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Violet
10-16-2014, 03:37 AM
May I please have your input on what "your desire shall be for your husband" means in Genesis 3:16? Some have said it means women want to control men, which is a new interpretation to me and I'm not yet convinced.

Paprika
10-16-2014, 06:32 AM
May I please have your input on what "your desire shall be for your husband" means in Genesis 3:16? Some have said it means women want to control men, which is a new interpretation to me and I'm not yet convinced.
I'd suggest referring to the parallel in Genesis 4: "Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it".

Violet
10-16-2014, 01:29 PM
I'd suggest referring to the parallel in Genesis 4: "Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it".

Thanks. Are you suggesting that the scripture means that a woman is cursed to desire a man as sin desired Cain? How did sin desire Cain? So one of Eve's curses is to be perpetually sinful in her desire? Cursed by God to sin? Also, are you sure it is wise to use a "parallel" verse that uses the word figuratively (in Gen 4) to help determine its use literally?

The idea that God cursed woman to perpetually sin is problematic. She has no choice but to sin, not because she naturally wants to but because she is cursed by God to have to. How does this curse to *have to* sin behave in the New Covenant? Or is the new born again heart and spirit promised only to men who receive Christ?

Paprika
10-16-2014, 03:10 PM
Also, are you sure it is wise to use a "parallel" verse
"Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you"; "Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it".


Also, are you sure it is wise to use a "parallel" verse that uses the word figuratively (in Gen 4) to help determine its use literally?
Why are you begging the question that the use in Gen 3 is 'literal'?


Are you suggesting that the scripture means that a woman is cursed to desire a man as sin desired Cain?
I am suggesting that 'it means women want to control men', just as sin wanted to control Cain.

Violet
10-16-2014, 03:55 PM
Why are you begging the question that the use in Gen 3 is 'literal'?
Please explain. Why do you not believe it is a literal desire that the woman is supposedly cursed to have? What would it even mean for a woman to figuratively desire anything?



I am suggesting that 'it means women want to control men', just as sin wanted to control Cain.

And because this desire to control is part of the curse, she is therefore cursed to always sin, right?

John Reece
10-16-2014, 04:36 PM
May I please have your input on what "your desire shall be for your husband" means in Genesis 3:16? Some have said it means women want to control men, which is a new interpretation to me and I'm not yet convinced.

It may interest you to know the source of said interpretation, which is provided by Gordon Wenham in his Word Biblical Commentary on Genesis:


Susan Foh (WTJ 37 [1974/75] 367-83) has, however, argued that the woman's urge is not a craving for her man whatever he demands but an urge for independence, indeed a desire to dominate her husband. Such an interpretation of "urge" is required in the very closely parallel passage in 4:7, where sin's urge is said to be for Cain, but he must master it. Here in 3:16 woman's desire for independence would be contrasted with an injunction to man to master her. There is a logical simplicity to Foh's interpretation that makes it attractive, but given the rarity of the term "urge" (תשׁוקה, apart from Gen 3:16 and 4:7 occurring only in Cant 7:11), certainty is impossible.

The usage of the term תשׁוקה in Cant 7:11 is interesting, as noted by Victor P. Hamilton in his NICOT commentary on Genesis:


The Hebrew word for [i]urge or "desire," tᵉšqāh, occurs only here and in Gen 4:7 and Cant. 7:11 (English 10). In the Canticles reference it has a decidedly romantic and positive nuance, describing a feeling of mutual attraction between two lovers: "I am my beloved's and his desire is for me." In Gen. 4:7 it describes sin's "desire" for man. This desire man is to repulse and dominate.

... Here is a case in which the clear meaning of 4:7 illuminates a less clear meaning of 3:16. What 4:7 describes is sin's attempt to control and dominate Cain. Because his offering has been rejected by God he is seething with anger. In such an emotional state he is easy prey for sin which crouches lionlike and wants to jump on him. Cain is to fight back, turn the tables, and dominate sin and its desire.

Applied to 3:16, the desire of the woman for her husband is akin to the desire of sin the lies poised to leap at Cain. It means a desire to break the relationship of equality and turn it into a relationship of servitude and domination. The sinful husband will try to be a tyrant over his wife. Far from being a reign of co-equals over the remainder of God's creation, the relationship now becomes a fierce dispute, with each party trying to rule the other. The two who once reigned as one attempt to rule each other.

Waltke in his Commentary on Genesis (Zondervan, 2001) presents the following:


desire. The chiastic structure of the phrase pairs the terms "desire" and "rule over," suggesting that her desire will be to dominate. This interpretation of an ambiguous passage is validated by the same pairing in the unambiguous context of 4:7.

rule over. Ironically, man will dominate her. Their alienation from one another is profoundly illustrated by God's description of the power struggles, rather than love and cherishing, that is to come.* Male leadership, not male dominance, had been assumed in the ideal, pre-Fall situation (see 2:18-25).

*The restoration of a love relationship is to be found in a new life in Christ (see Matt. 20:25-28).

Violet
10-16-2014, 05:06 PM
It may interest you to know the source of said interpretation, which is provided by Gordon Wenham in his Word Biblical Commentary on Genesis:


Susan Foh (WTJ 37 [1974/75] 367-83) has, however, argued that the woman's urge is not a craving for her man whatever he demands but an urge for independence, indeed a desire to dominate her husband. Such an interpretation of "urge" is required in the very closely parallel passage in 4:7, where sin's urge is said to be for Cain, but he must master it. Here in 3:16 woman's desire for independence would be contrasted with an injunction to man to master her. There is a logical simplicity to Foh's interpretation that makes it attractive, but given the rarity of the term "urge" (תשׁוקה, apart from Gen 3:16 and 4:7 occurring only in Cant 7:11), certainty is impossible.

The usage of the term תשׁוקה in Cant 7:11 is interesting, as noted by Victor P. Hamilton in his NICOT commentary on Genesis:


The Hebrew word for urge or "desire," tᵉšqāh, occurs only here and in Gen 4:7 and Cant. 7:11 (English 10). In the Canticles reference it has a decidedly romantic and positive nuance, describing a feeling of mutual attraction between two lovers: "I am my beloved's and his desire is for me." In Gen. 4:7 it describes sin's "desire" for man. This desire man is to repulse and dominate.

... Here is a case in which the clear meaning of 4:7 illuminates a less clear meaning of 3:16. What 4:7 describes is sin's attempt to control and dominate Cain. Because his offering has been rejected by God he is seething with anger. In such an emotional state he is easy prey for sin which crouches lionlike and wants to jump on him. Cain is to fight back, turn the tables, and dominate sin and its desire.

Applied to 3:16, the desire of the woman for her husband is akin to the desire of sin the lies poised to leap at Cain. It means a desire to break the relationship of equality and turn it into a relationship of servitude and domination. The sinful husband will try to be a tyrant over his wife. Far from being a reign of co-equals over the remainder of God's creation, the relationship now becomes a fierce dispute, with each party trying to rule the other. The two who once reigned as one attempt to rule each other.

Waltke in his Commentary on Genesis (Zondervan, 2001) presents the following:


desire. The chiastic structure of the phrase pairs the terms "desire" and "rule over," suggesting that her desire will be to dominate. This interpretation of an ambiguous passage is validated by the same pairing in the unambiguous context of 4:7.

rule over. Ironically, man will dominate her. Their alienation from one another is profoundly illustrated by God's description of the power struggles, rather than love and cherishing, that is to come.* Male leadership, not male dominance, had been assumed in the ideal, pre-Fall situation (see 2:18-25).

*The restoration of a love relationship is to be found in a new life in Christ (see Matt. 20:25-28).

Thank you for taking time to pull out the sources and type that up. It is helpful to see different views. And it is interesting to note that the source of this interpretation is a woman. And only recently...

Am I comprehending it rightly that Wenhem is saying that Foh's interpretation is "impossible" because of the rarity of the word's usage?

Also, I do not understand Hamilton. His quoted paragraphs seem to be maybe contradictory? Is the word used in an intimate way as in Cant. 7:11 (the first paragraph in his above quote), or is it used to mean domination (the second and third paragraph)?

Why must "crouching" necessitate "desire" to mean "dominate"? Can this verse not be two figures instead of only one? Why could it not mean that sin desires to pounce on Cain like a lion as well as to have Cain's heart intimately?

robrecht
10-16-2014, 05:55 PM
I don't think the woman's desire for her husband is evil or sinful or the essential part of her punishment or that the woman's desire is to master her husband (my wife told me to say this). I think it is only perceived as punishment insofar as the desire is met with mastery by the man. In other words, I would not exaggerate the interpretive value of the parallel language in Genesis 4. But insofar as this is poietic narrative (poiesis in the classical sense of artistic creativity, not in the modern sense of rhyming poetry), there is room for creative interpretation on the part of the readers. Some might bring ancient or modern misogynistic assumptions to the story and emphasize a stronger sense of identification between the woman being identified with sin and the personification of evil trying to dominate man. A poetic narrative, when well constructed, will not necessarily have one correct interpretation, but will engage the reader to enter into the story and take responsibility for deriving meaning. Ancient Hebrew poetic narratives were continually undergoing midrashic reinterpretation in part because the encounter with God and ultimate meaning in a story or text was perceived as a real and dynamic encounter with God and not just a dry account of past events. Adam was representative of all humanity and Eve is the mother of all the living.

Paprika
10-16-2014, 06:12 PM
Please explain. Why do you not believe it is a literal desire that the woman is supposedly cursed to have? What would it even mean for a woman to figuratively desire anything?
The desire is clearly to rule over the husband. I'm not sure what is your conception of 'literal' as opposed to figurative; I can rephrase my question as "Why do you say there is a difference in the usage of 'desire' in Gen 3 and Gen 4?


And because this desire to control is part of the curse, she is therefore cursed to always sin, right?
Desire isn't necessarily a sin.

Violet
10-16-2014, 06:37 PM
The desire is clearly to rule over the husband. I'm not sure what is your conception of 'literal' as opposed to figurative; I can rephrase my question as "Why do you say there is a difference in the usage of 'desire' in Gen 3 and Gen 4?

Sin cannot literally desire anything, so desire is used figuratively in Gen 4. If the woman is meant to be taken literally in Gen 3, and the curse also, then it makes sense that the cursed desire would be a literal desire.



Desire isn't necessarily a sin.

Quite so. But if this imposed sinful desire to dominate the man is given to the woman by God as a curse, then God has indeed cursed the woman to sin.

Paprika
10-16-2014, 06:45 PM
Sin cannot literally desire anything, so desire is used figuratively in Gen 4. If the woman is meant to be taken literally in Gen 3, and the curse also, then it makes sense that the cursed desire would be a literal desire.
Okay, we're not in disagreement.


Quite so. But if this imposed sinful desire to dominate the man is given to the woman by God as a curse, then God has indeed cursed the woman to sin.
She may be given the desire, but it is not necessary that she sins; it is a choice. But in any case, I don't see a problem with God cursing the women to sin; I think of how in Romans "God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another...God gave them over to shameful lusts...God gave them over to a depraved mind".

John Reece
10-16-2014, 07:06 PM
Am I comprehending it rightly that Wenhem is saying that Foh's interpretation is "impossible" because of the rarity of the word's usage?

Wenham did not say that Foh's interpretation is impossible; rather, he said that certainty re her interpretation is impossible. However, see Waltke's point that the chiastic structure of the phrase pairs the terms "desire" and "rule over," suggesting that her desire will be to dominate.


Also, I do not understand Hamilton. His quoted paragraphs seem to be maybe contradictory? Is the word used in an intimate way as in Cant. 7:11 (the first paragraph in his above quote), or is it used to mean domination (the second and third paragraph)?

No, Hamilton's paragraphs are not contradictory. In the first of the cited paragraphs of Hamilton's commentary, the usage of the Hebrew term in question in the context of Cant. 7:11(Eng. 10) 'has a decidedly romantic and positive nuance, describing a feeling of mutual attraction between two lovers: "I am my beloved's, and his desire is for me."' At that point Hamilton leaves the context of Cant. 7:11 and goes to the context of Gen. 4:7, wherein there is a different nuance in the usage of the Hebrew word in question.


Why must "crouching" necessitate "desire" to mean "dominate"? Can this verse not be two figures instead of only one? Why could it not mean that sin desires to pounce on Cain like a lion as well as to have Cain's heart intimately?

Think in terms larger/broader than single words. Think in terms of how words are used in the context of sentences and paragraphs that refer to different subjects ― in which case a given word may bear a different nuance in a different context. A given word does not necessarily carry with it all that it may mean in one context into a different context. I hope that makes sense to you. Your question strains my geriatric brain, so I may not be responding as helpfully as I am trying to.

Violet
10-16-2014, 08:13 PM
I don't think the woman's desire for her husband is evil or sinful or the essential part of her punishment or that the woman's desire is to master her husband (my wife told me to say this). I think it is only perceived as punishment insofar as the desire is met with mastery by the man. In other words, I would not exaggerate the interpretive value of the parallel language in Genesis 4. But insofar as this is poietic narrative (poiesis in the classical sense of artistic creativity, not in the modern sense of rhyming poetry), there is room for creative interpretation on the part of the readers. Some might bring ancient or modern misogynistic assumptions to the story and emphasize a stronger sense of identification between the woman being identified with sin and the personification of evil trying to dominate man. A poetic narrative, when well constructed, will not necessarily have one correct interpretation, but will engage the reader to enter into the story and take responsibility for deriving meaning. Ancient Hebrew poetic narratives were continually undergoing midrashic reinterpretation in part because the encounter with God and ultimate meaning in a story or text was perceived as a real and dynamic encounter with God and not just a dry account of past events. Adam was representative of all humanity and Eve is the mother of all the living.

