Questions tagged [historical-interpretation]

Questions about the interpretation of a passage across different periods of history.

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28
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7answers
20k 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 ...
22
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6answers
10k 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 ...
21
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4answers
4k views

How did Joanna “get away with” sponsoring Jesus' ministry?

Luke 8:1-3 Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ καθεξῆς καὶ αὐτὸς διώδευεν κατὰ πόλιν καὶ κώμην κηρύσσων καὶ εὐαγγελιζόμενος τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ οἱ δώδεκα σὺν αὐτῷ, 2 καὶ γυναῖκές τινες αἳ ἦσαν τεθεραπευμέναι ...
18
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6answers
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What is the significance of '14 generations' in Matthew’s account of Jesus's genealogy?

After giving Jesus's genealogy in the first chapter, Matthew goes on to point out the number of generations between significant events: Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to ...
17
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8answers
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What does Paul mean by “unworthy manner” in 1 Corinthians 11:27-32?

In 1 Corinthians 11:27-32 (NKJV) : 27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man ...
16
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3answers
985 views

Was there precedent for John to link the satan and the serpent?

In Revelation 20:2, John links the satan and the serpent: He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. A couple preliminary questions:...
14
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4answers
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Are there two different types of “tongues” spoken about in the NT?

My question comes directly from 1 Cor 14: 2, 4: 2 For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.....4 One who ...
14
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9answers
5k views

In Joshua 20:1-6 why must the man-slayer wait until the death of the high priest?

Joshua 20:1-6 (noting verse 6 in particular): 1 Then the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying, 2 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'Designate the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses,...
13
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3answers
5k views

Was Potiphar, being a captain of an Egyptian guard, likely a eunuch?

In Genesis, we read the infamous story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife. Potiphar's wife (who is named Zuleikha, at least according Sefer HaYashar) repeatedly makes sexual advances on Joseph, and as we ...
13
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7answers
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“Cakes of Raisins” in Hosea 3

Hosea 3:1 reads (ESV): And the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other ...
13
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2answers
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Jesus and the adulterous woman: was stoning a practical possiblity?

In John 8:5, the Pharisees ask Jesus: In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say? (NIV) Was stoning a woman for adultery often/sometimes done during Jesus' days, or ...
12
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2answers
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The significance of the designations of families who will mourn in Zechariah 12

As the prophet Zechariah proclaims the greatness of Jerusalem's mourning, he says: 12“All Israel will mourn, each clan by itself, and with the husbands separate from their wives. The clan of David ...
12
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4answers
3k views

Historical interpretations of Ezekiel's vision of a temple

From Ezekiel 40 to the end, the author records a pretty detailed vision of a temple. Historically, what are the main ways this vision been interpreted? Did the rabbis consider this vision to be ...
11
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2answers
248 views

Was there any significance to the term χριστὸς in koine Greek outside of Judeo-Christian thought?

This question is motivated by a reading of John 20:31: SBLGNT ταῦτα δὲ γέγραπται ἵνα πιστεύητε ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἐστιν ὁ χριστὸς ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ ἵνα πιστεύοντες ζωὴν ἔχητε ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ. ...
11
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3answers
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In Matthew 18:34, what does the Greek word βασανισταῖς (“torturers”) mean?

At the end of the parable of the unmerciful servant, the master has him jailed and handed over to be tortured: 34 And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should ...
11
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2answers
261 views

What is חֶמְדַּת נָשִׁים in Daniel 11:37

Daniel chapter 11 speaks of the Willful king that will profane the temple and persecute the Jews. One of the many descriptions given to him is found in verse 37, וְעַל-אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתָיו לֹא יָבִין, ...
10
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2answers
269 views

What are the oldest known records of interpretation agreeing with New Perspective on Paul?

The "New Perspective on Paul", often abbreviated as "NPP", is a modern interpretation of Paul. The "old" perspective was that Paul characterized the Judaism of his day as a religion of legalistic ...
10
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2answers
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What is an “anachronism” in Biblical Hermeneutics?

I have run across several definitions as it relates to "anachronism" in Biblical Hermeneutics and I am confused: An anachronism in word studies takes place when we read a definition of a word ...
10
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3answers
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How is this passage on the authority of women to be interpreted?

I have heard it said that 1 Timothy 2:11,12 is to be examined through the "lens" of culture but what Paul writes right after it in verses 13 and 14 seems to nullify that. A woman should learn in ...
10
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4answers
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What does “the assembly of the LORD” refer to?

Deuteronomy 23:1-8 lists some people that are forbidden to enter "the assembly of the LORD". Deuteronomy 23:1-8 (NKJ) Those Excluded from the Congregation 1 “He who is emasculated by ...
10
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3answers
167 views

Why did the captive Jews refuse to sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?

As I focus on Psalm 137:4; the part of the psalm which relates to where the Jews declined to singing the Lord’s song in their land of captivity; I am still pondering over why those captive Jews said: ...
9
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2answers
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Assessments of the evidence for the “Gap Theory” reading of Genesis 1:1-2?

Ever since the emergence of an understanding of "geological time" in the 18th Century, there has been a perceived tension with the six-day account of creation in Genesis 1 -- at least, if those "days" ...
9
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1answer
500 views

In Daniel 9.26 does the end “come like a flood” or will the end “be with a flood”?

I am reading from the Book of Daniel Chapter 9:26 (NIV) concerning an end-time prophecy, where it is written, 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have ...
9
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3answers
743 views

What is the judgment in Psalm 1?

