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18
votes
2answers
807 views

How does a Bible translator know if it is a poem?

Let's take 1 Tim 3:16 as an example among many others, where Paul wrote or quoted (ESV): Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the ...
18
votes
5answers
6k views

Translation of “Selah” (סֶלָה‎)

What is the current scholarly opinion on the possible translations for "Selah" (סֶלָה‎) as used in the Psalms?
18
votes
3answers
8k views

“Black but beautiful” or “Black and beautiful” in Song of Songs?

Song of Songs (or "Song of Solomon") 1:5 begins as follows in the Hebrew: ... שְׁחוֹרָ֤ה אֲנִי֙ וְֽנָאוָ֔ה בְּנ֖וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם šĕḥôrâ ʾănî wĕnāʾwâ bĕnôt yĕrûšālāyim ... And is often ...
18
votes
1answer
789 views

What word best captures the spirit of לִּילִית in Isaiah 34:14?

Isaiah 34:14 in the Masoretic Text is the following: גְשׁוּ צִיִּים אֶת-אִיִּים, וְשָׂעִיר עַל-רֵעֵהוּ יִקְרָא; אַךְ-שָׁם הִרְגִּיעָה לִּילִית, וּמָצְאָה לָהּ מָנוֹח Here, לִּילִית is supposedly ...
18
votes
3answers
22k views

Why does John the Baptist deny being “Elijah”?

So Malachi rather cryptically ends with “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and ...
17
votes
9answers
76k views

Which 'modern' English translation of the Bible is considered the 'closest' or most accurate translation? [closed]

Which 'modern' (anything inclusive of King James Version to date) English translation of the Bible is considered the 'closest' or most accurate translation from the original Hebrew & Greek texts? ...
17
votes
8answers
13k views

What are the arguments in favor of Markan priority?

The synoptic problem refers to scholars' attempts to understand the relationship among the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke (known as the synoptic gospels because they have so much material in ...
17
votes
5answers
37k views

Translation of “Hosanna” (ὡσαννά)

What does "Hosanna" (ὡσαννά) mean (as it appears in the Gospels)? What is its etymology/derivation from Hebrew/Aramaic?
17
votes
5answers
11k views

Does the New Testament quote extrabiblical writers?

I am aware that the New Testament often quotes from the Hebrew Bible. However, I'm interested to learn whether or not it ever quotes - or alludes to - non-Hebrew / extrabiblical literature?
17
votes
11answers
4k views

“Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.” - why did the Jews want to throw stones at Jesus for saying this?

John 8:53-59 (NRSV): 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets also died. Who do you claim to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my ...
17
votes
7answers
14k views

Can we tell from the text who wrote Hebrews?

I have pondered who wrote Hebrews for some time. In my studies, I have eliminated Paul for two reasons. 1) The style of Greek is different than the way Paul writes in his letters. It's a higher ...
17
votes
8answers
6k views

Why didn't Joseph try to contact his father from Egypt?

Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him; and he cried, "Cause every man to go out from me!" And there stood no man with him while Joseph made himself known unto ...
17
votes
13answers
4k views

What was the “yoke” that neither the disciples nor their fathers could bear?

Acts 15:10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord ...
17
votes
5answers
46k views

Did Adam and Eve not have sex in the Garden of Eden?

In the first few chapters of Genesis, we see God create Adam and Eve and then tell them to reproduce. Genesis 1:28 (NLT) 28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill ...
17
votes
5answers
10k views

Was there some connection between barley bread and Gideon in the mind of the Midianites?

Before attacking the Midianite camp, Gideon does a little spying: When Gideon came, behold, a man was telling a dream to his comrade. And he said, “Behold, I dreamed a dream, and behold, a cake of ...
17
votes
7answers
4k views

Are 1 John 1:8 and 1 John 3:9 contradictory?

In 1 John 1:8, John says If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. And in chapter 3, verse 9, he says Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his ...
17
votes
8answers
5k views

Did Jonah actually die in the whale?

I know the common understanding is that Jonah waited, alive and conscious, in the belly of the whale until he was spat out. Has a euphemized "children's version" become accepted truth? Perhaps we can ...
17
votes
5answers
10k views

Why is the Bible so repetitive?

Some pieces of the Bible are repeated (several times even) without changes. Let's look at the book of Leviticus, especially chapters 13-16, which concerns laws about leprosy, mold, and bodily ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Who is the author of Hebrews quoting in Hebrews 10:38?

Who is the author of Hebrews quoting in Hebrews 10:38? Now the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. The "just shall live by faith" part ...
17
votes
11answers
15k views

Who were the “sons of God” (bene elohim) in Genesis 6:2?

Genesis 6:1-2 (ESV emphasis mine): When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took ...
17
votes
5answers
6k views

To what does the time clause connect in Revelation 13:8?

I noticed that there are several ways that English translations render Revelation 13:8. There is a potentially significant difference in how the clauses connect, but most translations are a little bit ...
17
votes
7answers
8k views

Is the Kingdom of God “within” you or “among” you?

Luke 17:21 (KJV) says, in relevant part, "the kingdom of God is within you." More recent translations give this much differently, for instance, as "the kingdom of God is among you" (NRSV) or "the ...
17
votes
4answers
45k views

In the Gospel of Mark, why does Jesus heal this blind man twice?

