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Questions tagged [exegesis]

Exegesis is the interpretation of a Biblical text, to explore its meaning, significance and relevance. Exegesis questions should generally specify which perspective is desired. If you don't want questions from just one perspective, ask at the Biblical Hermeneutics site instead.

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What is the specific meaning of “die” in Genesis 2? [closed]

Genesis 2:16-17 (NIV): 16And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you ...
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What explanations have been offered for the “messianic secret” passages?

In a number of places in the Gospel accounts, Jesus performs a miracle and then tells the healed person and others who witnessed it not to spread the word. For example, After healing a leper, And ...
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What does it mean to interpret the Bible literally?

Here are some common definitions from a dictionary for ‘literal’: Being in accordance with, conforming to, or upholding the exact or primary meaning of a word or words. Word for word; verbatim: a ...
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From a Fundamentalist viewpoint, what does it mean to “take the Bible literally”?

In my previous answer on this question, while discussing Biblical Inerrancy, I stated: The doctrine of inerrancy does not imply hyper-literalism. As noted above, in the second possible mechanism ...
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What is an overview of the main interpretations of “day” in Genesis 1?

In the Creation account in Genesis 1 (and 2), God's work of Creation is famously split into 7 "days". For example, the first "day" occurs in verse 5: Genesis 1:5 (NLT) God called the light "day" ...
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What is the Catholic interpretation of 2 Thessalonians 2:3?

The English translation of 2 Thes. 2:3 according to New American Bible, Revised Edition: 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For unless the apostasy comes first and the lawless one is revealed, ...
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Why is a distressing spirit said to be from God? [closed]

1 Samuel 16 reads: 14 But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him. 15 And Saul’s servants said to him, “Surely, a distressing spirit from ...
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What does “scripture” mean in NT writing?

This is slightly a take-off from: What does it mean that all scripture is God-Breathed? The Bible as we know it today wasn't canonized and compiled into a single volume until much later. In ...
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Was Onan really struck dead by God for masturbating?

Historically, Onan in Genesis 38 has been accused of masturbation, and for this supposed transgression was struck dead. The term Onanism (or in German Onanie) is still used to describe this practice. ...
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Why did Jesus not want to be known as the Messiah? [duplicate]

Jesus, when talking to his disciples in Matthew 16 specifically instructed them not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. Matthew 16:20 (NIV) Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone ...
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Why did Jesus tell His disciples to buy a sword?

At the Last Supper, Luke records this dialogue: He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘...
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Why don't many churches obey Paul's command that women must be silent in church? [closed]

In 1 Corinthians 14 Paul says that women must be silent in churches and ask questions to their husbands when they get home: Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak,...
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How do Protestants interpret Matthew 16:13–20?

The verses read like this: 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; ...
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Is there a hierarchy in the Trinity? [closed]

It seems that there is some form of hierarchy within the Trinity. For example, these passages seem to indicate that the Holy Spirit is subservient to the Father and Jesus: John 14:26 (NIV) But ...
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What is the Christian perspective on the description of God? [closed]

My pastor (Calvary Chapel) referred to God as His father, then once said that God is everywhere and in everything (i.e. - inside each person) and then that God is Love. So now I am confused as to ...
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What does it mean that all scripture is God-Breathed?

In 2 Tim 3:16, Paul writes All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (NIV) All Scripture is breathed out by God and ...
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How is Jesus not lying in John 7?

In John 7, Jesus tells his brothers that he is not going up to the festival. Then he goes up in secret. This sounds to me like a lie. John 7:6-10 (NIV) 6 Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is ...
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Do parts of Hebrews 3 and 4 imply that saved Christians can become unsaved? [closed]

A few nights ago, a friend and I were reading through Hebrews 3 and 4. A few verses in particular caught my attention... Hebrews 3:11-13 (NLT) 11 So in my anger I took an oath,   &...
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How do Mormons interpret the warning in Revelation about adding to the book?

How do Mormons interpret the following passage and justify the addition of the Book of Mormon to the canon of scripture? Revelation 22:18-19 (NIV) 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the ...
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What is the Roman Catholic view on Matthew 23:9?

In Matthew 23:9, Jesus says: Matthew 23:9 (NIV) And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. What is the Roman Catholic view on this? In the Roman ...
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If God set the maximum age to 120, then how could Jacob be 130 years old?

At the time of Noah, God said: Genesis 6:3 NIV Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” Now, ...
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What guidelines or rules should be used when interpreting the Bible? [closed]

It seems that a lot of misunderstanding of the Bible comes from scripture being taken out of context. What are some other rules or guidelines for taking a literal or first interpretation (like 'Jesus ...
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What does Jesus mean by saying, “Why do you call me good?”

Luke 18:19 (NKJV) So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. My question is: is this contradictory? What does Jesus mean by this statement?
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Why did the KJV translate Jeremiah 29:11 as “to give you an expected end”?