I personally take the Genesis account in a symbolic way, but that is beside the current point. A certain theological understanding of women flows from the interpretation of Gen. 3:16 meaning that women have been cursed to want to dominate men. I want to examine the reasoning for this interpretation to see if it is required.

Violet
10-16-2014, 08:34 PM
She may be given the desire, but it is not necessary that she sins; it is a choice.

I hope you will re-examine the wording. Does not "your desire shall be " given as a curse sound like a mandated desire? Does not a curse from God make it necessary?


But in any case, I don't see a problem with God cursing the women to sin; I think of how in Romans "God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another...God gave them over to shameful lusts...God gave them over to a depraved mind".

Please see what you are saying in this, please. Do you not know that it means that I cannot stop sinning in this way if God has cursed me like this? What of Christ, what of the new creation? What of sin no longer being my master? Christ did not redeem man from needing to toil, nor did His redemption keep women from suffering and even dying in childbirth. Do you think that this curse of sinfully wanting to dominate her husband was taken away? Or not?

Read again what you wrote. Are you ready to accept that women are handed over to a sinful mind, cursed in their very womanhood to necessarily sin? All women, even redeemed women, have depraved-like minds towards this sin...do you not see your logic?

Violet
10-16-2014, 08:57 PM
Wenham did not say that Foh's interpretation is impossible; rather, he said that certainty re her interpretation is impossible. However, see Waltke's point that the chiastic structure of the phrase pairs the terms "desire" and "rule over," suggesting that her desire will be to dominate.

Okay, I see now, thank you. But is it proper to use a figurative verse to interpret a literal one? Also, what about the structure of the curses in the verses? God cursed the snake with the promise of a bruised head. He cursed Adam with toiling for bread. He cursed women with suffering in childbirth AND to perpetually sin in her desire? Would the flow of the verses themselves not rather suggest that the desire for her husband is in spite of the suffering she will have in childbirth? Childbirth was not only just suffering, it often meant suffering to death. Even so, that curse would not stop her from desiring her husband. Apart from Gen. 4, does this not make better sense?




No, Hamilton's paragraphs are not contradictory. In the first of the cited paragraphs of Hamilton's commentary, the usage of the Hebrew term in question in the context of Cant. 7:11(Eng. 10) 'has a decidedly romantic and positive nuance, describing a feeling of mutual attraction between two lovers: "I am my beloved's, and his desire is for me."' At that point Hamilton leaves the context of Cant. 7:11 and goes to the context of Gen. 4:7, wherein there is a different nuance in the usage of the Hebrew word in question.



Think in terms larger/broader than single words. Think in terms of how words are used in the context of sentences and paragraphs that refer to different subjects ― in which case a given word may bear a different nuance in a different context. A given word does not necessarily carry with it all that it may mean in one context into a different context. I hope that makes sense to you. Your question strains my geriatric brain, so I may not be responding as helpfully as I am trying to.

No, indeed. Your brain, in its "geriatric" state is far more educated and rational than my middle aged brain by far. Your posts are always helpful, always.

So, now I need to ask if the implications make this interpretation invalid, meaning, that if these verses mean that women are cursed to sinfully want to dominate their husbands does this contradict how God has revealed His truth elsewhere.

If this interpretation is correct, then God has cursed women with the sin of always wanting to domineer their husbands. As Christ's redemption did not stop man from toiling for bread nor stop women from suffering in childbirth, does it seem logical that Christ's redemption stopped this curse for married women to sin perpetually?

The other curses were not mandated sin, only consequences. But are we to rightly believe the woman was cursed to sin? Is this sound theology? I'm really asking here, I'm sincere. This has huge implications for me and I'm trying to be careful, fair, and as accurate as I can.

robrecht
10-16-2014, 09:48 PM
I personally take the Genesis account in a symbolic way, but that is beside the current point. A certain theological understanding of women flows from the interpretation of Gen. 3:16 meaning that women have been cursed to want to dominate men. I want to examine the reasoning for this interpretation to see if it is required.
My point is not merely that the passage may be understood as symbolic, but that the creative poetic narrative requires the involvement of the reader in the interpretive process. Different people may interpret the meaning differently without one being right and the other wrong. The experience of God cannot be rigidly defined so a narrative is used to try and capture some of the depth, but the power of the narrative also draws upon the experience of the readers who relate to the narrative differently. A husband may feel the need to dominate the woman, the instrument of sin, but the woman may only desire a loving and equal relationship free of domination. There is room for multiple interpretations because the narrative draws the reader into the story. Valid interpretations may go beyond what was intended by the author, but the author's deepest intention was to capture something that he was unable to capture in straightforward discourse, our mysterious relationship with each other and with God, with our own sinfulness and that of others, our love and struggle to found and pass on a sense of family in a beautiful but dangerous world. The story is not merely symbolic, but it is open symbolism that allows us to create our own story of sin and transcendence. So, no, this or that interpretation is not required, nor can another's interpretation be too easily dismissed. The reality is infinitely greater than the story, which is itself fundamentally greater than any given interpretation of the story.

Violet
10-16-2014, 10:04 PM
My point is not merely that the passage may be understood as symbolic, but that the creative poetic narrative requires the involvement of the reader in the interpretive process. Different people may interpret the meaning differently without one being right and the other wrong. The experience of God cannot be rigidly defined so a narrative is used to try and capture some of the depth, but the power of the narrative also draws upon the experience of the readers who relate to the narrative differently. A husband may feel the need to dominate the woman, the instrument of sin, but the woman may only desire a loving and equal relationship free of domination. There is room for multiple interpretations because the narrative draws the reader into the story. Valid interpretations may go beyond what was intended by the author, but the author's deepest intention was to capture something that he was unable to capture in straightforward discourse, our mysterious relationship with each other and with God, with our own sinfulness and that of others, our love and struggle to found and pass on a sense of family in a beautiful but dangerous world. The story is not merely symbolic, but it is open symbolism that allows us to create our own story of sin and transcendence. So, no, this or that interpretation is not required, nor can another's interpretation be too easily dismissed. The reality is infinitely greater than the story, which is itself fundamentally greater than any given interpretation of the story.

So, some people can understand the picture we get from scripture to say that women have been cursed by God to sin in their desire to dominate their husbands...and other people can understand this picture to mean that women will desire their husbands in spite of the women's suffering (sometimes to death) in childbirth, and they can BOTH be right?

John Reece
10-16-2014, 10:44 PM
But is it proper to use a figurative verse to interpret a literal one?

As far as I know, yes.


Also, what about the structure of the curses in the verses? God cursed the snake with the promise of a bruised head. He cursed Adam with toiling for bread. He cursed women with suffering in childbirth AND to perpetually sin in her desire?

Not necessarily. Genesis 3 is loaded with redemptive promises; it is not limited to curses.


Would the flow of the verses themselves not rather suggest that the desire for her husband is in spite of the suffering she will have in childbirth? Childbirth was not only just suffering, it often meant suffering to death. Even so, that curse would not stop her from desiring her husband. Apart from Gen. 4, does this not make better sense?

Yes.


So, now I need to ask if the implications make this interpretation invalid, meaning, that if these verses mean that women are cursed to sinfully want to dominate their husbands does this contradict how God has revealed His truth elsewhere. If this interpretation is correct, then God has cursed women with the sin of always wanting to domineer their husbands.

I do not think these verses mean that women are cursed to sinfully want to dominate their husbands; that's possible, but not necessarily so.


As Christ's redemption did not stop man from toiling for bread nor stop women from suffering in childbirth, does it seem logical that Christ's redemption stopped this curse for married women to sin perpetually?

Toiling for bread in not necessarily a curse. Women suffering in childbirth is not necessarily a curse.


But are we to rightly believe the woman was cursed to sin?

Not necessarily.

Read verses 3:8-15, wherein promises of blessing precede and predominate the curses listed in 3:16 ff.

robrecht
10-16-2014, 11:20 PM
So, some people can understand the picture we get from scripture to say that women have been cursed by God to sin in their desire to dominate their husbands...and other people can understand this picture to mean that women will desire their husbands in spite of the women's suffering (sometimes to death) in childbirth, and they can BOTH be right?No, not according to me. I would not endorse two such opposing opinions. I will sometimes recognize the validity of differing opinions, sometimes perhaps even diametrically opposing views, but not these two, especially not the first. Some versions of the comparison with Genesis 4 are certainly worth considering and may not be too easily dismissed, but I do not believe in a God who curses people to sin. Some may feel cursed or feel that others have been cursed, but I do not believe that God curses anyone to sin. God desires freedom and love.

Violet
10-17-2014, 12:16 AM
I do not think these verses mean that women are cursed to sinfully want to dominate their husbands; that's possible, but not necessarily so.


Toiling for bread in not necessarily a curse. Women suffering in childbirth is not necessarily a curse.


Do you believe they are punishments for all mankind or only for Adam and Eve alone?

Is this just a matter of words? Gen 3:16-19 seems to me to be curses. If not curses, then punishments. These punishments were handed down to the rest of mankind, right? Like the punishment of having to work cursed ground and the punishment of childbirth pain.

If these punishments are for mankind, and one of the punishments is that women will desire to control her husband (which is sinful) then this SIN in womankind is a direct punishment because of the fall just as pain in childbirth is a direct punishment because of the fall. So while every other punishment is physical, God singled women out to be inherently sinful in her marriage. Women were punished not only to suffer physically, but to suffer to always sin perpetually. Not as a choice, but as a perpetual defect IN HER CHARACTER--by God, as her punishment.

To say that women were punished by God to desire to control her husband is to say that God Himself punished woman in giving her moral deficiency along with the pain of childbirth and along with Adam's sweat on his brow...

Violet
10-17-2014, 01:03 AM
No, not according to me. I would not endorse two such opposing opinions. I will sometimes recognize the validity of differing opinions, sometimes perhaps even diametrically opposing views, but not these two, especially not the first.

That's well and good, I'm glad you don't endorse the first view of God cursing women to sin against their husbands. But what's to say this view is actually...wrong? What if the reader brings this understanding to the text when they read it and it's not wrong to them?

robrecht
10-17-2014, 01:59 AM
That's well and good, I'm glad you don't endorse the first view of God cursing women to sin against their husbands. But what's to say this view is actually...wrong? What if the reader brings this understanding to the text when they read it and it's not wrong to them?
Well, what do you suggest? Should we kill them perhaps? Seriously, I've learned over the years that most people will believe whatever they want to about God and the bible and religion. Doesn't matter if they don't know Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic, they still are not inclined to listen to anyone that does, unless they are assured that they will just be giving them reasons to support what they already believe. Some people genuinely want to learn and explore the possible meanings of texts, learn the languages, the evolving history of interpretation, and the merits of opposing viewpoints, but they seem to be in the minority. My advice is to always seek the truth, learn from those who, know more, and generously offer help to others along the way. Live in communion with those who are like minded or of good will and respect all. Some will defer to pastoral leaders or pursue academic questions, but largely people will choose their own authorities. Ultimately, if people can't grasp the idea of a loving and merciful God, who doesn't curse us to the eternal slavery of sin, probably the best thing to do is pray for them and be kind to them.

Violet
10-17-2014, 02:29 AM
I am more for reasoning with them over killing them. I also want to know what the text actually means, not what I bring to it and go from there. I want to know, from scripture, that God has not made me as these interpreters say He made me--punished as a woman to sin against my husband. It's not enough for me to feel its wrong, I must know it, too, from scripture. As a Christian, the Word is the standard by which I may judge if my feelings are right or wrong.

robrecht
10-17-2014, 03:00 AM
So it sounds as if you want an authoritative interpretation of scripture by an academic, pastor, or politician. But invariably others will not accept this authority. The best academics, in my opinion, reject the idea of academic authority altogether, so there we have hope for reasoning with others. But you will never get many academics to agree about much. As we have already seen, some will insist on the importance of Genesis 4,7 for interpreting 3,16. They have not arrived at this position irrationally and will try to reason with you as zealously or dispassionately as you try to reason with them. Unless you want to try and impose some form of pastoral or political authority, I think you will have to just accept a certain degree of subjective experience and preference.

Violet
10-17-2014, 03:42 AM
So it sounds as if you want an authoritative interpretation of scripture by an academic, pastor, or politician. But invariably others will not accept this authority. The best academics, in my opinion, reject the idea of academic authority altogether, so there we have hope for reasoning with others. But you will never get many academics to agree about much. As we have already seen, some will insist on the importance of Genesis 4,7 for interpreting 3,16. They have not arrived at this position irrationally and will try to reason with you as zealously or dispassionately as you try to reason with them. Unless you want to try and impose some form of pastoral or political authority, I think you will have to just accept a certain degree of subjective experience and preference.

I appreciate that. I'd suffice, however, for a reasonable, logical interpretation. I don't need it to be from an authority, I just need it to be sound. I don't expect or need consensus, I just need an educated understanding and exegetically allowed interpretations. I've given up on having "certainty" some years ago, I am content enough with "reasonable".

robrecht
10-17-2014, 03:45 AM
I appreciate that. I'd suffice, however, for a reasonable, logical interpretation. I don't need it to be from an authority, I just need it to be sound. I don't expect or need consensus, I just need an educated understanding and exegetically allowed interpretations. I've given up "certainty" some years ago, I am content enough with "reasonable".
Have you not yet found a reasonable and logical interpretation?

Violet
10-17-2014, 03:54 AM
Have you not yet found a reasonable and logical interpretation?

I'm still gathering information before I reach a tentative conclusion. I have not the education to trust that my understanding thus far is well enough informed.

