18
votes
3answers
2k views

What language did Jesus commonly speak?

According to Mark 15:34 (ESV): And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus spoke Aramaic ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

What are the arguments in favor of Markan priority?

The synoptic problem refers to scholars' attempts to understand the relationship among the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke (known as the synoptic gospels because they have so much material in ...
4
votes
3answers
999 views

Understanding argument in Galatians 3:19-20

I think I understand the argument in Galatians 3:19a about the purpose of the law. But then in the second half of the verse, Paul begins, "The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. ...
28
votes
8answers
4k views

“A god” or “God” in John 1:1?

John 1:1 (NWT): In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. This translation, the Jehovah's Witnesses New World Translation is, I think, unique in using ...
11
votes
5answers
8k views

Which 'modern' English translation of the Bible is considered the 'closest' or most accurate translation?

Which 'modern' (anything inclusive of King James Version to date) English translation of the Bible is considered the 'closest' or most accurate translation from the original Hebrew & Greek texts? ...
7
votes
4answers
542 views

What is the relationship between the “Adversary” in Job and the serpent in Genesis?

An individual named the Adversary appears in Job 1:6-12 (NJPS): One day the divine beings presented themselves before the Lord, and the Adversary came along with them. The Lord said to the ...
6
votes
2answers
538 views

How should graded numerical parallelism in Hebrew poetry be understood?

In Hebrew poetry, especially proverbs, we see examples of monotonically increasing numbers that set up parallels. For instance Proverbs 30:15 (NJPS): The leech has two daughters, “Give!” and ...
11
votes
3answers
880 views

What arguments exist that would refute the theory concerning Aramaic primacy of the New Testament?

Many Nestorian and some Seventh Day Adventist scholars assert that the New Testament was originally written in Aramaic (such as Paul Younan and George Lamsa). What scholarly arguments exist that would ...
16
votes
5answers
2k 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?
8
votes
5answers
864 views

Was or wasn’t Shem’s son Arphaxad born on the ark?

My question is at the very bottom of this; I'm using the KJV. According to the following 4 verses, Shem's son Arphaxad would have been born on the ark. Gen 5:32 And Noah was 500 years old: and ...
8
votes
3answers
494 views

Is hermeneutics primarily descriptive or prescriptive?

I sometimes hear (particularly on this site) of hermeneutical "methods", such as the grammatico-historal approach, or literal-historical approach, or sensus plenior. These all seem to be tools or ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Interpretation of Genesis 1:26?

I am under the impression that the Trinity is a Christian idea, and that the Jews did not view God as "three in one and one in three". How, then, was the following passage interpreted by the people ...
5
votes
2answers
801 views

Did Luke use Josephus as a source?

Richard Carrier summarizes an argument made by Steve Mason in his book Josephus and the New Testament that Luke knew of Josephus' Jewish War (79 CE) and Jewish Antiquities (94 CE). At it's core, the ...
4
votes
2answers
513 views

Chronology of Jesus' ministry: John and the Synoptics

I've heard that there is a recent trend to see the Fourth Gospel - despite its obvious theological purpose as compared to especially Luke - as actually more chronological than the Synoptics. Wikipedia ...
8
votes
3answers
775 views

How can the 3 Questions be resolved with the math still correct?

Analyzing Noah and the Great Flood story, we find 3 math problems with different sets of factors and calculations that aren’t easy to resolve. First is the “2 years after the flood” problem; when ...
30
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
19
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
228 views

Joseph dies at about 110

In the last 5 verses of Genesis, Joseph's 110 years is written twice. The first shows 110 years of life, while the latter shows 110 years in age. Is that just repeated for no particular reason, or ...
23
votes
8answers
3k views

What does “image” in Genesis 1:26-27 mean?

Genesis 1:26-27 (ESV) 26Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the ...
21
votes
2answers
486 views

Did John know about the Synoptics?

What evidence is there that John was aware of the Synoptics when he wrote the Fourth Gospel?
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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
540 views

Jesus's genealogy: 28 generations or 41 since David?

