Anonymous: If you'd spend a fraction of the time studying and promoting God's law as you do so-called natural law, perhaps we could divert the judgment of God on this nation.
First of all, I must say: I had no idea that I held such authority and power in the destiny of this nation; me, a mosquito. Yes, bionic…but still.
Yet the more interesting topic: God’s Law vs. Natural Law. No, I don’t see a difference in any meaningful sense, but play along.
Now, I could point to the ability to find natural law strictly via Scripture, as I have done in the past; or I might suggest that God created a universe ordered on principle and pattern (He did), with each created being having a purpose (it does), a telos – hence, “God’s Law” and “Natural Law” are therefore one and the same thing (at least on all the meaningful features, it seems to be so).
But, instead, I will this time pull on a string that was first explored here, via the question “why the flood?” In other words, on what basis was man punished before the Law was revealed?
Now…that word “revealed.” Is it only to mean “words I read in the Bible”? Many who use the term “revealed” mean it this way. But can it not also mean what has been revealed to us in and through His creation? A simple question: does not the physiology, biology, and anatomy of a man and of a women “reveal” something of God’s law?
For me, the answer is yes – and therefore I have no need to continue this post; this “picture” given to us by God in His creation paints a thousand words. But for many, this is a bridge too far. So…we only know the purpose of male and female only by the words in Scripture (like intercourse, and therefore procreation, would never happen unless God commanded it). Or…we know murder is wrong only because God said so (hence, it was not wrong before He said so). So, for these, I continue.
Genesis 2: 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Here we have God’s first command to man. Now, this command cannot be deduced from natural law in any way that I see, yet it remained a valid law. It is for the violation of this command that man was removed from paradise. After this event, the command held no more authority – man was removed from the tree and its fruit, hence man could no longer violate this command.
The fruit was already eaten. The cat was out of the bag. The horse had left the barn. You get the idea.
So, we are back to having no “God’s law,” in the sense that we can find written evidence in Scripture.
Genesis 3: 22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil.
Really, the money verse. Man knows good and evil (God’s law), not by any revelation from God, but…naturally…once he ate the fruit. It is important that this is so, otherwise we are left with the accusation for which we have no defense: God is an arbitrary God. Man must know the difference of good and evil without God’s law; he must know it by his nature, the nature inherent in him once he ate the fruit.
Genesis 4: 3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”
God had no regard for Cain and his offering? Why? God expected that Cain knew how to “do well.” On what basis would God expect such a thing?
I find no law of God preceding these verses that Cain might have violated, nothing from God that said “I am not a vegetarian.” On what basis was God displeased? Was it a whim, random chaos, arbitrary requirements?
Or was it something else, something not written or spoken, perhaps something breathed into man in his creation? Was it something from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? If so, we don’t have the words, nor did Adam or Eve hear any words. Merely by eating the fruit, did they discover the law…naturally? The natural law? Is this what they passed on to their descendants?
I don’t know, but I do know that whatever Cain violated, there is no “God’s law” that cautioned him against this.
Continuing with this passage:
8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”
Was there a law against murder? If so, it isn’t recorded anywhere in the verses preceding this passage. On what basis did God punish Cain? There was no “revealed law.” How can this be? Was it the fruit?
Genesis 6: 5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
What wickedness? What evil? Show me the revealed law, show me the written regulation. Or, does man somehow just “know.” If so, how?
6 And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
Punishment on the entire human race (save Adam and his family, as we know)? For what? We are well before the Ten Commandments here.
11 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
Did God ever say that violence was wrong? Did He ever describe “corruption”? We have no evidence of this. Yet if the punishment was to be so severe, isn’t it appropriate that man was given warning? Was it the fruit?
Finally (and after the devastating punishment of the flood), we get the first “revealed” (and relevant) law, in chapter 9:
4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.
6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image.
Yet, before this, Cain was punished. How was he to know? Before this, all of humanity save Noah was punished. On what basis were they judged?
And we still have nothing about theft, covetousness, etc. Murder – that’s it. Well, that and no eating flesh with blood. Nothing more. And only one family survived….
Cain was punished. On what basis? All of humanity save Noah? Drowned. But what did they do wrong?
I return to the comment that prompted this post:
If you'd spend a fraction of the time studying and promoting God's law as you do so-called natural law, perhaps we could divert the judgment of God on this nation.
Who was promoting God’s law before Moses, or at least before the two laws given to Noah? Perhaps all of humanity could have been saved from a God who punished arbitrarily.
But we know that this isn’t what God did. Man was not punished arbitrarily; man was punished justly. On what basis? Maybe it was when God breathed into man? More likely, it was when he ate the fruit. On this basis, man knew God’s law, man knew the difference of good and evil…and he knew it naturally.
And by violating God’s naturally-understood law, man was justly punished.
Some refer to the eating of the fruit “the original sin.” Perhaps, more appropriately, this event should be referred to as “the original appropriation of the knowledge of good and evil.” In other words, it was the original appropriation of the natural law, written on man’s heart.
This natural law, like the fallen nature that we each inherit as a result of this first violation of God’s first command, is passed down to each one of us – descendants of Adam and Eve.
And this is why no man has any excuse.
I understand that when people say "God's Law as revealed" generally mean "God's Law as I interpret what is written. God's Law means what I say it means."ReplyDelete
True, and moreover, what is written cannot be what was revealed by God unless God is easily understood. What is written is a sort of translation for the intellect because the intellect cannot understand divine revelation to begin with as there can be no additional mediators between God and humanity.Delete
In other words, Adam walks with God without ever knowing that God is good. He doesn't need these value judgements in order to be in direct contact with God. Knowledge of God or the knowledge of good is an additional mediator between God and humanity. The intellect is an obstacle between humanity and reality.
Interesting point that natural law was transferred to mankind when the fruit was eaten in Eden. I hadn't thought of that before. But I think it fits. Before sin, there was no evil, in their state before everything was obedience to God.ReplyDelete
In my thinking, operating under natural law is a step down from the original innocent state. It was a blessing to man, but a one not necessary before the Fall.
I also see where you used the Church Fathers discussion on the corruption of natural law in Genesis 5-6. Good stuff.
For more on natural vs written law.
