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 ...
32
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 ...
30
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 ...
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 ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

Pre-Christian, Jewish interpretation of Psalm 22

How was Psalm 22 understood by Jewish tradition before the birth of Jesus? Was it interpreted messianically? What pre-Christian sources discuss Psalm 22?
24
votes
4answers
2k views

The Eye of the Needle

What is the opinion on Jesus's use of the phrase "the eye of a needle" in Mark 10:25: And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to ...
23
votes
9answers
5k 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 ...
23
votes
7answers
15k views

Did Jephthah actually sacrifice his daughter?

It's clear that what Jephthah intended was to sacrifice the first animal that he met when he returned home: Then the spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah. He marched through Gilead and Manasseh, ...
23
votes
5answers
2k views

Is “kill” a valid translation for Exodus 20:13 (Thou shalt not kill)?

Exodus 20:13 (KJV) Thou shalt not kill. Many political statements have been made about this verse. This translation has been used by many to support their pacifist desires. However, it seems ...
22
votes
7answers
14k 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 ...
22
votes
2answers
447 views

What are good contextual clues that a passage is meant to be read as hyperbole?

Today in conversation with an atheist we ran into trouble over this passage in Matthew: Mathew 18:9 (ESV) And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you ...
21
votes
5answers
1k views

What does the prohibition against women speaking in church in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 mean?

In 1st Corinthians 14:34-35 (NASB), Paul says: 34The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. 35If ...
21
votes
4answers
40k views

What does “meek” mean in Matthew 5:5?

Matthew 5:5 (NIV) Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. What does "meek" mean in the original language? Is "meek" a good translation for the original Greek word?
21
votes
1answer
2k views

What were the historical reasons why the Book of Enoch was excluded from most Christian canons?

According to Wikipedia: By the 4th century, the Book of Enoch was mostly excluded from Christian canons, and it is now regarded as scripture by only the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Eritrean ...
21
votes
2answers
597 views

Did John know about the Synoptics?

What evidence is there that John was aware of the Synoptics when he wrote the Fourth Gospel?
20
votes
6answers
19k 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?
20
votes
4answers
2k views

What does Jesus mean by generation when talking about the end times?

In Luke 21:32-33 (ESV) Jesus says: "Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." What ...
20
votes
2answers
653 views

Is NWT's translation of John 8:58 reasonable?

I already assumed the opposite in an answer to why there are so many Bible translations, on Christianity.SE. Now that we have an expert community, I'd like to check. The translators of the New World ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

Are women really saved by childbearing according to 1 Timothy 2:15?

In 1 Timothy, Paul says: 1 Timothy 2:15 (ESV) 15  Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. Does the "she" refer to ...
19
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 ...
19
votes
2answers
755 views

Bart D. Ehrman - respected critic?

I found Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why troublesome to my understanding of the translation process of the bible. It has made me review my understanding of the bible. ...
18
votes
6answers
10k views

What's wrong with cooking a kid in its mother's milk?

In the Pentateuch there are at least three repetitions of the following prohibition: Exodus 23:19b (ESV) You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk. Exodus 34:26b (ESV) You ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Did Jesus sweat blood?

Luke 22:44 (NIV) And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Was this a literal thing--did he actually sweat drops of blood. Is ...
18
votes
4answers
720 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
936 views

Understanding Numbers 11:25

As I am studying, I have encountered different renderings of the last phrase in this verse, which describes the prophesying of the seventy elders of Israel after the Spirit was placed on them. An ...
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?
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 ...
16
votes
5answers
12k views

Interpretations of Elihu in Job

In the book of Job, it becomes clear that the first three of Job's friends - Eliphaz, Blidad, and Zophar - speak wrongly. Not only do they incur the indignation of Job and his other friend Elihu, but ...
16
votes
5answers
723 views

To what extent is Psalm 51:4 poetic exaggeration?

The context of Psalm 51 is clear: To the choirmaster. A psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. These events are described in 2nd Samuel ...
16
votes
4answers
904 views

How can we ensure a given “chiasm” was intentional by the author, and is not merely fanciful eisegesis?

What is 'chiasm'? Chiasm is a literary technique by which the contents of a portion of text are structured in such a way that they could be laid out in a ">" shape... A) This is an example of a ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is Genesis careful to record the exact dates of the flood?

