Questions focused on the meaning or use of an individual word across a body of writing.

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20
votes
3answers
17k views

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 ...
17
votes
4answers
14k views

What translation best translates the word “vanity” (in the KJV) in Ecclesiastes?

The word "vanity" (KJV) in Ecclesiastes was translated (possibly incorrectly) in the NIV as "meaningless". Is "vanity" the best translation for the Hebrew word hebel (Strongs 1892) or does a newer ...
17
votes
2answers
240 views

Why does Job use “bless” to mean “curse”?

This is bizarre to me, and as far as I can find HALOT (a Hebrew lexicon) doesn't even mention it.1 There are 8 instances of brk – the normal word for "bless" – in Job.2 The ESV is ...
15
votes
2answers
801 views

Could Philippians 4:3 refer to Paul's wife?

Philippians 4:3 reads: ναὶ ἐρωτῶ καὶ σέ, γνήσιε σύζυγε*, συνλαμβάνου αὐταῖς, αἵτινες ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ συνήθλησάν μοι μετὰ καὶ Κλήμεντος καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν συνεργῶν μου, ὧν τὰ ὀνόματα ἐν βίβλῳ ζωῆς. ...
15
votes
3answers
625 views

Did Jesus read minds or perceive them?

In this passage, most English translations say "knowing their thoughts". In the footnote it says "perceiving" their thoughts. I feel like this is a pretty monumental difference as perceiving thoughts ...
14
votes
5answers
14k views

Translation of “abba” (Αββα, אבא)

What is the best English translation of abba (Greek: Αββα, Aramaic: אבא) such as in Romans 8:15? What are its senses in the original languages, and are those best captured by father, dad, daddy, or ...
14
votes
4answers
330 views

The lexicology of Pharaoh's heart

In the narrative of Exodus 4-14 (spanning from the time of Moses's initial assignment until the crossing of the Red Sea), there are three different verbs used to describe the action against and/or the ...
13
votes
5answers
297 views

Is there a difference between “the devil” and “Satan” in the Synoptic Gospels?

While answering a question about the words σατανᾶς (satanas, Satan – transliterated from Hebrew śāṭān) and διάβολος (diabolos, devil) in the New Testament, I ran into another question for which ...
13
votes
4answers
614 views

In 1 Tim 2:12, how does αὐθεντεῖν (αὐθεντεω) differ from the more commonly used ἐξουσιάζω?

SBLGNT: διδάσκειν δὲ γυναικὶ οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω, οὐδὲ αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός, ἀλλ’ εἶναι ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ. From what I can tell, this is the only use of any form of this word (often translated "to exercise ...
12
votes
3answers
293 views

When the Bible says “the world”, does that only include Eurasia and Africa?

I've heard this argument a few different times for different verses. (Unfortunately, I can't remember exactly which verses as that would strengthen this question quite a bit.) However, the argument ...
12
votes
7answers
20k views

What did Jesus mean by “be perfect” in the Sermon on the Mount?

I asked this on the Christianity Stack Exchange site, and they told me it would be better here. So I here I am asking it... Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is ...
12
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the “Water” of Genesis 1:2?

We read in the creation account: The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.—Genesis 1:2 ...
12
votes
6answers
11k views

What was meant by “paradise” when Jesus spoke to the thief on the cross?

As he was crucified, Jesus engaged in a conversation with one of the other thieves hung along side him. at the end is this pronouncement: Luke 23:43 (ESV) 43 And he said to him, "Truly, I say to ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Are bats described as birds?

Leviticus 11:13,19 reads: And these you shall detest among the birds . . . the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture . . . and the bat. (ESV translation) Does the bible describe bats as ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Does Peter intend to identify the Pauline Epistles as canonical?

In 2 Peter 3:15-16, Peters states: And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his ...
11
votes
1answer
244 views

Is there any research that challenges the standard definition of 'προορίζω' (predestine)? [closed]

The definition of προορίζω in the Enhanced Strong's Lexicon is: 4309 Six occurrences; AV translates as “predestinate” four times, “determine before” once, and “ordain” once. 1 to predetermine, ...
11
votes
2answers
345 views

What factors define meaning of “little ones” in Deuteronomy?

