18
votes
3answers
3k views

What language did Jesus commonly speak?

According to Mark 15:34 (ESV): And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus spoke Aramaic ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What arguments exist that would refute the theory concerning Aramaic primacy of the New Testament?

Many Nestorian and some Seventh Day Adventist scholars assert that the New Testament was originally written in Aramaic (such as Paul Younan and George Lamsa). What scholarly arguments exist that would ...
13
votes
6answers
12k views

Which 'modern' English translation of the Bible is considered the 'closest' or most accurate translation?

Which 'modern' (anything inclusive of King James Version to date) English translation of the Bible is considered the 'closest' or most accurate translation from the original Hebrew & Greek texts? ...
5
votes
3answers
862 views

Why is Elohim translated as God rather than gods?

I mean Elohim is a plural form of God. So the correct translation would be gods. Now, perhaps the word elohim is followed by singular words and hence the word Elohim must mean plural. So what? That ...
7
votes
2answers
609 views

How should graded numerical parallelism in Hebrew poetry be understood?

In Hebrew poetry, especially proverbs, we see examples of monotonically increasing numbers that set up parallels. For instance Proverbs 30:15 (NJPS): The leech has two daughters, “Give!” and ...
23
votes
9answers
4k views

What does “image” in Genesis 1:26-27 mean?

Genesis 1:26-27 (ESV) 26Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the arguments in favor of Matthean Priority?

The synoptic problem refers to scholars' attempts to understand the relationship among the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke (known as the synoptic gospels because they have so much material in ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

What are the arguments in favor of Markan priority?

The synoptic problem refers to scholars' attempts to understand the relationship among the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke (known as the synoptic gospels because they have so much material in ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Understanding argument in Galatians 3:19-20

I think I understand the argument in Galatians 3:19a about the purpose of the law. But then in the second half of the verse, Paul begins, "The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. ...
31
votes
8answers
5k views

“A god” or “God” in John 1:1?

John 1:1 (NWT): In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. This translation, the Jehovah's Witnesses New World Translation is, I think, unique in using ...
20
votes
6answers
17k views

What is the difference between exegesis and hermeneutics?

What is the difference between exegesis and hermeneutics? Are they the same, is there overlap, or does one pick up where the other leaves off?
30
votes
8answers
1k views

How do Jewish scholars differ from Christian scholars in their approach to the Tanakh?

What are the characteristic differences between how Jewish scholarship approaches the text of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and that of Christian scholars? If their approach was the same I assume they ...
7
votes
4answers
629 views

What is the relationship between the “Adversary” in Job and the serpent in Genesis?

An individual named the Adversary appears in Job 1:6-12 (NJPS): One day the divine beings presented themselves before the Lord, and the Adversary came along with them. The Lord said to the ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Why is the Septuagint (LXX) significant?

What is the LXX and why is it so noteworthy that there is a Greek translation of the OT? Wouldn't it be better to reference the Hebrew original?
9
votes
5answers
738 views

Whose blood is on the white rider's robe?

The vision in Revelation 19:11 and following describes a rider on a white horse making war against the nations. While introducing the rider, verse 13 mentions, "He is dressed in a robe dipped in ...
8
votes
3answers
552 views

Is hermeneutics primarily descriptive or prescriptive?

I sometimes hear (particularly on this site) of hermeneutical "methods", such as the grammatico-historal approach, or literal-historical approach, or sensus plenior. These all seem to be tools or ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Was or wasn’t Shem’s son Arphaxad born on the ark?

My question is at the very bottom of this; I'm using the KJV. According to the following 4 verses, Shem's son Arphaxad would have been born on the ark. Gen 5:32 And Noah was 500 years old: and ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
918 views

How did Judas die?

In fact, there are multiple discrepancies between these two verses, what did really happen? Matthew 27:5-8 5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged ...
6
votes
2answers
933 views

Did Luke use Josephus as a source?

Richard Carrier summarizes an argument made by Steve Mason in his book Josephus and the New Testament that Luke knew of Josephus' Jewish War (79 CE) and Jewish Antiquities (94 CE). At it's core, the ...
4
votes
2answers
576 views

Chronology of Jesus' ministry: John and the Synoptics

I've heard that there is a recent trend to see the Fourth Gospel - despite its obvious theological purpose as compared to especially Luke - as actually more chronological than the Synoptics. Wikipedia ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

How can the 3 Questions be resolved with the math still correct?

Analyzing Noah and the Great Flood story, there appear to be 3 math problems, each with its own set of factors and calculations, that aren’t easy to resolve. First is the “2 years after the flood” ...
22
votes
7answers
13k views

What does it mean to be “born of water”?

In John 3:5, Jesus tells Nicodemus that to enter the kingdom one must be "born of water and the Spirit". How is this phrase understood? Is it a single construct (i.e. one birth of both water and ...
14
votes
8answers
20k views

What is “sin that leads to death” in 1 John 5:16?

1 John 5:16 (NIV) Emphasis Added If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead ...
21
votes
2answers
576 views

Did John know about the Synoptics?

