Question vs. Doubt

I believe that there is a difference between a question and a doubt.

A question is probing, trying to unpack, trying to get deeper and deeper into a subject.

A doubt becomes sort of a stumbling block in your journey to an answer.

Dr. Ravi Zacharias

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71 thoughts on “Question vs. Doubt”

    1. Thank you very much for explaining ‘suspending disbelief’ as my logical atheist friend Luke (post below) didn’t seem to ‘get’ it.

    2. Questions vs. Doubt ???

      “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” — Mark 15:34

  1. Great quote. IB makes a great point about suspending disbelief. Important to note that, unless the Spirit moves in someone, they cannot believe no matter what.

    Could be that our most vocal critics have been blinded to the truth.

    James

    1. I think when we’ve continuously hardened our hearts to the promptings/convictions of the Holy Spirit eventually we no longer hear.

      We choose to be sensitive to one thing and hardened to another. Ex the ability to tune out unwanted loud noises around us; yet sensitive to the cry of an infant amidst said noise.

      I believe they’re blinded and deaf, but only because they’ve calloused their hearts to the inner workings of the Holy Spirit.

      A hard heart is one that’s: insensitive, callous, unfeeling, unyielding.

    2. Questions vs Doubt ???

      “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” — Mark 15:34

      1. Luke,

        Are you questioning why Jesus said this? If so, it’s easy to find an answer (a good one is below).

        You don’t believe, fine, many dont, many won’t. But the answers are there.

        Because Jesus was quoting the well-known Psalm 22, there could have been little doubt in the minds of those who were standing there as to what Jesus was saying. They had been taunting Him with His claim to be God’s Son (v. 43), and an appeal for divine help would have been expected. Their saying, “This man is calling for Elijah,” was not conjecture about what He said but was simply an extension of their cruel, cynical mockery.

        In this unique and strange miracle, Jesus was crying out in anguish because of the separation He now experienced from His heavenly Father for the first and only time in all of eternity. It is the only time of which we have record that Jesus did not address God as Father. Because the Son had taken sin upon Himself, the Father turned His back. That mystery is so great and imponderable that it is not surprising that Martin Luther is said to have gone into seclusion for a long time trying to understand it and came away as confused as when he began. In some way and by some means, in the secrets of divine sovereignty and omnipotence, the God-Man was separated from God for a brief time at Calvary, as the furious wrath of the Father was poured out on the sinless Son, who in matchless grace became sin for those who believe in Him.

        Habakkuk declared of God, “Thine eyes are too pure to approve evil, and Thou canst not look on wickedness with favor” (Hab. 1:13). God turned His back when Jesus was on the cross because He could not look upon sin, even-or perhaps especially-in His own Son. Just as Jesus loudly lamented, God the Father had indeed forsaken Him.

        Jesus did not die as a martyr to a righteous cause or simply as an innocent man wrongly accused and condemned. Nor, as some suggest, did He die as a heroic gesture against man’s inhumanity to man. The Father could have looked favorably on such selfless deaths as those. But because Jesus died as a substitute sacrifice for the sins of the world, the righteous heavenly Father had to judge Him fully according to that sin.
        The Father forsook the Son because the Son took upon Himself “our transgressions, … our iniquities” (Isa. 53:5). Jesus “was delivered up because of our transgression” (Rom. 4:25) and “died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3). He “who knew no sin [became] sin on our behalf” (2 Cor. 5:21) and became “a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13). “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross” (1 Pet. 2:24), “died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust” (1 Pet. 3:18), and became “the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

        Jesus Christ not only bore man’s sin but actually became sin on mares behalf, in order that those who believe in Him might be saved from the penalty of their sin. Jesus came to teach men perfectly about God and to be a perfect example of God’s holiness and righteousness. But, as He Himself declared, the supreme reason for His coming to earth was not to teach or to be an example but “to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).

        When Christ was forsaken by the Father, their separation was not one of nature, essence, or substance. Christ did not in any sense or degree cease to exist as God or as a member of the Trinity. He did not cease to be the Son, any more than a child who sins severely against his human father ceases to be his child. But Jesus did for a while cease to know the intimacy of fellowship with His heavenly Father, just as a disobedient child ceases for a while to have intimate, normal, loving fellowship with his human father.

