What the Bible Really Says in Genesis
When it speaks of the lake of fire and the eternal flame, it's not speaking of a place where you burn forever. It's talking about where souls go to cease to exist. To perish is to cease to be. Free will was introduced into humanity by Adam and his kin. This is what made humanity "wicked" and why it says God regretted putting humans on the Earth in Gen6. From this point forward humans stopped living in harmony with the natural world and began to inflict their will on it.
Before this homo sapiens lived as indigenous cultures still do to this day. In harmony with the natural world around them. All of us born of civilizations are of both bloodlines. We are humans with free will. We are all descendants of both the naturally evolved homo sapien race and Adam and Eve. The two bloodlines mixed in Gen6 passing on free will to humanity.
All of us are born of both of these lines. I believe that our fore-fathers, had the best intentions in gaining an understanding of the bible, and we as Christians through our tunnel vision did not want God to think that we did not trust him. God forbid that we shared our thoughts with anyone else.. I dont know the truth, but God is merciful, if we are off and our intentions a.
I love this as well and agree with you. I had that same fear initially. We're brought up discouraged to question what's taught. Questioning feels like doubt, and doubt feels like your faith is slipping. But that's not it at all. We're not questioning God or whether or not He exists or the legitimacy of Christ. We're questioning human interpretation. We should interpret scripture informed by the current state of demonstrable knowledge. I cannot imagine God would ever have a problem with searching for truth.
Adam and Eve, just wondering. That, I think is still true. It's made pretty clear right here. Cain is Adam's son. Cain's familial line is given very briefly in Genesis 4. It accounts for seven generations of Cain's children. Considering Methusulah was the seventh generation given in Genesis 5 and the fact that the flood happened the year he died, seven generations would be about how long Cain's line would have lived assuminng they perished in the flood. I've read many different takes and Cain's descendants are often cast as the 'evil' ones. They were all equally evil.
Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, and all of theiir family. They had free will and as Adam, Eve, and Cain all illustrated, were fully capable of going against God's will and being 'wicked'. What makes Jesus significant is that he was the one human to live without once conflicting with God's will. No others did this. Not Adam, not Cain, not anyone of Seth or anyone else.
This is why Jesus was necessary. This is why God then made Jesus. This is why after the fall God said Eve would have to bare the pains of childbirth. Originally there was no need to mate and have children. They were to live forever.derivid.route1.com/250-pere-soto-phrases-over.php
What the Bible Really Says About Sex
But the fall made it necessary to make Jesus, and Jesus was made through baring children. I am lovin this; agreeing to disagree. For decades, I have believed that Adam and Eve were not the only people if the earth. My belief is a little from this. But, I do believe that when God create Adam he was not alone on the earth, I did not quit understand why I felt that way but I did.
I believe that we intrepret the bible based on our understanding if life and science, not that we are trying to find ways to demean the bible, just to get a better understanding of what truth is. As a teen I actually thought there was creators that would be coming out of the sea, now, I have a better understanding. The one thing that we all can be assured of is that all of God's thought concerning us are good, and he loves us with a dying love I believe that we should utilize science to help us benefit with a better understanding of God's word.
As Christians, it is my belief that we are so afraid to have our views changed based on what we have been conditioned to believe.
What Does the Bible Say About Genesis?
I know without a shallow of a doubt that I love God and nothing or nobody will ever changed that and I am not afraid of the unknown, as in, did the entire earth flood or just part of it or was Adam the first creation or not; things like that. Jesus lives and is alive within me. I am truly learning how to look at the events in the bible differently-to me it is simpy understanding the timeline in some cases. You may be a witness to an accident, but when you talk to an officer, you may get the times mixed up. Does it mean that you did not see what you saw?
No, you just was off with the timing of it, and you are a Christian filled with the Holy Spirit and you follow Jesus. Today was my first day of reading these post and I am getting a better understanding. Okay, if Adam was not the first man created, how can it be said that we all orginated from two people? I have a few opinions of my on learning some from other people that went to the root and meaning of the Hebrew words. Created man and woman, woman and man they did creat to dominate over beast and Earth.
In their image illusion. Yes he created good and bad. The Lord blew life into Adam. The Lord created Eve from Adams rib.. Woman of his flesh. Eve desired lusted after it, the fruit. The fruit easy the serpent and he had sex with this being. The Lord told the serpent the seed of the woman will bruise your seeds head and the seed of the serpent will bruise the heel of Eve's seed. Eve then shared the fruit sex with Adam and she bear Cain and said I have a son from the angel of the Lord then continued the birthing process and bore Able who was the image of Adam.
Info obtained from the Septuoin and Targum of Jonathan. Cain able were twins. If you notice the genealogy of Adam does not include Cain. It starts with his son Seth which is the line Jesus Christ comes from. Cain was of the serpent seed. There probable are thousands of years separating these 2 Genesis. Despite Satan twisting of the The Word from many different doctrins and the catechism that Are in complete oppostion to the Gospels.