It's so easy and 'natural' to become embroiled in religion and religious debate. There is no such thing as God's law only the law of Moses John 1.17. Grace can never be subjected to a law. The law plays no part in it. Rev. 22.11.ReplyDelete
Read James 1:25 and James 2:8-13. Law is broader than the Mosaic law.Delete
"If you'd spend a fraction of the time studying and promoting God's law..."Delete
"There is no such thing as God's law..."
It is unfortunate that so many people identify themselves as Anonymous, as did the author(s) of both these quotes. If both were written by different people, then it is understandable why they would contradict each other, but if they were written by the same person, then he (she) has contradicted himself (herself).
Either there is such a thing as "God's Law" which Bionic should be studying and promoting or there is not. Which is it?
Oh, and BTW, will the real Anonymous please step forward?
Broader isn't better. As the founders of this country rightly observed, if we don't follow God's laws, there will be no end to the burdensome laws man will come up with.
I wasn't clear in my comment I guess, because you missed my point. The word "law" in James 1 and 2 is broader than Mosaic law, but it only refers to "law" mention elsewhere in the Bible.Delete
Roger: "Either there is such a thing as "God's Law" which Bionic should be studying and promoting or there is not."Delete
Roger, do you see a meaningful difference between God's law and what I have described, over the last many years, as natural law? If so, where? Not minor details on the fringe, but something that clearly divides.
Not for your sake, but for My Name's sake.Ezekiel 36:22.Delete
Satan tempted Eve into being self centred and conceiving his seed of disobedience to love, love which is not self seeking. I Corinthians 13:5, which nature (self seeking) Adam in turn adopted to be his own.
Man is by definition Satan's children, which only God can adopt to be His sons through Jesus Christ ...to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Ephesians 1:5-6.
"Roger, do you see a meaningful difference between God's law and what I have described, over the last many years, as natural law? If so, where? Not minor details on the fringe, but something that clearly divides."Delete
Bionic, no, I do not. I think you are heading in the right direction and I encourage you to continue exploring the issue.
RMB, the word "law" mentioned in James 1 and 2 refers to the Mosaic law. There is nothing in those chapters that suggests anything else in the author's mind.Delete
shnarkle, I think you are incorrect. It mentions the Mosaic law in one instance but not every.Delete
Before James writes this:
"25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does."
He writes this:
"21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers"
Word and law are used interchangeably. With the word being "implanted". That refers to things outside of the law like the gospel or natural law.
In chapter 2 he refers to several specific Mosaic commands, but then says this
"12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment."
Liberty and mercy are not parts of the Mosaic law. So he is extending "law" to more than the Mosaic law. Also think about commands or laws in the Old Testament that aren't a part of The Law like "love you your neighbor as yourself." Or the command given to Noah "he who sheds man's blood by man his blood shall be shed." That is a command but not a part of The Law.
RMB, nowhere in the bible do we find anyone equating liberty with license. Even the lowest of pagans knows that liberty has nothing to do with being able to choose between keeping or violating the law. The gospel is presented within the Mosaic law. The problem is that it isn't lived until Christ embodies or as the prophet says, "magnifies" the Mosaic law.
The Mosaic command to love your neighbor as yourself is in the third book of the Mosaic law (Lev.19:18). Your reference to Noah has nothing to do with the Mosaic law, but everything to do with the law of Hammurabi. The problem most people are not cognizant of is the ability to distinguish laws which were observed versus laws which were Given by God, affirmed and codified in the Mosaic law.
Commentators, and others have been baffled by God's silence when the Patriarchs commit acts which are offensive to our sensibilities. If we look at these as historical observations rather than commands, the issue reconciles itself. see this concise explanation https://levendwater.org/companion/append15.html
I'd like to draw your attention to the idea that commands like Sabbath observance, dietary laws, and circumcision are done away under the New Testament. The problem with this theory is that these are all Given by God PRIOR to God affirming, and codifying them in the Mosaic law. What is done away is a false or counterfeit purpose, i.e. justification by the law. Doing away with a false purpose does not do away with the actual purpose of the Mosaic law. It is not the commandments that are done away, but the "law that was added because of transgressions", aka "the penalty", "the curse", "the handwriting of ordinances that were against us" etc.
Moses is instructed (Deuteronomy 31:26) to place a scroll or book "beside" the Ark of the Covenant "as a witness against you". This book should never be conflated with the "stone tablets" which are "inside" the Ark and are "for" our benefit, e.g. "the Sabbath was made FOR man...etc.",i.e. for the benefit of humanity. When someone violates the laws which have been given to Moses by God, this scroll is opened and consulted to determine what should be done, e.g. stoning, financial compensation, sacrificial offerings, etc.
All who sinned "under the FIRST TESTAMENT" have been redeemed. (Heb. 9:15). Note that no sins are redeemed under the second testament, and there are only two possible reasons for that: 1) those who do sin are damned because "there remains no more sacrifice for sins"(Heb 10:26), or 2) no one sins under the NT. Sacrifice has become redundant because "those who walk after the Spirit do not fulfill the lust of the flesh".
Paul has provided a caveat to his claim that the law is done away by specifying who this refers to. He himself admits that he is still under the law because he still sins. He must continue to rely upon the sacrifice of Christ in order to cover his sins because he still relies upon his own "will and effort" (Romans 9:16) instead of the promise guaranteed by God.
It is not the commandments that are done away. It's the penalties for transgressing those commandments, but ONLY for those who no longer sin because they have become "conformed to the image of his (i.e. God's) dear Son".
The distinction is NOT between the Mosaic law and some vastly more comprehensive law, but between commandments kept versus commandments transgressed.
Under the OT the commandments are what one hopes to keep while under the NT they are fulfilled promises. e.g. "You will love the lord your God with your whole being", "you will love your neighbor as yourself", "you will not lie, cheat, steal, murder, commit adultery" etc.
Most of what you write, which is voluminous, doesn't address what I am talking about.Delete
The point is that there are commands throughout the Bible which are not a part of the Mosaic Law, before and after Moses and outside the covenant with Israel. Even Paul, Peter, John, and James issue commands that would fall within natural law and outside of Mosaic law.
On one point, Noah wasn't following the law of Hammarabi. That is a bizarre claim. God commanded Noah and his family directly to carry out justice for murder.