        By the incarnation itself there already had been a partial separation. Because Jesus had been separated from His divine glory and from face-to-face communication with the Father, refusing to hold on to those divine privileges for His own sake (Phil 2:6), He prayed to the Father in the presence of His disciples, “Glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was” (John 17:5). At the cross His separation from the Father became immeasurably more profound than the humbling incarnation during the thirty-three years of His earthly life.

        As already mentioned, the mystery of that separation is far too deep even for the most mature believer to fathom. But God has revealed the basic truth of it for us to accept and to understand to the limit of our ability under the illumination of His Spirit. And nowhere in Scripture can we behold the reality of Jesus’ sacrificial death and the anguish of His separation from His Father more clearly and penetratingly than in His suffering on the cross because of sin. In the midst of being willingly engulfed in our sins and the sins of all men of all time, He writhed in anguish not from the lacerations on His back or the thorns that still pierced His head or the nails that held Him to the cross but from the incomparably painful loss of fellowship with His heavenly Father that His becoming sin for us had brought.

      2. Thanks…

        You are the first professing Christian to actually answer in theological terms without condemning me in the process with emotions and silliness.

        Thank you. That is the beginning of dialogue…a discussion.

        Now, are you saying this was a “quote”…not a cry of doubt or outreach for an answer? (Wait, Cam, don’t start typing your accusation against me for asking…keep reading)

        For me, this is a QUOTE (from Psalm 22 as you noted.)

        And, it expresses “doubt” … and based on the entirety of the Psalm (22) the presupposition of “doubt” (not knowing everything fully) leads to people…reasonable people…to ask “Why?” or another form of a question.

        Having a “doubt” was not an accusation by a heart prejudiced by doubt, but simply a natural response to things we do not understand….we all have doubts.

        A question…even one asked in your final seconds of life…based on the Psalm should not be considered the “hardness of heart” doubt the other posters have alluded to and attached to me. Right?

        The end of the Psalm expresses hope…as noted. Doubt was not an end, but a step in the journey. Every person encounters “doubt” along the path.

        Doubt is the basis for questions. Is it not?

        In that regard the quote everyone seems to love and says is great (by Dr Zacharias) and its application to non-believers (hardened doubters) is clearly not true 100% of the time. The proof? Here…and the other similar questions arising from doubt (Ecclesiastes if full of doubt, is it not?)

        It would appear Yahweh is not afraid of “doubt”? If so, why should “his” followers?

        If you believe every person–even Luther, Mother Teresa–have “doubts” then why heap condemning, accusing, angry, emotional judgment on a person doubting???

        And, asking questions?

        You wrote: “That mystery is so great and imponderable that it is not surprising that Martin Luther is said to have gone into seclusion for a long time trying to understand it and came away as confused as when he began.”

        True…based on the history. Luther…dare say…had an extended “dark night of the soul” Many other saints admit to such (evidently a few here do not)

        Is Luther lost…burning in the Christian hell? Is that what is to be surmised because he “doubted”?

        If not, I suggest…no, I challenge each of you instead of rejecting questions as “accusations” with the intentions as sinister, each of you should take a fresh look at the reasoning of doubt…and understand, as you have implied, that “faith” is built on “doubt” (not everything is known) and there’s nothing wrong with that.

        And, if that is true…what is wrong with my questions or any others?

        Instead of attacking…how about answering?

        As you have chosen to do…that is appreciated…thanks again.

      3. Luke,

        Thanks for the well thought out reply. I have had an extraordinarily busy day today so I don’t have the time or mental energy to answer as fully as I would like to, sorry.

        That being said, I answered in a non-condensing and non-accusatory manner and you noticed which is good.

        Now, can I assume you are a former believer? If ao, are you having a “dark night of the soul” as Luther did or has your doubt led to a wholesale rejection of the faith meaning you have no doubt that it is not a faith worth believing?

