Questions tagged [word-study]

Investigation into the meaning or use of an individual word across a specific Biblical text or collection. This can include etymology, morphology, and usage as the word appears in text. This should not be exhaustive for all uses through the entire Bible or testament for frequently used words.

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What translation best translates the word "vanity" (in the KJV) in Ecclesiastes?

The word "vanity" (KJV) in Ecclesiastes was translated (possibly incorrectly) in the NIV as "meaningless". Is "vanity" the best translation for the Hebrew word hebel (Strongs 1892) or does a newer ...
Lance Roberts's user avatar
23 votes
6 answers
43k 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 ...
Joel Glovier's user avatar
21 votes
11 answers
66k views

What did Jesus mean by "be perfect" in the Sermon on the Mount?

I asked this on the Christianity Stack Exchange site, and they told me it would be better here. So I here I am asking it... Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. ...
ByronArn's user avatar
  • 313
20 votes
2 answers
7k views

Why does Job use "bless" to mean "curse"?

This is bizarre to me, and as far as I can find HALOT (a Hebrew lexicon) doesn't even mention it.1 There are 8 instances of brk – the normal word for "bless" – in Job.2 The ESV is ...
Susan's user avatar
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19 votes
8 answers
34k views

Translation of "abba" (Αββα, אבא)

What is the best English translation of abba (Greek: Αββα, Aramaic: אבא) such as in Romans 8:15? What are its senses in the original languages, and are those best captured by father, dad, daddy, or ...
jrdioko's user avatar
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19 votes
6 answers
2k views

The lexicology of Pharaoh's heart

In the narrative of Exodus 4-14 (spanning from the time of Moses's initial assignment until the crossing of the Red Sea), there are three different verbs used to describe the action against and/or the ...
Susan's user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers
2k views

Could Philippians 4:3 refer to Paul's wife?

Philippians 4:3 reads: ναὶ ἐρωτῶ καὶ σέ, γνήσιε σύζυγε*, συνλαμβάνου αὐταῖς, αἵτινες ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ συνήθλησάν μοι μετὰ καὶ Κλήμεντος καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν συνεργῶν μου, ὧν τὰ ὀνόματα ἐν βίβλῳ ζωῆς. (...
ThaddeusB's user avatar
  • 4,191
18 votes
5 answers
8k views

Did Jesus read minds or perceive them?

In this passage, most English translations say "knowing their thoughts". In the footnote it says "perceiving" their thoughts. I feel like this is a pretty monumental difference as perceiving thoughts ...
LCIII's user avatar
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16 votes
6 answers
12k views

Does Isaiah 7:14 refer to a virgin?

There have been quite a few debates on why the word παρθένος (“virgin”) is used in the Septuagint of Isaiah 7:14 when translating the Hebrew word עלמה ("a young maiden”).1 For context let us go ...
Adithia Kusno's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
14k views

What is the difference between "eretz" and "adamah" in Gen 2:6?

These two words are variably translated as ground, earth, land etc. How should we understand the difference between the words in this passage? Genesis 2:6 And a mist was going up from the land (...
Hank's user avatar
  • 151
15 votes
5 answers
35k views

What was meant by "paradise" when Jesus spoke to the thief on the cross?

As he was crucified, Jesus engaged in a conversation with one of the thieves hung along side him. At the end of that conversation is this pronouncement: Luke 23:43 (ESV) 43 And he said to him, "...
Caleb's user avatar
  • 5,786
15 votes
4 answers
4k views

In 1 Tim 2:12, how does αὐθεντεῖν (αὐθεντεω) differ from the more commonly used ἐξουσιάζω?

SBLGNT: διδάσκειν δὲ γυναικὶ οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω, οὐδὲ αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός, ἀλλ’ εἶναι ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ. From what I can tell, this is the only use of any form of this word (often translated "to exercise authority"...
Susan's user avatar
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15 votes
12 answers
34k views

In 2 Peter 1:4 what does Peter mean by "partakers of the divine nature"?

3His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4by which he has granted to us his ...
Jack Douglas's user avatar
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14 votes
9 answers
5k views

What evidence is there that "morphe theou" in Philippians 2:6 means "God's nature"?

Is there any evidence that μορφῇ θεοῦ (morphe theou) in Philippians 2:6 means the "nature" of God the Father? ὃς ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ, — SBLGNT Several ...
R. Brown's user avatar
  • 5,983
14 votes
4 answers
593 views

When the Bible says "the world", does that only include Eurasia and Africa?