I could be wrong, but I'd prefer to see some examples or evidence of your claims before I come to that conclusion. Where do Peter, Paul, John and James issue commands that are outside the Mosaic law? Which direct command are you referring to for Noah, and why do you think this is a direct command from God?Delete
Read Genesis 9 for the comment on Noah.Delete
Read Ephesians 5 for a whole list of commands Paul gives to the church. Peter says similar things to Paul in 1 Peter. There are loads of examples in any book you read, usually at the end.
To my way of thinking, this is a tempest in a teapot.Delete
What is God's Law? What is man's Law? Mosaic Law? Or non-Mosaic Law? As far as I can see, they are all codifications of certain, specific moral viewpoint(s) which are imposed on cultures and societies, which people use to control the actions and behaviors of other people--especially those they do not like or approve of.
God is love. God's Law is love in theory, practice, and reality. God and His Law are positive, affirming, and life-bringing. They are not negative, punishing, nor deadly. It is the corruption of and opposition to God's Law (love) which brings codes, rules, restrictions, bondage, slavery, and death.
In the whole of the Bible, all law (whether God's or another's) is boiled down to one truth expressed in Galatians 5:14. "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"
And Paul continues in v. 16: "I say then: Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." What does he mean by this except that if a person follows the rule of the Spirit (love), he is not subject to the rule of the flesh (desire for control of other people). For those who wish to contend that last statement, remember that every sin committed against another person is ultimately a desire to control that person for one's own benefit.
Galatians is a testament to the futility of trying to live by rules as opposed to living by the Spirit, which is love. In fact, the 'liberty by which Christ has made us free...' (v.1), is not so much definitive salvation from sin as it is becoming free to live and to love without being under the "yoke of bondage" of law. Rules-based organizations are not free, no matter how much they are promoted as such.
The fruit of the Spirit is love...and self-control. Against these, there is no law. (v. 22, 23)
There would be no need for LAW, Law, or any other kind of law, IF we would embrace the freedom which Christ has given to us, love others as Christ loves us, and learn to love others as we love ourselves. The reason we are bound and enslaved to laws is that we refuse to live the way we were meant to: in the Spirit of God Who is the very essence and definition of love and freedom.
I have never seen anyone deny that God gave His law to Moses. Some assume that he only gave ten commands, but the book of Moses itself spotlights it was all given by God. Conflating God's law of love with the "penalty", or "curse" of the law is a false equivalency. The NT repeatedly spotlights Jesus' own judgment on those who transgress the Mosaic law, and the wrath of God as well. Jesus not only upholds those codes, rules, restrictions, bondage,etc., but points out that one need only think it in their heart to become guilty before God. God's law cannot be equivalent to any other.
Every sin committed against another person is not necessarily for one's own benefit. Sin is quite often about vengeance or destroying what others have without any need or desire to benefit oneself. Those who are jealous may want what others have, but those who are envious, make sure that if they cannot benefit, no one else will either.
Your references to Galatians ignore the context which has nothing to do with the commands, but with the penalties for transgressing those commands. The yoke of bondage is explicitly with regards to sin. All references to being under the yoke of bondage to the law are with regards to those laws which were 'added because of transgressions' of the laws they were supposed to keep. You're conflating the laws which were supposed to be kept with those which were meant to deal with transgressions of the law.
Christ himself "sums" up the law of love which is an explicit claim that he is not removing anything from the obligation of the Mosaic law. Those who keep the law need not be concerned with being "under the law" as that is only for those who transgress the law. It is not about our refusal, but our incapacity to love. See Romans3:10-20;Mark 7;Luke 23:34
Spot on. Even self acknowledgement of doing good deeds and living according to the law, is sin, as the rich young man found out. Self acknowledgement takes away glory from God’s grace.Delete
It is not widely assumed in our post-modern-now post - human world that man is created in the Divine Image. We need to regain what traditional man has always known: a religious and metaphysical view of reality. This wisdom presupposes that truth is not something we are anxious to grasp mentally, but something we are called upon to embody in our being-an immediate, heartfelt intuition and identity of being beyond mental concepts and thoughts fabricated upon concepts.ReplyDelete
It is a sharing in attachment to the living source of things-a direct participation in the one same light and illumination that is the spiritual essence of things.
Only the human as such is "fallen"; the intellective organ is that spiritual presence in the heart that pierces our egocentric illusions;the better to illuminate our path to what transcends our "fallen" nature.
It can only flourish to the degree we bring our lives and our very being into accord with and contemplate the "logos" within from the lower faculties of sensation through the intermediate facilities of memory and imagination, to the intergrative facilities of intuition and inspiration that finally strikes some reverberation of the eternal reality.
What is this subtle distinction you're making between what can be grasped mentally versus what the intellect can grasp?
Regardless of whether it be religious or metaphysical, regaining a view of reality is not reality. As long as fallen man knows good and evil or places these value judgments upon objective reality, they can never BE good.
shnarkle:mentally/intellect. meister eckhart, our soul is composed of two parts:Delete
1)one part(mentally)has a regard for and a dependence on time, and thereit touches on creation and is created such as anger,desire and the senses.
2)the uncreated part,the intellect. transcends time and space, and is directed to the transcendent realm: memory and will.
to make contact with this uncreated substance of the higher intellect, grace is indispensable.
Natural law is written into the very fabric of creation. Eating the forbidden fruit removes God from His throne, cuts God out of the solution, man is on his own. Every man does what is right in his own eyes, becomes his own judge. This is universal, we all violate the natural law written in our hearts. Down deep we know it. The end result (without God) is the flood or some other judgment or destruction. "God's Law" (the Bible) simply assumes the natural law and clearly defines it. The 10 Commands are not arbitrary, but natural. The Bible offers us the solution: a covenant of grace whereby lost humanity can be raised back toward the image of God.ReplyDelete
All law is man's law. God is an imaginary source serving as a big authority for some men's moral opinions in order to make them more persuasive. But that's a mistake since the entire point of a moral code is that free will requires it. Therefore a moral authority is an unnecessary idea when what is needed is a line of reasoning to a moral code that serves life and happiness. It is only when a moral code lacks a reasoned justification, that a moral authority is needed to sell it. Free will is about judging and choosing, not obeying.ReplyDelete
I still don't think this will satisfy the "God's will before God's law" people. They can continue to claim that God uses good & evil as a frame of reference to punish fallen man such as in Cain's example or the Flood; but this can be brushed aside as a "mechanistic" aspect of creation, only weakly related to the more important issues of grace and salvation. Since ALL men are sinners, it is obedience to God's will rather than to God's law that determines salvation.ReplyDelete
That sounds like bovine excrement to me, because interpreting God's will/commands in Scripture is an endeavor just as prone to corruption through man's fallen nature as interpreting God's reason by observing the created world as well as Scripture.
