on this? — Bob… Read More

Q&A 0823 – Matthew 17:21

Posted: July 11, 2009

I am curious to know why Matthew 17:21 is not included in the NIV translation. It is in the KJV and some other versions but in the NIV it is… Read More

Q&A 0822 – Christians in law enforcement

Posted: July 9, 2009

My question is regarding what Jesus taught regarding disciples in law enforcement. I am an ER nurse, and I have always strongly supported and respected the nobility and sacrifice of… Read More

Q&A 0821 – Mary Magdalene

Posted: July 7, 2009

Has there been any biblical or historical research done on Mary Magdalene that you would recommend reading? Do you know of any "legend has it" or "theories" (ones that make… Read More

Q&A 0820 – The Didache

Posted: July 5, 2009

What do you thing about Didache? I had read this text, but I see something wrong about baptism. It sounds rather Catholic. — Jorge (Cuba) I believe you will find… Read More

Q&A 0819 – Offerings for firstborn children

Posted: July 3, 2009

Hi…my husband and I are expecting our first child in about a week and I was wondering if there is any precedent in the Bible for offerings for the birth… Read More

Q&A 0818 – Appointing elders

Posted: July 1, 2009

I’m just writing to ask what your opinion is on the appointment of elders. Do you think elders need to be appointed, or are there situations where they may take… Read More

Q&A 0817 – Where Was God During the 2004 Asian Tsunami?

Posted: June 29, 2009

Q&A 0817 – Where Was God During the Tsunami?Guest article by John Clayton (Does God Exist? Vol. 32, No. 3, May/June 2005), adapted and used with permission. Every time there… Read More

Q&A 0816 – TNIV

Posted: June 27, 2009

I heard about the controversy over the “gender-neutral” language in the TNIV New Testament after it was published in 2002. After becoming aware of some of the problem passages in… Read More

Q&A 0815 – Premillennialism and Abraham’s inheritance

Posted: June 25, 2009

The foundation for the premillennial doctrine is the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The land was promised to Abraham and his descendants. Acts 7:5 says, "He (God) gave him… Read More

Q&A 0814 – Inspiring Church History Reading

Posted: June 23, 2009

I am looking for some inspiring reading in the area of church history. Do you have any ideas? I am not just looking for a history book, but for something… Read More

Q&A 0813 – The Name of Jesus

Posted: June 21, 2009

I have been studying out the name of Jesus and I have some questions. I know that Joseph and Mary were told by God to name our Savior Jesus, but… Read More

Q&A 0812 – The Assumption of Mary

Posted: June 19, 2009

In searching for information about the belief that Mary was lifted into heaven, I found the following: "The belief in the corporeal assumption of is founded on the apocryphal treatise… Read More

Q&A 0811 – 1 Timothy 4:16

Posted: June 17, 2009

As for the phrase "life and doctrine" in 1 Timothy 4:16 (NIV), we traditionally interpret the first word to refer to how a person conducts his life, and the second… Read More

Q&A 0810 – The Greek: logos, agape, ego eimi & theos

Posted: June 15, 2009

I bought a Greek Bible and I’ve been learning Greek, sort of. It’s really cool, but I have some questions about the translation. (a) Logos: Why do you think the… Read More

Q&A 0809 – Perplexing pronouns of Amos 1

Posted: June 13, 2009

I noticed while reading Amos that the prophet lists the sins of Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Judah, and Israel. Here is my question: Why does God use masculine/feminine pronouns… Read More

Q&A 0808 – Paul too harsh?

Posted: June 11, 2009

In Galatians 5:12, Paul says. "As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!" I looked at the Greek word for emasculate and it… Read More

Q&A 0807 – Book on money and possessions

Posted: June 9, 2009

I am studying what the Bible says about money and stewardship. Any new books out there you would recommend (that you haven’t already suggested)? Recently I completed Gene Getz’s 2004… Read More

Q&A 0806 – Hebrews 6:4

Posted: June 7, 2009

Hebrews 6:4 says falling away is permanent. I know a disciple who decided, after studying the Old Testament, that Jesus is not the Messiah, and is in the process of… Read More

Q&A 0805 – So many English translations!

Posted: June 5, 2009

What are the types of English translations (literal, interpreting, literal + interpreting); Holman (HCSB), King James (KJV), Contemporary English (CEV), Good News (TEB), The Message, etc? We consider The Message… Read More

Q&A 0804 – Kings’ mothers

Posted: June 3, 2009

Why are the mothers of kings mentioned only in the period of the kings? Is it because of their educational impact? — Cristian & Erika Paduraru (Bucharest) I think the… Read More

Q&A 0803 – Sargon and Moses?

Posted: June 1, 2009

I read recently that the Akkadian king, Sargon I, or Sargon the Great, wrote that he had been rescued as a baby from a basket found among the reeds in… Read More

Q&A 0802 – Ezekiel Bread?

Posted: May 30, 2009

Is “Ezekiel Bread” the kind of bread we should be eating? For several years I have seen it in the bread section of our local supermarket. What’s your view? I… Read More

Q&A 0801 – Interpretation and the silences of the Bible

Posted: May 28, 2009

On the subject of deaconesses you wrote: “The office of deaconess had not developed until the 3rd century. What does the Bible teach? What was the practice of the first… Read More

Q&A 0800 – Nazareth existed in Jesus’ day?