These questions keep me wondering: Firstly, how is it possible that Matthew and Luke came up with completely different genealogies of Jesus ancestors, if they are both following the masculine line? ...
8
votes
2answers
378 views

How big were the nomadic clans of the patriarchs?

According to the book Genesis, 70 people came down with Jacob to dwell in Egypt after contact was made with Joseph: And the sons of Joseph who were born to him in Egypt were two souls; all the ...
7
votes
3answers
955 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
588 views

Coherence-Based Genealogical Method vs. Local Text-Types Theory

The NA28 text marks a departure from the traditional methodology of textual criticism. As described by Jeff Kloha in the Concordia Theology Journal, Previous generations learned to classify ...
6
votes
3answers
687 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
477 views

Sacrificing and kissing calves in Hosea 13:2

Reading Hosea 13:2 ESV, I found myself confused: And now they sin more and more, and make for themselves metal images, idols skillfully made of their silver, all of them the work of craftsmen. It ...
16
votes
6answers
11k 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?
6
votes
8answers
2k views

Were the Nephilim in Genesis 6 aliens?

Could Genesis 6:1-4 be talking about aliens? (ESV): When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between historical-grammatical and historical criticism?

The historical-grammatical method and historical criticism are both hermeneutical approaches seeking to uncover the original meaning of the text. What is the difference between the two?
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does Matthew double people?

Matthew seems to mention two people (or animals) where other Gospels mention just one, e.g. two demon possessed men, in Matthew 8:28-34 (compare Mark 5:1-17 and Luke 8:26-39) two blind men, in ...
9
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
28
votes
5answers
1k views

Does 1st Kings say that pi = 3?

The construction of Solomon's temple includes a piece of furnishing described in 1 Kings 7:23 (ESV): Then he made the sea of cast metal. It was round, ten cubits from brim to brim, and five cubits ...
10
votes
4answers
8k views

What does “Under the Sun” mean in Ecclesiastes?

I noticed that the Teacher uses the phrase "under the sun" more than 20 times in Ecclesiastes. I have always understood this to simply mean "on earth" as The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament ...
4
votes
2answers
617 views

Why is Elohim translated as God rather than gods?

I mean Elohim is a plural form of God. So the correct translation would be gods. Now, perhaps the word elohim is followed by singular words and hence the word Elohim must mean plural. So what? That ...
16
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
393 views

Is David the Godfather?

As David neared the end of his life, he calls Solomon to himself and gives him some final instructions recorded in 1 Kings 2:1-10. It starts out how you'd maybe expect, with David admonishing Solomon ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Has the meaning of “Love” changed enough to warrant substitutions in Bible translations?

The culturally accepted uses of the word "Love" seem to be a trite shadow of its biblical meaning. Common use of "Love" is now interchangeable with "Like," "Enjoy," or "Emotionally attachment" of ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Why did David advise Solomon to kill Joab? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is David the Godfather? Joab was a loyal captain in charge for King David and he won lot of battles for his king. He had also risked his life in many occasions for the ...
6
votes
1answer
137 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Who are the “third and fourth generation” in Exodus 20:5?

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

What significance does John perceive in the piercing of Christ's side and the flow of blood and water?

Both the piercing of Christ side and the flow of blood and water (John 19:34) are unique to John’s gospel and it’s clear from the testimony which follows (19:35) he sees in them great deal of ...
2
votes
3answers
218 views

The number two in the book of Zechariah

Reading Zechariah, I have been struck by the frequency of the occurrences, explicit and implicit, of the number two. The most prominent are: Two angels in chapters 1 and 2 Two dimensions: "To ...
2
votes
2answers
743 views

Can Hosea 6:1-3 be interpreted as a prophecy of Jesus' resurrection? [closed]

Hosea 6:1-3 reads: “Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the ...
10
votes
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
votes
2answers
486 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
2answers
870 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
373 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?
9
votes
2answers
488 views

How strong was Midian's army?

When Israel took vengeance on Midian they sent 12,000 troops (Numbers 31:4) and prevailed: אֶלֶף, לַמַּטֶּה, אֶלֶף, לַמַּטֶּה--לְכֹל מַטּוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל, תִּשְׁלְחוּ לַצָּבָא. Of every tribe a ...

15 30 50 per page