14
votes
1answer
5k 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
4answers
20k views

Translation of “Hosanna” (ὡσαννά)

What does "Hosanna" (ὡσαννά) mean (as it appears in the Gospels)? What is its etymology/derivation from Hebrew/Aramaic?
13
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
784 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
3k 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
2answers
564 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
5answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
2k 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
2answers
3k 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
3k 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
3answers
3k 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?
13
votes
4answers
960 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
3answers
517 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
3k 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
4answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
664 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
554 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
2answers
3k views

How are concubines different than wives?

In the Hebrew Bible, a marriage ceremony is never actually described. Priests and their attendants (Kohanim and Levites) are responsible for work in the sanctuary, such as sacrifices and offerings, ...
12
votes
6answers
514 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
1k 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
227 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
6answers
22k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Is John 7:53-8:11 inspired? [closed]

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. Yet they all go on to explain the ...
12
votes
3answers
928 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, ...
12
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
13k views

What is “sin that leads to death” in 1 John 5:16?

1 John 5:16 (NIV) Emphasis Added If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead ...
12
votes
4answers
6k views

Who are “the least of these my brothers” in Matthew 25?

In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus teaches that when the Son of Man comes in his glory, he will separate sheep and goats along certain lines, saying: "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of ...
12
votes
6answers
668 views

How should we understand the “Cleansing of the Temple”?

As a preface, I was talking with some good friends last night and this passage came up. On of my friends contributed an interpretation that made my blood boil. He was clearly wrong and clearly ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Hermeneutical Approaches vs. Inductive Bible Study

Inductive Bible Study teaches that you observe, interpret, and then apply scripture, and has lots of specific things you should observe such as word repetitions, structural elements such as ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

What is meant by “Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire”?

In Revelation 20:14 (ESV) we read: "Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire." The concept of "fire" is used multiple times in the New ...
12
votes
1answer
537 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
314 views

When is allegorization of scripture productive?

If I were to run into the story of the three little pigs accidentally used as a bookmark in my Bible I might draw these conclusions: Clearly the wolf is the Devil trying to devour sinners who are ...
12
votes
2answers
806 views

Who is Wisdom in Proverbs

Proverbs chapter 8 uses a personification of Wisdom. Some people take this personification as a description of God, or of the Messiah. Is there any textual justification for this?
12
votes
4answers
4k views

What does “Jealous” mean in Exodus 34:14?

Most translations seem to agree that "Jealous" is the best translation for this passage. For example: Exodus 34:14 (NASB) —for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is ...
12
votes
4answers
202 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
8k views

Which 'modern' English translation of the Bible is considered the 'closest' or most accurate translation?

Which 'modern' (anything inclusive of King James Version to date) English translation of the Bible is considered the 'closest' or most accurate translation from the original Hebrew & Greek texts? ...
11
votes
4answers
595 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?
11
votes
6answers
5k views

What are the “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 ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

What “is lacking in Christ's afflictions” according to Paul?

In Colossians 1:24, I read: Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church ...
11
votes
3answers
879 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
359 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, ...
11
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Who subjected the creation to futility in Rom. 8:20-21?

Paul says that creation was subjected to futility in Romans 8:20-21 ESV: For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation ...
11
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
217 views

When the Bible says “the world”, does that only include Eurasia and Africa?

I've heard this argument a few different times for different verses. (Unfortunately, I can't remember exactly which verses as that would strengthen this question quite a bit.) However, the argument ...
11
votes
2answers
589 views

Should John 1:19 read “the only begotten God”?

I was reading my New King James version of the Bible and found a footnote for this verse: John 1:18 (NKJV) No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son,[a] who is in the bosom of the ...
11
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

Are the 'ten virgins' told in Jesus' parable multiple brides or just general wedding party?

Jesus told a parable about the kingdom of God involving "ten virgins" and a "bridegroom". It starts out in the beginning of Matthew: Matthew 25:1-2 (ESV) 1 "Then the kingdom of heaven will be ...

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