Understanding the culture which an author wrote for/to is often key to understanding a text's original meaning.

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What is the meaning of “rod and staff” (Psalm 23)?

I am under the impression that the "rod and staff" are actually one physical item. That is, that on one end was a kind of hook (staff) that was used to aid one's duty as a Shepard and on the other end ...
12
votes
2answers
14k views

How old was Samuel when Hannah took him to the temple?

In 1 Samuel 1:24 we read: After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of ...
8
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4answers
8k views

The Ten Commandments were based on the Code of Hammurabi?

A topic that was discussed among peers was that the Ten Commandments of Christian and Jewish faith were based off the Code of Hammurabi. I looked into the Wikipedia article and was informed that ...
5
votes
2answers
295 views

Sandals and Holy Ground

In Exodus 3, Moses is commanded to take off his shoes because he is standing on holy ground, yet before him is appearing an Angel of the LORD, not God himself (in contrast to Exodus 19 an onward where ...
15
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the meaning of the reference to 'stones' in Ecclesiastes 3?

Ecclesiastes starts with a series of contrasts, most of which are easy to understand. However one reference is less obvious (at least to me) - the 'stones' in verse 5a: 1 For everything there is a ...
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vote
1answer
98 views

In the New Testament, What is the Origin of “Believe In” and “Believe Into”?

Is there any Extra-Biblical source, (in Classical Greek, or Semitic sources), or a syntactical rule, behind the construction: ["πιστεύων ἐν" and "πιστεύων εἰς" + "Some Leader"]* — Or, is this ...
7
votes
3answers
240 views

What is the intended image of “pierced my hands and feet” in Psalm 22:16?

I sometimes struggle to understand how some of the NT authors describe OT passages as messianic prophecies. One of these is from the 22nd Psalm. Psalm 22:16 NASB (emphasis added) For dogs have ...
6
votes
1answer
551 views

What was the relationship in ages between Jesus and his disciples?

There are a few texts in the gospels which give some flavor of Jesus' relationship with his disciples (citing the NIV here): Matt 10:24 - The student [μαθητὴς] is not above the teacher ...
0
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1answer
829 views

What position in society did the teachers of the law hold?

Matthew 23:27-28 (NIV): 27"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the ...
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1answer
68 views

How do Hebrew sacrificial traditions compare with other cultures? [closed]

In the book of Leviticus, the people of Israel are given a number of instructions regarding when and how to perform sacrifices to God. I have often found that cultural context is extremely valuable ...