Events in the Bible, the wider cultural background of those events, and the biblical text itself, all have a historical dimension.

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What type of “dragon” is implied by the seven headed serpent of revelation?

In the context of the scriptures and culture that the vision was revealed, what was implied by "the dragon" which is also implied to be a serpent? At first, one might conclude a simple snake with ...
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Did houses only have one room 2000 years ago?

A possible implication of Matthew 5:15 is that houses generally had only one room: 15Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. ...
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How typical was the dedication of Samuel?

1 Sam 1:24-28: And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull...and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh...And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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61 views

Social standing of first century physicians

In Mark 5:26, in telling the story of the woman who had been bleeding, Mark mentions: She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting ...
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What did earrings have to do with idolatry in Gen 35:4?

As Jacob brings his family back to Canaan, God calls him to build an altar to Him (Gen 35:1), and then Jacob is moved to do the following, of which the part in bold is what this question concerns in ...
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Do we know that the Enuma Elish came before Genesis? [closed]

I know a common idea is that the Genesis narrative, at the least, takes elements from other Near Eastern mythologies and puts them into its own monotheistic context. How can it be shown that the ...
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Qualifications for deacons and pastors in 1 Timothy 3:1-12

3:1 This saying is trustworthy: “If someone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a good work.” 3:2 The overseer then must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, ...
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Who was Neri, father of Shealtiel?

This one has been dogging me for a while. I know there is no (direct) Biblical source to answer this question, but perhaps the scholars here might be better informed as to the existence of some ...
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Was “Τετέλεσται” actually stamped on paid bills and debt certificates in the first century?

I've often heard some really cool explanations around the meaning for the greek word Τετέλεσται in the New Testament where Jesus said, "It is Finished". I love what I've heard, and have even preached ...
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Who were the Hellenistic and Hebraic Jews of Acts 6:1?

In Acts, it talks about a division in Judaism that I had not heard of before: Acts 6:1 (NIV) In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained ...
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1answer
154 views

Did Pilate know three languages?

John 19:20-22: This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, [and] Greek, [and] Latin. Then said the chief ...
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450 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 ...
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How should the story of David's concubines be read?

There's a small story of ten concubines spread across Samuel: And a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom.” Then David said to all his servants ...
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319 views

Earliest attestation to Luke's gospel

What is the earliest convincing attestation to the gospel of Luke? I believe that Justin Martyr quotes from Luke's gospel ca.150. Is that generally considered unassailable? Are there other earlier ...
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Did Jesus die in his thirties … or at around 50? [duplicate]

Irenaeus writes, in Adversus Haereses Book II, chap 22: But, besides this, those very Jews who then disputed with the Lord Jesus Christ have most clearly indicated [that Jesus died when he was ...
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John 8:57 and the age of Jesus, before his crucifixion

I was doing some reading in the Book "Ante Nicene Fathers" in Irenaeus' "Against Heresies" Book 2 Chapter 22 (book II chapter XXII) Irenaeus quoted John 8:57, in his argument to the Valentinens that ...
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Was Luke mistaken about the year in which John the Baptist's preaching began?

Luke goes into detail concerning the beginning of Christ’s ministry. To quote: “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being ...
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What was the actual thorn plant that was used in Christ's crown of thorns? John 19:2

John 19:2 (HCSB) The soldiers also twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and threw a purple robe around Him. Image from The Passion of the Christ. What was the actual thorn ...
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60 views

Were priests prohibited from tearing their garments

While studying an aspect of the crucifixion of Jesus (the seamless garment that the soldiers cast lots for), I came across a sermon transcript that said the following as part of its argument ...
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Is there a published version of the Bible, where the text is ordered chronologically in the order it was written?

Has there been a published version of the Bible where the text was ordered in the order it is best assumed that it was written? I'm not interested in a version that is ordered in a chronological ...
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433 views

Would the Pharisees go to Pilate and secure the tomb on the Sabbath?

This is in relation to another post in which the question was asked why the Sabbath was called "the day after the Day of Preparation." It strikes me odd that Pharisees would be about this sort of ...
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Is Deuteronomy 22:28 talking about rape?

Some folks assert that this passage describes the Torah's sole punishment for rape: If a man comes upon a virgin who is not engaged and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are discovered, ...
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Was Luke's birth narrative written in response to Marcion's version of the gospel?

This site suggests that Marcion's version of The Gospel of Luke - a version which includes no birth narrative - was written before the version of Luke that includes the birth narrative, and that the ...
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Interpretation of Genesis 1:26?