Unless, of course, God judges man in terms of the *sicerity* of his obedience, not effective adherence to commands. That's straight up antinomianism, though. We have historical evidence of what it's like when antinomians start availing themselves of the sincerity of their faith, which makes them oh so superior to those wretches clinging to their fallen reason to survive in the created world. Turns out the created world doesn't take too kindly to that. Then it's either a descent into Gnosticism or bust.
Please forgive the rant...
God's law is seen through obedience while natural law is as you have pointed out, the consequence of disobedience.
The reason he is cast from the garden is "lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever:" (vs.22)
God's law is not the knowledge of good and evil. That is the transgression of God's law. By definition, sin is the transgression of God's law, therefore God's law existed prior to sin entering into the world. God's law does not have to be codified in order to exist or to be revealed.
Abel is offering not just the firstborn, but the best of his flock, i.e. "the fattest" while Cain is simply offering up some grain. Cain is not doing well at all. Grain is grain, it's all the same.
There is a spiritual law within Abel that causes him to offer the best to God, but the natural law within Cain which will never be enough. He can't rule over evil, any more than Abel can rule over God. This same theme is repeated throughout scripture (e.g. Jacob and Esau, Moses and Pharaoh, Romans 9 etc.)
The revelation of God's will or law should not be conflated with knowledge of these laws. Unless God is easily understood, his revelations cannot be known. Revelations cannot be understood by the intellect. Adam's conscious awareness of the presence of God is much more comprehensive than mere knowledge of the good.
Explanations are found in the Oral tradition, but if you are a transgressor of the law, even that may seem incoherent. God's law is a "learn by doing" methodology. The more it is kept, the more one understands.
It does not follow that keeping God's commandment leaves us with no defense other than to seize the first horn of Euthyphro's dilemma. God is the source of truth which neither makes him capricious nor subservient to the truth he speaks.
Man knows through the faculty of knowing, i.e. the intellect. This is not a snarky response. It is effectively a simulation of what is experienced, thought or revealed, and hence inadequate at deriving, ascertaining, or accepting the truth. It is not knowledge of the truth that sets anyone free. Knowledge of the truth is a consequence of being set free by the truth. This is a mirror view of the Genesis account.
Lies bind, and the knowledge of bondage is a consequence of believing those lies. Adam is bound in sin. He recognizes the difference between the two which could only come from carnal knowledge of evil. Knowledge of God's will is insufficient evidence for those who are deceived by the machinations of their own intellect.
The reason why God must blot out the entire human race is explicitly stated and contrasted with Noah who "found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God."
The Hebrew word for "generations" is the same word used to describe the sacrificial offerings. Unlike those who are wicked, Noah has a pure or unpolluted pedigree. He is not the product of these mixed unions between the sons of God and the daughters of men, nor is he or his family engaging in this type of behavior. The wicked were given warning as we see documented in 2 Peter 2:5 where we read that Noah was "a preacher of righteousness."
God's naturally-understood law is only naturally understood after the fact. This is contrasted by Paul who points out that those who "walk after the spirit do not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Most importantly, Paul is not referring to Adam before his transgression; a fact which Christians are woefully incapable of acknowledging or believing.
"It is not knowledge of the truth that sets anyone free. Knowledge of the truth is a consequence of being set free by the truth."Delete
Shnarkle, how do you square this against John 8:32, in which Jesus the Christ said something completely different.
"And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."
You say that we are set free by the truth and only after being set free do we come to the knowledge of that truth. Knowing the truth is a consequence of freedom. Liberation comes first, then knowledge of that fact.
Jesus, on the other hand, said that knowing the truth makes us free. Knowledge of truth liberates us and the more knowledge of the truth we gain, the freer we become.
Who are we to believe?
Let me preface my reply by thanking you for "Steelmanning" my post. Far too few people even have the capacity to accomplish such a simple task. I appreciate it when someone has the grace to let those they're engaged in a discussion know that they're both on the same page.
Having said that, let me once again draw your attention to what John is recording in this verse:
"And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."
Note that he does not say that knowledge of the truth will set you free. His observation simply records two simple facts, i.e. "you shall know the truth", and "the truth shall set you free". One does not have to know the truth to be set free by the truth. Christ points out that he is the truth as well as the fact that it isn't we who choose him, but he who chooses us. It is he who knows who are his to save.
Paul affirms this repeatedly even going so far as to correct himself when he points out that, "we know God, or rather are known of him...etc."
By placing knowledge as the foundation of truth, one has placed the intellect above the truth itself. It is difficult for most people to even fathom that knowledge cannot be more fundamental than the truth.
This is the same case for reality. One's understanding of reality is not fundamental. One's understanding does not stand under reality, but is derived from reality, or at the very least, the interface with reality.
Knowledge, understanding, the intellect, etc. are all derivative, and can never be fundamental to the truth, reality, etc. There is no effective difference between a simulation and what one may know. You see the chair with your eyes, but it takes your intellect to make sense out of it, and process what you see into some sort of meaningful picture in your mind. The chair may mean something to you, but that meaning is not the chair. That picture in your mind is not the thing itself. It's a representation. By definition, representations are not what they represent.
Another way of looking at it is to note that it is not the knowledge of Christ that sets anyone free, but Christ himself who sets one free. The Good Shepherd does not approach the cast sheep and ask if the sheep knows him or accepts him as their shepherd. He simply picks it up and takes it back to the sheepfold.
Placing one's knowledge in this position of prominence displaces the focus from Christ, and makes you the focus. It makes what you know that sets you free rather than the object of your knowledge. Knowledge of good and evil is not good or evil. Knowledge of the truth can only acquiesce to the truth. It can never BE true(not to be confused with epistemologically true knowledge or true statements) or the truth itself.
By it's very nature, it can never be the basis by which truth is established. The truth is evident always and everywhere, but the faculty of knowing can never be what is known or the Knower. It is the gateway to deception and ignorance. It is where Adam believes he can hide from God because the God of the bible is not an idea and ideas are the only currency of the mind.
You make a good argument. I will have to mull this over and work my way through it before I reply.
