Questions tagged [history]

Events in the Bible, the wider cultural background of those events, and the biblical text itself, all have a historical dimension.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
23 votes
5 answers
62k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,497
12 votes
8 answers
3k views

In Hebrews 4:12 what is the difference between ψυχή ("soul") and πνεῦμα ("spirit")?

Hebrews 4:12 seems to distinguish between "soul" and "spirit" (or ψυχή and πνεῦμα, respectively) in some manner similar to the difference between "joint" and "marrow." For the word of God is quick, ...
user avatar
  • 129
5 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 545
13 votes
6 answers
3k views

John 1:1 - How would Λόγος (Logos) be understood in Hellenistic philosophy?

In John 1:1 (NIV, KJV, ESV, NASB, RSV, ASV, NRSV), the text is often translated as something close to In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. "the Word" as ...
user avatar
  • 7,381
17 votes
5 answers
6k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 29.5k
17 votes
9 answers
8k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 11.9k
25 votes
5 answers
63k views

Was the text of Matthew 28:19 changed?

Scholars such as F. C. Conybeare1 have claimed that the Trinitarian baptismal formula of Matthew 28:19 was not original to the text of Matthew. Matt 28:19 (NIV) 19 Therefore go and make disciples ...
user avatar
  • 537
24 votes
6 answers
10k views

Who is the Artaxerxes of Ezra 7?

Ezra 7:7 mentions a Persian king Artaxerxes: Some of the Israelites, including priests, Levites, musicians, gatekeepers and temple servants, also came up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King ...
user avatar
  • 35.5k
19 votes
3 answers
33k views

In the time of Jesus, were the Jewish authorities allowed to execute?

In the gospel accounts of the trial of Jesus we learn that the Jewish authorities could not sentence anyone to death: Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” “But we ...
user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
507 views

The Pharaoh of the Exodus

Is there any textual evidence in Hebrew Bible or Christian New Testament that would identify the Pharaoh involved with Moses and the Exodus? Is there any textual evidence that would also correspond ...
user avatar
  • 161
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

What about the noncanonical books quoted in Jude?

The book of Jude contains many quotes and references to the Old Testament. However, there are two quotes which seem to be from elsewhere. The first is attributed to The Assumption of Moses. Jude ...
user avatar
  • 21.8k
9 votes
2 answers
718 views

Can we date Mark without first committing to an interpretation of the Olivet Discourse?

Most scholars believe Mark is the earliest biography of Jesus. (Paul's writings and perhaps one or two other New Testament letters are earlier, but they include very little biographical material ...
user avatar
  • 29.5k
4 votes
6 answers
224 views

What are the theological implications of Paul's continuing identifying himself as a Pharisee in Acts 23:6-10 despite being an Apostle of Christ?

Acts 23:6-10 (ESV): 6 Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to ...
user avatar
19 votes
7 answers
9k views

Revelation: Before or after AD70?

My question is about how the Book of Revelation is dated. Some say it was written before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, and others say it was written later (maybe around AD 96.) Obviously the ...
user avatar
  • 11.9k
11 votes
3 answers
959 views

Ancient Hebrew Calendar(s) and Modern Translations of "Years"

When we read Genesis or Samuel/Kings/Chronicles (or any OT book that attempts any sort of reliable chronology), what are reasonable meanings of the word (translated) "year?" Suppose I wanted to ...
user avatar
  • 657
6 votes
7 answers
4k views

In 1 Samuel 28:15 did the witch at Endor actually bring up the spirit of Samuel from the land of the dead?

When the witch at Endor conjured up a spirit through her sorcery to speak with King Saul, the Holy Bible actually stated thus: "Then Samuel said to Saul, 'Why have you disturbed me by bringing me ...
user avatar
12 votes
7 answers
5k views

How should we understand the "Cleansing of the Temple"?

As a preface, I was talking with some good friends last night and this passage came up. On of my friends contributed an interpretation that made my blood boil. He was clearly wrong and clearly ...
user avatar
  • 29.5k
12 votes
1 answer
792 views

Statistically, how similar is the NIV to other translations such as the RSV?

In "The advantages of the ESV" by Wayne Grudem, he states that the 2001 edition of the ESV is "92% RSV, 8% modified, or 60,000 words" (from the RSV): This sounds like strong confirmation of the well-...
user avatar
  • 12.1k
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

How does the Noah's Ark narrative relate to the Gilgamesh flood account?

How does the Noah's Ark narrative relate to other the Gilgamesh flood account? For reference, the Biblical flood account is in Genesis 6-10 and the Gilgamesh flood account is on Tablet XI. The ...
user avatar
  • 1,497
10 votes
2 answers
3k views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 6,598
4 votes
2 answers
129 views

Were charges required by Roman law?

In Matthew 27:37, the charges against Jesus are fastened to the cross above his head: Above his head they placed the written charge against him: This is Jesus, the King of the Jews. NIV In ...
user avatar
  • 7,381
12 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 6,411
12 votes
2 answers
13k 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 ...
user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
932 views

Does the "lost leaf" theory for Mark's abrupt ending fail if written on a scroll?

I really like this explanation of Mark's rather abrupt ending: There are three possible explanations for Mark ending at 16:8: (1) The author intentionally ended the Gospel here in an open-ended ...
user avatar
  • 29.5k
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

In Revelation 19:16 was Jesus wearing pants?

While researching this question, I came across an article I'd rather not link to1 that asserted that Jesus wore pants. The particular bit of evidence they cited was: Then I saw heaven opened, and ...
user avatar
  • 29.5k
4 votes
3 answers
359 views

Does the Didache dictate that the "Lord's Supper" was to involve a real meal?

