15
votes
5answers
2k views

What role does the Holy Spirit play in hermeneutics?

Christians believe that they have an indwelling of the Holy Spirit who acts as a counselor and guide, enabling them to rightly understand God's word. How does the role of the Holy Spirit in ...
18
votes
5answers
14k views

What's wrong with cooking a kid in its mother's milk?

In the Pentateuch there are at least three repetitions of the following prohibition: Exodus 23:19b (ESV) You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk. Exodus 34:26b (ESV) You ...
6
votes
2answers
349 views

Can we use “linguistic fingerprints” to identify different authors of the Bible?

I read, what was to me, quite an interesting blog post about different authors' contributing to different parts of the bible measured by analysing "linguistic fingerprints": For millions of Jews ...
6
votes
7answers
5k views

How did mankind's way of relating to God change in Genesis 4:26?

At the end of Chapter 4 of Genesis there is a statement in verse 26, "It was then that men began to invoke the Lord by name." Other translations have "call on the name" or "worship the LORD by name". ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Does Genesis say where evil came from? [closed]

The first hint of evil in the Tanakh seems to come in Genesis 3:1 (NJPS): Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild beasts that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really ...
7
votes
3answers
862 views

What is the relationship between the “Adversary” in Job and the serpent in Genesis?

An individual named the Adversary appears in Job 1:6-12 (NJPS): One day the divine beings presented themselves before the Lord, and the Adversary came along with them. The Lord said to the ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

How should we understand the “Cleansing of the Temple”?

As a preface, I was talking with some good friends last night and this passage came up. On of my friends contributed an interpretation that made my blood boil. He was clearly wrong and clearly ...
9
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
24
votes
8answers
7k views

What does “image” in Genesis 1:26-27 mean?

Genesis 1:26-27 (ESV) 26Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Did Jesus have the legal authority to cleanse the temple?

The narrative of Jesus' cleansing of the temple is present in all four gospels: Mark 11:15-17, Matthew 21:12-13, Luke 19:45-46, John 2:13-17. When He cleanses the temple, there does not seem to be any ...
10
votes
1answer
150 views

Is the Hymn To Wisdom in Job 28 a part of Job's speech?

I noticed that in the 2011 NIV, Job 28 is marked off as an interlude as does not appear in quotation marks; whereas in the 1984 NIV, the text appears in quotation marks and is considered a part of ...
4
votes
2answers
393 views

Did Jonah expect to die when he was thrown overboard?

In Chapter 1 of Jonah there is the familiar scene of him on the boat with the pagan sailors in the midst of a deadly storm. Jonah tells the men, "Pick me up and throw me into the sea, and it will ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there an English equivalent for Nephilim of Genesis 6:4?

Genesis 6:4 (NIV)Emphasis added The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

How did the Thanksgiving offering work?

A thanksgiving offering is mentioned in Leviticus 7:11-15 (NJPS): This is the ritual of the sacrifice of well-being that one may offer to the Lord: If he offers it for thanksgiving, he shall ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the difference in response between Zechariah and Mary?

In Luke 1, we read very similar accounts of two births foretold. In the first, the angel Gabriel tells Zechariah that his wife Elizabeth will bear a son to be named John. In the second, Mary is told ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

When was the book of Joel written?

The word of the LORD that came to Joel the son of Pethuel. Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or in the days of your fathers? Tell ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is Moses' reference to God's promise in Exodus 32 effective?

Exodus 32:9-14 (NIV quoted): 9 “I have seen these people,” the LORD said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. 10 Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may ...
12
votes
1answer
5k 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, ...
11
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

At what point did Abraham know he was talking to God in Genesis 18?

At the start of the story in Genesis 18, Abraham does not seem to know who the three men are: Looking up, he saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them, he ran from the entrance of ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Was Noah absolutely blameless or relatively good?

This is the line of Noah.—Noah was a righteous man; he was blameless in his age; Noah walked with God.—Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth became corrupt ...
12
votes
2answers
17k views

Jacob's name is Israel. So why is he still called Jacob?

