15
votes
3answers
2k views

Translation of “Selah” (סֶלָה‎)

What is the current scholarly opinion on the possible translations for "Selah" (סֶלָה‎) as used in the Psalms?
14
votes
4answers
419 views

Why would God disapprove of rituals he ordained?

In Amos 5:21-24 God says: I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not ...
14
votes
4answers
25k views

Translation of “Hosanna” (ὡσαννά)

What does "Hosanna" (ὡσαννά) mean (as it appears in the Gospels)? What is its etymology/derivation from Hebrew/Aramaic?
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Does Genesis's creation account depict creation “ex nihilo”?

I had once heard that one of the remarkable thing about the creation account in Genesis, as compared to the other creation accounts of the cultures of the surrounding area is that God creates the ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Arguments for early/late date of authorship of Daniel

What are the most significant arguments for an early date of authorship of Daniel (6th century BC)? What are the primary arguments for a late date (2nd century BC)?
14
votes
3answers
9k views

How different is Biblical Hebrew from modern Hebrew?

It's been variously suggested on this site that the difference between Biblical Hebrew and modern Hebrew is like either the difference between: Old English and modern English Shakespeare's English ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a modern English translation of the Bible that uses the second-person plural pronoun?

I'm looking for a modern translation of the Bible (ideally in the public domain) that retains the distinction between second-person plural and second-person singular. In Early Modern English (the ...
14
votes
1answer
427 views

Who is the author of Hebrews quoting in Hebrews 10:38?

Who is the author of Hebrews quoting in Hebrews 10:38? Now the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. The "just shall live by faith" part ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Why did John take Mary, who was married, into his home?

What exactly does "took her into his home" mean in the following passage? John 19:26-27 (NIV) 26  When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to ...
14
votes
2answers
917 views

Does the original Hebrew support the NLT of Genesis 6:3?

Genesis 6:3 refers to when God set humans' lifespans to (approximately) 120 years. However, the NLT (the translation I prefer) has a slightly different translation for the 120-years part. Genesis ...
14
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the significance of “east” in the Scriptures?

There seems to be some significance to the east in the Scriptures. The garden is planted in the east of Eden Cherubim are stationed on the east side of the Garden of Eden Parts of the burnt offering ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Why is the Bible so repetitive?

Some pieces of the Bible are repeated (several times even) without changes. Let's look at the book of Leviticus, especially chapters 13-16, which concerns laws about leprosy, mold, and bodily ...
14
votes
3answers
5k views

What does it mean that “Scripture interprets Scripture”?

What does the rule that "Scripture interprets Scripture" mean and where does it fit into a larger picture of the field of hermeneutics? What hermeneutical approaches use this as a guiding principle?
14
votes
6answers
5k views

What is the head covering referring to in 1 Corinthians 11:4-6?

There's a passage of text that has always confused me. I'm curious if there's any special historical context for this passage or if there's some understanding of these commands that I'm completely ...
14
votes
1answer
9k views

Is “wait” in Isaiah 40:31 active or passive?

Some translations have this verse reading "They that wait (up)on the Lord" (eg. NKJV) while others have "They that wait for the Lord" (eg. ESV) and still others "Those that hope in the Lord". (eg NIV) ...
13
votes
3answers
509 views

Omission of 'fasting' in Mark 9:29

I would like to know why some versions feel it apt to omit the word "fasting" from Mark 9:29. Is this because it was not concurrent with the correct translation/ meaning of this verse? For example. ...
13
votes
7answers
871 views

Is it possible to be unbiased when interpreting Scripture?

Hermeneutics is not only concerned with the science of interpretation, but also with the philosophy of interpretation. One of the major questions under examination in modern discussions about ...
13
votes
8answers
3k views

How is it that Jesus could be “three days and three nights in the heart of the earth”?

This verse is usually interpreted as a prophetic word by Jesus about Himself: Matthew 12:40: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three ...
13
votes
4answers
453 views

Why is the observation that “it was good” missing on the second day?

The account of the first six days of creation as found in Genesis 1 is highly stylized, though with variations. For instance, each day ends, "And there was evening, and there was morning—the (n)th ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Was Noah absolutely blameless or relatively good?

This is the line of Noah.—Noah was a righteous man; he was blameless in his age; Noah walked with God.—Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth became corrupt ...
13
votes
5answers
5k views

Where is the citation of John 7:38 taken from?

Whoever puts his trust in me, as the Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being!" (John 7:38 CJB) I always read John 7:38 as "If I believe like the scripture ...
13
votes
5answers
15k views

What is the difference in the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God?

Some assert the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God refer to the same thing while others say they are different. Which is accurate? For example: Luke 17:21 uses Kingdom of God while Matthew ...
13
votes
2answers
798 views

Why did Abel keep flocks if man wasn't supposed to eat flesh til after the Flood?

Per Genesis 9:3, man is given the animals as food after the flood. A reasonable implication of that statement is that prior to this, man was supposed to be vegetarian. That said, Genesis 4:2 clearly ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does the Septuagint contain non-Tanakh books?

