5
votes
3answers
310 views

Satan: Stumbling Block or Accuser?

I was always taught that Satan meant "stumbling block" or some such. When Jesus cursed Peter saying, "Get behind me Satan" (Matthew 16:23), my parish priest, at least, always says Jesus is saying ...
3
votes
2answers
199 views

Why is Israel referred to with a male pronoun in Jeremiah 31:10?

“Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’ ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

Is Acts 1:14 describing something like 24/7 prayer?

Acts 1:14 (NIV) 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. My NLT Bible has "continually" in place ...
1
vote
2answers
208 views

Does “foundations of the earth” in Job 38:4 refer to just the earth, or is it a metaphor for more?

While asking this question on music at Christianity Stack Exchange, I had simply assumed that Job 38 described music as more primordial than matter, but then I realized I wasn't sure whether the ...
6
votes
2answers
222 views

Who were the “poor among the saints” in Jerusalem?

Near the end of Romans there are details about financial relationships between churches. It's never really occurred to me to read it as anything but the face value in English: Romans 15:25-26 ...
4
votes
1answer
753 views

Why is there numerical ambiguity in Matthew 18:21-22?

Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV) 21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus ...
5
votes
4answers
6k views

When Samson posed his riddle, how were his companions supposed to guess it?

From the story of Samson in Judges 14 (NIV): Now his father went down to see the woman. And there Samson held a feast, as was customary for young men. When the people saw him, they chose ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “invoke the name of the LORD” mean in Genesis?

The phrase "call upon the name of the LORD" turns up occasionally in Genesis: Genesis 12:8 (ESV) 8  From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with ...
6
votes
9answers
7k views

What does it mean that the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the Baptist?

Matthew 11:11 (KJV): Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Who/what is Peter's angel?

In Acts 12, Peter is miraculously released from prison when an angel visits him at night. Peter escapes and returns to the house where a group is gathered praying. A servant girl, Rhoda goes to answer ...
6
votes
1answer
108 views

Can we determine the language(s) the author of Hebrews read from the list of Judges?

In Hebrews 11, at the end of the Hall of Faith, we get a short list: And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is Jeremiah 31 addressed to Ephraim?

Jeremiah 31 is one of my favorite in Tanach. In very poetic language, the chapter describes God's love for his people and the future redemption of the Israelite nation. I wrote a bit about this ...
3
votes
2answers
301 views

Who is judging whom in Revelation 20:4?

The following verse towards the end of Revalation has an interesting turn of phrase: Revelation 20:4 (ESV) (emphasis mine) 4  Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the ...
4
votes
2answers
376 views

Why are the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) significant?

Is there anything that the Dead Sea Scrolls made clearer regarding the texts of the Old Testament? Did their discovery change the way we view the development of the Tanakh?
4
votes
4answers
22k views

Ecclesiastes 4:12 A cord of three strands is not quickly broken

My small group was looking at this verse in Ecclesiastes 4:12: Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. I was curious the ...
7
votes
1answer
272 views

The will of God in Ephesians 1: εὐδοκία, βουλή, θελήμα

Paul places an emphasis on the will and plan of God in Ephesians 1. In addition to the verbs προορίζω ("I predestine") and ἐκλέγω ("I choose"), three nouns factor large in this theme. Here they are, ...
8
votes
3answers
910 views

Was there some connection between barley bread and Gideon in the mind of the Midianites?

Before attacking the Midianite camp, Gideon does a little spying: When Gideon came, behold, a man was telling a dream to his comrade. And he said, “Behold, I dreamed a dream, and behold, a cake of ...
8
votes
1answer
155 views

What is the intent of 1 Corinthians 11:19?

This verse is cited in support of the idea that differences of opinion among Christians is a good thing. However on reading a different translation I got a little confused - 1 Corinthians 11:19 ...
7
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the significance of switching from Gideon to Jerubbaal?

Gideon got a new name in this story: When the men of the town rose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah beside it was cut down, and the second bull was ...
3
votes
3answers
401 views

Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 Puzzlement

Verse 1: שלח לחמך על פני המים כי ברב הימים תמצאנו Send/set your bread upon the surface of the waters for in many days you shall discover it. Verse 2: תן חלק ל שבע וגם ל שמונה כי לא תדע מה יהיה ...
5
votes
1answer
518 views

Not singing the songs of Zion/Yahweh's song in Psalm 137

The first colophon (or first two colophons, perhaps) of Psalm 137 reads, 1 By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. 2 On the willows there we hung up ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Psalms 46 - Be still or relax?

In Psalms 46-10 (Christian versions) or 46:11 (in Jewish versions), is the phrase  הרפו ודעו כי אנכי אלֹהים In most English Bible translations הרפו is translated as Be still . With the ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

Should קהלת actually translate to “Preacher”

Ecclesiastes starts with - words of קהלת son of David. In Hebrew it does not say - the words of the קהלת. Nor - words of the קהלת. But simply - words of קהלת. How do we know that קהלת translates to ...
5
votes
1answer
622 views

Was Rahab a temple prostitute?

