22 votes

In Psalm 22:21 is the Bible speaking of "unicorns"?

Interestingly, despite there being several good answers here, no one has yet raised the possibility that the word ראם (re'em) refers to an animal known as the aurochs or urus (Bos primigenius). (Edit:...
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  • 4,132
20 votes

Is it appropriate to translate Galatians 3:21 as "If a law had been given"?

The OP questions the validity of the article "a" in English versions given the lack of a corresponding word in Greek. I will argue that "a law" is indeed an accurate translation. There is no ...
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  • 25.7k
20 votes
Accepted

Why John 1:1 in (DRB)(Douay-Rheims Bible) is not literal translation from the Latin Vulgate?

Neither "And a god was the Word" nor: "And God was the Word" are correct translations for θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. To understand the implications of the last clause, you need to understand ...
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  • 2,848
15 votes
Accepted

Why does להבריאכם mean "to make yourselves fat" in 1 Samuel 2:29

The OP questions why translators take the root ברא (brʾ) here in the sense "to be fat" rather than the homonym "to create", which is more common in the Hebrew Bible. I see several good reasons. The ...
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  • 25.7k
14 votes

Did eve say “I have created a man just as the LORD did!”?

When considering the NET translation one should always consider the footnotes. 4 tn Here is another sound play (paronomasia) on a name. The sound of the verb קָנִיתִי (qaniti, “I have created”) ...
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14 votes

Answer not a fool, or answer a fool?

I think the thing which is causing you to see a contradiction is the use of the imperative. Rephrase using conditionals: If you answer a fool according to his folly, you risk becoming like him. ...
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13 votes
Accepted

Is ἐγώ εἰμι testified in extra-biblical Greek as an expression for saying "I am he"?

This is a good question -- or rather, set of questions. I begin by reiterating a comment from the Q&A linked by OP: to engage with this set of issues fully, one really needs to consult Catrin H. ...
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  • 24.5k
11 votes

Does the postfixed χ in Jewish Greek transliterations simply denote the aleph, i.e. vs. other vowels?

For OP's question: Is the chi (χ) used to indicate the kind of a vowel in the original Hebrew (namley the aleph א), a transliteration as it is from Hebrew in already Hebraic Greek? The short ...
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  • 24.5k
10 votes

Should the word 'satan' be left untranslated, merely be transliterated and left to the traditional connotations?

The lexical meaning of the noun שָׂטָן śāṭān in biblical Hebrew is "adversary" or the like. It occurs 27x in 23 verses in the Hebrew Bible. In most instances, it is clear this it is best translated by ...
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  • 24.5k
10 votes
Accepted

In Romans 3:26, why not translate dikaiosunēs as "justice" rather than "righteousness?"

It would be difficult to give a 100% definitive answer unless there is some commentary by the translation committee on this (which I have not found, but may exist). The following is offered as ...
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  • 19.6k
10 votes
Accepted

What pronoun refers to the Holy Spirit in John 14:26?

This is a question about elementary Greek grammar. The verse has five parts: subject: ὁ δὲ παράκλητος, (masculine) in apposition to the subject: τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον (neuter) relative clause: ὃ (...
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  • 5,180
10 votes

Answer not a fool, or answer a fool?

The contradiction is intended, and rhetorical—and present in the Hebrew. However, there may be a slight play on the use of the preposition כ which means "according to, like" as in "according to his ...
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  • 8,647
9 votes

Why does the ESV use "surely" in Genesis 2:16 when all others say "freely"?

I do not pretend to know the minds of the ESV revisers. But there is some justification for their rendering of Genesis 2:16, although exploring the (possible) reasoning cannot be done briefly. Here we ...
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  • 24.5k
9 votes
Accepted

Does the Hebrew tally these numbers?