BTW, I had to look up the definition of 'steelmanning'. In 60+ years of reading/writing, I had never seen the term before. Quite a compliment, I would say. Thank you.
As to natural law, Romans two seems excessively clear and to agree with you.ReplyDelete
And you epilogued so well in saying "Perhaps, more appropriately, this event should be referred to as “the original appropriation of the knowledge of good and evil.”"
But then you said a very weird thing: "...the fallen nature that we each inherit..." Now while it is possible that tens of thousands of Christian writers have used the exact same language for a remarkably similar idea, i took the odd road of checking scripture instead.
Y'know what? It wasn't in there. No fallen nature. Nowhere.
So i sat back and thought for a moment. You ended with the comment, "And this is why no man has any excuse." That expression certainly has scriptural foundations, lots of them.
And what did not fit struck me. If someone could convince Christians to believe in a fallen nature, that would actually be the greatest excuse in the world.
Your article perfectly describes God realizing that relying on “natural law” has ruined humanity, and starts the process of adding specific rules. Yes, we have good and evil in us….but if we rely solely on our “instinctual” biases, evil will win…every time. The only time good will win is by learning/following the rules, and fearing the punishments, which allows our weak, feeble minds a glimpse of what good actually is and evil actually is. If you trust natural law, then put ten children in a room without rules. By 6 “chapters” into your experiment you will also abandon natural law and introduce your first rule.ReplyDelete
Natural law is not based on "instinct," nor is determined based on the behavior of ten children in a room.Delete
4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
The law was to not eat fruit from a specific tree. Adam knew to do eat from that tree was to disobey. When Adam ate, not Eve, but when Adam ate the forbidden fruit, knowledge of good and evil went from potential to actual. Through Adam's deliberate act, not from deception, sin entered the new creation. Adam doubted God and acted.
Also, there was no command/law to make sacrifices/offerings.
I react a little negatively to the use of the term Natural Law in the context of Genesis. Too close to the initial events. Although, see that there is an intrinsic sense of something "out there" beyond the sensual, especially the further we get from The Fall.
I should have emphasized that after Adam ate the forbidden fruit, he knew "good and evil." Like a woman "knows" her husband after consummating.Delete
A few things have, perhaps, been missed here.ReplyDelete
1) Just as it is true that not all the words of Jesus are recorded in the gospels (cf. John 21:25), so it is that not all of God's instruction to man prior to the flood is recorded in Genesis. The absence of a verse condemning murder before Cain is condemned for murder in no way means that God had not revealed his will to man on the subject. Sin is defined in the Bible as the transgression of God's law (1 John 3:4). Paul says that there is no transgression if there is no law (Romans 4:15).
2) The inspired commentary on Genesis 4 says, "By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks" (Hebrews 11:4, NKJV). Notice, "By faith." Where does faith come from? "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). The inescapable conclusion is that Abel heard and followed God's instructions on how to sacrifice, while Cain did not. No, we do not have those instructions preserved in Scripture. But that does not mean that they weren't given at that time.
3) As another commenter noted, there is no such thing as man inheriting a fallen sin nature in Scripture (cf. Ezekiel 18:20).
Dave in GA
Dave in GA,
Your juxtaposition of 1 John 3:4 and Romans 4:15 spotlights a problem with a number of apologist's idea that prior to the codification of God's law there simply is no such thing as a law to transgress. The incredible irony here is in noting that they've eagerly taken hold of the first horn of Euthyphro's dilemma. They've created a capricious god. They believe there is nothing wrong with murder unless or until God says so, or codifies it in stone.
Dave, it certainly is likely that not all of God's words are captured in the first chapters of Genesis. But it is certainly certain that there was a tree of the knowledge of good and evil and that the fruit of this tree was eaten, giving man the knowledge of good and evil.Delete
Consider Genesis 26: 5 "Abraham obeyed God's voice and kept His charge, His commandments, His statutes and His laws". How did Abraham come to know these things? The verse says from God's voice and from His various pronouncements, not the least of which were His commandments, His statutes and His laws.ReplyDelete
These are the same terms used in Exodus that describe what was given to Moses at Mt. Sinai. Abraham was a descendant of Noah's thru his son Shem. Noah was deemed righteous by God before he entered the ark. Because of the long life spans prior to the flood a great number of Genesis actors were present with one another simultaneously. For example Noah's father, Lamech talked with Adam and Seth. The line from Adam to Abraham was complete and that righteous line most certainly would pass down the most important aspect of their lives to their children. God never changes which makes a compelling case that His law has stood from the beginning, first by word of mouth and then in writing by Moses.
So "original sin" was nothing more than learning right from wrong?ReplyDelete
That's simply absurd and a cyclical paradox.
"Sin" in itself is based on knowing right and wrong.
So the sin of learning right and wrong must first have a knowledge that it's a sin.
But that knowledge had not yet been realized.
Therefore acquiring it cannot be a sin, because the knowledge is missing.
In order to it to be a sin, it must have the foreknowledge, and it does not.
The argument fails.
The reality is that Jehovah is nothing more than a fickle, third-level Hebrew war god who really didn't create anything (where did Cain's wife come from, anyway?) and frankly was far from perfect, too.
That's why rational people have left this mythology behind.
Original sin is not about learning right from wrong. It's about preferring knowledge of God rather than the Genuine Article. It's about believing a lie rather than the truth. The lie is that Adam is not like God when the reality is that he is the very image of God. When Satan looks at Adam, he sees the image of God, and wants to destroy it.
Sin is not based upon knowing right and wrong. It is based upon trespassing over a set boundary which is quite evident to the senses without ever needing to be known at all.
Infants don't need to know why they should not play in the street or place their hands on a hot iron. They just need to stay away from the street and hot irons. A child who burns their hand on a hot iron doesn't need to know why the iron is hot, they need only feel pain to recoil and instinctively stay away from it. Infants instinctively nurse without ever knowing how to nurse. These things are "inborn" in infants.
Mythologies that have stood the test of time, are not left behind by rational people. The rest of your post is based upon false assumptions, tautologies, etc. which tend to form false conclusions.
"This natural law, like the fallen nature that we each inherit as a result of this first violation of God’s first command, is passed down to each one of us – descendants of Adam and Eve."ReplyDelete
Reminds me of Hoppe once (at least) saying, in his justification of property rights, that in the Garden of Eden, where there is a superabundance of goods, there is no need for private property, and that all conflict involves the use of scarce resources. So there is no need for a norm of behavior regarding conflict resolution. No need for natural law.