        What I mean by that is. Do you believe doubt is a virtue when doubting religion is concerned but not so much when one doubts disbelief? In other words, do you ever doubt what you now believe?

        Hope this makes sense. Like I said, it’s been a long day.

        James

  2. I like Ravi a lot. He’s a smart guy. Good post, Good response to current events so to speak. In fact, might be the best way to respond, as direct response has really gotten out of hand.

    But, what do I know? My meds are all whacked out anyway, right?

    1. 1. We know more – of the right things – than they do.
      2. They’re the ones asking questions of us. We don’t go seeking them out to ask questions to which we do not care about their answers.
      3. Jesus most times asked questions of His questioners.
      4. Asking questions determine intent.
      5. A question can be answered by another question. Funny how they’re averse to this, while simultaneously flaunting their ‘inquisitive intellect’. Ironic much.

    2. Questions vs Doubt ???

      “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” — Mark 15:34

  3. Questions? Doubt?

    “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'” — Mark 15:34

  4. ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” — Mark 15:34

    And God said, lean not unto your own understanding for you do not know what you think you know. 😉

    From having had those same feelings before, “My God, why have you abandoned me,” I have learned that not everything is as we believe it to be, that sometimes when we feel as if He is far away, He is actually right there. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” What we feel is not always truth, just as what we think we know is not always truth.

    1. That’s fine for how you feel…I understand.

      But what about the application of the reasoning from Dr. Zacharias?

      It would appear you agreed with the reasoning (as did the others.)

      To help out, the application was directed at me…as Cam noted…and others like me, who asked questions with “hardened” hearts.

      The answer you all agreed: doubt hardened my “heart” (and similarly others like me) to distort a “real” question…right?

      Remove the heart…the trust and hope. You all used the reasoning of the quote…not how it felt…right?

      So, please apply, as you all did initially, the “reasoning”…the thought…the thinking suggested by Dr. Zacharias.

      Was Jesus questioning (unpacking, probing, trying to get deeper)?

      Or, was Jesus doubting (a stumbling block)?

    2. Hi IB,
      don’t know if you’ve read the whole thread as Mr. Luke seems to have difficulty in comprehension and keeping things within context; another trait even worse is his ability to assign words never said and thoughts he has no way of knowing to someone.

      1. His tactic is to get all 4 of us to answer… then run to his religious members to say: see, 4 different answers; as though there’s something odd about that.
        That’s the atheistic logic – people must think and say the same things… how foolish.

      2. “That’s the atheistic logic – people must think and say the same things… how foolish.”

        Yes, but how wise your words are, I hadn’t thought of that! There is great diversity and freedom of thought within Christianity, but not so much within atheist ideology.

        I really enjoy the way Ravi perceives things.

      3. Sarcasm and deflection won’t help…you are relying on the quote as a “reasoning” … and the others agreed.

        My question is very “real”… I hope you will avoid finger-pointing, emotional reaction and answer it…you posted the quote…you must believe it is true.

      4. “Atheistic logic”

        Using your own quote from Dr. Zacharias, used to “explain” someone like me…I quoted a scripture…a very important one. Based on your own reasoning and application of the quote I asked to understand the “difference” between “question” vs “doubt”

        Was Jesus questioning (unpacking, probing, trying to get deeper)?

        Or, was Jesus doubting (a stumbling block)

        Cam, with all respect, if you applied that reasoning to me, you should logically be able to answer the question about what Jesus said…right?

    3. I re-posted the same question for each commenting person–so they would be pinged to know they had a response. That should be integrity and transparency…unlike posting comments outside of the thread.

      The question is “real”–it is not redundant. I’m still waiting for a “real” answer…thanks.

      1. You didn’t pose a question.
        You posted a verse. You boast of being logical, why don’t you apply the post to the verse. Why is that such a difficulty for you?

      2. Yes I did…and I clarified it:

        Was Jesus questioning (unpacking, probing, trying to get deeper)?

        Or, was Jesus doubting (a stumbling block)

      3. Okay then, now that you’ve clarified.
        You should find your answer by answering whether or not Jesus died on the cross.
        The answer is in the same Bible you quoted from.

