11
votes
5answers
11k 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
869 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
7k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
775 views

Meaning of the Parable of the Sower

Matthew 13:1-23 recounts the Parable of the Sower. This is one that I've heard a number of times in a number of sermons and books. It must have some ambiguity as it's interpretation by pastors and ...
9
votes
3answers
582 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Historical interpretations of Ezekiel's vision of a temple

From Ezekiel 40 to the end, the author records a pretty detailed vision of a temple. Historically, what are the main ways this vision been interpreted? Did the rabbis consider this vision to be ...
8
votes
1answer
154 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Who was the Beloved Disciple?

According to Wikipedia: The Gospel [of John]'s authorship is anonymous. Its Chapter 21 states it derives from the testimony of the 'disciple whom Jesus loved.' Along with Peter, the unnamed ...
6
votes
2answers
8k views

Why did David advise Solomon to kill Joab? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is David the Godfather? Joab was a loyal captain in charge for King David and he won lot of battles for his king. He had also risked his life in many occasions for the ...
6
votes
6answers
8k views

Was Jesus anointed once or twice on the feet with perfume?

Disclaimer: I've already asked this question on Christianity SE and got a great answer. I'm asking it here to get an expert response (and because it is one of my favourite stories). If the community ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Who are the “third and fourth generation” in Exodus 20:5?

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow ...
4
votes
6answers
4k views

What significance does John perceive in the piercing of Christ's side and the flow of blood and water?

Both the piercing of Christ side and the flow of blood and water (John 19:34) are unique to John’s gospel and it’s clear from the testimony which follows (19:35) he sees in them great deal of ...
3
votes
3answers
259 views

The number two in the book of Zechariah

Reading Zechariah, I have been struck by the frequency of the occurrences, explicit and implicit, of the number two. The most prominent are: Two angels in chapters 1 and 2 Two dimensions: "To ...
2
votes
3answers
307 views

Why does the ESV use “surely” in Genesis 2:16 when all others say “freely”?

Someone has brought it to my attention that the ESV deviates from all other English translations in Genesis 2:16 by changing "freely" to "surely." The ESV is heavily endorsed by Calvinist pastors, so ...
2
votes
2answers
935 views

Can Hosea 6:1-3 be interpreted as a prophecy of Jesus' resurrection? [closed]

Hosea 6:1-3 reads: “Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the ...
15
votes
7answers
1k views

Does Paul refer to his past or present evil/sin in Romans 7

In Romans 7:19, Paul says this: For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. ESV Is Paul talking about "doing evil" in his present, converted state, or ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

“You are gods” in John 10:30-36

In John 10:30-36 (NASB), Jesus responds to an accusation of blasphemy by quoting the Old Testament: 30I and the Father are one.” 31The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. 32Jesus ...
11
votes
1answer
462 views

What is the “Grammatical Historical Approach” to hermeneutics?

BH seems to be divided into several different approaches. What is the Grammatical Historical Approach and what are the primary ways that it differs from other modern approaches?
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the seven middoth (Hillel's rules for interpretation)?

The "middoth" were Rabbi Hillel's rules for interpretation. There are seven of them. What are they? Please list them and include one or two clear examples for each.
10
votes
2answers
614 views

What is the evidence for the existence of the Q document?

According to most scholars, Mark was the first of the four gospels to be written. Matthew and Luke then relied upon Mark and a second written source called Q. What is the evidence for the existence of ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I identify puns in the Hebrew Bible?

The Bible sometimes uses words with multiple meanings to the effect of an intentional pun or wordplay. Punning seems especially common in Hebrew. I think that being aware of these literary devices ...
9
votes
2answers
202 views

Is Romans 1:17 ambiguous?

ESV: 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” The NIV and KJV read similarly. I have always understood the ...
9
votes
2answers
773 views

How strong was Midian's army?

When Israel took vengeance on Midian they sent 12,000 troops (Numbers 31:4) and prevailed: אֶלֶף, לַמַּטֶּה, אֶלֶף, לַמַּטֶּה--לְכֹל מַטּוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל, תִּשְׁלְחוּ לַצָּבָא. Of every tribe a ...
9
votes
2answers
574 views

Should the title in Isaiah 9 be translated?

Translators publishing for the Christian market translate the title in Isaiah 9:6: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Was Moses the probable author of Genesis?

