Deep Questions About the Bible

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Congratulations!  If you found this page by searching for something like “deep Bible questions”, you are a very rare person indeed!  I don’t say that because you found the page (it’s the #1 page at Google under that search), but because you went looking for it!

Sadly, a great many believers seem to think that the Bible is fairly simple and that they more or less have all the important parts figured out.  If you’ve found this page, however, chances are that you’ve already discovered that things aren’t all that simple once you start investigating.

I have big plans for developing this section of the website, so please be patient as it grows.  For now, here are some pretty deep questions that are sure to stretch your understanding of the Bible.

In one sense, I feel apologetic that they are not all answered yet, but in another, I recognize that sometimes the question is more valuable than its answer.  Say I ask a really challenging question that you’ve never thought of before.  If that stretches your thinking and prompts you to “do the math”, that’s a very good thing.

Now imagine that I answer that question for you.  You might blindly accept my answer without doing your own work.  Or you might immediately dismiss it because it doesn’t jibe with what you’ve “always heard”.  Or I might be wrong!  So in this sense, I’d rather ask a great question for both of us to ponder than I would to misinform or to keep you from doing your own thinking.

I do, however, hope to answer these questions in time.  Some of them I have answers for already, and some I do not.  Until then, I’d be happy to discuss any of them with you.  Just contact me here.

Check back often as this list is a work in progress.

