6
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3answers
22k views

Rod and Staff (Psalm 23)

I am under the impression that the two are actually one physical item. That on one end was a kind of hook (staff) that was used to aid his duty as a Shepard and on the other end more of a club (rod) ...
6
votes
1answer
837 views

How did the gospels get their names? [closed]

Unlike the epistles, which have the author's name at the beginning, the gospels do not say who wrote them. How did the names Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John get attached to them, and how certain can we ...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

What does it mean when God separated light from darkness?

Genesis 1:4 NIV God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God separated the light from the darkness. I don't get this part. Does it mean that light and ...
6
votes
1answer
89 views

Who are the πρεσβυτέροις in 1 Peter 5:1-5?

ΠΕΤΡΟΥ Α΄ 5:5 (SBLGNT) ὁμοίως, νεώτεροι, ὑποτάγητε πρεσβυτέροις. πάντες δὲ ἀλλήλοις τὴν ταπεινοφροσύνην ἐγκομβώσασθε, ὅτι Ὁ θεὸς ὑπερηφάνοις ἀντιτάσσεται ταπεινοῖς δὲ δίδωσιν χάριν. 1 ...
6
votes
1answer
463 views

What is the difference between a “literal” and “literalistic” interpretation of Scripture?

I've seen a number of people try to distinguish their "literal" interpretation from a "literalistic" interpretation of Scripture (e.g. Vanhoozer in "Is There a Meaning in this Text?"). What is the ...
6
votes
3answers
99 views

Does “Hebrew” refer to the language or the language family?

The book of Acts mentions the Hebrew language a number of times: And when he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the steps, motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great ...
6
votes
1answer
95 views

Does the Gospel of Marcion attest to Luke's authorship of the Gospel of Luke?

The Gospel of Marcion is said to be evidence that the Gospel of Luke was in fact written by Luke: Tradition unanimously affirms this author to be Luke. This is attested by the early heretic ...
6
votes
1answer
122 views

What is the meaning of “Place your bread on the grave of the righteous” in Tobit 4:17 NRSV?

Is this an idiom, a mistranslation, a reference to a cultural practice, or something else entirely?
6
votes
2answers
145 views

Who is the lord in Mark 11:3?

In Mark 11, Jesus tells his disciples to fetch a colt and explain to anyone who asks about it that the Lord (ὁ κύριος) needs it: As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at ...
6
votes
2answers
307 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
340 views

Natural disaster at Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19:24?

In Genesis 19:24, it states: Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; Does this passage suggest that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah ...
6
votes
2answers
870 views

Why does the book of John include the story of the Greeks wanting to see Jesus?

20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. 21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

In the time of Jesus, were the Jewish authorities allowed to execute?

In the gospel accounts of the trial of Jesus we learn that the Jewish authorities could not sentence anyone to death: Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” “But we ...
6
votes
3answers
10k views

Why does Matthew include these women in Jesus' genealogy?

One of the unique features of Jesus genealogy in the book of Matthew is the inclusion of four women, not counting Mary. Matthew 1:3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the earliest dated Syriac manuscripts of the Bible?

What is the dating of the earliest Syriac manuscript of the Hebrew Tanakh (Old Testament)? What is the dating of the earliest Syriac manuscript of the New Testament? Who is in current possession of ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Did Jesus teach people to literally pluck their eye out and cut their hand off?

The passage from the Sermon on the Mount (and see also Matthew 18:8-9) is a familiar one: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at ...
6
votes
2answers
942 views

Are we to consider texts such as Song of Songs 2:3 to be euphemistically sexual?

Any student of Hebrew will attest to the oft use of euphemistic phrases in the language (ie. "the way of women is upon me" and "cover his feet). Given the oft debated nature of the Song of Songs in ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

How many wives does Deuteronomy allow a king to have?

According to Deuteronomy 17:14-17, there are limits to a king's possessions: When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and have taken possession of it and settled in ...
6
votes
2answers
404 views

Is the ESV rendering “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever” in Genesis 6:3 accurate?

I am reading through Genesis in the ESV for the first time and was struck by some unfamiliar wording in Genesis 6:3. It reads: "My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days ...
6
votes
1answer
136 views

To whom did God subject everything in Hebrews 2:8?

In most translations, the verse goes something like "In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subjected to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him." (NIV 1984, ...
6
votes
1answer
142 views

What is the Hermeneutical significance of the lack of direct mention of God in Esther?

It is a fairly well-known piece of trivia that Esther (minus the apocryphal chapters) is the only book of the bible that does not directly mention God. Which of the accepted schools of Hermeneutics ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Reconciling the accounts of the calling of Simon Peter

How do you reconcile the two accounts of Jesus calling Peter? (Matt 4:18-19 and John 1:35-42) In the Matthew passage, Peter and Andrew are together fishing. In the John passage, Andrew was with John ...
6
votes
1answer
318 views

Is “faith” a correct translation in Deut 32:20 and Hab 2:4?

I recently noticed that in the KJV, the word "faith" only appears twice in the OT: Deuteronomy 32:20 and Habakkuk 2:4. I thought maybe those anomalies were due translation so I looked up the same ...
6
votes
3answers
334 views

Can we use “linguistic fingerprints” to identify different authors of the Bible?

I read, what was to me, quite an interesting blog post about different authors' contributing to different parts of the bible measured by analysing "linguistic fingerprints": For millions of Jews ...
6
votes
2answers
57 views

What does the phrase "ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ πατρὶ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἐν ἐμοί ἐστιν” mean in John 10:38 as well as John 14:10?

