Wednesday, May 6, 2009

In the Beginning


So here we go... starting with Genesis
Most of the time I'm getting verses from the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. Occasionally I will reference a King James Version (KJV) or New Living Translation (NLT) as they don't always say the same thing. God willing, I will try to cite everything correctly.

~In the Introduction of this book it says that after the Pentateuch (first five books) were revealed to Moses, there was later "EDITORIAL UPDATING" by scribes.
~Christians take the 6 days of creation to be literal "days" that we experience. However, I argue that time is a creation of God, so he is not bound by it. A "Day" to God could be thousands of years or a split second. We should not try to view God through our limited human experience.
~6:6 NLT, "So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them [humans]. It broke his heart." God does not ever regret his actions... this would suggest that he did not know what was going to happen.
~16:11, God gave and named Ishmael so he is not an "illigitimate" child.
~21:9 NIV, "But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking," here the translators have chosen to use the word "mocking" but the original word also means "at play" or "playing." Why would they choose to use the more negative of the two words? To justify Sarah's throwing Hagar and Ishmael out when there was no justification. (this note about "playing" is actually included by my study Bible...)
~22:2 NIV, "Then God said, 'Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.'" Okay, the issue I have here is that Ishmael was born first. He was the only son who had ever been an "only son." Isaac always had a brother. So here I think that there is a possibility that those "editorial updates" led to the erroneous insertion of the name Isaac here to bolster the "exclusive" claim to the covenant.

~11, pigs are forbidden in the Bible, but Christians eat them.
~12: 1-5, If a woman gives birth to a boy, she is unclean for 7 days and must wait 33 days after that to go to a holy place. If a woman gives birth to a girl, she is unclean for 14 days and then must wait 66 days to go to a holy place. This is whack.

~In the introduction of this book in the NIV, it says that whole portions were added by scribes or editors.
~23:19 NIV "God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind." Uh.... so God is not (and will never be ) a man, or a son of man. Interesting.

~33:17 NIV "In majesty he is like a firstborn bull; his horns are the horns of a wild ox." KJV "His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns." First of all, unicorns do not exist. They are fictional. Why are the in the bible as real animals? Second of all unicorn ≠ wild ox.
~34:5-12 recounts the death of Moses. If Moses wrote the first 5 books, how could he write about his own death?

All of the italics and [brackets] are mine in the quotes for emphasis and clarification. I hope that, God willing, someone finds this interesting, informational, or helpful. Hopefully, I will continue on later!


Stacy aka Fahiima said...

Christians (most) believe that Peter's vision in Acts 10 nullified the previous dietary laws. However in Matt 5:17 Jesus says that he didn't come to abolish the Torah or the prophets. If you read the vision in Acts, you will see that the end result was just that Peter went to see a Gentile in his home, but it does not record that he ate any unclean animals. The changing of Sabbath to Sunday and the eating of unclean animals happened sometime in later centuries after the followers of Jesus were mostly from non-Jewish backgrounds. Interestingly, there are some Christian groups today that are going back to worshipping on Sat. and not eating Pork or other unclean things.
As far as the sacrifice in Gen 22 is concerned, I do agree with Ishmael being the true first son, but I'm not sure if he would have been considered legitimate or not after being kicked out. I do think that later though Ishmael was present when Abraham died and was buried. (?) Either way, it would have bolstered the 12 tribes of Israel's claim to the covenant, but I would not have called them Jewish at this point because the term "Jewish" refers to the tribe of Judah after the tribes were scattered in 586 BCE.
I think that the unicorn/wild ox thing is just a bad translation. I checked the Hebrew and the words are tsor and ra'em. The first word refers to either an ordinary bull or ox (its a common word), while the 2nd refers specifically to a wild ox. Its likely that the early translators of the Latin vulgate on which early English versions like the KJV were based called it a unicorn for some reason.
I gotta get to bed! Good stuff though.

NeverEver said...

In Acts 15, it is decided by the "apostles and elders" that the Gentile believers should not observe all of the laws that were given to Moses because this would be too hard for them. They are instructed to avoid meat sacrificed to idols, blood, meat from strangled animals, and sexual immorality. This is the first mention I can find about changing the rules for the Christians, and it doesn't mention the vision or any word from God, it is just the decision of the church elders that the previous laws were too hard and ultimately not as important.

Thanks for the comments, they were really helpful!!

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

You're welcome. I do think that Acts 15 definitely has something to do with what ultimately happened. If you think about it, the early beleivers would have been part of a community that was mostly Jewish and had certain standards, but this became eroded as they became primarily of Gentile pagan backgrounds. Its kind of like how cultural Islam is practiced in countries where most of the people don't have much literacy and religious education.

NeverEver said...

Where do you find Hebrew and Greek/Latin translations? I'd like to see ox/wild ox thing.

Anonymous said...

~16:11, God gave and named Ishmael so he is not an "illigitimate" child.

haha yeah exactly

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