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8

It can be somewhat dangerous exegetically to try to force too much meaning into a specific word or phrase from a parable. Parables are meant to be evocative illustrations (not encrypted cyphers), so dissecting them too rigidly is akin to assigning specific meaning to every brush stroke in a Van Gogh painting. The most important thing, when approaching one of ...


7

In Search of Lost Lilies “[A]lthough there is little doubt that the word [κρίνον] denotes some plant of the lily species, it is by no means certain what individual of this class it especially designates.” So William Smith framed his widely-quoted and, as we’ll see, outdated entry for ‘Lily’ in his popular Bible dictionary of 1863. Following his ...


6

According to 2 John 7, there was the widespread belief that Jesus had only "appeared" and therefore did not come in the flesh -- so-called incipient Gnosticism. 2 John 1:7 (NASB) For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. So in the epistle ...


5

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch dedicated many essays to this subject. They may be found in English translation in his Collected Writings, Volume III; ISBN:0-87306-786-X. The primary tools Rabbi Hirsch uses in his analysis are the following ground rules, which he develops in the introductory chapter (slightly abridged for convenience): The symbolic ...


5

Here are a few things that might help point the interpreter in the right direction. (NOTE: This answer is from a Christian perspective) The referential nature of language Language is referential. If I say "I own a house," any English-speaker will recognize that I am referring to a place of residence. However, if I said "I own a lamaroutous" that would be ...


5

Right off the bat, Jesus is making an allusion to Daniel: I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; ...


5

I just want to pop in here to add that it's important to remember that the way that we think of "blue", "purple", and "red", is necessarily not the same as how the Biblical audience would have thought of "tekheleth", "argaman", and "shani". In particular, I'm not sure that the "red+blue=purple" argument is particularly applicable here, since these colours ...


5

There are three common answers to this question today. Real Human Death. John says the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side because when they came to hasten his death they unexpectedly found him already dead. The piercing is thus the soilders way of answering the question, “Has Jesus truly died?” John may have wanted to definitevly answer this question because ...


4

Some of the most significant aspects of this are "typological," i.e. they refer to a pattern established earlier in Scripture, now fulfilled in Jesus. (Paul reflects the NT handling of the OT in this regard in 1 Cor 10:6, 11, when he refers to Israel's wilderness experience as providing "patterns" for "us"—the word he uses is "tupoi," from which we derive ...


4

I would say yes. Earlier in verses 11-14, John records this exchange: “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks ...


4

Forgive me for quoting extensively from The Mystery of God: Early Jewish Mysticism and the New Testament. It's the only book I've found in more than 15 years of studying the writings of John which so clearly gets the water and blood right. The Standard View: Water and Blood as Baptism and Death It is tempting to suppose that the reference to water in ...


4

The Revelation contains hundreds of references and allusions to the Hebrew scriptures. (An exact count varies from one commentator to the next.) He quotes, paraphrases, and adapts parts of the scriptures so often and so thoroughly, we can safely say the author knew the Hebrew scriptures inside and out. Where Their Lord Was Crucified Some commentators ...


4

I am seeing parallelism here. There is a two-fold disobedience; one in disobeying the father by mocking and the other in disobeying the mother by disregarding her direction. I lean towards your thought on emphasis. The parallelism in the second part of the proverb gives a two-fold response to the two-fold disobedience. That being said, the particular ...


3

The "oil" as Ray Steadman points out, is the Holy Spirit.(from here) With these revealing words from the Lord we can now discover what the oil signifies. Obviously, it was the lack of an adequate supply of oil which caused these foolish maidens to be met with the words, "I do not know you." They did, of course, have some oil when they began but it ...


3

The Jewish method of prayer was not folding hands as many Westerners do today, but rather to hold up the hands and face towards heaven. Tim Chailles (a Christian blogger notes this is mentioned in severla Psalms - see this link, especially towards the 'Lifting Hands' section.) Additionally, the Jewish Encyclopedia shows a relief of Jews entering the ...


