14
votes
5answers
12k views

What are the similarities and differences between the Genesis creation account and other creation stories of the time [closed]

(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 ...
29
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
49
votes
10answers
16k 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 ...
34
votes
10answers
32k 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
9k views

Why is Isaiah 14:12-15 interpreted by some to refer to Satan?

Is 14:12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is Elohim translated as God rather than gods in Genesis 1:1?

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 ...
17
votes
8answers
49k 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? ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 “...
12
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
36
votes
7answers
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 ...
18
votes
9answers
2k views

What does it mean for Jesus to fulfill the law?

In Matthew 5:17, Jesus says he didn't come to abolish the law or Prophets but to fulfill them. What does it mean to "fulfill the law"?
13
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the arguments in favor of Matthean 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
487 views

What is the meaning of 'spirit' in Genesis 6?

According to Genesis 6:3: “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” This verse is not understandable for me: What ...
37
votes
9answers
57k 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?
18
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
671 views

What did Jesus likely say in John 8:58?

In John 8:58, the author quotes Jesus: . ..πρὶν Ἀβραὰμ γενέσθαι ἐγὼ εἰμί (NA28) ...before Abraham was, I am (ESV) Many have understood this as a claim to divinity, and some translations render ...
11
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
530 views

Does Granville Sharp's Rule indicate that “God” and “Savior” share a referent in Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1?

Granville Sharp's rule states that when a clause has two nouns (or other substantive) in the same case, connected by a copulative kai ("and"), that are not proper nouns (i.e. not someone's name), ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

What does “invoke the name of the LORD” mean in Genesis?

The phrase "call upon the name of the LORD" turns up occasionally in Genesis: Genesis 12:8 (ESV) 8  From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with ...
9
votes
3answers
1k 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? ...
23
votes
13answers
47k views

What is “sin that leads to death” in 1 John 5:16?

1 John 5:16 (NIV) Emphasis Added If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

What were the Corinthians doing when they “baptized on behalf of the dead”?

In the very center of an argument about the general resurrection, which the Corinthians questioned, Paul says: Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Who/what are the two witnesses in Revelation 11?

In Revelation 11:3-12, God says he will appoint his two witnesses - "two olive trees", "two lampstands" - as prophets for 1260 days. They end up being overpowered and killed by the beast, seemingly in ...
28
votes
12answers
11k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the Bible say the Earth is flat?

I have found so much gossip on the Net and no Biblical verses that clearly support the 'flat earth' notion. I know Job spoke of the 'circle of the Earth' and other very interesting aspects of the ...
13
votes
3answers
478 views

Is ἐγώ εἰμι testified in extra-biblical Greek as an expression for saying “I am he”?

This question arises from this insightful answer to another question about John 8:58. That answer makes an argument that the Greek ἐγώ εἰμι (literally "I am") is the wording used to translate the ...
7
votes
3answers
868 views

Why is Hadēs translated as “hell”?

In Matt. 16:18 (KJV), it is written, And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. κἀγὼ δέ ...
27
votes
5answers
9k 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 directly reference manuscripts in the original languages?
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Does the original Hebrew support the NLT of Genesis 6:3?

Genesis 6:3 refers to when God set humans' lifespans to (approximately) 120 years. However, the NLT (the translation I prefer) has a slightly different translation for the 120-years part. Genesis ...
13
votes
1answer
604 views

Proper translation of John 1:1

Is there any particular reason why "kai Theós ēn ho Lógos" is translated "and the Word was God" and not "and God was the Word"?
12
votes
2answers
491 views

Different meanings of 'Earth' in Genesis 1

The word הארץ ('the earth') appears a very large number of times in the six-day creation account spanning Genesis 1:1 to 2:1. It seems clear to me that the usages in 1:1 and 2:1 are special - the ...
10
votes
3answers
412 views

What were the translators of the LXX thinking in rendering “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14?

Obviously we can not know for certain what they were thinking, but with some knowledge about ancient interpretations of this text and the translation philosophy employed by the LXX, I suspect someone ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Who were the “sons of God” (bene elohim) in Genesis 6:2?

Genesis 6:1-2 (ESV emphasis mine): 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 attractive. And they took ...
9
votes
3answers
914 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
20k views

What Is The Aorist Tense Of A Verb? [closed]

I've read that one of the difficulties of translating New Testament Greek is the presence of the aorist tense of verbs in Greek. I think I understand what is meant by "aorist tense" in that it seems ...
5
votes
3answers
494 views

How credible is the theory that Enki and Ninhursag influenced Genesis 2 and 3?

How credible is the theory that the Sumerian story of Enki and Ninhursag influenced or inspired Genesis 2 and 3? the literature created by the Sumerians left its deep imprint on the Hebrews, and ...
4
votes
3answers
228 views

Do Idioms Used in the Crucifixion Narrative Resolve the “3 Day/3 Night” Objections?

Matthew 12:40 quotes the Messiah saying that He would be in the "heart of the earth" for 3 days and 3 nights. I think the majority of folks believe that the crucifixion took place on the 6th day of ...
2
votes
0answers
56 views

In Luke 22:16: Does the Syntax Indicate if Jesus Was not Going to Eat THAT Passover?

Related: - Is there any significance to using φάγω vs ἐσθίω? - In Luke 22, How Should Prepare and Eat - be Translated from the Aorist Subjunctive? - Was the Last Supper Actually a Passover Feast? ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Does Genesis's creation account depict creation “ex nihilo”?

I had once heard that one of the remarkable thing about the creation account in Genesis, as compared to the other creation accounts of the cultures of the surrounding area is that God creates the ...
10
votes
1answer
114 views

120 years until the flood, or until Adam's death, or shorter lifespans from now on?

3Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” ESV Some1 have taken the 120 years in Genesis 6:3 to mean the time remaining until the ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Does Jesus always use the mustard seed to signify the property of “smallness”?

In Luke, we read: The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and ...
5
votes
5answers
3k 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. ...
5
votes
2answers
469 views

The Correct Meaning of Genesis 6:3 - Also Flesh or Is Flesh?

This is a translational issue which the meaning changes greatly on, depending on how it is rendered. For a Christian reader this matter of spirit or flesh (or both) would be highly relevant. Some ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is יהוה ever transliterated in the Septuagint?

It seems to me that the Hebrew language doesn't have graphemes representing vowel sounds. On the other hand, the Greek language does. Also, I've heard that Josephus said that the Tetragrammaton (יהוה)...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

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

Analyzing Noah and the Great Flood story, there appear to be 3 math problems, each with its own set of factors and calculations, that aren’t easy to resolve. First is the “2 years after the flood” ...
32
votes
7answers
39k views

Did Jephthah actually sacrifice his daughter?

It's clear that what Jephthah intended was to sacrifice the first animal that he met when he returned home: Then the spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah. He marched through Gilead and Manasseh, ...
39
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...

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