Posted: May 26, 2009

I have a question that has seemingly come out of nowhere for me, and I’m finding it very difficult to deal with. While I certainly don’t endorse the overall quality… Read More

Q&A 0799 – Ephraim

Posted: May 24, 2009

In reading Hosea, I found that in several places Ephraim is singled out. I understand that Hosea was prophesying to Israel in general, but what is the reason for the… Read More

Q&A 0798 – How did Paul receive his miraculous gifts?

Posted: May 22, 2009

I got asked a bit of a stumper the other day. Paul received the indwelling of the Spirit at baptism, but he was laid hands on by Ananias, who was… Read More

Q&A 0797—Philip and the Samaritans

Posted: May 20, 2009

I don’t understand why Philip couldn’t give the miraculous gifts to the Samaritans in Acts 8. Why didn’t he lay his hands on the newly baptized Samaritans so that the… Read More

Q&A 0796 – Ecology and Christian ethics

Posted: May 18, 2009

In my religious ethics class, I learned that some scholars and religious environmental activists argue that a better understanding of Genesis 1:26 (where God gave man rule over the earth)… Read More

Q&A 0795 – Truth truer than the Bible?

Posted: May 16, 2009

If you discovered a truth that was truer than the Bible, would you go for it? In other words, if you were to discover there to be a higher truth… Read More

Q&A 0794 – When does a woman “cross the line” in having authority over a man?

Posted: May 14, 2009

As a Christian man, I have been wrestling with a question for some fourteen years. How can we tell when a woman might be violating 1 Timothy 2 — that… Read More

Q&A 0793 – Egg donation

Posted: May 12, 2009

I have been asked to forward to you the following questions from a dating couple regarding an egg donation from the sister to her biological sister who is not a… Read More

Q&A 0792 – Sexual immorality and church discipline

Posted: May 10, 2009

How should I treat a sister who has sexual contact with a man without being married to him? As far as I know, he does not believe in God, but… Read More

Q&A 0791 – Isaiah has two authors?

Posted: May 8, 2009

I’ve been studying out the Old Testament prophets recently; Daniel was extremely faith-building as I researched the historical accuracy and the arguments behind dating its writing. I’m working on Isaiah… Read More

Q&A 0790 – Greek and Latin

Posted: May 6, 2009

I have the opportunity to either take an Attic Greek or a Latin class at the University of Florida. I am interested in learning Greek and Hebrew (for the obvious… Read More

Q&A 0789 – Advertising & Christian responsibility

Posted: May 4, 2009

I have recently read your paper “Television and the Media,” and I have also read the book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ronald Sider. It seems that… Read More

Q&A 0788 – John 14:12-14: In Jesus’ name?

Posted: May 2, 2009

In John 14:12-14, Jesus says that he will do whatever we ask and that we may ask him for anything. Also, Stephen, when dying, says "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."… Read More

Q&A 0787 – Baptism

Posted: April 30, 2009

I read all your articles on baptism at the website, but ran into an anti-immersionist article on my own at another. They argued that baptein is the word for immerse/dip,… Read More

Q&A 0786 – Hebrews 6:4-6

Posted: April 28, 2009

I am a graduate student at Harding University and serve as an evangelist in Chicago. I am trying to find material on the topic of Hebrews 6:4-6. My goal is… Read More

Q&A 0785 – Confession of every sin before baptism?

Posted: April 26, 2009

Do you have to confess every sin before God will accept you as a Christian? Although I would not try to talk a person out of doing so, we must… Read More

Q&A 0784 – Psalm 118:8 the true center of the Bible?

Posted: April 24, 2009

Is Psalm 118:8 truly the center of the Bible? One website claims it is, while another kind of proves it isn’t, and it just confused me. I’m still not sure who… Read More

Q&A 0783 – Worship services question

Posted: April 22, 2009

I noticed that in 1 Corinthians 14 they had several "prophets" speaking during a worship service, whereas today we usually have only one speaker. Back then it seems to have… Read More

Q&A 0782 – Anointing houses with oil?

Posted: April 20, 2009

My father has studied the Bible and is very knowledgeable. He is telling my mother that she should anoint the house with oil, because the Bible tells us to do… Read More

Q&A 0781 – Miscarriage or premature birth?

Posted: April 18, 2009

At your website, in reference to Q&A 0762, you referred to Exodus 21:22. In my NIV, it reads "gives birth prematurely," which does not indicate miscarriage to me, because many… Read More

Q&A 0780 – A.I.M. accredited?

Posted: April 16, 2009

I wanted to see if A.I.M. is an accredited school, and whether I might be able to take a few classes. I need nine electives to fulfill my degree requirement… Read More

Q&A 0779 – Shakespeare a KJV translator?

Posted: April 14, 2009

I was recently informed that when King James Bible was produced, William Shakespeare was on the translation committee. Here was his proof: In the King James version, in Psalms 46,… Read More

Q&A 0778 – The King James Version

Posted: April 12, 2009

I was brought up in a tradition that claims the King James Version is not only the best Bible, but also the only accurate English version there is. What do… Read More

Q&A 0777 – Man the head of woman? Junias a female apostle?

Posted: April 10, 2009

I had a conversation with a woman who has been studying theology and the woman’s role. She said two things that made me wonder. First, she pointed out 1 Corinthians… Read More

Q&A 0776 – Lost people in heaven?