Genesis 7:11 (NIV emphasis mine) In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates ...
15
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
10k views

Why is the “give to Caesar what is Caesar's” answer so great?

After being asked whether it was right to pax taxes, Jesus repies: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Why is that an answer that "amazed" them? To a modern person, it ...
15
votes
4answers
5k views

What does “born again” from John 3:3 mean?

John 3:3 (NIV) Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” A note for this verse in the NIV says, "The Greek for again also means from ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What was Eve's role in relation to Adam?

The role of Eve in relation to Adam is dramatically changed by the interpretation of the sections I have bolded below, from Genesis 2:18: The verse as most people learned it: And the Lord God ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

What is Sensus Plenior and how does it impact the field of hermeneutics?

What is the Sensus Plenior view of Scripture? Without trying to resolve it's ultimate validity or not, what significant implications does the idea hold for Biblical hermeneutics in theory and ...
15
votes
4answers
8k views

Is Jesus giving the Spirit in John 20:22?

After the resurrection in John's gospel, Jesus appears to the disciples and in John 20:22 he breathes on them and says, "Receive the Holy Spirit." What is happening here? Is Jesus giving them the Holy ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

Was Balaam a true follower of Yahweh?

The idea that Balaam may have been a true follower (or even prophet) of Yahweh seems troubling on a number of fronts: How could there be a pre-Mosaic Yahweh-worshipper living near the Euphrates (Num ...
15
votes
5answers
14k views

What did Paul mean when he said, “work out your own salvation?”

Philippians 2:12 (ESV) 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Does Leviticus 19:28 in the original text instruct not to tattoo for the dead or not to tattoo at all?

The command is clear in this passage to not pierce one's body for the dead. The slaves were to be pierced by their master upon choosing to stay with them rather than going free; therefore, it seems ...
6
votes
4answers
605 views

Was Adam present when the serpent was talking with Eve?

Genesis 3:6 (NIV) When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to ...
5
votes
7answers
20k views

Why does God say he only revealed his name, Yahweh, to Moses?

Responding the the meta call for contradiction In Exodus 6:2 we find the following quote: And God spoke to Moses and said to him I am Yahweh. And I showed to Abraham, to Isaac, and to ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

How are contractions formed in Hebrew and how does YHWH become Yah?

Psalm 68:4 expresses the name of God as Yah. This seems obvious related to the name of God as he expounded it to Moses in Exodus 3:14. We also see the two directly connected in passages such as Psalm ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

Is there a difference between 'seeing' the Kingdom of God, and 'entering' it? (John 3)

My question concerns two verses in John's Gospel. I'm using the English Standard Version here but I think the same question arises in other translations: Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say ...
3
votes
1answer
434 views

Moses' manufacture of the “bronze serpent” - what bronze?

In Numbers 21:9 it says: So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole, so that if a snake had bitten someone, when he looked at the bronze snake he lived. [NET] Where would Moses probably ...
3
votes
0answers
37 views

What's The Significance of Paul Saying “Pastors And Teachers”?

As far as I know, it has been widely argued that the "shepherds (or pastors) and teachers" in this verse stands collectively, that is, they are treated as one class of office. If so, what is the ...
2
votes
2answers
138 views

What is indicated by the title “Holy One of God” in Mark 1:24?

In Mark 1:24, a demon tells Jesus "I know who you are—the Holy One of God!" This title is surprising since the title "the Son of God" is used to introduce Jesus in 1:1. Obviously the title denotes ...
1
vote
0answers
79 views

Galatians 3:22 - Did the law imprison us under sin or imprison the things which were already under sin?

I have a question on the translation of Galatians 3:22. Most English translations give something like the NIV gives: But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Why are gentiles so dramatically different than Israel? Who knows of Paul's calling when called? [on hold]

Acts 22:3 Paul says he is a Jew born in Cilicia, Acts 5:34-39 talks of being taught to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers and being zealous toward God... Acts 22:4 And I persecuted this way ...
-6
votes
2answers
72 views

Does God have DNA?/ Sperma? [on hold]

"Sperma" The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon Strong's Number: 4690 Original Word Word Origin sperma from (4687) Transliterated Word TDNT Entry Sperma 7:536,1065 Phonetic Spelling Parts ...

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