Questions about the interpretation of a passage in light of the historical context, or about this hermeneutical approach.

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19
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6answers
9k views

Why is Isaiah 14:12-15 interpreted by some to refer to Satan?

Is 14:12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend ...
18
votes
2answers
974 views

How did Joanna “get away with” sponsoring Jesus' ministry?

Luke 8:1-3 Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ καθεξῆς καὶ αὐτὸς διώδευεν κατὰ πόλιν καὶ κώμην κηρύσσων καὶ εὐαγγελιζόμενος τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ οἱ δώδεκα σὺν αὐτῷ, 2 καὶ γυναῖκές τινες αἳ ἦσαν ...
16
votes
4answers
6k views

Are Job's friends the voice of the Accuser?

I have often struggled with the book of Job, wondering what rubric should guide my interpretation as I read through the speeches of Job's "friends". They say so much that is "true" (so much that ...
15
votes
3answers
529 views

Was there precedent for John to link the satan and the serpent?

In Revelation 20:2, John links the satan and the serpent: He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. A couple preliminary ...
15
votes
6answers
50k views

What is the significance of '14 generations' in Matthew’s account of Jesus's genealogy?

After giving Jesus's genealogy in the first chapter, Matthew goes on to point out the number of generations between significant events: Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to ...
14
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4answers
7k views

Are there two different types of “tongues” spoken about in the NT?

My question comes directly from 1 Cor 14: 2, 4: 2 For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.....4 One who ...
12
votes
2answers
694 views

The significance of the designations of families who will mourn in Zechariah 12

As the prophet Zechariah proclaims the greatness of Jerusalem's mourning, he says: 12“All Israel will mourn, each clan by itself, and with the husbands separate from their wives. The clan of David ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Jesus and the adulterous woman: was stoning a practical possiblity?

In John 8:5, the Pharisees ask Jesus: In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say? (NIV) Was stoning a woman for adultery often/sometimes done during Jesus' days, or ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What is an “anachronism” in Biblical Hermeneutics?

I have run across several definitions as it relates to "anachronism" in Biblical Hermeneutics and I am confused: An anachronism in word studies takes place when we read a definition of a word ...
10
votes
4answers
12k views

“Cakes of Raisins” in Hosea 3

Hosea 3:1 reads (ESV): And the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other ...
9
votes
3answers
618 views

How is this passage on the authority of women to be interpreted?

I have heard it said that 1 Timothy 2:11,12 is to be examined through the "lens" of culture but what Paul writes right after it in verses 13 and 14 seems to nullify that. A woman should learn in ...
9
votes
2answers
186 views

Was there any significance to the term χριστὸς in koine Greek outside of Judeo-Christian thought?

This question is motivated by a reading of John 20:31: SBLGNT ταῦτα δὲ γέγραπται ἵνα πιστεύητε ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἐστιν ὁ χριστὸς ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ ἵνα πιστεύοντες ζωὴν ἔχητε ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ. ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Historical interpretations of Ezekiel's vision of a temple

From Ezekiel 40 to the end, the author records a pretty detailed vision of a temple. Historically, what are the main ways this vision been interpreted? Did the rabbis consider this vision to be ...
9
votes
3answers
399 views

What is the judgment in Psalm 1?

The ending of Psalm 1 provides great hope for those who delight in the instruction of the Lord: Not so the wicked; rather, they are like chaff that wind blows away. Therefore the wicked ...
8
votes
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
38k views

What does a mustard seed grow into?

Jesus said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Assessments of the evidence for the “Gap Theory” reading of Genesis 1:1-2?

Ever since the emergence of an understanding of "geological time" in the 18th Century, there has been a perceived tension with the six-day account of creation in Genesis 1 -- at least, if those "days" ...
8
votes
1answer
185 views

Understanding of Book of Daniel 9.26

I am reading from the Book of Daniel Chapter 9:26 (NIV) concerning an end-time prophecy, where it is written, 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the historical basis for viewing Genesis 3:15 as the 'protoevangelium'?

Genesis 3:15 is referred to by Christian theologians as the protoevangelium (first proclamation of the [Christian] gospel). The text reads: Hebrew (MT): וְאֵיבָ֣ה׀ אָשִׁ֗ית בֵּֽינְךָ֙ וּבֵ֣ין ...
7
votes
2answers
743 views

Was John the Baptist a member of the Essene community at Qumran?

This paper by Alan Farnes is one of many that have identified John’s appropriation of Isaiah 40:3 as reminiscent of the Qumran documents (a.k.a. Dead Sea Scrolls): John 1:23 (ESV) He said, “I am ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “torture” mean in Matthew 18:34?

At the end of the parable of the unmerciful servant, the master has him jailed and handed over to be "tortured". And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Who is the prophetess in Isaiah 8:3?

The bible doesn't seem to give much information for who "the prophetess" in Isaiah 8:3 is. Who is she? Many seem to assert that she is his wife, but cite no evidence to support this. The word ...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

Who is the Prince of Tyre?

In Ezekiel 28:2 it says," Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the ...
7
votes
1answer
358 views

Which “house of the forest of Lebanon” had gold “shields” & “vessels” (1 Kg 10:17, 21)?

Background NOTE: All English translation is from NASB. In 1 Kg 10, the phrase בֵּ֖ית יַ֥עַר הַלְּבָנֹֽון ("in the house of the forest of Lebanon," v.17) and בֵּֽית־יַ֥עַר הַלְּבָנֹ֖ון ("of the house ...
7
votes
1answer
942 views

Not singing the songs of Zion/Yahweh's song in Psalm 137

The first colophon (or first two colophons, perhaps) of Psalm 137 reads, 1 By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. 2 On the willows there we hung up ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

Who are the “third and fourth generation” in Exodus 20:5?