Posted: April 8, 2009

Why in Revelation 22:15, after the passage about the New Jerusalem, do we read "Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters,… Read More

Q&A 0775 – TNIV Philemon 6 and Matthew 11:12

Posted: April 6, 2009

I was encouraged after taking a quick look through the TNIV that there appeared to be good translations of Philemon 6 and Matthew 11:12. Do you have any thoughts or… Read More

Q&A 0774 – John exiled to Patmos

Posted: April 4, 2009

I just finished reading and studying Revelation, and here is my question: If Herod Agrippa I sent John to the Island of Patmos, when did he do it? My Bible… Read More

Q&A 0773 – Non-Christian choir members

Posted: April 2, 2009

Thank you so much for your website! I have been skimming through the hundreds of questions as to not repeat mine. I did not find my question; however this doesn’t… Read More

Q&A 0772 – Baptism and 1 Peter 3:21

Posted: March 31, 2009

I have a question concerning 1 Peter 3:21. The NIV reads "the pledge of a good conscience," whereas the NASB translates "an appeal to God for a good conscience," and… Read More

Q&A 0771 – Early Church History

Posted: March 29, 2009

I was wondering if you had any recommendations on primary source literature relating to early church history. I have read bits and pieces of Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, and that seems… Read More

Q&A 0770 – Sanctified (non-Christian) spouse? (Sobre esposos — esp*)

Posted: March 27, 2009

My question is about the scripture that teaches that a believing spouse sanctifies her non-believing husband. I don’t understand this scripture. — César Herrera Mi pregunta es acerca de la… Read More

Q&A 0769 – Maitreya

Posted: March 25, 2009

Someone wrote, "Many now expect the return of the awaited world teacher, Maitreya, whether they call him the Christ, Messiah, the fifth Buddha, Krishna, or the Imam Mahdi. Millions now… Read More

Q&A 0768 – 100% immersion?

Posted: March 23, 2009

I think that when I was baptized, I was only 99% immersed, and there was a small portion of me that didn’t go under the water. This was unintentional. Is… Read More

Q&A 0767 – Dedicating infants

Posted: March 21, 2009

I would like to know your thoughts on dedicating infants to God during a church service. My husband is concerned that it is somehow unbiblical. His thoughts are more that… Read More

Q&A 0766 – Humans and animals

Posted: March 19, 2009

Is the gulf between humans and animals really that significant? I have heard that genetically we are nearly identical to chimpanzees.Good question. I would like to respond with a piece… Read More

Q&A 0765 – Mary Magdalene: what are the facts?

Posted: March 17, 2009

Why is there so much odd information on Mary Magdalene? How can we be sure that none of it is actually true? How do we know if something is inspired?… Read More

Q&A 0764 – When did Jesus receive the Spirit?

Posted: March 15, 2009

My Bible group asked me a question I was unable to answer, and so I seek your advice. Did Jesus receive the Holy Spirit at birth? I know John the… Read More

Q&A 0763—Evidence for the Exodus?

Posted: March 13, 2009

This question is for Douglas Jacoby and John Oakes. I was conversing with a friend the other day about the Bible. He said he prefers to read the New Testament… Read More

Q&A 0762 – The morning after pill—abortion?

Posted: March 11, 2009

I was having a conversation with a friend debating whether the morning after pill is considered to be abortion or not. I’m interested to see if there is anything in… Read More

Q&A 0761 – Authority

Posted: March 9, 2009

I have a thought on that prickly topic of authority that so many are wrestling with. Sometimes I think we are looking at the issues backwards. We are assuming one… Read More

Q&A 0760 – Confession before marriage

Posted: March 7, 2009

Are you obligated to confess every single sin you’ve committed in your past to your fiancé before getting married? If the sin has nothing to with your relationship, do you… Read More

Q&A 0759 – Numbers in the Bible

Posted: March 5, 2009

I want to learn more about numbers in the Bible, how they were used, when they are literal and when they are figurative, but I am having a hard time… Read More

Q&A 0758 – The Cabbala

Posted: March 3, 2009

I read a book called With God in Solitary Confinement, by Richard Wurmbrand. There is a part about his thoughts on the female principle in the Deity. He uses Genesis… Read More

Q&A 0757 – Moving forward

Posted: March 1, 2009

I am a battered, wounded sheep who has forgiven all the hurts and sins committed against me and has sought forgiveness from those that I’ve hurt, yet I’m not moving… Read More

Q&A 0756 – Exodus 20:5 and Ezekiel 18:20

Posted: February 27, 2009

How do reconcile Exodus 20:5 and Ezekiel 18:20? — Evgeny Tkachenko (Yekaterinburg, Russia) I believe Exodus discusses the consequences of sin, which often last for as long as three or… Read More

Q&A 0755 – Disciples and Acts 9:25

Posted: February 25, 2009

What do you think about Acts 9:25? Is it appropriate to use the phrase “my disciples”? And what, if anything, can we conclude about a system of discipleship? Do you… Read More

Q&A 0754 – Satan entering Judas

Posted: February 23, 2009

I have a question in regard to John 13:27 and Luke 22:3. They both say that Satan entered Judas just before the betrayal. What does this mean for Judas as… Read More

Q&A 0753 – Falling Away

Posted: February 21, 2009

The disciples here have received a teaching, based on Hebrews 6:4-6, that people who have fallen away can never come back. We understand that there are different types of falling… Read More

Q&A 0752 – Anointing for healing

Posted: February 19, 2009

[Question submitted to DJ and Gordon Ferguson] A couple of members of our church have a question regarding anointing a sister who has been ill for some time. What does… Read More

Q&A 0751 – Saved by having a good heart?

