Questions tagged [cultural-analysis]

Understanding the culture which an author wrote for/to is often key to understanding a text's original meaning.

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7
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4answers
688 views

Is the church at the time of the book of James meeting in synagogues?

In James 2:2 (YTL) for if there may come into your synagogue a man with gold ring, in gay raiment, and there may come in also a poor man in vile raiment, or in ASV For if there come into your ...
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1answer
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Book of Esther's major theme is that God's people may have Unwillingly strayed away from God, but God is still Loving towards said people

I'm trying to approach the Book of Esther in the Bible in a holistic manner ( taking a bird's eye view ) of God's varying calibrated auspices of His chosen Israelite nation. Also I am taking into ...
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4answers
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What is the logic behind the Jews' reasoning which led them to spontaneously stone Stephen to death?

Acts 7:51-60 (ESV): 51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not ...
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7answers
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How did Jewish people living under Roman rule understand the role of a Paraclete?

John 14:16 (DRB): And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever. John 14:26 (DRB): But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will ...
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What is the logic behind the Jews' reasoning which led them to conclude that Jesus was “making himself God” in John 10:22-39?

John 10:22-39 (ESV): 22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered ...
7
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What did Martha most likely mean by “the last day” in John 11:24?

John 11:22-27 (ESV): 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise ...
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1answer
80 views

Can history shed any light on the “secret arts” of the Egyptian magicians who turned their staffs into serpents?

Exodus 7:11-12 (ESV): 11 Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. 12 For each man cast down his staff, and they ...
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What did ancient mirrors look like?

In Exodus 38:8 (NASB) Moreover, he made the basin of bronze with its base of bronze, from the mirrors of the serving women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting. What did ancient mirrors ...
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1answer
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Does Hamor in Genesis 34:3 have double-meaning?

In Genesis 34:2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. the term "of Hamor" comes from H2544 / Chamowr ...
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1answer
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How did Elijah know the woman of Zarepthath was a widow?

In 1 Kings 17:9-10 Elijah is commanded by God to go to Zarephath where God had commanded a widow to provide for him. When Elijah got there he saw a woman gathering sticks outside the city gates. How ...
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What evidence is there that boiling a kid in its mother's milk (Exodus 23:19) was a pagan practice?

In Exodus 23:19 (KJV), Jehovah tells the Israelites, "Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk." Searching online for a possible meaning, many suggestions are given, the most ...
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In which sense has the woman become defiled in Deuteronomy 24:4?

Deuteronomy 24:1-5 If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her ...
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What does the Gesture of “uncovering feet” and “laying to Boas feet” mean?

In Ruth 3,4 it is written: When he gets ready to go to sleep, take careful notice of the place where he lies down. Then go, uncover his legs, and lie down beside him. He will tell you what you should ...
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Why was Amnon not punished by David for raping Tamar?

David is unwittingly involved in the set-up, by agreeing to Amnon's request to have Tamar make him some cakes. II Samuel 13:6,7. He KNEW what happened next, and was very angry. II Samuel 13:21. He did ...
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How did the medium of Endor suddenly realize that Saul had fooled her?

Then the woman asked, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” “Bring up Samuel,” he said. 12When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you ...
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1answer
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Why were the fornicators in Leviticus 19:20 not slain?

And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because ...
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Why was Jacob's family segregated into large tents?

In Genesis 31:33, when Laban went to look for his stolen teraphim, the author notes: And Laban went into Jacob’s tent, into Leah’s tent, and into the two maids’ tents, but he did not find them. ...
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Why did Jesus use the words “You have heard that it was said…?”

In Matthew Chapter 4 during the temptation of Jesus, Jesus uses the words "It is written..." when referring to God's word. In Matthew chapter 5 Jesus begins using the phrase "Ye have heard that it ...
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Is what Laban said in Genesis 29:26 true?