A commentary I came across said that the Didache indicated that its audience would have a meal in conjunction with the "Eucharist" but when I looked for the reference it seems it is ambiguous (of ...
user avatar
  • 13.4k
23 votes
6 answers
41k views

Was "Τετέλεσται" actually stamped on paid bills and debt certificates in the first century?

I've often heard some really cool explanations around the meaning for the greek word Τετέλεσται in the New Testament where Jesus said, "It is Finished". I love what I've heard, and have even preached ...
user avatar
11 votes
8 answers
94k views

Did Jesus change his view on preaching to Gentiles?

In John 10:16 Jesus says (ESV quoted): And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. The ...
user avatar
  • 1,471
21 votes
7 answers
61k views

Why should an altar be made with uncut stone?

God told Moses that the altar must be made of unhewn stones: And if you make for Me an altar of stones, do not build it of hewn stones; for by wielding your tool upon them you have profaned them.&...
user avatar
  • 29.5k
21 votes
10 answers
24k views

In Luke 2:7 is "kataluma" a "guestroom" in a house or at an "inn"?

Luke 2:7 KJV translates "kataluma" as "inn": Luke 2:7 KJV - 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for ...
user avatar
  • 343
15 votes
3 answers
73k views

Why did the witnesses lay their coats at Paul's feet?

During the stoning of Stephen, according to the book of Acts, "the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul," who later converted to Christianity and took the name ...
user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
981 views

Did Jephthah have pets?

Judges 11:29-40 tells the story of Jephthah's victory over the Ammonites. Before the battle he promises, "whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the ...
user avatar
  • 35.5k
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

In Psalm 45:14 what does it mean that "the virgins...shall be brought" to the king?

First of all, I'm a layperson. Psalm 45:14 (KJV) "She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework; the virgins, her companions that follow her, shall be brought unto Thee." Hebrew ...
user avatar
  • 255
17 votes
2 answers
8k views

Did Jesus call God YHWH?

In Matthew 27:45-46 Jesus is recorded as saying: Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? Based on Jesus the Phoenician Jesus called God 'EL'—which is a Phoenician God—when he was on the cross. Is ...
user avatar
  • 8,606
13 votes
1 answer
4k views

What did 'adoption' mean to the Romans?

Romans 8 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a ...
user avatar
  • 862
8 votes
4 answers
21k views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 191
7 votes
1 answer
3k views

How did David trick Achish?

I got to this section this week and I feel like I'm missing something: David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Gizrites, and the Amalekites—who were the inhabitants of the ...
user avatar
  • 29.5k
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Earliest attestation to Luke's gospel

What is the earliest convincing attestation to the gospel of Luke? I believe that Justin Martyr quotes from Luke's gospel ca.150. Is that generally considered unassailable? Are there other earlier ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
407 views

How does the Genesis account of the Tower of Babel compare with other traditions about the tower?

I'm aware there are number of accounts of the Tower of Babel in Midrash, from the Islamic traditions, Kabalah, Josephus and the Jubilees. For the most part, these accounts seem to derive from ...
user avatar
  • 1,497
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Do the Dead Sea Scrolls argue against Aramaic primacy?

One of the arguments for Aramaic being the original language of the New Testament is the theory that Hebrew was replaced by Old Aramaic as the vernacular language in Judea following the Babylonian ...
user avatar
  • 29.5k
4 votes
5 answers
5k views

What is the significance of Gen 46:10 "Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman"?

What message is being conveyed in Gen 46:10 when it says of one of Simeon's sons: "Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman" (KJV)? Judah also had three sons by a Canaanite woman (Gen 38:2-5), Er, Onan, ...
user avatar
  • 19.6k
3 votes
2 answers
605 views

Was stoning legal under Roman law?

From John 8: 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of ...
user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
220 views

Is there any interpretative room for considering the prophetic predictions of Matthew 24:29-31 as already fulfilled?

Matthew 24:29-31 (YLT): 29 `And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and the ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
46 views

Evidence for the unity of Daniel

I understand that the book of Daniel is comprised of two languages: Aramaic from chapter 2:4 to 7:25, the narrative part, and Hebrew in chapters 8 to 12, the prophetic and apocalyptic part. I ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

What sort of "slave" is Paul referring to in 1 Corinthians 7:21-23?

Paul writes the following in his first letter to the Corinthian church: Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that. For he who was ...
user avatar
  • 11.9k
16 votes
6 answers
2k views

Is Luke's "Theophilus" An Actual Person or an Allegorical Person?

I've always wondered if there's any persuasive evidence either way for Theophilus whom Luke addresses in Luke 1:3 and Acts 1:1 being an actual person or an allegorical personification? I mean my ...
user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
4k views

Accuracy of Alfred Edersheim's "Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah"

Edersheim's book The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah has been called "one of the best known and most important references on the life of Christ ever written." However, a lot has changed in the ...
user avatar
  • 8,606
11 votes
12 answers
7k views

Luke 3:1-3 was Luke mistaken about the year in which John the Baptist's preaching began?

Luke goes into detail concerning the beginning of Christ’s ministry. To quote: “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being ...
user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
54k views

Who were the Hellenistic and Hebraic Jews of Acts 6:1?

In Acts, it talks about a division in Judaism that I had not heard of before: Acts 6:1 (NIV) In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained ...
user avatar
  • 9,533
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Was it typical to cast lots like in Acts 1:26?

At the beginning of Acts, the eleven decide that it is appropriate to replace Judas. To do so, they narrow down the list of candidates to two men: Joseph and Matthias. Then they pray, "Show us which ...
user avatar
  • 35.5k