Paprika
10-17-2014, 04:56 AM
I hope you will re-examine the wording. Does not "your desire shall be " given as a curse sound like a mandated desire? Does not a curse from God make it necessary?
Haven't we (ie we as Christians) sufficiently hashed out the difference between desire and sin with regards to same-sex attractions, for example? That I desire to do X does not necessarily mean I will do X; that is where self-control or the lack of it comes into play.


Please see what you are saying in this, please. Do you not know that it means that I cannot stop sinning in this way if God has cursed me like this? What of Christ, what of the new creation? What of sin no longer being my master? Christ did not redeem man from needing to toil, nor did His redemption keep women from suffering and even dying in childbirth. Do you think that this curse of sinfully wanting to dominate her husband was taken away? Or not?
Doesn't look like it.



Read again what you wrote. Are you ready to accept that women are handed over to a sinful mind, cursed in their very womanhood to necessarily sin? All women, even redeemed women, have depraved-like minds towards this sin...do you not see your logic?
I am ready to accept that mankind in general are handed over to sinful minds and depraved lusts (as per Romans 1); even redeemed people still face temptations to sin because the flesh wars against the Spirit; hence there is no difficulty to accept that some people - ie women - are still tempted by particular sins.

Paprika
10-17-2014, 05:00 AM
I am more for reasoning with them over killing them. I also want to know what the text actually means, not what I bring to it and go from there. I want to know, from scripture, that God has not made me as these interpreters say He made me--punished as a woman to sin against my husband.
You need to distinguish between two layers of the text: one layer is of course, what happens to the individuals of Adam and Eve. The second is whether the story has a wider meaning for mankind: man or woman in general?

Paprika
10-17-2014, 05:10 AM
Violet: I offer a reading of Genesis in which the punishment is logical in a narrative sense:

The authority structure is pretty clear: God, the Creator over his image, both male and female, who areover the beasts of the field, whom the man named, and creation in general.

But the serpent, one of the beasts, tries to gain power over the female: by displacing God's rightful authority as manifested through the command not to eat and tempting the woman. Similarly, the woman tried to dominate the man by overthrowing God's authority upon him.

As a consequence, the woman's domination is punished with a desire to continue dominating, but it will not be fulfilled. The snake who tried to gain ascendancy over the woman is brought low, and the woman's offspring shall crush his head.

Scrawly
10-17-2014, 05:33 AM
Well, what do you suggest? Should we kill them perhaps? Seriously, I've learned over the years that most people will believe whatever they want to about God and the bible and religion. Doesn't matter if they don't know Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic, they still are not inclined to listen to anyone that does, unless they are assured that they will just be giving them reasons to support what they already believe. Some people genuinely want to learn and explore the possible meanings of texts, learn the languages, the evolving history of interpretation, and the merits of opposing viewpoints, but they seem to be in the minority. My advice is to always seek the truth, learn from those who, know more, and generously offer help to others along the way. Live in communion with those who are like minded or of good will and respect all. Some will defer to pastoral leaders or pursue academic questions, but largely people will choose their own authorities. Ultimately, if people can't grasp the idea of a loving and merciful God, who doesn't curse us to the eternal slavery of sin, probably the best thing to do is pray for them and be kind to them.

LOL, I love this guy.

Violet
10-17-2014, 12:12 PM
Haven't we (ie we as Christians) sufficiently hashed out the difference between desire and sin with regards to same-sex attractions, for example?

Do you believe God gave same sex attractions to certain people to punish them?


That I desire to do X does not necessarily mean I will do X; that is where self-control or the lack of it comes into play. How very embarrassing it is to be a woman under the view that I'm always and forever desiring to usurp my husbands authority (I thank God my husband knows me well enough to know this isn't true). Always looked at suspiciously as if I'm crouching behind some corner ready to pounce on my husband at any moment.




I am ready to accept that mankind in general are handed over to sinful minds and depraved lusts (as per Romans 1); even redeemed people still face temptations to sin because the flesh wars against the Spirit; hence there is no difficulty to accept that some people - ie women - are still tempted by particular sins.

They are handed over to do what they naturally chose in their desire. Mankind freely chooses sin, they are still accountable. Women are supposedly given a sinful desire by God. How can she overcome what she has been punished to desire? You may not believe this about women but can a woman's voice even be trusted knowing her desires are always sinful against her husband? How can a husband trust his wife if she, BY GOD's DESIGN is always crouching to pounce and THIS is to describe the ongoing relationship between men and women!!

Paprika
10-17-2014, 12:18 PM
Do you believe God gave same sex attractions to certain people to punish them?
It is certainly possible, as per Romans 1. However, this is hardly relevant to the contended issue: that desires are not necessarily sinful.


How very embarrassing it is to be a woman under the view that I'm always and forever desiring to usurp my husbands authority (I thank God my husband knows me well enough to know this isn't true). Always looked at suspiciously as if I'm crouching behind some corner ready to pounce on my husband at any moment.
Would it be accurate to say that you intend to reject the view because it is 'embarrassing' and not because of its truth status?


You may not believe this about women but can a woman's voice even be trusted knowing her desires are always sinful against her husband? How can a husband trust his wife if she, BY GOD's DESIGN is always crouching to pounce and THIS is to describe the ongoing relationship between men and women!!
There is nothing in the text about "always". You are forcing an interpretation into the text - an unwarranted exaggeration.

robrecht
10-17-2014, 12:29 PM
Violet: I offer a reading of Genesis in which the punishment is logical in a narrative sense:

The authority structure is pretty clear: God, the Creator over his image, both male and female, who areover the beasts of the field, whom the man named, and creation in general.

But the serpent, one of the beasts, tries to gain power over the female: by displacing God's rightful authority as manifested through the command not to eat and tempting the woman. Similarly, the woman tried to dominate the man by overthrowing God's authority upon him.

As a consequence, the woman's domination is punished with a desire to continue dominating, but it will not be fulfilled. The snake who tried to gain ascendancy over the woman is brought low, and the woman's offspring shall crush his head.Very logical, but is this the end of the story or just the beginning? Are all the characters truly cursed by God for all time? Is the woman herself even cursed by God? Or is it merely the serpent, the ground, and Cain that are actually cursed? And did not God himself repent of cursing the ground? Did he not reverse the curse through Abraham?

Violet
10-17-2014, 12:30 PM
It is certainly possible, as per Romans 1. However, this is hardly relevant to the contended issue: that desires are not necessarily sinful.

The issue is that God punished women with a totally sinful desire that will characterize her relationship with her marriage.



Would it be accurate to say that you intend to reject the view because it iss 'embarrassing' and not because of its truth status?

It is embarrassing but it's more than that. It potentially tells me something about God and myself that I never knew. That He would punish me to desire something sinful.

John Reece
10-17-2014, 12:34 PM
Do you believe they are punishments for all mankind or only for Adam and Eve alone?

Is this just a matter of words? Gen 3:16-19 seems to me to be curses. If not curses, then punishments. These punishments were handed down to the rest of mankind, right? Like the punishment of having to work cursed ground and the punishment of childbirth pain.

If these punishments are for mankind, and one of the punishments is that women will desire to control her husband (which is sinful) then this SIN in womankind is a direct punishment because of the fall just as pain in childbirth is a direct punishment because of the fall. So while every other punishment is physical, God singled women out to be inherently sinful in her marriage. Women were punished not only to suffer physically, but to suffer to always sin perpetually. Not as a choice, but as a perpetual defect IN HER CHARACTER--by God, as her punishment.

To say that women were punished by God to desire to control her husband is to say that God Himself punished woman in giving her moral deficiency along with the pain of childbirth and along with Adam's sweat on his brow...

In response to your OP, I started with exegesis of Genesis 3:16 ff.; then, I went to the middle part of Genesis 3 for more context; now I have gone back to the beginning of Genesis 3 for the full context of the story of the Fall and its consequence (3:1-24). I am indebted to Waltke (op. cit.) for the following outline.

The story is of a contest between God and Satan, who is a real entity represented in the story as a snake.

Satan is characterized as "crafty"; cunningly, he distorts God's words and thus deceives Eve whom he uses to bring both Adam and Eve under his control. Satan subverts obedience to God and distorts the prospect of Adam and Eve by emphasizing God's prohibition (2:9), not his provision, reducing God's command to a question, doubting his sincerity, defaming his motives, and denying the truthfulness of his threat. The snake makes God appear to be restricting Adam and Eve from full humanity.

Eve's decision to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit 'gives priority to pragmatic values, aesthetic appearance, and sensual desires over God's word. Armstrong states, "What Adam and Eve sought from the tree of knowledge was not philosophical or scientific knowledge desired by the Greeks, but practical knowledge that would give them blessing and fulfillment." They were not seeking information but power that comes from knowledge―knowledge that has the potential for evil ends as well as good.' The man chose to obey his wife, not God. (see 3:17)).

Sin's consequences (3:7): "the eyes of both of them were opened. Ironically, their opened eyes bring them shame. This knowledge of good and evil is not a neutral state, desired maturity, or an advancement of humanity, as is commonly argued. God desires to save humans from their inclination for ethical autonomy. Because Adam and Eve have attained this sinful state, they must not eat of the tree of life and are consigned forever to the forbidden state of being inclined to choose their own code of ethics (Gen. 3:22). By contrast, in God's kingdom one chooses to know God and live upon his word (Deut. 8:3).

.... 3:12-13. The woman you put here . . . the serpent . . . I ate. The couple shows their allegiance to Satan by distorting the truth and accusing one another and ultimately God (see James 1:13). They are preoccupied with "I."

.... all the days. The serpent's final defeat under Messiah's heel (3:15) is delayed to effect God's program of redemption through the promised offspring. In the interim, God leaves Satan to test the fidelity of each succeeding generation of the covenant people (Judg. 2:22) and to teach them to "fight" against untruth (Judg. 3:2).

15. I will put enmity. In sovereign grace God converts the depraved woman's affections for Satan to righteous desire for himself.

your offspring and hers. .... Humanity is now divided into two communities: the elect, who love God, and the reprobate, who love self (John 8:31-32, 44). Each of the characters of Genesis will be either of the seed of the woman that reproduces her spiritual propensity, or of the seed of the Serpent that reproduces his unbelief. The unspoken question is, "Whose seed are you?"

I am inclined to be more a Wesleyan than a Calvinist; however, I see in the interpretation presented by Waltke a solution to the problem of the curses presented in 3:16 ff. ― that is, the solution provided by God in Christ (Genesis 3:15): in Christ, you are set free from all curses, as you submit to Him and obey Him.

Paprika
10-17-2014, 12:36 PM
Very logical, but is this the end of the story or just the beginning? Are all the characters truly cursed by God for all time? Is the woman herself even cursed by God? Or is it merely the serpent, the ground, and Cain that are actually cursed?
I'm not certain enough to conclude that the woman's desire being for her husband etc. is a 'curse' especially when the word is not used explicitly used in the text as a descriptor. Now, naturally this is a reading of just one of the first episodes in the biblical narrative.


And did not God himself repent of cursing the ground? Did he not reverse the curse through Abraham?
Where did these events occur?

Paprika
10-17-2014, 12:40 PM
The issue is that God punished women with a totally sinful desire that will characterize her relationship with her marriage.
That is the main issue under discussion, yes, but a related issue which quickly cropped up as a key disagreement is whether a desire to sin necessarily results in sin.


It is embarrassing but it's more than that. It potentially tells me something about God and myself that I never knew. That He would punish someone to desire something sinful.
If God can give humanity over to impurity, to dishonourable passions, to a debased mind, what is inconceivable about such a punishment - if it is indeed a punishment, and not just a statement of fact?

robrecht
10-17-2014, 01:04 PM
I'm not certain enough to conclude that the woman's desire being for her husband etc. is a 'curse' especially when the word is not used explicitly used in the text as a descriptor. Now, naturally this is a reading of just one of the first episodes in the biblical narrative.

Where did these events occur?Please do not make too much of my baseball language ('reverse the curse'), but I am referring to Lamech's naming of his son, Noah, the Lord's response to Noah's sacrifice, and the initiation of salvation for all families through Abraham, ultimately achieved in Christ:


He named him Noah, saying, "Out of the ground that the LORD has cursed this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands." (Gen 5,29 NRSV)

And when the LORD smelled the pleasing odor [of Noah's sacrifice], the LORD said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. (Gen 8,21 NRSV)

I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." (Gen 12,3 NRSV)

Saint Paul will develop a christological interpretation of this story of Abraham and the Old Testament, which John has already alluded to.

Paprika
10-17-2014, 01:37 PM
Please do not make too much of my baseball language ('reverse the curse'), but I am referring to Lamech's naming of his son, Noah, the Lord's response to Noah's sacrifice, and the initiation of salvation for all families through Abraham, ultimately achieved in Christ:


He named him Noah, saying, "Out of the ground that the LORD has cursed this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands." (Gen 5,29 NRSV)

And when the LORD smelled the pleasing odor [of Noah's sacrifice], the LORD said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. (Gen 8,21 NRSV)

I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." (Gen 12,3 NRSV)

Saint Paul will develop a christological interpretation of this story of Abraham and the Old Testament, which John has already alluded to.
Ah yes, I had forgotten the naming of Noah. So to answer your earlier questions: I don't think the curse on the ground has yet been lifted; the only curse that Jesus has redeemed us from appears to be the curse of the Mosaic Law (as per Galatians).

robrecht
10-17-2014, 01:49 PM
Ah yes, I had forgotten the naming of Noah. So to answer your earlier questions: I don't think the curse on the ground has yet been lifted; the only curse that Jesus has redeemed us from appears to be the curse of the Mosaic Law (as per Galatians).
We're going off on a tangent, which is my own fault because I could not resist the baseball language. My point is merely that the curses are not the last word, and Eve herself is never cursed by God.

