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Genesis

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posted on May, 13 2008 @ 11:39 PM
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Okay. I'm going to take things pretty slow here so don't get crazy on me. I'd like to discuss certain aspects of Genesis, starting simply with Adam. Feel free to ask questions. I can't guarantee I'll have an answer, but I'll give it a try.

So here's the starting point....

Genesis begins with God creating the world and so on and then we get down to Adam. In Genesis 2, 7 of the New American Bible (hereafter NAB), we read the following:



the LORD God formed a man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.


Go down to the footnotes (keep in mind this is the official version of the Bible used by many Catholics) and you'll read the following.



God is portrayed as a potter molding man's body out of clay. There is a play on words in Hebrew between adam ("man") and adama ("ground"). Being: literally, "soul."


My main point here is that Christians don't all take the Bible in a literalist sense, and rightfully so because much of it is based on Jewish mythology, thus carrying a lot of symbolism that is easily misunderstood by a modern generation that seems to think the books were hand-written by God himself. Such an idea is irrational.

The Bible is a compilation of books on religious subjects. It has changed a great deal over the past 2000 years, especially during the first 1000. Even today some versions contain books that others are missing because somebody somewhere was offended by something. Christians need to keep in mind that even 100 years after Christ died, no such thing as a Bible existed in anything near the form that it's accepted in today.




posted on May, 14 2008 @ 12:03 AM
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Okay, so moving on (or maybe moving back) to NAB Genesis 1 (and here I'll just quote the footnotes):



1, 1--2, 4a: This section introduces the whole Pentateuch. It shows how God brought an orderly universe out of primordial chaos.


In essence, chapters 1 through 2 (up to verse 4a) explains the creation or development of earth in the best way early Hebrews could describe it. If you really look into it, they're right on target with modern science. Take a look at the footnotes that follow:




1, 2: The abyss: the primordial ocean according to the ancient Semitic cosmogany. After God's creative activity, part of this vast body forms the salt-water seas (vv 9f); part of it is the fresh water under the earth (Ps 33, 7; Ez 31, 4), which wells forth on the earth as springs and fountains (Gn 7, 11; 8, 2; Prv 3, 20). Part of it, "the upper water" (Ps 148, 4; Dn 3, 60), is held up by the dome of the sky (Gn 1, 6f) from which rain descends on the earth (Gn 7, 11; 2 Kgs 7, 2. 19; Ps 104, 13). A mighty wind: literally, "a wind of God," or "a spirit of God"; cf Gn 8, 1.


The footnotes further explain Genesis 1, 5:



In ancient Israel a day was considered to begin at sunset. According to the highly artificial literary structure of Gn 1, 1--2, 41, God's creative activity is divided into six days to teach the sacredness of the sabbath rest on the seventh day in the Israelite religion (Gn 2, 2f).


Hence the reason the sabbath always began in the evening. I'm sure you've all seen Fiddler on the Roof and if you haven't, now would be a good time to get acquainted with it.

Anyway, I think you get the idea of where I'm going with this. Anyone care to add or respond?



posted on May, 14 2008 @ 05:34 AM
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reply to post by Isaac Tanner Madsen
 


I applaud your desire for wanting to situate the context of these passages within their own time, language, and culture. It's a difficult thing to do when we have nearly 3,000 years separating the earliest accounts of these stories to now.

I personally do not view Genesis as a proto-scientific treatise on the mechanics of world formation. I think the ancient Israelites would have found that question interesting, but in the context in which these stories were actually written, about 700-500 B.C., around the time of the Babylonian captivity, the creation stories were meant to galvanize their faith in their one God, versus the gods of their captors. It is more a poem or hymn to God's creative power, and not a treatise on the development of planetary formation. The scientific perspective we as modern readers bring needs to be suspended while trying to understand the context of the writers of these passages.



posted on May, 14 2008 @ 01:52 PM
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True. The main problem that exists in Christianity today is that too many Christians view the Bible as being literal, when it is in so many ways a figurative story. Take a look at Genesis 6, 1-4. Here are the NAB footnotes:



This is apparently a fragment of an old legend that had borrowed much from ancient mythology. The sacred author incorporates it here, not only in order to account for the prehistoric giants of Palestine, whom the Israelites called the Nephilim, but also to introduce the story of the flood with a moral orientation--the constantly increasing wickedness of mankind.


This straightforwardly tells us that the Bible contains mythology--if not loads of it, then at least bits and pieces here and there. That, however, doesn't mean the Bible is not in many ways accurate. This is why I enjoy the New American Bible so much. It lists out specifically what is history, what is myth, and even formats the poetry and songs of the Bible so they can be distinguished from the rest of the text. In order to understand anything about the Bible, these sorts of things are necessary to take into consideration.



posted on May, 17 2008 @ 02:44 PM
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It is not in the best interest of the Catholic Church for the Bible to be considered authoritative.
What do you think the Protestant movement was about?
What were they protesting?
It was the fact that men put their own opinions above the word of God.
If the Bible is authoritative, we have no reason to go to men to find out what we should believe.
The canons of the Church is the highest authority on Earth, according to the Church.
Mere church goers need not trouble themselves over a bunch of old writings that they (the priesthood) understand, because they are theologians.
Just go to church every week and you will be told what you need to know.

[edit on 17-5-2008 by jmdewey60]



posted on May, 29 2009 @ 12:00 AM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 


Well, I suppose that's a matter of opinion. By the way, I was quoting NAB because that was the version of the Bible I had on me at the time. I find it interesting to look at history and see how much about science people already knew, and I wonder if perhaps they knew much more than we do now at one point, but civilization fell apart and then much of the knowledge was lost and distorted and all that is left of that vast knowledge is what we can find in ancient mythology, which (by the way) happens to be much older than Bible mythology.



posted on May, 29 2009 @ 09:27 AM
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reply to post by Isaac Tanner Madsen
 
There seems to be a widespread attempt by Jesuit educated "scholars" to persuade people to not concern themselves with looking at what the literal translation of it is.
Remember, the Catholic Church would prefer that no one on earth could ever even look at an open Bible, where they could read it. To them, it is something to be held under high security, where only the high initiate could gain access to it and under close supervision. They could not burn copies fast enough or kill translators fast enough to prevent the Bible falling into the hands of the common people.
Their response over the last 200 years is to raise up false teachers to obscure the true interpretation of the Bible and to create translations that further and further creep away from the protestant versions like the King James.



[edit on 29-5-2009 by jmdewey60]



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