15
votes
2answers
3k views

Was Balaam a true follower of Yahweh?

The idea that Balaam may have been a true follower (or even prophet) of Yahweh seems troubling on a number of fronts: How could there be a pre-Mosaic Yahweh-worshipper living near the Euphrates (Num ...
3
votes
1answer
246 views

What is the temple that Paul refers to in 2 Thessalonians 2:4?

2 Thessalonians 2:4 talks about the man of lawlessness, "who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Per 1 Cor 10:8, when did God kill 23,000 for sexual immorality?

I was going through 1 Corinthians 10, doing my best to not fixate on verse 13 until i knew the context :) when I read this: 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in ...
8
votes
2answers
572 views

Why did God “change His mind” with Balaam?

There are so many interesting questions regarding the account of Balaam in Numbers 22-24. But for now, let me focus on the one that is most puzzling to me: Why did the Lord seem to "waffle" in His ...
6
votes
2answers
610 views

Who was a greater king: Hezekiah or Josiah?

About Hezekiah, we read in 2 Kings 18:5-6: Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. He held fast to ...
7
votes
4answers
580 views

Who incited David to take a census and what's wrong with taking a census anyway?

According to 2 Samuel 24:1 (NRSV) Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, "Go, count the people of Israel and Judah." But according to ...
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Who did Cain marry?

A man marrying his sister is clearly a sin: If a man marries his sister, the daughter of either his father or his mother, so that he sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a ...
6
votes
1answer
121 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

What exactly does מִכְנָס (miknac) mean?

Researching a related question, I came across passages like: You shall also make for them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; they shall extend from the hips to the thighs.—Exodus 28:42 ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Does Paul allude to the context of Psalm 19:4 in Romans 10:18?

In Romans 10:17, Paul says that hearing comes through the word of Christ. Then in verse 18, he quotes the Psalmist in response to the question, "But I ask, have they [the Israelites] not heard?" ...
4
votes
1answer
279 views

How is Romans 10:17 a consequence of 10:16?

I'm having trouble understanding the flow of the argument in Romans 10:16-18. It seems to say that because Israel did not accept the good news (10:16), therefore faith comes from hearing the message ...
5
votes
1answer
499 views

How did David trick Achish?

I got to this section this week and I feel like I'm missing something: David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Gizrites, and the Amalekites—who were the inhabitants of the ...
5
votes
2answers
648 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
323 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
8k views

Why did the witnesses lay their coats at Paul's feet?

During the stoning of Stephen, according to the book of Acts, "the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul," who later converted to Christianity and took the name Paul. ...
5
votes
3answers
161 views

What does Exodus 26:27 say?

I was reading through Exodus the other day and thought that the translation of Exodus 26:26-27 was odd. OSB: "You shall make bars of incorruptible wood: five for the posts on one side of the ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

What does it mean that "David eluded him twice?

Shortly after Saul takes David into his service, we read: The next day an evil spirit of God gripped Saul and he began to rave in the house, while David was playing [the lyre], as he did daily. ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Can we harmonize the two meetings of David and Saul?

My daily reading reached the moment when Samuel anointed David, which is followed immediately by the first meeting of Saul and David: Now the spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil ...
14
votes
2answers
781 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
892 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. ...
1
vote
2answers
377 views

In Matthew 14 Jesus walks on the water. What are the similarities between this account and the ancient Egyptian writings about Horus?

In Matthew 14 Jesus walks on the water. What are the similarities and differences between this account and the ancient Egyptian writings about Horus from Pyramid texts in 25th Century BC? For ...
6
votes
2answers
205 views

How does the Genesis account of the Tower of Babel compare with other traditions about the tower?

I'm aware there are number of accounts of the Tower of Babel in Midrash, from the Islamic traditions, Kabalah, Josephus and the Jubilees. For the most part, these accounts seem to derive from ...
10
votes
1answer
5k views

What are the similarities and differences between the Genesis creation account and other creation stories of the time

(Operating under the assumption that Genesis was authored by Moses, and its intent is a polemic against other origin stories and their view of the deity at the time). The Enûma Eliš is said to have ...
4
votes
2answers
494 views

What's Paul (of Tarsus)'s view on the bodily resurrection?

In 1st Corinthians 15 Paul records the eyewitness accounts of Jesus' resurrection: For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What was Er's sin?

In response to this question asked by JonEricson. Genesis 38:6-11 (NJPS): Judah got a wife for Er his first-born; her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah’s first-born, was displeasing to the Lord, and ...
3
votes
1answer
417 views

What does “lawlessness” refer to in 1 John 3:4?

In 1 John 3:4 (ESV), we read: Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. My understanding is that in the LXX, the Greek word ἀνομία usually refers ...
4
votes
1answer
718 views

What was Onan's sin?