Posted: February 17, 2009

Romans 2:12-16 makes it sounds like salvation is all about the heart and the motives behind our actions, more than the actions themselves. Does this scripture teach that some people… Read More

Q&A 0750 – Changes in employment?

Posted: February 15, 2009

In 1 Corinthians 7:17, 20-24 we read, "Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This… Read More

Q&A 0749 – The Philippian Jailer

Posted: February 13, 2009

I’m confused about the conversion of the jailer (and his household) in Acts 16. The man asked them what he must do to be saved, to which he was told… Read More

Q&A 0748 – Prayer for matters of the heart

Posted: February 11, 2009

Is it really effective to pray for God to change people’s hearts? If God gives the individual the choice of whether to be slaves to the spirit or slaves to… Read More

Q&A 0747 – Helping a Muslim relative

Posted: February 9, 2009

I’ve read all of your answers concerning Islam, which have given me more insight and helped me to answer my sister-in-law a little better. Her questions to me are: “How… Read More

Q&A 0746 – John 12:39-40 and “hardening”

Posted: February 7, 2009

I have a question about John 12:39-40. How would you interpret John’s citation of Isaiah, “Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, ‘He has blinded their eyes and… Read More

Q&A 0745 – Lust

Posted: February 5, 2009

The Bible is clear that lust is a sin. I would like to know where the line is between temptation and sin: Jesus said even if you look at a… Read More

Q&A 0744 – Elisha was wrong?

Posted: February 3, 2009

In 2 Kings 3:18, Elisha prophesied that God would hand Moab over to the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom. At the end of the chapter, however, it is made… Read More

Q&A 0743 – Interpreting the Bible

Posted: February 1, 2009

Have you ever read some of David Berçot’s works (for example, Common Sense and Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up?)? His thesis, esp. in Common Sense, is that the… Read More

Q&A 0742 – A brother who “disagrees” — what’s the real issue?

Posted: January 30, 2009

I have a friend who has been a disciple for many years, and who has several Christian relatives as well. He has always considered himself to be on the philosophical… Read More

Q&A 0741 – Exclusion of members from the assembly

Posted: January 28, 2009

Could you advise how we can go about studying the topic of exclusion of members from the assembly? (I.e., what types of sins/behavior qualify, at what stages one gives a… Read More

Q&A 0740 – Trinity and Jesus’ Divinity?

Posted: January 26, 2009

I have read your article on the Trinity, but still have a question. Nowhere in scripture does it say that Jesus is God. It only says he is the Son… Read More

Q&A 0739 – Blood sacrifices

Posted: January 24, 2009

I was reading about Moses and the Tabernacle and all that jazz. I guess through all these years of church, I became familiar with the notion of animal sacrifices, and… Read More

Q&A 0738 – Vivid dreams from God?

Posted: January 22, 2009

My friend has vivid dreams, almost every night. She is a mature woman, yet young in faith. She gives her dreams a lot of weight in her decision-making and understanding…. Read More

Q&A 0737 – Tsunamis and the will of God

Posted: January 20, 2009

At the time of this email the death toll from the [2004] earthquake and resulting tsunami in the Indian Ocean is already 155,000, and experts believe this number will rise…. Read More

Q&A 0736 – How can we avoid being “choked” by the world (Mark 4)?

Posted: January 18, 2009

It would seem that the greatest challenge my church faced early on was a willingness to be persecuted. Of course, I realize we brought some of it upon ourselves. Now,… Read More

Q&A 0735—Paul’s determination to visit Spain

Posted: January 16, 2009

Why was Paul eager to visit Spain (Romans 15:24)? Recall that he viewed himself as the “apostle to the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13). Paul often quotes the prophet Isaiah in relation… Read More

Q&A 0734 – Fasting

Posted: January 14, 2009

What I see in scripture is that fasting is an abstinence from both food and water. Further, the purpose of fasting is to weaken the flesh and create a humility… Read More

Q&A 0733 – Elders

Posted: January 12, 2009

1Timothy discusses qualifications for elders. But given the fact that there were elders there when Paul visited in Acts 20, isn’t it possible that there was a problem with the… Read More

Q&A 0732 – The birth of Jesus (census)

Posted: January 10, 2009

In chapter two of Luke, Luke names Quirinius as governor of Syria. It appears that the present state of knowledge about that man tells us that he didn’t assume the… Read More

Q&A 0731 – When did Jesus become God’s son?

Posted: January 8, 2009

At what point did Jesus become God’s son? I believe he has always eternally existed with God, but when did he inherit the title "son"? Since scriptures say that God… Read More

Q&A 0730 – Suicidio

Posted: January 6, 2009

‘Yo soy discipulo de la iglesia en Bogotá (Colombia) hace más de 10 años. El mes pasado un hermano se ahorcó en su casa, la iglesia hizo una reunión …… Read More

Q&A 0729 – Godfather

Posted: January 4, 2009

I was recently asked by a brother to become the "godfather" for his son. I was very honored, as he explained the heart of the request was to look after… Read More

Q&A 0728 – Is “the perfect” the completed Bible?

