15 votes
Accepted

Ammonites, Amorites, Amalekites, Moabites, Edomites, ... how many peoples were there?

Some of these groups formed what we would call "civilizations." Others were nations, tribes or subtribes. I hope the following will be helpful but I do not present it as definitive. ...
Dan Fefferman's user avatar
14 votes

Is there any ambiguity in Luke 2:5 to whether Mary and Joseph were already married?

There are three variants of the Greek text here: (a) ... τῇ μεμνηστευμένῃ αὐτῷ γυναικί ... ("his betrothed wife") (b) ... τῇ μεμνηστευμένῃ αὐτῷ ... ("his betrothed") (c) ... τῇ γυναικί ...
user33515's user avatar
  • 12.2k
11 votes

Ammonites, Amorites, Amalekites, Moabites, Edomites, ... how many peoples were there?

When the Israelites invaded the "Promised land" it was populated by a large number of waring local tribes - some big and some quite small. Most of them were local city-states. Specifically:...
Dottard's user avatar
  • 102k
10 votes

What are the differences between a synagogue and a temple?

The OP has partly answered his own question. The temple did everything that the local synagogue did. However, the temple had a function not enjoyed by the local synagogue and that was to serve as the ...
Dottard's user avatar
  • 102k
9 votes

Why doesn’t Paul use a Greek word for “influence” in 1 Corinthians 15:33?

Paul is using a line from the Thais of the Greek poet Menander1, whose work would have been well-known to Paul's Corinthian audience. It is not uncommon for preachers in English to quote Shakespeare, ...
Hold To The Rod's user avatar
9 votes

What are the differences between a synagogue and a temple?

I endorse @Dottard's answer but I would add than in modern Judaism, the synagogue has largely replaced the temple. In fact, many modern Jews often say "I am going to temple" when they are ...
Dan Fefferman's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Why was it a public disgrace for Elizabeth to be barren? (Luke 1:25)

Two reasons barrenness was undesirable In antiquity there were typically two reasons that barrenness was undesirable. The first, which isn't really an issue in this text had to do with the security of ...
James Shewey's user avatar
  • 7,701
8 votes

How should the, "discernment of spirits," in 1 Corinthians 12:10 be interpreted taking cultural context into account?

If you are suggesting that the "discerning" or "distinguishing" of spirits in verse 10 refers to something along the lines of divination, I don't believe that this is how the verse was understood. It ...
user33515's user avatar
  • 12.2k
8 votes
Accepted

Why did Jesus use the words "You have heard that it was said...?"

In the temptation story, Jesus is quoting a scripture passage, introduced by the words "It is written." The focus at that point is Jesus acknowledging the truth and authority of God's word. He is ...
Peter Kirkpatrick's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Why did God appear as a firepot and torch to Abram?

In Hebrew the text reads: וְהִנֵּ֨ה תַנּ֤וּר עָשָׁן֙ וְלַפִּ֣יד אֵ֔שׁ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָבַ֔ר בֵּ֖ין הַגְּזָרִ֥ים הָאֵֽלֶּה Lapid Esh (לַפִּ֣יד אֵ֔שׁ) literally means "a torch of fire." This would seem ...
conceptualinertia's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

In Genesis 24:2 why did Abraham have his servant make his oath under his "thigh"?

Definition The Hebrew term often translated "thigh" is ירך (yārēḵ; יָרֵךְ), which HALOT notes can refer to (my numbering; HALOT has only 2 entries and groups a number of meanings under #1 of there ...
ScottS's user avatar
  • 20.1k
6 votes

Psalm 23, "...table in the presence of my enemies..."

Psalm 23:5 You prepare a table before me... [OP]: Just what does this table represent? First, except in the most qualified sense, this is not what is in mind in Psalm 23:5 - The word "table&...
Dɑvïd's user avatar
  • 24.7k
6 votes
Accepted

Does Numbers 5:27 involve an induced miscarriage/abortion?

This passage describes the "ordeal of bitter water"; if a man suspects his wife has committed adultery but he has no corroborating witnesses, she is asked to either confess guilt or make an ...
Hold To The Rod's user avatar
6 votes

Is the statement "Leah had weak eyes" (Genesis 29:17) an indication that women at that time had their face covered where only their eyes showed?