Dan 12,12: לְיָמִ֕ים אֶ֕לֶף שְׁלֹ֥שׁ מֵאֹ֖ות שְׁלֹשִׁ֥ים וַחֲמִשָּֽׁה׃ Literally: to days thousand three hundreds thirty and five The KJV has “five and thirty” instead of “thirty and five” because ...
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  • 5,180
9 votes
Accepted

Why does the KJV add "desire" to Mark 11:24?

When looking at slightly odd renderings in the KJV (and there are some fascinating ones), it is worth checking on its influences for any clues. And the case of Mark 11:24, along with its parallel in ...
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  • 24.5k
9 votes
Accepted

How should we understand Gen 31:24 in view of the context (i.e., Laban speaks to Jacob) and an apparent Hebrew language nuance?

The Hebrew phrase in question is מִטּוֹב עַד־רָע (metov ad ra), literally “from good to bad.” According to Gesenius on מן...עד (min...ad),1 There are used in opposition to each other—(α) מִן אֶל … ...
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9 votes
Accepted

How does the Douay Rheims Bible translate שַׁדַּי as God of Jacob in Psalms 91:1?

The Douay-Rheims version is a translation of the Vulgate. The Vulgate to Psalms seems to have gone through multiple revisions. I looked through all the versions I could find easily and found these ...
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  • 3,660
9 votes

Proverbs 18:22's grossly oversimplified, glib, nonchalant view about getting married

Here's a more positive way to look at Proverbs 18:22. Proverbs 18 is an anthology of traditional sayings for a variety of different circumstances that are not elucidated in the text itself because at ...
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8 votes

What were the translators of the LXX thinking in rendering “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14?

The translation of almah as virgin makes no sense in context. First, the word almah is a vague term that means a young woman. Betulah is a more specific term for a virgin, especially one whose ...
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  • 4,042
8 votes

What is the justification for the NASB translators capitalizing "Word" in 1 John 1:1?

I don't think it's a mistake in the NASB. The identity of ὁ λόγος ("the word") in 1 John 1:1 is puzzling and may have been intentionally ambiguous. To make matters more complicated, the syntax of vv. ...
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  • 25.7k
8 votes
Accepted

James and Jacob are translated as the same name. What were the criteria followed for name translations?

Jacob Jacob is a transliteration of the Hebrew יַעֲקֹב (formal transliteration: yaʿăqob). This labels only one person in the Hebrew Bible: the patriarch also known as Israel, the eponymous ancestor of ...
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  • 25.7k
8 votes

Why is 2 Peter 1:19 commonly translated with "day star" rather than "Lucifer"?

The Greek word"phosphoros" occurs only here in the New Testament. It can be translated as "Lucifer", light-bringer or light-bearer". As the name assigned to the planet Venus by the ancients, it can ...
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  • 116
8 votes
Accepted

What does "revocalization" mean in Bible footnotes?

At the beginning the writing system for the Hebrew language only recorded the consonants. The vowels were remembered and passed on as oral tradition as one generation taught the next how to recite the ...
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  • 2,881
7 votes

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

Copied from my answer to this question (as suggested by @Jack Douglas). Actually, most modern translations are done from the original languages (or are revisions of previous translations that were ...
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7 votes

Language question in Mark 15:34

Because at that point, for that clause, the Greek switches to Aramaic (they are Aramaic words written in Greek letters, a practice known as transliteration) with the interpretation following. Mark ...
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  • 21.8k
7 votes
Accepted

What were the translators of the LXX thinking in rendering “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14?

A note about the flavor of the two major extant text traditions: The LXX was very Messianic in interpretation, in keeping with Jewish tendencies at the time. In contrast, after the events of the first ...
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  • 11.9k
7 votes
Accepted

In Genesis 11:1, what is the difference in Hebrew between the word "language" and the word "speech"?

Good question. The Hebrew for this verse is: וַֽיְהִ֥י כָל־הָאָ֖רֶץ שָׂפָ֣ה אֶחָ֑ת וּדְבָרִ֖ים אֲחָדִֽים׃ The word translated "language" is שָׂפָה sapha. This word appears to have a ...
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