  1. What was God’s point in Peter’s dream (Acts 10-11)?  Was he declaring Gentiles “clean”?  Or was he also declaring all meats clean?  If it was the latter, consider this:
    1. If not one jot or tittle was to pass from the law of Moses until “all is fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18), then why did the prohibitions against unclean foods get repealed by God in Acts 10:1 through Acts 11?  Was the law of Moses obsolete and passed away at that point?  Yes or no.
  2. Most churches are constantly looking forward to the resurrection, yet when a member dies, the church speaks as if they have already gone to be with Jesus.  Which is it?  Are they in Hades/Sheol awaiting the resurrection, or are they already with Jesus?  Can it be both, or is that an impossibility?
  3. Why does the “Great Commission” have an expiration date on it?  When did the “age” end?  (Matthew 28:18-20)
  4. Why is there not one single example of any apostle passing on this “Great Commission” (Matthew 28:18-20) to non-apostle believers?  Were all Christians expected to evangelize but the account of such command just didn’t make it into the Bible?  Or were the apostles given a special commission that did not apply to all the believers?
  5. Why is there not one single rebuke in the NT epistles regarding lack of evangelistic fruit?
  6. Why is there no provision in the extant texts for how to appoint an evangelist?  Are there still supposed to be evangelists today?  And if so, how are we supposed to know how to appoint them?
  7. Why is there no clear job description in the extant texts for an evangelist?  Are there still supposed to be evangelists today?  And if so, how are we supposed to know what their role is?
  8. Why are the only appointments of elders in the Bible seemingly done at the hands of evangelists?  Is it appropriate to do it any other way?  If so, how could we know?
  9. If there are no evangelists today, does this mean there should be no elders, either?
  10. Why did Jesus say he could come back in the same generation in which he left?  (Matthew 16:28 ,and many other passages)  Did this happen or not?
  11. Was the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD described in Jesus’ prophecies of Matthew 24?  Or was he describing something else?
  12. If the ekklesia (usually translated as “church”) was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20), then how can it still be under construction on the earth today if those apostles and prophets have been pulled out from under it?  (Or are there apostles and prophets today?)
  13. If the apostles and prophets were necessary to keep the ekklesia in obedience to God’s will, how is it that a continuing ekklesia would no longer need that service today?
  14. If the apostles and prophets were only necessary up until “we all reach unity” (Ephesians 4:11-13), then does their absence mean that this
    unity was previously attained?  If so, when did it happen?  And if it happened, how is that that this unity has since fallen apart?  And if it has fallen apart, how can it ever be regained without apostles and prophets?
  15. If someone opines that the “apostles and prophets” are now codified into the scriptures, how is it that they are now failing to unify the
    modern church, which was their express purpose in Ephesians 4:11-13?  Does having some of their writings in the Bible really equal having them present and alive on the earth?
  16. What does it mean if a Christian today does NOT have “streams of living water” flowing from within him?  (John 7:38)
  17. Isn’t the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, as described in the scriptures, basically like a “possession” by God, rather than by a demon?
    If not, how not?
  18. Why does the Holy Spirit not guide Christians “into all truth” today, and tell them “what is to come”?  (John 16:13-14)
  19. Why does the following promise not apply to church members today?: “Whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you”  (John 16:23)  Or if it does apply, why doesn’t anybody seem to find it working?
  20. What does Hebrews 2:5 mean?  “For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.”  What does it say about the world at the time the passage was written?  Was the world in subjection to angels at that time?  And does it mean that we should not expect to find angels today?  Or if we don‘t find angels today, does this mean that the age has indeed changed over?
  21. Why were Jesus and the apostles teaching an imminent 2nd Coming if Jesus wasn’t going to come for at least another 2,000 years?
  22. Why has it taken Jesus nearly 2,000 years and counting to defeat Satan?  Or if it has happened already, why is there no historical record of it being accomplished?
  23. Of all the passages that mention “Satan”, how many of them are talking about the actual literal being by that name, and how many are talking about the greater “team” of those angels and evil spirits aligned with Satan?  For example, in Luke 4:1-13, it seems to be speaking of an individual, but in Matthew 12:26, Jesus seems to be speaking of the general reign of Satan, including all his lieutenants.
  24. Is the “First Resurrection” (Rev 20:4-6) what is being described in Matthew 27:51-54.  And is it what Ezekiel prophesied about in his “dry bones” prophecy?  (Ezekiel 37:1-14)  If not, then where is the Matthew 27 event described elsewhere in prophecy, and when was the first resurrection to occur?