  5. Reblogged this on LifeAsIs and commented:
    Please check out the comments… Jesus asked a question and I am interested in hearing the “difference” using the reasoning suggested by Dr. Zacharias and the other commenters. Thanks.

  6. In answer to Luke’s question and his quote.

    In itself this is a very revealing passage as it illuminates two things:

    1. At the moment just prior to his imminent death, the character, Jesus of Nazareth believes has been abandoned by the god he believed he served

    2. That it is obvious to anyone reading this passage that he, Jesus of Nazareth cannot possibly be Yahweh .

    1. The use of the quote from Dr. Zacharias was/is used to label people, specifically “me”, who simply ask questions as someone “hardened” and without the “Holy Spirit”

      Yet, you all agreed with the reasoning and the application of the quote. That is how you reached your JUDGMENT on me–how you applied the reasoning in the quote.

      Dr. Zacharias said there was a DIFFERENCE between a “question” and a “doubt” You all agreed.

      And, this was applied to me…by name. Being Christians…do you not believe I have the right to seek clarity in your judgment based on your application of the quote to me?

      I ask a very simple question, based on what you all said was a “great quote” and application to me.

      What is “difference” ???

      Was Jesus questioning (unpacking, probing, trying to get deeper)?

      Or, was Jesus doubting (a stumbling block)

      It is a fair question. What you said about comprehension, redundancy…all of those emotional comments do not reframe, remove or reject the authenticity of the question on “difference”

      You all agreed…there is a difference between a question and a doubt. What is it in Mark 15:34?

      1. I think it might be a bit of a stretch to suggest he was trying to enter into meaningful discussion with Yahweh involving, unpacking, probing etc.
        In ark and Matt, it sounds like he was having serious doubts.
        But then the entire crucifiction episode is a tad odd, with slightly different endings and final words in each gospel.

      2. Well, given the time and the motivation – (cash?) I am reasonably confident I could come up with a story as silly as the gospel and with the entire Roman Empire to back it up I’ll wager it would have a reasonable chance of success.

      3. Really? You dismiss the Koran?
        How about dear old Ron Hubbard?
        Or, The Book of Mormon?
        Crumbs, there must be quite a few….
        You really think you Christians hold the mandate for silly fantasy stories?
        How arrogant can you get!

      4. Not really a ”huge difference” except to you and yours.
        In the end it is merely a belief.
        And you have no verifiable evidence to back it up either.
        In fact, if we are being honest here, much of the evidence flatly contradicts what Christians openly tout, and a great many of them are painfully ignorant of their own religion and the bible, especially what the character Jesus of Nazareth supposedly preached and taught..
        But you are entitled to believe , of course, but it is a belief that carries no more weight or conviction than belief in Thor.
        And remember, his followers didn’t have the backing of a psychopathic emperor and the might of the entire Roman Empire to back him up.

      5. Ark, we’re all free to choose what we want to believe.
        Christianity is absolutely evidence based.
        You look at the evidence and find it lacking… I look at the exact same evidence and find it enough.

        I disagree, it absolutely carries much more conviction than belief in Thor. There’s no power in the name of Thor; There’s power in the name of Jesus. That’s just one difference.

      6. The entire Book of Daniel… there’s evidence for all that was predicted that has already come to pass: Empires/Kingdoms – Medo-Persia; Greek; Roman; Alexander the Great, and the details of many military battles.

        Stay tuned as others are still to be fulfilled, more than likely in our life time.

        Have to run..

      7. Daniel has been rubbished by numerous highly-qualified biblical scholars and it seems only fundamentalists tend to refer to it these days.
        Nate, over at Finding Truth, did an excellent series on Daniel.

        And if Daniel is your first port of call for evidence then I really don’t hold out much hope. I am amazed you did not even reference the character, Jesus of Nazareth.

      8. Events from Daniel are easily verified, so saying they’ve been rubbished makes what you say rubbish.

        I don’t have the time to reference everything… and the reality is, no matter what I reference your reaction will be the exact same.
        Anyway… gotta go.
        Good Saturday to you.

