Results 1 - 20 of 25
Pages: [ 1 2 ] > Last  >>
|Results from: Answered Bible Questions, Unanswered Bible Questions
Author: Brent Douglass Ordered by Date
|1||Uriah the Hittite in Christ's lineage?||Matt 1:6||Brent Douglass||243009|
|Is there any way that Jesus could be considered a descendant of Uriah, with David occupying the place of the responsible brother with Uriah's widow (based on Uriah being apart from his family as a Hittite given to David's service and brought to his death at David's hand for David's sin)? This would make Solomon Uriah's legal son before God. Is this impossible, or would this be a reason for the mention of Uriah here as a foreigner?|
|2||Significance to the tents' locations?||Gen 31:33||Brent Douglass||230595|
|The narration of the sequence by which Laban searched the tents seems very carefully descriptive: First the tent of Jacob, then Leah, then the tent of them maids, and then Laban emerges from the tent of Leah (not the tent of the maids) before searching Rachel's tent.
Is the maids' tent connected to or behind the tent of Leah? It seems so, but what does this indicate based on practices of the times?
Is Rachel truly in her menstruation and kept separate?
Is Leah treated as the higher wife positionally and thus has the maids more quickly at her disposal?
Or is Rachel treated as the higher wife positionally and thus given a tent away from the others as is Jacob?
Is there any research available of practices of the time, or only speculation?
|3||Defending themselves or accusing Jesus?||John 8:41||Brent Douglass||229259|
|I have heard some commentators suggest that this verse is a jab at Jesus -- suggesting He had an illegitimate birth. Is this evident at all from the context or the language of the time?
Perhaps I am just missing something obvious, but it seems to me that this is quite a reach that is assumed based on modern dramatic traditions regarding the conception and birth of Christ. The context seems pretty clear that they are simply claiming to be true spiritual descendants of Abraham, not unfaithful idolaters or descendants of idolaters.
Rather it seems that the religious leaders would have consistently, repeatedly, and forcefully made such accusations against Jesus if the history regarding His conception and birth was known.
Please let me know if the following observations seem to be way off track.
There seems to me to be a clear pattern in the conception and birth history of Matthew and Luke indicating that God provided a way for Mary to be sequestered with Elizabeth during the first trimester (when morning sickness would have been most evident). The census then provided an ideal reason for Joseph and Mary to marry quickly and leave early in the second trimester before Mary's pregnancy would have become obvious to others (being the first pregnancy of a young and likely healthy woman), and it seems that Joseph would have wisely pursued such a path. They then likely would have arrived in Bethlehem (perhaps to Joseph's birth home or extended family) already married. The baby was then born "while they were there" (Luke 2:4-6) in Bethlehem (not likely the night they arrived or the context would have noted the timing as in other places in Scripture). No relatives there in Bethlehem would have been aware that they were not already married at the time of conception -- unless they chose to deliberately trust them to believe their story (when Joseph himself had naturally doubted until an angel spoke to him). Then they remained in Bethlehem for nearly two years (probably intending to settle there away from any potential gossip in Nazareth if they returned too soon with a child). And then they went to Egypt (likely for several years) before finally returning to Nazareth when Jesus was likely anywhere from 4 to 10 years old (before He was 12 anyway). As a result, the exact timing of Jesus' conception and birth would likely have been hidden from everyone in Nazareth as well -- again unless Joseph and Mary chose to deliberately reveal it. (Joseph knew from personal experience how ridiculous the story would sound coming from another person before Jesus had proven His identity through His ministry, death, and resurrection.)
If people knew the story of Jesus' conception before His death and resurrection, I would expect Jesus' enemies to use the common "knowledge" of His apparent illegitimate birth at every opportunity to undermine Him and refute His claims and His popularity as a spiritual leader. Yet we never see such direct accusations, and no commentators have pointed to any reference except this one (which seems so questionable in context).
I am really not looking for an argument. However, the context and observations seem to argue rather strongly against such interpretation, and yet people much more knowledgeable that I have, at times, made such a suggestion. Is there something in the text, grammar, or practices of the day that indicates this intent on the part of the religious leaders or a response/reaction on the part of Jesus indicating that He understood their statement in such a light? Please let me know what you think?
|4||The "dramatic addition" is extrabiblical||Luke 2:5||Brent Douglass||181475|
|Doc, I think you misunderstood my reference to a "dramatic addition?" I do not deem any portion of Scripture to be a "dramatic addition." Rather what I question as being a "dramatic addition" is the idea of Mary arriving in Bethlehem on the very night when Jesus was born. This is an extrabiblical interpretation -- albeit a very popular one.
