The Bible Difficulties and Answers Podcast

Each week we select a particularly difficult portion of the Bible, working our way through a start in Genesis all the way to Revelation, and determine answers (hopefully in an easy, fun and understandable way) to help you in your scriptural journey.

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Lance Smith, Host

Each week we select a particularly difficult portion of the Bible, working our way through a start in Genesis all the way to Revelation, and determine answers (hopefully in an easy, fun and understandable way) to help you in your scriptural journey.

Episodes

7 days ago

Join us as host Lance Smith takes us on a riveting journey to decode Genesis 6:6, a controversial Bible verse that sparks thought-provoking discussions and interpretations. In this episode, we will explore the question, "Was God unsatisfied with what He made?" To guide our exploration, we will delve into two perspectives: 'Open Theism,' which proposes the notion of a limited God, and 'Anthropomorphism,' an engaging concept often associated with Disney animations. Are these merely different ways of interpreting God's regret over mankind's sins, or could they offer deeper insights into biblical interpretation? This episode promises a rich tapestry of theological ideas and discourse spanning centuries, from the 16th to the 21st. From the insights of 16th-century theologian John Calvin and 19th-century German theologians C.F. Keil and Franz Delitzsch, to present-day scholars like Matt Halstead and Matt Slick, we will seek answers while considering the multifaceted nature of Scripture. Did God truly regret His creation or was this an anthropomorphic projection used to describe God's relationship with sinful humanity? As we dive into the text, original Hebrew meanings, and scholarly articles, we hope to find answers that may challenge and inspire you. Are you ready to embark on this fascinating journey? Let's dive in! Note: show notes will include references for all material discussed.
References to items discussed on this podcast may found at the following:
 
The Bible Difficulties and Answers Website
Email Address: bibledifficultiesandanswers@gmail.com 
https://a.co/d/7shn4hI (The Big Book of Bible Difficulties from Amazon)
John Calvin, Genesis, Calvin’s Commentaries, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979), 248-49.
C.F. Keil, F. Delitzsch, The Pentateuch, Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978), 139-140
https://carm.org/about-god/does-god-repent-an-examination-of-exodus-3214-and-genesis-66/#_ftn8 
https://carm.org/open-theism/genesis-66-and-the-lord-was-sorry-he-had-made-man-on-the-earth/
https://www.lib.eduhk.hk/pure-data/pub/202001537/202001537_1.pdf
https://www.bibleref.com/Genesis/6/Genesis-6-6.html
https://reasons.org/explore/publications/questions-from-social-media/does-gods-regret-that-he-made-humans-mean-he-is-indecisive
https://thatdankent.com/15-reasons-open-theism-is-true-a-reply-to-andrew-wilson/ 
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/rationalanimal/2023/03/introduction-to-open-theism/

Friday May 10, 2024

Welcome to the 'Bible Difficulties and Answers' podcast with your host, Lance Smith. The elusive topic of the identity of the "sons of God" mentioned in Genesis 6:2 is today's intriguing subject. This verse has been a curiosity to biblical scholars for hundreds of years and continues to pique our interest. We'll consider the questions: were the "sons of God" fallen angels, also interpreted as earth dwelling demons, or were they humans derived from the line of Seth? We'll probe deeply into differing perspectives to seek answers while striving to remain open-minded, without letting uncertainty cloud our understanding of the Bible.
Join us as we present competent scholars' diverse interpretations, uncovering this biblical puzzle's possible solutions. Some scholars believe the "sons of God" were great men of renown or the godly line of Seth, while others suggest they were angels inhabiting human bodies. We'll also explore the idea of the "sons of God" representing a specific category of earthly males. 
This episode aims not only to investigate the identity of the "sons of God" closely but also to highlight that Genesis 6:2 shouldn't be seen as the exclusive guidepost for our theological framework. Whether the "sons of God" are considered fallen angels or human men, their narrative remains woven into the broader tapestry of the Bible, yielding seeds of corruption and divine interventions. Stay tuned as we continue decoding this captivating narrative over the next six episodes.
In our forthcoming podcast, we promise a deep dive into the intriguing question from Genesis 6:6; why was God dissatisfied with his creation? You may reach us at our website or via email with any queries, comments, or feedback. Don't forget to like, subscribe, and provide a five-star rating for the podcast on your preferred platform to help spread awareness about the most amazing book ever written. 

