Good Question!

As the Rev. Thomas Bernard put it, speaking in 1864 at the University of Oxford,  upon the delivery of any sermon “a cloud of questions rises round us which must be dissipated while it is gathering, but which will still gather while it is being dissipated.  Thus the preaching of the words of life to the people is evermore attended by an incidental necessity for extensive and various discussion.”  As the same is true whenever anyone undertakes serious study of the Bible, theological thought, and the history of our faith, the short essays below are offered to extend that “various discussion” along a number of interesting rabbit trails.

All of these questions were asked by participants in classes or discussions that I either led or attended, and the answers, though not intended to be authoritative or even complete, are the fruit of my digging among my books and bugging those who know more than I do about these things.  If you are an autodidact — one who is studying on your own as an adult, perhaps with limited time, library, and people to ask — you know how frustrating it is to bump into a curious or significant question and get stuck Googling for an answer.  If that route is unsatisfying, check the list below…and if you still don’t see something helpful, try asking in the comment section further below, and I’ll see what I can put together for you.  No question is a stupid question, even if you are highly self-conscious of your own ignorance in the asking of it.  (How will you ever move past not-knowing if you don’t do a little research, I ask!)

(Note that first-time commenters will have to be screened, so don’t be surprised if your comment doesn’t pop up right off.  If you don’t wish to post a question in this public forum, just indicate that you have one and I’ll write you privately; I can see your email backstage when you comment, so don’t write that in the combox.)

Notes to the Autodidacts Out There

On asking questions and finding answers

Theology & Biblical Studies

Was the Holy Spirit active at all before Pentecost?  Did OT saints recognize him as a Person of the Godhead?

What’s “Platonic thought,” and how does it relate to Christain faith?

What is the relationship between theSeptuagint (or LXX), the Masoretic text, and the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Why do some NT quotations of the OT differ from the texts I read in my OT?

Are there any guidelines for knowing whether or not a biblical passage can and should be applied to us in our time?

How is the phrase “the last days” used in the Bible and in Christian circles today?

How did the people in biblical times distinguish between signs and wonders that came from God and those from demonic forces?

What does the Bible teach about the possibility of conversion after death?

2 responses to “Good Question!

  1. claimless creature

    Are you aware that your link to “What is the relationship between the Septuagint . . .” on the “good-question” page does not work? All of the other links work.

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