Luke 2:5-6 states simply that Mary was pregnant ("with child") when Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem. They also say that Jesus was born "while they were there" -- indicating some time during their stay rather than immediately upon arrival.
Matthew 2:11 states that the magi visited in a house (not a stable), and Matthew 2:16 states that Herod had all boys killed in Bethlehem "from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi." This indicates the magis' visit to Bethlehem and departure were likely nearly 2 years after Jesus' birth -- after they had begun living in a house.
In addition, Matthew 2:22-23 also teach that Joseph's reason for returning to Nazareth of Galilee rather than Bethlehem of Judea as a home was because of the fear of Herod's son Archelaus finding them in Bethlehem. They had apparently resettled in Bethlehem after the census -- and would have apparently been expected to settle there upon their return if not for Joseph's concern for their safety from Herod Archelaus.
It seems to me that the amount of time from Joseph and Mary's departure (after marriage but perhaps prior to any outward signs of pregnancy) until the time of their arrival back in Nazareth was sufficient for people not to be aware of any oddity regarding the time of their marriage and Jesus' age upon their return from Egypt.
In addition, any relatives living in Bethlehem when they arrived simply knew that they were married and that Mary was pregnant and had her first child while there.
Finally, I don't see any reference to "dubious parentage" (based on out-of-wedlock conception) whatsoever in John 6:42. It seems to me the clearest reading of John 6:42 is the exact opposite -- that everyone assumed Joseph to be Jesus' natural father as the husband of Mary and were puzzled by Jesus' claim to have come supernaturally from heaven. There is no suggestion in John 6:42 of out-of-wedlock conception -- which would be expected from any detractors if the timing of conception (prior to marriage) were public knowledge.
|5||When did Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem||Luke 2:5||Brent Douglass||181460|
|I know tradition indicates that Mary gave birth the night of her arrival in Bethlehem. However, that seems rather like a dramatic addition. Is there any clear indication in Scripture or elsewhere historically that people in Nazareth (other than Joseph and presumably Mary's immediate family) knew that Mary was pregnant before she left for Bethlehem, or did Mary leave perhaps early in her 2nd trimester before she was showing? I'm not aware of any clear and direct accusations toward Jesus about being conceived out of wedlock, and I would expect them if His birth was well known. It seems like the timing of Mary's visit to Elizabeth, the decree of Caesar, and the flight to Egypt kept the miraculous and scandalous conception a secret -- but one that could be later easily confirmed by those closest to Mary and Joseph still alive after Jesus' resurrection. Any insight or comments on this concept and question?|
|6||Clarification from John Reformed...?||Rom 1:16||Brent Douglass||40242|
|Brother John Reformed,
I'd like to respond to your question, but I need to clarify something first.
In the posting that I'm responding to, you made the statement, "I ask this question to bring into focus the erroneous doctine of Arminius and his followers."
Were you referring to your frequent asking of the question, "What happens to people who never have heard the Gospel (does God have an alternative plan for their salvation)?" to "Bible-believing Christians" in general?
Were you referring more specifically to your posting of the original question to the forum? -- "Dear Forum, I would like to propose a discussion concerning the Gospel. Is it God's sole means of salvation?"
FYI -- I would not place myself as either a follower of Arminius (and all of the "points" of his followers at Dort) or as a full 5-point Calvinist. Based on my reading of the Scriptures, I can not fully agree with either group.
|7||Soul destroyed? or Eternal suffering?||Matt 10:28||Brent Douglass||39260|
|That's a good question. The distinction between soul (psuche) and spirit (pnuema) is a completely separate matter, and others may have a better grasp of the distinction than I do. I guess I have a view (albeit not unalterable) that the soul (or psyche) is the central identity or existence of an individual, whereas the spirit (pneuma, breath, wind) is that which comes from God and carries life within it -- as when God breathed into man and he became a living soul. If God removes the spirit from a body, the body dies but the soul continues. If and when the breath of God leaves the soul, the soul (and the individual) ceases to exist altogether. Suffering in hell would, therefore, be eternal for all only in the sense that it would continue as long as the soul continued.
However, those who have actively (in a "lambano" - Strong's 2983 sense of receiving him) taken hold of Satan and his beast as their leader will suffer forever with him according to Rev. 14:11. It appears to me from what I can see that this eternal sharing in the suffering of the devil and his angels is reserved only for those who have deliberately given themselves up in this way.
