Questions & Answers – Old Testament

Are the Stories in the Bible True?

Can we take the stories in the Bible, such as Adam and Eve and the apple, Lot and his daughters, Abraham and Isaac, Job, and such stories as true or myths?

Similarities between Abraham and Isaac and Jesus and God

Do you see a tie in between Abraham almost sacrificing Isaac and God/Jesus?

Reuben

It appears that Reuben lost his birthright because he slept with Jacob's concubine, Bilhah. Was he just that impulsive, or is there a larger story here?

A Question about Job's Name

Could you please clarify this subject (Job) in a footnote from a Bible; "Hebrew 'iyyob , traditionally related to 'oyeb , 'enemy' [perhaps with passive meaning, 'object of ill-will, persecuted'], but more probably the same name as Akkadian Ay-yabum , 'where is [my] father?'). Is this a reference to his father, or to his Heavenly Father (LORD)?

Sodom and Gomorrah

In reading the accounts of Sodom and Gomorrah, I've been wondering if scholars have found any traces of these cities? What do they think happened to them?

Old Testament Prophets

Just wondering, how were the Old Testament prophets were recognized as prophets by the people? Did they dress in a certain way? Example: How did the widow of Zeraphath know Elijah was a prophet when he went to stay with her? It seems she recognized him. And how did the Shunnamite woman know Elisha was a "man of God?" Did word just get around because of what they were doing?

Abraham, Isaac and Their Wives

There are three separate stories in Genesis where either Abraham or Isaac lie about their wives being their sisters. Why is this story repeated again and again?

Thanksgiving Celebrations

Were there any thanksgiving celebrations in the Bible and if so - which ones?

A Question about the "Sons of God"

You seem to uphold the prevailing view that the "sons of God" spoken of in Genesis 6:1-4 are angelic beings, and that they cohabited with human women. I believe this is an error. I believe that Jesus clarified this point for us as recorded in Matthew 22:29-30, "Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven."

The Mount of Olives and Garden of Gethsemane

What is the difference between the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane?

Hebrew Thought of Life and Death

What was the Hebrew thought of life and life after death? Did it change with time?

What Were the King's Foods?

I'd like to know what kinds of food were considered King's food in the story of Daniel and his three friends. What were they being offered? I'm sure it wasn't Twinkies! What was so offensive back then?

Are the Old and New Testaments about Jesus Christ?

I teach 3 and 4 year old children the Bible and I want to be able to tell them first of all that the whole Bible is all about Jesus Christ. Do you have a good paragraph or two that I could say that 3 and 4 year old children would understand? (Old Testament & New Testament -- all focused on Jesus Christ)

Love God with all Your Heart and Soul and Mind

Why in Deut. 6:5 does it say: "Love God with all your heart, soul and might" but Jesus says, "Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind?"

Knowledge of Good and Evil

We read in Genesis 2:9 that God made a tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What kind of a tree is this — and what is "the knowledge of good and evil?"

Documentary Hypothesis

I know some people dispute Moses' authorship of the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible), and instead talk about the Documentary Hypothesis. What is that, and how did they arrive at that notion?

Biblical Authors

After reading about the Apocryphal books, whose authors are, for the most part, anonymous, I'm wondering if we know more about the authors of the books that did make it into the canon? Do we know who wrote the books of the Bible?

Fourth Man in Fire

If the KJV of the Bible is true, how did Nebuchadnezzar recognize the Son of God having never seen Him before? (Dan.3:25)

Saul Meets David

How do scholars explain the passage in I Sam.16 where Saul sends for David (described as a valiant man of war) to play music for him (and David then lives at the court) with I Sam.17 (David and Goliath) where it appears that Saul has never met David before? Are these two different source documents?

Genealogy of Job

My wife is having difficulty finding out who Job's parents were as well as when he was born. She is reading the bible through again this year, and in going through the genealogy, she has not located the info she wanted. Any help would be appreciated.

Ordeal of Jealousy

In the Infancy Gospel of James, both Mary and Joseph come under suspicion for having had intimate relations when Mary is found to be pregnant. What is the background for the procedure in which they were given treated water to drink to determine whether they were guilty or innocent of such charges?

Creationism

When reading Genesis it seems like the world is pretty young — maybe a few thousand years old? If this is true, why do scientists think dinosaurs lived millions of years ago? Does that mean there were dinosaurs during Adam's life? Also, where were God's people during the ice age?

Ecclesiastes

I am never comfortable understanding Ecclesiastes 3 verse 1. Verses 9 and 10 should answer my question. Have you any thoughts that would clarify it for me?

Garden of Eden

The Bible speaks of the tree in the midst of the Garden of Eden being the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and of the Tree of Life being in the midst of the Garden. It sounds like there are two Trees or are there two different names for the same Tree?

City of Zion

We often hear Jerusalem referred to as "Zion." How did that come to be and what does it mean? Also, who are the "daughters of Zion"?

Biblical Authorship

Why would anyone want to study the writings of an author who portrays the Bible as just a bunch of stories that have no basis in truth?

High Places

I've always thought that "high places" were for pagan worship, but recently I've understood them to be places to worship Yahweh. Which is true?

Twelve Tribes of Israel

Recently, I heard of a discrepancy between the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve sons of Jacob. Is this true? And which tribes are thought to be among the "ten lost tribes" of Israel?

Names for God

I've heard that Yahweh and Jehovah are really the same name for God. If that's true, how did that come about?

Philistines

I'm interested in knowing more about the Philistines. Who are their descendants and where would they be located? Are the present-day Palestinians descendants from the ancient Philistines?

Egyptian Wisdom

Wisdom of the Egyptians -- does that refer to the worshipping of gods or general education in building; farming, economics? Also why did Moses wait until he was 40 to check out the family roots? Is this symbolic of "40" -- as in the days in the wilderness?

The Flood

How long did the flood last in Noah's time?

Major and Minor Prophets

What is the difference between "major" and "minor" prophets?

Definition of Prophet

Who or what is a prophet?

Jeremiah

What is the point of the book of Jeremiah?

The Book of Job

A friend shared with me her notes from listening to a tape recording of a lecture on the book of Job. The speaker stated it is a drama. She also said that Job lived 140 years longer after this experience. To me, that was a little startling, and the question is: is Job a fictional or a real person?

Chronicles Census

Why was taking the census in Chronicles 21 bad?

Jacob's Descendants

Why were Joseph's descendants divided between the two sons, rather than just being called Joseph?

Moses at the Red Sea

I've heard people say that Moses didn't part the Red Sea but the Sea of Reeds. Which sea was it?

Moses and God

Why would God want to kill Moses just after he asked him to go to Egypt? In the NRSV translation - it reads "On the way, at a place where they spent the night, the Lord met him and tried to kill him." What was that all about?

Age of Patriarchs

Why did Noah, Abraham, Sarah and others live so long? Noah starts building an ark at 480 years of age. Sarah gives birth to a son at age 90. Are these real ages?

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