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Luther Seminary's Bible Q & A

Is God violent? - Richard Nysse

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Podcast discussion with Eric Barreto, Kathryn Schifferdecker and Richard Nysse.
Article written by Richard Nysse.

"The Last Judgement" by MichelangeloGod's association with war in the Old Testament has long been a disturbing problem for Christians. [1] The problem becomes even more intense when we observe that God is called a "warrior." Admittedly, there have been disastrous Christian appropriations of the theme (e.g., the Crusades). It has been, to state it plainly, both troubling to consciences and a source of sin for Christians.

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Who is the Holy Spirit? - Lois Malcolm

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Podcast discussion with Eric Barreto, Kathryn Schifferdecker and Lois Malcolm.
Article written by Lois Malcolm
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Who is the Holy Spirit? We often have difficulty answering this question and perhaps are rightly suspicious of those who are only too eager with a response.

Yet the Spirit is as close to us as our nearest breath. The Hebrew word for "spirit" (ruach) means wind or breath of life -- the animating power in people, animals, and even evil spirits. The same word is used for God's life-giving

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What Really Happened at Easter? - Sarah Henrich

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Podcast discussion with Eric Barreto, Kathryn Schifferdecker and Sarah Henrich. Article (below) written by Sarah Henrich.

What really happened at Easter?

Even after two millennia, inquiring minds still want to know: What really happened at Easter? Or, to phrase it differently: Really, what happened at Easter? Not Easter 2011 or 1911, but the first Easter, the day of Jesus' resurrection.

Here's the problem: our "inquiries" are shaped by our power to answer the "really." What contemporary folks take

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Why Did Jesus Have to Die? - Alan G. Padgett

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The New Testament consistently teaches that Jesus, God’s Son, dies so that we may be saved from sin. The ultimate motive for this is the love of God. Underneath the surface of events, behind and beyond the folly and wickedness of human leaders, God's plan for salvation was being worked out (Acts 2:23; 1 Peter 1:20).

The short answer to our question is: "through Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their sins against them." (2 Cor 5:19).

The death of Jesus is not an

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Paul Hated Women -- Or Did He? - Matt Skinner

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Paul hated women, didn’t he?

Short answer: I don’t know. We aren’t really equipped to read that far into the head of someone who died 2000 years ago.

We could reframe the question: Did Paul write things that have been used by Christians to do great damage to women and that have hampered the work of the church for centuries? Absolutely.

But we must also ask: Did Paul write things that suggest he believed men do not possess superiority over women, as well as things that support

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Who Wrote the Bible? - Kathryn Schifferdecker

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Who wrote the Bible? The short answer is: God, through people. I’ll get back to that point.

The long answer would take more time than you probably want to spend right now. So here’s a summary:

The Bible was written by lots of different people over many centuries, from about the 9th or 10th centuries BCE to the 1st century CE. These people included priests and scribes, prophets and singers, ordinary Israelites and maybe even a king or two; probably mostly men, but perhaps a woman here

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Which Gospel Is True? - Eric Barreto

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When did Jesus drive out the money changers from the temple? In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus cleanses the temple near the end of his life. In John, Jesus does so in the earliest days of his ministry.

What were Jesus’ last words?

  • According to Mark and Matthew, Jesus cries out in pain and isolation: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
  • According to Luke, Jesus’ life ends with words of forgiveness for his persecutors (“Father, forgive them; for they do not

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Which Bible Should I Buy? - Mark Throntveit

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How do you know which Bible to buy?

Has your church joined the Bible blitz? Are you involved in a Bible reading program? While this craze is to be applauded, such programs immediately encounter an embarrassment of riches: Never before have there been so many different translations from which to choose. But which one is best?

I confess that I do not know. What I do know is that any Bible you are reading is better than any Bible that just sits on your nightstand or coffee table, and that responsible

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Why isn't the Gospel of Thomas in the Bible? - Matt Skinner

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What is the Gospel of Thomas about?
The Gospel of Thomas isn’t really “about” anything. Well, it isn’t and it is. That’s because the Gospel of Thomas doesn’t tell a story. It’s a collection -- a list -- of 114 sayings attributed to Jesus, many just a sentence or two in length. The sayings usually don’t refer to any narrated action. The book therefore lacks a sense of plot or development, and it has no discussion of Jesus’ deeds, death, or resurrection,

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How is the Bible Organized? - Karoline Lewis

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Well, it depends on whose Bible you are talking about.

If you are a mainline Protestant, that is, not Roman Catholic, your Bible is made up of two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The Old Testament is organized into four parts: the Pentateuch, the Historical Books, the Writings, and the Prophets.

  • The Pentateuch is the first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. You may also hear it referred to as the Torah.
  • The Historical Books

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