Hoppe, like Rothbard, has a habit of showing up just when you think you might have made some small contribution to the understanding of liberty. In this case, however, I think this is an original idea, or at least I've not heard it elsewhere. Maybe Gary North had this insight? Regardless, it is brilliant.
No way for North, if I am understanding you right. He finds nothing of natural law in the Bible.
Hoppe's idea is far from original. In fact, it's the gospel message which is the opposite of a world of scarcity. A world of abundance requires no money which is why Jesus points out that no one can follow him unless or until they have sold all their possessions and given the money to the poor. This is not a means of salvation, but the consequence of God's revelation of the kingdom which is documented in the numerous parables that surround Christ's statement ( e.g. the Pearl, the Coin, the lost sheep the Treasure in the Field etc.).Delete
Regarding the Flood, I'm somewhat convinced of the idea that it was God eradicating fallen angel DNA from humanity.ReplyDelete
" Now giants were upon the earth in those days. For after the sons of God went in to the daughters of men, and they brought forth children, these are the mighty men of old, men of renown.  And God seeing that the wickedness of men was great on the earth, and that all the thought of their heart was bent upon evil at all times" - Genesis 6:4-5
In the Old Testament, the "sons of God" always refers to angels. It is only in the New Testament where this phrase is used to represent followers of Christ. There is the Book of Enoch which explicitly makes this case, but whether or not this book is inspired by God is open to debate. Certainly the early churches, apart from the Ethiopians I believe, discarded it.
There is a possibility that Jesus refers to it as Scripture in Matthew when rebuking the Pharisees for asking what He considered a dumb question. Nowhere else in scripture do we learn that angel's do not marry in Heaven. It is in Enoch though.
" And Jesus answering, said to them: You err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.  For in the resurrection they shall neither marry nor be married; but shall be as the angels of God in heaven." - Matthew 22:29-30
Regarding Enoch, there are churches who find it valuable for private reading, just not Scripture.Delete
FYI, here is Pageau on the book of Enoch. It might be his most highly watched video in quite some time.
ATL, I'm with you. I think it was to protect the bloodline that Jesus was going to come into the world within.Delete
"Now giants were upon the earth in those days. For after the sons of God went in to the daughters of men, and they brought forth children, these are the mighty men of old, men of renown."
Now, giants were on the earth in those days, BECAUSE the sons of God went in to the daughters of men who brought forth children as a result. These children (giants) are the mighty men of old, men of renown. My paraphrasing.
If the giants were the result of the sons of God (fallen, corrupted angels) impregnating human women and the flood was God's way of eradicating this corrupted DNA from the Earth, then how do you explain the fact that there were giants in Canaan at the time of Joshua and the Hebrew invasion and takeover? These giants were descendants of Anak, from whom the race of Anakim sprang (See Numbers 13:33). Goliath, the Philistine giant who David killed (see 2 Samuel 21) was apparently a descendant of Anak, as were his own living family members as well. Furthermore, without going too far on a limb, see Jeremiah 47:5, which MIGHT refer to the final destruction of the Anakim in Gaza and Ashkelon.
If the flood of Genesis was meant to eliminate fallen angel DNA from the earth, then it would seem that God was not very thorough in his quest, since the giants popped up again and again throughout the history of OT Israel. Then again, perhaps the giants after the flood were simply the recipients of natural DNA mutation and were not descended from the Nephilim.
Or perhaps Genesis 6:4 has been completely misinterpreted as a means of explaining the flood.
Different source of giantismDelete
God doesn't need to eradicate the corrupted DNA from the earth. He only needs to diminish it enough to allow for his promise to come to fruition.
The Genesis account doesn't deny that the giants were there before and after the flood, nor does the author see any reason to explain this fact.
"There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that," Gen.6:4
Out of town on business and then a few days of visiting relatives. I sort of kept an eye on this topic.
"If the flood of Genesis was meant to eliminate fallen angel DNA from the earth, then it would seem that God was not very thorough in his quest, since the giants popped up again and again throughout the history of OT Israel. Then again, perhaps the giants after the flood were simply the recipients of natural DNA mutation and were not descended from the Nephilim.
Or perhaps Genesis 6:4 has been completely misinterpreted as a means of explaining the flood."
Only if someone buys the lizard/serpent/demons mating with human females. I do not.
I do. The other explanations don't explain the words very well. In the alternative interpretation the sons of God marrying the daughters of Men would mean that the only thing causing great evil on the earth was certain women having children. But if the sons of God married daughters of God you would still have sons of Men marrying daughters of Men. Wouldn't that produce a group that is even worse. Then you could get into issues around multi-racial marriage being a problem or claims that women are morally inferior to men. It's gets to be even more of a mess.Delete
"then how do you explain the fact that there were giants in Canaan at the time of Joshua and the Hebrew invasion and takeover?"
Well it is definitely something of a mystery to me either way. How could a perfect God hit the reset button? Doesn't this imply that he made a mistake? This holds whether the "sons of God" are fallen angels or the faithful line of Adam. If the former is true, why wasn't He able to eradicate this line, since giants still persist after the Flood? And if the latter is true, why one Flood and not more? Clearly we humans have a tendency to neglect and turn away from God, and still do post-Flood. If Flood #2 would be wrong in His eyes, why was Flood #1 just?
Anyway, I don't have a strong opinion on the matter. It is just sort of interesting. It would help me to understand the justice of the Flood if God was attempting to remove angel DNA from the human line, something He had most likely never intended. But I sort of look at the whole thing with eyes of humility. God may not be perfect (and it's hard to contemplate a scenario in which he comes out of Genesis as perfect), but He is nearly infinitely closer than me, and still definitely deserves my gratitude, reverence, and worship for my very existence. If He is perfect, and I just don't understand these events in the proper context, then so much the better. I think we have strayed pretty far from Bionic's topic, so I'll end my part of this discussion here, but thanks for the conversation.
How exaclty does an incorporeal/spirit being impregnates a corporeal being?Delete
A man impregnating a mare is closer in ontological level than a spirit and a human being and both are an impossibility.
What were those giants. Hmmm. Ever seen pictures of, say, South Pacific aborigines standing next to Europeans?