In contrast, those who are given up to Satan in a more passive way (a "dechomai" - Strong's 1209 receiving of him) are eventually wiped from existence altogether. It seems to me that there is room for this explanation in the images given by Christ in Lk 12:47-48 of differing levels of punishment based on the degree of defiance shown.
However, there seems to be such a strong tide of belief in eternal conscious punishment of each unbeliever amongst those teachers and congregations who are biblically solid (even to the point of including it in some of their basic creeds) that I hesitate to hold too firmly to such an idea (as the annihilation of most unbelievers) without seeking testing from a forum such as this (as well as elsewhere).
|8||Hell - Soul destroyed? Suffer forever?||Matt 10:28||Brent Douglass||39237|
|What do the Scriptures say about eternal suffering in Hell vs. destruction of the soul itself?
The verse above (Matthew 10:28) and others appear to indicate that the norm is eventual destruction of the soul itself.
Other verses, however (like Matt 25:46), appear to indicate eternal suffering.
And still others (Mark 9:47-48) focus more on the eternality of Hell itself.
It seems clear from Rev. 14:11 that at least those who worship the beast and-or receive his mark will burn forever. However, Matt 10:28 (as referenced above) indicates that the soul can be and is destroyed.
I have an earlier question related to this that can be accessed by searching under this same verse (Matt 10:28), and I closed it off after getting some excellent answers from kalos and JonnyRay49423 at that time. However, I'm looking for a little extra detail on the Scriptural statements this time.
|9||When did the Word become the Son?||Heb 5:5||Brent Douglass||37386|
|Thank you for your explanation of the eternal nature of the Word. I am in full agreement with you. However, my question was whether the relationship BETWEEN the eternal Word and the eternal MAJESTY changed experientially, NOT whether the essential nature of the eternally triune Godhead changed. Thanks for adding the necessary clarification. I apologize if the question came across muddled.
There would be certain implications related to such a change in experiential relationship, as well as the resulting transformation in the way God experientially identifies with and deals with the faithful -- both those before and after Christ's incarnation. However, that's a different question.
Unfortunately, I'm not familiar enough with the church fathers to know how this particular idea has been considered, and I want to be careful not to hold this view if there are hidden stumbling blocks associated with it. This is why I brought the question to the forum.
Once again, thank you, Segerstrale, for helping me to clarify that the question was NOT related to the eternality of Jesus Christ the eternal Word or the unchangeable nature of the essence of the triune God. The question assumes these eternal attributes as givens.
|10||When did the Word become the Son?||Heb 5:5||Brent Douglass||37340|
|Was there an experiential "change" in the relationships of the essentially unchangeable Godhead when the Son was conceived? Were "God the Father" and "God the Son" new roles taken by the eternal Majesty (Heb 1:3; 8:1) and the eternal Word (Jn 1), or did these roles exist experientially within the Godhead from eternity?
God does not change in His essence. However, did the eternal Majesty in heaven "become" the Father of the eternal Word (and the eternal word "become" the Son of the Majesty) at that time but not before (experientially)?
|11||Aaronic high priest under Rome (new thrd||Heb 5:4||Brent Douglass||26930|
|Forgive my ignorance, but this is the first I've heard of Rome assigning the Jewish high priest. Can you (or anyone) clarify where the information regarding payment to Rome by high priests came from? Is there any allusion to it in the New Testament? Was it in Josephus? Can anyone verify a reference? Was there some kind of suggestion of bribes indicated (and-or direct assignment by Rome), or did they simply have official responsibility for turning over taxes from the temple treasury or something like that (w- or w-o a suggestion that some abused this by stealing some of it or inflating the amount in exchange for favors, as this would still be a separate issue)? Can anyone clarify?
Also, if possible, I'd prefer to keep this as a separate thread from the earlier question of how the high priest was expected to be chosen (Scripturally and-or traditionally). The potential that the priesthood had corrupted its method of choosing the high priest under Rome is also significant, but I'd like to focus on the Scriptural and traditional guidelines in order to gain light on how the selection of Aaronic high priests illustrates the selection of Christ in the Melchizedek order.
With respect to the answer about descendency from Aaron, I fully agree with you. All priests (under the Aaronic order of course, not the Melchizedek order) were descendents of Aaron, and that would include the high priest. If they remained high priest until death, could there ever be more than one "high" priest at a time? Annas was still alive when Caiaphas was high priest.
