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

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15
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4answers
10k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
366 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
433 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
269 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 ...
10
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
219 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, ...
10
votes
6answers
10k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
936 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
626 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 ...
8
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
376 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
844 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
162 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
3answers
666 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
2answers
293 views

What does λεστες 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. ...
6
votes
1answer
444 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
4k 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
290 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
221 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
9k 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
1answer
84 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
315 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
428 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; ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Does John distinguish between terms for love?

It's fairly common knowledge that there are four Greek words for love, but it's not clear from the Wikipedia article whether certain distinctions persist from Ancient Greek to Koine, namely the ...
5
votes
2answers
159 views

Healing of the Centurion's παῖς (servant, son?) in Matthew 8:5-13

I have heard it said that the Centurion in Matthew 8 was refering to his "παῖς" in the sense of servant or slave, and all translations seem to take it that way. I've heard people go on to say that ...
5
votes
2answers
134 views

What does the word הַסִּרְפַּד mean?

Isaiah 55:13 uses the word הַסִּרְפַּד which I have seen translated as "brier" or "nettle". What is the precise meaning of this word? Is it used elsewhere?
5
votes
2answers
385 views

What would Jesus' qualifications have been for a “worthy” person for the disciples to stay within the Matthew 10 narrative?

When Jesus sends the twelve out in Matthew 10, he gives them instructions for what to do when they enter a city that include finding "worthy" citizens there. Matthew 10:11-13 (NASB) 11  And ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
219 views

How do we know the usage of the term Adonai in Genesis 15:2?

In Genesis 15:2, Abram uses the term Adonai when addressing the Lord. It is my understanding that this word is an emphatic of Adon, which means Father. What do we know about the cultural and/or ...
5
votes
5answers
776 views

To what does “the darkness” refer in 1 John?

Are the uses of "darkness" in the first two chapters of First John all congruent in meaning? What does it mean to "walk in darkness?" For example... 1 John 1:5-7 (NASB) 5 This is the message ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What does it mean for Elisha to want “a double portion” from Elijah?

Answers on this question conclude that "portion" refers to inheritance. Just before Elijah is taken to Heaven, Elisha asks for a "double portion" of his spirit. 2 Kings 2:9 When they had crossed ...
5
votes
2answers
233 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
138 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
129 views

To what do the “parchments” (and tangentially the “books”) refer in 2 Tim 4:13?

The Scripture in Question In 2 Timothy 4:13 it says this (NKJV): Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments. The Greek is the ...
5
votes
0answers
75 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
307 views

What view of drug use today would be deemed as sorcery/pharmakiea and fleshly by Paul in Galatians 5:20, when he lists the word? [closed]

In Galatians 5:20, among the deeds of the flesh, Paul lists "pharmakeia," which, as i understand, is commonly translated as sorcery or witchcraft, referring to the use or administering of drugs or ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the meaning of John 4:24?

See this question on Christianity.SE for some background. I am trying to understand how the bible uses the word spirit in a few locations as it relates to God and angels. John 4:24 (KJV) God is ...
5
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
209 views

What did Hosea mean when he said, “ the children of Israel will be without an image? ”

I was reading an answer to a question which was recently asked and there is a reference to the book of Hosea (KJV) and the text reads, Hosea 3:4 King James Version 4 For the children of Israel ...
4
votes
1answer
321 views

What can we infer about archangel(s) from the text of the Bible? [closed]

Among the Christians I know it is believed that Michael is the only Archangel because only he is mentioned as being one (I realize the flaw, but believed nonetheless). However, there are several ...
4
votes
1answer
77 views

Exo. 4:16 - “And you shall be to him for [an] elohim” (וְאַתָּה תִּהְיֶה לֹּו לֵאלֹהִים)

In Exo. 4:16, it is written, And he shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be --- he shall be to you for a mouth, and you shall be to him for [an] elohim [אֱלֹהִים] וְדִבֶּר הוּא ...
4
votes
2answers
188 views

Can “יָתוֹם” designate someone who has lost his father but not his mother?

The word "יָתוֹם" has been translated as "fatherless" by numerous translations (ESV KJV NASB etc, cf. Psalm 109:9), but "orphan" by others (LXX, Vulgate, TNK etc), dictionaries mentioning the two ...
4
votes
2answers
96 views

The fifth rib in Abner

I noticed the mention of fifth rib in the murder of Abner: 2 Sam 3:27 And when Abner had returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly and smote him there under the ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What did Sarah mean by calling Abraham her “lord”?

In Genesis 18:12 Sarah says, After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure? The word "lord" is Strong's Hebrew 113, אָדוֹן. 1 Peter 3:6 suggests that her calling her husband ...
4
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
933 views

What does the phrase “son of the morning” mean?

Isaiah uses the phrase "son of the morning" to describe someone here Isaiah 14:12 (KJV) 12  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ...
4
votes
1answer
196 views

Why is “bloods,” translated as “blood,” in Genesis 4:10?

When trying to understand the meaning of "the cry of Abel's blood," as recorded in Genesis 4:10,I found this interesting article which reads, In our lesson, taken from here , we look into an ...
4
votes
2answers
71 views

Acts 11:20: Ἕλληνας or Ἑλληνιστάς?

In Acts 11:20, of the words Ἕλληνας and Ἑλληνιστάς, which reading is more probable according to textual criticism? Which reading is more probable according to context? What is the meaning of each ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

Are the divine name and its contracted form somehow unique or are they truly inter-changeable?

According to Strongs H3050, there are 48 occurrences in the Hebrew Bible where God's name is rendered as יָהּ (Yah). Most of these are found in the Psalms. This suggests it is a poetic form. ...