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 ...
33
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
26
votes
3answers
4k 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?
26
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
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 ...
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?
25
votes
7answers
23k 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, ...
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 ...
24
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
22
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
53k 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?
22
votes
2answers
536 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
5k 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 ...
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?
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 ...
20
votes
2answers
977 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. ...
20
votes
4answers
3k 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
943 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
14k 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
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 ...
19
votes
5answers
18k 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
889 views

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

One way of reading Gen 1:1 with its 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 ...
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?
14
votes
8answers
10k views

What are the teraphim (household gods) Rachel stole from Laban?

When Jacob flees from Laban, Rachel steals his household gods. When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household gods. Genesis 31:19 (NIV) Jacob seems pretty ...
14
votes
4answers
9k views

Did Adam and Eve not have sex in the Garden of Eden?

In the first few chapters of Genesis, we see God create Adam and Eve and then tell them to reproduce. Genesis 1:28 (NLT) 28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill ...
9
votes
3answers
861 views

Locations of the graves of the Patriarchs

The Book of Acts at 7:16-17 states that Jacob died and was "carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem." But Genesis ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

Why were the Ten Commandments written on two tablets?

When Moses is given the Ten Commandments they are apparently written on two tablets: He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on ...
8
votes
6answers
716 views

Who is the “god of this world” in 2 Corinthians 4:4?

4) In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. It seems odd ...
6
votes
4answers
863 views

What does Paul mean by “everything that does not come from faith is sin”?

In Romans 14 Paul says: But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. (Romans 14:23, NIV) What ...
6
votes
0answers
45 views

Isaiah 28:10: precepts or gibberish?

This question was occasioned by this answer about קַו in Psalm 19:4 which pointed out its use in Isaiah 28:10. In Isaiah 28, after the prophet rebukes the "the proud crown of the drunkards of ...
5
votes
2answers
44 views

Is 2 Kings 23:25 intended to be literal, King Josiah even better than King David?

With regards to this statement about Josiah: Before him there was no king alike him who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law ...
5
votes
3answers
177 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
62 views

What are the common solutions to the minor agreements of Matthew and Luke?

There are a number of points where Matthew and Luke agree against Mark in their reading, but which cannot be explained by their supposed reliance on the Q source. For instance, in the narrative of ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Does the Holy Spirit have a name

Does the Holy Spirit have a name? In Matthew 28:18-19 says: 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all ...
4
votes
0answers
25 views

Obadiah v. 7: ‘bread’ or ‘those who eat your bread’?

In Obadiah’s vision of the fall of Edom (v. 7), it is written: All your allies have driven you to your border; those at peace with you have deceived you; they have prevailed against you; those ...
4
votes
2answers
198 views

Why does God seek to kill Moses in Exodus 4:24

Why does God attempt to kill Moses during his journey, in Exodus 4:24, if just three verses earlier he commanded him himself to undertake that journey? I searched and haven't found a clear reason why. ...
3
votes
1answer
374 views

What does “beginning of birth pangs” mean in the context of Mathew 24:4-8?

At the end of his gospel on the tail end of a warning passage, Mathew uses the expression "beginning of birth pangs". What does he mean? And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one ...
3
votes
2answers
53 views

Why is “Elyon” Translated as “The” Most High?

I checked some bible translation here: http://www.biblestudytools.com/deuteronomy/32-8-compare.html Almost every translation translates Elyon as the Most High. The Hebrew Names Version1 translation ...
3
votes
2answers
79 views

What is the meaning of mešeq in Genesis 15:2?

In Genesis 15:2, as Abram laments his childlessness to the LORD, he says, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus (ESV) וּבֶן־מֶ֣שֶׁק בֵּיתִ֔י ה֖וּא דַּמֶּ֥שֶׂק אֱלִיעֶֽזֶר ...
3
votes
2answers
12 views

Are Exodus 24:9-11 and Exodus 24:12-14 two separate trips, or two stages in one trip?

I'm having trouble understanding the sequence of events here. first we see this: Ex. 24:9-11   Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw ...
3
votes
2answers
98 views

Acts 1:2 - What does the prepositional phrase διὰ πνεύματος ἁγίου modify?

Acts 1:2: ἄχρι ἡς ἡμέρας ἐντειλάμενος τοῖς ἀποστόλοις διὰ πνεύματος ἁγίου οὓς ἐξελέξατο ἀνελήφθη Does διὰ πνεύματος ἁγίου modify ἐντειλάμενος or ἐξελέξατο? What are the arguments in favor of ...
2
votes
1answer
24 views

Where is Moses when the ten commandments are given?

Reading from Exodus 19-20: Ex 19:24 Then the LORD said to him, “Go down and come up again, you and Aaron with you; but do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD, ...
2
votes
0answers
16 views

What was written on the stone tablets?

The wikipedia page, and most other depictions of the tablets are that they are of the ten commandments. When I read Exodus, it seems at least to me a little less clear as to what exactly was written, ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Revelation 6:17 KJV For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Can any one illustrate to me the manuscript evidence supporting "the great day of their wrath" as opposed to "His wrath”?
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Why does the Hebrew word “chesed” in Psalm 136 have two meanings?

Psalm 136:23 & 24 use the same Hebrew word that is sometimes translated as "grace". The ESV uses "steadfast love" in those verses: It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

Was Israel to be without heating or an ability to cook food on sabbath? (Exodus 35:2-3)

Ex. 35:2-3   “For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy day, ba sabbath of complete rest to the LORD; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. “You shall ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

In Acts 3:1, What is the Significance of the Ninth Hour of Prayer?

Acts 3:1 - Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the [a]ninth hour, the hour of prayer. I have been digging everywhere I can think of to find some description or outline of what ...

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