12
votes
3answers
24k 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. ...
12
votes
2answers
976 views

What does “justify” (δικαιόω) mean 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
351 views

What is the internal evidence that Peter provided source material for Mark's gospel?

I am aware that there are a number of early church fathers who made this connection (e.g. see Eusebius and others including Irenaeus, Justin, Clement, Origen, and more cited in this blog post). Is ...
12
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
15k views

How old was Samuel when Hannah took him to the temple?

In 1 Samuel 1:24 we read: After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of ...
12
votes
2answers
450 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
336 views

Would it matter if the ID of 'Auctor' was revealed and who are the potential candidates?

The author of Hebrews, being generally uncertain, sometimes goes by the moniker "Auctor". But who or what lies behind the mask? What clues do we have to work with that could tip us off to their ...
12
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
5k 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, ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Did Jesus call God YHWH?

In Matthew 27:45-46 Jesus is recorded as saying: Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? Based on Jesus the Phoenician Jesus called God 'EL'—which is a Phoenician God—when he was on the cross. ...
11
votes
2answers
276 views

Should Matthew 28:17b be understood in a “partitive” or “inclusive” sense?

There are two distinct linguistic issues in the latter part of Matthew 28:17, which reads this way (NA28 = SBL GNT = UBS4) - καὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν προσεκύνησαν,a οἱ δὲ ἐδίστασαν. kai idontes auton ...
11
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
441 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
2answers
355 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Was Moses the probable author of Genesis?

I've been operating under the assumption that Moses was the author the book of Genesis (or at least the recorder of a bunch of oral traditions). This document suggests a different view. http://www....
11
votes
7answers
8k 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". ...
11
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How was “let him take up his cross” understood by Jesus's audience?

Matthew 16:24 SBLGNT Εἴ τις θέλει ὀπίσω μου ἐλθεῖν, ἀπαρνησάσθω ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἀράτω τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀκολουθείτω μοι. ESV If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up ...
10
votes
3answers
472 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
4k 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: ...
10
votes
3answers
595 views

What is the best translation of Job 6:14?

NKJV: “To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty." NASB: “For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So ...
10
votes
3answers
6k views

How would Elisha plowing with 12 oxen have been understood at the time of writing?

In 1 Kings 19 we see Elijah finds Elisha plowing with 12 yoke of oxen. What would this have said about Elisha to the people of the time? Note: I'm not looking for a modern allegorical answer about ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Who are the “kings of the earth”?

In the book of Revelation, it sometimes seems like the term "kings of the earth” is used to refer to the chosen ones, but in other verses it looks like they are the damned ones. The chosen ones: ...
10
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
12k views

What did Jesus mean in John 20:23 when he talked about his followers forgiving sins?

What did Jesus mean in John 20:23 when he said, “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained”? According to other ...
10
votes
3answers
476 views

John 8:57 and the age of Jesus, before his crucifixion

I was doing some reading in the Book "Ante Nicene Fathers" in Irenaeus' "Against Heresies" Book 2 Chapter 22 (book II chapter XXII) Irenaeus quoted John 8:57, in his argument to the Valentinens that ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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?
10
votes
4answers
888 views

Why is Abel called a “Prophet”?

In the gospel of Luke at Chapter 11:50-51 (NIV), Jesus refers to Abel as a "prophet." I am not aware of any scripture spoken by Abel, which would prove that he is a prophet,but the words of Jesus ...
9
votes
1answer
609 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
648 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
21k views

Why does Matthew include these women in Jesus' genealogy?

One of the unique features of Jesus genealogy in the book of Matthew is the inclusion of four women, not counting Mary. Matthew 1:3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar ...
9
votes
1answer
775 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
352 views

Explain 1 Cor 5:5

1 Corinthians 5:5 (KJV): To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. What I don't really understand is how ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How did Judas die?

In fact, there are multiple discrepancies between these two verses, what did really happen? Matthew 27:5-8 5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged ...
9
votes
3answers
17k views

Given the differences between Hebrew and Aramaic, how are the Aramaic sections identified?

There are a handful of Aramaic passages in the Bible; notably in Daniel and Ezra. Since the writing system of these two was the same, how are the Aramaic sections identified?
9
votes
5answers
8k views

Does Genesis 6:6 mean that God made a mistake?

Genesis 6:6, New American Standard Bible (NASB): The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. Some versions use the word regret instead of sorry. Regret ...
9
votes
2answers
12k views

What does “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” mean?

Reading the Song of Solomon, the phase "do not awaken love" or variants thereof is used several times. What does it mean? Song of Solomon 8:4 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What portions of the New Testament are purported to have originally been written in Aramaic?

I am wondering what portions of the New Testament are purported to have originally been written in Aramaic, and by whom. I am aware that Seventh Day Adventist and Nestorian scholars often assert ...
8
votes
3answers
451 views

Is “calling on the name of the Lord” in Acts 9 literal or figurative?

How did Paul fetch out the followers of Jesus in Acts 9? I've always thought that it was simply their practice of calling on the name of the Lord (precisely "Jesus") aloud as the phrase "calling on ...
8
votes
6answers
7k views

Did Jesus teach people to literally pluck their eye out and cut their hand off?

The passage from the Sermon on the Mount (and see also Matthew 18:8-9) is a familiar one: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Who is being slandered in 2 Peter 2:10b-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 ...
8
votes
4answers
37k views

What does a mustard seed grow into?

Jesus said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that ...
8
votes
2answers
138 views

What is the gender of the verb “to say” in Ecclesiastes 7:27?

In Ecclesiastes 7:27, there is a brief phrase, "says Qohelet" (ʾāmĕrâ qōhelet). In the rest of the book, it seems like masculine verbs are used with Qohelet, despite Qohelet itself having a feminine ...
8
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...

15 30 50 per page