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Answers to Bible Questions
Chapter I THE BIBLE. 6
Chapter II BIBLE PERSONALITIES. 12
Chapter III THE BLOOD.. 21
Chapter IV CHRIST – QUESTIONS CONCERNING.. 24
Chapter V CHURCH ORDINANCES. 34
Chapter VI CULTS, ISMS, AND RELIGIONS. 42
Chapter VII CHURCHES AND DENOMINATIONS (Discipline & Doctrine) 49
Chapter VIII CHRISTIAN CONDUCT. 59
Chapter IX DOCTRINAL QUESTIONS. 77
Chapter X MARRIAGE, DIVORCE, AND REMARRIAGE. 88
Chapter XI MEDICAL PROBLEMS. 96
Chapter XII MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS. 110
Chapter XIII PROBLEMS AND PERPLEXITIES ON PUZZLING PASSAGES 137
(Part I — Old Testament) 137
Chapter XIV PROBLEMS AND PERPLEXITIES ON PUZZLING PASSAGES 165
(Part II—New Testament) 165
Chapter XV PROPHECY. 221
Chapter XVI RESURRECTION. 230
Chapter XVII SEGREGATION AND INTEGRATION. 234
To the thousands of interested listeners to the Radio Bible Class who have sent in the various questions contained in this volume, and whose interest in things spiritual has been a source of great encouragement, this second volume of Bible Questions and Answers is gratefully and prayerfully dedicated.
The first volume of Answers to Bible Questions was published in 1952 under the title, “508 Answers to Bible Questions.” The immediate and enthusiastic response to this volume, and the sustained interest it has enjoyed, very soon made it evident that a real need had been met. The volume of testimonies received both in the mail and by mouth, soon convinced us that a second similar volume containing a new set of Bible questions was desirable. This conviction prompted us to begin gathering new and different material over the past eight years since the appearance of “508 Answers to Bible Questions.”
As in the previous volume, the contents very largely consists of questions sent in by listeners to the RADIO BIBLE CLASS over the years, and the answers to these questions as dictated by the writer of this volume. Two aims have been kept in sharp focus in selecting the questions from the thousands of others. These aims were: (1) Questions most frequently asked, and therefore indicating the greatest need in the minds of the listeners; and (2) Answers which would prove most helpful and of greatest importance and interest to the largest number of readers. Many of the questions in this volume were asked at various times by hundreds of different listeners, independently of each other, and therefore represent those questions uppermost in the minds of many people.
Again, as in the first book of this type, most of the credit for its preparation is due Miss Leona Hertel, the author’s secretary for almost twenty years. As she transcribed the answers dictated, she kept copies of all those on important subjects, indexing and collating the material by subject and Scripture reference. This practice was begun long before we had any intention of publishing them. The paragraphs were recorded first of all for use by our office personnel. Since many of the questions were “repeats,” the answers were filed alphabetically and by Scripture in loose-leaf volumes for office reference; so that once the question had been answered, the same answer could be given to all others who later asked the same question concerning the same subject or passage of Scripture. This eliminated the herculean task of having to dictate an answer to the same question repeatedly. Instead, the one answering the problem could turn to this book of authentic answers and merely “quote” what had been dictated before, relating to the same problem.
When it was later decided to publish a book on Bible Answers to Questions, this file proved to be of inestimable value, for in it was a wealth of material sufficient not for one single volume but many volumes.
The questions in this book as in the former one, have been painstakingly selected from this mass of available questions and answers on the basis of expressed interest, and relative importance. Questions of a local, temporary, or personal nature have been carefully avoided and left out. If the response to our first volume is any indication of the blessings which will attend this newest number, we know it will reward us for all the meticulous care which has gone into its preparation;
We send forth this new compilation of material, encouraged by the promise of God’s blessing, and with the prayer that multitudes may find in these pages not only answers to satisfy their curiosity, but answers which will lift burdens, comfort hearts, and bring salvation and assurance.
M. R. DE HAAN, M.D.
Chapter I THE BIBLE
1. You stated that we shall keep on studying the Word even after we get to Heaven. This is the first time I have ever heard this statement, and I would like to know on what it is based.
Concerning the fact that we shall continue to study the Word after we get to Heaven, I do not know any statement in the Word of God that says this in just so many words. However, we believe that since the Word of God is the written expression of the living Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is infinite in all His attributes, that we shall never be able to exhaust the Scriptures. I believe that it is this that the Lord Jesus Christ meant when He said:
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away (Matt. 24:35).
And again in the Psalms:
For ever, О Lord, thy word is settled in heaven (Ps. 119:89).
As a revelation of Almighty God, I believe that the Bible is as limitless and infinite in its teaching as the Author Himself. This is why it is called a “living word” and will endure forever, and I am convinced in my own mind that we shall always continue to find new treasures in this wonderful Book.
Please do not misunderstand me. I am not dogmatic about the thing, and wouldn’t start a new denomination on this theory; but if I am wrong, we shall find out, of course, when we get to glory, and I shall be most happy to admit my mistake. Many of these things are not clear now, but then «we shall know as we are known.»
2. I have been using the Moffatt translation in my Bible study, and have become confused in my understanding of certain passages. I am a young Christian and perhaps I have not been using the right method of study. Can you help me?
In regard to the problem which you stated in your letter, I am sorry to say that many of the modern translations come far short of what they ought to be. While I believe that some of them are helpful to mature Christians, I do not believe that they ought to be used by new converts, and those who may be easily carried away and swayed by these translations. Moffatt’s is not a safe translation, and I believe personally that there has been no better translation made than the King James Version. I would advise you to stick by it. If you do not own a Scofield edition of the King James Version, I would recommend that you secure one, and use it above all others. The notes in this Bible are very, very helpful, and the translation, of course, is the old, accepted one which has stood for all these years. I am sure that prayerful study from this Bible will clear up the confusion you have had, and aid you in a clearer understanding of God’s Word.