If people actually read The Holy Bible instead of listening blindly to their religious leaders they would see they are being decieved. I think you're very right about the story of the bible on back through to the beginning of the OT is centered around Jesus. I agree Adam was God's most important creation, not because of his lineage, but because he was the first in all of creation with free will. That's what the garden story is illustrating.
Think about God working like a scientist. First, to test His creation of a being with free will He creates an environment where only one rule exists. And he broke that one rule. From then on God works with the line of Christ like one would breeding animals. He segregated the Israelites from other groups. Made sure they didn't dress like, didn't mix with other groups. He gave them very specific rules about who can mate with who. Along the way He'd choose one, like Abraham, test him, then breed through him and his offspring. These are actions of a God who is working toward something.
This is the line Jesus ultimately came from. Jesus was actually created by God through His interactions with free willed humans. God creating in an environment He had no control over. As a science teacher in a public school I have thought about this topic quite a bit. I have developed a theory of my own based on what Genesis actually says. I don't believe that the Genesis story of the creation of man was written to explain the creation of the first man. I think God created hundreds of humans the exact same way as he did Adam. I would propose that the story of Adam is only significant because Adam is the first member in the lineage of Christ.
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Moses was not given visions to see how man was put on the Earth. Instead he was given these visions so that the Bible would start with the beginning of Christ's story. Adam wasn't the first man created, but he was God's most important creation. I have heard this said many times "All Scriptures point toward Christ," so it seems logical that the Adam story would be the start of the Christ story.
I went through the same thing. Initially it felt like my faith was slipping when I began to question. It was a hard thing to come to terms with. I found it helped to recognize that what I found myself questioning wasn't God or His existence at all, all the questions I had had to do with how other humans interpreted God and the stories of the bible.
You're not questioning God. You're questioning fallible humans. The stories of the bible as you and I were taught appear to be wrong in places. All the people who initially established these interpretations didn't know nearly as much as we know now. So I simply re-evaluated the texts in the light of modern knowledge. If you're not familiar with St. Augustine you should look him up. He is regarded as one of the founding fathers of the church. There's a couple of things he said that I've quoted many times.
First, he said that biblical passages must be informed by the current state of demonstrable knowledge. Science is "demonstrable knowledge". He also said that the two books of God, the "book of words" and the "book of nature", cannot contradict one another and that if at any time they appear to conflict it's human interpretation that's flawed. Thanks, Jeremy, I'm going through the Bible starting at the beginning and your assertation of Humans male and female first and then Adam and Eve answers my questions of the "others" and Cains wife etc I've read commentaries that say we must assume Adam and Eve had other children but why then would the Eve say Seth was a replacement for Abel What you said about Humans male and female makes perfect sense in the same way He created animals male and female etc..
I understand why some are going back and forth about what you wrote, my wife, for example, thinks I am questioning the existence of God when I ask questions, she is childlike in that her faith needs no explanation she believes it for what it is I don't worry her anymore and never question or try to get her to see my point, if she says something with conviction I just say "I love your faith" as you may want to do with the semantics you're bombarded with.
If he was different in any way from what came before him, what that was would be something different. He is something different. That's what the story is describing. First it describes humans who followed God's commands to the letter, because they were "good", then it gives this very specific scenario about this specific human where it depicts God placing this human in an environment where only one God-mandated rule exists, and that human broke that rule. That's what's different about Adam. The text calls Adam the first man.
Men come from men after the first is created. The text is where I'm getting what I'm describing. The text first explains that humans were created. Then it explains that a different kind of human was created. Then the story makes it clear it's set in a populated world with two groups of people, like the others in Genesis 4 and the 'sons of God' and 'children of humans' in Genesis 6. That's why it specifically says the humans created in Genesis 1 were created in "our image". The descendants of Adam were the original tellers of the stories. When it says "our image" it means these humans were created in the same 'image' as Adam and his family.
This is why it later says God regretted putting "mortal" humans on the planet. This was the element of free will doing something God didn't anticipate. This is why the flood was necessary. This introduced free will into naturally evolved humanity. This is why God said they became "wicked".
Like you said, "By grace everything God does is good. Free will gives you the ability to act according to your own will, even if it's in direct violation of God's will, which is what makes 'wickedness' even possible. Mortal humans now had free will. By Grace everything God does is good. Until the fall, Adam and Eve were God's good creation and He can call them whatever He wants, especially until they fail to listen.
Not that I am perfect, but by Grace I need to be. I think your argument surrounding the term good has many possible talking points. My assertion is that any thing prior to Adam, but not the same as Adam in any way, is a different thing, and not human. A cat is not a dog but both are pets. They even express "emotion" but are not human. Adam is unique as being the first, according to Paul, of a certain class of being. Anything created prior or after him that is different from his class would have a different name, such as cat, dog, angel, demon, etc..
You can define human basically as you choose in a sense, but once you say that something is different from that in some way you are no longer describing a human. Adam is the fist human. Therefore Adam is the first man, anything created before or after that is theoretically different than him is not the same as him. I believe the earth was created before him.