Can anyone recommend specific reading that would give insight into this?
|12||Selection of high priests (revisited)?||Heb 5:4||Brent Douglass||26915|
|Thanks, Nolan, your answer was very helpful in clarifying that God (and not man) oversaw the selection of high priests. However, I also wondered specifically what methods (or criteria) were used. It may have been as simple as the first-born son (at least at first). Is this a consistent pattern throughout Scripture? (I have no idea.) However, the high priest (Caiaphas) at the time of Jesus' death was apparently the son-in-law of Annas, a previous high priest (Luke 3:2) -- who was still living (John 18:13-14). Maybe Annas had no sons, but the repeated reference that Caiaphas was priest "that year" (Jn 11:49;18:13; confuses that concept for me. But wait, you made we do a word search in my new E-sword software, and I see that there was a "high-priestly descent" at the time of Christ (Acts 4:6).
Can someone elaborate further as to whether it was clearly and consistently a transition from father to son (or at times son in-law in the absence of a son)? How did they know when to pass the high priesthood on, or did the eligible descendants-generations rotate each "year" amongst themselves?
|13||How were high priests selected?||Heb 5:4||Brent Douglass||26900|
|Heb 5:1,4 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God,... And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.
This passage brought up several questions as to how the Levitical selection of the high priest may have (or not) illustrated God's plan in sending the Son to be the great High Priest. 1) How were the high priests selected from among the other priests (other than Aaron and Christ of course)? (This is my central question). I'm not aware of any guideline laid out in the Scriptures, yet they had to be specially recognized and designated in some way. Is there an oral tradition regarding how the high priest was chosen, how long the same high priest remained in office, etc.? Were they simply chosen by lot? Is there something clear in the Bible that I am missing in this regard, or was the method left open by God? Is the Roman Catholic leadership's selection of the Pope (and-or the early selection of other bishops throughout the church) purported to be patterned in some way after the Levitical priests' selection of the high priest at the time of Christ?
Any clear insights on this would be much appreciated.
|14||Who are the sowers? - II||John 4:38||Brent Douglass||14061|
|Thank you, Nicodemus and Steve, for your thoughtful and thought-provoking answers to my question. I think I'm in basic agreement with a lot of what both of you say, but there are some observations I'd like to point out, as well as uncertainty as to which of several options Jesus is referring to. Please understand that my intention is to get at the truth with your help. (For me, this includes testing the specific ideas that you offer or quote on this question; I am certainly not testing or questioning your intelligence, knowledge or spirituality in any way.)
1) Nicodemus' quotation from the Nelson NKJV Study Bible seems a little out of context. The study Bible says that John the Baptist and his followers had been in Judea, but this scene did not take place in Judea; it took place in Samaria -- beside a well where Jesus was talking with the Samaritan woman whom He had met there. If there was further explanation (in the longer Nelson account) indicating Jesus may have been referring to Jesus' future sending out of His disciples into Judea, it may be plausible, but the immediate context makes it odd for the study Bible to refer specifically to Judea.
2) Nicodemus quote from the Zondervan NASB Study Bible seems more logical in context. Perhaps John's disciples had by this time gone to the Samaritans as well; is there any indication that John's disciples may have reached them yet? Paul later (quite a bit later) ran into "disciples" as far away as Ephesus who had been thus prepared by a follower of John's teaching and baptism (apparently Apollos prior to his correction by Priscilla) - see Acts 19:1ff. Another logical possibility that appears to fit the context well is the availability and distribution of the teachings of all prophets in general concluding with John and his witnesses.
3) Steve Butler also suggests Jesus (alone) as the "others" referred to. This appears unreasonable given the use of the plural form "others" by Jesus. Jesus and the woman together MIGHT possibly be the "others" -- but this is a sequential message, not a message being proclaimed to them by multiple speakers, so it still seems questionable. Of course, Jesus and-or the Samaritan woman may be a PART of the "others" referred to by Jesus, but it would seem to me that there should be "others" as well.
Can Nicodems, Steve, or others offer further input or direction to this. I really don't have a final answer for myself, but it is part of something I've been considering.
|15||Who were the sowers?||John 4:38||Brent Douglass||13982|
|Who are the others who have labored before in John 4:38, so that the fields are now (at the time Jesus spoke) "white for harvest" (John 4:35)?
""Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.
""Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.
""For in this case the saying is true, " One sows and another reaps.'
""I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.''
|16||Plural Sabbaths? Passover Clarification?||John 19:31||Brent Douglass||7783|
|The question of what day of the week the crucifixion took place is clearly a secondary issue being considered among brothers as to what the Bible actually says, NOT a question of fringe doctrines that divide. Nevertheless, the text needs to be carefully considered in the midst of what appears to be a simple dismissal of varying views (from the recently assumed view) without Biblical support.
From the evidence shown in the earlier posts, it seems clear the term "3 days and 3 nights" doesn't in any way directly undermine a Friday (nor can we necessarily calculate the day based on a "wooden" application of this usage). Nevertheless, there still remains a question as to why it's been assumed in recent history to be a Friday; where is the Biblical evidence for Friday?
We can say with certainty that the discovery of the empty tomb took place on Sunday -- the first day of the week (John 20:1); the day of the crucifixion is less clear.
So far as I know, the only reference that could possibly be interpreted as referring to the day of the week of the crucifixion is the reference to the Sabbath. However, the very wording of the self-same reference ("because it was the day of preparation... for that Sabbath was a high day" -- Jn 19:31) deliberately adds the clarification that this was a special Passover Sabbath, NOT a weekly Sabbath (at the very minimum, NOT MERELY a weekly Sabbath); therefore, any preference for Friday based on the Sabbath is removed by the text itself. John makes a point of stating this at least twice in the passage. Notice also John 19:14, which confirms that the day of Christ's crucifixion was the day before a Passover-related holy day: "Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover." Every time the terms "day of preparation" or "preparation" are used in this passage, the context above requires them to be understood as "preparation for the Passover" NOT "preparation for the Friday evening Sabbath".
Can someone with better Greek references at hand verify whether any of the Sabbath references to the crucifixion and resurrection (in John or in the other Gospels) are plural? I recall vaguely (whether correctly or incorrectly I can't verify) that at least one reference did refer to plural "Sabbaths" between the crucifixion and the resurrection, which would further indicate that Friday was not the day of the crucifixion. This should be fairly simple to verify for someone with the right materials or knowledge of Greek; I'm afraid I have neither at my disposal right now. A clearer understanding of the celebration of Passover Sabbaths would also be helpful. (I remember something about there being 2 actual Passover Sabbath days that are separate from the weekly Sabbath, but I know little else about them.) I apologize for my vagueness, but elaboration could really help clarify.
|17||Father and Son's interactive relations?||John 14:28||Brent Douglass||7605|
|Thanks for the response, Nolan. I appreciate the effort and thought you put into your response, and I believe I'm in full agreement with your points. However, I think my question must have been unclear. What I mean to ask is, "What does the Bible say (verses and observations) about the Father and the Son's RELATIONSHIP?" -- NOT only (or even primarily) their identities or a comparison of them but primarily their INTERACTION through RELATIONSHIP. How do the Father and the Son relate TO One Another?|
|18||Father and Son's relationship to E.O.?||John 14:28||Brent Douglass||7599|
|How do the Father and the Son relate to each other?
I don't wish to open up a discussion on whether the Trinity is accurate. My question begins with the assumption that it is true that God has one essence but 3 persons in relationship. Nor is this question related to the relationships between the Father and the Spirit or the Spirit and the Son (or even how the 3 relate together synergistically); I'd like to ask those questions separately later (as part of a further study along the same lines) and focus on the Father and Son now.
My questions are, 1) "What are some of the many passages that describe the ways that the Father and the Son relate to one another?" and 2) "What can we learn about God from these passages?" Please give verses and observations.
|19||Can fallen angels repent?||Jude 1:6||Brent Douglass||4862|
|What passages in the Scriptures give clear indication as to whether or not any fallen angels are capable of repentance? It seems fairly obvious to me that they can not repent, but I'm confident that the Bible speaks more clearly on this than my "confidence" does? What do the Scriptures say on this?|
|20||History of eternal suffering doctrine?||Matt 10:28||Brent Douglass||2919|
|Thanks, JVH0212. This is a question that has puzzled me for some time; it came up in another thread, and I thought this would be a great chance to get some further input.
The eternality of the soul appears to be a fundamental belief among many orthodox Christian teachers and is often mentioned as an understood fact as part of the central message of the Good News itself.
Does anyone know the history of this doctrine -- when, where and-or how it began; and how it came to have such an assumed part in the presentation of the Gospel?
|Result pages: [ 1 2 ] Next > Last  >>|