The following texts contain the phrases "ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ πατρὶ” and "ὁ πατὴρ ἐν ἐμοί": John 10:38 (ESV) 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and ...
6
votes
3answers
166 views

Was Elijah REALLY taken to Heaven?

Some argue that Elijah died and was not really taken into heaven because John 3:13 says that "no man hath ascended to heaven". John 3:13 (KJV) And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that ...
6
votes
1answer
189 views

What did Paul call Christians?

(For this question please assume that Paul considered himself a Christian and that he was the author of all 13 canonical Pauline letters.) My question is: what terms (or phrases) did Paul use most ...
6
votes
1answer
115 views

What is the historical interpretation of 'Nicolaitans' in Rev 2:15?

Simple enough. Starting with early church and patristic fathers what was the historical interpretation of Nicolaitans in Revelations 2:15? 2:15 In the same way, there are also some among you who ...
6
votes
1answer
211 views

What is the valley of the shadow of death?

Psalm 23 says "yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil" (ESV, NIV). What is that? Is it a real place or a metaphor? If it's a metaphor, how should we understand ...
6
votes
3answers
527 views

Whose words were kept from falling to the ground?

I have two different translations of 1 Samuel 3:19. The 2011 NIV renders the sentence: The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. However, I ...
6
votes
2answers
322 views

“Spiritual Enlightenment” in John 7:17

In some books of hermeneutics, I have found a principle or rule or law, similar to the following: The Principle of Spiritual Enlightenment declares that God promises to enlighten the understanding ...
6
votes
1answer
136 views

Why is the participle ὢν in John 9:25 translated into English as past tense?

In John 9:25, the Greek text according to Robert Estienne's 1550 Textus Receptus is: ἀπεκρίθη οὖν ἐκεῖνος καὶ εἶπεν, Εἰ ἁμαρτωλός ἐστιν οὐκ οἶδα ἓν οἶδα ὅτι τυφλὸς ὢν ἄρτι βλέπω The King James ...
6
votes
1answer
339 views

2 Tim 4:17: “I was delivered from the lion’s mouth” - Is this about Colosseum?

But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth (2 Tim ...
6
votes
2answers
157 views

Who are the people of God in Psalm 100?

Psalm 100:3 seems to express a covenant formula, denoting a relationship between God as his particular people. Similar to the formula elsewhere of, "I will be your God, you shall be my people." (e.g. ...
6
votes
1answer
539 views

Which was copied from which: 2 Peter 2 or Jude?

There are many strong similarities in word choice, style, theme, and structure between Jude and 2 Peter 2. For instance: Jude 6  And  the  angels  who  did  not  keep  ...
6
votes
2answers
531 views

Those who believe are “especially” saved?

1 Timothy 4:10 (NET emphasis mine) reads: In fact this is why we work hard and struggle, because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of believers. ...
6
votes
2answers
159 views

What does “Scripture” in the NT refer to?

This is in follow-up to this Q & A Paul wrote the following passage in II Timothy 3: 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom ...
6
votes
1answer
219 views

How should Sirach 3:17 be translated?

Here are four alternate translations for Sirach (Ecclesiasticus / Wisdom of Joshua Ben Sira) 3:17 -- My son, perform your tasks in meekness; then you will be loved by those whom God accepts ...
6
votes
1answer
386 views

Doesn't Titus 1:12 show that apostle Paul promotes racism?

Titus 1:12 Even one of their own prophets has said, "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons." 13 This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound ...
6
votes
2answers
278 views

Is “puppies” a justifiable translation of κυναρίοις?

Mark 7 contains an odd little story: And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. But ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the “shields of the earth”?

The end of Psalm 47 reads: God reigns over the nations;    God sits on his holy throne. The princes of the peoples gather    as the people of the God of Abraham. ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Jewish interpretation of Daniel 7:13-14

As a Reformed Christian, a take a Christological reading of Daniel 7:13-14: I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Isaac's Blessing of His Sons

Let's first mention several verses of the Book of Genesis: Isaac loved Esau, because he was fond of game; but Rebekah loved Jacob. (Gen. 25:28) When Esau was forty years old, he married ...
6
votes
1answer
136 views

Do the righteous flourish or perish?

For example: Psalm 92:12 (KJV) 12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. compared to: Isaiah 57:1 (KJV) 1 The righteous perisheth, and no ...
6
votes
2answers
839 views

Is 1 Corinthians 11:19 intended as irony?

My question is about the following text: But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, ...
6
votes
1answer
339 views

Does 2 Corinthians 9:6 indicate a reaping of earthly wealth?

Does 2 Corinthians 9:6 indicate a reaping of earthly wealth? The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.ESV The ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Is Paul suggesting that Philemon release Onesimus from slavery?

The key passage in Philemon 1:15-16 (ESV): For this perhaps is why [Onesimus] was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a bondservant but more than a ...
6
votes
1answer
76 views

Luke 22:38 - ἱκανόν ἐστιν - Does it mean, “It is enough” or “Enough!”

In Luke 22:38, did Jesus mean that two swords were enough (i.e., sufficient) or did he intend to say, “Enough of this!”? English translation according to the King James Version: 36 Then said he ...
6
votes
4answers
260 views

What does it mean for the kingdom of heaven to suffer violence?

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. (Matthew 11:12, NKJV) What does this verse mean?
6
votes
3answers
163 views

Acts 20:28 variants, what are the six variants?

I have been doing a lot of reading of books from the 1700s and 1800s on google books, and I came across a claim that there are 6 different variants in Acts 20:28. (Sorry, don't remember exactly where ...

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