He is not the earth, he is the first of a distint type that is catagorically nothing else except for what he is. He he is human, anything existing prior, by definition, is not. Man was created witht the capacity for knowledge and language, apart from animals. Humans are created seperately. People, plants, and animals are all cometely distinct, however similar they may seem.
I believe you are incorrect, the text say Adam was the first man. You are reading into the text that which is not present. What's significant about Adam was that he was the first man to have a free will. All humans who came before did not have free will. This is why they were able to carry out the commands of God who said to "be fruitful and multiply" and to "fill the Earth". And again, in the second generation, Cain did the same.
Yes, Adam became a "living being" not just alive, but living and making his own decisions apart from God. This, I believe, is what Paul is speaking about. I just believe that 1 Cor Then Adam was created in a world already populated by the humans created in Genesis 1". He needed to be created before other men or women. Man, Adam, needed created before they, other men, were created.
Man needed to be created before man was found on earth. Adam was the first, then others follow. Is that reasonably stated? What do you mean by 'before they were created'? They were created day 6 of Genesis 1. Then Adam was created in a world already populated by the humans created in Genesis 1. I can see that you have a few issues wrapped up here, however, without knowing your response, I imagine Paul's many potential debates here interpretation is relevant. That's not my claim. My claim is that Genesis says humans were created before Adam.
In Genesis 1 it says humans were created male and female on "day 6", then "day 7", then Adam was created. When Cain is banished in Genesis 4 there are already others that he voices his concern about. A concern that God doesn't dismiss by saying "what others? It's only human assumption that the humans created on "day 6" in Genesis 1 and the creation of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2 are the same event.
I'm saying they're two different events. Simply put you are incorrect, humans can not be in the created world before they are created. The Bible states reasonably when humans were created. Please excuse any typing errors. Right, humans are all imperfect. The reading of Genesis states humans were created. You attempt to claim humans are born and exist prior to their creation. That is incorrect and not scientific.
It's not God or the bible that's in doubt here. It's the human interpretations of it. It's human interpretation that reads these texts and comes away with the conclusion that Adam was the first human. Just a quick addition. Science is regularly adjusting its proclamations. Many previously held truths have been disproven or amended. The very defenition of science necessitates that what is currently "known" might be wrong because people must be open to new information, observation, interpretation, understanding, etc. By Grace I need to stay out of trouble myself.
I not sure this is the best place for defending that Adam is, through faith, revealed as the first human. The foundational issue with your hypothesis is that men can not be born before man is created. There are countless arguments regarding this dealing with carbon dating, textual references, language, personal biases, etc. Calling the historical book for the Jews myth does not mesh with "faith in God". Sorry if this is a waste of time to discuss on an interent website. Thank you Jeremy for your reseach and for sharing your findings. I have been focused on Old Earth Creation and life before the Garden.
Please take a look. Your God, you know everything! I believe God has sovereignty over his mind and chooses not to know certain things. This, I think, is an important clue. This and the bit in Genesis 6 where it says God "regretted" putting humans on the Earth. How could a God who knows all, knows the future, regret a decision? Or, in this case, why would God have to test Abraham assuming He would already know? The answer is that He actually doesn't.
God knows all where the natural world is concerned. The natural world behaves exactly according to God's will. But free will is a will apart from God's. God really doesn't know what a being with free will will do until they do it. Our decisions really are our own. This is why we must exist and live.
We must be given the opportunity to live and make our own choices. Without actually living and choosing, God has no way of knowing how it will go. You - "Yes, God gave us free will, but he wants to see his creation exercise that free will in faith in his words,". It is about faith. But faith is only necessary through free will. Without free will there is no need for faith.
Faith is a choice. With free will we are our own individuals, but free will is a powerful capability. It makes us creators who can create things in this universe that are not "of God", but that are "of us". So we must choose to acknowledge God as the authority. To live in eternity with a free will we must choose to adhere's to God's laws as everything else in nature without free will does inherently.
It's been almost a year since my last comment. Nice to see your thread is still going strong. Lots of great discussion going back and forth. One thing you mentioned a couple weeks ago, was about Abraham, the Isrealites and free will. That them exerting their free will is the central theme of the Old Testament, to paraphrase.
Correct me if I misread that. I think that it is a theme, but not the central theme. I believe the central theme is "Faith". Yes, God gave us free will, but he wanted to see the Isrealites use that free will to have faith in the things he asked of them as well as in the promises he gave them. Hebrews 11 is the Faith Heroes chapter. Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph etc. Without righteousness, not our righteousness, we can not enter God's presence. What do you mean, now you know?!
In the same way he will cast our sins away as far as the east is from the west. I would imagine it gets boring knowing everything all the time! Also, "Fearest" means reverential trust! Yes, God gave us free will, but he wants to see his creation exercise that free will in faith in his words, he wants to experience that, he wants that reverential trust. Gnostikos is the Greek word where we get the words gnostic and agnostic. To know or not to know. It's an experiential knowledge. God wants that experiential knowledge as he is a personal God and wants that personal relationship with his creation.
