Wednesday, October 27, 2010


On my wife’s blog, Audience Of One, she spoke of a “gimmick” I use from time to time in preaching. I call it “You Asked For It” after the old t.v. show. People put Bible questions or topics or passages on a slip. We draw one out each Sunday evening and then I preach on that the next week.

After she mentioned this to her readers she started getting a lot of questions from them. While time won’t permit individual responses, I thought I would post some of them here along with my answers, as they may be some of your questions, too.

Question: Why did one book say there was only one guy filled with the legion of demons and the other book says there were two? Why the discrepancy?

Answer: Matthew says two, Mark and Luke each say one. Matthew was probably there, the other two had the story by testimony. Two people describing the same event today might well differ in such details. The important fact is that none of the accounts differs on WHAT JESUS DID. There is no discrepancy there.

Question: Someone wanted to know more about the talking donkey.

Answer: So do we all. This was an historical event for it was so referred to in II Peter 2:15,16. It is an example of God using something normally inarticulate to articulate His will. If God could take an articulate being, such as a prophet, and reveal to him things totally undiscoverable by human reasoning or ingenuity, then He could certainly do so through a donkey and then give him the momentary power to express himself to the prophet who should have known in the first place. The fact that this is an unduplicated event in the scriptures or history does not make it untrue. Most historical facts are unrepeated.

Question: Did people really live 200 years in the early Bible days?

Answer: I would say yes, but there is no way of documenting this from independent sources. Some people have tried to explain around it by saying that they weren’t using the same years we are, but this is a case where we have to either accept or reject the testimony. I can well imagine in a world with fewer man produced carcinogens, for example, that people would live longer. Also the food base would have been more pure and free of the additives that are so damaging today. Whenever there are reports of people living long lives of 100+ years in our era it is always in a remote area where they are free of modern foods and drugs.

Question: I am curious about the fish that swallowed Jonah.

Answer: It was a fish, not a whale as in popular theology. The best guess of what fish this was, if it were a fish existing in the world today, would be a whale shark. Whale refers to size not mammalian status. There have been records of people being swallowed by such and surviving. It tells us that God appointed this fish. It could be either picking one out of the oceans or it could be creating a new one for this purpose alone. I have no problem with the latter, although I cannot prove it. We should never put the miraculous out of court. This is a miracle and it is an inept way of handling the scriptures to treat it as though it were some mere natural phenomenon which could be understood or duplicated if only we could plumb the depths of the “trick” of it.

That’s all for now. We’ll do some more later.


  1. I love that He made a donkey talk. I figure if He's willing to use a donkey...He'll be open to using me.

    Love your wife & her blog! :D
    ~ Wendy

  2. I'm the one who asked the question about 200-year-olds. :) Very interesting and good point about the lifestyle. Makes me rethink some of my choices.

  3. Yes, it was a fish. Thanks for giving me more insight on what it could have been, and you are right he could have created one just for that purpose.