Paprika
10-17-2014, 02:02 PM
We're going off on a tangent, which is my own fault because I could not resist the baseball language. My point is merely that the curses are not the last word, and Eve herself is never cursed by God.
I agree that curses can be lifted, but as before I'm not certain whether a curse is implied by the text or not.

John Reece
10-17-2014, 02:05 PM
My point is merely that the curses are not the last word, and Eve herself is never cursed by God.

:thumb:

Cerebrum123
10-17-2014, 02:20 PM
I agree that curses can be lifted, but as before I'm not certain whether a curse is implied by the text or not.

Trust me, as someone who lives with great pain on a daily basis, increased pain is a curse.

Paprika
10-17-2014, 02:27 PM
Trust me, as someone who lives with great pain on a daily basis, increased pain is a curse.
I'm not the one ruling it out :wink:

Cerebrum123
10-17-2014, 02:54 PM
I'm not the one ruling it out :wink:

Not saying you did, just letting you, and everyone in the thread know.

robrecht
10-17-2014, 03:19 PM
Trust me, as someone who lives with great pain on a daily basis, increased pain is a curse.
No doubt! But be glad at least that God did not carry out his original threat to kill the human on that very day that he eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of all knowledge, even the experience of pain.

robrecht
10-17-2014, 03:24 PM
I agree that curses can be lifted, but as before I'm not certain whether a curse is implied by the text or not.

One can never be certain about what may be merely implied by a text; better to acknowledge one's own role in making inferences about what we believe is implied.

Cerebrum123
10-17-2014, 04:46 PM
No doubt! But be glad at least that God did not carry out his original threat to kill the human on that very day that he eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of all knowledge, even the experience of pain.

Um, if that were true then God is a liar. You didn't think this one through did you? From what I understand the Hebrew literally translated says "dying you shall die" which not only conveys certainty, but also a process of dying. Not instantaneous death as with Ananias and Sapphira. Then there's the fact that they did spiritually die that very day.

robrecht
10-17-2014, 07:46 PM
Um, if that were true then God is a liar. You didn't think this one through did you? From what I understand the Hebrew literally translated says "dying you shall die" which not only conveys certainty, but also a process of dying. Not instantaneous death as with Ananias and Sapphira. Then there's the fact that they did spiritually die that very day.
Of course I thought it through, but I don't agree with your interpretation of the Hebrew. God is free to be merciful, is he not? Is it a lie for him to reconsider something he said previously in favor of mercy? Is that not a greater truth? Don't get too caught up in anthropomorphic elements of a poetic narrative.

Cerebrum123
10-17-2014, 08:58 PM
Of course I thought it through, but I don't agree with your interpretation of the Hebrew.

This is what the words mean when taken word for word from the Hebrew, and translated into English.


God is free to be merciful, is he not?

But He is also just, and must punish sin. He specifically said what would happen, and it did happen. Both spiritual and physical death came to mankind because of Adam's sin.


Is it a lie for him to reconsider something he said previously in favor of mercy?

Not when there is no repentance. Also, the action and it's consequences were known in advance, there was no excuse for Adam or Eve. They weren't repentant either, Adam thrust the blame back onto God("it was because of the woman you gave me"). For God to do other than what He said would indeed be a lie, which means the serpent would have been telling the truth. Do you really think that Satan tells the truth*?


Is that not a greater truth?

No, it's a flat out lie, and your argument is a cop out.


Don't get too caught up in anthropomorphic elements of a poetic narrative.

But this isn't a poetic narrative, but a historical narrative. Hebrew poetry is filled with parallelisms, Genesis 1-11 have very little parallelisms, and have a lot of waw consecutives, which are indicative of historical narratives. That combined with the non-poetic usage by the rest of the Biblical writers, as well as the fact that typology is dependent on history(by definition antitypes can't be mythological), you have an airtight Biblical and linguistic case for historicity.

*With the evidence from other Biblical works it's clear that Satan is the serpent.

robrecht
10-17-2014, 09:49 PM
This is what the words mean when taken word for word from the Hebrew, and translated into English. Take a look at a few translations, and you will find that most translators do not agree with you. Do you know Hebrew, by the way?


But He is also just, and must punish sin. He specifically said what would happen, and it did happen. Both spiritual and physical death came to mankind because of Adam's sin.

Not when there is no repentance. Also, the action and it's consequences were known in advance, there was no excuse for Adam or Eve. They weren't repentant either, Adam thrust the blame back onto God("it was because of the woman you gave me"). For God to do other than what He said would indeed be a lie, which means the serpent would have been telling the truth. Do you really think that Satan tells the truth*?

*With the evidence from other Biblical works it's clear that Satan is the serpent. I do not have a great deal of in-depth knowledge about Satan, but I would suspect that someone as crafty as the serpent could use the truth for nefarious purposes.


No, it's a flat out lie, and your argument is a cop out. You have not even heard an argument here, nor is it yet clear how well you understand Hebrew, so I suspect that you are just guessing.


But this isn't a poetic narrative, but a historical narrative. Hebrew poetry is filled with parallelisms, Genesis 1-11 have very little parallelisms, and have a lot of waw consecutives, which are indicative of historical narratives. That combined with the non-poetic usage by the rest of the Biblical writers, as well as the fact that typology is dependent on history(by definition antitypes can't be mythological), you have an airtight Biblical and linguistic case for historicity. You are confusing poetry with poetic narrative. I addressed this earlier in the thread. Take a look at my earlier posts and let me know if you still have questions.

Cerebrum123
10-17-2014, 10:14 PM
Take a look at a few translations, and you will find that most translators do not agree with you. Do you know Hebrew, by the way?

:eh:
You seem to be missing the point entirely. I said a direct literal translation of the Hebrew words in that part of Genesis are "dying you shall die". Here. (http://www.hebrewoldtestament.com/B01C002.htm) And here (http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/bookstore/e-books/mtg.pdf).

Literal[/I] Translation] Young's Literal Translation
2:17 and of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou dost not eat of it, for in the day of thine eating of it -- dying thou dost die.

I'm not a Hebrew scholar, but I can check what Hebrew words mean, and check what Hebrew scholars have to say about it. From before the crash John Reece had a thread on Genesis in Hebrew, and it pointed out that "dying you shall die" meant that certainty of death was in view, not immediacy. Sadly that thread and everything in it was lost in the crash(except for what John Reece referenced, but they are obviously from different sources than TWeb).


I do not have a great deal of in-depth knowledge about Satan, but I would suspect that someone as crafty as the serpent could use the truth for nefarious purposes.

Not the whole truth as you are claiming. He's a liar from the beginning, and truth is not in him.

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Remember, this is Jesus speaking here too.


You have not even heard an argument here, nor is it yet clear how well you understand Hebrew, so I suspect that you are just guessing.

Perhaps I should have put quote around "argument" because, technically you are right, I'm not getting an argument, just vague assertions.

Again, I don't have to be a Hebrew scholar to look at what they are saying, and to look at the whole Biblical context to see how it matches up. Or are you one of those who thinks a person who isn't an expert isn't allowed to come to conclusions on a subject?


You are confusing poetry with poetic narrative. I addressed this earlier in the thread. Take a look at my earlier posts and let me know if you still have questions.

Again, Genesis is neither. It has all the hallmarks of historical narrative, that combined with the references from other Biblical works, how typology itself works, and a host of other things, a "poetic" or "allegorical" understanding are not warranted. In fact, all of those things militate against such an idea.

John Reece
10-17-2014, 11:17 PM
I'm not a Hebrew scholar, but I can check what Hebrew words mean, and check what Hebrew scholars have to say about it. From before the crash John Reece had a thread on Genesis in Hebrew, and it pointed out that "dying you shall die" meant that certainty of death was in view, not immediacy. Sadly that thread and everything in it was lost in the crash (except for what John Reece referenced, but they are obviously from different sources than TWeb).

I am not interested in debating the subject; but as my name has been referenced re commentary on the phrase in question in Genesis 2:17, I am happy to provide the respective commentary texts thereof.

From Gordon J. Wenham's Word Biblical Commentary via Accordance:


17. but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil never eat, for on the day you do, you will certainly die.”

17 The restriction is blunt and firm. “Never eat,” literally, “you shall not eat,” resembles in its form the ten commandments: ‏לא‎ “not” followed by the imperfect is used for long-standing prohibitions; cf. “Do not steal, murder,” etc. (Exod 20:3–17). To it is appended a motive clause: “for on the day you do (eat), you will certainly die” (cf. Exod 20:5, 7, 11), a characteristic feature of Hebrew law (cf. B. Gemser, “Motive Clause in Old Testament Law,” VTSup 1 [1953] 50–66). It is not, as Westermann (1:225) maintains, the characteristic formulation for the death sentence in legal texts. They use infinitive plus hophal [‏יומת‎] “he shall be put to death,” whereas here we have infinitive plus qal [‏תמות] “you will die.” This is the form characteristic of divine or royal threats in narrative and prophetic texts (e.g., 20:7, 1 Sam 14:39, 44; 22:16; 1 Kgs 2:37, 42; 2 Kgs 1:4, 6; Ezek 33:8, 14). These parallels show that the fruit of the tree was not poisonous, as occasionally suggested. The death sentence demonstrates God’s seriousness in prohibiting access to the tree. The parallels also show that Speiser (cf. Cassuto) is unjustified in retranslating “you will certainly die” by “you shall be doomed to die”. The text is a straightforward warning that death will follow eating. Nor can the contradiction between this warning, the snake’s remarks (3:4), and the conclusion of the story be resolved by retranslating “on the day” as “when.” Though this phrase can mean vaguely “when” (cf. 2:4; 5:1), it tends to emphasize promptness of action (e.g., Num 30:6, 8, 9, etc.), especially in the closely similar passage (1 Kgs 2:37, 42).

From Victor P. Hamilton's NICNT commentary on Genesis via Accordance:


The last part of v. 17 reads literally “in the day of your eating from it dying you shall die,” understanding the infinitive absolute before the verb to strengthen the verbal idea. We have already encountered the phrase bᵉym (lit., “in the day”) followed by the infinitive construct in 2:4 “When Yahweh God made.…” Here in 2:17 we have translated it as as surely as on the basis of its occasional use as an idiom meaning “for certain,” as in 1 K. 2:37, 42, where Shimei is threatened with death “on the day you go forth and cross the brook Kidron.” As the next few verses indicate, Shimei could not possibly have been executed “on the day” he exited his house. The verse is underscoring the certainty of death, not its chronology. Again, Pharaoh’s words to Moses, “in the day you see my face you will die” (Exod. 10:28), mean that if he values his life he ought not to seek a further conference with Pharaoh, or else Moses will be no more.

The traditional translation could be retained, however, by taking the phrase mṯ tāmṯ (infinitive absolute followed by a finite form of the verb) to mean you are doomed to die, that is, a deferred penalty. The verse is concerned not with immediate execution but with ultimate death. The problem with this interpretation is that “doomed to die” forces on mṯ tāmṯ a meaning that is not patently observable. Obviously Adam and Eve did not die when they ate of the tree. Thus, in what we consider a poor reading of the text, D. R. G. Beattie wonders why Satan is punished for telling the truth [Gen 1-17, p. 173] (they did become like God) and exposing God’s lie (they did not die)! Others have suggested that God does not carry out his death penalty against Adam and Eve but rather withholds it as an indication of his grace. Yet another alternative is that 2:17 means “on the day you eat of it you will become mortal.” This approach assumes that God created man immortal, a fact that is not explicitly stated in Genesis and seems contrary to 1 Tim. 6:16, which states that deity alone has immortality. Indeed, in no OT passage does the phrase mṯ tāmṯ mean “to become mortal.”

Perhaps reexamination of this phrase will shed some light on the problem. First, we need to note the distinction in sections of the OT between “he/you shall die” (yāmṯ/tāmṯ), which is the Qal form of the verb, and “he/you shall be put to death” (ymaṯ/tmaṯ), which is the Hophal form of the verb. In the former, the executioner is God; thus the sense is: “he shall die (at God’s hands).” In the latter, the executioner is man, and the sense is: “he shall be put to death (by man).” Two Genesis passages illustrate this difference. In 20:7 God says to Abimelech, who is on the verge of adultery with Sarah, “restore the man’s wife … but if you do not … know that you shall surely die [mṯ tāmṯ, as in 2:17].” God himself will directly intervene and strike down Abimelech. In 26:11 Abimelech says to anybody tempted to take advantage of vulnerable Isaac and Rebekah: “Whoever touches this man or his wife shall be put to death [mṯ ymāṯ].” That is, Abimelech himself will mete out punishment against the aggressor. Clearly then, the sanction that is held out before Adam in 2:17 is one that carries a divine implementation.

