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16
votes
3answers
1k 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:...
16
votes
5answers
27k views

Where is the citation of John 7:38 taken from?

Whoever puts his trust in me, as the Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being!" (John 7:38 CJB) I always read John 7:38 as "If I believe like the scripture says...", ...
16
votes
4answers
7k views

Does the Bible describe the “earth” as flat?

I have found so much gossip on the Net and no Biblical verses that clearly support the 'flat earth' notion. I know Job spoke of the 'circle of the Earth' and other very interesting aspects of the ...
16
votes
7answers
20k views

In Deuteronomy 4:13 why were the Ten Commandments written on two tablets?

When Moses is given the Ten Commandments they are apparently written on two tablets: He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on ...
16
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4answers
1k views

Why does the Greek Septuagint of Genesis 34:3 refer to Dinah as a virgin?

In relation to a question, Does Isaiah 7:14 refer to a virgin? καὶ προσέσχεν τῇ ψυχῇ Δινας τῆς θυγατρὸς Ιακωβ καὶ ἠγάπησεν τὴν παρθένον καὶ ἐλάλησεν κατὰ τὴν διάνοιαν τῆς παρθένου αὐτῇ Greek ...
16
votes
12answers
7k views

Understanding Jesus' apparent lie in John 7:8

John 7:8: "...You go to the festival. I am not[a] going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come." The all important footnote: [a] John 7:8 Some manuscripts not yet It seems ...
16
votes
6answers
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 ...
16
votes
7answers
32k views

How many daughters did Lot have, two or four?

When we read the KJV we get the impression that Lot possibly had daughters living with their husbands in Sodom, in addition to two unmarried daughters still living at home: "And Lot went out, and ...
16
votes
3answers
8k views

How many people were involved in the Exodus?

According to Numbers 1:20-46 (NJPS): They totaled as follows: The descendants of Reuben, Israel’s first-born, the registration of the clans of their ancestral house, as listed by name, head by ...
16
votes
11answers
27k views

What does “The LORD said to my Lord” mean in Psalm 110?

This phrase has perplexed me a little bit. It's a psalm that was quoted by both Jesus (Matt 22:44, Mark 12:36, Luke 20:42) and Peter (Acts 2:34). Psalm 110:1 ESV The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at ...
16
votes
4answers
5k views

What was destroyed in Galatians 2:18?

In Galatians 2:18, Paul writes, "If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker." What is he referring to when he mentions rebuilding what was destroyed and how does that answer the ...
16
votes
4answers
13k views

Who/what is Peter's angel?

In Acts 12, Peter is miraculously released from prison when an angel visits him at night. Peter escapes and returns to the house where a group is gathered praying. A servant girl, Rhoda goes to answer ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the “Grammatical Historical Approach” to hermeneutics?

BH seems to be divided into several different approaches. What is the Grammatical Historical Approach and what are the primary ways that it differs from other modern approaches?
16
votes
9answers
6k views

Was Job short-changed in the end?

The LXX and Masoretic Text (MT) disagree concerning the number of oxen and donkeys which Job once owned; however, both the LXX and MT are mathematically consistent in that Job received double from the ...
16
votes
2answers
12k views

What is the difference between historical-grammatical and historical criticism?

The historical-grammatical method and historical criticism are both hermeneutical approaches seeking to uncover the original meaning of the text. What is the difference between the two?
16
votes
9answers
26k views

Is there any difference meaning when Jesus said “lamb” and “sheep” in John 21:15-17?

John 21:15–17 (NIV) When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love ...
16
votes
12answers
21k views

In Matthew 11:12 what does it mean for the kingdom of heaven to “suffer violence”?

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. (Matthew 11:12, NKJV) What does this verse mean?
16
votes
4answers
10k views

Why was all of Jerusalem troubled at Jesus birth?

Matthew 2:3 states When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. It is understandable why Herod was troubled, considering that if the baby was the ...
16
votes
6answers
55k views

What is the significance of both the priest and the Levite in the Good Samaritan parable?

In the Good Samaritan parable (Luke 10:25-37), the first two people who see the beaten up man are a priest and a Levite. However, a priest is a member of the Levite tribe. So why include both since ...
16
votes
6answers
19k views

Why does Jesus tell the disciples to buy swords?

Luke 9:3 and Luke 22:36 seem to form an inclusio. In chapter nine, Jesus instructs the Twelve, "Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic." But in chapter 22, ...
16
votes
4answers
10k views

How should ἱλαστήριον (hilasterion) be translated in Romans 3:25?

The word ἱλαστήριον (hilasterion) is often translated in Romans 3:25 as "propitiation," "atonement," or "sacrifice [of atonement]" in Western conservative biblical translations. In Hebrews 9:5 it is ...
16
votes
3answers
361 views

Why the Inconsistency of the name Mary in the NT?

Or rather, why is the mother of Jesus exclusively written μαριαμ, and the others inconsistently either μαρια or μαριαμ? I was originally prompted by a mini quest into the original meaning of the ...
16
votes
9answers
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 ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

What does “justify” (δικαιόω) mean in James 2:24, Romans 3:28?