The free will comes into play in that God doesn't want to force us to love or obey him, it's our decision. So, while I think free will is a common theme, i believe it's only the mechanism for the central theme which is Faith. If faith accounts for righteousness and righteousness is what we need to be with our Heavenly Father, I would think that that would be far more important to him than the free will that he gave us.
Basically, the free will that he gave mankind is means to an end. When God spoke and made everything out of nothing, he had faith in his own words never having done it before. He was the first one to have faith in his own words, that's how we know we can have faith in his promises and the things he asks of us.
Faith was there since the beginning of the universe. Faith has more depth and value. All mountains were at some point under water some point in their lifetime. Basic bible backed science. What are now mountain tops were once sea floors. The Earth constantly changes due to erosion, wind, varying temperatures, volcanoes, etc. In a worldwide flood, they would be at different levels, not at the tops of every one. What was once at the bottom of the ocean is now at the top of a mountain after millions or even billions of years of movement called subduction. In its proper god given time all things are revealed.
Using the still in its infancy science of today to explain each and every bible statement ends in tragic failure. A Christian invented the theory of the 'big bang' for a reason. No one has been able to debunk it because it is truth. Let there be light. There was light which dimmed, stars then formed, then oceans, then plants, then animals, then man, just as the Bible claims. Yes, you're right, in many cases alternate translations don't change the main narrative of the story. But often these discussions come down to disagreements based on specific wordings. And between translations those can be very different.
For example, in Gen6 some bibles call them "Nephilim", others say "Giants". Or in Job, some say "angels", others say "sons of God". And in the end little things like this can even alter one's perception of the message. Like in these cases stated above some believe the early Earth was populated with angels that rebelled against God and procreated with humans. That leads to big differences in the perceived message of the bible. Here's an example of a misunderstanding that I feel is based on small differences in wording Creation says God commanded life to be fruitful and multiply.
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That's what evolution is. And often, to be "fruitful", life had to adapt to the environment it lived in. Small changes over time that made life more capable of being "fruitful" led to significant evolutionary changes over time. God gave life a direction, I desired outcome, and life became. Like "let there be birds in the sky". Life became that, over time. This is how God creates. His word, His command, dictates the behavior of all things in the universe. He doesn't just make things magically appear. He doesn't form each one as He did Adam. He commands, it becomes. This is no way conflicts with the explanations given in the bible.
The Gospel isn't talking about physical death. To reach eternal life we must all still physically die. Believing in Jesus doesn't make you physically immortal. That death still exists. There are species of insects and animals who only feed on death plants and animals. They exist because physical death has always existed. It's part of the natural system. The Gospels are talking about spiritual death. Evolution in no way invades on the themes of the Gospel. This simply means life existed in the sea before the formation of those mountains. Mountains are places in the continental land masses that buckled up as they shifted.
This doesn't mean the sea rose over them after they had formed into mountains. There was no reason for God to flood the entire Earth. The situation simply didn't call for it. There was a time early in Earth's formation when the seas formed before the continents existed.
This is the only time the entirety of the Earth was covered in ocean. You can take any bible you like and the stories are the same. There isn't one version of David and Goliath in one translation and another version in another. No matter what version you choose, the story of David and Goliath is the same. Same thing with the Creation story and the world flood story. The only thing left is man's interpretation of those events. That's where the errors pop in as you have so blithely demonstrated. But the bible message is consistent all the way through. Advocating some kind of theistic evolution or trying to fit evolution into the Creation narrative is absurd and violates what's actually written.
It also destroys the very basis of the Gospel, that death was foreign until the fall of man and Christ came to take away death and give eternal life. You cannot shove evolution into the Christian faith without wreaking havoc on the gospel and bringing into question the entire credibility of the bible. How utterly ridiculous to think that in Luke 3, Luke, a physician, in recording the family tree of Christ, adds the supposedly fictional characters Seth and Adam. Men who try to discredit the simple reading of the scriptures, know not what they are messing with. This is why the bible is considered the Word of God.
There are things in it man could not possibly know but God would. What's interesting to the the denial of the world flood is that there are sea fossils on the tops of every mountain in the world. A few mountains can be explained away. Every mountain including Everest, is not explainable.
There was a world wide flood. You can't measure god's wisdom with human wisdom. My statements about it being man-made are to address those believers who treat it as the infallible word of God. But for it to be man-made doesn't mean it has no value as a reference. It's a man-made text that documents actual interactions between the God it's speaking about and humanity. It also gives specific geographic details and a specific timeline that can be used to locate these events in the archaeological record. I did not cherry pick or "one time they got it right".
I found a span of time in the region it specifies where the series of events it describes can be seen as to have happened along the same timeline it gives. This isn't cherry picked events. This is a series of events that spans over consecutive years. Any explanation other than evolution is laughable. And so is the idea that the flood was global.
