16
votes
5answers
9k views

Interpretations of Elihu in Job

In the book of Job, it becomes clear that the first three of Job's friends - Eliphaz, Blidad, and Zophar - speak wrongly. Not only do they incur the indignation of Job and his other friend Elihu, but ...
15
votes
4answers
4k views

What does “born again” from John 3:3 mean?

John 3:3 (NIV) Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” A note for this verse in the NIV says, "The Greek for again also means from ...
15
votes
4answers
5k views

Is Jesus giving the Spirit in John 20:22?

After the resurrection in John's gospel, Jesus appears to the disciples and in John 20:22 he breathes on them and says, "Receive the Holy Spirit." What is happening here? Is Jesus giving them the Holy ...
14
votes
1answer
293 views

Who is the author of Hebrews quoting in Hebrews 10:38?

Who is the author of Hebrews quoting in Hebrews 10:38? Now the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. The "just shall live by faith" part ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

“You are gods” in John 10:30-36

In John 10:30-36 (NASB), Jesus responds to an accusation of blasphemy by quoting the Old Testament: 30I and the Father are one.” 31The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. 32Jesus ...
14
votes
3answers
1k 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)?
13
votes
3answers
519 views

To what extent is Psalm 51:4 poetic exaggeration?

The context of Psalm 51 is clear: To the choirmaster. A psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. These events are described in 2nd Samuel ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

How different is Biblical Hebrew from modern Hebrew?

It's been variously suggested on this site that the difference between Biblical Hebrew and modern Hebrew is like either the difference between: Old English and modern English Shakespeare's English ...
13
votes
2answers
566 views

Why did Abel keep flocks if man wasn't supposed to eat flesh til after the Flood?

Per Genesis 9:3, man is given the animals as food after the flood. A reasonable implication of that statement is that prior to this, man was supposed to be vegetarian. That said, Genesis 4:2 clearly ...
13
votes
2answers
665 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! ...
13
votes
3answers
3k 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
4answers
206 views

Why is the genealogy in Luke attributed to Mary?

When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli, the son of... - Luke 3:23 (NASB) There seems to be a widely ...
11
votes
6answers
7k views

What was Noah thinking when he sent a raven from the ark?

In tablet 11 of the epic of Gilgamesh, after Utnapishtim's ark lodges on a rock, he releases a dove, a swallow, and a raven, in that order. The first two birds return when they fail to find a resting ...
11
votes
6answers
4k views

Why should an altar be made with uncut stone?

God told Moses that the altar must be made of unhewn stones: And if you make for Me an altar of stones, do not build it of hewn stones; for by wielding your tool upon them you have profaned ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

If Joshua can be translated why Is the name of Jesus translated “Jesus” but his name in hebrew was Joshua?

This question is in regard to Matthew 1:21, "His name shall be called Jesus for he will save his people from their sins." The question has two parts. 1) Strongs equates the name "Jesus" with the ...
10
votes
3answers
261 views

Based on recent manuscript discoveries, is the LXX more reliable than the MT?

Based on recent manuscript discoveries such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, is the text of the LXX more reliable than the MT?
10
votes
1answer
1k 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
899 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
votes
3answers
6k views

Translation of “abba” (Αββα, אבא)

What is the best English translation of abba (Greek: Αββα, Aramaic: אבא)? What are its senses in the original languages, and are those best captured by father, dad, daddy, or something else in ...
9
votes
8answers
5k views

Could the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” mean “tree of intelligence”?

Genesis 2:16-17 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

Why are the Psalms broken into five books?

The Psalms in most English Bibles are divided into five sections or books: 1-41, 42-72, 73-89, 90-106, and 107-150 Psalms 41, 72, and 89 end with the double amen, while 106 and 150 end with "Praise ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there any significance behind Jesus' use of the word “love” in “John 21:15-17”

In John 21:15-17 (ESV), we read: 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that ...
9
votes
1answer
467 views

How would stoning of an adulterer actually be carried out under the Law of Moses?

How would stoning of an adulterer actually be carried out under the Law of Moses? In John Chapter 8 there is the familiar story of how Jesus prevented a stoning of a woman who had committed adultery. ...
9
votes
3answers
533 views

Does Peter intend to identify the Pauline Epistles as canonical?

In 2 Peter 3:15-16, Peters states: And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his ...
9
votes
1answer
351 views

Pros and Cons of Barth's Commentary on Romans

What are the merits/problems with Karl Barth's commentary on Romans? How much does he treat the details of the Greek? What is his overall hermeneutic of the book? (Please steer away from explaining ...
9
votes
5answers
860 views

Is Ecclesiastes a book of negative wisdom?