There’s this episode in Mark’s gospel which is particularly puzzling. Here it is in chapter 8: 22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He ...
17
votes
2answers
7k views

What is the proper translation of Hosea 11:12?

I have been researching Hosea 11:12 and have come to realize that it is translated differently in many differing translations of the Bible. It is sometimes translated that Judah walked (or ruled) with ...
17
votes
8answers
15k views

Why does Noah curse Canaan?

Genesis 9:23-25 NLT, reads, Then Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, and backed into the tent to cover their father. As they did this, they looked the other way so they ...
17
votes
3answers
40k views

Who or what is Rahab in Job?

The most famous Rahab in the Bible is the prostitute of Jericho who hid the two Hebrew spies in Joshua 2. But there seems to be a different Rahab introduced in Job: “God will not turn back his anger;...
17
votes
4answers
37k views

What was the lesson Elisha wanted to teach Joash using the arrows?

In 2 Kings 13:14–17 we find that Joash, the king of Israel, took a bow and some arrows as Elisha told him. And the 17th verse: Elisha said, “Open the east window,” and he did so. Elisha said, “Shoot!”...
17
votes
5answers
10k views

How was “let him take up his cross” understood by Jesus's audience?

Matthew 16:24 SBLGNT Εἴ τις θέλει ὀπίσω μου ἐλθεῖν, ἀπαρνησάσθω ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἀράτω τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀκολουθείτω μοι. ESV If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Did Ezekiel intend to contradict Exodus 20?

From the Decalogue, Exodus 20:5 (ESV): You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and ...
17
votes
4answers
28k views

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 ...
17
votes
5answers
42k views

Did King Hezekiah do something wrong in showing off his wealth to emissaries from Babylonia in II Kings 20?

The Hezekiah (Heb: Chizkiyahu) narrative in II Kings (chapters 17 – 20) and Isaiah (36 – 39) concludes on a dissonant and haunting confrontation between King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah. Hezekiah ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is the light in day 1 of creation not an 'it'?

Throughout Genesis 1 there are two repeated refrains: ויהי כן 7And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was ...
17
votes
3answers
9k views

David's sons served as priests?

2 Samuel 8:18 says: "...and David's sons were priests." How could David's sons be priests if he was a Judahite and priests were Levites?
17
votes
10answers
15k views

Is there an English equivalent for Nephilim of Genesis 6:4?

Genesis 6:4 (NIV)Emphasis added The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of ...
17
votes
6answers
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 ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the meaning of “husband of one wife” in 1 Timothy 3:2?

In 1 Timothy 3:2 we read: Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife (ESV) The ESV note that goes with the last phrase says, "Or a man of one woman." I'm aware of a ...
17
votes
3answers
10k views

Who is Wisdom in Proverbs

Proverbs chapter 8 uses a personification of Wisdom. Some people take this personification as a description of God, or of the Messiah. Is there any textual justification for this?
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Why was a chapter division placed at the end of Genesis 1, rather than between 2:3 and 2:4?

It's pretty well universally accepted that Genesis 1:1 - 2:3 represent one view of the story of creation and 2:3 - 25 a second. And yet, when Stephen Langton instituted his chapter scheme in the ...
17
votes
2answers
15k views

What is the meaning of “encircled” in Jeremiah 31:22?

Yesterday, I read Jeremiah 31:21-22 (ESV): “Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went. Return, O virgin Israel, ...
16
votes
9answers
8k views

Why did God choose circumcision and Paul cancel it? [closed]

Genesis 17:9 — Then God said to Abraham, “Your responsibility is to obey the terms of the covenant. You and all your descendants have this continual responsibility. This is the covenant that you and ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Why didn't Naomi know Ruth? (Ruth 3:16)

In the well-known story of Ruth, the eponymous character (Ruth!) is daughter-in-law to Naomi. As the story progresses, Naomi comes to believe that Ruth has a chance of finding "security" with Boaz, a ...
16
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
16
votes
12answers
78k views

What is the meaning of “water and blood” in 1 John 5:6?

In 1 John 5:6 John uses water and blood as symbolic short hand, clearly expecting his audience to know the meaning of these two liquids. 6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. ...
16
votes
8answers
3k views

Is it possible to be unbiased when interpreting Scripture?

Hermeneutics is not only concerned with the science of interpretation, but also with the philosophy of interpretation. One of the major questions under examination in modern discussions about ...
16
votes
7answers
9k views

In Esther 5 why did Esther arrange a second meeting?

I recently did a meditation on the fourth chapter of Esther at my church. As I was studying, I noticed something that I knew before hand, but I had never really thought to seriously about. Why did ...
16
votes
6answers
11k views

Is Deuteronomy 22:28 talking about rape?

Some folks assert that this passage describes the Torah's sole punishment for rape: If a man comes upon a virgin who is not engaged and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are discovered, the ...
16
votes
9answers
177k views

How old was David when he fought Goliath?

1 Samuel 17:33 (NRSV) says: Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” I have ...
16
votes
6answers
21k views

What did Paul mean by “Arsenokoitēs”? Was he condemning homosexual activity as we know it today?

The below two paragraphs often pop up when one discusses/debates about Biblical stance towards homosexuality. “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not ...
16
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
3k views

If Mary had other sons besides Jesus, why did Jesus assign Apostle John to take care of his mother?

Before Jesus died on the cross, we have in John 19:26: When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” But Mary had other ...

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