Second, we need to examine the uses of mṯ tāmṯ in Scripture. In addition to its appearance in 2:17 and 3:4, it appears twelve other times in the OT (Gen. 20:7; 1 Sam. 14:44; 22:16; 1 K. 2:37, 42; 2 K. 1:4, 6, 16; Jer. 26:8; Ezek. 3:18; 33:8, 14).8 All of these passages deal with either a punishment for sins or an untimely death that is the result of punishment. In two of these passages we observe that the threatened execution is not carried out. Thus in Jer. 26:8 a sentence of death is pronounced against Jeremiah: “You shall die!” Yet the death penalty is not exacted, for he is released on the basis of a century-old precedent set by Micah in the days of Hezekiah. In 1 Sam. 14:44 Saul says to Jonathan, who has just eaten the honey in ignorance of his father’s ultimatum, “you shall surely die, Jonathan.” Yet Jonathan does not die, but rather gains a reprieve.9 Perhaps then in 1 Sam. 14:44 mṯ tāmṯ means “you deserve to die.”
\
Furthermore, note that the three passages from Ezekiel (3:18); 33:8, 14) hold out the possibility that repentance may avert death. This, then, could be another difference between mṯ yāmṯ and mṯ ymaṯ: the former allows for the possibility of pardon, whereas the latter does not. Of course, mṯ yāmṯ by itself does not convey any idea of possible pardon or exemption from punishment. Additional information is necessary for that to be the case, as Jer. 26:8; 1 Sam. 14:44, and the three passages from Ezekiel make clear. All that mṯ yāmṯ clearly conveys is the announcement of a death sentence by divine or royal decree.

From Bruce K. Waltke's Zondervan commentary on Genesis:


Surely die. The verdict for disobedience is the death penalty (see 20:7; Ex. 31:14; Lev. 24:16). Although the statement may refer to physical death, primarily in view is spiritual death, which entails loss of relationship with God and with one another. When the man and woman eat from the tree, they immediately damage their relationship with God and with one another (see 3:7-13). Physical death, an additional judgement, is an indirect blessing, ending life's pain and opening the prospect for life apart from sin and death.

robrecht
10-18-2014, 01:52 AM
:eh:
You seem to be missing the point entirely. I said a direct literal translation of the Hebrew words in that part of Genesis are "dying you shall die". Here. (http://www.hebrewoldtestament.com/B01C002.htm) And here (http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/bookstore/e-books/mtg.pdf).

Literal[/I] Translation] Young's Literal Translation
2:17 and of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou dost not eat of it, for in the day of thine eating of it -- dying thou dost die.

I'm not a Hebrew scholar, but I can check what Hebrew words mean, and check what Hebrew scholars have to say about it. From before the crash John Reece had a thread on Genesis in Hebrew, and it pointed out that "dying you shall die" meant that certainty of death was in view, not immediacy. Sadly that thread and everything in it was lost in the crash(except for what John Reece referenced, but they are obviously from different sources than TWeb). Young's literal translation says exactly what I am saying, as does your other link. You seem to be imagining that I am thinking that the infinitive absolute in Hebrew denotes immediacy instead of certainty, but I have said no such thing, and that is certainly not what I think.


Not the whole truth as you are claiming. He's a liar from the beginning, and truth is not in him.

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your fathers desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Remember, this is Jesus speaking here too.

Perhaps I should have put quote around "argument" because, technically you are right, I'm not getting an argument, just vague assertions. No, not vague assertions; rather questions designed to get you to think.


Again, I don't have to be a Hebrew scholar to look at what they are saying, and to look at the whole Biblical context to see how it matches up. Or are you one of those who thinks a person who isn't an expert isn't allowed to come to conclusions on a subject? Again, I have not said or implied anything like this. I am merely trying to guage your knowledge of Hebrew so that I can try to best help you in a manner that you can follow.


Again, Genesis is neither. It has all the hallmarks of historical narrative, that combined with the references from other Biblical works, how typology itself works, and a host of other things, a "poetic" or "allegorical" understanding are not warranted. In fact, all of those things militate against such an idea. I'm still not sure if you understand what is meant by a poetic narrative. Did you go back and read my earlier post? It is not at all the same thing as allegory. Everything you have pointed to so far merely points to a narrative, not necessarily an historical narrative.

Cerebrum123
10-18-2014, 02:26 PM
Young's literal translation says exactly what I am saying, as does your other link.

:eh:
Um, no. You're the one saying that God didn't carry out His original "threat" on Adam and Eve, and the cited translations don't support you on that in the least. What you are saying, whether you understand it or not, is that God is both a liar and unjust. When there is no repentance, there is no mercy. Although, perhaps you are also one who doesn't understand what Biblical "mercy" actually is.

Pilch and Malina note that in an ancient context, "mercy" is better rendered as "gratitude" or "steadfast love." One example of the expression of mercy would be "the debt of interpersonal obligations for unrepayable favors received." For a case like this, to say, "Lord, have mercy!" (Matt. 20:31) means, "Lord, pay up your debt of interpersonal obligation to us!" Not a plea of the hapless, it is in this case a request to pay back previously earned favor (as a loyal subject of the Davidic/Messianic dynasty).

Source. (http://www.tektonics.org/whatis/whatmercy.php)

Doesn't fit with your question earlier at all when you look at it like that does it?


You seem to be imagining that I am thinking that the infinitive absolute in Hebrew denotes immediacy instead of certainty, but I have said no such thing, and that is certainly not what I think.

Then what are you saying? That's the only meaning I've seen from people who say God didn't carry out His punishment, which He did. He did so in two ways, #1 cutting Adam and Eve off from the tree of life, which took away their source of immortality, and #2 by cutting off the relationship He had with them an instant spiritual death happened.


No, not vague assertions; rather questions designed to get you to think.

How can questions apparently devoid of thought get a person to think? Every single one of your questions show that you didn't think this through. #1 Biblical mercy isn't what you think it is, #2 God, being omniscient doesn't change His mind, you are caught up in anthropomorphisms :wink:, and #3 Satan can't tell the truth as truth is not in him.


Again, I have not said or implied anything like this. I am merely trying to guage your knowledge of Hebrew so that I can try to best help you in a manner that you can follow.

You didn't say it, but it certainly did seem to be implied. Although that may have to do more with my past experience in conversations more than anything.


I'm still not sure if you understand what is meant by a poetic narrative. Did you go back and read my earlier post? It is not at all the same thing as allegory. Everything you have pointed to so far merely points to a narrative, not necessarily an historical narrative.

I went back and read your earlier posts(what point in discussing this is there if there is no correct interpretation, and it's all just made up?), but this last part of your response shows that you haven't been reading mine. Unless you are saying that a poetic narrative can be both historical and poetic, which doesn't seem to be what you are saying based on your first post in this thread. Typology, by definition is based in history, the later Biblical writers all took Gensis 1-11 as straightforward history, as do 1st Century Jews like Josephus.

Typology is basically a way of looking at history--a way of interpreting history, esp. the history of the interaction between God and Israel. Goppelt says it best:

"Only historical facts--persons, actions, events, and institutions--are material for typological interpretation; words and narratives can be utilized only insofar as they deal with such matters. These things are to be interpreted typologically only if they are considered to be divinely ordained representations or types of future realities that will be even grater and more complete. (GT:17-18)

Source. (http://christianthinktank.com/typol.html)

If Adam and Eve aren't historical, than all typology based on them is invalid, including Jesus being the "Last Adam". Do you really want to be claiming that?

Then you have all the Biblical writers taking Adam and Eve as real people who lived in real history.



Historical Usages.

1 Chronicles 1 New International Version (NIV)

Historical Records From Adam to Abraham
To Noah’s Sons

1 Adam, Seth, Enosh, 2 Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, 3 Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah.

4 The sons of Noah:[a]

Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Luke 3:37-38New International Version (NIV)

37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch,

the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel,

the son of Kenan, 38 the son of Enosh,

the son of Seth, the son of Adam,

the son of God.

1 Timothy 2:12-14New International Version (NIV)

12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[a] she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner

Jude 1:14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones

Typological Uses.

Romans 5:12 [ Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ ] Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

And this is nothing compared to what happens when you bring the whole of Genesis 1-11 into the picture.

So, unless your "poetic narrative" also teaches history, it makes a lie out all these passages, and much more.

robrecht
10-18-2014, 03:04 PM
... What you are saying, whether you understand it or not, is that God is both a liar and unjust. ...Outrageous. I have said no such thing. Please stop making up false statements about me and other nonsense. If you are trying to tell me what I am saying, and supposedly not even understanding, this is just a ridiculous.

Cerebrum123
10-18-2014, 04:08 PM
Outrageous. I have said no such thing. Please stop making up false statements about me and other nonsense. If you are trying to tell me what I am saying, and supposedly not even understanding, this is just a ridiculous.

Having God say something completely false means He's a liar, having Him give mercy without repentance means He's unjust. Those are the conclusions your words so far lead to. Your response proves my point entirely, you don't understand where your thinking is leading at all.

Unless words no longer have meaning, this is exactly where your train of thought as you have displayed in this thread logically leads to. Falsehoods can never lead to "greater truth", and are lies, and granting mercy without repentance is unjust. Yet those are exactly the things you accuse God of doing. Do you get it yet?

Given your posts in this thread, especially the first one, the only thing I can see is that you've steeped yourself way too deep in postmodern thought. Postmodernism eventually leads to the conclusion that truth does not exist. When there is no possibility of objective knowledge, there is no possibility of anything actually being "true".

There needs to be some major clarification on your end for me to believe anything different. If my understanding is correct about what you are actually saying(remember, those were your questions to get me to "think"), then I suggest you need to take a step back and actually look at what you are saying.

robrecht
10-18-2014, 04:16 PM
Those are the conclusions your words so far lead to. False


Your response proves my point entirely, you don't understand where your thinking is leading at all. Nonsense.

Once again, please stop making up false statements about me.

Cerebrum123
10-18-2014, 04:35 PM
False

I explained exactly what and why. Your denials without the clarification I asked for are further cementing my position, and lowering my respect for you.


Nonsense.

If that were so then you would be able to show how and where I am wrong, with the full quote. You snipped out the major substance of my response.


Once again, please stop making up false statements about me.

I really don't like being called a liar. Especially after I just went great lengths to explain exactly how your words lead to that conclusion.

It's like this, if God didn't do what He said He would do in Genesis, then He both lied, and He was unjust in showing mercy to those who were unrepentant. Not only were they unrepentant, but Adam blamed God, and Eve shifted blame onto the serpent.

Now, unless you've changed your mind about God not doing what He said He would do, then yeah, your position leads to exactly the conclusions I outlined. If you are going to accuse me of accusing you falsely, then you need to substantiate it.

Oh, and you do realize I was trying to be charitable by saying that I didn't think you understood where your claims logically lead to right? I know that many people end up taking positions that if they thought them through to their logical conclusions they wouldn't believe them. I thought that maybe that was what happened in this situation.

Clearly I don't think that you actually believe God to be a liar, only that your statements(this includes your "questions" that were designed to make me "think") so far, when taken to their conclusions mean just that. Perhaps you are misunderstanding what I'm saying? I'm trying to be charitable, but that's becoming harder with each of your posts.

RumTumTugger
10-18-2014, 04:58 PM
False

Nonsense.

Once again, please stop making up false statements about me.

It does look like what Cerebrum says you are saying that God is a Liar when you insist that cutting Adam and Eve off from the tree of life(eventual physical death) and himself(spiritual death) does not mean he followed through on the punishment he said would happen if they eat of the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil.

IF you are not saying that then God lied when he told Adam the consequences of eating of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil you might want to think about choosing your words more wisely.

Yes God was merciful(but not in the way the words you chose make it seem where Just punishment was not received) he made a way for them to have the Right relationship(it was God who sacrificed the animal to give them skins to cover themselves a typology of what Jesus did on the cross for us) with him that he that is is mercy but in his justice he did cause death not immediate physical but there was an immediate spiritual death.


robrecht, God is Just and merciful but in his justice he cannot forgo punishment for wrong doing especially punishment he said would happen that is what you seem to think he can do. Jesus's life and death was his way of bring together his Justice and mercy bringing life where Adam and Eve's Sin brought death into the world just like God said would happen. As is stands what the words you have been using seem to say God is unjust and not truly merciful. think it through before you say anything more, please.

I did not edit anything out of your post I hit edit instead of reply accidentally. I hit save without touching your post.

robrecht
10-18-2014, 05:41 PM
I explained exactly what and why. Your denials without the clarification I asked for are further cementing my position, and lowering my respect for you.

If that were so then you would be able to show how and where I am wrong, with the full quote. You snipped out the major substance of my response.

I really don't like being called a liar. Especially after I just went great lengths to explain exactly how your words lead to that conclusion.

It's like this, if God didn't do what He said He would do in Genesis, then He both lied, and He was unjust in showing mercy to those who were unrepentant. Not only were they unrepentant, but Adam blamed God, and Eve shifted blame onto the serpent.

Now, unless you've changed your mind about God not doing what He said He would do, then yeah, your position leads to exactly the conclusions I outlined. If you are going to accuse me of accusing you falsely, then you need to substantiate it.

Oh, and you do realize I was trying to be charitable by saying that I didn't think you understood where your claims logically lead to right? I know that many people end up taking positions that if they thought them through to their logical conclusions they wouldn't believe them. I thought that maybe that was what happened in this situation.

Clearly I don't think that you actually believe God to be a liar, only that your statements(this includes your "questions" that were designed to make me "think") so far, when taken to their conclusions mean just that. Perhaps you are misunderstanding what I'm saying? I'm trying to be charitable, but that's becoming harder with each of your posts. It seems to me that you are trying to impose what you feel are logical conclusions on my words based on your own presuppositions and assumptions, but if you truly want to be respectful, despited your stated loss of respect, please understand that I am not bound by your presuppositions and assumptions and that I have already rejected your own logical conclusions as in no way reflecting what I think. If you can respect that, I may be willing and able to clarify some of our differing presuppositions. You may think you are being charitable, but that is certainly not how I have experienced your attempts to explain my position to me, even with your gracious assumption that I may not understand my own position.

ETA: Do you see how this is different from calling you a liar? I don't think you are attempting to deceive anyone, and have never said such, but are you making up things about what you honestly think are my positions and what must be logical conclusions based on my positions.

