20
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
36
votes
9answers
9k 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
24k 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
2k views

Why is Elohim translated as God rather than gods in Genesis 1:1?

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 ...
13
votes
3answers
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
804 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 ...
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 ...
11
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
32
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
24
votes
9answers
7k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
2k 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. ...
25
votes
9answers
32k 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?
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” ...
18
votes
9answers
31k 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 ...
25
votes
9answers
21k 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 ...
13
votes
8answers
2k 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"?
7
votes
3answers
881 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
5k 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?
11
votes
1answer
337 views

Does Granville Sharp's Rule indicate that “God” and “Savior” share a referent in Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1?

Granville Sharp's rule states that when a clause has two nouns (or other substantive) in the same case, connected by a copulative kai ("and"), that are not proper nouns (i.e. not someone's name), ...
11
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
722 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
586 views

Why is Hadēs translated as “hell”?

In Matt. 16:18 (KJV), it is written, And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. κἀγὼ δέ ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Does Jesus always use the mustard seed to signify the property of “smallness”?

In Luke, we read: The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and ...
7
votes
3answers
2k 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
3answers
510 views

Does the “lost leaf” theory for Mark's abrupt ending fail if written on a scroll?

I really like this explanation of Mark's rather abrupt ending: There are three possible explanations for Mark ending at 16:8: (1) The author intentionally ended the Gospel here in an open-ended ...
5
votes
2answers
757 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 ...
6
votes
9answers
3k 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
4k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
904 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
748 views

“My son” in Hosea 11:1 quoted in Matt. 2:14-15

Matthew 2:14-15 (NASB) reads: 14So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. 15He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill ...
21
votes
2answers
770 views

Did John know about the Synoptics?

What evidence is there that John was aware of the Synoptics when he wrote the Fourth Gospel?
11
votes
2answers
285 views

Different meanings of 'Earth' in Genesis 1

The word הארץ ('the earth') appears a very large number of times in the six-day creation account spanning Genesis 1:1 to 2:1. It seems clear to me that the usages in 1:1 and 2:1 are special - the ...
9
votes
3answers
291 views

What were the translators of the LXX thinking in rendering “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14?

Obviously we can not know for certain what they were thinking, but with some knowledge about ancient interpretations of this text and the translation philosophy employed by the LXX, I suspect someone ...
9
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
10k views

What does it mean that Jesus was a priest like the “Order of Melchizedek” in Hebrews 7:11?

In Genesis 14 there is a man named Melchizedek. He is not mentioned very much and you might argue that he does not seem very important from this text alone. 17 After Abram returned from defeating ...
5
votes
2answers
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
311 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
760 views

Was the Revelation written in code to hide it from the Romans?

Several years ago I was intrigued with the Revelation, and began a study. Of particular interest to me was the use of symbolism. Within that study the symbolism became understandable in relation to ...
10
votes
1answer
311 views

How should Psalm 22:16 read?

Psalm 22:16 seems textually quite difficult. The NET for example reads: Yes, wild dogs surround me – a gang of evil men crowd around me; like a lion they pin my hands and feet. Yet, they note that ...
9
votes
2answers
564 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
384 views

Proper translation of John 1:1

Is there any particular reason why "kai Theós ēn ho Lógos" is translated "and the Word was God" and not "and God was the Word"?
8
votes
2answers
824 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? ...
7
votes
4answers
842 views

How to save Paul from the Galatians 3 “seed” vs “seeds” argument blunder?

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. How does one rescue Paul from the ...
7
votes
4answers
563 views

What is Babylon refering to in the New Testament?

In the New Testament the city of Babylon is mentioned a few times. Notably in the book of Revelation: 6Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...

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