      9. So you do not even know the Book of Daniel well enough that you cannot even reference one with0ut looking it up?
        Good grief! YOu appear just like so many other fundamentalists who claim knowledge but haven’t even read the bible thoroughly and what they have read, don’t even understand properly.
        You have yet to offer anything that might give me any sort of confidence you even know your book let alone what it means other than what you have blithely accepted from those preachers that taught you.

      10. You’re responding to me from 2 different threads…
        My response with reference was sent to the other thread:
        If Book of Daniel is rubbish as you declare on the other thread, where did you or anyone else learn of King Belshazzar.
        If such a person never existed, and Daniel is rubbish, how is it that in the this last century (1924) a cuneiform was found and deciphered: “This text confirms the view that Belshazzar exercised royal authority from Nabonidus’ third year onwards, and corresponds with Daniel’s reference to “the first year of Belshazzar the king of Babylon” – This was taken from Wikipedia of all places

        To see actual cuneiform and other relevant details. You’re searching for truth.
        https://ferrelljenkins.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/the-big-three-nabonidus-belshazzar-and-daniel/

      11. I said that scholars have rubbished his prophecies. Please quote me correctly.

        And why no evidence regarding the character, Jesus of Nazareth? As you are a Christian I would have thought you would have jumped at the chance to offer evidence.

      12. True, you hid behind the word ‘scholars’. As mentioned below, anyone stating Daniel is rubbish, their credibility and reliability ought to be regarded as rubbish.

        You didn’t respond regarding Belshazzar, how did that information get in Daniel and how is it corroborating evidence was ‘recently’ found.

        But who are these so-called scholars? What about the ‘scholars’ find the prophecies credible.

        We already had a discussion on Jesus of Nazareth at least 5 mths. ago or so, I can’t remember [Kia’s old blog]… I don’t wish to revisit it… our opinions haven’t changed since.

      13. Hid? How dare you! I never hide. I said scholars have rubbished his prophecies and I stand by that.
        Daniel referred to him as a king. Which he was not.

        What scholars who find the prophecies credible? Are they theists and/ or Christian?

        You have an entire bible to provide evidence and Daniel is the best you can do?
        Why not offer evidence fr Moses and the Exodus if you have it?

        As for the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth, your evidence is non – existence.

        Here’s a good start for you …

        http://infidels.org/library/modern/chris_sandoval/daniel.html

      14. LOL.
        What’s your problem with Daniel? It’s a book of the Bible and it’s where I’ve chosen to start.

        You should read the information, you may discover something you’ve overlooked.

        In legal deeds from the sixth century B.C. the parties swear oaths by the gods and the king, according to a well-known and longstanding practice. In some of these deeds from the reign of Nabonidus, we find that the parties swear by Nabonidus and by Belshazzar, the king’s son. This formula, swearing by the king and his son, is unattested in any other reign in any documents yet uncovered. This suggests that Belshazzar may have had a special status. We know that during part of his father’s reign, Belshazzar was the effective authority in Babylon. The Babylonian texts reveal that Nabonidus was an eccentric ruler. While he did not ignore the gods of Babylon, he did not treat them in the approved way, and gave very considerable attention to the moon god at two other cities, Ur and Harran. For several years of his reign, Nabonidus did not even live in Babylon; instead he stayed at the distant oasis of Teima in northern Arabia. During that time, Belshazzar ruled in Babylon.”

      15. You keep quoting the same article. Why? Can you not find any other?

        As you seem to like ancient texts – and why not? – how do you stand on the Ugaritic texts?

      16. I made sure to mention I was only citing from one source that I found to be highly credible.
        Obviously other sources are available.
        My goal is not to spend my time citing sources or ancient texts.

        You accused me of having no reference.. so now you’ve got one. you can stop complaining now.

        Regarding ancient texts – no where near my field of expertise nor dedicated interest.

      17. That has already been established to my satisfaction Mr. Ark. [I understand, not the same for you and others… but that’s okay]
        Ancient texts, (newly) discovered evidences serve only as confirmation or corroborating evidence to what has already been given to me in Scripture.