Cerebrum123
10-18-2014, 06:41 PM
It seems to me that you are trying to impose what you feel are logical conclusions on my words based on your own presuppositions and assumptions, but if you truly want to be respectful, despited your stated loss of respect, please understand that I am not bound by your presuppositions and assumptions and that I have already rejected your own logical conclusions as in no way reflecting what I think.

I have explained in detail why what I said follows from your beliefs, at the end of this post I will put them in a syllogism so as to further clarify my own position.


If you can respect that, I may be willing and able to clarify some of our differing presuppositions. You may think you are being charitable, but that is certainly not how I have experienced your attempts to explain my position to me, even with your gracious assumption that I may not understand my own position.

That's exactly what I've asked you to do. You snipped that out of my post in your last response. You have so far merely dismissed what I've said as "ridiculous", and "false accusations". You did so without even explaining yourself. I at least went through the trouble of doing that, and am attempting to do so even further.

First syllogism, God ending up as a liar.

Premise 1, a falsehood spoken when it is known to be false is a lie.
Premise 2, God knows the future, thus knew that what He said was false.

Conclusion, God lied.

For God being unjust we have two different things.

Premise 1, God is a God of truth.
Premise 2, God delights in truth. Telling the truth is the right thing to do, especially when someone has been lied to.
Premise 3, the serpent spoke the whole truth, Adam and Eve would be like God, knowing both good and evil, and they would not die.

Observation, God punished the serpent for merely telling the truth.

Conclusion, God unjustly punished the serpent for doing what was right.

Premise 1, Biblical mercy is not withholding punishment from those who are unrepentant, and deserve their punishment.
Premise 2, Adam and Eve both deserved their punishment, and were unrepentant.
Premise 3 God is completely Holy, and cannot abide sin. Sin must be punished, and in the proper way.
Premise 4, The wages of sin is death(both physical and spiritual)
Premise 5(Your premise, which doesn't fit the account since Adam and Eve were both punished with physical and spiritual death, one immediate, one later to come) Adam and Eve were not punished according to God's Law. They did not die according to God's own words.

Conclusion, God is unjust.

Feel free to show me how, logically, you can avoid the conclusions, which I find you should agree with all those premises.

robrecht
10-18-2014, 06:52 PM
It does look like what Cerebrum says you are saying that God is a Liar when you insist that cutting Adam and Eve off from the tree of life(eventual physical death) and himself(spiritual death) does not mean he followed through on the punishment he said would happen if they eat of the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil.

IF you are not saying that then God lied when he told Adam the consequences of eating of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil you might want to think about choosing your words more wisely.

Yes God was merciful(but not in the way the words you chose make it seem where Just punishment was not received) he made a way for them to have the Right relationship(it was God who sacrificed the animal to give them skins to cover themselves a typology of what Jesus did on the cross for us) with him that he that is is mercy but in his justice he did cause death not immediate physical but there was an immediate spiritual death.

robrecht, God is Just and merciful but in his justice he cannot forgo punishment for wrong doing especially punishment he said would happen that is what you seem to think he can do. Jesus's life and death was his way of bring together his Justice and mercy bringing life where Adam and Eve's Sin brought death into the world just like God said would happen. As is stands what the words you have been using seem to say God is unjust and not truly merciful. think it through before you say anything more, please.

I did not edit anything out of your post I hit edit instead of reply accidentally. I hit save without touching your post.
Do you really believe that I could possibly be saying "God is a Liar", that "God is unjust and not truly merciful"? Wow! I would never say anything like that. I can barely type them in quotation marks even for the purpose of rejecting such statements with all of my being.

Above you said that I "insist" that cutting Adam and Eve off from the tree of life does not mean that God followed through on punishment he said would happen. I don't believe I have "insisted" on any such thing. I think I've said here that there are multiple valid interpretations of the narrative and, for me, that is part of its great beauty and power.

What kinds of misconnects do you think would result in such a profoundly disturbing disagreement about what I might be saying? Perhaps you think it is merely my not being careful about my words. While I often do not express myself as clearly as I would like, I think there may also be some other things going on here. Just a though. At any rate, please do not put words in my mouth, especially such blasphemous thoughts.

Violet
10-19-2014, 03:53 AM
In response to your OP, I started with exegesis of Genesis 3:16 ff.; then, I went to the middle part of Genesis 3 for more context; now I have gone back to the beginning of Genesis 3 for the full context of the story of the Fall and its consequence (3:1-24). I am indebted to Waltke (op. cit.) for the following outline.

The story is of a contest between God and Satan, who is a real entity represented in the story as a snake.

Satan is characterized as "crafty"; cunningly, he distorts God's words and thus deceives Eve whom he uses to bring both Adam and Eve under his control. Satan subverts obedience to God and distorts the prospect of Adam and Eve by emphasizing God's prohibition (2:9), not his provision, reducing God's command to a question, doubting his sincerity, defaming his motives, and denying the truthfulness of his threat. The snake makes God appear to be restricting Adam and Eve from full humanity.

Eve's decision to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit 'gives priority to pragmatic values, aesthetic appearance, and sensual desires over God's word. Armstrong states, "What Adam and Eve sought from the tree of knowledge was not philosophical or scientific knowledge desired by the Greeks, but practical knowledge that would give them blessing and fulfillment." They were not seeking information but power that comes from knowledge―knowledge that has the potential for evil ends as well as good.' The man chose to obey his wife, not God. (see 3:17)).

Sin's consequences (3:7): "the eyes of both of them were opened. Ironically, their opened eyes bring them shame. This knowledge of good and evil is not a neutral state, desired maturity, or an advancement of humanity, as is commonly argued. God desires to save humans from their inclination for ethical autonomy. Because Adam and Eve have attained this sinful state, they must not eat of the tree of life and are consigned forever to the forbidden state of being inclined to choose their own code of ethics (Gen. 3:22). By contrast, in God's kingdom one chooses to know God and live upon his word (Deut. 8:3).

.... 3:12-13. The woman you put here . . . the serpent . . . I ate. The couple shows their allegiance to Satan by distorting the truth and accusing one another and ultimately God (see James 1:13). They are preoccupied with "I."

.... all the days. The serpent's final defeat under Messiah's heel (3:15) is delayed to effect God's program of redemption through the promised offspring. In the interim, God leaves Satan to test the fidelity of each succeeding generation of the covenant people (Judg. 2:22) and to teach them to "fight" against untruth (Judg. 3:2).

15. I will put enmity. In sovereign grace God converts the depraved woman's affections for Satan to righteous desire for himself.

your offspring and hers. .... Humanity is now divided into two communities: the elect, who love God, and the reprobate, who love self (John 8:31-32, 44). Each of the characters of Genesis will be either of the seed of the woman that reproduces her spiritual propensity, or of the seed of the Serpent that reproduces his unbelief. The unspoken question is, "Whose seed are you?"

I am inclined to be more a Wesleyan than a Calvinist; however, I see in the interpretation presented by Waltke a solution to the problem of the curses presented in 3:16 ff. ― that is, the solution provided by God in Christ (Genesis 3:15): in Christ, you are set free from all curses, as you submit to Him and obey Him.

I am grateful for your care and for the time you took to give this to me. I've been thinking about it. The answer to my deeper question is Christ and His work and I CAN rest in that.

robrecht
10-19-2014, 04:35 PM
I have explained in detail why what I said follows from your beliefs, at the end of this post I will put them in a syllogism so as to further clarify my own position.

That's exactly what I've asked you to do. You snipped that out of my post in your last response. You have so far merely dismissed what I've said as "ridiculous", and "false accusations". You did so without even explaining yourself. I at least went through the trouble of doing that, and am attempting to do so even further.

First syllogism, God ending up as a liar.

Premise 1, a falsehood spoken when it is known to be false is a lie.
Premise 2, God knows the future, thus knew that what He said was false.

Conclusion, God lied.

For God being unjust we have two different things.

Premise 1, God is a God of truth.
Premise 2, God delights in truth. Telling the truth is the right thing to do, especially when someone has been lied to.
Premise 3, the serpent spoke the whole truth, Adam and Eve would be like God, knowing both good and evil, and they would not die.

Observation, God punished the serpent for merely telling the truth.

Conclusion, God unjustly punished the serpent for doing what was right.

Premise 1, Biblical mercy is not withholding punishment from those who are unrepentant, and deserve their punishment.
Premise 2, Adam and Eve both deserved their punishment, and were unrepentant.
Premise 3 God is completely Holy, and cannot abide sin. Sin must be punished, and in the proper way.
Premise 4, The wages of sin is death(both physical and spiritual)
Premise 5(Your premise, which doesn't fit the account since Adam and Eve were both punished with physical and spiritual death, one immediate, one later to come) Adam and Eve were not punished according to God's Law. They did not die according to God's own words.

Conclusion, God is unjust.

Feel free to show me how, logically, you can avoid the conclusions, which I find you should agree with all those premises.Gods Syllogisms

I do not think the beauty and power of a poetic narrative can be captured well in syllogisms. Theologians and exegetes who understand some texts of the Bible as poetic narratives believe that this art form has been well chosen as a way of communicating deep mysteries that transcend our ability to understand and communicate in purely logical propositions. God's goodness and the existence of various forms of evil is not merely a philosophical problem but also a theological mystery. The biblical story of evil and sinfulness, suffering and death in Gods creation is indeed such a mystery. Did God create evil? Why did he create and place a cunning serpent with us in the garden? Why are we now at odds with the rest of creation, with God, and each other? If we deserve to die, are there nonetheless still grounds for hope in the restoration of innocence and union with an eternally merciful God? Did Adam, do we, truly grasp the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God? When the biblical authors write and we read a poetic narrative that attempts to plumb some of these mysteries, have they been fully explained? When we imagine God warning or threatening Adam with death for his future disobedience, do we really believe that we have perfectly encapsulated and fully understood what are no longer Gods unsearchable judgments and inscrutable ways? Do we truly think we have now known the mind of the Lord? Are we now able to be his counselor? Can we tell God that he cannot be merciful toward Adam, that he cannot continue to work with Eve, the mother of all the living, and all her children, that they cannot be given the opportunity to learn repentance? As his counselors, do we now understand Gods judgment to such a degree that we can tell him that he cannot be gracious to whomever he will be gracious, that he cannot show mercy on whomever he will show mercy? I think it is a mistake to reduce the mysteries of this story to pedantic or pedestrian syllogisms.

Does God lie? Of course not! That is unspeakable blasphemy. Is God unjust? Absolutely not! Do we understand the depth of Gods mysterious judgment and mercy? No, we can only barely begin to wonder about and worship Gods infinite loving-kindness and righteous mercy.

robrecht
10-19-2014, 04:48 PM
Did Gods Infinite Mercy, Which Endures Forever, Have A Beginning?


When there is no repentance, there is no mercy. Although, perhaps you are also one who doesn't understand what Biblical "mercy" actually is. Our repentance does not cause God's mercy. Do not despise the riches of God's kindness and forbearance and patience. Do you not realize that Gods kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? Do Gods mercy and compassion depend on human will or exertion, or on God who shows mercy?

Sound familiar? See elsewhere in Paul's letter to the Romans:


Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all. O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him, to receive a gift in return?"

Or think upon the words of the first letter of St Peter:


"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead ..."

Did our repentance cause this? Did not Gods mercy precede our repentance?

Or the letter of Paul to Titus:


"For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, despicable, hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit."

Again, did not the mercy of God precede our repentance?

Or the letter of Paul to the Ephesians:


"But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ -- by grace you have been saved -- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God -- not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life."

Do you still think there is no mercy without our repentance? Is not Gods mercy, his lovingkindness, and patience meant to lead us to repentance? Is not God eternally merciful? If as the psalmist repeatedly says, his mercy endures forever, did it really only have a beginning with our repentance?

robrecht
10-19-2014, 05:04 PM
God's Infinite Infinitive Absolute:

robrecht (#55): You seem to be imagining that I am thinking that the infinitive absolute in Hebrew denotes immediacy instead of certainty, but I have said no such thing, and that is certainly not what I think.

Cerebreum123 (#56): Then what are you saying? That's the only meaning I've seen from people who say God didn't carry out His punishment, which He did.

What people are you thinking of here? Since you assumed that I was saying the same thing as these other people, I would really like to know who they are so that I can properly and fully differentiate my position from theirs so there will be no further misunderstanding based on your false assumption. In addition, it might be very good for you to acknowledge that your reaction to what I have said was based, in part, on your false assumption that I was supposedly saying the same thing that you’ve seen elsewhere, but which I have never actually said.

I think I've already told you my position on the infinitive absolute in Hebrew. I would translate it the same as most translators, a number of examples of which you yourself have linked to, for example:


KJV: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

ASV: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

BBE: But of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you may not take; for on the day when you take of it, death will certainly come to you.

DET: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest of it thou shalt certainly die.

DRB: But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. for in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.

NWB: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest of it thou shalt surely die.

WEB: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die."

YLT: and of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou dost not eat of it, for in the day of thine eating of it -- dying thou dost die.

Benner: and~from~Tree the~ Discernment Functional and~ Dysfunctional Not you(ms)~will~Eat From~him Given.that in~Day >~Eat~you(ms) From~him >~Die you(ms)~will~Die

Now, ironically perhaps, it is you who do indeed want to retain a sense of immediacy in your #2 below (still #56):

“He did so [carry out his punishment] in two ways, #1 cutting Adam and Eve off from the tree of life, which took away their source of immortality, and #2 by cutting off the relationship He had with them an instant spiritual death happened.”

You had previously introduced (#49) another sense in which the infinitive absolute can be understood that might go along your #1 above: “From what I understand the Hebrew literally translated says "dying you shall die" which not only conveys certainty, but also a process of dying.