Posted: January 2, 2009

I have tried to study about the Holy Spirit, its works and gifts, and all the myriad themes entailed in this insurmountable topic. We learn in 1 Corinthians 13 that… Read More

Q&A 0727 – The Spirit

Posted: December 31, 2008

In Acts 8, why wasn’t the indwelling Spirit given to the Samaritans at their baptism? Why did the apostles have to lay hands on them for them to receive the… Read More

Q&A 0726—Apostolicity

Posted: December 29, 2008

You mentioned in your series How the Bible Came To Be that apostolicity is the key to inclusion of a text in the NT canon. How do I know any writing is apostolic,… Read More

Q&A 0725 – The baptism administered by Jesus’ disciples (John 4)

Posted: December 27, 2008

We know that John the Baptist immersed people. In John 4:1, we see that Jesus’ disciples were also immersing. John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. What was the purpose… Read More

Q&A 0724 – What constitutes a marriage?

Posted: December 25, 2008

How does one become married according to scripture? Actually, the Bible does not specify any one way to become married. This will depend on the laws of the nation in… Read More

Q&A 0723 – NIV translators

Posted: December 23, 2008

What is your opinion of the NIV Translation Committee? It is my understanding that there were as many as three homosexuals assisting them in some capacity. When I compare the… Read More

Q&A 0722 – English-Greek Lexicon suggestion for non-Greek reader?

Posted: December 21, 2008

I wanted your recommendation on a title(s)/author(s) for an English-NT Greek Lexicon; and the more "user friendly," the better for me. What would you recommend? At the moment, I do… Read More

Q&A 0721 – Qual é o real sentido que Jesus ora em João 17?

Posted: December 19, 2008

Em João 17 Jesus ora para que sejamos completamente unidos. Em nossa congregação aqui em Recife tem alguns líderes que tem tido um contato muito grande com a Igreja de… Read More

Q&A 0720 – Free Bible software and the Holman Christian Standard Bible

Posted: December 17, 2008

I noticed your reply to the inquiry about the ISV [Q 0695] and I wondered if you have noticed that free HCSB software is now available at e-sword.net. They also… Read More

Q&A 0719 – In Vitro Fertilization

Posted: December 15, 2008

We recently used IVF to conceive another child. However, instead of the normal number of good fertilized eggs (four), which would normally produce one or two babies, we ended up… Read More

Q&A 0718 – Authority of evangelist

Posted: December 13, 2008

Can you think of an instance where an evangelist, elder, deacon, etc. might have his authority removed? A situation has happened in our local congregation that has sparked many questions… Read More

Q&A 0717 – What do you think about David Berçot

Posted: December 11, 2008

What do you think about David Berçot and his writings, especially Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up? — Alvin Gumiran (Manila) I enjoy David Berçot’s writings enormously. They make… Read More

Q&A 0716 – Cohabitation (live-in lovers)

Posted: December 9, 2008

Is it wrong if I move in with my boyfriend? If we love each other, isn’t that what counts? Is the Bible against this? Living (and, presumably, sleeping) with your… Read More

Q&A 0715 – John 7:53-8:11

Posted: December 7, 2008

I have recently read the following books: How We Got the Bible, by Neil R. Lightfoot; The Origin of the Bible, by Philip Wesley Comfort; and From God to Us,… Read More

Q&A 0714 – Did a good God create viruses?

Posted: December 5, 2008

How do viruses fit into God’s plan, and where do you believe they come from? Also, do you believe they are living? — B.M. Virology is simply not addressed, even… Read More

Q&A 0713 – No one righteous?

Posted: December 3, 2008

Romans chapter 3 says that "there is no one righteous — not even one." If there is no one righteous, why is Jesus considered the righteous one? Does righteous mean… Read More

Q&A 0712 – Salvation

Posted: December 1, 2008

I recently wrote a paper on my blog entitled "What is Salvation?" Yet I felt that the baptism discussions were a little too pointed, too focused on baptism exclusively rather… Read More

Q&A 0711 – Psalm 1

Posted: November 29, 2008

I was reading in Psalms 1, and I noted verse 5: "Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous." I was… Read More

Q&A 0710 – The mother of Rufus

Posted: November 27, 2008

Romans 16:13 says that Rufus’ mother was like a mother to Paul. Speculating that this woman was the wife of Simon of Cyrene Mark 15:21, when did Paul develop this… Read More

Q&A 0709 – The deaths of Nadab and Abihu

Posted: November 25, 2008

I have begun reading through Leviticus to get a better understanding and appreciation of the temple/tabernacle worship. One of the striking things is the sudden death of Nadab and Abihu,… Read More

Q&A 0708 – Baby Baptism

Posted: November 23, 2008

I am truly trying not to "speak where the Bible is silent," and I feel like baptizing children is one of those issues. I see that Jesus called children to… Read More

Q&A 0707 – Slaughter of the Midianites

Posted: November 21, 2008

In the first five books of the OT, there are at least 21 times where people were killed directly or ordered to be killed by God. Yet God said, "Do… Read More

Q&A 0706 – Paul’s citizenship and birth

Posted: November 19, 2008

Acts 22:28 states that Paul was a natural born Roman citizen, while Philippians 3:4-5 states he’s a Hebrew. There are other passages in Scripture indicating his apparent dual citizenship. My… Read More

Q&A 0705 – John the Baptist in prison

Posted: November 17, 2008

When do you think John the Baptist was taken into prison in relationship to Jesus’ ministry? It seems like one account says that after Jesus got back from the wilderness,… Read More

Q&A 0704 – Celibacy

Posted: November 15, 2008

I appreciate your answers to the questions concerning dating and whether to marry. I recall you writing that if you have the gift of celibacy you should consider remaining single… Read More

Q&A 0703 – Casting Lots

Posted: November 13, 2008

In Acts 1:26, the apostles cast lots to determine who would replace Judas as the twelfth apostle. Proverbs says, "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision… Read More

Q&A 0702 – Homosexuality

Posted: November 11, 2008

I have a question regarding homosexuality. I am a Christian and obviously believe God’s word to be true. The Bible says homosexuality is sinful — something to be repented of…. Read More

Q&A 0701 – Does “we” mean “all of us”?