There's absolutely no reason to flood the whole planet, and no way the authors of the bible could even claim that considering they didn't know there was a whole globe at the time and certainly could not report on the status of the whole planet. Humans have been anatomically modern for roughly , years. But this doesn't mean there were ancient cultures all along the way through that time. The cause that led to civilization is the creation of Adam and through him the introduction of free will into the world. Before that humans lived just as indigenous cultures still do to this day.
They have no ambitions to progress beyond the simple life they are content living. That ambition that makes modern "civilized" humans what they are is a product of free will. That's one of the tell-tale signs of free will. If man made what exactly is the point of this? You can't possibly be using,referring to,or backing any claim s by using it then. You cannot claim only that supports your theory as "viable".
So why use any of it at all? It's just a silly book with a few perhaps somewhat accurate historical contexts according to you. You do realize you must take those views if you wish to continue your theory? Cherry picking,or in your case I assume you'd deem it as "one time they got it right",is not a method respected by anyone of intellect.
It's either bunk with a few got it right moments or it's true,correct,the actual God Inspired Infallible Word Of God as it claims to be. You cannot have it both ways Jeremy. It always baffled me when an individual does this circular reasoning. With a "cherry"on top as it were. I don't have the time nor inclination to prove to you how,if you missed the ridiculousness of it to begin with odds are you cannot cure stupid. Suffice it to say,bunk and plain lies aside,they merely replaced God with their own and named it "nature".
A global flood is proven,actually the bible has been proven accurate,science merely moved the time line. And "we" buy it because we trust in them,in man. No need to prove it to yourself,or even demand science prove it,if science merely can say so and explain that "evidence" in a manner in which it could but never that it did,it must be true. So let's change the world around us to coincide,correlate,support, such science,and disregard,even argue against anything that doesn't.
Even if it's the infallible word of God. The human mind has been around with its current capacity to think and plan for about , years or more. If it takes 1, years to make a civilization, then 20 civilizations could have risen and fallen in succession. That does not even count parallel civilizations. So, Humanity goes back about , years. The Ancient writings tell a story of a group of War Lords trying to rebuild civilization after a catastrophe.
For evidence of ancient civilizations, see monolithic structures such as Baalbek Lebanon and the ancient city of Dwarka. They weren't the ones editing the book together. That was done way later by people who weren't dumb, but who were certainly ignorant. They weren't dumb enough to make the same mistake but they are dumb enough to record them in the same book, change three words around and pretend it's not the same person. High or exalted father. Abraham, father of multitudes. Given to Abram after 25 years of loyal and faithful service. You and the secular world say these are retellings, but I dont buy it.
The mistakes Israel made right in Gods face were also ridiculous, taking from his example more times than makes sense, but truth is often stranger than fiction. As for the desendents of Adam being mistaken for gods, Erech is very likely Uruk. In fact Uruk was the first Sumerian city after the flood, and Genesis says Nimrod established Erech right after the biblical flood.
I don't personally think Nimrod and Gilgamesh were one and the same primarily because Gilgamesh went to visit the "Sumerian Noah" in the Gigamesh story. If they were one and the same then Gilgamesh would have been visiting his great grandfather. He visited him to find out the secret to not dying and living such a long life. But yes, I think Nimrod was himself seen as a god by the humans that populated the region.
All of them carrying with them the same stories of a flood. All of them the god-like beings in the ancient histories and fuzzy memories of these cultures. While the quote was found on Wikipedia, it was a direct quote from the Jewish Dictionary. The mistakes of the Jewish people were not limited to just them.
These are the free willed humans the stories focused on, but the same would have been the case for any human. You included, I assure you. It's simply illustrating how free willed humans are out of God's control no matter what He does. With free will God introduced an element into the world that's not under His control, by design.
That is what they were and what we are. This is the central theme. When God tested Abraham it was the same thing. Would his own personal will override God's will, or would he choose God's will even if it was something he very much did not want. This is why He bred from Abraham the line that ultimately brought about Jesus. God actually worked with an element not under His control to create Jesus. And I never said the bible is just a book filled with a few nuggets. These are actual accounts of the God of this universe interacting with mortal humans. These texts and the information in them are priceless.
My pointing out that it's man made is not to diminish it in any way. Just to realize the importance of not interpreting it as a fault-free word of God Himself. To recognize it for what it really is to aid in studying it. To better understand it and what it's saying. And no, it really doesn't work. The first two times it was Abram, then Abraham. The third time it was Isaac. All three with a Pharoah in Egypt. The same Pharoah in the second and third.
This is the same story. Yes, history has as tendency to repeat itself, but this is just ridiculous. The Jewish culture is a story telling culture. Word of mouth tales were all the rage. This was one of those. Very popular and recorded multiple times. Multiple variations as it changed over the years. Going back to the descendents of Adam being mistaken for gods, any thoughts on the belief Gilgamesh could have also been Nimrod, which means "rebel", great grandson of Noah from the bible?
The city of Kish, and Nimrods grandfather Cush, seem likely to be related. Erech is very likely to be Uruk as well. There are several other similarities as well. You make it seem like these supposed conflicting incidents you keep bringing up, this one massive glaring contradiction spanning 3 well separated chapters of Genesis, are just rehashing the same story. These aren't just two random dudes who lived decades or even years apart.
