All Questions

23
votes
7answers
15k views

What does it mean to be “born of water”?

In John 3:5, Jesus tells Nicodemus that to enter the kingdom one must be "born of water and the Spirit". How is this phrase understood? Is it a single construct (i.e. one birth of both water and ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

How can we understand “fear”?

It seems that (throughout the Bible), we have been told to "not fear" but also to "fear God". How can we understand this word "fear" in these two contexts? If this word in these two contexts carries ...
20
votes
2answers
701 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
372 views

How does Canon Criticism relate to the concept of a Gesamtbiblische Theologie?

It is my understanding that Brevard Childs's so-called canonical (or canon) criticism places an emphasis on looking at the Bible as a complete work. This reminds me of the concept of a Gesamtbiblische ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

“Sealed” (ἐσφραγίσθητε) in Eph. 1:13

Eph. 1:13 (NASB) says: In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, What ...
22
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 ...
17
votes
3answers
970 views

Understanding Numbers 11:25

As I am studying, I have encountered different renderings of the last phrase in this verse, which describes the prophesying of the seventy elders of Israel after the Spirit was placed on them. An ...
10
votes
2answers
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
votes
1answer
613 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?
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Arguments for early/late date of authorship of Daniel

What are the most significant arguments for an early date of authorship of Daniel (6th century BC)? What are the primary arguments for a late date (2nd century BC)?
33
votes
4answers
3k views

Does the Bible mention unicorns?

I was reading Psalm 22 (from this question) and I found this verse: Psalms 22:21 (KJV) Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. When I switched ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

Pre-Christian, Jewish interpretation of Psalm 22

How was Psalm 22 understood by Jewish tradition before the birth of Jesus? Was it interpreted messianically? What pre-Christian sources discuss Psalm 22?
12
votes
4answers
6k views

What does “Jealous” mean in Exodus 34:14?

Most translations seem to agree that "Jealous" is the best translation for this passage. For example: Exodus 34:14 (NASB) —for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is ...
7
votes
1answer
779 views

Primary components of lexical-syntactical analysis

What is lexical-syntactical analysis as it applies to Biblical hermeneutics? What are the primary steps involved in a lexical-syntactical analysis of a Biblical passage?
9
votes
1answer
511 views

Justify (δικαιόω) in James 2:24, Romans 3:28

James 2:24 says: You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. Romans 3:28 says: For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. What are ...
11
votes
3answers
242 views

When the Bible says “the world”, does that only include Eurasia and Africa?

I've heard this argument a few different times for different verses. (Unfortunately, I can't remember exactly which verses as that would strengthen this question quite a bit.) However, the argument ...
10
votes
3answers
897 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
3answers
4k views

Forgive us our “debts”? “sins”? “trespasses”? Which is the most accurate translation?

It seems that there are three popular versions of this passage in the Lord's prayer. "Forgive us our sins", "Forgive us our debts", and "Forgive us our trespasses". I see one version here in the ...
8
votes
1answer
7k views

What is “verbal plenary inspiration” and to what texts does it apply?

What is the "verbal plenary" view of the inspiration of Scripture and to what texts is it considered to apply? What hermeneutical approaches hold this view and how does it affect the way they ...
13
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What was Eve's role in relation to Adam?

The role of Eve in relation to Adam is dramatically changed by the interpretation of the sections I have bolded below, from Genesis 2:18: The verse as most people learned it: And the Lord God ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Did Jesus sweat blood?

Luke 22:44 (NIV) And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Was this a literal thing--did he actually sweat drops of blood. Is ...
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?
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?
23
votes
5answers
2k views

Is “kill” a valid translation for Exodus 20:13 (Thou shalt not kill)?

Exodus 20:13 (KJV) Thou shalt not kill. Many political statements have been made about this verse. This translation has been used by many to support their pacifist desires. However, it seems ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the “fourfold sense of Scripture”?

During the Patristic Period in the Middle Ages practiced an exegetical tactic known as the fourfold sense of Scripture. What are these four senses and do these ideas about the nature of Scripture ...
11
votes
2answers
705 views

How consistent were Augustine's hermeneutics?

