Home » Biblical Studies » Archive by categoryBiblical Language Issues (Page 3)

Why Is It So Hard to Translate Isaiah 44:18?

I will never understand why it is so hard to get a good translation of Isaiah 44:18. (Actually, I do understand, but that wouldn’t have made such a catchy first line.) Let’s start with these two: (NIV) They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over...
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Psst…. Yahweh Doesn’t Mean “I AM”

In a place like the world of the Bible where people were given names like “Festive” (2 Samuel 3:4~ Haggith),  “Hot” (Genesis 10:1 Ham), and “Wild Goat” (Nehemiah 7:58~Jaala), you might imagine that the names of their gods might also have some descriptive quality. Of particular interest is...
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Body Parts, Wives and Other Stuff in 1st Thessalonians 4:4

Let’s consider three different translations for 1 Thessalonians 4:4 in context. Paul uses a figure of speech that has many people scratching their heads. The King James takes a rather literal approach. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 reads: For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye...
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The Unseemly Assumptions about Samson

Today we have a guest Blogger. John Donnelly, Biblical Literacy Ministries Educator, Church Planter, Part-year missionary to India. John has a Master’s in Old Testament Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Masters degree in New Testament studies from the same. So here he is on “The Unseemly Assumptions about...
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Freeze! This is the Covenant!

We’ve been discussing some important points about Covenant both in Scripture and in the ancient world. So, if you’ve been following my string of posts on Covenant, here are our facts so far: God didn’t invent covenant, he used it because it was a valuable tool for communicating...
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A Baptism in Confusion: 3 Baptisms in Mark 1:2-13

In our last episode, we introduced the bare bones essence of water baptism as an ancient covenant ratification act saturated with typical death imagery and corresponding OT interests in ordeal (the divinely ordained safe passage through the maws of death, representing divine election and/or divine decrees of innocence). ...
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Fearsome Holiness

Though appearing over 1000x in Scripture, HOLY is a tricky notion to express in modern secular communities. Few raised in the modern western tradition today have the proper mental and emotional categories to contain its full weight and meaning, even when accurately defined through extended description; and we...
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Let’s put the X back in Xmas

I am not sure how many of you already know this, but I love Xmas… not just Christmas, but Xmas. I think we should all love Xmas. You see, ink and parchment were expensive back in the days of the early church and for centuries afterward. The Greeks...
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Hallelujah: Call “of” Praise or Call “to” Praise

After discussing, in my recent blog post, “Hallelujah is a Sentence,” that the biblical “term” Hallelujah has grammar and that we should both be aware of that grammar and use the phrase accordingly in our worship songs, I received two types of criticism. Let’s call them sniveling and...
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There is no Jehovah

Being that few of my friends and neighbors have names that really mean something to us, (Other than Marsha Mello, Amanda Lynne, and Justin Case Yelle). I am intrigued about the psychological impact of living in a culture that makes you feel like you stumbled into a mafia...
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Dying for a Vision?

I’m not sure which is worse, the constant misuse of Proverbs 29:18a (KJV) or how many times I find myself saying, “That’s not a good translation,” whenever I try to explain the whole proverb. Now, I have to say, “the whole proverb,” because I’ve never heard anyone actually...
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