Or, imagine a Mexican of Mayan ancestry standing next to farm boys from somewhere in middle of the farm lands of these uSA?
JaimeIn Texas, That there was a fall of the angels is certain from Jude 6.
The nature of their fall is clearly stated in the same verse. They left their own "oiketerion" or "habitation". This word occurs only in 2Cor. 5:2 and Jude 6, where it is used of the spiritual (or resurrection) body.
The nature of their sin is stated to be "in like manner" to that of the subsequent sins of Sodom and Gomorrha, Jude 7.
The time of their fall is given as having taken place "in the days of Noah" (1Pet. 3:20. 2Pet. 2:7).
For this sin they are "reserved unto judgment", 2Pet. 2:4, and are "in prison", 1Pet. 3:19.
Their progeny, called Nephilim (translated "giants"), were monsters of iniquity; and, being superhuman in size and character, had to be destroyed which appears to be the object of the Flood.
Only Noah and his family had preserved their pedigree pure from Adam. All the rest had become "corrupt" (shachath) destroyed. The only remedy was to destroy it (de facto), as it had become destroyed (de jure). (It is the same word in v. 17 as in vv. 11, 12.)
For the Bible believing Christian, there is no problem seeing what is going on as it is a counterfeit method or imitation of the incarnation of Christ.
For those who see this as pure mythology, one need only be reminded of what has been going on for quite some time with genetic modification and gene editing. In other words, it is no stretch of the imagination to see how those who indulge in immorality can easily lead to creating biological monsters.
@ RMB: "Different source of giantism"Delete
@Shnarkle: "God doesn't need to eradicate the corrupted DNA from the earth. He only needs to diminish it enough to allow for his promise to come to fruition."
I did not argue that the flood was an eradication of evil from the earth. ATL did and I responded to his point. However, the Bible portrays the Flood as a cleansing of evil which only left one righteous man, Noah, and his immediate family. Evidently God saw the need to produce an "eradication" method to bring the race of men back to a pure state.
@ATL: "God may not be perfect (and it's hard to contemplate a scenario in which he comes out of Genesis as perfect)..."
I understand the sentiment and appreciate your honesty.
I have many questions about Genesis, especially Noah and the Flood, which have never been answered in a satisfactory manner by self-proclaimed Christians who only spout belief, but never consider skepticism, logic, or reason. I have come to the conclusion that the narrative is nothing more than a mythological explanation for events which actually happened and for which the people of the day could not even begin to understand.
This does not affect my belief in Christ in any way. By way of comparison, my belief in the bedrock principle of America, "...with liberty and justice for all", is not diminished by the ancient and recent history of this nation.
Still does not answer the question re. incorporeal beings. Biologically, naturally, how does it happen?Delete
As to "superhuman in size," that is your additional opinion.
Roger, it's interesting to see how evidence can lead people to completely different conclusions. The evidence suggests to me that when God-ordained boundaries are crossed, death follows. I also think that the Ancients understood far more than we give them credit for. They saw death as a natural result of immorality or evil, and assume it is God's will. The Mechanism of evolution or survival of the fittest becomes the phrase for modernity, but I'm not sure I see any effective difference between that and God and grace.Delete
The flood doesn't bring humanity back to a pure state. Noah's pedigree was already intact. The movie that came out a few years ago addresses the issue, but then drops it altogether in the end which I found strange. They point out that Ham has no wife which is obviously going to present a problem somewhere down the line, and yet he's left to his own devices which inevitably leads to Noah cursing Ham's offspring.
I still kind of find it ironic that Hollywood backed away from the subject while the bible doesn't hesitate to present in a somewhat matter of fact manner.
For those who may not be aware of what I'm referring to, it is the fact that in order to see the nakedness of one's father one must first uncover their nakedness. "The nakedness of thy father's wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father's nakedness." Leviticus 18:8
" They point out that Ham has no wife..."
Obviously, they (whoever they might be) did not read Genesis 7:13.
"On the very same day Noah and Noah's sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark---"
And your last paragraph citing Leviticus 18:8 has nothing at all to do with Noah and Ham, but simply prohibits sexual relationships with the wife of one's father, almost certainly NOT one's own mother.
Genesis 7:20-22 . "And Noah began to be a farmer and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk and became uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside."
This establishes two facts.
One: Ham DID have at least one child, Canaan, and,
Two: Noah was passed out on his bed in a drunken stupor, stark naked, when Ham saw him.
You have tried to take a tidbit of history and marry it to a specific moral law. Like oil and water, it just doesn't mix.
Roger, You bring up a good point with regards to the liberties those who made the film took with the plotline. There are quite a few others as well, but the greater point is that they picked up a theme only to drop it, whereas the biblical authors, despite your protestations to the contrary; explicitly point out that Ham saw "the nakedness of his father" which the bible itself explicitly defines as a man's wife. It explicitly states: "Do no uncover the nakedness of your father, she is your mother" To uncover the nakedness is to engage in illicit sexual relations. So while I can wholeheartedly agree that it has nothing to do with Noah and Ham, I don't know why you're repeating this fact which I already pointed out can only be referring to Ham and his mother.ReplyDelete
The product of their illicit union was Canaan. Why else would Noah curse him? Can you think of a better reason other than Ham saw him passed out naked?
Your second assumed fact ignores the fact that the bible itself defines the nakedness of one's father as their mother. I documented this for your edification, but you chose to spurn it with a handwave. Whatever.
Shnarkle, from what I have seen thus far you have been respectful in your exchanges here. Until this comment.Delete
Please maintain a respectful attitude in your comments, else your comments will not be published.
Occam's Razor applied to Genesis 9:21-23 would determine that Noah was passed out drunk in his tent, was naked on his bed without any covering, and was seen in that condition by Ham. When he told his brothers, they went into the tent and covered the old man up, averting their eyes as they did so, thus acting respectfully toward him.Delete
This is the simplest way to read the text and does not vary from it. Any interpretation which deviates from it cannot explain the clear wording of v. 21, that "Noah...became uncovered in his tent." Noah, not his wife, was naked and Ham saw him that way.
One can assume that when Ham told his brothers, he did it in a disrespectful, contemptuous, mocking manner and it is possible that other people, besides Shem and Japheth, heard him. After Noah woke up, somebody told him what had happened and out of a sense of humiliation and shame, he reacted angrily as any normal person would have done. Obviously this is my own reasoning, but I think it fits.