What evidence is there that John was aware of the Synoptics when he wrote the Fourth Gospel?
9
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

“the first day of the week” in 1 Corinthians 16:2

I heard somewhere that in 1 Corinthians 16:2 Upon the first [day] of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as [God] hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come ...
3
votes
2answers
263 views

Joseph dies at about 110

In the last 5 verses of Genesis, Joseph's 110 years is written twice. The first shows 110 years of life, while the latter shows 110 years in age. Is that just repeated for no particular reason, or ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

What role does the Holy Spirit play in hermeneutics?

Christians believe that they have an indwelling of the Holy Spirit who acts as a counselor and guide, enabling them to rightly understand God's word. How does the role of the Holy Spirit in ...
8
votes
2answers
609 views

Jesus's genealogy: 28 generations or 41 since David?

These questions keep me wondering: Firstly, how is it possible that Matthew and Luke came up with completely different genealogies of Jesus ancestors, if they are both following the masculine line? ...
8
votes
2answers
423 views

How big were the nomadic clans of the patriarchs?

According to the book Genesis, 70 people came down with Jacob to dwell in Egypt after contact was made with Joseph: And the sons of Joseph who were born to him in Egypt were two souls; all the ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What portions of the New Testament are purported to have originally been written in Aramaic?

I am wondering what portions of the New Testament are purported to have originally been written in Aramaic, and by whom. I am aware that Seventh Day Adventist and Nestorian scholars often assert ...
7
votes
1answer
668 views

Coherence-Based Genealogical Method vs. Local Text-Types Theory

The NA28 text marks a departure from the traditional methodology of textual criticism. As described by Jeff Kloha in the Concordia Theology Journal, Previous generations learned to classify ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

Did Paul think in Hebrew?

I recently posted a question here regarding a passage in Romans citing a verse in Habakkuk. My understanding is that in this and (all?) other references to Hebrew scripture Paul cites the LXX ...
4
votes
2answers
534 views

Sacrificing and kissing calves in Hosea 13:2

Reading Hosea 13:2 ESV, I found myself confused: And now they sin more and more, and make for themselves metal images, idols skillfully made of their silver, all of them the work of craftsmen. It ...
6
votes
9answers
2k views

Were the Nephilim in Genesis 6 aliens?

Could Genesis 6:1-4 be talking about aliens? (ESV): When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were ...
33
votes
4answers
3k views

Does the Bible mention unicorns?

I was reading Psalm 22 (from this question) and I found this verse: Psalms 22:21 (KJV) Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. When I switched ...
29
votes
5answers
2k views

Does 1st Kings say that pi = 3?

The construction of Solomon's temple includes a piece of furnishing described in 1 Kings 7:23 (ESV): Then he made the sea of cast metal. It was round, ten cubits from brim to brim, and five cubits ...
18
votes
4answers
708 views

Does Gen 1:1 refer to day 1 or the entire 6 days of creation?

A natural reading of Gen 1:1 with it's immediate context is that it is part of the first day of creation 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does Matthew double people?

Matthew seems to mention two people (or animals) where other Gospels mention just one, e.g. two demon possessed men, in Matthew 8:28-34 (compare Mark 5:1-17 and Luke 8:26-39) two blind men, in ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between historical-grammatical and historical criticism?

The historical-grammatical method and historical criticism are both hermeneutical approaches seeking to uncover the original meaning of the text. What is the difference between the two?
10
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the “fourfold sense of Scripture”?

During the Patristic Period in the Middle Ages practiced an exegetical tactic known as the fourfold sense of Scripture. What are these four senses and do these ideas about the nature of Scripture ...
13
votes
5answers
498 views

What were the Corinthians doing when they “baptized on behalf of the dead”?

In the very center of an argument about the general resurrection, which the Corinthians questioned, Paul says: Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead ...
11
votes
5answers
9k views

What does “Under the Sun” mean in Ecclesiastes?

I noticed that the Teacher uses the phrase "under the sun" more than 20 times in Ecclesiastes. I have always understood this to simply mean "on earth" as The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament ...
8
votes
3answers
770 views

Was Deborah considered a sub-optimal leader?

I've sometimes heard that Deborah was allowed to be a leader of Israel only because no man stepped up to the responsibility. However, when she is introduced there is no indication of that: ...
16
votes
7answers
6k views

Jesus' command to hate your father and mother in Luke 14:26

I've often heard that Luke 14:26 is meant to be interpreted as "Love me more than your family" or something along those lines (in fact, the CEV translates it as such). I'm interested in how scholars ...
13
votes
7answers
1k views

What does it mean for Jesus to fulfill the law?

In Matthew 5:17, Jesus says he didn't come to abolish the law or Prophets but to fulfill them. What does it mean to "fulfill the law"?
9
votes
3answers
504 views

Is David the Godfather?

As David neared the end of his life, he calls Solomon to himself and gives him some final instructions recorded in 1 Kings 2:1-10. It starts out how you'd maybe expect, with David admonishing Solomon ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Has the meaning of “Love” changed enough to warrant substitutions in Bible translations?

The culturally accepted uses of the word "Love" seem to be a trite shadow of its biblical meaning. Common use of "Love" is now interchangeable with "Like," "Enjoy," or "Emotionally attachment" of ...
7
votes
1answer
144 views

Has Pesharim left any mark on modern hermeneutics?

I understand that the Qumran monastic community—those primarily responsible for having collected and preserved the Dead Sea Scrolls and other works—endorsed the Pesharim approach to scriptural ...

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