In Genesis 29:26, after Jacob asks why Laban deceived him, Laban responds: "And Laban said, 'It must not be done so in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.'" I've tried ...
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(Judges 21:20-22 ) Understanding if the men of Shiloh are innocent or guilty since their women were caught by men of tribe of Benjamin

Judges 21:15-25 New American Standard Bible (NASB) 15 And the people were sorry for Benjamin because the Lord had made a breach in the tribes of Israel. 16 Then the elders of the congregation ...
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Scarlet or Purple?

I was talking with a friend, and he offered this up as a contradiction between the two accounts. When Jesus is about to be crucified, during his flogging Matthew says the soldiers clothed him in ...
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1answer
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Why does God devastate Israel's vines and fig trees and not other crops in Hosea 2:12?

In Hosea 2:12 it says “I will destroy her vines and fig trees, Of which she said, ‘These are my wages Which my lovers have given me.’ And I will make them a forest, And the beasts of the field will ...
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1answer
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What does Matthew mean by “those on His left” and “and those on His right” in Matthew 25?

In Matthew 25, starting in verse 34 the passage reads. “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation ...
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1answer
113 views

Were Roman Soldiers allowed to Marry? The Word παῖς in Matthew 8:5 implies that Roman Centurion had offspring [closed]

Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10 mentions a story of Centurion whose servant was healed by Jesus. Matthew in 8:5 uses the word pais which may mean son. However, Luke 7:2 uses the word dulos specifying ...
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How did authorities know that Paul was really a Roman citizen?

A previous answer to a different question ventured into the territory of my question here, quoting from The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (which in turn, cited from some commentaries) that ...
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Why did the disciples lay their coats on the colt during the triumphal entry while others laid theirs on the ground? And other related questions

In the synoptic gospels, all of the accounts depict Jesus riding into Jerusalem on the back of the colt of a donkey. They make a note that the disciples placed their coats on the donkey (and Matthew's ...
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How do we decide if a biblical instruction is cultural or transcultural?

We ignore many instructions in the Bible, but keep some. For instance women do not stay silent in church or wear head coverings during prayer. How do we decide if a verse was written for the culture ...
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2answers
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Could the symbolic gesture of shaking off dust in Matthew 10 and Acts 13 have been steeped in some Jewish culture?

Matthew 10:14 NASB 14 Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. Acts 13:51 NASB 51 But they shook off the dust ...
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What is the “due penalty” mentioned in Romans 1:27?

As I went through my study of Romans, I was caught off guard by this verse - because there didn't seem to be any readily apparent answer given the context as far as I could discern it. 26 For this ...
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In Micah 2:12-13, what is a “breaker”?

In Micah 2:12-13 Micah predicts the arrival of the messiah whom he refers to as "the breaker" (הַפֹּרֵץ֙): KJV Micah 2: 12I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of you; I will surely gather the ...
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3answers
985 views

In Matthew 19:10 why did Jesus' disciples ask Jesus if it is better not to marry?

There is a question, to Jesus, whether a man can divorce his wife for any reason. Shammai and Hillel are the pharisees school of thought at that time. Hillel the liberal jew says that you can ...
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1answer
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A nose ring, earring, or other in Genesis 24:22?

Abraham's servant is on a mission to find Isaac a wife, and he is blessed in that work. Upon Rebekah's fulfilling of the sign conditions of the servant's prayer to YHWH (Gen 24:12-20), the servant ...
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In Genesis 26:18, historical reasons why Philistines might have filled Abraham's wells of water?

In Genesis chapter 26, there are a number of points noted about wells of water. Using the NKJV, particular points paint an odd picture. First, Genesis 26:15, 17-18 (NKJV, bold added): 15 Now the ...
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1answer
887 views

In Genesis 46:6 what was the cultural significance of Joseph putting his hands on Jacob's eyes?

I am reading through Genesis in the New King James, and I came to this verse: Genesis 46:4 "I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will put his hand ...
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1answer
799 views

Is there any ambiguity in Luke 2:5 to whether Mary and Joseph were already married?

From a comparison of various translations of Luke 2:5 it seems there might be some ambiguity in this verse as to whether Mary and Joseph were married by the time they were traveling to Bethlehem. Some ...
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1answer
141 views

In Matthew 4:22 does “immediately” mean the disciples left without saying goodbye?