The deuterocanonical books, treated as part of the Bible by the Orthodox and Catholic churches, are accepted because they appear in the Septuagint. However, they are excluded from the Jewish Bible, ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Does πορνεία mean premarital sex in 1 Corinthians 5-7?

I'm interested in this question because some liberal theologians insist that the Bible does not say anything about premarital sex*. To get a reasonable scope for the question, I limit this to just the ...
13
votes
7answers
4k views

Why does the Bible say that Abraham sacrificed his “only-begotten son”?

Why does the Bible say that Abraham sacrificed his "only-begotten son" (Heb. 11:17, Gen. 22:2) despite the fact that Isaac had a step-brother Ishmael who was 14 years older than Isaac and was in fact ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

How should James 2:18 be translated?

James, when making the argument that faith without works is dead, makes this statement: James 2:18-19 (ESV) 18  But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Are Andronicus and Junia(s) apostles?

Two of our most literal English translations render Romans 16:7 in remarkably different ways: NASB: Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Is John 7:53-8:11 original to John's gospel?

I've read several recent commentaries on John 8 and all agree that the story of the woman caught in adultery almost certainly wasn't there in the original manuscript. Is it original?
13
votes
5answers
591 views

What were the Corinthians doing when they “baptized on behalf of the dead”?

In the very center of an argument about the general resurrection, which the Corinthians questioned, Paul says: Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there an English equivalent for Nephilim of Genesis 6:4?

Genesis 6:4 (NIV)Emphasis added The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes ...
13
votes
2answers
807 views

Why is the light in day 1 of creation not an 'it'?

Throughout Genesis 1 there are two repeated refrains: ויהי כן 7And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the proper translation of Hosea 11:12?

I have been researching Hosea 11:12 and have come to realize that it is translated differently in many differing translations of the Bible. It is sometimes translated that Judah walked (or ruled) with ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

Was 'σκύβαλον' (skubalon) profanity?

In Philippians 3:8, Paul uses the word σκύβαλον (skubalon), which is usually translated as "dung" , "garbage", or "rubbish". I've heard that this was considered an impolite word with much stronger ...
13
votes
8answers
1k 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"?
13
votes
2answers
797 views

How can we determine if a text is sarcastic?

What hermeneutical principles help in understanding whether a particular passage is to be understood as sarcastic? For instance, Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! ...
13
votes
1answer
728 views

Is Keller's view of the father in the Prodigal Son parable a reasonable interpretation?

In Tim Keller's book "The Prodigal God", Keller points out a fairly incredible dichotomy between older and younger brothers - and the parallels between these categories and our society. In the final ...
13
votes
1answer
131 views

Does Song of Songs 8:6 contain a reference to YHWH?

It has been pointed out that Song of Songs is one of only two books1 among the canonical Hebrew scriptures without direct reference to God. However, there is an enigmatic יָה- (-yah) at the end of 8:6 ...
13
votes
2answers
191 views

“Black but beautiful” or “Black and beautiful” in Song of Songs?

Song of Songs (or "Song of Solomon") 1:5 begins as follows in the Hebrew: ... שְׁחוֹרָ֤ה אֲנִי֙ וְֽנָאוָ֔ה בְּנ֖וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם šĕḥôrâ ʾănî wĕnāʾwâ bĕnôt yĕrûšālāyim ... And is often ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Why is the genealogy in Luke attributed to Mary?

When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli, the son of... - Luke 3:23 (NASB) There seems to be a widely ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Does the New Testament quote extrabiblical writers?

I am aware that the New Testament often quotes from the Hebrew Bible. However, I'm interested to learn whether or not it ever quotes - or alludes to - non-Hebrew / extrabiblical literature?
12
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 ...
12
votes
4answers
7k views

Why does Jesus tell his mother his “hour has not yet come”?

Very early on, John tells a story that is unique to his gospel: On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding ...
12
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Why did Abraham stop at ten in Genesis 18:32?

Genesis 18:16-33 recounts the story, "Abraham Pleads for Sodom" (NIV). When conversing with God, Abraham asks God if He would destroy the city if there were 50 righteous people in it. God replies No, ...
12
votes
4answers
470 views

Is dispensationalism a theological framework or a hermeneutical approach?

I most often hear about dispensationalism in the context of a theological framework wherein God’s relations with man are understood to be divided up into different periods of time, or dispensations, ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

What is “Midrash” and how does it relate to Christian principles of hermeneutics?

What is the Midrash method of interpreting a Biblical verse and what application does it have in Christian studies as a hermeneutic principle?
12
votes
2answers
271 views

Why do English translations sometimes, but not always, transform names instead of just transliterating them?

When translating a text you have to deal with names. While occasionally names are translated "semantically" (according to their meaning), usually we just keep the name as a name -- approximately. ...
12
votes
8answers
12k views

What was Noah thinking when he sent a raven from the ark?

In tablet 11 of the epic of Gilgamesh, after Utnapishtim's ark lodges on a rock, he releases a dove, a swallow, and a raven, in that order. The first two birds return when they fail to find a resting ...
12
votes
6answers
29k views

What is the significance of '14 generations' in Matthew’s account of Jesus's genealogy?

After giving Jesus's genealogy in the first chapter, Matthew goes on to point out the number of generations between significant events: Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to ...

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