7
votes
1answer
210 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
326 views

What is Babylon refering to in the New Testament?

In the New Testament the city of Babylon is mentioned a few times. Notably in the book of Revelation: 6Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to ...
6
votes
1answer
255 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
220 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
210 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
333 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
3k 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
2k 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
1answer
100 views

Did Paul think in Hebrew?

I recently posted a question here regarding a passage in Romans citing a verse in Habakkuk. My understanding is that in this and (all?) other references to Hebrew scripture Paul cites the LXX ...
5
votes
4answers
139 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
775 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
4answers
423 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
784 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
216 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
557 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
1k views

Is 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 an interpolation?

One of the answers to the question about what 1st Corinthians 14:34-35 means suggests that the passage is a later interpolation. From the quote by J.W. Wartick, included in the answer, there are ...
5
votes
4answers
1k 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
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
472 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
103 views

How did a prisoner pay back debt?

How did a prisoner pay back debt in a 1st century prison? In Matthew 18:21-35 there is a prison that debtors go to payback their debts. Is this done by working there? Were some people there already ...
4
votes
3answers
292 views

What is the context in Mark and Luke as regards the buying and preparing of the spices?

I have a question about the context of Mark 16:1 and Luke 23:56 as they relate to the buying and preparing of the burial spices for Jesus of Nazareth. Mark 16:1 (ESV) states: When the Sabbath was ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Gilgal and Beth-aven in Hosea 4:15

Hosea 4:15 (ESV) reads: Though you play the whore, O Israel, let not Judah become guilty. Enter not into Gilgal, nor go up to Beth-aven, and swear not, “As the LORD lives.” What is the ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Who or where is Meroz in Judges 5:23?

We read: “Curse Meroz!” said the angel of the Lord. “Bitterly curse its inhabitants, Because they came not to the aid of the Lord, To the aid of the Lord among the warriors.”—Judges ...
4
votes
3answers
275 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
211 views

What is the original text of Deuteronomy 32:8-9?

4QDeutj "When Elyon gave the nations as an inheritance, when he separated the sons of man, he set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God (bny 'l[hym]). For ...
3
votes
1answer
262 views

How do you know when to understand the Hebrew word עלום (olam) as “eternal” or simply a long duration?

In Gen. 9:16, עלום is translated as "everlasting" in reference to the covenant of the rainbow: וְהָיְתָה הַקֶּשֶׁת בֶּעָנָן וּרְאִיתִיהָ לִזְכֹּר בְּרִית עוֹלָם בֵּין אֱלֹהִים וּבֵין כָּל נֶפֶשׁ ...
3
votes
4answers
985 views

What is the “profound mystery” Paul was speaking of regarding Jesus in Ephesians 5:31-32?

31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
3
votes
1answer
184 views

Is the name Israel intended to be ambiguous?

Jacob is renamed Israel by God as explained in this passage: Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn. When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he ...
3
votes
2answers
215 views

Why is Rahab and not the spies included in the “Hall of Faith”?

Hebrews 11 list a number of people that Hebrews 12:1 calls a "great a cloud of witnesses". Among them are the usual suspects: Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses. But there are also some ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the story behind mourning for Hadad-rimmon in Zechariah 12:11?

Zechariah, like Revelation which draws on it, is a tough nut to crack but very rich. In the twelfth chapter, the prophet records the word of Yahweh that The sorrow and mourning in Jerusalem on ...
2
votes
0answers
93 views

How does the Septuagint differ from the Masoretic text for Isaiah 7:14?

The JPS (1917) reads: Therefore the L-rd Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. But the ESV reads: Therefore ...
2
votes
3answers
187 views

What do we know about Paul's family?

Related to What do we know about Paul's sister? I want to know more information about Paul's family. According to Acts 23:6 Paul's father was a pharisee: But when Paul perceived that the one ...
2
votes
2answers
196 views
2
votes
2answers
176 views

Was casting the lot in Acts 1:26 a vote or a lottery?

When choosing a replacement for Judas, there are two candidates, and in Acts 1:26, we read (ESV): And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven ...
2
votes
3answers
212 views

Apparent inconsistencies in the vision of the four chariots

In Zechariah's vision of four chariots in chapter 6 of his book, an angel tells him that the chariots are going to go to the "four winds of heaven," (verse 5)—in every direction. However, in verse 6, ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

Why aren't the ages when Jacob and Joseph became fathers mentioned?

Of all the generations in Genesis, the age at which each became a father/begot a son/twins were born is almost always shown. The only exceptions are the last two, Jacob and Joseph. Why might that be ...
1
vote
2answers
232 views

Who does Jesus refer to by the phrase “another who testifies about me” in John 5:32?

There is another who testifies about me, and I know that the testimony that he testifies about me is true. ἄλλος ἐστὶν ὁ μαρτυρῶν περὶ ἐμοῦ καὶ οἶδα ὅτι ἀληθής ἐστιν ἡ μαρτυρία ἣν μαρτυρεῖ ...
1
vote
3answers
241 views

Is Hosea 4:11 teaching total abstinence from alcohol?

In Hosea 4:11 (ESV), God seems to condemn drinking wine: They shall eat, but not be satisfied; they shall play the whore, but not multiply, because they have forsaken the Lord to cherish ...
1
vote
2answers
219 views

Was Nathan a false prophet?

After David established himself in Jerusalem, Nathan prophesied: “The Lord declares to you that He, the Lord, will establish a house for you. When your days are done and you lie with your fathers, ...
-1
votes
2answers
402 views

Why is a singular verb used to describe both Moses and Aaron?

Continuing the response to the meta call for contradiction. The following contradiction is invisible in English. It appears in the Hebrew of Exodus 4:29. וַיֵּלֶךְ מֹשֶׁה, וְאַהֲרֹן; ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

What were the historical reasons why the Book of Enoch was excluded from most Christian canons?

According to Wikipedia: By the 4th century, the Book of Enoch was mostly excluded from Christian canons, and it is now regarded as scripture by only the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Eritrean ...
23
votes
7answers
13k 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, ...
20
votes
5answers
1k views

What does the prohibition against women speaking in church in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 mean?

In 1st Corinthians 14:34-35 (NASB), Paul says: 34The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. 35If ...
21
votes
2answers
415 views

What are good contextual clues that a passage is meant to be read as hyperbole?

Today in conversation with an atheist we ran into trouble over this passage in Matthew: Mathew 18:9 (ESV) And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you ...
11
votes
3answers
325 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Is the “captain of the Lord's host” an angel or God Himself?

After Joshua and the people of Israel crossed over the Jordan and before they assaulted Jericho, Joshua had this strange encounter: Once, when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man ...
8
votes
2answers
225 views

Are the 'vessels of wrath' in Romans 9:22 'prepared for' or are they 'preparing themselves for destruction'?

In Romans 9:22, the perfect middle/passive participle κατηρτισμένα could be read in one of two ways: κατηρτισμένα εἰς ἀπώλειαν Middle: 'having prepared themselves for destruction' Passive: 'having ...
6
votes
1answer
362 views

Does the Bible say the Earth is flat?

I have found so much gossip on the Net and no Biblical verses that clearly support the 'flat earth' notion. I know Job spoke of the 'circle of the Earth' and other very interesting aspects of the ...
20
votes
2answers
572 views

Is NWT's translation of John 8:58 reasonable?

I already assumed the opposite in an answer to why there are so many Bible translations, on Christianity.SE. Now that we have an expert community, I'd like to check. The translators of the New World ...
16
votes
2answers
930 views

Why is Genesis careful to record the exact dates of the flood?

Genesis 7:11 (NIV emphasis mine) In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates ...

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