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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.

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.

The beatitudes is the name given to a portion of Jesus’ teaching that talks about being blessed. They are a section of the Sermon on the Mount, considered by many – both religious people and non-religious alike – to be some of the most profound words in history.

Matthew asked: Is God happy with his people having Christmas trees and celebrating Christmas? I suppose the answer to your question is, like so many other answers, "it depends." I don't think God cares one way or another about trees being used for such things.

There are a lot of Bible verses about love. Some tell us what God is like: God is love. Some tell us what to do: love your enemies. There's a verse about love that's very precious to me, and I'd like to spend a few minutes on it:

The Bible talks a lot about names. In the NIV, the Hebrew and Greek words for "name" appear 944 times. That's a bunch! I get a lot of questions about Bible names. Many people are confused about how "name" is used in the Bible. It's used in more than one way, so some explanation would be helpful. The simplest way the Bible uses "name" is like this:

We have very little information about Paradise. We only find the word paradeisos in three passages in the Bible:

  • Luke 23:43, where Jesus tells the thief on the cross that he would Join Him in Paradise that day
  • 2 Corinthians 12:4, where Paul talks about a man who was 'caught up' into Paradise, or "the third Heaven."
  • Revelation 2:7, where Jesus writes to the church in Ephesus.

At first glance, God in the Old Testament seems harsh, and perhaps callous. God in the New Testament seems loving, and gentle. With respect, this is a simple misunderstanding. It's also not new...this has been a common misunderstanding since at least the turn of the first century AD.

Many skeptics of Christianity believe that Jesus never claimed to be God. Some claim that nobody believed He was God until long, long after His death. Others argue that Jesus' own words show that He believed Himself to be simply a man, or only the Son of God and not God Himself. Still others claim that Jesus' divinity was created by the apostle Paul, and that his teaching and Jesus' teaching are in conflict. From Jehovah's Witnesses to Muslims to atheists, a whole bunch of people deny that Jesus is God.

God told Noah to build a big boat. This boat - an ark, which means "vessel" - had to be big enough to save Noah, and his family, and two of each kind of animal from a big flood. How big was Noah's ark?

Are dogs and cats mentioned in the Bible? The Hebrew word for dog (keleb) and the Greek word for dog (kyon) appear a number of times in the Bible:

It's clear from simply reading the New Testament that baptism by the Holy Spirit is not just for the apostles (Jesus' first disciples). To see this, we only need to go to the most famous verse in the whole Bible, and read it in context. It is, of course, John 3:16. It's important to read the whole section in John 3.

Nobody knows where the Garden of Eden was located. Nobody has found the Garden of Eden. Any report that claims otherwise is simply bogus. We read about the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2:8-14:

Whoever desires to be saved should above all hold to the catholic [that is, the historic, universal biblical] faith. Anyone who does not keep it whole and unbroken will doubtless perish eternally.

It's okay for Christians to eat pork. Why wouldn't it be okay? Some suggest that because the ancient Israelites were forbidden by God to eat pork, Christians are to avoid pork as well. That this is nonsense should be obvious to everyone, as Christians are not Israelites. Unfortunately, many preachers and teachers are teaching nonsense.

Bob wants to know why we humans believe that, after we die, we would be sent to a place based on what we did when we lived. He wants proof that Heaven and Hell exist.

How many prophets are listed in the Bible? Here's a start....let me know if I've missed any prophets. Thanks!

A lot of people have written and asked for a list of the meanings of the names of people in the Bible. Most of them come from readers of Name Changes in the Bible, one of the most popular GodWords articles. So: you asked for it, you've got it.

One of the most popular articles on GodWords is What Does Jesus Mean?. The article gets a lot of comments requesting the meaning of Bible names, so I thought it was time to begin a list of Jesus' name in different languages.

The video below is a bit long, but it illustrates a very meaningful point: we tend to see only what we want to see. Belgian painter Luc Tuymans is apparently very, very famous in the art world. He agreed to help with an experiment.

Postmodernism is the idea is that reality is subjective...that there is no absolute truth, and that reality differs from person to person. The phrase "what's true for you might not be true for me" typifies a postmodern point of view.

Wow. Good stuff! I've always wondered whether visitors to my church (not just my current one) felt this way. Is your church totally lame? Do you see yourself in this video?

Despite being a Christian for most of my life (or perhaps because of it) I find most 'Christian-y' stuff trite, overdone, derivative or lame. At first glance, I thought this video would be just that.

Simon Peter was one of Jesus' first disciples. His given name was Simon, sometimes spelled Symeon. Simon is the English rendering of the Hebrew name Shimon. Shimon comes from the Hebrew word shema.

Let's look at Romans 16:7. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.

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