All three of your interpretive additions to Gen 2,17 are perfectly valid inferences that one may draw from the larger story, if one wants to, but they are not actually part of the text of Gen 2,17. God does not actually say, ‘you will die spiritually’, nor does he say ‘you will be expelled from the garden, thus losing access to the tree of life, and thereby begin a process of dying that will not actually occur for another eight centuries.’

The text simply says that ‘on the day that you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you will surely die.’

Are there perhaps other reasons why Adam did not actually die on that day but rather some eight centuries later?

In addition to, or instead of, your interpretative additions to the text, there are elements that are actually in the text that might help make sense of what God actually says in Gen 2,17 and the rest of the story as it unfolds. For one, God only told Adam that he (singular) would surely die on the day that he ate of this tree. In the meantime, however, other complicating factors have arisen. Eve, the mother of all the living, has come on the scene. She seems to have a rather different understanding of God’s commandment to Adam. Did Adam not tell her exactly what God had said? Did he perhaps not fully understand God’s words? Did Eve add her own interpretation? Somehow the communication was muddled and Eve now (mis)understood the prohibition such that one should not even touch some tree in the middle of the garden—she does not specify the nature of this tree. She does not appear to be aware of the infinitive absolute and its certain nature as a divine warning, curse or punishment. Did she possibly imagine that perhaps this tree was merely thought to be poisonous? Did the prohibition to not even touch some nondescript tree in the midst of the garden somehow appear more arbitrary or unreasonable to her because Adam did not reveal to her the nuances of God's words? Most importantly, the crafty serpent intervened and, explicitly negating God’s infinitive absolute, effectively cast doubt on Eve’s muddled understanding of whatever Adam had told her and in the process awakened in her a view of the desirable nature of the tree. Did Adam know that the fruit that Eve gave him to eat was from the forbidden tree? Did the serpent trick Eve, as she would claim? Were any of these elements potentially mitigating factors? God cursed the serpent and the ground from which the human had been made, but he did not explicitly curse the human or his woman. Why was there an explicit curse of the serpent but no explicit curse for Adam and Eve? Why are the curses of the ground (and later of Cain) eased somewhat subsequently? Why would the curses for human disobedience of God's law be made much more explicit later on but not here? Did God take into consideration any of these potentially mitigating factors? He did not accuse Adam or Eve of merely trying to shift the blame, ‘though others outside the text will make that valid point. Maybe God saw that there was indeed an element of truth in what they said, or was their level of dishonesty equal to that of Satan in your opinion? Maybe God did not acknowledge any truthfulness in Adam or Eve, but still, in his infinite mercy, nonetheless felt compassion for them and wanted to give them the opportunity to learn and repent. Quite a few incongruous elements in the story invite questions and ponderings about how to interpret.

From a later Christian theological perspective, some early church fathers thought that God subsequently developed a plan to bring good out of this calamitous situation (felix culpa). Others speculated that God already had a long-range plan for the incarnation which he did not abandon merely because of a relatively minor fall of man in his childhood. Of course, I do not think these competing Christian theological scenarios were intended by the ancient author/redactors of Genesis 2-3, but I do think that the narrative itself was obviously flexible enough for a variety of exploratory interpretations.

robrecht
10-19-2014, 05:27 PM
Other Questions and Assumptions


How can questions apparently devoid of thought get a person to think? Your presumption that my questions are devoid of thought, aside from being an apparent attempt to insult, do not bode well for your being able to participate in a charitable and intelligent discussion between us.


God, being omniscient doesn't change His mind, you are caught up in anthropomorphisms :wink: Do you not think that this biblical narrative contains an anthropomorphic representation of God? You do not think that God is ever presented as changing is mind or regretting an earlier decision in the Bible? What of the flood? What of Abraham's intercession for Sodom and Gomorrah? What of Jesus' parable of the unjust judge, who is influenced only by the persistence of the woman? Does not Jesus here even use an image of an unjust judge to teach us something even more true about unceasing prayer to God? Do you think that anthropomorphic portrayals in poetic narratives have a teaching value even if they employ a limited conception of God's nature and interaction with us?


I went back and read your earlier posts(what point in discussing this is there if there is no correct interpretation, and it's all just made up?), but this last part of your response shows that you haven't been reading mine. Unless you are saying that a poetic narrative can be both historical and poetic, which doesn't seem to be what you are saying based on your first post in this thread. Typology, by definition is based in history, the later Biblical writers all took Gensis 1-11 as straightforward history, as do 1st Century Jews like Josephus.

Typology is basically a way of looking at history--a way of interpreting history, esp. the history of the interaction between God and Israel. Goppelt says it best:

"Only historical facts--persons, actions, events, and institutions--are material for typological interpretation; words and narratives can be utilized only insofar as they deal with such matters. These things are to be interpreted typologically only if they are considered to be divinely ordained representations or types of future realities that will be even grater [sic] and more complete. (GT:17-18)

Source. (http://christianthinktank.com/typol.html)

If Adam and Eve aren't historical, than all typology based on them is invalid, including Jesus being the "Last Adam". Do you really want to be claiming that? You really need to stop putting words in my mouth. Asking if I really want to claim what you suppose must be necessary logical conclusions presumes that I agree with your presuppositions and the limits of your logical thought process. I do not. I do not agree with the claim that typology can only function validly when antitypes are historical. You are also wrong to assume that I think that a poetic narrative cannot be used to relate or interpret historical characters, events, peoples, or institutions. I do not think that the story of the first human, his wife, the serpent, and the forbidden fruit should be considered an exact or merely historical report and transcript of conversations that actually took place or that they fully circumscribe and define God's thought process. I do nonetheless believe that this and other poetic narratives of the bible are inspired and true at a very deep and profound level and that the inspired authors were capable of great artistry that is unfortunately oftentimes opaque to those who are unwilling or unable to read it in the original language.


Then you have all the Biblical writers taking Adam and Eve as real people who lived in real history. ...
So, unless your "poetic narrative" also teaches history, it makes a lie out all these passages, and much more.In addition to your already identified false assumption, I certainly do not agree with your imposed conclusion here. Nowhere have I claimed that the bible is a lie or full of lies or anything like that and you are engaging in dangerous and uncharitable innuendo towards a fellow brother in Christ.


Having God say something completely false means He's a liar, having Him give mercy without repentance means He's unjust. Those are the conclusions your words so far lead to. Your response proves my point entirely, you don't understand where your thinking is leading at all.

Unless words no longer have meaning, this is exactly where your train of thought as you have displayed in this thread logically leads to. Falsehoods can never lead to "greater truth", and are lies, and granting mercy without repentance is unjust. Yet those are exactly the things you accuse God of doing. Do you get it yet?

Given your posts in this thread, especially the first one, the only thing I can see is that you've steeped yourself way too deep in postmodern thought. Postmodernism eventually leads to the conclusion that truth does not exist. When there is no possibility of objective knowledge, there is no possibility of anything actually being "true".

There needs to be some major clarification on your end for me to believe anything different. If my understanding is correct about what you are actually saying(remember, those were your questions to get me to "think"), then I suggest you need to take a step back and actually look at what you are saying.I have already rejected your false logic and claims about me here in general, but perhaps it will be helpful for you to consider a few more specifics. I have never said that God said something completely (or even partly) false in Gen 2,17. I did not claim that he 'gave mercy without repentance', but I do believe that he is merciful from all eternity and forever, as the psalmist says repeatedly, and that he is always interested in making repentance possible. I have never accused God of being unjust. I certainly believe that truth exists. While I do have some appreciation for postmodern interpretative theory, I am also steeped in modern historico-critical methodology, despite its limitations, but most of my manner of interpreting poetic narratives in the bible is anchored in ancient methods of interpretation.

Cerebrum123
10-19-2014, 07:25 PM
God’s Syllogisms

I do not think the beauty and power of a poetic narrative can be captured well in syllogisms. Theologians and exegetes who understand some texts of the Bible as poetic narratives believe that this art form has been well chosen as a way of communicating deep mysteries that transcend our ability to understand and communicate in purely logical propositions. God's goodness and the existence of various forms of evil is not merely a philosophical problem but also a theological mystery. The biblical story of evil and sinfulness, suffering and death in God’s creation is indeed such a mystery. Did God create evil? Why did he create and place a cunning serpent with us in the garden? Why are we now at odds with the rest of creation, with God, and each other? If we deserve to die, are there nonetheless still grounds for hope in the restoration of innocence and union with an eternally merciful God? Did Adam, do we, truly grasp the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God? When the biblical authors write and we read a poetic narrative that attempts to plumb some of these mysteries, have they been fully explained? When we imagine God warning or threatening Adam with death for his future disobedience, do we really believe that we have perfectly encapsulated and fully understood what are no longer God’s unsearchable judgments and inscrutable ways? Do we truly think we have now known the mind of the Lord? Are we now able to be his counselor? Can we tell God that he cannot be merciful toward Adam, that he cannot continue to work with Eve, the mother of all the living, and all her children, that they cannot be given the opportunity to learn repentance? As his counselors, do we now understand God’s judgment to such a degree that we can tell him that he cannot be gracious to whomever he will be gracious, that he cannot show mercy on whomever he will show mercy? I think it is a mistake to reduce the mysteries of this story to pedantic or pedestrian syllogisms.

Does God lie? Of course not! That is unspeakable blasphemy. Is God unjust? Absolutely not! Do we understand the depth of God’s mysterious judgment and mercy? No, we can only barely begin to wonder about and worship God’s infinite loving-kindness and righteous mercy.

Note, I wrote this response before you wrote your two subsequent posts.

God did not create moral evil, as moral evil is a lack or perversion of that which is good.

God created Satan as good, and he rebelled. Satan, who now does everything he can to oppose God's will deceived Eve.

Luke 10:17-19New International Version (NIV)

17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

We are at odds with the rest of the creation and God because of not only Adam's sin, but our own. Jesus Christ laid the groundwork for our redemption, but it's only possible if we are repentant, because thought God is merciful, He is also just, and can't betray His nature, just as He can't lie because it's contrary to His nature.

Romans 5:12 [ Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ ] Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

Romans 8:21-23New International Version (NIV)

21 that[a] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.

Now, no, but all of that is in Christ, and He can bestow that upon us, most won't be revealed until after the White Throne Judgment however.

Colossians 2:2-4New International Version (NIV)

2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.

Genesis is NOT a "poetic narrative", but a historical narrative, and you haven't even touched my arguments on that. Do you have a reading comprehension problem or something? Because I have gone out of my way to make myself clear to you, and you are still ignoring nearly ALL of what I have said.

If words actually mean anything, then we know that God, knowing the future, and not being able to lie did not contradict His nature. Or are you so far down the postmodernist rabbit hole that you can no longer see the light at all?

No, but we know what He has revealed to us, about Himself, and about His past actions, which is more than enough to understand this narrative.

No, and He was merciful, just not in your* unjust, dishonest way.

Again, we are not God's counselor's, but He has made it clear He isn't merciful on the unrepentant. Or have you become a universalist?

We are to have the mind of Christ however, something you seem to be neglecting in all this.

1 Corinthians 2:15-16New International Version (NIV)

15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”[a]
But we have the mind of Christ.

This last line in your paragraph is where the condescension comes in. You, having avoided answering any of my arguments, are now treating me as a child* or "pedestrian". You are refusing to use your God given brain, and are retreating into mysticism. It gives the appearance of gnosticism. Giving you a special kind of knowledge the rest of us "pedestrians" lack. Pull your head out of this rabbit hole, and get some light and fresh air, you're not thinking straight.

If Genesis were a "poetic narrative" as you have so far defined it, then there would be absolutely no real reason to read it. After all, why try to understand something that can't be understood, even in principle? This is exactly the problem you face when you claim that everyone gets a different understanding from it.

Nothing more than confusion, and God is not the author of confusion, although I know someone who sows as much of it as possible.


*My word, not yours. I feel it adequately sums up how you've engaged in this conversation, if it can be called a conversation that is.
**By this I mean that YOUR position leads to these conclusions. I said you can clarify how it wouldn't, but you didn't do that. You merely jumped into your mysticism, and are now plunging your head into the sand like an ostrich, all the while claiming the high ground at the same time.


Did God’s Infinite Mercy, Which Endures Forever, Have A Beginning?

Our repentance does not cause God's mercy. Do not despise the riches of God's kindness and forbearance and patience. Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? Do God’s mercy and compassion depend on human will or exertion, or on God who shows mercy?

Sound familiar? See elsewhere in Paul's letter to the Romans:


Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all. O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him, to receive a gift in return?"

I see nothing here that contradicts what I said, Notice the "having now received mercy". This is talking about those saved, IE, those who have repented.


Or think upon the words of the first letter of St Peter:


"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead ..."

Did our repentance cause this? Did not God’s mercy precede our repentance?

Seems to me to be the same thing.


Or the letter of Paul to Titus:


"For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, despicable, hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit."

Again, did not the mercy of God precede our repentance?

:sigh:
You are using equivocation. Yes, allowing us a way to be reconciled to God is a form of mercy, but it's not the same as making it so those who deserve to be punished and remain unrepentant do not get the lawful punishment they deserve. Can you show me a single instance of such a thing happening anywhere else in the Bible? Other than what you are saying in Genesis I mean.


Or the letter of Paul to the Ephesians:


"But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ -- by grace you have been saved -- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God -- not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life."

Do you still think there is no mercy without our repentance? Is not God’s mercy, his lovingkindness, and patience meant to lead us to repentance? Is not God eternally merciful? If as the psalmist repeatedly says, his mercy endures forever, did it really only have a beginning with our repentance?

