10
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9k 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. ...
10
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3answers
1k views

Is the ending of the Gospel of Mark (16:9-20) original?

Some scholars believe that the ending of Mark is unoriginal due to it appearing to have a different style and the fact that it's missing from some key manuscripts. At the same time, several early ...
10
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3answers
432 views

Does John 7:15 mean Jesus was untaught?

John 7:15 (ESV): The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning,1 when he has never studied?” The footnote is: 7:15 Or this man knows his letters So there ...
10
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3answers
7k views

Translation of “abba” (Αββα, אבא)

What is the best English translation of abba (Greek: Αββα, Aramaic: אבא) such as in Romans 8:15? What are its senses in the original languages, and are those best captured by father, dad, daddy, or ...
10
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6answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
223 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 ...
10
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4answers
2k views

What exactly was the “death in the pot”

2 Kings 4:38-41 (NIV) .. One of them .. found a wild vine and picked ... its gourds ... he cut them up into the pot of stew... they cried out, “Man of God, there is death in the pot!” And ...
10
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3answers
239 views

Was the Revelation written in code to hide it from the Romans?

Several years ago I was intrigued with the Revelation, and began a study. Of particular interest to me was the use of symbolism. Within that study the symbolism became understandable in relation to ...
10
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3answers
225 views

In Luke 1:62 it states they made signs for Zechariah but he could hear just not speak so why make signs?

New International Version Luke 1:62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. Why did they make signs as he could hear what they were saying. The Bible ...
10
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2answers
172 views

Does Rashi's interpretation of Jephthah's fate hold water?

When Rashi looks back on the life of Jephthah, he notes: Jephthah was afflicted with boils and dismemberment as it is stated, (below 12:7) “And he was buried in the cities [pl.] of Gilead.” (His ...
10
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3answers
16k views

Why was Abishag the Shunammite important?

When we shift from Samuel to Kings, we start with this fairly benign story: King David was now old, advanced in years; and though they covered him with bedclothes, he never felt warm. His ...
10
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2answers
824 views

Is the Greek of “you” in Mathew 18 singular or plural and what does this say about who is granted authority?

I don't know very much Greek at all, but I'm very curious about the translation of the word "you" in Matthews gospel. In Matthew 16:19 he seems to be speaking directly to Peter when using the word ...
10
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3answers
4k views

Who are the morning stars in Job 38:7?

In Job 38:7 (ESV), Jehovah claims that the cornerstone of the earth was laid when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy implying that the morning stars were ...
10
votes
2answers
177 views

Are the angels in 2 Peter 2:11 good or evil?

In chapter 2 of 2 Peter, angelic beings, who "do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment..." are contrasted with 'false teachers' (also referred to as 'the unrighteous'), who "do not tremble as they ...
10
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2answers
964 views

How Is the Date of Composition of the Gospels Estimated?

So considering that the oldest copies of the gospels are dated to around 400 AD (I'm thinking of the Codex Sinaiticus), how do scholars go about estimating the date of composition of the gospels? I ...
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
171 views

Is there any research that challenges the standard definition of 'προορίζω' (predestine)? [closed]

The definition of προορίζω in the Enhanced Strong's Lexicon is: 4309 Six occurrences; AV translates as “predestinate” four times, “determine before” once, and “ordain” once. 1 to predetermine, ...
10
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1answer
2k views

What are the seven middoth (Hillel's rules for interpretation)?

The "middoth" were Rabbi Hillel's rules for interpretation. There are seven of them. What are they? Please list them and include one or two clear examples for each.
10
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3answers
4k 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 ...
10
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4answers
6k views

What does “put the branch to their nose” in Ezekiel 8:17 mean?

Reading Ezekiel 8 in the ESV I came across verse 17 today and was puzzled by phrase there: Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations that they commit here, that ...
10
votes
2answers
871 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
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1answer
6k 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 ...
10
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5answers
3k views

Why “Inn” for “Kataluma” in Luke 2:7

Luke 2:7 translates "kataluma" as "inn". But in Luke 22:11 the same word is used for what seems to be a personal residence: 11 And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith ...
10
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1answer
1k views

“Until they see the kingdom of God” in Luke 9:27 and parallels

What are the possible interpretations of "will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God"? Which is most likely correct? Luke 9:27: But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those ...
10
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2answers
209 views

How can this contradiction in Acts be explained?