Friday May 03, 2024

Dive into the intriguing challenges of biblical longevity with host Lance Smith on this episode of "Bible Difficulties and Answers" podcast. Today, we're exploring the fascinating aspect of the extended lifespans of ancient patriarchs mentioned in the Bible, with some purportedly living beyond 900 years. Scholars present varying perspectives on this topic - some view these ages as symbolic, while others present theories ranging from a water canopy to delayed human maturation.
Understanding the matter involves reviewing diverse opinions and research findings, which we'll analyze and offer personal thoughts on. We highlight a few key theories that can possibly explain the prolonged lifespans, such as biochemical changes in cellular chemistry. However, the consensus among religious scholars on this matter remains divided.
Join our discussion as we contemplate on verses from Genesis and delve into the antediluvian era, investigating claims from various historical narratives, scientific theories and other biblical scholars. While we do present multiple explanations, we leave it up to you to form your own conclusion. The comprehensive research and the different interpretations should serve as a guide to understanding the complex interplay between science and biblical accounts.
As a preview, our next episode will delve into an equally compelling enigma - Were the sons of God mentioned in Genesis 6 angels who married women? Stay tuned for another intriguing exploration.
Connect with us at BibleDifficultiesAndAnswers.Podbean.com or reach out directly through BibleDifficultiesAndAnswers@Gmail.com. Don't forget to leave a review and subscribe on your preferred podcast platform.

Friday Apr 26, 2024

In this episode of the 'Bible Difficulties and Answers' podcast, host Lance Smith delves into an intriguing and contentious part of the Bible: Genesis 5, which records the genealogy from Adam to Noah. This chapter has been a source of great debate among scholars and believers, primarily due to its implications for the age of the earth and humanity. We aim to present contrasting beliefs of young earth creationists and old earth creationists, and how they interpret these biblical verses.
But there's more to Genesis 5 than genealogies and ages; it also encompasses deeper themes of continuity, lineage, and the faithfulness of God. We explore these aspects within the chapter's broader literary and theological contexts. This episode also addresses the age-old question of whether a strict interpretation of the earth's age is essential for salvation.
As we delve into this fascinating chapter of Genesis, we believe that simply viewing the genealogy as a list of names and ages may allude to the purpose of these scriptures. Join us to gain a more vivid understanding of this chapter and deepen your Biblical knowledge today. Also, share your thoughts on the age of the earth and humanity – a subject that has intrigued and puzzled many.
References to items discussed on this podcast may found at the following:
https://a.co/d/7shn4hI (The Big Book of Bible Difficulties from Amazon)
https://a.co/d/c4NzLOr (The MacArthur Study Bible)
https://answersingenesis.org/creationism/old-earth/the-ultimate-motivation-of-this-prominent-theologian/ 
https://answersingenesis.org/age-of-the-earth/ 
https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/the-genealogies-of-genesis-1-11 
https://www.equip.org/bible_answers/gaps-genealogies-genesis/ 
https://reasons.org/explore/publications/articles/q-a-what-is-the-purpose-of-the-numbers-in-the-genesis-genealogies 
https://normangeisler.com/a-response-to-ken-ham-and-answers-in-genesis-on-does-inerrancy-require-believe-in-a-young-earth/

Friday Apr 19, 2024

In this episode of the Bible Difficulties and Answers Podcast, host Lance Smith scrutinizes Genesis 4.26, seeking to comprehend the beginnings of God’s worship. Digging into whether worship began with Cain and Abel, or the descendants of Seth and Enosh. Lance explores how this verse illuminates the role a weak and frail individual might have played in instigating public worship among their people and the theological implications of this verse beyond a superficial interpretation.
Lance dives into the interpretation of the word ‘began’, and ponders the plausible solutions to this conundrum presented by the Big Book of Bible Difficulties. Longstanding and attentive listeners appreciate the value of probing into the original Hebrew to decipher the enigmatic meaning of a Bible verse. Lance, in this discussion, explores four distinct interpretations of this verse, all leading to remarkably varied conclusions.
In directing light onto the issue, Lance refers to the interpretations of Rabbi David Rosenfeld and John Reiss, who provide a more profound understanding of the term ‘hukal’, signifying mankind beginning to call out and pray to the true God. Lance also explores the sociability and frailty of Enosh, which perhaps inspired the public worship among Seth’s descendants.
The episode concludes by discerning how the descendants of Seth, led by a frail or weak man -- Enosh -- initiated public worship, while the descendants of Cain showcased their strength and valor. These insights skillfully encapsulate the essence of Genesis 4.26, an overlooked yet profoundly deep Bible verse.
References to items discussed on this podcast may found at the following:
https://a.co/d/7shn4hI (The Big Book of Bible Difficulties from Amazon)
https://aish.com/enosh-calling-gods-name-and-the-origins-of-idolatry/
https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/23563/Enosh.htm
https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/wiersbe-be-bible-study/enosh-calling-god-4-26-5-6-11
 