3. Can you give me any information on the book of “Jasher” mentioned in II Samuel 1:18 and Joshua 10:13?
(Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher) (II Sam. 1:18).
And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? (Josh. 10:13).
It is usually understood that it was a book of songs or hymns which were written early in the history of the children of Israel. However, we do not believe that it was an inspired book, such as the rest of the books of the Bible, and therefore is not included in the canon of Scripture. It was one of the many historical books in existence at the time containing interesting facts to which even the writers of the Scripture referred, but is not considered to be one of the books of the Bible.
4. How can you claim the Bible to be a scientific book when A it says there was light before the sun was created?
Science today has proven there is light wholly independent of the sun. All matter radiates invisible light. Radium, phosphorous, and other elements emanate light. The light of the firefly and the glowworm has never been explained. Light was given to the sun on the fourth day of creation, but light was present on the first day.
5. We have heard many reports pro and con concerning the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, and would like your opinion concerning using this version for study.
Concerning the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, I reject it completely because of two reasons. First of all, I reject it because of those who are backing its promotion. As you will see from the flyleaf of the book, it is being put out by the National Council of Churches, and I want nothing to do with that group whatsoever.
Secondly, they have made a number of changes in the text which I think are exceedingly dangerous. One of them is in Isaiah 7, where they have changed the word “virgin“ to “young woman.” Another one is Matthew 27:54 where the definite article “the“ has been changed to the indefinite article “a,” so that it reads, “Truly this was A son of God.”
I believe that these little subtle changes, and there are a great many more, make it an unsafe book to recommend to others. I think the best thing for us to do is to stick by the old King James version, and especially the Scofield Reference Bible edition. Nothing better has yet been produced. I certainly would not recommend the New Revised Standard Version to the average individual.
6. Why is Acts 8:37 left out of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible? It is in the King James Version, and I read in Revelation 22:18, 19 about adding to or taking away from the Word of God.
The omission of Acts 8:37 from the Revised Standard Version is only one example of the many violations which this translation does to the Word of God. Personally, I have no use whatsoever for these new editions which tell us that certain portions are not in the original manuscripts. It is much safer to stay by the King James Version which at least was not translated by modernists and unbelievers. We believe that these things are also a sign of the times.
7. How can you say the Bible is infallible, when it contradicts itself? For instance, Matthew and Luke give entirely different genealogies of Jesus.
Matthew and Luke do not contradict each other, but are in perfect harmony. Matthew traces the genealogy of Joseph (the foster-father of Jesus) from David through Solomon, the son of David. Luke, however, traces the genealogy of Mary who was also a descendant of David — not through Solomon but through Solomon’s brother Nathan. Compare Matthew 1:6 (Solomon’s line) with Luke 3:31 (Nathan’s line).
And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias (Matt. 1:6). Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was THE SON OF NATHAN, WHICH WAS THE SON OF DAVID (Luke 3:31).
In Matthew we have Christ as King; hence His ancestry is traced only to Abraham, the father of the Kingdom nation. But in Luke, Jesus is the son of MAN, and His ancestry is carried back to Adam, the first human.
8. I have a friend who constantly asks for proof of the Scriptures. Is there some publication designed to show how the various branches of science harmonize with God’s Word?
You must remember that the Scriptures do not have to be proven, but they are to be accepted by faith. The opening statement of the Bible is: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” There is no proof given for this, and no details as to how or when or of what material God did this. He expects us just to believe it and accept it because it is God’s Word. This, of course, is a death blow to our pride, because we like to have proof and to understand; but God’s condition is that we shall accept it because He says it, and not ask to understand things which are beyond our comprehension.
However, there is sufficient evidence for the truth of the Scriptures to the enlightened mind. To the natural mind, of course, all of these things must remain a mystery, but to those who have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit, all nature and all creation attest to the truth of the existence of God, and the very history of the Word of God throughout all the centuries is its own verification and substantiation.
There are, however, a number of good books which have been written on the matter of science and the Bible. There is one by Dr. Harry Rimmer on “Science and the Scriptures” which you should be able to obtain through your local religious bookstore, or by ordering it through the Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
9. What is your opinion of the Amplified New Testament?
In recent years there has been a rash of many, many different translations and editions of the Bible. It seems to have become a fad for somebody to give a new version of the Bible, and in most cases it is just the opinion of another individual. Other translations are helpful for personal study, but I do not believe that they should be used in place of the King James Version. I have a copy of the Amplified New Testament on my desk, and refer to it from time to time. In many instances it does give a clear explanation, but I still believe that the King James Version is the best translation. There are so many different versions on the market today, that many people are becoming utterly confused.
10. Would you recommend the use of the Phillips Translation of the Bible?
I can only recommend it for private use, and for personal study, but do not recommend it for public use in meetings. The different translations may be helpful for one’s personal home study, but I do believe that the King James Version is still the best to use for public worship.
11. What do you think about the new revision of the Scofield Bible Notes?
I have not yet seen the new revision of the “Scofield Bible Notes.” While the proposed revision is disturbing to some of us, the purpose behind it, however, is clear. The present edition, copyrighted in 1909 and copyright renewed in 1937, will become public domain in 1965. After this expiration date, the Scofield Bible Notes can be printed and reproduced by anyone without infringement. The publisher, therefore, desires a revision so that a new copyright may be secured.