I am under the impression that the Trinity is a Christian idea, and that the Jews did not view God as "three in one and one in three". How, then, was the following passage interpreted by the people ...
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Numeral system in the time of the Genesis

Genesis 41:49 (King James Version) And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number. Without being a perfect equivalent, this ...
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278 views

Can the Bible's relative chronology be made an 'absolute' chronology?

Chronology is defined as 'the determination of the proper sequence of past events', in other words, the arrangement of dates, events, etc, in order of occurrence. The Bible is filled with detailed ...
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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 ...
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Why would the disciples have rebuked people for bringing infants to Jesus?

Luke 18:15 tells a story of people bringing infants to Jesus: Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. (ESV) I take ...
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How credible is the theory that Enki and Ninhursag influenced Genesis 2 and 3?

How credible is the theory that the Sumerian story of Enki and Ninhursag influenced or inspired Genesis 2 and 3? the literature created by the Sumerians left its deep imprint on the Hebrews, and ...
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What are the similarities and differences between the Genesis creation account and other creation stories of the time [closed]

(Operating under the assumption that Genesis was authored by Moses, and its intent is a polemic against other origin stories and their view of the deity at the time). The Enûma Eliš is said to have ...
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1answer
179 views

The Pharaoh of the Exodus

Is there any textual evidence in Hebrew Bible or Christian New Testament that would identify the Pharaoh involved with Moses and the Exodus? Is there any textual evidence that would also correspond ...
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550 views

Was Jesus crucified naked?

John 19:23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven ...
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1answer
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What does “Put the wood in order” mean in 1 Kings 18:33?

Several translation of 1 Kings 18:33 (ESV, RSV, KJV, etc.) say "And he put the wood in order..." What was the "order" spoken of here? Similarly, Genesis 22:9 also speaks of putting wood "in order" ...
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Who were the Pharisees?

Many times in the New Testament, Jesus, John the Baptist, and the Apostles interact with Jewish men called the Pharisees. At other times, the Sadducees are prominent. Several Pharisees are named in ...
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1answer
128 views

When was the Hebrew Bible's exact text/spelling synchronized globally?

The Hebrew Bible is essentially identical in all Jewish communities, despite significant differences in spellings and wordings from the Septuagint or texts in the Dead Sea Scrolls, or even from quoted ...
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How are concubines different than wives?

In the Hebrew Bible, a marriage ceremony is never actually described. Priests and their attendants (Kohanim and Levites) are responsible for work in the sanctuary, such as sacrifices and offerings, ...
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1answer
57 views

What calendar was used in the first books of the Bible? [duplicate]

Reading Leviticus, I found several verses relatives to months and dates. And I wondered how long those months were and how were they measured. I know that the modern Hebrew calendar is a lunar ...
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1answer
78 views

What is the significance of the term 'bread falling from the table '?

What is the historical background of the mention of 'bread falling from the table' as is seen in Matthew 15:27 (NIV): “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their ...
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2answers
128 views

What is the structure of the 'foundations' of the city wall in Revelation 21?

I always assumed the foundation of a wall would be a long uniform trench, but that doesn't seem to be consistent with the description of the foundations of the New Jerusalem given in Revelation 21: ...
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In the time of Jesus, were the Jewish authorities allowed to execute?

In the gospel accounts of the trial of Jesus we learn that the Jewish authorities could not sentence anyone to death: Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” “But we ...
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152 views

Assyrian Invasions of Israel

Previous to the fall of Samaria, Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria made several excursions into Israel. The biblical records mention three: The first was against Menahem (2 Kings 15:19-20) but he was ...
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Why were the Ten Commandments written on two tablets?

When Moses is given the Ten Commandments they are apparently written on two tablets: He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on ...
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249 views

Should Luke be considered a 'primary' source concerning events in Jesus' life?

Sould Luke properly be described as a 'primary' or 'secondary' source concerning the life of Jesus? I ask because the author of Luke does not claim to be an eye-witness to most of the events he ...
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Did the Hebrews lift their right hand to take an oath as some translations of Psalm 144:8 imply?

Do we have any evidence that the Hebrews used to lift their right hand to take an oath, as some translations of Psalm 144:8 imply? The original verse talks of a "right hand of falsehood" (KJV NAS) : ...
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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 ...
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Why should an altar be made with uncut stone?

God told Moses that the altar must be made of unhewn stones: And if you make for Me an altar of stones, do not build it of hewn stones; for by wielding your tool upon them you have profaned ...
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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 ...
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What textual clues are there that the original readers of Genesis would have understood 11:27–50:26 in a different way than Genesis 2:4–11:26?

One fairly common argument on how to interpret Genesis says that there is a change in theme (or perhaps even genre) near the end of Genesis 11, basically that things shift from the (pre-)history of ...