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down ...
6
votes
3answers
683 views

Psalm 51:5 CEV vs ESV

How can we determine which translation is more close to the original message? Clearly "the day I was born" vs "mother conceive me" paints a completely different picture - and arguably, a different ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What did “ekklesia” mean in the Classical Greek and later the Septuagint, and did the meaning change when it was translated in the KJV bible?

I have a scholarly friend who believes if you examine the meaning of the word "ekklesia" in the original Classical Greek and later in the Septuagint it had the meaning of a "meeting"(an event in time) ...
5
votes
3answers
15k views

What is the story behind mourning for Hadad-rimmon in Zechariah 12:11?

Zechariah, like Revelation which draws on it, is a tough nut to crack but very rich. In the twelfth chapter, the prophet records the word of Yahweh that The sorrow and mourning in Jerusalem on ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Historically, how was Jonah classified in terms of literary genre?

I've been reading through a lengthy discussion at this site over the historical nature of Jonah. One position that has been advanced is that there are internal text indicators that the narrative is ...
5
votes
2answers
161 views

What are the implications of calling Jesus “the son of Mary” in Mark 6:3?

In Mark 6:3, Jesus is referred to by his community in an unusual way. The text was originally written in Greek, but to paraphrase a bit, an Aramaic translation would equate to something like: "Is ...
5
votes
2answers
134 views

Is there a hint in any of Evangelions why Jesus was crucified so close to Sabbath?

There's a passage in St. John's Evangelion: 31 Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day ...
5
votes
2answers
263 views

Are the speeches in the gospels and Acts meant to be taken as literal renditions of the original speech, or general gists of the speaker's message?

Acts 13:16-19 Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they ...
4
votes
4answers
488 views

What is the significance of Gen 46:10 “Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman”?

What message is being conveyed in Gen 46:10 when it says of one of Simeon's sons: "Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman" (KJV)? Judah also had three sons by a Canaanite woman (Gen 38:2-5), Er, Onan, ...
4
votes
2answers
109 views

How is the Shema interpreted by those who think Israel had henotheistic beliefs?

Deut. 6:4 says, שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יְהוָ֥ה ׀ אֶחָֽד ׃(Westminster Leningrad Codex) "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God the Lord (is) one:" I know there are a few people ...
4
votes
1answer
272 views

What is Shesh Mashzar?

The Hebrew words occuring all over the latter parts of Exodus: שֵׁשׁ מָשְׁזָר mean some sort of fancy fabric. Is it reasonable to think of this as silk? I was thinking this might be derived from "...
4
votes
1answer
533 views

How do we understand “prayer of Jabez” in 1 Chr 4:9-10?

1 Chr 4:9-10 Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You ...
4
votes
2answers
202 views

How to interpret John 6:32-33

Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Moses didn’t give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the real bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

Earliest interpretation of Genesis 6:3 as referring to man's lifespan?

Genesis 6:3 ESV Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” Many people these days seem to understand this passage as referring ...
4
votes
1answer
57 views

Translation and historical background of Job 29:6a

Various Translations Job 29:6a is translated various ways. The apparently more literal one's being: (KJV) When I washed my steps with butter (NASB) When my steps were bathed in butter [NET ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Unfamiliar metaphors in Hosea 14:6-7

Hosea 14:5-7 (ESV) reads, 5 I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon; 6 his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall ...
4
votes
1answer
45 views

“if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus” 1 Cor 15:32

What does Paul mean by "if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus"? ESV: What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? NIV: If I fought wild beasts in ...
4
votes
1answer
96 views

Are there any medieval commentators to mention the Lukan census (of Quirinius, Lk 2:2) in conjunction with the evidence from Josephus?

Josephus, of course, places this census after Herod Archelaus' exile and the creation of Iudaea Province. So far, I've been able to find early discussion of Luke 2:2 in conjunction with Quirinius' ...
4
votes
1answer
322 views

Is King Solomon the bridegroom in the Song of Solomon?

A few objections against Solomon being the bridegroom are that Solomon was a king, not a shepherd (1:7), that he had hundreds of wives (versus 6:9, remembering that Solomon's first wife was an ...
4
votes
1answer
12k views

Where was Daniel when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fire?

In chapter 3 of book of Daniel we find the story of the three young men that are thrown in fire because they refused to worship the image of gold that Nebuchadnezzar made. King Nebuchadnezzar made ...
3
votes
2answers
218 views

How can one be in pain while dead?

Acts 2:24 (NIV): But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. It is my understanding that the word ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Should The Creation Story in Genesis Be Understood as Metaphorical?

I have been lead to understand that the creation story of Genesis should be read as metaphorical and not literal. However, there seems to be abundant evidence that the ancients understood the story ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

Should Matthew 27:6-7 Be Taken as a Demonstration of Hypocrisy?

Would the people who heard Matthew's account of what was done with the 30 silver pieces have understood that to be a hypocritical act by the chief priests? 6 And the chief priests took the pieces ...
3
votes
0answers
77 views

What does Isaiah 55:1 mean by “buying without money”?

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Isaiah 55:1 (ESV) What does Isaiah 55:1 ...
2
votes
5answers
276 views

Historical Evidences that the Israeli Calendar Day Began at Sunset?

Related: - In Luke 23:54 - Was Jesus Entombed Right Before the Sabbath Dawn? - Do Idioms Used in the Crucifixion Narrative Resolve the "3 Day/3 Night" Objections? - In the Gospels, How ...