When I was younger, I thought that because Ecclesiastes was so dour, it was a sort of negative wisdom—something like, "This is how crazy you get when you don't follow God." However, this ...
9
votes
3answers
271 views

Does Genesis 3:16 imply that there was pain / sorrow before the fall?

Genesis 3:16 says: To the woman he said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in sorrow you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he ...
9
votes
3answers
1k 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
357 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Is Paul's visit to Jerusalem detailed in Galatians 2 the Jerusalem Council?

Paul details a meeting with Peter, James and John in Galatians 2:1-10 (ESV): Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up because of ...
9
votes
1answer
330 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
3answers
112 views

The two “two camps” in Genesis 32

In Genesis 32:1-2 there is a short and unusual little story between Jacob's previous encounter with Laban and his encounter with Esau. Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And ...
8
votes
2answers
245 views

Who will suffer plague/punishment in Isaiah 53:8?

Why do different translations render Isaiah 53:8 differently in English: מֵעֹצֶר וּמִמִּשְׁפָּט לֻקָּח וְאֶת דּוֹרוֹ מִי יְשׂוֹחֵחַ כִּי נִגְזַר מֵאֶרֶץ חַיִּים מִפֶּשַׁע עַמִּי נֶגַע לָמוֹ. One ...
8
votes
1answer
211 views

Whose idea was it to send the spies to scout the land of Israel?

In Numbers 13 we are told that God commanded Moshe to sends the twelve spies to scout out the land: 1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'Send thou men, that they may spy out the land of ...
8
votes
1answer
164 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
3answers
199 views

What is the judgment in Psalm 1?

The ending of Psalm 1 provides great hope for those who delight in the instruction of the Lord: Not so the wicked; rather, they are like chaff that wind blows away. Therefore the wicked ...
8
votes
4answers
331 views

Who led the people out of Israel in Jude 5?

Lest anyone think this is a "stump the chumps" question, I am specifically interested in support for a particular reading of this text. It is disputed which manuscript should be followed in Jude 5. ...
8
votes
1answer
361 views

Jesus and the adulterous woman: was stoning a practical possiblity?

In John 8:5, the Pharisees ask Jesus: In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say? (NIV) Was stoning a woman for adultery often/sometimes done during Jesus' days, or ...
8
votes
3answers
694 views

Was there some connection between barley bread and Gideon in the mind of the Midianites?

Before attacking the Midianite camp, Gideon does a little spying: When Gideon came, behold, a man was telling a dream to his comrade. And he said, “Behold, I dreamed a dream, and behold, a cake of ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does Jesus tell the disciples to buy swords?

Luke 9:3 and Luke 22:36 seem to form an inclusio. In chapter nine, Jesus instructs the Twelve, "Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic." But in chapter 22, ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

How tall was Goliath?

In 1 Samuel 17, David intends to battle against Goliath and ultimately wins by slinging a single stone into his forehead before decapitating him. As Wikipedia can confirm, there are multiple accounts ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How should the story of David's concubines be read?

There's a small story of ten concubines spread across Samuel: And a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom.” Then David said to all his servants ...
8
votes
4answers
15k views

When did Jesus change his view on preaching to Gentiles?

In John 10:16 Jesus says (ESV quoted): And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. The ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the significance of Ezekiel's description of God's heavenly chariot in chapter 1?

Chapter 1 of Ezekiel contains a famous description of God's heavenly chariot (the maaseh merkava): ...as I was among the captives by the river Chebar, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions ...
8
votes
3answers
487 views

Is there a sacramentalism in the “Bread of Life” discourse?

The "Bread of Life" discourse in John 6:22-59 seems to have all the components of a good discussion on the Lord's Supper (or Eucharist, or communion, or whatever your tradition calls it): Jesus is ...
8
votes
3answers
716 views

Historical interpretations of Ezekiel's vision of a temple

From Ezekiel 40 to the end, the author records a pretty detailed vision of a temple. Historically, what are the main ways this vision been interpreted? Did the rabbis consider this vision to be ...
8
votes
2answers
515 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?
7
votes
2answers
132 views

What does “torture” mean in Matthew 18:34?

At the end of the parable of the unmerciful servant, the master has him jailed and handed over to be "tortured". And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

When Job curses the day he was born in Chapter 3, does he curse God?

In chapter 2 Job refuses to curse God but states: "Shall we accept good from God and not trouble" and then in chapter 3v3-4 it says that Job cursed the day he was born: 'May the day of my ...
7
votes
4answers
368 views

How can we determine when an image is a symbol?

Put simply, a symbol is a tangible representation of an intangible idea. Authors, both ancient and modern, use symbolic images to convey abstract concepts. The problem with symbols, however, is that ...

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