Posted: November 9, 2008

I have a question about 2 Corinthians 2ff. and Ephesians 1. Paul often uses the term "we," "our," etc. In our reading and preaching of these texts, it seems to… Read More

Q&A 0700 – Extra sentences in the Bible?

Posted: November 7, 2008

"For many are called, but few are chosen" appears in some Bibles as part of Matthew 20:16, after "the first shall be last and the last shall be first." Yet… Read More

Q&A 0699 – Is abortion wrong?

Posted: November 5, 2008

I would like to share the following submission from one of my readers. (My own position is that in 99% of all cases, abortion is indeed wrong.) Would you consider… Read More

Q&A 0698 – Achish a Giant? David evangelizing Achish?

Posted: November 3, 2008

I visited a Bible discussion on campus at a nearby university. The topic was the life of David. The leader mentioned (commenting on 1 Samuel 29) that since David fled… Read More

Q&A 0697 – Bible Study Classes

Posted: November 1, 2008

Can you please suggest some websites with some good biblical study courses? (several inquirers) John Lang, of Indianapolis, recently sent the following great links. I think you will appreciate all… Read More

Q&A 0696 – Coins of the Bible

Posted: October 30, 2008

Where can I find out what coins in Bible times looked like? Any pointers? A good Bible encyclopedia would probably help you, though there is a quicker way. Since you… Read More

Q&A 0695 – International Standard Version

Posted: October 28, 2008

I came across an online resource for a Bible translation I was unfamiliar with. The ISV (International Standard Version) purports to bridge the gap between literal and idiomatic translations. The… Read More

Q&A 0694 – Satan reads minds?

Posted: October 26, 2008

I found a book that answered a lot of my questions about prayer. It is Nelson’s Personal Handbook on Prayer, by James Wilhoit. On page 182 it says, "First of… Read More

Q&A 0693 – The Kingdom came at Pentecost?

Posted: October 24, 2008

Don’t the two following passages in the scriptures rule out that the kingdom of God came on the day of Pentecost? Luke 17:20-21: "Once, having been asked by the Pharisees… Read More

Q&A 0692 – Surrender

Posted: October 22, 2008

Could you please explain the concept of surrender as it applies to "letting go and letting God"? I hear this over and over, but I’m not sure that I know… Read More

Q&A 0691 – Prophecies about Iraq

Posted: October 20, 2008

Is it true that the Koran prophesies the "War on Terror" against Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden? I recently received an email. It said, "No other nation, except Israel,… Read More

Q&A 0690 – Interpretation?

Posted: October 18, 2008

I was reading about Origen (d.254 AD), one of the ancient church fathers in a recent Christian history magazine, and it got me thinking. My church has taught for years that… Read More

Q&A 0689 – The date of Revelation

Posted: October 16, 2008

Do you believe that Revelation was written by John around 64-65 A.D, or do you hold to the more traditional date of 95 A.D? I know that the 95 A.D…. Read More

Q&A 0688 – Marriage

Posted: October 14, 2008

[The issue at hand: whether it is right to baptize a couple living together who are not technically married.] — See Q&A 0666 for the context. I was reading through… Read More

Q&A 0687 – Paragraphs in the original Greek New Testament

Posted: October 12, 2008

I read somewhere (I can’t remember where) that each of our modern-day paragraphs is the equivalent of a single sentence in the original Greek. But my interlinear Bible seems to… Read More

Q&A 0686 – Calling on the name of the Lord

Posted: October 10, 2008

Do all who call on the name of the Lord get saved? Or only the ones who do his will? I am thinking of passages like Romans 10:13, Joel 2:32,… Read More

Q&A 0685 – Fools

Posted: October 8, 2008

How do you explain that Jesus himself called people ‘fools’? Wouldn’t he be subject to hellfire according to his own words (Matthew 5:22 versus 23:17, 19)? What does this mean… Read More

Q&A 0684 – Confession before baptism?

Posted: October 6, 2008

I have a question about Romans 10:9. Before every baptism I’ve been to, including my own, the person to be baptized confessed "Jesus is Lord." Was this confession done in… Read More

Q&A 0683 – E.T.

Posted: October 4, 2008

I was wondering what your view was about life on other planets. — Chris Gordillo So far, there is no unequivocal evidence that there has ever been life any of… Read More

Q&A 0682 – I want a girlfriend!