St. Augustine of Hippo seems to have had considerable influence on the field of hermeneutics. His work in the field seems to be a bit of a landmark in the history of how hermeneutics is done. However ...
4
votes
4answers
694 views

Which hermeneutical approaches support a literal interpretation of the Creation account?

I had always been told that a day meant 24 hours, but a systematic theology textbook I read disputed that pretty well. (Please do not address this item in particular. This isn't the question I'm ...
15
votes
2answers
8k views

Was “Τετέλεσται” actually stamped on paid bills and debt certificates in the first century?

I've often heard some really cool explanations around the meaning for the greek word Τετέλεσται in the New Testament where Jesus said, "It is Finished". I love what I've heard, and have even preached ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Is John 7:53-8:11 original to John's gospel?

I've read several recent commentaries on John 8 and all agree that the story of the woman caught in adultery almost certainly wasn't there in the original manuscript. Is it original?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What was destroyed in Galatians 2:18?

In Galatians 2:18, Paul writes, "If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker." What is he referring to when he mentions rebuilding what was destroyed and how does that answer the ...
15
votes
7answers
7k views

Jesus' command to hate your father and mother in Luke 14:26

I've often heard that Luke 14:26 is meant to be interpreted as "Love me more than your family" or something along those lines (in fact, the CEV translates it as such). I'm interested in how scholars ...
8
votes
1answer
147 views

Has Pesharim left any mark on modern hermeneutics?

I understand that the Qumran monastic community—those primarily responsible for having collected and preserved the Dead Sea Scrolls and other works—endorsed the Pesharim approach to scriptural ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

What is “Midrash” and how does it relate to Christian principles of hermeneutics?

What is the Midrash method of interpreting a Biblical verse and what application does it have in Christian studies as a hermeneutic principle?
12
votes
4answers
7k views

What is meant by “Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire”?

In Revelation 20:14 (ESV) we read: "Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire." The concept of "fire" is used multiple times in the New ...
30
votes
8answers
2k views

How do Jewish scholars differ from Christian scholars in their approach to the Tanakh?

What are the characteristic differences between how Jewish scholarship approaches the text of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and that of Christian scholars? If their approach was the same I assume they ...
12
votes
3answers
150 views

Are there any hermeneutics principles that can be related to scientific principles?

Do any principles commonly used in the field of hermeneutics have any counterparts in scientific principles? Is there a corollary in hermeneutics to the requirements that science demands as far as the ...
10
votes
2answers
772 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
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
284 views

Women and chief men stirred up - Acts 13:50

Acts 13:50 says in part that the Jews "stirred up the devout and prominent women AND the chief men of the city" raising up persecution against Paul and Barnabus, causing them to be expelled from the ...
11
votes
3answers
340 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
21k views

What is the difference between exegesis and hermeneutics?

What is the difference between exegesis and hermeneutics? Are they the same, is there overlap, or does one pick up where the other leaves off?
11
votes
1answer
314 views

Quotations in 1 Corinthians 6:13

I've noticed that in the 2011 NIV more of 1 Corinthians 6:13 is considered part of a quotation than in the 1984 version. Obviously Greek did not use quotation marks—so what hints are there for ...
8
votes
2answers
171 views

Whose meaning are we trying to find?

If hermeneutics is the study of the meaning of a text, whose meaning are we trying to find when we study the Bible? How does Scripture being inspired by God but penned by men affect our ability to ...
16
votes
5answers
4k views

Why is the Septuagint (LXX) significant?

What is the LXX and why is it so noteworthy that there is a Greek translation of the OT? Wouldn't it be better to reference the Hebrew original?
22
votes
2answers
471 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Why was Barabbas in prison?

It seems that there are varying accounts of the problems with Barabbas. John 18:40 Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber. Another in Mark: ...
18
votes
6answers
11k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
440 views

What is the “Grammatical Historical Approach” to hermeneutics?

BH seems to be divided into several different approaches. What is the Grammatical Historical Approach and what are the primary ways that it differs from other modern approaches?

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