All Questions

14
votes
3answers
4k views

What does it mean that “Scripture interprets Scripture”?

What does the rule that "Scripture interprets Scripture" mean and where does it fit into a larger picture of the field of hermeneutics? What hermeneutical approaches use this as a guiding principle?
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Does Paul refer to his past or present evil/sin in Romans 7

In Romans 7:19, Paul says this: For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. ESV Is Paul talking about "doing evil" in his present, converted state, or ...
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
6answers
739 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 ...
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
276 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
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
268 views

What is the oldest existing copy of Genesis?

This answer What are the oldest surviving manuscripts of the scriptures? mentions the Nash Papyrus which doesn't contain Genesis and the Codex Sinaiticus which does (but that's more than just ...
10
votes
2answers
3k 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, ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the textual evidence for defining “μισέω” as “reject”?

I have heard that μισέω does not necessarily mean hate in the sense of a wrathful detestation, but can also have a judicial sense, i.e. reject. A classic example where this meaning would be applied is ...
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. ...
9
votes
2answers
995 views

Was Abiathar the son of Ahimelech or was Ahimelech the son of Abiathar?

According to the following three verses, Abiathar was the son of Ahimelech: 1 Samuel 22:20. 1 Samuel 23:6. 1 Samuel 30:7. But a couple other passages down the road claim that in fact Ahimelech ...
9
votes
3answers
195 views

How many animals is the King of Zion to ride according to Zechariah?

I've read that Zechariah prophesied that the King of Zion would enter the city on a donkey with another donkey in tow. But the passage seems to indicate just one animal to me: Rejoice greatly, O ...
9
votes
2answers
645 views

What is “Regula Fidei”?

What is "Regula Fidei" and is this principle of interpretation considered obsolete by those who practice the Grammatical Historical approach to hermeneutics or does it survive in some form?
8
votes
5answers
335 views

Why do the Jews in John 8:33 say that they have never been enslaved?

ESV: 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” SBLGNT: 33 ἀπεκρίθησαν πρὸς αὐτόν· Σπέρμα ...
8
votes
1answer
222 views

How should Psalm 22:16 read?

Psalm 22:16 seems textually quite difficult. The NET for example reads: Yes, wild dogs surround me – a gang of evil men crowd around me; like a lion they pin my hands and feet. Yet, they note that ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Does Jesus always use the mustard seed to signify the property of “smallness”?

In Luke, we read: The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Cutting body and pagan tattoos forbidden in Leviticus 19, what pagan group?

There is a curious law in Leviticus that seems to refer to avoiding an ancient pagan rite. Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:28 ...
8
votes
1answer
450 views

Does Luke's supposed profession matter when interpreting his work as an author?

Paul makes reference to a physician named Luke: Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas.—Colossians 4:14 (ESV) Tradition also assigns Luke as author of the gospel that bears ...
8
votes
2answers
986 views

Why did David and Jonathan need the arrow signal?

Just before David left Saul's service for the last time, he and Jonathan arraigned a way to communicate with one another in code: Jonathan, out of his love for David, adjured him again, for he ...
8
votes
4answers
16k 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
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What does “guardian/tutor” mean in Galatians 3:24

Galatians 3:24 reads in the ESV (and several modern translations) So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.ESV In the KJV it reads: ...
7
votes
3answers
157 views

What were the translators of the LXX thinking in rendering “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14?

(Obviously we can not know for certain what they were thinking, but with some knowledge about ancient interpretations of this text and the translation philosophy employed by the LXX, I suspect someone ...
7
votes
3answers
101 views

In Rev 19:16, why is the Name on the Word's thigh and robe?

The fact that the Name is on the Robe makes sense, because that's where the High Priest wore the Breastplate with the 12 Jewels and the Urim and Thummim; and the 12 Jewels are an echo and elaboration ...
7
votes
3answers
363 views

How to save Paul from the Galatians 3 “seed” vs “seeds” argument blunder?

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. How does one rescue Paul from the ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Explanation of Chronological Disparities between St. John and the Synoptic Gospels Concerning Jesus' Passion

Significant chronological disparities exist between St. John's telling of the life and death of Jesus and those of the synoptic gospels. For instance, St. John discusses a lot of Jesus' ministry, ...
7
votes
6answers
694 views

Are there any rules on which things in Revelation must be interpreted literally and which symbolically?