Friday Apr 12, 2024

In this powerful episode of "Bible Difficulties and Answers" podcast, hosted by Lance Smith, we delve into the intriguing question of Cain's wife in the biblical narrative. Who was she? Was she a relative of Cain? If so, how does this align with the prohibition against incest as understood in cultures across the globe and in biblical teachings?
This presentation aims to unravel the seeming paradox by examining various schools of thought from credible biblical scholars and recent interpretations. The episode discusses the possibility that Cain may have married a close relative, likely a sister or a niece from his immediate family. Such a marriage, it argues, would not have constituted incest in early biblical times due to the genetic perfection and the rapid population growth during the Genesis era.
Further discussions analyze how, due to emerging genetic mutations, such unions became increasingly problematic, culminating in the explicit prohibition of intermarriages among close relatives under the Mosaic Law. Smith also takes a satisfying jab at atheist evolutionists who evade the issue of early incest in their Darwinian evolutionary hypothesis, highlighting its logical fallacies.
This episode closes with an insightful contrast between the understanding and practice of incestuous relationships during early biblical times and modern-day perceptions. Tune in to better understand this complex topic.
References to items discussed on this podcast may found at the following:
https://a.co/d/7shn4hI (The Big Book of Bible Difficulties from Amazon)
https://reasons.org/explore/publications/questions-from-social-media/if-we-all-are-adam-and-eves-descendants-isnt-there-an-incest-problem
https://apologetics315.com/2014/07/book-review-navigating-genesis-a-scientists-journey-through-genesis-1-11-by-hugh-ross/
https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/cain/who-was-cains-wife/
https://www.gotquestions.org/incest-in-the-Bible.html 
https://www.idisciple.org/post/where-did-cain-get-his-wife 
 

Friday Apr 05, 2024

Welcome to the latest episode of Bible Difficulties and Answers podcast with your host, Lance Smith. This is the third episode of a four-part series focusing on the perplexing figure of Cain and today, we address a frequently asked question: where did Cain find his wife?
The issue of Cain’s wife might seem trivial, but it actually presents an intriguing enigma. If we assume that Adam and Eve were the first and only humans created by God, who then bore Cain and Abel, there should not have been any other women for Cain to marry. So where did she come from? The narrative of Genesis 4:17 establishes that Cain had sexual relations with a wife, but offers no explanation beyond that, leaving many readers puzzled.
We discuss various theories to explain this anomaly, ranging from the possibility that Cain married a close relative like a sister or niece, to the theory that there existed a separate population from which he could choose a wife. We delve into scholarship of interrelated marriage and shed light on the original Hebrew meaning of 'wife'. We also explore fascinating theories like the Strattonian model which accommodates the story of Cain within an evolutionary framework.
Through detailed analysis and thought-provoking discussion, this episode challenges common preconceptions and encourages you to approach biblical mysteries with an open, inquisitive mind. Join us on this journey of discovery as we unravel the complexities of this ancient text and strive for a deeper understanding of its teachings.
Whether you agree or disagree with our conclusions, our goal is to challenge you to think critically about the Bible and engage with it in a new and meaningful way. We invite you to share your thoughts and join the conversation at our website or via email. Remember to subscribe, like, and leave a review on your podcast platform of choice. Until next time, stay curious and keep exploring!
Show Notes:
References to items discussed on this podcast may found at the following:
 
https://a.co/d/7shn4hI (The Big Book of Bible Difficulties from Amazon)
https://a.co/d/1MWGSGM (New Revised Standard Version Bible)
https://crossexamined.org/evolution-true-happen-adam-eve/ 
https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/reasonable-faith-podcast/josh-swamidass-in-christianity-today 
https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/reasonable-faith-podcast/questions-on-the-trinity-neanderthals-and-gravity
https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/cain/creation-basics/?gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAjwtqmwBhBVEiwAL-WAYVQRbUGOIZMIuj1aI-WA5xln61Ao-4m5EhZyK88b3VDTJiT_JCkqhRoC3BMQAvD_BwE
https://www.catholic.com/qa/why-incest-in-genesis-was-ok?_gl=1*nrm2t6*_up*MQ..*_ga*MTAyMTQ5NzQ1NS4xNzEyMDczMzgx*_ga_C1P2JNZ1YB*MTcxMjA3MzM4MC4xLjAuMTcxMjA3MzM4MC4wLjAuMA 
https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/cain/cains-wife-who-was-she/
 