I've heard this argument a few different times for different verses. (Unfortunately, I can't remember exactly which verses as that would strengthen this question quite a bit.) However, the argument ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 9,663
14 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is there a difference between "the devil" and "Satan" in the Synoptic Gospels?

While answering a question about the words σατανᾶς (satanas, Satan – transliterated from Hebrew śāṭān) and διάβολος (diabolos, devil) in the New Testament, I ran into another question for which ...
Susan's user avatar
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13 votes
6 answers
7k views

In Luke 11:50-51, why does Luke seem to refer to Abel as a "prophet"?

In the gospel of Luke at Chapter 11:50-51 (NIV), Jesus refers to Abel as a "prophet." I am not aware of any scripture spoken by Abel, which would prove that he is a prophet,but the words of Jesus ...
Bagpipes's user avatar
  • 2,827
13 votes
5 answers
92k views

In Mark 5:41 what does "talitha cumi" mean?

In Mark 5:41, Jesus speaks in Aramaic as he resurrects a young girl: Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” Other translations ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
512 views

Is there any research that challenges the standard definition of 'προορίζω' (predestine)? [closed]

The definition of προορίζω in the Enhanced Strong's Lexicon is: 4309 Six occurrences; AV translates as “predestinate” four times, “determine before” once, and “ordain” once. 1 to predetermine, ...
blundin's user avatar
  • 1,538
13 votes
3 answers
3k 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, ...
bach's user avatar
  • 7,143
12 votes
8 answers
8k views

What does the word harpagmos mean in Philippians 2:6?

MOUNCE renders it: who, although he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, Westcott and Hort / [NA27 variants] ὃς ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων οὐχ ...
bruised reed's user avatar
12 votes
7 answers
27k views

How did “Sirens” arise in the Septuagint translation of Isaiah 13:21?

I am reading in the book of Isaiah at chapter 13 verse 21 in the King James Bible , and I notice in this bible, and in other English bible translations, that owls and jackals are commonly mentioned. ...
Bagpipes's user avatar
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12 votes
8 answers
5k 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, ...
w.kent's user avatar
  • 129
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

Angel or messenger?

Often, it is clear from context whether מלאך and αγγελος refer to a human messenger or an angelic messenger. For example, if a מלאך or αγγελος is sent by a human, then the messenger is likely human. ...
למה זה תשאל לשמי's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
40k views

What is the "Water" of Genesis 1:2?

We read in the creation account: The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.—Genesis 1:2 (...
Derek Scott's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
2k views

What were the “Urim and Thummim” (KJV)?

The first mention of these two objects occurs in Exo. 28:30, in which it is written, 30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's ...
user avatar
12 votes
6 answers
14k views

What does Jesus mean when he says "blessed" in the Beatitudes of Matthew 5?

I ask this as blessed can mean many things. Eternal life, financial wealth, health, having kids, having a job, being happy, etc. Blessings seem to be very broad, so I'd like to see if anyone can ...
RJ Navarrete's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
6k views

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 ...
frеdsbend's user avatar
  • 1,097
12 votes
4 answers
2k views

Addressing someone as "epistates" (Ἐπιστάτα)

In the New Testament the Greek word used for 'Lord' is often 'kurios' or 'Kyrie', a transliteration of Greek Κύριε (Kyrie), vocative case of Κύριος (Kyrios). I understand and believe the ...
Tonyg's user avatar
  • 587
12 votes
4 answers
255 views

Terminology of “goodness” in Romans 7

There are two different words translated "good" or "right" in Romans 7: ἀγαθός and καλός. I'm trying to determine whether there is any distinction intended. I realize that the "basic" sense (or at ...
Susan's user avatar
  • 26.2k
12 votes
6 answers
6k views

In 2 Timothy 2:15 what is meant by "rightly dividing the word of truth"?

In 2 Tim 2:15 we read: KJV Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. SBLGNT σπούδασον σεαυτὸν δόκιμον παραστῆσαι ...
Susan's user avatar
  • 26.2k
12 votes
5 answers
8k views

“You are my Son, today I have begotten you” - what are the meaning and implications of the word "today" in the context of Hebrews 1:5?

Hebrews 1:5 (ESV): 5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? It's clear that ...
user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

Are bats described as birds?

Leviticus 11:13,19 reads: And these you shall detest among the birds . . . the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture . . . and the bat. (ESV translation) Does the bible describe bats as ...
Andrew Grimm's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
12k views

Who is being slandered in 2 Peter 2:10b-11?