Posted: October 2, 2008

I’m trying to understand the idea of male-female relationships — i.e. marriage, or in my case, dating. My desire is to have a girlfriend, and eventually a wife, but I’m… Read More

Q&A 0681 – The end of the world and Jim McGuiggan

Posted: September 30, 2008

I noticed in your book Genesis, Science & History that you teach Revelation 21-22 is about the church triumphant. My viewpoint on this is evolving, but I have a question… Read More

Q&A 0680 – New Testament word study books

Posted: September 28, 2008

What reference books do you recommend in order to study New Testament words? — C. W. Rardin Why not start with Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament… Read More

Q&A 0679 – Mary and Joseph

Posted: September 26, 2008

I believe Mary and Joseph were called "married" before Jesus was born. I do not understand this. Were they really married? And were they allowed to have sex together? And… Read More

Q&A 0678 – Oaths: a difficulty

Posted: September 24, 2008

Please help to make sense of the following scriptures — how they relate to one another and should be applied. Numbers 30:10-12: "Suppose a woman is married and living in… Read More

Q&A 0677 – Spirits

Posted: September 22, 2008

I recently visited a charismatic church. The sermon was about strengthening the spirit, or, as they put it, "Getting the wuss out of you!" The main scripture was Numbers 13:29,… Read More

Q&A 0676 – No Gentiles into the Temple Courts?

Posted: September 20, 2008

In Acts 21:29, Paul was criticised for bringing an uncircumcised Greek into the temple courts. I was trying to find the OT regulation stipulating that Gentiles, aliens or the uncircumcised… Read More

Q&A 0675 – Bible names

Posted: September 18, 2008

I am reading through Chronicles and have a question about names in the Bible. Do you know the process by which names are translated? I came across one name Evil-Merodach,… Read More

Q&A 0674 – Water baptism and Holy Spirit Baptism

Posted: September 16, 2008

I would like to study the water and HS baptism as one in the same theme. Do you have some scriptures or a study on that? Yes, chapter 24 of… Read More

Q&A 0673 – Was fornication a sin in OT times?

Posted: September 14, 2008

I’ve been asked by a few friends, “Was it a sin to be immoral in the Old Testament without being married?” What do you say?”—Carmen (Long Beach) Absolutely! It is… Read More

Q&A 0672 – Marriage, divorce and remarriage

Posted: September 12, 2008

The article posted at your website on this difficult subject is very helpful. I especially appreciate the time all the authors took in developing the “concessionary will” strand in the… Read More

Q&A 0671 – Who killed Goliath?

Posted: September 10, 2008

1 Samuel 17:50 and 2 Samuel 21:19 appear to be contradictory. The second passage says Elhanan son of Jaare-Oregim of Bethlehem killed Goliath the Gittite. If this is true, how… Read More

Q&A 0670 – Cyrus

Posted: September 8, 2008

In Daniel 6:30, the king who conquered and took over the Babylonian empire was Darius, while I guess historical records indicate it was Cyrus. What would you say about this?… Read More

Q&A 0669 – The Nag Hammadi texts

Posted: September 6, 2008

Are the Nag Hammadi and Lut Lake documents (gospels) true, or did somebody make them up to confuse the believers? If they are true, do they contradict with the Bible… Read More

Q&A 0668 – Diana or Artemis?

Posted: September 4, 2008

In Acts 19, in Ephesus, the great goddess is named Diana in the KJV, but is called Artemis in the NIV. This seems like a pretty big difference. Any reason… Read More

Q&A 0667 – Jesus’ early residences

Posted: September 2, 2008

I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question in Q632. However, there are some loose ends I’d like to clear up. First, you said "Then why, you… Read More

Q&A 0666 – Common law divorce?

Posted: August 31, 2008

At your website you wrote that if the laws of the land recognize you as married, then that is fine. I have a friend who has been living a common… Read More

Q&A 0665 – Masturbation

Posted: August 29, 2008

Is masturbation sin? Can we separate the act from the sinful desires that accompany it? The Bible does not directly address the subject, so we should be careful in how… Read More

Q&A 0664 – Requests for benevolence refused?

Posted: August 27, 2008

In Matthew 5:42 we read, "Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you." Is it right for… Read More

Q&A 0663 – The seed of life

Posted: August 25, 2008

I checked out one of your articles regarding the creation account, where you said, "There are several other scientific insights one can glean from Genesis. For example, Genesis 3 teaches… Read More

Q&A 0662 – Marriage and church weddings

Posted: August 23, 2008

I will get married soon. My fiancée and I were wondering, "Is it really necessary to be married in front of the church, or only in front of the law?"… Read More

Q&A 0661 – Disfellowship

Posted: August 21, 2008

How should we proceed with people who in the past were disfellowshiped from the church? In Bulgaria we are asking ourselves, "For how long does the disfellowship apply?" and "If… Read More

Q&A 0660 – Ahab

Posted: August 19, 2008

A footnote in my NASB study Bible on 1 Kings 16 said Ahab was probably worshiping both YHWH and Baal, because the names of both of Ahab’s sons refer to… Read More

Q&A 0659 – Church service order

Posted: August 17, 2008

I just want to know about the biblical explanation of the Sunday church service. I am referring to such features as the welcome, opening prayer, communion, benevolence collection, message, response,… Read More

Q&A 0658 – Does the United States indoctrinate its people?

Posted: August 15, 2008

As a political science and sociology student I have found it fairly difficult to accept all that my country continues to do domestically and abroad to those less fortunate. I… Read More

Q&A 0657 – Is Satan really guilty?

