12
votes
3answers
9k views

Why are the Psalms broken into five books?

The Psalms in most English Bibles are divided into five sections or books: 1-41, 42-72, 73-89, 90-106, and 107-150 Psalms 41, 72, and 89 end with the double amen, while 106 and 150 end with "Praise ...
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
4answers
7k 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
205 views

Where, and how, did Josiah die?

The death of Josiah is reported differently in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles. The Kings account is brief: [WEB] 2 Kings 23 : 29 In his days Pharaoh Necoh king of Egypt went up against the king of ...
12
votes
7answers
16k views

What is the significance of 153 fish?

John 21:11 Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Is there any significance to the number 153? Or ...
12
votes
2answers
161 views

Were 1 John and John’s gospel written by the same person?

I’m interested in internal evidence based on the linguistic/stylistic and (if you like) thematic patterns of the two books. I am less interested for the purpose of this question in whether either was ...
12
votes
1answer
443 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
1k 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
6k 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
1answer
282 views

What word best captures the spirit of לִּילִית in Isaiah 34:14?

Isaiah 34:14 in the Masoretic Text is the following: גְשׁוּ צִיִּים אֶת-אִיִּים, וְשָׂעִיר עַל-רֵעֵהוּ יִקְרָא; אַךְ-שָׁם הִרְגִּיעָה לִּילִית, וּמָצְאָה לָהּ מָנוֹח Here, לִּילִית is supposedly ...
12
votes
1answer
98 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
150 views

Are there any hermeneutics principles that can be related to scientific principles?

Do any principles commonly used in the field of hermeneutics have any counterparts in scientific principles? Is there a corollary in hermeneutics to the requirements that science demands as far as the ...
11
votes
6answers
7k 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
4answers
2k views

Why was Barabbas in prison?

It seems that there are varying accounts of the problems with Barabbas. John 18:40 Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber. Another in Mark: ...
11
votes
3answers
407 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. ...
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
2answers
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 ...
11
votes
5answers
10k views

Why does Paul get annoyed with the slave girl in Acts 16?

The story in Acts 16 of the demon-possessed slave girl is a curious story to me for many reasons. If it's better to break up my questions into several, I can do so; but for now I'd like to keep them ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the ending of the Gospel of Mark (16:9-20) original?

Some scholars believe that the ending of Mark is unoriginal due to it appearing to have a different style and the fact that it's missing from some key manuscripts. At the same time, several early ...
11
votes
3answers
346 views

Was the Revelation written in code to hide it from the Romans?

Several years ago I was intrigued with the Revelation, and began a study. Of particular interest to me was the use of symbolism. Within that study the symbolism became understandable in relation to ...
11
votes
6answers
11k 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
2k 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
4answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
241 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
5answers
10k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
154 views

How did Aaron avoid Pharaoh?

The famous story of Moses in Exodus 2 shows how, as a baby, he avoided Pharaoh's demand that baby boys be put to death. Maybe it is somewhere in the text and I've missed it, but I'm wondering how ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

Why pray, “lead us not into temptation”?

Those famous words from The Lord's Prayer, Matthew 6:13: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. I find puzzling. Why would anyone ask God not to lead is into ...
11
votes
7answers
3k views

Why does Noah curse Canaan?

Genesis 9:23-25 NLT, reads, Then Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, and backed into the tent to cover their father. As they did this, they looked the other way so they ...
11
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
7k views

Why should an altar be made with uncut stone?

God told Moses that the altar must be made of unhewn stones: And if you make for Me an altar of stones, do not build it of hewn stones; for by wielding your tool upon them you have profaned ...
11
votes
1answer
224 views

Does baptizing come after discipling in Matthew 28:19?

Matthew 28:19 (ESV) reads: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, In the Greek, (according to Blue ...
11
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

How does Jesus' argument from David and the show bread work?

Jesus defended his disciples gleaning on the Sabbath by retelling a story about David. Mark 2:23-28 (ESV): One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Is Leviticus 12 saying that giving birth to a child is a sin?

I was reading Leviticus and saw that a woman, after she gives birth, would be unclean. Leviticus 12:1-2 (NIV) 1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Say to the Israelites: ‘A woman who becomes pregnant ...
11
votes
1answer
437 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?
11
votes
2answers
68 views

Use of “I, even I” and similar phrases

Looking at Ezekiel 6:3 as an example, this sort of phrasing has always intrigued me: and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD! Thus says the Lord GOD to the mountains and ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

David and Goliath: David's Reasons For Fighting

From 1 Samuel 17: 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 Whenever the ...
11
votes
3answers
8k views

What is the third heaven that Paul mentions in 2 Corinthians 12:2?

2 Corinthians 12:2 (NIV) 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. What is ...
11
votes
2answers
287 views

Why isn't there a taxonomic distinction between clean and unclean birds?

Leviticus 11:13-19 has a list of non-kosher birds that match a list in Deuteronomy 14:11-18 (NJPS): You may eat any clean bird. The following you may not eat: the eagle, the vulture, and the black ...
11
votes
2answers
274 views

Did Jephthah have pets?

Judges 11:29-40 tells the story of Jephthah's victory over the Ammonites. Before the battle he promises, "whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

Revelation 21:21 - How can gold appear clear?

"And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass." (Revelation 21:21 NASB) How are we to ...
11
votes
3answers
340 views

Where does the “slippery slope” of allegorical interpretations start?

Besides the Grammatical Historical Approach to hermeneutics, various allegorical or metaphorical approaches exist. It seems to me that if you approach a text with the assumption that the whole thing ...
11
votes
2answers
375 views

What is the “systematic typology” hermeneutic method and how does it work?

There's a hermeneutic method that's been used on this site called "systematic typology". What is it? How does one apply it? Are there contexts where it is considered to be a particularly good or ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between historical-grammatical and historical criticism?

The historical-grammatical method and historical criticism are both hermeneutical approaches seeking to uncover the original meaning of the text. What is the difference between the two?
11
votes
1answer
205 views

“dancing” or “beat time with his feet” in 2 Samuel 6:14?

Frank Garlock says in his The Language of Music that 2 Samuel 6:14: Enthusiasts of contemporary Christian music and Christian Rock sometimes cite the Old Testament scripture where David led the ...
11
votes
7answers
4k views

Why was Elijah so afraid of Jezebel that he fled immediately after performing a great miracle?

In 1 Kings 18, verse 16 onwards we read that Elijah performed a miracle. He prays to God and brings fire down from heaven to consume the sacrifice. He is shown as a courageous prophet who is not ...
11
votes
2answers
699 views

How consistent were Augustine's hermeneutics?

St. Augustine of Hippo seems to have had considerable influence on the field of hermeneutics. His work in the field seems to be a bit of a landmark in the history of how hermeneutics is done. However ...
11
votes
1answer
313 views

Quotations in 1 Corinthians 6:13

I've noticed that in the 2011 NIV more of 1 Corinthians 6:13 is considered part of a quotation than in the 1984 version. Obviously Greek did not use quotation marks—so what hints are there for ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Who is the woman in Revelation 12?

She is introduced: A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.—Revelation 12:1 (NIV) Who is the ...

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