In Deu. 20:13-14, it is written, 13 And when the Lord your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all its males to the sword, 14 but the women and the little ones, the livestock, and ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between “eretz” and “adamah” in Gen 2:6?

These two words are variably translated as ground, earth, land etc. How should we understand the difference between the words in this passage? Genesis 2:6 And a mist was going up from the land ...
10
votes
4answers
837 views

Why is Abel called a “Prophet”?

In the gospel of Luke at Chapter 11:50-51 (NIV), Jesus refers to Abel as a "prophet." I am not aware of any scripture spoken by Abel, which would prove that he is a prophet,but the words of Jesus ...
10
votes
2answers
382 views

How did “Sirens” arise in the Septuagint translation of Isaiah 13:21?

I am reading in the book of Isaiah at chapter 13 verse 21 in the King James Bible , and I notice in this bible, and in other English bible translations, that owls and jackals are commonly mentioned. ...
10
votes
4answers
493 views

What does Jesus mean when he says “blessed” in the Beatitudes of Matthew 5?

I ask this as blessed can mean many things. Eternal life, financial wealth, health, having kids, having a job, being happy, etc. Blessings seem to be very broad, so I'd like to see if anyone can ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the word Satan ever show up in the New Testament?

Satan is a Hebrew word that means adversary. The New Testament is written in Greek. So I guess not. It seems that they have another word. Diabolos or something that means the devil. Is that devil ...
9
votes
3answers
457 views

Who were the “poor among the saints” in Jerusalem?

Near the end of Romans there are details about financial relationships between churches. It's never really occurred to me to read it as anything but the face value in English: Romans 15:25-26 ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

What evidence is there that “morphe theou” in Philippians 2:6 means “God's nature”?

Is there any evidence that μορφῇ θεοῦ (morphe theou) in Philippians 2:6 means the "nature" of God the Father? ὃς ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ, — SBLGNT Several ...
9
votes
4answers
529 views

What is meant by “rightly dividing the word of truth”?

In 2 Tim 2:15 we read: KJV Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. SBLGNT σπούδασον σεαυτὸν δόκιμον ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Who is being slandered in 2 Peter 2:10b-11?

There are a number of interrelated questions I have arising from 2 Peter 2:10-11. Here are a pair of translations of the relevant verses (emphasis mine): NIV: Bold and arrogant, they are not ...
8
votes
3answers
878 views

Why does Mark use “immediately” so often?

I noticed while reading Mark 1 that the word immediately (εὐθὺς) is used eleven times in this chapter. When I researched, I found a theory that it may have been Mark's way of portraying Jesus as the ...
8
votes
0answers
42 views

Addressing someone as “epistates” (Ἐπιστάτα)

In the New Testament the Greek word used for 'Lord' is often 'kurios' or 'Kyrie', a transliteration of Greek Κύριε (Kyrie), vocative case of Κύριος (Kyrios). I understand and believe the ...
7
votes
1answer
60 views

Angel or messenger?

Often, it is clear from context whether מלאך and αγγελος refer to a human messenger or an angelic messenger. For example, if a מלאך or αγγελος is sent by a human, then the messenger is likely human. ...
7
votes
1answer
183 views

Understanding of Matthew 25:31

I am reading from the book of Matthew at chapter 25:31 in the NIV bible and the heading is called "The Sheep and the Goats" and reads When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

What basis do we have for defining Sabbatismos in Hebrews 4:9?

The word, Sabbatismos occurs in the Greek NT only once. Strongest Strong's defines it as Sabbath rest; Sabbath observance. Thayer's/Strong's defines it as a Sabbath keeping. Various English ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

What would be a good translation of 'poiēma'?

Two verses use the Greek ποίημα (G4161): For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what ...
7
votes
1answer
386 views

What does λῃστής [= lēstēs] mean in Mark 11:17?