The Hebrew word "רַכּ֑וֹת" which the KJV translates as "tender" in Genesis 29:17, actually has a broad sense of meaning, ranging from soft and tender to timid and weak. In Leah's ...
Biblasia's user avatar
  • 4,890
6 votes

What are the differences between a synagogue and a temple?

The essential difference is that you did not offer sacrifice in a synagogue. You took your sacrifice to the Temple and offered it there. Deuteronomy 12:10-14 But after you have crossed the Jordan ...
Mary's user avatar
  • 274
5 votes

Who is Apollyon in Greek Culture?

Apollyon seems to be a descriptive name based on ἀπόλλυμι: ἀπο- (apo-, “away”) and ὄλλυμι (óllumi, “to destroy”) rather than any Greek god or hero. From apo, we get words like apogee. Apolumi is an ...
Dieter's user avatar
  • 1,351
5 votes
Accepted

Who is Apollyon in Greek Culture?

There is with little doubt a link between Apollyon and Apollo. Let me elaborate: The name Apollyon is a Greek play on words for "Apollo" (Apollon in Greek) and "Destroyer." Revelation 9:11 reads, “...
Daniel Dutra Morais's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

What is the "due penalty" mentioned in Romans 1:27?

I answer that their "error" was the sin of idolatry, and that the "due penalty/recompense" they received was that God allowed them to fall into homosexuality. (Romans 1:23-27, DRB) And they changed ...
Pascal's Wager's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

How did authorities know that Paul was really a Roman citizen?

Thanks to Autodidact's comment with a link to an informative, documented web page, the following points help in understanding Paul's ability to be accepted as a Roman citizen, assuming he did not ...
ScottS's user avatar
  • 20.1k
5 votes
Accepted

What did Martha most likely mean by "the last day" in John 11:24?

The "Last Day" ἐσχάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ (yes, usually in the dative case) is a technical phrase, that occurs regularly: John 6:39, 40 - And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none ...
Dottard's user avatar
  • 102k
5 votes

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?

Paul also identified himself as 'a citizen of no mean city' regarding his Roman citizenship. I take it that his appointment, training and qualification as a Pharisee were a matter of a lifelong right, ...
Nigel J's user avatar
  • 30.8k
5 votes

What are the origins of the different elements present in the setting of the parable of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31)?

If one accepts that Jesus was recounting an incident of which he, himself, was cognisant, then no further research is required. The fact that Jesus names one of the participants suggests that this is ...
Nigel J's user avatar
  • 30.8k
4 votes

Do the specific gifts the father gives to the prodigal son have any special significance?

there were five gifts The robe: a sign of royalty in the house of the Father, a protection as well from the elements and danger The sandals: the son is not a servant but also the sandals to protect ...
user29302's user avatar
4 votes

What about Psalm 29, specifically, makes somes scholars think it was originally a hymn to Ugaritic Baal?

religionthink.com says that, although debate continues on the details of the hypothesis, almost all scholars agree that Psalm 29’s background is Baal worship, as portrayed in the tablets from Ugarit. ...
Dick Harfield's user avatar
4 votes

How should the, "discernment of spirits," in 1 Corinthians 12:10 be interpreted taking cultural context into account?

Surely the preceding verses give sufficient context? Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute ...
Peter Taylor's user avatar
4 votes

In 1 Corinthians 11:4 why does Paul consider it a dishonor for a man to cover his head when praying or prophesying?

This is a bewildering passage indeed. Some context from ancient Greek medical literature can help illuminate it, however. Hippocratic authors hold that hair is hollow and grows primarily from ...
Dan's user avatar
  • 8,897
4 votes

Why did the Angel ask Joshua to remove the sandal from his foot and not his feet? (Joshua 5:15)

It seems to me that the phrase שַׁל־נַֽעַלְךָ֙ מֵעַ֣ל רַגְלֶ֔ךָ used in Joshua 5:15 can properly be translated as remove your sandals from your feet. Using singular terms to refer to plural situations ...
conceptualinertia's user avatar

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