      18. Then your understanding is seriously flawed, likely due to indoctrination.
        The archaeology of the Exodus for one.
        The Ugaritic texts and their identification of Canaanite gods for another.
        The Epic of Gilgamesh and the obvious parallels plagiarized in the Noah story.

        T’hat’s just three.
        And you haven’t bothered to respond to the Settlement Pattern.
        You are not one of those Christians that actually believes the bible is the innerant ”Word of God” (sic) surely?

      19. Well, I could say the same of your understanding, and attribute it perhaps to your atheistic indoctrination, plus your relentlessness in only seeking out and giving credence to conclusions drawn by ‘scholars’ who agree with you.

        The 3 you’ve mentioned I believe you’ve already debated tirelessly.

        As I like to say: Jesus being the LOGOS (word, logic, information) could have used any word He wanted. He chose to quote from Scripture, again and again. You bet, if Scripture was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me.

      20. I do not operate from a pre-suppositional point of view and build my world view on verfiable evidence.
        One reason I am a vegetarian and an advocate for the prevention of biblical indoctrination of children.

        You, on the other hand, continually demonstrate a presuppositional and supernatural worldview that has no evidence whatsoever to back it.

        As I have said before, you are entitled to believe this but it is not evidence. In fact, the evidence actually refutes your belief at every turn, I’m afraid.

      21. My pleasure. Any time you are up presenting any genuine evidence then we will be able to have a very interesting discussion, I’m sure.
        Meantime, try to keep away from the kids, okay?

      22. For those interested in the actual information:
        Belshazzar is called king several times in the Book of Daniel (5:1,9,30; 7:1; 8:1). He is referred to as the son of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 5:21-22. There may be many things we still do not know about the historical setting of Daniel, but we understand from Babylonian records that Nabonidus was the king of Babylon at this time (556–539 B.C.). How can it be said that Belshazzar is king, and how can Daniel be third in the kingdom (Daniel 5:7,16,29)?

        Perhaps no book of the Old Testament has come under critical attack more than Daniel. As far back as the third century A.D. a Phoenician philosopher named Porphyry claimed the book of Daniel was written about 165 B.C. This is at the time of the oppression of Israel by the Seleucid ruler Antiochus Epiphanies. By dating the book which reports events of the 6th century B.C. to the second century, most of the prophetic elements are removed. This view has been followed by many liberal scholars. I recall learning it first from Robert H. Pfeiffer’s Introduction to the Old Testament (1941/48; pp. 748-781).

        Even though information comes to light that suggests the feasibility of the biblical account, rarely do critical scholars acknowledge it.
        An article by Dr. Alan R. Millard dealing with these issues appeared in Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June, 1985. At the time of this article, Millard was Rankin Senior Lecturer in Hebrew and Ancient Semitic Languages at the University of Liverpool in England. He explains the discovery of clay cylinders in southern Iraq by J. G. Taylor. Sir Henry Rawlinson was able to read the Babylonian cuneiform.

        The inscriptions had been written at the command of Nabonidus, king of Babylon from 555 to 539 B.C. The king had repaired the temple tower, and the clay cylinders commemorated that fact. The inscriptions proved that the ruined tower was the temple of the city of Ur. The words were a prayer for the long life and good health of Nabonidus—and for his eldest son. The name of that son, clearly written, was Belshazzar!

        Millard explains the significance of this discovery:

        Here was clear proof that an important person named Belshazzar lived in Babylon during the last years of the city’s independence. So Belshazzar was not an entirely imaginary figure. This prayer, however, speaks of Belshazzar only as the king’s eldest son, not as king.

        Professor Millar asks, “What, exactly, was Belshazzar’s position?”

        Since 1854 several more Babylonian documents have been unearthed that mention Belshazzar. In every case, however, he is the king’s son or the crown prince; he is never given the title “king” in Babylonian. Although most scholars now admit that the author of the Book of Daniel did not invent Belshazzar, they still assert that, nevertheless, the Biblical author made a major mistake in referring to him as king.