  25. If the church was to carry on into the centuries as a perpetual, international organization, why was there absolutely no provision for a global church government or association of churches?  And if you claim that “Jesus is the head” of the global organization, how do you account for the dismal state of unity, maturity, and growth?
  26. In the First Century, disciples were “made” by inspired prophets.  If there are no inspired prophets today, can disciples still be made as in the beginning?  Is it a requirement of being a “disciple” (as taught by Jesus), that the disciple be “made” by an inspired person?  If so, would that rule out the existence of any disciples in the absence of inspired people?  If not, how could we know?
  27. Why is there no document in the Bible that specifically addresses generations after the First Century AD?
  28. Why is there no inspired table of contents, spelling out just what documents are to be considered scripture?
  29. Why have no new scriptures been included in so very many centuries?  Does this mean that the prophecy of Daniel (Daniel 9:24) has been fulfilled?
  30. Why do we take the word of proto-Catholics (circa 397 AD) as to what documents are to be included in the “New Testament” canon?  See the 397 Council of Carthage.
  31. Why do we reject the word of Catholics who much later decided to accept also the apocryphal books into the Bible?  See Council of Trent, 1546.
  32. If God himself decreed that these particular books should be put together and saved forever, where is that decree recorded, and to whom was it made?
  33. Why is the Book of Enoch rejected, even though it is quoted outright by Jude (Jude 1:14-15) and alluded to by numerous other NT writings, and paralleled by numerous OT writings?
  34. If “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1Corinthians 15:50), then how can “the church” possibly be the same as “the kingdom”?  How could living people possibly enter it?
  35. Why have the demon possessions ceased?  Are there no longer any demons on the earth?  If so, what happened to bring about their demise?
  36. If it was necessary for the fledgling ekklesia (“church”) to have the support of apostles, prophets, spiritual gifts, healings, signs and wonders, then why is it not considered necessary for believers today to have those things? Especially if the judgment is upon us as so very many expect, why don’t we need them even more than they did?
  37. If the Bible was meant to take the place of all the things mentioned in the previous question, how come we don’t have all the documents that we know were written?  (0 Corinthians, for instance.  And we have ZERO writings from most of the apostles.)
  38. Figuring a modest one epistle for each apostle for each year of ministry, we might have something like this:  13 apostles times 25 years of ministry (for the average apostle) times one epistle per year = 325 epistles.  Where are they all? And if certain apostles did not write epistles, why not?
  39. Why does the book of Acts end abruptly and without any summation?
  40. Why is it called “Acts of Apostles”, when it tells us practically NOTHING about the ministries of a good number of the apostles? (Acts 1:1)
  41. Why is there a total blackout of extant Christian writings for a few decades after the apostles?
  42. Why do we have the title pages “Old Testament” and “New Testament” when no such distinction was made by the apostle and prophets?
  43. The “angels who did not keep their proper domain”—what was their proper domain, and where did they go after leaving it?  (Jude 1:6)
  44. What was the sin of “the angels who sinned”?  (2 Peter 2:4)  And when where they delivered into chains?
  45. How was it that “all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth” (Genesis 6:12)?  And why was it necessary to destroy the animals in the
    flood?  Was God just ticked, or was there some specific purpose in it?  Does “all flesh” refer to more than just humans?
  46. If “kingdom” equals “church”, then how could it have come to the earth with the Pentecost in 30 AD?  Jesus had called Satan “the ruler of
    this world” as early as John 12:31.  And John would write many years thereafter that “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one”?  (1 John 5:19) If the new kingdom had come, how could the old kingdom still be in power?  And as of 1 John 5:19, Satan still had the world in his control. So how can “the church” be Jesus’ kingdom if Jesus is not yet in control of the world?  Didn’t Jesus say “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth”?  So explain how all this worked.
  47. If the earth was to be destroyed at the judgment, and all its people sent either to heaven or to hell, what would be the need for a “new earth”? (2 Peter 3:13)
  48. Why would there be any need for a “new heaven” at the judgment? (Revelation 21:1)  What was supposed to be wrong with the old one?
  49. Were there actual entities that were referred to as “other gods” or not?  Or were these just figments of people’s imaginations?  (Exodus 12:12. Ex 15:11.  Ex 3:20.  Ex 23:24-32.  etc.)  How could God “execute judgment” against and “punish” gods that did not exist? (Exodus 12:12;  Isaiah 24:21)
  50. If all the spiritual gifts and prophecy have been closed down, how is it that your people are constantly saying things like, “I feel led
    to….”, “God has put it on my heart to….” , “God is leading the church to …..”  And the like?  And how can certain people be considered “modern day prophets”?  Further, why are people who say such things not treated as false prophets?
  51. If God took such joy in healing people of their physical infirmities in the first century, why are such healings non-existant today?  Does God no longer enjoy it?  Or was there some other reason for the healings?