Abraham and Isaac respectively, are father and son. Time flows like a river and depressingly history repeats itself. You could be right. I could be wrong. Like Plato credited to Socrates, I don't claim to know more than I know. But I do have faith. I suppose all we can do is respectively agree to disagree. Its hard to take your critiques when you try to validate yourself through secular and unreliable sources like wikipedia. Thats even worse than trying to get me to believe what some atheist with a bunch of degrees on the history channel has to say. My impression of people is that they are people.
I respect Abraham but have no allusions about his mistakes during his early years. You must not have paid attention to the Tenakh? The Hebrews made the same mistakes over and over and over and over. And yes, Abram was scared and its obvious, a trait his son also carries. You know, like father like son? He did great things but not until later in life. In fact, in the desert every five minutes they went back to worshiping Baal whenever Moses' back was turned. Do I seriously have to give a bunch of verses about the Israelites doing the same shady stuff over and over again?
God let them be enslaved and dispersed constantly due to their really dumb mistakes. I have face palmed several times reading the Old Testament wondering how they are so hard headed. Which version full of geniuses have you been reading? They are so consistently wicked that in 2nd Kings God finally lets 10 of their 12 tribes disappear for several thousand years or forever if you dont adhere to Revelations and ends their winning streak until just a few decades ago.
And I don't kind of make it work as that would mean it also kind of doesn't work. These aren't philosophical fictionalized history stories meant to have a moral at the end. If anything, this is God proving that people are weak and shady and helpless and no one is righteous without him; yet for all of this he is always faithful to keep his word in the long run. It's the paraphrased playbook He uses to grow closer to his sinful creation.
See, this is the danger in treating the bible as God's infallible will I feel. You've rationalized a whole explanation around it to kind of "make it work". And in doing so you've deemed some characters chicken shits and whatnot. It's completely altered the impression you have of these characters. It changes the whole story. But it is not very probable that Abraham would have run the risk twice. Moreover, a similar incident is reported in regard to Isaac and Rebecca Genesis This recurrence indicates that none of the accounts is to be accepted as historical; all three are variations of a theme common to the popular oral histories of the Patriarchs.
That women were married in the way here supposed is not to be doubted. The purpose of the story is to extol the heroines as most beautiful and show that the Patriarchs were under the special protection of the Deity. Even those closest to the culture and the language don't take it as historical. These texts committed to tablet, were popular stories. I'm sure it was a popular story to tell.
It's got all of that good stuff that people want to hear. A punished man of power who's oppressing the hero. The hero going off into the sunset having been protected by a powerful God. The wife is exquisitely beautiful to the point that no man can resist. Yes, you're exactly right. Part of understanding context is understanding each story for what it really is.
As for the hangup I have about the mysteries in the bible and the research is that I don't see God as being coy about what's happening. Like it's some puzzle we have to figure out. Or to feel better about ourselves because we feel God has in some way deemed us worthy and has revealed something to us in some way.
About Alex Haiken
Like your comments about David and Abraham and Moses. These men lived long, full lives. There's a reason why these stories only really focus in on their not so proud moments. If you edited together a brief story of my life with nothing but the less attractive moments end to end then I definitely would not come off well. But that's the theme of these stories. Humans have free will and constantly do their own thing.
They can't be controlled. You can do miracles right in front of them. Feed them mana from heaven. Strike them down in front of one another. Free them from slavery. They won't follow God's will. Free will is the theme of the story and illustrating how it affected these people is the whole point of the story being told. It's considered everything for a reason. Without it the bible makes no sense.
Abraham was a chickenshit. The Pharoah and Abimalech, ruler of Gerar are two different rulers he thinks will kill him because of Sarah. The Hebrew are the scum of the earth who backslide and forget god at the drop of a hat in spite of seeing more miracles than any other people. Isaac inherits his fathers fear and penchant for lies and repeats the same mistake of his father out of fear for his life. Yet god shows that his power through grace is manifest in even the weakest and undeserving of people.
First, I hope we can agree that sex outside of marriage is considered adultery and is a sin.
A biblical scholar such as yourself no doubt has come to this conclusion. Second, marriage is explained as only to be between a man and a woman. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. I hope we can agree on both of these things. Otherwise, you may as well not even read the third and final point. While you may deny the validity of the two above statements, I challenge you to find a verse that contradicts them, and I will gladly retract my statements.
So finally, my third point links all of these together under the statement: Straight sex or gay sex, straight lust or gay lust, it makes no difference. Both types are an example of sin and the only escape is through the sacrament of marriage. I suppose the difference is that there is one situation where the bible states straight sex to be good, with no situations in which gay sex is stated to be good.
Thanks for the food for thought. Few human institutions claim to be as traditional as marriage. Yet even fewer have undergone more traceable metamorphoses. Genesis 24; John 2. Since no vows were exchanged, there was no infidelity. The male who commits adultery does not violate his own marriage, but that of the woman and her husband. Adultery was a property-related matter. The Greek word for romantic love does not occur anywhere in the NT.