The ending of Psalm 1 provides great hope for those who delight in the instruction of the Lord: Not so the wicked; rather, they are like chaff that wind blows away. Therefore the wicked ...
8
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4answers
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The Ten Commandments were based on the Code of Hammurabi?

A topic that was discussed among peers was that the Ten Commandments of Christian and Jewish faith were based off the Code of Hammurabi. I looked into the Wikipedia article and was informed that ...
8
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5answers
74k 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
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2answers
27k views

Who is the Prince of Tyre?

In Ezekiel 28:2 it says," Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the ...
8
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3answers
143 views

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 ...
7
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6answers
24k views

What is the story behind mourning for Hadad-rimmon in Zechariah 12:11?

Zechariah, like Revelation which draws on it, is a tough nut to crack but very rich. In the twelfth chapter, the prophet records the word of Yahweh that The sorrow and mourning in Jerusalem on that ...
7
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3answers
3k views

What is the historical basis for viewing Genesis 3:15 as the 'protoevangelium'?

Genesis 3:15 is referred to by Christian theologians as the protoevangelium (first proclamation of the [Christian] gospel). The text reads: Hebrew (MT): וְאֵיבָ֣ה׀ אָשִׁ֗ית בֵּֽינְךָ֙ וּבֵ֣ין ...
7
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2answers
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Was John the Baptist a member of the Essene community at Qumran?

This paper by Alan Farnes is one of many that have identified John’s appropriation of Isaiah 40:3 as reminiscent of the Qumran documents (a.k.a. Dead Sea Scrolls): John 1:23 (ESV) He said, “I am ...
7
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2answers
8k views

Who is the prophetess in Isaiah 8:3?

The bible doesn't seem to give much information for who "the prophetess" in Isaiah 8:3 is. Who is she? Many seem to assert that she is his wife, but cite no evidence to support this. The word ...
7
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1answer
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Which “house of the forest of Lebanon” had gold “shields” & “vessels” (1 Kg 10:17, 21)?

Background NOTE: All English translation is from NASB. In 1 Kg 10, the phrase בֵּ֖ית יַ֥עַר הַלְּבָנֹֽון ("in the house of the forest of Lebanon," v.17) and בֵּֽית־יַ֥עַר הַלְּבָנֹ֖ון ("of the house ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Not singing the songs of Zion/Yahweh's song in Psalm 137

The first colophon (or first two colophons, perhaps) of Psalm 137 reads, 1 By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. 2 On the willows there we hung up ...
7
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2answers
735 views

“Seven spirits of God” - literal or numerogical interpretation in early Christianity?

In Rev. 5:6 "... a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth" and also 4:5 and 3:1 Bible speaks ...
7
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2answers
5k views

What does Isaiah 55:1 mean by “buying without money”?

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Isaiah 55:1 (ESV) What does Isaiah 55:1 ...
7
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3answers
15k 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 down ...
6
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3answers
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Psalm 51:5 CEV vs ESV

How can we determine which translation is more close to the original message? Clearly "the day I was born" vs "mother conceive me" paints a completely different picture - and arguably, a different ...
6
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2answers
3k views

What did “ekklesia” mean in the Classical Greek and later the Septuagint, and did the meaning change when it was translated in the KJV bible?

I have a scholarly friend who believes if you examine the meaning of the word "ekklesia" in the original Classical Greek and later in the Septuagint it had the meaning of a "meeting"(an event in time) ...
6
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3answers
460 views

How Should “Mammon” be Interpreted - Linguistically?

Closely Related: - In Luke 16 : Are the Uses of "Mammon" Contradictory, in the Same Context? 1. Question - Historical Interpretation And Lexical Semantics : How is "Mammon" understood in ...
6
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6answers
473 views

What is the significance of Sarah denying having laughed in Genesis 18:15?

Gen. 18:12-16 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” 13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say,...
6
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1answer
4k views

Historically, how was Jonah classified in terms of literary genre?

I've been reading through a lengthy discussion at this site over the historical nature of Jonah. One position that has been advanced is that there are internal text indicators that the narrative is ...
6
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2answers
261 views

John 10:34 - Is there a basis to call “Psalms” : “the Law”?

Is there a Biblical basis, (perhaps in the prophets), or precedent in ancient Jewish literature, (before Jesus), to refer to the Psalms as, "The law"? NASB, John 10:34-35 - Jesus answered them, “...
6
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1answer
2k views

“if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus” 1 Cor 15:32

What does Paul mean by "if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus"? ESV: What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? NIV: If I fought wild beasts in ...
6
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2answers
5k views

Unfamiliar metaphors in Hosea 14:6-7

Hosea 14:5-7 (ESV) reads, 5 I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon; 6 his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall ...
6
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2answers
345 views

Are the speeches in the gospels and Acts meant to be taken as literal renditions of the original speech, or general gists of the speaker's message?

Acts 13:16-19 Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they ...
6
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1answer
705 views

Is King Solomon the bridegroom in the Song of Solomon?

A few objections against Solomon being the bridegroom are that Solomon was a king, not a shepherd (1:7), that he had hundreds of wives (versus 6:9, remembering that Solomon's first wife was an ...
6
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3answers
349 views

In Gen. 4, Seth is “appointed” as another seed “instead of Abel.” What is the ancient interpretation of this appointment?

In Genesis 4:25, it states: "And Adam knew his wife again; and she bore a son, and called his name Seth: 'for God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel; for Cain slew him" What is the ...
6
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1answer
41k views

Where was Daniel when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fire?

In chapter 3 of book of Daniel we find the story of the three young men that are thrown in fire because they refused to worship the image of gold that Nebuchadnezzar made. King Nebuchadnezzar made ...
5
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2answers
809 views

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 ...