There are a number of interrelated questions I have arising from 2 Peter 2:10-11. Here are a pair of translations of the relevant verses (emphasis mine): NIV: Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid ...
Soldarnal's user avatar
  • 36.3k
11 votes
7 answers
22k views

Why does Mark use "immediately" so often?

I noticed while reading Mark 1 that the word immediately (εὐθὺς) is used eleven times in this chapter. When I researched, I found a theory that it may have been Mark's way of portraying Jesus as the ...
user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

What factors define meaning of "little ones" in Deuteronomy?

In Deu. 20:13-14, it is written, 13 And when the Lord your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all its males to the sword, 14 but the women and the little ones, the livestock, and everything ...
taylor's user avatar
  • 193
11 votes
3 answers
404 views

In Romans 11:4 why did Paul use χρηματισμός to introduce his quotation from the Elijah narrative?

Romans 11:4 (NA28 | ESV): ἀλλὰ τί λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ χρηματισμός; κατέλιπον ἐμαυτῷ ἑπτακισχιλίους ἄνδρας, οἵτινες οὐκ ἔκαμψαν γόνυ τῇ Βάαλ. But what is God’s reply to him? (literally: what does the ...
Susan's user avatar
  • 26.2k
11 votes
4 answers
1k views

What is the difference between ζωὴ and ψυχὴ?

The word "life" appears in most translations of John 12:25 three times. For example, in the ESV: Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal ...
Soldarnal's user avatar
  • 36.3k
10 votes
3 answers
10k views

How can we understand "fear"? [closed]

It seems that (throughout the Bible), we have been told to "not fear" but also to "fear God". How can we understand this word "fear" in these two contexts? If this word in these two contexts carries ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 9,663
10 votes
2 answers
3k views

Does the word Satan ever show up in the New Testament?

Satan is a Hebrew word that means adversary. The New Testament is written in Greek. So I guess not. It seems that they have another word. Diabolos or something that means the devil. Is that devil ...
user4951's user avatar
  • 2,595
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Does Peter intend to identify the Pauline Epistles as canonical?

In 2 Peter 3:15-16, Peters states: And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his ...
Ray's user avatar
  • 2,719
10 votes
2 answers
8k views

In Genesis 6:4 how should נְפִילִים (nephilim/giants) be translated?

Are there other translations of the word "Giant"? Please note that this question is related to this question. Genesis 6:4 KJV There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, ...
The Freemason's user avatar
10 votes
9 answers
6k views

What basis do we have for defining Sabbatismos in Hebrews 4:9?

The word, Sabbatismos occurs in the Greek NT only once. Strongest Strong's defines it as Sabbath rest; Sabbath observance. Thayer's/Strong's defines it as a Sabbath keeping. Various English ...
user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

Who were the "poor among the saints" in Jerusalem?

Near the end of Romans there are details about financial relationships between churches. It's never really occurred to me to read it as anything but the face value in English: Romans 15:25-26 (ESV) ...
Caleb's user avatar
  • 5,786
10 votes
3 answers
46k views

What are the "stones of fire" in Ezekiel 28?

An interesting phrase occurs in Ezekiel 28:14: You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. and again in ...
Kazark's user avatar
  • 10.3k
10 votes
5 answers
6k views

1 Corinthians 13:10 - What does Paul mean by "Completeness"?

What are the meanings given the original Greek word? NIV, 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 - Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; ...
aceinthehole's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is 1 Corinthians 9:27 about literally beating oneself up?

I'm used to reading the Bible in Finnish, so 1 Corinthians 9:27 seems very non-literal in most English translations. The Finnish 1992 translation is usually quite dynamic, but in this case it starts "...
StackExchange saddens dancek's user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
7k views

Why is עֲרוּמִּ֔ים (Gen 2:25) translated "naked," and in the very next verse its singular form, עָר֔וּם (Gen 3:1), is translated "crafty/shrewd?"

I am curious as to why the Hebrew word for "crafty/shrewd," עָרוּם, used to characterize the serpent in the Garden in Genesis 3:1 is the same word in Genesis 2:25, describing Adam and Eve, yet ...
H. F. Watts Jr.'s user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
13k views

Was Zechariah simply mute, or deaf as well?

In Luke 1 (ESV), Zechariah the priest is rendered mute for his lack of faith: 19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
16k views

In 2 Samuel 23:20 who were the "Lion Men of Moab"?

I have stumbled upon a passage in Scriptures (KJV) that spoke about a couple of "lion men" of Moab or specifically, "Ariels" that were killed along with a lion in 2 Samuel 23:20: [...
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