These two chapters of Acts tell the story of Paul's meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus but appear to be inconsistent: And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a ...
10
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2answers
227 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 ...
10
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2answers
649 views

What is a Horizon of Understanding and how can it be applied to understanding the Bible?

Hans-Georg Gadamer uses Horizons of Understanding as a model for communication, and the concept of fusion of horizons is sometimes put forth as a way of explaining how one can approach a "text", but ...
10
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4answers
4k views

What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?

Mark 3:20-30 contains a familiar passage with a long debated phrase: 3:20 Now Jesus went home, and a crowd gathered so that they were not able to eat. 21 When his family heard this they went out ...
10
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2answers
707 views

What does it mean to “receive the kingdom of God like a little child?”

The story of the little children coming to Jesus in Matthew 19, Mark 10, and Luke 18 is, of course, well know. And most often I have heard it interpreted that the kingdom requires faith like a child. ...
10
votes
1answer
988 views

Exodus 6:3 - what is the significance of God's different names in the Tanakh?

Exodus 6:3: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob by the name of God Almighty, but by My name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. (KJV) This is a strange and unique verse in the ...
10
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3answers
2k views

What is the sign of the Son of Man?

What is the sign of the Son of Man spoken of in Matthew 24:30?— At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Was there an eclipse just before Jesus died?

I know that there is quite a bit of information about the possibility of an eclipse at the time of Jesus' execution. But none of the accounts actually mention why there was darkness: And when the ...
10
votes
2answers
533 views

What is the evidence for the existence of the Q document?

According to most scholars, Mark was the first of the four gospels to be written. Matthew and Luke then relied upon Mark and a second written source called Q. What is the evidence for the existence of ...
10
votes
3answers
709 views

How can we understand 1 Corinthians 12 without contradiction

To my reading, 1 Corinthians 12:4-30 could be summed up as: "Be content with the gifts/role God has given you because in his sight all the functions of the body of Christ are of equal importance". ...
10
votes
2answers
95 views

How many daughters did Lot have, two or four?

When we read the KJV we get the impression that Lot possibly had daughters living with their husbands in Sodom, in addition to two unmarried daughters still living at home: "And Lot went out, and ...
10
votes
2answers
98 views

Who is 'us' in 2 Peter 1

Peter switches from 'us' to 'you' in 1:4: 3His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and ...
10
votes
2answers
6k views

What does Jesus mean by “vain repetition” or “babbling” in Matthew 6:7?

What ancient tradition of prayer is Jesus critical of in Matthew 6:7? In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. (NABRE) But ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Did Jesus not heal the crippled beggar at the gate Beautiful?

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was ...
10
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1answer
536 views

Structuralism's influence on Biblical interpretation

What is the structuralist view of literary criticism, and how has structural literary theory influenced modern approaches to Biblical interpretation?
10
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2answers
269 views

“which translated means…”

I am told that many scholars believe that the words of Jesus which we have presented to us in Greek were originally spoken in Aramaic. What confuses me then is why there are instances in the Greek ...
10
votes
2answers
968 views

How can I identify puns in the Hebrew Bible?

The Bible sometimes uses words with multiple meanings to the effect of an intentional pun or wordplay. Punning seems especially common in Hebrew. I think that being aware of these literary devices ...
10
votes
1answer
188 views

How did Joanna “get away with” sponsoring Jesus' ministry?

Luke 8:1-3 Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ καθεξῆς καὶ αὐτὸς διώδευεν κατὰ πόλιν καὶ κώμην κηρύσσων καὶ εὐαγγελιζόμενος τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ οἱ δώδεκα σὺν αὐτῷ, 2 καὶ γυναῖκές τινες αἳ ἦσαν ...
10
votes
2answers
194 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Who is being “taken” in Matthew 24:40-41?

Matthew 24:40-41 (ESV) Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding oat at the mill; one will be taken and one left. One of the interpretations ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Are bats described as birds?

Leviticus 11:13,19 reads: And these you shall detest among the birds . . . the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture . . . and the bat. (ESV translation) Does the bible describe bats as ...
9
votes
4answers
911 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
697 views

Whose blood is on the white rider's robe?

The vision in Revelation 19:11 and following describes a rider on a white horse making war against the nations. While introducing the rider, verse 13 mentions, "He is dressed in a robe dipped in ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Are Job's friends the voice of the Accuser?

I have often struggled with the book of Job, wondering what rubric should guide my interpretation as I read through the speeches of Job's "friends". They say so much that is "true" (so much that ...
9
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
375 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 ...

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