As to why Canaan, not Ham, was cursed, I do not know nor have any theories. However, for anyone who is interested, Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_Ham) brings out many different explanations.
Roger, One doesn't ignore the definition of words when applying Occam's Razor. Here's the text: "And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent."Delete
To uncover the nakedness of one's father is to violate his father's wife. That is explicitly what the biblical authors mean when they say this. The theme of the bride being the body of the man is well known as well as the "two shall be one flesh". Given the place women held in society back then, the violation is against the man, i.e. his body, his property etc.
"22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father,"
Again note that the author uses the EXACT same language used in Leviticus, i.e. "the nakedness of his father". This means one and only one thing, i.e. his mother. This is literally how it is defined in the text itself. Again, it is repeated in vs.23 when they "went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father;...and saw not their father's nakedness."
When someone commits a transgression against someone else's property, the transgression is against them, not the property itself, hence "24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him."
His transgression is also against God who ordained these boundaries which the Mosaic law points out renders God's curses upon them automatically. Noah goes one step further by cursing the product of this illicit union.
Ignoring the fact that the bible defines "the nakedness of your father is your mother". isn't how one applies Occam's Razor.
Shnarkle: ""the nakedness of his father". This means one and only one thing, i.e. his mother. "Delete
Gender fluidity in Scripture? I never knew.
God the mother? Jesus the daughter of God? Mary, father of God? Where does this interpretation end?
Could you point to any early Church fathers, those who have at least been sainted, for an interpretation as you have been presenting here? Or maybe someone who first discovered this?
Or is it you?
I posted the proof already. You even approved it. Here it is again for your edification: "None of you are to approach any close relative to have sexual relations.b I am the LORD.Delete
7You must not expose the nakedness of your father..."
Do you see any similarity between this prohibition and the fact that this is exactly what Ham did in the account from Genesis??? Does it not say that Ham exposed or uncovered the nakedness of his father? And what does the author of Leviticus mean by this??? He defines it as follows...
"... by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; you must not have sexual relations with her."
To uncover the nakedness of one's father is to have sexual relations with one's mother. That's how the bible defines it. Ignore it if you feel so inclined, but it doesn't negate the fact that the nakedness of one's father is one's mother.
"8You must not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; it would dishonor your father."
And again, Moses is assumed to be the author of all of these books, and he points out that Noah was dishonored by Ham's actions.
My apologies. I neglected to include the source which was Leviticus 18: 7-9Delete
Shnarkle, just because I allowed your earlier comment doesn't mean I agreed with your words.Delete
I didn't ask you to restate that which you have already said. I will repeat my questions:
Could you point to any early Church fathers, those who have at least been sainted, for an interpretation as you have been presenting here? Or maybe someone who first discovered this?
Or is it you?
My sincerest apologies. I wasn't aware that the facts (not to mention Occam's Razor) were irrelevant. I wasn't aware that those of a different religion, culture, and language living over a thousand years later were more reliable authorities than those who authored and handed these texts to them.Delete
Does this standard of authority apply to the claims of Muslims with regards to Christian scriptures as well, or does this unquestioning deference only apply to the dogmatic claims of infallible authority from the Catholic church?
Jewish authorities tend to use euphemisms to convey the facts so most of the Sages of Judaism stick with the vague "emasculation" of Noah. I don't know about you, but where I come from playing the cuckhold is equivalent to castration because one doesn't need them anymore when someone else is servicing one's wife.
As bewildering as it is for me to entertain the idea that the usage of these biblical terms isn't sufficient to prove the obvious, I do see that there are those who are uncomfortable with the idea that someone as depraved as Ham would be saved from the flood only to then fornicate or rape his father's wife, but then they aren't paying attention to the texts which openly point out that those who perished were continually evil which makes incest look downright respectable.
I'm not suggesting this is your position, but as it stands, I can only grasp at straws to figure out what possible reason you could have for ignoring the biblical definition and usage of these terms.
Not a single other person in the history of the Church, or even Hebrew scholars? You can't name a single one other than Shnarkle?Delete
Sorry, I will stick to the idea that father means father.
I provided you with the only name that truly matters, i.e. the author himself. Most attribute these texts to Moses, but as some have noted even it if isn't actually Moses who wrote it, it could have been someone just like him, perhaps even with the same name.Delete
Regardless, the author of the text defines his terms which neither you nor those who oppose his usage and definitions have yet to refute with anything more than your own ignorance. This is literally the only thing you've presented. While they may not be saints, translators do have some inclination what these words mean:New International Version
"'Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her.
New Living Translation
"Do not violate your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; you must not have sexual relations with her.
English Standard Version
You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, which is the nakedness of your mother; she is your mother, you shall not uncover her nakedness.
Berean Study Bible
You must not expose the nakedness of your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; you must not have sexual relations with her.
New American Standard Bible
'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, that is, the nakedness of your mother. She is your mother; you are not to uncover her nakedness.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
You are not to shame your father by having sex with your mother. She is your mother; you must not have sexual intercourse with her.
You must not expose your father's nakedness by having sexual intercourse with your mother. She is your mother; you must not have intercourse with her.
GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Never have sexual intercourse with your mother. She is your own mother. Never have sexual intercourse with her.
In many cases, Scripture does not interpret itself plainly. If it did, we would have no need for the earliest Church councils, nor would we have a proliferation of denominations and traditions today.Delete
You are asking this audience to believe "father" means "mother." This is clearly not an understanding that jumps off the page. I am merely asking: who, besides you, has come to this interpretation?
Your next comment will offer names and links, or it won't be published, as this conversation has otherwise run its course.
Roger, you posted: "Leviticus 18:8...simply prohibits sexual relationships with the wife of one's father, almost certainly NOT one's own mother." This is a bit vague. Are you saying that it is almost certain that Noah's wife is not Ham's mother, or are you saying it simply prohibits sexual relations with one's own mother? Either way, this doesn't address the fact that Ham has violated this law due to the fact that regardless of whether the woman he is copulating with is his own mother or not, it is certainly Noah's wife. The law covers all the bases.ReplyDelete
Again, one cannot see the nakedness of one's father unless one has uncovered the nakedness of one's father, and BY DEFINITION, the bible explicitly defines the nakedness of one's father as one's mother. Q.E.D.