Among no group of people would concepts of romantic love parallel to those common today have been the operative factors in arranging marriage. It consisted of fair treatment, respect and mutual consideration and often corresponded more to paternal affections in the pre-modern world. Age differences between husbands and wives may have contributed to that. For you and I, a married person, man or woman, commits adultery by having sex outside of the marriage. It is a personal offense. In ancient Israel, adultery was an offense only against the husband; it was an unlawful use of his property, his woman, his wife.
More than a personal offense, it involved a financial loss: I understand that culture was different. But as a Christian the bible is the ultimate authority. One thought that imediately comes to mind is the levirate marriage. When a married man in Israel died childless, his widow was to have intercourse with each of his brothers, in turn, until she bore him a male heir.
Jesus mentions this custom without criticism cf Mark What I do look down upon is misusing The Word and becoming complacent in sin within it. We are all called to follow the commandments of God out of love of him daily. That said, God loves gays and I do too. It is the fact of responding to Christ that is the all-important thing. Thank God for that, indeed! A few final thoughts that may or may not? It tells us some things and then there are others we have to wrestle with. The issues we face today are wide-ranging.
So while the Bible, the Word of God, has always seemed clear enough about some issues of sexual morality, when we are confronted with some of the complex situations that people find themselves in today, we have to look deeply at the Word of God for wisdom to know how to handle some burning contemporary issues in the most appropriate way. Needless to say, this has raised some difficult questions. He identified one Levitical command as the key to understanding the rationale behind all the others.
This suggests that, when trying to determine why an OT law was given and what its relevance is to a modern Christian, two vital questions must be asked: And though Lev It would not be healthy spiritually or psychologically for you to violate your conscience. The fourth gospel offers us a speech of Jesus at the last Supper that alerts us to expect that further revelation from God would emerge as we grew ready to apprehend them.
Indeed that has been the case on scores of issues. As for this one, I think for now we can respectfully agree to disagree. Alex, I plan to read more of your blog to know more clearly what you have to say, but I have to say that in the first section of this post you are dead wrong. What it IS my place and responsibility to do is point out the truth of scripture.
Alex—Another thoughtful, well-reasoned Bible study. Opens up a new area for study. You did a great job with that. I think he deals in the reality that men traditionally have thought of women as lesser. Kathryn, thank you for your edifying words. So many things I never thought about too. I simply accepted what I had been taught by others. It was a shocker to ultimately discover that when the few passages of Scripture that generally get appealed to in this debate are examined more closely and in context, the traditional interpretations simply do not hold up to scrutiny.
It rarely occurs to any of us that our reading of Scripture is profoundly colored by our own cultural context and worldview, as evidenced by many of the comments on this site. We will never arrive at biblical truth by asking of the text: Our job is to somehow try to enter the world of the biblical writer and seek to understand what the writer was saying and what it meant at the time. If we fail to pay attention to the world in which the Bible was written, our understanding will almost always be misunderstanding.
This sounds like excuse-making, to be honest. Christians claim that Jesus is unique because he was so revolutionary in his thought. Keith- Since you posted more specifically in a comment on my blog, I answered more specifically there; but I wanted to say here that I understand your point of view. I was raised in a secular home by feminist parents. I was taught, and believed, that the Bible is anti-woman. Even after I came to faith in Jesus, I figured that was just something I was going to have to live with.
I tried being a good little woman, squelching my own ideas and creativity. But as Alex found, it is to no good end. Denying our personal identity leads only to hypocrisy and misery. Finally, when I realized that my church leaders were not infallible, I started digging into the Bible with a fresh perspective. I found that God created our specific identities for a purpose, and that every single human being has something valuable to contribute. As for Jesus specifically, his example and insistence of including women and children alongside of men, learning and worshiping together, was as revolutionary as his teaching.
Even though we disagree on some things, we agree on much. We can choose to treat one another with kindness and respect for the sake of our common humanity. Yes, I can imagine your eyes boggling at that statement. Mine would have too, a few years ago, when I just believed what people told me the Bible says and means. As I said, I answered more specifically on the comments you made on my blog. I really, really like this. Reblogged this on Running Wolf and commented: This is a beautiful passage.
Please take the time to read this. Alex, this is my first visit to your blog, and I really appreciated this post. I think it is such a shame that so many people are so quick to believe what they are told, and then view the world and the Bible through that lens. You have provided an excellent example of the dangers of depending upon others for truth, rather than turning to the Bible itself. However, I find your replies to comments to be the most impressive.
I deeply respect your ability to respond with love and truth, regardless of the hostilities you receive. I hope that seeing the character of Jesus in your responses may break down some of the walls that prevent people from testing the validity of what they cling to as truth. I hope that YOU do not simply believe what you are told either. There are many Biblical passages which indicate that what was going was NOT simply a matter of people being inhospitable. Indeed, asking for a house guest—an angel at that—to be sent out so that the locals can have sex with him IS inhospitable.
Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. God loves them and is ready to heal and forgive. Lord knows, far too many well meaning believers in their misunderstandings try to make the Bible say many things it never intended to say. What happens when you ignore the historical context of Scripture? As the old time radio teacher, Dr. As repeatedly stated here, responsible exegesis requires that we seek to draw out from the text what it originally meant to the author and to the original intended audience, without reading into it the many traditional interpretations that may have grown up around it.
They are that which is given in the Bible. Trebord, surely you jest! It is a distinctly human trait to cling tenaciously to long-held conceptions of truth and once challenged will eventually relinquish these beliefs only by passing through three separate phases, known as the three stages of truth. During the first stage, the issue goes unnoticed and is ignored. We simply accept and go along without question. The second state is characterized by a period of vehement denial, argument, and challenge.
The third stage witnesses the clear certainty about the issue being finally recognized as self-evident. We can hardly get better commentary than that. Sorry you feel that way, but I can and do admit when I am wrong on something. See my last comment above on the three stages of truth. That aside and in all due respect, neither your opionion nor mine is what matters here. In the final analysis, either you can exegetically support your doctrinal position or you cannot. Steadily increasing numbers of evangelicals, Bible scholars, theologians and others, working in good faith and out in the open, are discovering that when these few passages are examined more closely and in context, your doctrinal position is exegetically unsupportable.
Thanks very much for the post. Have to go and re-study some other Bible passages in light of this! Thank you for that, first of all. Although, too, I always felt it was more than just that, and I do believe that is a big issue these days, that we make that the issue for the homosexual. I think pointing the finger, using stories like this one, to prove our side of it, to say that it is horrendous that people live that way, is not the way we are going to help bring people to a genuine relationship with God, a relationship that will ultimately make for restoration in their life.
Just asking a question here. For the believers in the whole jesus thing. Was G-D wrong in Deuteronomy 4: Because having statues of this jesus thing to worship seems to me like they are calling G-D a liar? Kinda like the whole statue of mary thing too. Just asking… Since we have all these people with these college degrees maybe one can figure out what a carved image of a female and a male is?
The commandment has nothing to do with art, though the graven images of the ancient world were indeed works of art. But the prohibition is more concerned with how they are employed. The pagans of the ancient world believed that through images of deity, the deity became present in a special way. As a result of this linkage, spells, incantations and other acts would be performed on the image in order to compel the deity. The images then, for the people of the ancient world, represented a worldview, a concept of deity that was not consistent with how God had revealed himself.
I hope this helps. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. On Being Jewish, Christian and Gay. Refusing to recognize what you know to be true about yourself because you fear the opinions of others is a recipe for complete self-deception and leads you on a road to nowhere.
Then the prophet spells out explicitly what God calls the sin of Sodom: I found so much evidence in support of the claims of Jesus and the Bible that it required more faith to reject it than to believe it. I came out as gay at a young age but was taught when I came to faith that I could not be both Christian and gay.
I served for a time as a leader of an ex-gay ministry but shifted my views after recognizing that when the few passages generally appealed to in this debate are examined more closely and in context, the traditional anti-gay interpretations do not hold up to scrutiny. I learned that the ex-gay route is a scripturally unsound mirage, a specious illusion that deceitfully draws people not to a life-giving oasis but to a deeper and deeper spiritual desert. Seeing the immense need for education in this area, I began to speak and write about my experience and new-found convictions.
I am also passionate about helping the Church better understand her rich Jewish roots; helping other Jewish people understand Jesus as their Jewish Messiah; and helping other gay people integrate a theologically sound, committed Christian faith with their sexuality. It is my hope that the reflections in this blog will prompt you to explore the paths they suggest, leading to your own more eloquent thinking, exploration and action. This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged abomination , bible , biblical interpretation , canaanite , christian , christianity , closet , detestable things , evangelical , exegesis , gay , Gomorrah , high places , homosexual , homosexuality , idolatry , John Boswell , pagan , shrines , Sodom , temple prostitution , Willaim Brownlee.
January 1, at 6: Christians in my home country need to hear you. January 1, at 7: January 2, at 1: As an atheist who supports gay rights, I think my own recommendation in this matter is obvious. January 2, at 7: January 4, at 8: February 21, at February 22, at August 24, at August 25, at 5: KA, You cite 2 Peter 2: January 4, at With much love -Devon. January 4, at 6: January 4, at 4: January 4, at 5: February 22, at 7: February 22, at 8: What strained apologetic device is needed to explain that away? January 8, at 8: January 8, at 9: January 23, at I would never claim gay sexual sin and straight sexual sin are in any sense different but lets consider a few things: January 24, at Is this what you mean by biblical marriage?
January 24, at 5: January 25, at 5: January 25, at 1: January 25, at 4: February 19, at 7: February 20, at February 21, at 7: February 23, at 2: February 24, at 1: February 24, at 6: Lady Tam Li says: February 27, at 3: