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Articles about Christianity and the Bible

Christianity is the largest religion in the world. Despite being the focus of study for 2000 years, Christianity is often considered confusing by both Christians and non-Christians alike. These posts are designed to clarify the simple message of the Bible.

Christian singer and songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman has the most awards in Christian music history... but his life has been a journey of ups and downs. He shares a bit of his story with the folks at I Am Second.
How does the Bible define marriage? What is marriage in God's eyes? Is it okay for people to have sex before they're married? These questions are not only important, but they're increasingly relevant as people, young and old, revisit their ideas about relationships.
God describes Himself in mostly masculine terms: father, husband. The Hebrew names Yahweh, Elohim, Adonai, Kurios, and Theos are all linguistically masculine. At the same time, God also describes Himself in Job as giving birth, and in Isaiah as a mother. It's more complicated than simply "he" or "she."

God

Writing a definition for God is inherently difficult, and problematic. There are two main problems with each attempt to define God. The first problem is that we only know what He has revealed to us, so any definition will necessarily be incomplete. The second problem is that while we can use words to describe God, none of those words can help us actually understand Him. Still, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
The Jewish Scriptures - the Old Testament - speak often of the coming Messiah. The New Testament clearly claims that Jesus is that Messiah, and points to many Old Testament prophecies as being fulfilled by Jesus. Here are 40 of the 300+ prophecies associated with Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.
In John 14, Jesus said that we who follow Him will do what He did, and - somewhat surprisingly - even greater things. This isn't due to our amazing knowledge and talents, but due to the Holy Spirit working through us. Do we really believe this is true?
Jesus' death fulfilled Old Testament prophecy. Even though He paralleled His own death with 'the sign of Jonah,' some have struggled to justify using His words as evidence, believing that Jonah didn't die inside the fish. A careful look at Scripture says otherwise.

Questions about God are always important! Whenever we try to describe God, words will always fall short. We simply don't know everything about God. We don't even have an earthly parallel to God, so we can't study things that are like God to discover more about Him. Every analogy is incomplete in some way.

I'm happy to see that you're looking for a second opinion on whether anyone, including Hank Hanegraaff, is a false teacher. That's wise. This article is based on an email exchange and is a work in progress. It's designed to continue the conversation about false teachers, not to end it.

A lot of GodWords readers consider themselves "Torah-observant." They believe that Christians are to live by the same laws given to the ancient Israelites. A primary verse in their argument is Matthew 5:17, where Jesus says that He came not to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them. Are they right? Are Christians under the law?

Is the Kingdom of Heaven the same as the Kingdom of God? Are they different? If they're the same, why do different books of the Bible use different words to describe the same thing? What does each phrase mean? The Bible is complicated. While it looks like a single book, it's really a group of 66 unique books.

Over the years, a lot of people have asked me to list preachers and teachers of Christianity that I trust. In light of the increasing number of false teachers gaining prominence in our culture, it seems wise to go ahead and make the list. Many find it difficult to know who to trust, and I hope to be helpful. Here is a list of Bible teachers I can recommend.

Genesis tells of people who lived very long lives. Methuselah was the oldest, living 969 years. This chart, and the following table, show each person in the family line from Adam to Abraham. The numbers are taken from Genesis 5 and Genesis 11. While some biblical genealogies are incomplete, listing only prominent people instead of every generation, this list reflects direct father/son relationships.

Finding a good church can be very difficult. Before making recommendations, I'd like to say a few things first. As a churchgoer since age 6, and as former pastor, it seems important to understand WHY some have a hard time finding a church where they feel comfortable. Here are some of the reasons given:

Jesus told Peter he would have the keys to the Kingdom, and that he would bind things and loose things. There's a lot of confusion about this binding and loosing, and a lot of opinions. One reason for the many opinions is that Jesus didn't explain exactly what He meant, in terms we can easily understand today. Let's look at Matthew 16:19 to see what happened.

Is it Once Saved Always Saved? Can we lose our salvation? What does the Bible say? This important issue is an internal debate among Christians and should be addressed not by sharing our opinions, but by looking at Scripture. Disagreements should be handled with grace and truth.

There have been a lot of Bible translations in the 2000+ years since Jesus was born, died, and came back to life. This list is English-based... that is, I want to list the timeline from the original writings to modern English Bibles.

Supersessionism is the idea that the old covenant has been replaced - superseded - by the new covenant. By itself, this idea is entirely biblical. However: some other ideas are often lumped together with supersessionism, so we need to examine each idea separately.

Sounds simple, right? That sounds good to me… if everybody loved everybody else, our world would be far, far better. There would be no crime. No slavery. No prostitution. No abortion. Nobody would go hungry. Nobody would take advantage of another’s generosity. There would be no need for soldiers, or courts, or lawyers, or police. There would no metal detectors at airports, or security guards at the mall.

When were the books of the New Testament written? While there is some debate, I've compiled a list with the best scholarship I can find. I will continue to update the list as I get new information.

At the beginning of the Bible we see an account of the creation of the universe. Here is the order of creation as outlined in the first chapter of Genesis:

A simple listing of the authors of each book of the Bible. Religious Jews and Christians consider God to be the ultimate author of Scripture, using humans to communicate His message.

If you ask a bunch of people how they came to faith in Jesus, you'll hear a bunch of different stories. No two explanations are exactly alike. Still, it's helpful to understand what all of those stories might have in common.

Every now and then someone asks me whether I think God “calls” people into ministry… that is, whether God speaks to certain individuals and tells them to make ministry their full-time work.

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