I ran across the KJV translation of Jeremiah 29:11 on Facebook today and was struck by a seeming contradiction in the way the last part was translated. Here is the verse alongside other modern ...
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Under what conditions does the Bible support divorce? [closed]

It seems that Jesus talks out against divorce. But in other places, divorce is allowed. How does this all play out and where does the bible really stand on this? Is it a sin or is it just part of ...
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What is an overview of interpretations of “all Israel will be saved” in Romans 11:26? (Catholic/Protestant overview)

The phrase "all Israel" in Romans 11:25–26 has been a source a significant disagreement in church history, particularly since the Reformation: 25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want ...
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What happened to the tribe of Dan in Revelation? [closed]

Compare the twelve tribes of Israel, according to Genesis 35:23-26 (left column) and Revelation 7:5-8 (right): Asher : Asher Benjamin : Benjamin Dan : Gad Gad : Issachar Issachar : Joseph Joseph : ...
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What does “in the image of God” mean? [closed]

Genesis 1:26: Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,...
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Why did Jesus refer to Gentiles as dogs?

The passage below raises two questions in my mind but I suspect they both have the same answer. My questions are: Why did Jesus at first refuse to speak to the Canaanite woman? We know He had no ...
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What did Jesus mean by “this generation will certainly not pass away..” in Matthew 24:34? [closed]

Matthew 24:34 says "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.". I am a Christian, and it is my duty to seek out truth, not plainly ...
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What did Jesus quote Psalm 22: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” [closed]

What is the correlation between these two scripture? Why Jesus felt forsaken if he knew what was going on? Why was it mentioned in Old Testament as well as New Testament(in two places)? My God, My ...
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How did Judas die?

Judas Iscariot committed suicide when he realized the evil that he had done. Matthew 27:3-5 (KJV) 3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and ...
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Are there multiple levels to Heaven, for different levels of reward? [closed]

1 Corinthians 15:39-41 (KJV) 39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also ...
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Why do OEC discount the literal interpretation of the book of Genesis?

This is to rephrase the question Are scientific findings a test to Christians' Faith? It seems to me that, without any outside interference, the Bible itself gives no suggestion that the Book of ...
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Blood transfusions and Christianity? [closed]

Inspired by this question, if we choose to allow a doctor to heal us, how far is too far? In Lev 17:13-14: 13 “‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing among you who hunts any animal or bird ...
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1 John Chapter 1 & 3 - Is there an apparent contradiction?

I have often wondered why the author of 1 John, in the beginning of his letter, seems to claim that even though people have accepted Christ they will continue to sin, but two chapters later he seems ...
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Does God hate unborn children?

Did God hate unborn Esau? Romans 9:11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad ... 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” How does this square ...
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When Jesus gave Peter his name (rock) what is the significance that he then said upon a ‘different’ kind of rock he would build his church?

When Peter made his famous confession, Jesus responded by saying: And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (NIV ...
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Has the Church historically considered biblical texts concerning slavery to be transcultural or finite?

How have the Bible's passages concerning slavery been interpreted and applied throughout Christian history, especially passages such as Exodus 21:2-11, Leviticus 25:44-46, and 1 Timothy 6:1-2? Have ...
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When did Satan get cast out of heaven? Or is that yet to come?

This answer explains that it happened after Jesus ascended, and might even be something that will happen in the "End Times", but this answer says that it happened before Adam and Eve sinned. What ...
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What is the basis that many mainstream Christian groups justify labeling groups like the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses as Non Christians?

If there is no clear definition stemming from the Bible of what makes one a Christian, how does mainstream Christianity justify labeling groups like the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses as Non Christians?...
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What does it mean to comment on scripture with scripture?

What does it mean to "comment on a verse with a verse" or "only scripture can explain scripture"? I see these kinds of comments popping up in comment threads that discuss the meaning of a verse. What ...
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The effect of poison on Christians [closed]

Can someone explain me these passages about the effect of poison? Who is immune to poison? Why do they have this trait? Why isn't anyone today immune to poison? Mark 16:17-18 17And these signs ...
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Does “Where ever there is more than one of you gathered in My name” apply to the Internet? [closed]

I mean I'd like to think so...and people communicate on this site about Christianity, but I was wondering if a virtual gathering counted as well. The verse I'm referring to is Matthew 18:20: 20 ...
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How do Christians that do not believe in inerrancy interpret the Bible?

I know there are several Christian traditions that do not claim that scripture is inerrant (and therefore do not interpret everything in the Bible literally). If this is the case, then it seems like a ...
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Why do people interpret “Lucifer” as being Satan in Isaiah 14?

In almost every case I've heard Isaiah 14:12-15 quoted or preached about, I'm told that these are the words of Satan in his rebellion against God. Isaiah 14:12-15 (KJV): 12How art thou fallen from ...
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What is the protestant apologetic for James' explicit statement that we are justified by works?

James 2:24, RSVC2E: You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. Many times I've heard Protestants claim that James isn't really saying what he appears to be saying here. They ...
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What does John 12:25 mean? [closed]

What does this verse mean? Is this the reason why many good people die and lots of bad person are living the greed and wealth in this world? This keeps on bugging me. John 12:25 ”Whoever loves ...
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Who decides if a verse is literal and what parts of the Bible metaphorical? [closed]

Just to be clear, I'm not asking what parts of the Bible are literal and what parts aren't. I just want to know who decides which view verses are supposed to be followed and which ones are like ...
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Who were the “giants” mentioned in the Bible? [closed]

I've come across several verses in the Bible that speak of "giants". For example: Gen 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the ...