When born, Jacob is given the name "Jacob" meaning, "trickster, supplanter, heel grabber." After he wrestles at Jabbok, he is renamed "Israel" meaning "strives with God." However, after this ...
9
votes
2answers
479 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
884 views

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

One way of reading Gen 1:1 with its 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
756 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]. ...
4
votes
0answers
1k 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, ...
9
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
201 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
515 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] ...
6
votes
1answer
413 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
863 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
712 views

What does Cain say to Abel in Genesis 4:8?

The Masoretic version of Genesis 4:8 reads as follows: וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן, אֶל-הֶבֶל אָחִיו; וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹתָם בַּשָּׂדֶה, וַיָּקָם קַיִן אֶל-הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיַּהַרְגֵהוּ. And Cain said to his ...
2
votes
1answer
7k views

Does Exodus 22:28 call for child sacrifice?

In Genesis, we see a motif of first-born sons being overly aggressive and ambitious. Kain slays Abel out of a jealous wrath. Firstborn Esau and Jacob have a long-running rivalry that ends with Jacob ...
1
vote
1answer
754 views

Why does God warn Moses to not allow the priests or the people to approach Sinai?

In Exodus 19, God describes a number of preparations that Moses should make before He will descend to the top of Mount Sinai. One of them is to cordon off an area around the mountain: You shall ...
6
votes
3answers
595 views

Did Joshua execute innocents?

We read that Achan confessed his sin of taking spoil that was proscribed for the Lord: Achan answered Joshua, “It is true, I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I did: I ...
6
votes
2answers
620 views

Is “wept on his neck” a Hebrew idiom?

In a number of places, the English Standard Version uses a phrase like "wept on his neck," e.g. Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. —Genesis ...
13
votes
1answer
859 views

How can we determine if a text is sarcastic?

What hermeneutical principles help in understanding whether a particular passage is to be understood as sarcastic? For instance, Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! ...
6
votes
1answer
878 views

Did Lot or the men of Sodom recognize Lot's visitors as angels?

When the two angels arrive in Sodom in Genesis 19, Lot seems to immediately recognize them as such. He bows down to them, calls them "My lords", and invites them into "your servant's house." When the ...
5
votes
2answers
172 views

Are the rings for carrying the incense altar pure gold?

In Exodus we read about the structure of the altar for burning incense: You shall make an altar for burning incense; make it of acacia wood. It shall be a cubit long and a cubit wide—it ...
5
votes
2answers
716 views

Sacrificing and kissing calves in Hosea 13:2

Reading Hosea 13:2 ESV, I found myself confused: And now they sin more and more, and make for themselves metal images, idols skillfully made of their silver, all of them the work of craftsmen. It ...
6
votes
1answer
250 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

What does the Old Testament phrase 'cut off from their people' mean?

What does the Old Testament phrase 'cut off from their people' mean? I have often read it, but am having difficulty imaganing how it may have actually been practiced? If it was determined that so and ...
4
votes
0answers
168 views

Does the New Testament use of Abba to address God signify a more intimate relationship than found in the Tanakh?

Yesterday's sermon at the church we visited was about Father's Day and referenced this passage: And [Jesus] said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not ...
4
votes
2answers
694 views

What is special about the Feast of Tabernacles in Zechariah 14?

In his closing vision of the end-times prosperity of the people of God, Zechariah writes, Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Interpretation of Genesis 1:26?

I am under the impression that the Trinity is a Christian idea, and that the Jews did not view God as "three in one and one in three". How, then, was the following passage interpreted by the people ...
10
votes
2answers
17k views

What exactly did Moses do wrong at Meribah?

We read that God commanded Moses to speak to the rock at Meribah so that water could flow out of it. Instead, Moses struck the rock with his staff: Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly ...
7
votes
2answers
282 views

Does the communion cup emphasize the vessel or the drink?

Paul's account of the institution of the Lord's supper mentions the cup, but not the contents of the cup: For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the ...

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