50 Questions: The Bible, part 1

7 Apr

On another blog Tim has been writing answers to a series of questions asked by a Latter Day Saint named Greg Trimble. The list was titled 51 Questions That Might Lead You To Mormonism. So far Tim has posts 5 parts in his series, and I don’t know how many more it will take to answer all 51. However, in part 4 he mentions another list of questions that was made back in 2001. This was titled 50 Questions to Ask Mormons. So, I have decided to follow Tim’s example and make a short series to answer these 50 questions.

I will answer the questions in the order they are given and in the categories they are sorted into. Each post will be less than 1000 words, so only a few questions will be answered in each.

Read 50 Questions: Prophets, part 1; Prophets, part 2; Mormon Scriptures, part 1; Mormon Scriptures, part 2; Mormon Scripture, part 3; Mormon Scripture, part 4



  1. If marriage is essential to achieve exaltation, why did Paul say that it is good for a man not to marry (1 Corinthians 7:1)? 

Read the chapter again.

Verse 1

Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

Paul is not saying that is it good not to marry. The Corinthian saints had previously written to him and had said this, and now Paul is going to address this concern. We are not given the context in which the statement was made; only that it was.

Now, in verse 2 Paul does seem to agree with this, but in later verses Paul clearly states that he is writing his own opinion, which is not to be taken as a command from God. For instance, verse six “But I speak this by way of permission, and not of commandment.” In verse ten it is “not [him], but the Lord” that speaks to those already married. Then in verse 12, “To the rest [Paul speaks], not the Lord.”

It may be asked why Paul was giving his personal opinion and why it appears to contradict the gospel revealed in these last days. While we do not know the particulars, Paul does say that his advice “is good for the present distress” (verse 26). So, we can conclude that there was a particular event or situation in Corinth at this time that lead Paul to give this advice. We do not know what this was, but it is sufficient to know that there was a specific reason for the advice, which means that it does not apply to us today.

  1. Since the Word of Wisdom teaches us to abstain from alcohol, why did Paul encourage Timothy to drink wine for his stomach (1 Timothy 5:23)? 

Because it was a different time and they lived under a different health code. The Law of Moses does not forbid all alcohol, but only strong drink. Paul and the early Christians lived under a similar law. The reasons are many, and include the condition of drinking water at the time, as well as the medicinal uses of wine. This later one is alluded to in the verse in question. Today the drinking water is generally more sanitary and we have other medicines that work better.

  1. If obeying the Word of Wisdom – which tells us to abstain from caffeine, alcohol and tobacco – is important for our exaltation, why did Jesus say that there is nothing that can enter a man to make him defiled (Mark 7:15)? 

“”It is not the abstaining from harmful substances that a man becomes defiled, but in violating the commands of God.”

Continue reading in Mark 7 and you will see that Christ says the things that defile a man come from the heart. So, if God has commanded us not to drink alcohol, and yet we choose to do so, we are defiled because out of our hearts has come wickedness.

(And note that the Word of Wisdom actually never mentions Caffeine)

  1. If Jesus is the Jehovah of the Old Testament and Elohim is referred to as God in the Old Testament, can you explain Deuteronomy 6:4 to me: “Hear, O Israel: the LORD (Jehovah) our God (Elohim) is one LORD (Jehovah)? 

First of all this question assumes that Jehovah is never referred to as God in the Old Testament, and that is not the case. On many occasions Jehovah is called God in the Old Testament. (Genesis 2: 4; Genesis 28: 13).

The question also assumes that the word Elohim is always used to refer to the Father. This is also not the case. Take for instance Psalms 82: 6, in which the term is simply translated as gods (or angels in some translations).

So, when we realize that Elohim, while it can be a name for the Father, can also be used in its literal meaning of gods, we can start to see the meaning of Deuteronomy 6: 4 and other such passages. Jesus is God, or a member of the Godhead, which can also be referred to as Elohim (meaning gods). So, this verse is affirming both Christ’s Godhead as well as his unique roll as Jehovah.


2 Responses to “50 Questions: The Bible, part 1”

  1. earthchanges April 14, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

    Our Good Friday blog has a link to the newly updated Scriptures of Jesus if you are interested, love and light Scott.

    • shematwater April 14, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

      I am always interested, but I would ask if it would materially alter the meaning of the passages in question?

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