Mark 11:17 reads (NET emphasis mine): καὶ ἐδίδασκεν καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς· οὐ γέγραπται ὅτι ὁ οἶκος μου οἶκος προσευχῆς κληθήσεται πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν; ὑμεῖς δὲ πεποιήκατε αὐτὸν σπήλαιον λῃστῶν. ...
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
1answer
230 views

Does the qal in Amos 3:6 automatically imply causation?

I am looking at Amos 3:6 and I expected a permissive rather than causative verb but I found a perfect qal. Does this qal actually mean cause here? Amo 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and ...
7
votes
1answer
121 views

Was Zechariah simply mute, or deaf as well?

In Luke 1 (ESV), Zechariah the priest is rendered mute for his lack of faith: 19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to ...
7
votes
3answers
185 views

What does it mean “to quench” in 1 Thessalonians 5:19?

In 1 Thessalonians 5:19 we read: Quench not the Spirit. (KJV) According to Strong's, "Quench" is the word 4570 σβέννυμι, which means "I extinguish, quench, I suppress, thwart." The dictionary ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Does the Hebrew word “olam“ mean “forever” in Leviticus 23:41?

Several passages refer to keeping a feast as a statute forever. For instance, Exodus 12:14 reads: “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; ...
7
votes
1answer
136 views

Judges 3:9 and the meaning of זעק

In Judges 3:9 we read: “When the children of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel, who delivered them: Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's ...
7
votes
1answer
73 views

Terminology of “goodness” in Romans 7

There are two different words translated "good" or "right" in Romans 7: ἀγαθός and καλός. I'm trying to determine whether there is any distinction intended. I realize that the "basic" sense (or at ...
7
votes
3answers
176 views

What is the difference between ζωὴ and ψυχὴ?

The word "life" appears in most translations of John 12:25 three times. For example, in the ESV: Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal ...
6
votes
5answers
625 views

Can “Yom” in Genesis 1 be translated as an “aeon/age”?

Can Yom in Genesis 1 be translated "aeon" meaning "an age"? What is its semantic range? I have read a few translations which translated days as: "From darkness to light, the sixth creation phase" and ...
6
votes
6answers
19k views

What is the difference between hope and faith?

Since the words "faith" and "hope" are used side-by-side and in ways that faith (πίστις) is built on hope (ἐλπίς), they shouldn't have the same meaning. 1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Translation of the word Giant

Are there other translations of the word "Giant"? Please note that this question is related to this question. Genesis 6:4 KJV There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Can the word translated as “messiah” be considered a title when referring to Jesus?

The word translated as "messiah" in the Bible can apparently have a few meanings in both Hebrew and Greek. It is usually used to simply say "anointed" or "anointed one". For example, see this usage: ...
6
votes
3answers
13k views

What are the “stones of fire” in Ezekiel 28?

An interesting phrase occurs in Ezekiel 28:14: You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. and again ...
6
votes
2answers
603 views

Does Isaiah 7:14 refer to a virgin?

There have been quite a few debates on why the word παρθένος (“virgin”) is used in the Septuagint of Isaiah 7:14 when translating the Hebrew word עלמה ("a young maiden”).1 For context let us go ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What did Satan mean, when he replied to God, “Skin for Skin”?

In the Book of Job, after Job has went through his first test from Satan there is another gathering in Heaven and, once again, Satan is there (Job 2:1-3). The result of this gathering is that Job will ...
6
votes
1answer
188 views

What is the proper interpretation of ἄνωθεν in Luke 1:3?

The Text Luke 1:3 reads in the Greek (with the word in question highlighted; SBLGNT): ἔδοξε κἀμοὶ παρηκολουθηκότι ἄνωθεν πᾶσιν ἀκριβῶς καθεξῆς σοι γράψαι, κράτιστε Θεόφιλε It is translated a ...
6
votes
1answer
97 views

Does Paul use ἔθνη and Ἕλληνες interchangeably?

I'm trying to figure out if ἔθνη (Gentiles) and Ἕλληνες (Greeks)1 envision different (presumably overlapping) groups, emphasize different aspects of the same group, or are simply interchangeable.2,3 ...