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Answers to your questions about life, religion and the Bible

Answers to your questions about life, religion and the Bible

Pastors get some of the most interesting questions from people they meet and people in their congregations. Here are a few that I’ve gotten in my ministry over the years and via email for this column.

Dear Father Paul: If you believe the Bible account of God’s creation of Eve in Genesis in which God took one of Adam’s ribs from which to make Eve, then it would seem that you must also believe that men today should have one fewer ribs than women which is NOT the case. Explain this if you can. — Deana

Dear Deana: That’s easy. You are right. Men and women today have the exact same number of ribs. So either Adam lived the rest of his life with one less rib and passed on to his children (us)through his DNA the “correct” number of ribs ... or God healed Adam, causing his (lost) rib to grow back. In any case, the loss of his rib had no long term effect on Adam’s health. The Bible says he lived to be 930 years old.

Dear Father Paul: Our pastor mentioned a Biblical character named Melchizedec in a sermon recently. Who was Melchizedec and what did he do? — Ellie

Dear Ellie: Melchizedec is mentioned three times in the Bible, first in Genesis 14. We are told later in Hebrews that the name Melchizedec means “King of Righteousness.” We are told also in Genesis 14 that he was the King of Salem which means “peace” in Hebrew. So Melchizdec was both “King of Righteousness and King of Peace.” The Bible says that he was also “priest of God most high.” So Melchizedec was both a king and a priest. This is important.

The account in Genesis 14 says that Melchizedec met with Abraham and that Melchizedec gave Abraham bread and wine and that Melchizedec “blessed” Abraham ... and then that Abraham presented Melchizedec with a “tithe,” ten percent of everything.

Melchizedec is next mentioned by King David in Psalm 110. Here we get a glimps of Melchizedec as an eternal figure (not flesh and blood) who is a priest “forever.”

In Hebrews 7 we read this about Melchizedec, “Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the son of God he (Melchizedec) remains a priest forever.” So it is clear that although Melchizedec lived upon the earth and met and talked with Abraham, he was not human since a human has a father and mother and cannot remain (live) as a priest “forever.” There can be little doubt then that Melchizedec was in fact “The Word” mentioned in the Gospel of John chapter 1 who later became incarnate (flesh) as Jesus Christ.

There are other places in the Bible that give accounts of “The Word” visiting earth before he became incarnate as Jesus Christ, but we do not have space here to relate them all.

Dear Father Paul: A friend of mine is a strong Christian. He talks a lot about “walking with God.” What does it mean to walk with God? — Ricardo

Dear Ricardo: Genesis 5 tells us about a man named Enoch. Enoch was the father of Methuselah who lived longer than any person in history ... 969 years. The Bible says that Enoch “walked with God” and because of this he did not die but was taken directly into heaven. Wow. In my view “walking with God” simply means having a relationship with God and spending time with him. Enoch believed God and any one who is believing in God, is obeying God and therefore is walking with him. Hebrews 11 has more information on this subject.

Do you have a question? I will try to answer your question in the paper. Email me with your question at or call me at 678-457-3050.

Do you need prayer for an issue that you are dealing with and have no one to pray with you? Email me and I will be glad to pray for your need. I do not need to know your identity.

Father Paul Massey is pastor of Church of the Holy Cross Charismatic Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Georgia. The church is catholic, evangelical and charismatic modeled after the ancient, historic New Testament Church. Information, worship times and directions are available at

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