Friday Mar 29, 2024

Welcome to a thought-provoking episode of The Bible Difficulties and Answers podcast where host Lance Smith explores one of the oldest Biblical queries: Why did Cain not receive capital punishment for murdering his brother, Abel? Unlike many assumptions, Cain's escape from instant death isn’t an argument against capital punishment or divine justice, but possibly an expression of God’s graciousness.
Smith takes you on a deep dive into Genesis 4, detailing Ancient Hebrew translations, interpretations from different scholarly sources, and his own analytical thoughts. The discussion digs deeper into verses 12 and 13 from the New Living Translation, examining how the explicit punishments that God inflicted on Cain might have been worse than immediate death.
The episode also includes discussion about God’s rule changes after the days of Cain and Abel, how capital punishment became a consequence for murder, and how this all ties into the idea that God's judgement is often tempered by grace. Wrapped up with contemplative commentary on humanity’s tendency to move away from God, this episode gives you a chance to reconsider the traditional narrative and develop a well-rounded perspective.
Stay connected for next week’s episode titled, "Where Did Cain Get His Wife?" to dig even deeper into the intriguing life of one of Biblical history’s most infamous characters.
References to items discussed on this podcast may found at the following:
https://a.co/d/7shn4hI (The Big Book of Bible Difficulties from Amazon)
https://bibletalk.tv/the-punishment-of-cain 
https://tidings.org/articles/the-way-of-cain-4-cain-crime-and-punishment/ 
https://www.reasonablefaith.org/podcasts/defenders-podcast-series-3/excursus-on-creation-of-life-and-biological-diversity/excursus-on-creation-of-life-and-biological-diversity-part-22
https://www.gotquestions.org/Cain-death.html
https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_716.cfm
https://www.jewishanswers.org/ask-the-rabbi-category/the-jewish-legal-system/criminal-law/?p=2476 
 

Friday Mar 22, 2024

Welcome to this episode of Bible Difficulties and Answers, a deep dive into the captivating story of Cain and Abel. Our understanding will be immensely enriched by recent Christian scholarship, illuminating the age-old question: why did God accept Abel's sacrifice and not Cain's?
We delve into Abel's sacrifice, noted as 'the best portions of the firstborn lambs', and contrast this with Cain's offering of 'some of his crops'. Our host, Lance Smith, challenges the traditional notion that Abel's acceptance was solely because he offered a blood sacrifice, while Cain did not.
Through the study of different interpretations and research, Lance paints a vivid picture of how the inner person influences the outward expression of sacrifice. The crux of the issue may lie in the motivation and attitude behind the offering, rather than the nature of the offering itself.
Drawing from various sources, Lance asserts that Abel's acceptance possibly hinges on the heartfelt giving of the best he had, while Cain's rejection could be attributed to the lackadaisical offering of just 'some' of his crops and not the best or first fruits.
This episode enriches our perception of how God respects persons, paying particular attention to the heart and motivation behind their acts. You are invited to join us as we continue our exploration next week into why Cain wasn't given capital punishment for the murder he committed.
You can reach Lance directly or learn more at our website and email address. Please like, subscribe, write a review, and give this podcast a five-star rating. Your engagement helps spread the knowledge about the most intriguing book ever written. Until the next episode, take care and stay blessed!
References to items discussed on this podcast may found at the following:
https://a.co/d/7shn4hI (The Big Book of Bible Difficulties from Amazon)
https://www.gotquestions.org/Cain-and-Abel.html
https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/35718/in-genesis-42-8-why-did-god-not-accept-cains-offering
https://www.amazon.com/Genesis-Creation-Early-Man-Christian/dp/1887904026 (Genesis, Creation and Early Man: The Orthodox Christian Vision)
https://ssnet.org/blog/monday-two-offerings/ 
 

Friday Mar 15, 2024

Today we explore a verse to determine why Adam and Eve tried to hide from God walking through the garden. Actually, does God “walking” and humans hiding from an omnipresent God even make sense? We’ll look at how cartoons like Arthur and Thomas the Train might help us understand this problematic verse, along with a doctrine of Christology and how it might fit here, and finally, how a clearer understanding of the Hebrew used here may unlock the solution. As usual, I will present a number of different opinions from my research and conclude with my own thoughts. Show notes will include links to all we discuss. References to items discussed on this podcast may found at the following:
https://a.co/d/7shn4hI (The Big Book of Bible Difficulties from Amazon)
https://www.reasonablefaith.org/podcasts/defenders-podcast-series-3/excursus-on-creation-of-life-and-biological-diversity/excursus-on-creation-of-life-and-biological-diversity-part-20
https://carm.org/about-jesus/what-does-christ-mean/
https://www.gotquestions.org/God-walk-garden.html
https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/genesis-3-8
https://www.teii.org/biblical-theology-education/the-thunder-and-wind-of-yahwehs-judgment-the-meaning-of-genesis-38/

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