I've been operating under the assumption that Moses was the author the book of Genesis (or at least the recorder of a bunch of oral traditions). This document suggests a different view. ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the translation philosophy for tachash skins in Exodus?

In Exodus (e.g.: 26:14) we learn one of the coverings for the tabernacle is to be made of "תחש" (tachash) skins. The translation of this term appears to be especially difficult or contentious as there ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

What did Jesus mean by “be perfect” in the Sermon on the Mount?

I asked this on the Christianity Stack Exchange site, and they told me it would be better here. So I here I am asking it... Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is ...
7
votes
1answer
208 views

Does the qal in Amos 3:6 automatically imply causation?

I am looking at Amos 3:6 and I expected a permissive rather than causative verb but I found a perfect qal. Does this qal actually mean cause here? Amo 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and ...
7
votes
2answers
338 views

In the Peshitta NT, what was the original meaning of the word often translated “first day of the week”?

Is there an Aramaic word for "week" different from "Sabbath?" Is the word for Sabbath used in the Peshitta New Testament in the following passages: But on the eve of the Sabbath, when the first ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Is 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 an interpolation?

One of the answers to the question about what 1st Corinthians 14:34-35 means suggests that the passage is a later interpolation. From the quote by J.W. Wartick, included in the answer, there are ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Was the Beloved Disciple the author of the Fourth Gospel?

One very common interpretation of the Gospel of John is that the Beloved Disciple was the author of the book. (Presumably, he was interested in obscuring his identity for some reason.) But other ...
7
votes
2answers
617 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
15k views

Meaning of “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”

In Matthew 24:28 and Luke 17:37, Jesus uses the phrase "Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather." Was Jesus speaking in a parable? Idiom? How has this phrase been interpreted?
6
votes
3answers
446 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

How is Psalm 34 linked to 1st Samuel 21?

The annotation of Psalm 34 (ESV) reads: Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away. Clearly this is a reference to 1 Samuel 21:10-15 ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

What is the proper interpretation of ἄνωθεν in Luke 1:3?

The Text Luke 1:3 reads in the Greek (with the word in question highlighted; SBLGNT): ἔδοξε κἀμοὶ παρηκολουθηκότι ἄνωθεν πᾶσιν ἀκριβῶς καθεξῆς σοι γράψαι, κράτιστε Θεόφιλε It is translated a ...
5
votes
2answers
895 views

Did Jesus wear pants?

While researching this question, I came across an article I'd rather not link to1 that asserted that Jesus wore pants. The particular bit of evidence they cited was: Then I saw heaven opened, and ...
4
votes
3answers
299 views

Is יהוה ever transliterated in the Septuagint?

It seems to me that the Hebrew language doesn't have graphemes representing vowel sounds. On the other hand, the Greek language does. Also, I've heard that Josephus said that the Tetragrammaton ...
4
votes
2answers
998 views

Where did Samuel come from when he was summoned by the Medium of En-dor?

Appropriate to today, I was thinking about the time when Saul visited the Medium of En-dor in 1 Samuel 28:8-14 (ESV): So Saul disguised himself and put on other garments and went, he and two men ...
3
votes
2answers
154 views

How to interpret John 2:10

King James Bible: And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. ...
3
votes
3answers
383 views

What do we know about Paul's family?

Related to What do we know about Paul's sister? I want to know more information about Paul's family. According to Acts 23:6 Paul's father was a pharisee: But when Paul perceived that the one ...
2
votes
3answers
193 views

At what point in his narrative does the prophet Yona appear to die?

Christ essentially appealed to Yona being dead three days and three nights in the heart of the sea as proof that he too would be dead three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (i.e., the ...
2
votes
1answer
253 views

Is Hosea 6:1-3 a quotation?

Many translations wrap Hosea 6:1-3 in quotation marks. For instance, in the NJPS: “Come, let us turn back to the Lord: He attacked, and He can heal us; He wounded, and He can bind us up. In ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

What is the cause of the “greater sin” in John 19:11?

In Jesus’ conversation with Pilate in John 19:11, responding to his question, “Don’t you know that I have the authority….to crucify you?” Jesus answers: “You would have no authority over me at all ...
1
vote
1answer
222 views

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

What/who have commentators historically believed the "four riders" of Revelation 6 were?
24
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Why did Stephen give such a long speech?

Before he was stoned, Stephen gives a huge speech (Acts 7) going over Israeli history, from Abraham through Moses to David. I really don't understand the purpose of it. What is the overall message? ...
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 ...
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 ...

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