James 2:24 says: You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. Romans 3:28 says: For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. What are the ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Translation of Romans 5:12

There is already a question about a possible contradiction between Romans 5:12 and 5:15, but this question focuses exclusively on the translation of 5:12 (which may inadvertently also answer the other ...
16
votes
7answers
26k views

Is the “captain of the Lord's host” an angel or God Himself?

After Joshua and the people of Israel crossed over the Jordan and before they assaulted Jericho, Joshua had this strange encounter: Once, when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man ...
16
votes
7answers
5k views

Did King Ahaz find a virgin mother?

In Isaiah 7, King Ahaz, the Judean king, is surrounded by the armies of Aram and Israel and things look bleak. At Isaiah 7:13-17, the prophet tells Ahaz that God will give him a sign that the seige ...
16
votes
3answers
30k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
894 views

Quotations in 1 Corinthians 6:13

I've noticed that in the 2011 NIV more of 1 Corinthians 6:13 is considered part of a quotation than in the 1984 version. Obviously Greek did not use quotation marks—so what hints are there for ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What significance does the word order of people, tribes, nations, and languages play in Revelation?

Seven times in Revelation, John describes people in a fourfold manner: 5:9c For you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation 7:9a ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

How should Psalm 22:16 read?

Psalm 22:16 seems textually quite difficult. The NET for example reads: Yes, wild dogs surround me – a gang of evil men crowd around me; like a lion they pin my hands and feet. Yet, they note that ...
16
votes
2answers
94k views

What is the significance of Methuselah's name?

I've heard that Methuselah's name was given to him by Enoch in response to a prophecy concerning the flood. Since he seems to have died in the year of the flood (according to the Masoretic and ...
16
votes
1answer
41k views

Is “wait” in Isaiah 40:31 active or passive?

Some translations have this verse reading "They that wait (up)on the Lord" (eg. NKJV) while others have "They that wait for the Lord" (eg. ESV) and still others "Those that hope in the Lord". (eg NIV) ...
16
votes
11answers
29k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

In Exodus 20:7 what does it mean to “take the name of the Lord your God in vain”?

In Exodus 20:7 we read (what is commonly considered to be) the third Commandment: You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

“which translated means…”

I am told that many scholars believe that the words of Jesus which we have presented to us in Greek were originally spoken in Aramaic. What confuses me then is why there are instances in the Greek ...
16
votes
8answers
23k views

Is Satan one of the “sons of God”?

In the framing story of Job, we read about הַשָּׂטָן (ha-Satan) and בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים (ben 'elohiym) appearing before God: Now it fell upon a day, that the sons of God came to present themselves ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Did Mark intend to end his gospel at 16:8?

Mark's gospel may or may not end at 16:8. The earliest manuscripts do not contain 16:9-20. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and ...
15
votes
8answers
9k views

In Isaiah 14:12 did the King James translator make a mistake using the term Lucifer to describe morning star?

KJV Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! NRSV Isaiah 14:12 How you are fallen from ...
15
votes
4answers
54k views

Why is Wisdom personified as a woman?

Regardless of interpretation, I find it intriguing that Proverbs 8:22 mentions how Wisdom was the first created by the LORD (apparently even before mankind). This Wisdom is present as a feminine ...
15
votes
6answers
6k views

Who incited David to take a census and what's wrong with taking a census anyway?

According to 2 Samuel 24:1 (NRSV) it was the Lord who incited David: Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, "Go, count the people of ...
15
votes
9answers
91k views

Why does God say he only revealed his name, Yahweh, to Moses?

Responding the the meta call for contradiction In Exodus 6:2 we find the following quote: And God spoke to Moses and said to him I am Yahweh. And I showed to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as El-...
15
votes
6answers
31k views

Why would Mary and Joseph offer “turtle doves” in Luke 2:24?

When Jesus was "presented" in Jerusalem by Mary and Joseph, the sacrifice made was "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons": Luke 2: 22 When the days of their purification according to the law ...
15
votes
8answers
48k views

What are the teraphim (household gods) Rachel stole from Laban?

When Jacob flees from Laban, Rachel steals his household gods. When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household gods. Genesis 31:19 (NIV) Jacob seems pretty serious ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Answer not a fool, or answer a fool?

Proverbs 26:4 (KJV) says, Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. The very next verse, verse 5, says, Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

What is the likely way in which ancient Hebrews would have understood “raqiya” in Gen 1:6?

In Genesis 1:6, the word "firmament" (Hebrew: raqiya) is referring to what we call the sky. It separates the waters below (oceans, lakes, rivers, etc) from the waters above (where the rain comes from)...
15
votes
5answers
6k views

Is there any reason to think that Mark 7:19 has a later addition?

This is Mark 7:19 from the NIV: For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) Every time I see a ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a sacramentalism in the “Bread of Life” discourse?

The "Bread of Life" discourse in John 6:22-59 seems to have all the components of a good discussion on the Lord's Supper (or Eucharist, or communion, or whatever your tradition calls it): Jesus is ...
15
votes
6answers
7k views

In Revelation 17:1, what does “sits” mean in “the great prostitute, who sits by many waters”?

In Revelation 17:1 (NIV), it is written, One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. ...
15
votes
5answers
46k views

What does “Under the Sun” mean in Ecclesiastes?

I noticed that the Teacher uses the phrase "under the sun" more than 20 times in Ecclesiastes. I have always understood this to simply mean "on earth" as The Theological Wordbook ...

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