  52. Why do people pray that God will heal others from various diseases such as cancer or AIDS?  Is it evident that God simply does not do such things at this time?
  53. Why do people NEVER pray that God will heal amputees, or raise the dead?  Is it evident that God simply does not do such things at this time?
  54. Why aren’t most Christian congregations growing steadily?
  55. Why do so many people “fall away” from the church?  Isn’t the power of the Holy Spirit adequate to keep them from falling? (Jude 24)  If so, why do so many lose any desire to be with God?  And why would they want to return to their vomit?  In other words, why do so many come and find it so uninspiring as not to stay?   Was there a similar “fall away” rate in the first century ekklesia?
  56. Why is it that the only evangelists that read about in the NT have miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit?  Does this mean that without the gift
    of prophecy, no one can be an evangelist?
  57. If the spiritual gifts came ONLY “at the laying on of the apostles’ hands”, then why were the people told to desire the better gifts?  (1 Cor
    12:31).  What’s the sense of telling them to desire something that they cannot get?
  58. If “that which is perfect” (of 1 Corinthians 13:10) is a reference to the completion of the biblical canon, why don’t we have all the books
    that were written?
  59. We normally think that a person gets “saved” when they come into a relationship with God, but if this is so, why does the Bible speak of
    salvation so often in the future tense?  (For example, Romans 13:11; Hebrews 1:14)
  60. “Saved” from what?
  61. Why would Paul suggest that his two choices were to be either “in the body” or “with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8) if the faithful dead await the resurrection in Hades to this day? (Luke 16:23)
  62. If Satan is still walking around like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8), how come we don’t see him or hear him?  And if not, what happened to him?
  63. Is there any scripture that shows Satan “in stealth mode” today?
  64. If Satan is “masquerading as an angel of light”  today, then why don’t we see him as an angel of light?
  65. Why don’t we see any angels of light today?
  66. Why is there nothing in the Bible that recounts (after the fact) the hugely-significant destruction of Jerusalem in the years leading up to 70
    AD?
  67. If the kingdom “came” in Acts 2 at the Pentecost, then why doesn’t Acts 2 make any mention of Jesus returning in the clouds, “in like manner as [the apostles] saw Him go into heaven”?  (Acts 1:11)
  68. If the kingdom “came” in Acts 2 at the Pentecost, or at any time before that, then why do most of the “kingdom” passages in the rest of the
    New Testament appear to be about events yet future to them at the time of the writings?
  69. Did fallen angels marry human women or not?  (Genesis 6:4)  And if not, then how do we explain that “Sons of God” seems to refer to angels elsewhere in the Bible?
  70. How could one possibly argue that God is supporting “the church” (however one defines that term) today when there is no “church” today whose glory, growth, and power comes anywhere close to that of the First Century ekklesia that we read about in the Bible?  How do you explain that the glory has gone from it?
  71. How is it that the very epistles that were once written to demand repentance from certain sins are now used to defend the existence of such sins by way of “grace”?
  72. Why is Acts not still being written?  If the church is still going, why is there no inspired account of its exploits?  If it’s the same ekklesia, under the same leadership, and with the same mandate and commission, then how is its story any less important now than in its first
    forty years?
  73. If the first century ekklesia was communal in that they shared their food, money, and property, (Acts 2:44-5;  Acts 6:1;  Acts 4:36-5:1;  2
    Thessalonians 3:10) by what inspired directive do the churches today do otherwise?  How can it be the same church if it is differently organized?
  74. If the apostles completed the task of taking the gospel to the entire world in their own generation (Colossians 1:5-6, 23), then did “the
    end” come in that generation?  Jesus said these two things:  “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14), and, “For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” (Matthew 10:23)  Was Jesus wrong about this? Or was Paul wrong about the gospel having been preached everywhere?
  75. Were the apostles baptized in Jesus name or not?  If so, how could it possibly have been prior to the Pentecost of Acts 2, since the Spirit had not yet been poured out?  And what, exactly, was the nature of the event of John 20:22?
  76. Why doesn’t the Bible record the time at which Satan “fell” from Heaven?
  77. What is the current status of Satan today?  Is he still “roaring” like a lion in the streets?   Or is he “bound”, to be let out later?  Or is he already dispatched into the inescapable Lake of Fire?
  78. Why is the language in the Bible so fuzzy with regard to “heaven”, “heavens”, “the heavens”, etc.?  Does it sometimes mean the abode of God and sometimes merely the sky?
  79. Why is there no passage in the Bible that explicitly says that faithful Christians “go to heaven” after they die?
  80. Why is there no passage in the Bible that tells us where would be the location of the “New Jerusalem” (also called “The Holy City”) after it “came down”?  Revelation 21:2