        Yet even that may not be quite right. In legal deeds from the sixth century B.C. the parties swear oaths by the gods and the king, according to a well-known and longstanding practice. In some of these deeds from the reign of Nabonidus, we find that the parties swear by Nabonidus and by Belshazzar, the king’s son. This formula, swearing by the king and his son, is unattested in any other reign in any documents yet uncovered. This suggests that Belshazzar may have had a special status. We know that during part of his father’s reign, Belshazzar was the effective authority in Babylon. The Babylonian texts reveal that Nabonidus was an eccentric ruler. While he did not ignore the gods of Babylon, he did not treat them in the approved way, and gave very considerable attention to the moon god at two other cities, Ur and Harran. For several years of his reign, Nabonidus did not even live in Babylon; instead he stayed at the distant oasis of Teima in northern Arabia. During that time, Belshazzar ruled in Babylon. According to one account, Nabonidus “entrusted the kingship” to Belshazzar. — BAR 11:03 (May/June 1985).

        The small cuneiform foundation cylinder shown below, now in the British Museum, ends with a prayer in the name of Nabonidus and his son, Belshazzar

      23. Continued: Taken from just one source mentioned above.
        Fant & Reddish provide this translation of the significant portion:

        “As for me, Nabonidus, king of Babylon, save me from sinning against your great godhead and grant me as a present a life of long days, and as for Belshazzar, the eldest son my offspring, instill reverence for your great godhead (in) his heart and may he not commit any cultic mistake, may he be sated with a life of plenitude” (Lost Treasures of the Bible, 233).


        Belshazzar was already second in the kingdom, serving as a co-regent with his absent father. He could offer Daniel nothing greater than “third ruler in the kingdom.”

        A 1977 article by Millard, published in Evangelical Quarterly 49:2 (April-June 1977), is available on the BiblicalStudies.org.uk website here.

        Numerous scholars have sought a harmony between the Babylonian and Biblical records in their introductory surveys and commentaries. These works should not be overlooked.

      24. I did link it.

        I put the information for those who won’t or can’t be bothered to click a link.

      25. Newsflash Luke,
        you’re not the only person who asks questions. Everyone does – go sit with a 5 year old for a day.

        I smile when people who boast of reading the Bible overlook things.

        Hardness of heart affects everyone in some area of their lives. It’s not just applied to someone who is rebellious toward God.

        Mark 6:52 speaks of the hardness of the disciples hearts –
        relating more easily to things in the natural realm than the supernatural is regarded as hardness of heart.

        It’s not all about you Luke, but if you think it is, perhaps you should ask yourself why…. Oh there I go again… another question…

      26. @Luke

        As the fellow who blogs at “The Isaiah 53:5 Project” explained in much more detail (at “Question vs. Doubt”), Read Psalm 22.

        When Jesus took our sins upon Himself. He became sin for us. For a time the Father could not look upon His Son.

        Jesus was both man and God. One with the Father, but not on that cross. Whether it was the man or the God in Jesus that suffered most I don’t know. I just know that when I read Psalm 22 I began to understand how little I understood the Bible, that it was time to take a second look.

        When Christians say Jesus suffered on the cross, we don’t claim to understand the full horror of it. We can’t. How can any of us appreciate burden — what it cost — to pay off the debt of sin for all of humanity for all time? And yet you would use Jesus’ question to try to put Christians on trial. How silly!

        There is a passage in John 21 you may wish to consider.

        John 21:20-24 New King James Version (NKJV)

        The Beloved Disciple and His Book

        20 Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” 21 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?”

        22 Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”

        23 Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?”

        24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.

        We don’t exist to please to please each other. We exist to give glory to God by following Jesus, and He has a unique relationship with each of us.

        None of us can make you believe. It is just not possible.

        You know about the Bible? You have your doubts? To some degree we all doubt. We are only human, but there is a point where our faith exceeds our doubts. Then our doubts assume the character of questions. That is possible for you too, but you have to study the Bible and pray. Pestering people with repetitious questions won’t help you a bit.

        Faith is a gift of God.

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