Bible Query - Turkish - Introduction
February 2012 version. Copyright (c) Christian Debater(tm) 1997-2012. All rights reserved except as given in the copyright notice.
The Bible is a rich and fascinating book. However, some people are put off by its depth and complexity. While Christians should always be learning and growing, some have been content simply to lay their unanswered questions aside, without the growth that comes from the answers. Other people say the Bible has contradictions. While the Bible does have things that are difficult to understand, every alleged contradiction in the Bible has an explanation.
Life itself can be full of difficulties and apparent contradictions. For example, once my eight-year old daughter was confused as to why I answered the phone when she called me at work. You see, she reasoned that since every business has a phone, how come it was not the owner of the company who answered the [one and only] phone where I worked???
Likewise, difficulties in the Bible can be impossible to solve when we have wrong and simplistic assumptions. The same difficulties can become easy, when the false assumptions are cleared away.
To get other and more complete answers, this work catalogs answers given in good Christian books, so that you can read further and often more complete information.
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The questions are arranged in the order the verses appear in the Bible. If you do not find a question about reconciling two verses under the first verse, look under the second. Before discussing the verses, the following sections addresses five general questions.
Why So Many Questions?
I have attempted to hunt down every objection, difficulty, and alleged contradiction every non-Christian and Christian has asked. I tried to show some of the archaeological support for the Bible, discuss Bible and science issues, and give multiple answers in some places where Christian scholars disagree. I often look at things skeptically, but praise God Jesus died for skeptics, too. I also believe the Bible in the original manuscripts is the inerrant word of God. However, I am extremely skeptical of other things, such as the claims that the universe could have started by random chance.
I have tried to be thorough in ferreting out as many potential questions as possible, but I am certain there are questions I have missed. If you encounter additional questions not covered in these papers, please send them to the address listed on the other side. We want to give you an answer and consider your input for future versions. Also, if you believe an answer can be improved, please send your comments as well.
How Important is All This?
Frankly, it is not critical for a Christian to know the answers to all these questions. Could anyone have been a good Christian prior to having the wealth of archaeological evidence we have in the twentieth century? Of` course! Many fine Christians have a deep relationship with Jesus, and other gifts, without having this head-knowledge.
However, more than in any other period of history, these last two centuries have been a skeptical age. We should "...Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." (1 Peter 3:15).
A conservative Christian can be considered either "pre-skeptical" or "post-skeptical". Pre-skeptical Christians may be taken aback that there are skeptics out there who have lots of questions. Post-skeptical Christians have heard a number of these questions and answers, and perhaps originated a few "chestnuts" of their own. As Christians we seek the truth. It is proper for a Christian to respectfully question anything, and to wait patiently to see if God will provide an answer.
What About non-Conservative Christians?
I grew up in a liberal Christian environment where most thought the Bible had many errors. I believe there are a large number of non-conservative Christians who would be happy to become conservative Christians, except that they see some alleged errors in the Bible, and see no hope of ever resolving them. If this describes you, perhaps these answers will really help.
What If You Don't Have an Answer?
For much of my Christian life, there have been one or two questions I could not fully answer. I would pray about them, read the Bible, study what others said, and eventually, sometimes months later, I would have the answers. Meanwhile, by then I had new questions. My questions were a way God used to teach me.
Christians have a perfectly fine answer to any question: "I do not know; but I will find out and get back to you." We must leave room for God's word in us (John 8:37), and God will give us the words and wisdom to answer (Luke 21:14-15). More important than having all the answers, is to have a living relationship with the one who is the answer: Jesus.
How Do I Become a Christian?
Two words: repent and believe. Here is what these mean, as well as what they do not mean.
Repentance means giving God your bad habits, evil behavior, lack of love, selfish desires, and other sins. It does not mean you must cleanse yourself before you can come to Christ. It does mean turning from living for yourself, and turning your life over to God, and allowing Him cleanse your life.
Belief means trusting what God says in His word, the Bible. There is only one true God, existing as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is the Creator, sustainer, and judge of all. God is Almighty, All-knowing, holy. God is love, but God's wrath hangs over all who transgress His commands.
That includes us. By God's standard, all of us have fallen short of what God requires in what we say, do, think, and fail to do. In God's eyes, all of us are failures in who we are. On our own, we have no hope of ever satisfying God's demands for justice without going to Hell forever.
When there was no hope for us, God made for us a great and certain hope in His Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins as to satisfy the demands of justice. Jesus is the only way to God, and His grace is sufficient for us.
Belief means more than intellectual assent. We must choose to give our life over to God, and ask God's Holy Spirit to come into our heart and commit to try to obey God. All who reject Jesus will die in their sins and go to Hell forever. The most important question of all is not the following sheets. The most important question is the one you will be asked by God at the Last Judgment: "Did you know my Son?" If you have not done so, please give your life over to God today.
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