3

The robe, ring & sandals help show the father’s high level of love, honor and authority for the son. The robe and the ring are symbolic of how well the father will be treating his son (i.e. somewhat like Jacob and Pharaoh treated the favorite son Joseph). Jacob honored Joseph by getting him a long tunic, and the jealous brothers saw how Jacob was the ...


3

The Hebrew word that's translated as ring/earring is נֶזֶם (Nezem). It can mean either ring, earring, nose ring, or generic ornament. I believe that the last translations translations are more correct, since there are places like Exodus 35:22 where נֶזֶם and טַבַּעַת (ring worn on a finger) are used in a single verse. It seems that these nose/ear rings are ...


2

As Joseph noted, is it certainly that something like a proto-Gnosticism in view, although recent scholarship has pushed back the dates of Gnosticism considerably later than was earlier assumed. Still, ideas start somewhere, and we seem to be seeing evidence in 1 John of at least a sort of incipient Gnosticism sufficient to deny the full reality of the ...


2

I will present the "no" perspective. Short Answer: John expected his readers to see the water jar as an actual, literal, physical water jar. With that said, John had a reason for mentioning the water jar, and it was probably to show the woman's sudden change in priorities. Symbols in Scripture It is true that throughout Scripture there are times when an ...


2

If an author intends to communicate through symbols he must either rely upon a community's preexisting symbolic language or make an effort to define the meaning of the image within the text itself. Ruben Zimmermann in his book Imagery in the Gospel of John thus offers two criteria for weighing a symbols plausibility: (1) conventional plausibility and (2) ...


2

The Apostle John indicates that "eternal life" was made manifest in the flesh (1 Jn 1:2). This manifestation in the flesh was made possible because of the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:35). Thus eternal life was incarnated in human flesh, who was Jesus the Nazarene. As a person, he thus subsisted not only in mortal life (blood), but also in immortal life (water). That ...


2

I am proposing two options, one obvious and one subtle. The obvious meaning of blue, purple and scarlet, would be that they are associated with precious fabrics and in some cases even royal colors. I think this is sometimes the meaning that they convey in the Bible. For example,  When Mordecai left the king’s presence, he was wearing royal garments of ...


2

As is the nature of historical fields, such as the anthropological and linguistic fields which serve as our surest means of understanding such colloquial forms of language, at least some uncertainty or ambiguity will always haunt our attempts at determining the meaning of symbols, or most any other metaphor for that matter. Rationally speaking, it is a ...


2

1st of all, the presumption of the question is that the "Great City" is Jerusalem. In a poll of commentators, about half agree that it is Jerusalem, and the other half see it as an extension of Babylon/Rome. Matthew Poole's Commentary states, Some, by the great city, would have Jerusalem understood; but that was now far from a great city, nor do the ...


2

In Mark 10:32, the evangelist writes that Jesus "took again the twelve and began to tell them what things should happen to him." Jesus tells them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man shall be delivered to the chief priests and to the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death and deliver him to the Gentiles. And they shall mock him and ...


1

Based on the text itself, the "gate" and "road" have no more definition than "that which leads to life". There is nothing nearby that would make them concrete places or objects. Instead, they are figurative, as in Pindar's Olympian Ode #6 (tr. by Diane Arnson Svarlien): χρὴ τοίνυν πύλας ὕμνων ἀναπίτναμεν αὐταῖς And so it is right to open for them ...


1

I agree with the gist of several comments and previous answers that the oil does not need to have an specific symbolic meaning for the parable to make sense. That said, meaning can still be tied to the oil, and on that subject I think the questioner is on the right track. Meaning of parable as a whole To understand the (possible) meaning of the oil, one ...


1

Thanks all for the beautifully researched response to my question! Its obviously understandable that there is a clear connection between the 'Oil' & the 'Fire'. Fire is something that can be seen and testified from outside. But Oil is something that is hidden within. If the 'Fire' is going out, it means that the 'Oil' is running out. But the ...


1

It may be that when 1 John 5:6 says by "water" it means physical birth and "blood" it means physical death. The Spirit is His presence. That is how I understand the gospel of John 3:5-6 where Jesus says in v5 "unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God," followed by v6 where Jesus says "That which is born of the flesh is ...



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