A Study of the Bible's Nautical Terminology in Light of Recent Archaeological Findings with Pastoral Applications
An understanding of the nautical terms in the Bible will help pastors teach biblical narratives and imagery. Just as sailors gain a new appreciation for God’s gifts on the sea each time they cast off the dock lines, so through this thesis students of Scripture will gain a more precise and contextual appreciation for God’s words about the sea and sailing, which will equip them to communicate biblical maritime passages more accurately and vividly. This thesis approaches the topic from three different angles, so readers will gain a range of insight for improving their understanding of biblical sailing. The first part of the paper is a summary of recent discoveries in nautical archaeology. This fledgling science has exponentially expanded the topic’s knowledge base in the past twenty-five years. Pastoral study resources published before these discoveries lack the crisp detail with which we now see the ships of Scripture. Secondly, this thesis provides an exhaustive index of Greek and Hebrew nautical terminology in Scripture, allowing readers to study and compare linguistic nuances. Finally, a thought-provoking appendix contains reflections submitted by lay and ordained WELS sailors.