Genesis 38:6-11 (NJPS): Judah got a wife for Er his first-born; her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah’s first-born, was displeasing to the Lord, and the Lord took his life. Then Judah said to Onan, ...
7
votes
1answer
188 views

What led to the division of Ezra-Nehemiah?

Modern consensus is that the books of Ezra and Nehemiah actually comprise a single work which was subsequently divided into two. How is it that scholars realized this was the same book (Does it have ...
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 ...
23
votes
7answers
10k views

Did Jephthah actually sacrifice his daughter?

It's clear that what Jephthah intended was to sacrifice the first animal that he met when he returned home: Then the spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah. He marched through Gilead and Manasseh, ...
3
votes
1answer
500 views

Did Saul intend to offer a peace offering in 1st Samuel 13?

When Samuel rebuked Saul for improperly making an offering before the Lord, he asks for both a burnt offering and a "sacrifice of well-being": He waited seven days, the time that Samuel [had set]. ...
10
votes
2answers
190 views

Why was a chapter division placed at the end of Genesis 1, rather than between 2:3 and 2:4?

It's pretty well universally accepted that Genesis 1:1 - 2:3 represent one view of the story of creation and 2:3 - 25 a second. And yet, when Stephen Langton instituted his chapter scheme in the ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why didn't the Septuagint translate 'ahabah to eros?

Song of Songs 2:7 in English (NPJS) reads: I adjure you, O maidens of Jerusalem, By gazelles or by hinds of the field: Do not wake or rouse Love until it please! As the NET Bible points ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What's going on with Saul and the prophets?

After Samuel anointed Saul, he sent him home with a few signs that will be fulfilled in 1st Samuel 10:9-13 (NJPS): As [Saul] turned around to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart; and all ...
16
votes
3answers
615 views

Does Gen 1:1 refer to day 1 or the entire 6 days of creation?

A natural reading of Gen 1:1 with it's immediate context is that it is part of the first day of creation 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and ...
6
votes
1answer
109 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
108 views

Who are the people God sent to deliver Israel in 1 Samuel 12:11?

The NET gives the following information about the list of names found in 1 Samuel 12:11: In the ancient versions there is some confusion with regard to these names, both with regard to the ...
8
votes
3answers
227 views

How should the first line of Judges 5:2 be translated?

So at some point, I'm hoping to be able to answer this question. In the meantime, though, I keep running into more questions, this one concering the first line of the Song of Deborah (Judges 5:2). It ...
5
votes
1answer
164 views

Do some of the manuscripts have a blank spot in Ephesians 1:1?

The NIV footnotes indicate that some early manuscripts do not have "in Ephesus" in then. The NET has extensive notes on this, but they only state the the earliest and most important MSS "omit" the ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

Did Barak already know what he was supposed to do in Judges 4:6-7?

Since we're on a Deborah kick lately: The ESV renders Deborah's statement to Barak in Judges 4:6-7 as a question: Has not the LORD, the God of Israel, commanded you, "Go, gather your men at ...
4
votes
2answers
955 views

Who or where is Meroz in Judges 5:23?

We read: “Curse Meroz!” said the angel of the Lord. “Bitterly curse its inhabitants, Because they came not to the aid of the Lord, To the aid of the Lord among the warriors.”—Judges ...
28
votes
8answers
4k views

“A god” or “God” in John 1:1?

John 1:1 (NWT): In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. This translation, the Jehovah's Witnesses New World Translation is, I think, unique in using ...
8
votes
1answer
255 views

What role should textual (lower) criticism play in biblical hermeneutics (if any)?

A recent comment on another question demonstrated a common perspective, namely that textual criticism is usually a bad thing when interpreting scripture (some would even go so far as to say that it is ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “the grace of life” refer to in 1 Peter 3:7?

My question is pretty straightforward. I'm wondering what "the grace of life" refers to in this verse: Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
361 views

Does the Hebrew in Judges 4:4 explicitly identify Deborah as a woman?

I have no skill at reading Hebrew, so I was using some tool to try and parse the sentence in Judges 4:4. I noticed that the definition given for the second word (אִשָּׁה) is "woman"; but what I'm ...
-3
votes
2answers
247 views

Who is an authority on what can be called a “Bible”? [closed]

(I'm not entirely sure whether this question is in scope of this SE, but this appears to be the SE closest to the issue) In Poland, there is a region called Silesia, which is inhabited by people ...
7
votes
5answers
11k views

What does it mean for someone to be another person's “portion”?

Searching for the word "portion" brings up a lot of results in the Bible. Sometimes it means a portion of food or of money. But what exactly does it mean in the following context: LORD, you alone ...
8
votes
2answers
541 views

Jesus's genealogy: 28 generations or 41 since David?

These questions keep me wondering: Firstly, how is it possible that Matthew and Luke came up with completely different genealogies of Jesus ancestors, if they are both following the masculine line? ...

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