When Jesus called His disciples and the word says they left "immediately" Matt 4:22, did they actually drop everything "immediately" as we think in the west, or was there some type of cultural ...
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2answers
833 views

Significance of 1 Cor. 11:4 in light of the yarmulke/kippah

The Yarmulke or Kippah worn by followers of Judaism dates to at least ~600BCE and perhaps as far back as 1000BCE. My understanding is that this is a sign of respect and the Mishne Torah requires that ...
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Why did the Angel ask Joshua to remove the sandal from his foot and not his feet? (Joshua 5:15)

The Hebrew word used in Joshua 5:15 is Regel- רגל meaning FOOT. H7272 Original: רגל Transliteration: regel Phonetic: reh'-gel BDB Definition: 1) foot To cause him to ...
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1answer
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Does Hebrew שׁלום have the connotation of death?

Albright (1931) notes two possible etymologies for the name of the Semitic god Šulmân (The Syro-Mesopotamian God Šulmân-Ešmûn and Related Figures. Archiv für Orientforschung. p. 168): The ...
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1answer
610 views

What did the ram mean to ancient Hebrew shepherds as to inform it's use as a guilt/trespass offering?

Why is a ram without blemish used for the guilt offering? N.B: Unlike the bulls, goats and lambs used for sin offerings, the ram is not required to be young only that it be without blemish. Lev 6:...
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1answer
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Why didn't Boaz go home?

In Ruth 3:7-8 (NET) after working the Threshing floor for the day, Boaz eats his meal and falls asleep: When Boaz had finished his meal and was feeling satisfied, he lay down to sleep at the far ...
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4answers
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Who is Apollyon in Greek Culture?

NASB, Revelation 9:11 - They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon. Who is "Apollyon", and how does an understanding ...
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5answers
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In 1 Corinthians 11:4 why does Paul consider it a dishonor for a man to cover his head when praying or prophesying?

Why does the apostle Paul consider it a dishonour if a man prays with his head covered in 1 Corinthians 11:4? NIV-UK Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonours his head.
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2answers
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How should the, “discernment of spirits,” in 1 Corinthians 12:10 be interpreted taking cultural context into account?

It seems this is often interpreted as a gift of wisdom or discernment and doesn't take into account a cultural context that believes in the existence of real spirits. But to each one is given the ...
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0answers
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John 7 - What were the religious / culture demographics of “The Galilee”? [closed]

Closely Related: - Matthew 4 - How Should Galilee of the Nations be Interpreted? - Was Nazareth a joke town? 1. Question, Historical Context: What were the religious / cultural demographics of "...
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0answers
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Why use uncut stones for an altar but opulent items for the tabernacle? [closed]

To me it seems like a contradiction to have an altar made of stones that must be uncut in order to preserve the sanctity, then for the rest of the book and well into the next book describe the human ...
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2answers
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Who was the Gilead of Judges 11?

In Judges 11: 1-3 it reads: Jephthah [Yiftach] the Gileadite was a mighty warrior. His father was Gilead; his mother was a prostitute. 2 Gilead’s wife also bore him sons, and when they were ...
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1answer
371 views

Paul's Use Of Greek Literature

I was reviewing an old post, "Does the New Testament quote extrabiblical writers?", and mentally linked it to a question on Mi Yodeya: "Is studying Greek culture a sin?". Paul, in giving an ...
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1answer
250 views

Could there have been a Threshold-god associated with 1 Samuel 5:5

Among the Romans there were three gods which made up the entrance of a door - "Cardea (Hinge-goddess), called after hinges, and Forculus (Door-god) after doors, and Limentinus (Threshold-god) after ...
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2answers
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What about Psalm 29, specifically, makes somes scholars think it was originally a hymn to Ugaritic Baal?

I'm currently reading the Introduction of Stories from Ancient Cananan, eds. Coogan and Smith, and it gives several examples of how Canaanite gods and goddesses appear in several passages of the ...