Joshua includes a dramatic story of spies, a prostitute, and subterfuge: Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim, saying, “Go, reconnoiter the region of Jericho.” So they set out, ...
3
votes
2answers
231 views

Why is Rahab and not the spies included in the “Hall of Faith”?

Hebrews 11 list a number of people that Hebrews 12:1 calls a "great a cloud of witnesses". Among them are the usual suspects: Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses. But there are also some ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the meaning of the reference to 'stones' in Ecclesiastes 3?

Ecclesiastes starts with a series of contrasts, most of which are easy to understand. However one reference is less obvious (at least to me) - the 'stones' in verse 5a: 1 For everything there is a ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Is there a general way to know if a psalm or prophecy is talking about a tribe, a person or a mythical beast?

For example: You rule the raging sea; you still its swelling waves. You crush Rahab with a mortal blow; with your strong arm you scatter your foes. Yours are the heavens, yours the ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Who or what is Rahab in Job?

The most famous Rahab in the Bible is the prostitute of Jericho who hid the two Hebrew spies in Joshua 2. But there seems to be a different Rahab introduced in Job: “God will not turn back his ...
3
votes
3answers
951 views

What is the referent for “brother” in 1 John 4:20-21?

1 John 4:20-21 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this ...
5
votes
1answer
801 views

Does Jesus's change in attitude about drinking wine on the cross relate to his statement ‘It is finished’?

Does Jesus's change in attitude about drinking wine on the cross relate to his statement ‘It is finished’? According to some historians, it was a merciful Jewish practice to give to those led to ...
6
votes
1answer
310 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
17 views

What does hate mean in Luke 14:26? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Jesus' command to hate your father and mother in Luke 14:26 Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the sign of the Son of Man?

What is the sign of the Son of Man spoken of in Matthew 24:30?— At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the ...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

Is Matthew 13:18-23 specific to Matthew's congregation?

Is there any textual evidence to suggest that the explanations to Jesus' parables such as the explanation given to the disciples regarding the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:18-23 were not Jesus' ...
5
votes
2answers
266 views

John 12:25 on life hating

Every year we read John 12 during Lent and every year our priest gives us the same schpeel about hate, in this context, meaning "to love less". Why, then, does hate, in this context, mean "to love ...
5
votes
1answer
284 views

Did Abner take Saul's concubine?

In 2 Samuel 3:7-11, Ish-bosheth accuses Abner of taking one of Saul's concubines: Rizpah, daughter of Aiah. It seems that were this accusation true, it would be an affront to Ish-bosheth's throne. In ...
7
votes
1answer
113 views

Does Job's “covenant with [his] eyes” refer to marriage?

Job's final appeal to God includes this assertion of innocence: I have covenanted with my eyes Not to gaze on a maiden.—Job 31:1 (NJPS) The ESV reads this as a rhetorical question: I ...
12
votes
2answers
980 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?
9
votes
2answers
470 views

Why do many chinese Bibles translate “Logos” in John 1:1 as 道 (Dao)?

道(Dao) is the concept which the entire Dao De Jing seeks to expound upon and discuss. Dao De Jing is the central text of Daoist philosophy. I don't know how to define "dao" beyond an extremely ...
8
votes
1answer
219 views

Temple in Psalm 138

The first verse of Psalm 138 is clearly stating David as author of the Psalm. In verse 2 it says: I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your ...
6
votes
2answers
710 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
151 views

What's the relationship between 1 Peter 4:1 and Ephesians 6:11

Peter talks about arming oneself with a thought/attitude: Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ...
6
votes
2answers
216 views

Who are the “divine beings” in Psalm 82?

We read in Psalm 82: I had taken you for divine beings, sons of the Most High, all of you; but you shall die as men do, fall like any prince.—Psalm 82:6–7 (NJPS) Some ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

What did it mean to “rise before the aged” in ancient Hebrew culture?

We read an ordinance in Leviticus: You shall rise before the aged and show deference to the old; you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.—Leviticus 19:32 (NJPS) In English, "rise" can ...
3
votes
1answer
342 views

Can Ezekiel 1 be interpreted as describing a robot?

In my readings of Ezekiel chapter 1, Ezekiel comes into contact with what in our time could only be interpreted as a robot. For instance, it had wheels, four faces, was metallic, and was able to fly; ...
13
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
728 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
386 views

Who did Lamech kill?

I also asked this here, but I think it fix better in Biblical Hermeneutics after thinking about it. Genesis 4:23-24 NIV 23 Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, listen to me; wives of ...
5
votes
1answer
285 views

Why did John write in this seemingly time-bending way?

John 11:1-2 (NLT) 11 A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. 2 This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet ...
-2
votes
1answer
1k views

Are the Rabbinic rules of hand washing before eating bread related to their ruling that the scriptures were unclean? [closed]

In trying to understand why the Pharisees insisted on washing their hands before eating bread (Mark 7:5). I have come across some interesting reasons but have not yet come to a conclusion about why ...

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