16
votes
3answers
2k 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?
15
votes
8answers
17k views

What are the teraphim (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 ...
15
votes
3answers
15k views

Did Ruth uncover Boaz' feet, or something else?

Naomi advises Ruth as follows, in Ruth 3: One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home[a] for you, where you will be well provided for. 2 Now Boaz, with whose ...
15
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
529 views

Was there precedent for John to link the satan and the serpent?

In Revelation 20:2, John links the satan and the serpent: He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. A couple preliminary ...
15
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
729 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, ...
15
votes
2answers
834 views

Could Philippians 4:3 refer to Paul's wife?

Philippians 4:3 reads: ναὶ ἐρωτῶ καὶ σέ, γνήσιε σύζυγε*, συνλαμβάνου αὐταῖς, αἵτινες ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ συνήθλησάν μοι μετὰ καὶ Κλήμεντος καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν συνεργῶν μου, ὧν τὰ ὀνόματα ἐν βίβλῳ ζωῆς. (...
15
votes
4answers
18k 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
50k 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
798 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
12k views

How does the act of “foot washing” lead to the act of “sexual intercourse”?

In 2 Samuel chapter 11,after King David had slept with Uriah's wife Bathsheba we read in 11:5, The woman conceived and sent word to David,saying,"I am pregnant." David's response to the news ...
15
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
26k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
19k 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 (...
15
votes
2answers
949 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

Translation of “Selah” (סֶלָה‎)

What is the current scholarly opinion on the possible translations for "Selah" (סֶלָה‎) as used in the Psalms?
15
votes
3answers
690 views

Did Jesus read minds or perceive them?

In this passage, most English translations say "knowing their thoughts". In the footnote it says "perceiving" their thoughts. I feel like this is a pretty monumental difference as perceiving thoughts ...
15
votes
6answers
11k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
16k 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) ...
15
votes
3answers
165 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
585 views

Why didn't Naomi know Ruth? (Ruth 3:16)

In the well-known story of Ruth, the eponymous character (Ruth!) is daughter-in-law to Naomi. As the story progresses, Naomi comes to believe that Ruth has a chance of finding "security" with Boaz, a ...
14
votes
4answers
5k 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?
14
votes
5answers
10k views

Can we tell from the text who wrote Hebrews?

I have pondered who wrote Hebrews for some time. In my studies, I have eliminated Paul for two reasons. 1) The style of Greek is different than the way Paul writes in his letters. It's a higher ...
14
votes
5answers
12k views

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

(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 ...
14
votes
4answers
7k views

Is Deuteronomy 22:28 talking about rape?

Some folks assert that this passage describes the Torah's sole punishment for rape: If a man comes upon a virgin who is not engaged and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are discovered, ...
14
votes
4answers
1k 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 day....
14
votes
2answers
330 views

How can we determine the author's intent in listing various ages in Genesis?

I believe some of the ages given in Genesis are historical, but am one of many who happens to think the earliest ages might be symbolic (example source). If this were to be the case that leaves us ...
14
votes
8answers
7k views

What is “the gift of God” in Eph 2:8

This answer on C.SE referenced Eph 2:8-9 to support the idea that faith comes from God. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a ...
14
votes
5answers
9k 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 says...", ...
14
votes
3answers
5k views

How many people were involved in the Exodus?

According to Numbers 1:20-46 (NJPS): They totaled as follows: The descendants of Reuben, Israel’s first-born, the registration of the clans of their ancestral house, as listed by name, head by ...
14
votes
4answers
3k 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, ...
14
votes
2answers
14k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
10k 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, ...
14
votes
7answers
45k 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 was ...
14
votes
4answers
339 views

The lexicology of Pharaoh's heart

In the narrative of Exodus 4-14 (spanning from the time of Moses's initial assignment until the crossing of the Red Sea), there are three different verbs used to describe the action against and/or the ...
14
votes
7answers
6k views

What does Paul mean by “unworthy manner” in 1 Corinthians 11:27-32?

In 1 Corinthians 11:27-32 (NKJV) : 27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man ...
14
votes
5answers
474 views

What is the meaning of “husband of one wife” in 1 Timothy 3:2?

In 1 Timothy 3:2 we read: Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife (ESV) The ESV note that goes with the last phrase says, "Or a man of one woman." I'm aware of a ...
14
votes
3answers
10k views

What is the meaning of “violence” in Matthew 11:12?

In Matthew 11:12, Jesus said, "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." Luke 16:16 is often given as a companion ...
14
votes
4answers
253 views

What is the third Commandment referring to?

In Exodus 20:7 we read (what is commonly considered to be) the third Commandment: You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His ...
13
votes
3answers
931 views

Is there any reason to think that Mark 7:19 has a later addition?

This is Mark 7:19 from the NIV: For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) Every time I see a ...
13
votes
5answers
320 views

Did Jonah actually die in the whale?

I know the common understanding is that Jonah waited, alive and conscious, in the belly of the whale until he was spat out. Has a euphemized "children's version" become accepted truth? Perhaps we can ...
13
votes
1answer
602 views

Proper translation of John 1:1

Is there any particular reason why "kai Theós ēn ho Lógos" is translated "and the Word was God" and not "and God was the Word"?
13
votes
6answers
6k views

Why was Jesus going to walk past the disciples as they were rowing on the Sea of Galilee?

Mark records the famous walking-on-water miracle: Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And after he ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Is Paul's visit to Jerusalem detailed in Galatians 2 the Jerusalem Council?

Paul details a meeting with Peter, James and John in Galatians 2:1-10 (ESV): Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up because of ...
13
votes
5answers
16k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
323 views

Why does the Greek Septuagint of Genesis 34:3 refer to Dinah as a virgin?

In relation to a question, Does Isaiah 7:14 refer to a virgin? καὶ προσέσχεν τῇ ψυχῇ Δινας τῆς θυγατρὸς Ιακωβ καὶ ἠγάπησεν τὴν παρθένον καὶ ἐλάλησεν κατὰ τὴν διάνοιαν τῆς παρθένου αὐτῇ Greek ...

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