Are there any rules on which things in Revelation must be interpreted literally and which symbolically? The one that comes from the back of my mind is that if a certain thing or a character is already ...
7
votes
2answers
622 views

What is the argument against the authenticity of 1 John 5:7-8 in the KJV?

I was reading through Lee Strobel's The Case for the Real Jesus and came across a passage in the book that indicates the inauthenticity of 1 John 5:7-8 in the King James Version: 1 John 5:7-8 ...
7
votes
1answer
475 views

What about the noncanonical books quoted in Jude?

The book of Jude contains many quotes and references to the Old Testament. However, there are two quotes which seem to be from elsewhere. The first is attributed to The Assumption of Moses. Jude ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are 2 Peter and Jude usually together in commentaries?

It seems pretty standard for commentaries to be written on the combination of 2 Peter and Jude. Obviously they both share the subject matter of false teachers, but I assume there are reasons beyond ...
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
12k views

What Is The Aorist Tense Of A Verb? [closed]

I've read that one of the difficulties of translating New Testament Greek is the presence of the aorist tense of verbs in Greek. I think I understand what is meant by "aorist tense" in that it seems ...
7
votes
1answer
243 views

Can we date Mark without first committing to an interpretation of the Olivet Discourse?

Most scholars believe Mark is the earliest biography of Jesus. (Paul's writings and perhaps one or two other New Testament letters are earlier, but they include very little biographical material ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

What did the blind man from Bethsaida see?

Mark 8:22-26 (ESV): And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and ...
6
votes
2answers
133 views

Who is the lord in Mark 11:3?

In Mark 11, Jesus tells his disciples to fetch a colt and explain to anyone who asks about it that the Lord (ὁ κύριος) needs it: As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at ...
6
votes
1answer
349 views

Which was copied from which: 2 Peter 2 or Jude?

There are many strong similarities in word choice, style, theme, and structure between Jude and 2 Peter 2. For instance: Jude 6  And  the  angels  who  did  not  keep  ...
6
votes
2answers
244 views

In the Peshitta, what is the difference between the original word translated “Sabbath” and that translated “week?”

In Matthew 28:1 of the Aramaic Peshitta text, the word translated "Sabbath" and the word translated "week" appear similar but with slight variation. Does anyone know what the significance is of the ...
6
votes
2answers
235 views

Who are the “divine beings” in Psalm 82?

We read in Psalm 82: I had taken you for divine beings, sons of the Most High, all of you; but you shall die as men do, fall like any prince.—Psalm 82:6–7 (NJPS) Some ...
6
votes
1answer
363 views

Did someone really name their son Fool?

In 1st Samuel 25, we read about Abigail's first husband, who is named Nabal. Near the end of the story, she pleads with David to save his life: My lord should not pay attention to this wicked man ...
6
votes
7answers
4k 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". ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the meaning of “encircled” in Jeremiah 31:22?

Yesterday, I read Jeremiah 31:21-22 (ESV): “Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went. Return, O virgin Israel, ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Who is being slandered in 2 Peter 10b-11?

There are a number of interrelated questions I have arising from 2 Peter 2:10-11. Here are a pair of translations of the relevant verses (emphasis mine): NIV: Bold and arrogant, they are not ...
5
votes
2answers
437 views

Those who believe are “especially” saved?

1 Timothy 4:10 (NET emphasis mine) reads: In fact this is why we work hard and struggle, because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of believers. ...
5
votes
4answers
475 views

How do we reconcile the morality of Deuteronomy 5:9 with 24:16 regarding punishment of children for their father's crime?

The following two passages from Deuteronomy seem to lend themselves to opposing conclusions about the morality of punishing someone for a crime committed by their father: 8“‘You shall not make for ...
5
votes
6answers
962 views

What are the two bronze mountains in Zechariah 6?

I've already asked a broad question about the number two in the book of Zechariah. I've received some helpful input on that and made progress in my own thinking regarding it. However, some of the ...
5
votes
2answers
246 views

Is “puppies” a justifiable translation of κυναρίοις?

Mark 7 contains an odd little story: And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. But ...
5
votes
1answer
613 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
2k views

Comma? “Verily I say unto thee today, …” or “Verily I say unto thee, today…”

The reading of Luke 23:43 differs depending on how we punctuate it: And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. Or And Jesus said unto him, ...
5
votes
3answers
547 views

How should John 1 be interpreted?

The first chapter of the Gospel of John seems to contrast with the rest of the book, in style and purpose. It seems very abstract and poetic, while the rest of John seems to be a more traditional ...

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