  81. If God would make a “tabernacle” with men in the New Jerusalem and “dwell with them” there, does this mean he would be moving his abode from some higher realm to the New Jerusalem that had “come down out of heaven”?  Revelation 21:3
  82. What is the relationship, if any, between the Hebrew words mayim (“water” Genesis 1:2) and shamayim (“heavens” Genesis 1:1)?  Is the writer giving us a significant clue as to the nature of one or the other by using related names for them?
  83. So many people claim that salvation is “by grace alone” and that nothing you could possibly do could save you, yet there are multiple Bible passages stating that each one will be judged according to his deeds.  Can these two views be rectified?
  84. The Bible talks about being “blotted out” of the Book of Life, but why doesn’t it ever come out and say when or how somebody gets written into it?
  85. What was the origin of the “demons” and “evil spirits”?
  86. What was the purpose of Sheol (Hebrew), also called Hades (Greek)?  Why should there be a holding place for the dead, rather than an immediate dispatching of the dead to their eternal reward?
  87. Hades appears both in the Bible record and in the Greek mythologies.  Meanwhile, other mythologies also have an “underworld”, by some name or other.  Are these all references to the same place?
  88. When was Sheol/Hades opened for business?
  89. How is it that (it appears) evil beings had control of at least parts of Sheol/Hades?
  90. When Jesus “preached to the spirits in prison”, were these incarcerated angels, or were they human spirits?
  91. What’s the deal with there having been a baptism of John the Baptist and a baptism into Jesus Christ?  If these were competitors, what would have been the point?  And if John’s were inferior to Jesus’, what was the point of beginning it just a short time before Jesus’ ministry?
  92. Why in the world would a document as important as John’s Revelation be sent only to seven ekklesias (“churches”) in Asia when the subject matter seems to have involved the entire world?  Was a similar revelation sent under separate cover to ekklesias elsewhere?  Was John responsible as an apostle only to a certain geographical area of the Earth?  (Revelation 1:11)
  93. Who are the “Nicolaitans” of Revelation 2:6, 15 and why do we know nothing about them?
  94. Just what benefit did the Tree of Life have for Adam and Eve in the Garden?  When their access to it was blocked, they did not die, it appears, until several hundred years later.
  95. What would be the need of the Tree of Life in the Holy City?  (Revelation 22:2 ff)  If its fruit had been ingested by Adam and Eve, mortal humans, what use would immortals have for it?
  96. Who are the “twenty-four elders” of the Revelation?  (Revelation 4:4, 4:10, 5:8, 5:14, 11:16, 19:4)  Why are they not mentioned anywhere else in the Bible (by such a name)?
  97. Why do some of the angels have “swords” to fight against other angels?  Are these literal swords?  And do literal swords harm angels?
  98. How is it that “there was war in Heaven” and yet the losers are cast down to the earth, not dead, but quite capable of causing havoc still?  What kind of “war” was this?
  99. Why was it not necessary to establish the Law of Moses earlier?  Why was it not necessary in the Garden of Eden?  Or immediately after the expulsion from the Garden?  Or why not immediately after the Flood, when the earth was one big “clean slate”?  It did not come until roughly 850 years after the Flood.  Why?
  100. What was the reason for the severe decrease in the human lifespan that began between the lifetimes of Peleg and Moses?  See timeline here.
  101. In what exact way(s) was the earth “divided” in the days of Peleg? (Genesis 10:25)  Geographically?  Politically?  Socially?  Spiritually?
  102. Most Christians hold that the centerpiece of Christianity is the hope and forgiveness and life and salvation held out by the resurrected Jesus.  How is it, then, that Paul’s statement to the Corinthians regarding the Lord’s Supper highlighted Jesus’ death, and not his resurrection?  (“….you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes…”  1 Corinthians 11:26)  Why was this celebration about his death?
  103. What is the reason for the large gap of time (between Malachi and Matthew) for which no scriptures appear in the Bible?  Why would God “go dark”, so to speak, for ten or so generations right before the biggest news ever to hit the planet Earth?  (The coming of Jesus.)
  104. It is said by some that “Jesus paid it all”—that he took upon himself the total punishment for our sins.  Meanwhile, many of the same people say that the rightful and expected punishment for our sins is eternity in the Lake of Fire—in conscious agony.  Yet nobody teaches that Jesus spent “eternity in the Lake of Fire” during the span from the day he was killed to the day he was resurrected.  So which, if either, is right?
  105. If the role of an apostle was primarily that of evangelism, why did all the 11+1 apostles stay in Jerusalem when the Christians were dispersed from there in the persecution of Acts 8:1?  Indeed, why were they still there before that point?
  106. In Isaiah 1:26, God promises Israel, “I will restore your judges as at the first,
    and your counselors as at the beginning.”  When was this supposed to happen?  Has it happened yet?
  107. Check back often.  This list is a work in progress!

 

Alternative Titles for this Article
Deep Bible Questions
Difficult Bible Questions
Bible Difficult Questions
Hard Bible Questions
Tricky Bible Questions
Complicated Bible Questions
Deep Thinking Bible Questions

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