3
votes
2answers
597 views

What does Paul mean by “if we preach…contrary to [ourselves]”?

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
205 views

How do Revelation 19 and 20 relate to one another?

I know some people think that the visions in Revelation 20 are a chronological continuation of the one at the end of chapter 19, while others think that the visions in chapter 20 are a re-framing and ...
2
votes
1answer
141 views

How did the proverb about Saul and the prophets come about?

I asked a previous question about Saul and the prophets in 1st Samuel 10:9-13, but now I've read on and I see an alternate origin story: David made good his escape, and he came to Samuel at Ramah ...
2
votes
2answers
348 views

Is interpretation and application of the Bible dynamic?

For example, take a Bible passage X, which is in debate about how literally it should be applied. Say we have person A and person B—in completely different life situations. Is it possible ...
6
votes
3answers
319 views

Who are the “children”, “fathers” and “young men” addressed in 1 John 2?

2 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. ... 12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake. 13 I am ...
4
votes
3answers
689 views

Does the phrase “born of water and the Spirit” refer to one, or two births?

In John 3:5, Jesus says that we must be "born of water and the Spirit". Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of ...
7
votes
1answer
336 views

How many and who were the people the women found at Jesus' tomb?

In the empty tomb stories, somebody was already there when the women arrived. But how many people and who were they? For reference: Mark: a young man Matthew: an angel of the Lord Luke: two men ...
6
votes
2answers
998 views

Did Luke use Josephus as a source?

Richard Carrier summarizes an argument made by Steve Mason in his book Josephus and the New Testament that Luke knew of Josephus' Jewish War (79 CE) and Jewish Antiquities (94 CE). At it's core, the ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Are good works supposed to be seen or not?

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches his disciples, saying, "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
364 views

Is the ESV rendering “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever” in Genesis 6:3 accurate?

I am reading through Genesis in the ESV for the first time and was struck by some unfamiliar wording in Genesis 6:3. It reads: "My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Why, in Ezekiel 28, is the King of Tyre conflated with Lucifer?

Most of what Christians know about Lucifer comes from Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. Especially in Ezekiel, however, the oracles are clearly addressed to the King of Tyre. 11 The word of the LORD came ...
3
votes
3answers
364 views

Is “Children of Israel” the only way to read Deuteronomy 32:8?

I asked a Jew and this is what she said: As for Deut 32:8, there is not a single Hebrew text that does not say 'bnei Yisrael'. Every Jewish translation of this verse says children [or sons] ...
15
votes
2answers
4k 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
327 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
700 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
782 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
993 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
4k 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
2k 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
133 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
75 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
112 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
339 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
608 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
801 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
429 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
11k 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. ...
6
votes
3answers
180 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
158 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. ...
8
votes
2answers
3k 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
876 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
979 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
451 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
226 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
646 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
560 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
873 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
216 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
16k 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
629 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
217 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
2k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
736 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 ...

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