Posted: August 13, 2008

It seems that Satan was created with the sole purpose of sifting men. God knew that Satan and the other angels would turn from him, before he even created him…… Read More

Q&A 0656 – Satan and evil

Posted: August 11, 2008

You wrote, "Whatever resists God’s will is evil’ (Q0067). Before, I viewed the cosmos as a duality with two forces, good and evil. But as I see things now, that… Read More

Q&A 0655 – Clearing debt

Posted: August 9, 2008

I’d love to see something posted on clearing debt. During my 19 years as a disciple, I’ve allowed contribution pressures to influence my financial decisions. I have a good bit… Read More

Q&A 0654 – Nag Hammadi documents

Posted: August 7, 2008

Here in Turkey it’s not that easy to get sources to teach us about Christianity. I have a question: Are the Nag Hammadi documents true, or did somebody make them… Read More

Q&A 0653 – Saved at baptism?

Posted: August 5, 2008

I have done some study about salvation and baptism, and have come to some conclusions that are in seeming disagreement with the doctrine of salvation through baptism. Undoubtedly, baptism is… Read More

Q&A 0652 – Daily Bible reading required?

Posted: August 3, 2008

When it comes to reading the Bible daily, is there any passage that calls us to read every day? I am looking for a passage that’s not been taken out… Read More

Q&A 0651 – Authorship of Isaiah

Posted: August 1, 2008

What are your thoughts on the authorship of Isaiah? I know that most scholars believe the book consists of the prophecies of two, three or more prophets, including various editorial… Read More

Q&A 0650 – The Qur’an, Jews and Christians

Posted: July 30, 2008

I noticed in The Muslim Challenge at the website the "Fatiha." I have studied part of the Koran back in high school in Lebanon and recently bought a copy of… Read More

Q&A 0649 – Mary and Martha

Posted: July 28, 2008

Is Mary in Luke 10:38 the same Mary who appears at the foot of the cross in Luke and John? — Tasha No, Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus, is… Read More

Q&A 0648 – 1 Corinthians 11:19

Posted: July 26, 2008

I am trying to figure out 1 Corinthians 11:17-19, where Paul talks about how there will be differences among brothers to show which have God’s approval. Does this mean the… Read More

Q&A 0647 – Keys of the Kingdom

Posted: July 24, 2008

I have been taught that in Matthew 16 Peter was given the keys (plural), and used one in Acts 2 for the Jews then the other in Acts 10 to… Read More

Q&A 0646 – Crucifixion

Posted: July 22, 2008

What do we know about crucifixion in the ancient world? One of the best books I have ever read is The Cross of the Son of God (London: SCM Press,… Read More

Q&A 0645 – Marrying outside Israel

Posted: July 20, 2008

From Deuteronomy 21:10-14, it would appear that God allows his people to marry outside of Israel. Was this a special case? What seems odd to me is that the husband… Read More

Q&A 0644 – Snake Handling, Part II

Posted: July 18, 2008

Thank you for your website. I find it quite helpful to hear the questions of others, and am thankful that others are just as confused about some things as I… Read More

Q&A 0643 – What about snake-handling? Part I

Posted: July 16, 2008

Doesn’t Mark 16 encourage Christians to handle snakes? What do you say about that? In Mark 16 — if we accept the passage as genuine — Jesus predicted that believers… Read More

Q&A 0642 – Who was Nostradamus?

Posted: July 14, 2008

Biblical prophecy is nothing like the so-called prophecies of the world. It is accurate, reliable, and sure. The prophecies of the world, by contrast, tend to be vague, phony, or… Read More

Q&A 0641- Disciples before the 12?

Posted: July 12, 2008

I was reading through Luke, focusing on how Jesus started his ministry, and I started to wonder why Jesus wouldn’t call anyone to follow him before Simon and Andrew. Jesus had to have… Read More

Q&A 0640 – 2 Samuel 7:11-16

Posted: July 10, 2008

My questions regard 2 Samuel 7:11-16. The passage seems to be referring to Solomon. On the other hand, I am tempted to believe this scripture refers to Jesus. Who is… Read More

Q&A 0639 – Blood and flesh

Posted: July 8, 2008

Why did Jesus tell people they couldn’t have life unless they ate his body and drank his blood? This seems strange, as though it is coming out of nowhere. I… Read More

Q&A 0638 – Eternal sin

Posted: July 6, 2008

The question is about Mark 3:28 and Matthew 12:32 versus Luke 12:10. This is of importance for me, because Mark 3:28 is often explained by reference to its context. In… Read More

Q&A 0637 – Adonai and “Lord”

Posted: July 4, 2008

"The LORD says to my Lord" in Psalm 110:1 is usually considered proof of Jesus’ divinity. However, I’ve read some Jewish writers claiming the second "Lord" is a false translation… Read More

Q&A 0636 – 1 Corinthians 3:17 and Euthanasia

Posted: July 2, 2008

I’ve heard and learned that committing suicide is sin. Some people have cancer that doctors can’t help. Do they have to go through pain and suffering? The AMP version of… Read More

Q&A 0635 – Mark 4:10-12

Posted: June 30, 2008

In Mark 4:10-12, we read, "When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, ‘The secret of the kingdom of… Read More

Q&A 0634 – Judas’ field

Posted: June 28, 2008

I’ve often wondered what Judas did with his money he received for betraying Jesus. In Acts 1:18 it says he bought a field (where he died). But in Matthew 27:5-7… Read More

Q&A 0633 – Baptismal expectations

Posted: June 26, 2008

I have helped many people get baptized into Christ. I’ve also prevented many people from getting baptized because they were not meeting my expectations (or the specific challenges I laid… Read More

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