Read above. Or do you think that God will forgo judgment at the end of times for those who remain unrepentant, like you claim He did for Adam and Eve?


God's Infinite Infinitive Absolute:

robrecht (#55): You seem to be imagining that I am thinking that the infinitive absolute in Hebrew denotes immediacy instead of certainty, but I have said no such thing, and that is certainly not what I think.

Cerebreum123 (#56): Then what are you saying? That's the only meaning I've seen from people who say God didn't carry out His punishment, which He did.

What people are you thinking of here?

Usually atheists who are trying to force a contradiction where there is none.


Since you assumed that I was saying the same thing as these other people, I would really like to know who they are so that I can properly and fully differentiate my position from theirs so there will be no further misunderstanding based on your false assumption. In addition, it might be very good for you to acknowledge that your reaction to what I have said was based, in part, on your false assumption that I was supposedly saying the same thing that you’ve seen elsewhere, but which I have never actually said.

You are the one who has repeatedly said that Adam and Eve were not punished by God.


I think I've already told you my position on the infinitive absolute in Hebrew. I would translate it the same as most translators, a number of examples of which you yourself have linked to, for example:


KJV: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

ASV: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

BBE: But of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you may not take; for on the day when you take of it, death will certainly come to you.

DET: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest of it thou shalt certainly die.

DRB: But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. for in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.

NWB: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest of it thou shalt surely die.

WEB: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die."

YLT: and of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou dost not eat of it, for in the day of thine eating of it -- dying thou dost die.

Benner: and~from~Tree the~ Discernment Functional and~ Dysfunctional Not you(ms)~will~Eat From~him Given.that in~Day >~Eat~you(ms) From~him >~Die you(ms)~will~Die

This clarifies nothing, because it still doesn't show how you get the idea that God didn't go through with what He said He would do.


Now, ironically perhaps, it is you who do indeed want to retain a sense of immediacy in your #2 below (still #56):

“He did so [carry out his punishment] in two ways, #1 cutting Adam and Eve off from the tree of life, which took away their source of immortality, and #2 by cutting off the relationship He had with them an instant spiritual death happened.”

Want to? No, that's just what happens to have happened. I guess I should have put it all in one post. I can be forgetful at times.


You had previously introduced (#49) another sense in which the infinitive absolute can be understood that might go along your #1 above: “From what I understand the Hebrew literally translated says "dying you shall die" which not only conveys certainty, but also a process of dying.

All three of your interpretive additions to Gen 2,17 are perfectly valid inferences that one may draw from the larger story, if one wants to, but they are not actually part of the text of Gen 2,17. God does not actually say, ‘you will die spiritually’, nor does he say ‘you will be expelled from the garden, thus losing access to the tree of life, and thereby begin a process of dying that will not actually occur for another eight centuries.’

Actually, the wording fits in the same as for Shimei and Moses from John Reece's citations earlier in this thread. Then there's the fact that death is regularly used of those who are not in a right relationship with God.

Luke 9:59-61New International Version (NIV)

59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”

But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

Colossians 2:13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,

Ephesians 2:1 [ Made Alive in Christ ] As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,

Luke 15:32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”


The text simply says that ‘on the day that you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you will surely die.’

Are there perhaps other reasons why Adam did not actually die on that day but rather some eight centuries later?[/QUOTE]

But he did die that day. He also began to die that day, fulfilling both understandings of the words.


In addition to, or instead of, your interpretative additions to the text, there are elements that are actually in the text that might help make sense of what God actually says in Gen 2,17 and the rest of the story as it unfolds. For one, God only told Adam that he (singular) would surely die on the day that he ate of this tree. In the meantime, however, other complicating factors have arisen. Eve, the mother of all the living, has come on the scene. She seems to have a rather different understanding of God’s commandment to Adam. Did Adam not tell her exactly what God had said? Did he perhaps not fully understand God’s words? Did Eve add her own interpretation? Somehow the communication was muddled and Eve now (mis)understood the prohibition such that one should not even touch some tree in the middle of the garden—she does not specify the nature of this tree. She does not appear to be aware of the infinitive absolute and its certain nature as a divine warning, curse or punishment. Did she possibly imagine that perhaps this tree was merely thought to be poisonous? Did the prohibition to not even touch some nondescript tree in the midst of the garden somehow appear more arbitrary or unreasonable to her because Adam did not reveal to her the nuances of God's words? Most importantly, the crafty serpent intervened and, explicitly negating God’s infinitive absolute, effectively cast doubt on Eve’s muddled understanding of whatever Adam had told her and in the process awakened in her a view of the desirable nature of the tree. Did Adam know that the fruit that Eve gave him to eat was from the forbidden tree? Did the serpent trick Eve, as she would claim? Were any of these elements potentially mitigating factors? God cursed the serpent and the ground from which the human had been made, but he did not explicitly curse the human or his woman. Why was there an explicit curse of the serpent but no explicit curse for Adam and Eve? Why are the curses of the ground (and later of Cain) eased somewhat subsequently. Why would the curses for disobedience be made much more explicit later on but not here? Did God take into consideration any of these potentially mitigating factors? He did not accuse Adam or Eve of merely trying to shift the blame, ‘though others outside the text will make that valid point. Maybe God saw that there was indeed an element of truth in what they said, or was there level of dishonesty equal to that of Satan in your opinion. Maybe God did not acknowledge any truthfulness in Adam or Eve, but still, in his infinite mercy, nonetheless felt compassion for them and wanted to give them the opportunity to learn and repent. Quite a few incongruous elements in the story invite questions and ponderings about how to interpret.

You don't even realize that all of this denies God's foreknowledge. Also, as I have repeatedly said, and done my best to conclusively show,
Genesis is not "poetic narrative", but historical narrative. Without history behind it, you invalidate all typology, and all the historical usages I previously outlined. I don't think you really want to do that, do you?

Oh, and Eve was explicitly cursed with increased labor pains, and with a "desire" for her husband(these would go to all women since Eve was the first of all women, thus represented them). Adam was directly cursed with hard labor, and to return to dust(which extended to all humanity since he was federal head of creation)


From a later Christian theological perspective, some early church fathers thought that God subsequently developed a plan to bring good out of this calamitous situation (felix culpa). Others speculated that God already had a long-range plan for the incarnation which he did not abandon merely because of a relatively minor fall of man in his childhood. Of course, I do not think these competing Christian theological scenarios were intended by the ancient author/redactors of Genesis 2-3, but I do think that the narrative itself was obviously flexible enough for a variety of exploratory interpretations.

If we can't understand it in principle then what good is it to us at all? That's what your "poetic narrative" situation leads to when it's upon the reader to decide what it means.***

Cerebrum123
10-19-2014, 07:25 PM
Other Questions and Assumptions

Your presumption that my questions are devoid of thought, aside from being an apparent attempt to insult, do not bode well for your being able to participate in a charitable and intelligent discussion between us.

And your attempt at insult with "pedestrian" in your earlier response was better? Physician heal thyself.


Do you not think that this biblical narrative contains an anthropomorphic representation of God? You do not think that God is ever presented as changing is mind or regretting an earlier decision in the Bible? What of the flood? What of Abraham's intercession for Sodom and Gomorrah? What of Jesus' parable of the unjust judge, who is influenced only by the persistence of the woman? Does not Jesus here even use an image of an unjust judge to teach us something even more true about unceasing prayer to God? Do you think that anthropomorphic portrayals in poetic narratives have a teaching value even if they employ a limited conception of God's nature and interaction with us?

I never said that anthropomorphisms weren't used, I said you were stuck on one, like you claimed I was earlier on. And again, Genesis is NOT "poetic narrative". Or are you really going to throw out most of the NT teachings? Each of the works in the NT uses Genesis as either typology, or history, even Jesus did so. To try and recast it as something else destroys each and every one of those uses, and completely invalidates the positions taught by them.


You really need to stop putting words in my mouth. Asking if I really want to claim what you suppose must be necessary logical conclusions presumes that I agree with your presuppositions and the limits of your logical thought process. I do not.

I know you don't agree, but you haven't shown where my logic fails, only declared it to be "pedestrian". I gave you the premises, show where they are wrong, or how the conclusion doesn't follow from them. You haven't done that at all, only dodged what I've said, and gone on to post 4 responses back to back. None of which have answered what I asked for so far, clarification on HOW you avoid those conclusions, or HOW the premises I outlined were wrong.


I do not agree with the claim that typology can only function validly when antitypes are historical.

Then you deny the very definition of typology. I already supplied my sources on that, your denial without any real argument as to why is just another dodge. Here again since you apparently didn't read it.

Typology is basically a way of looking at history--a way of interpreting history, esp. the history of the interaction between God and Israel. Goppelt says it best:

"Only historical facts--persons, actions, events, and institutions--are material for typological interpretation; words and narratives can be utilized only insofar as they deal with such matters. These things are to be interpreted typologically only if they are considered to be divinely ordained representations or types of future realities that will be even grater and more complete. (GT:17-18)

Source. (http://christianthinktank.com/typol.html)


You are also wrong to assume that I think that a poetic narrative cannot be used to relate or interpret historical characters, events, peoples, or institutions. I do not think that the story of the first human, his wife, the serpent, and the forbidden fruit should be considered an exact or merely historical report and transcript of conversations that actually took place or that they fully circumscribe and define God's thought process.

I don't think Genesis fully describes God's thought process either, which is why I take things from other Biblical works in the premises I gave previously. However, you have not clarified what I asked, and you still don't leave it clear if you believe that Adam, Eve, and the serpent all did what was ascribed to them. How am I supposed to understand you if you won't clarify yourself when asked?

You do realize that a historical narrative need not be "merely historical report", like you might see on the evening news. Or on a documentary. It means that what is recorded happens to be real events that really happened. I still can't tell if you're denying that or not, you seem to be, why deny the definition of typology otherwise?


I do nonetheless believe that this and other poetic narratives of the bible are inspired and true at a very deep and profound level and that the inspired authors were capable of great artistry that is unfortunately oftentimes opaque to those who are unwilling or unable to read it in the original language.

Here comes that gnostic feeling again. Apparently I'm someone who can't understand what you do, because you have access to reading the original language directly while I don't have that. You do realize that people can, and do explain things in other languages, and that God's truth is not limited by human language, right? God is far more powerful than any "language barrier" you might imagine.


In addition to your already identified false assumption, I certainly do not agree with your imposed conclusion here.

No you haven't, you've merely dodged everything I've said, and attempted to drown me out with massive responses, very little of it touching my actual arguments. What little does, I've dealt with.

Also, I KNOW you don't agree with it, which is why I point it out at all. I know you would never agree to such as explicitly stated, but your words without the clarification I have asked for logically lead to just those conclusions, and you've done NOTHING to show otherwise other than condescending dismissals. Oh, and an appeal to a moral high ground you don't posess.


Nowhere have I claimed that the bible is a lie or full of lies or anything like that and you are engaging in dangerous and uncharitable innuendo towards a fellow brother in Christ.

I KNOW YOU NEVER SAID THOSE THINGS! I'm saying that your words in this thread when followed through to their conclusions do just what you yourself would never agree with. Comprende?


I have already rejected your false logic and claims about me here in general, but perhaps it will be helpful for you to consider a few more specifics. I have never said that God said something completely (or even partly) false in Gen 2,17.

Yes, you did. You said that God did not carry out His word to Adam, even though there was no repentance. That's not how God works when it comes to punishment for sin. It was an entirely false statement from your perspective. Adam didn't die, and according to you he didn't even begin to die as the text allows. Again, a 100% false statement, God, having complete foreknowledge would have known this to be so. All that together makes it a lie.


I did not claim that he 'gave mercy without repentance', but I do believe that he is merciful from all eternity and forever, as the psalmist says repeatedly, and that he is always interested in making repentance possible.

Yes you did, here's the quotes.


No doubt! But be glad at least that God did not carry out his original threat to kill the human on that very day that he eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of all knowledge, even the experience of pain.


Of course I thought it through, but I don't agree with your interpretation of the Hebrew. God is free to be merciful, is he not? Is it a lie for him to reconsider something he said previously in favor of mercy? Is that not a greater truth? Don't get too caught up in anthropomorphic elements of a poetic narrative.

Clearly you found this to be an act of mercy. One that was given without even an inkling of repentance, and in fact, more defiance of God.


I have never accused God of being unjust.

Not directly, no, which is why I've had to walk you through this by the hand.


I certainly believe that truth exists.

Yet not when it comes to Genesis since there is no objectively true interpretation.


While I do have some appreciation for postmodern interpretative theory, I am also steeped in modern historico-critical methodology, despite its limitations, but most of my manner of interpreting poetic narratives in the bible is anchored in ancient methods of interpretation.

If, like wikipedia claims(yeah, I know, wiki isn't the best source for deep inquiry), that historic-critical method is "higher criticism", then I think that's a huge part of the problem. The intent listed doesn't seem bad, but many of the attempts, and a few of the methods most certainly are. Rudolf Bultmann's "form criticism" for example.

I think you would be much better off with historical-grammatical method. At least it strives to take all the Biblical works together, rather than separate them, sometimes individual works, into small divided chunks.

***That certainly seems to be what you were saying with your original post in this thread.

robrecht
10-19-2014, 08:46 PM
Note, I wrote this response before you wrote your two subsequent posts. ...

Genesis is NOT a "poetic narrative", but a historical narrative, and you haven't even touched my arguments on that. Do you have a reading comprehension problem or something? Because I have gone out of my way to make myself clear to you, and you are still ignoring nearly ALL of what I have said. Again with the attempt to insult. I thought I did indeed touched upon your arguments and rejected them. If you would like to repeat something specific that I may not responded to directly, I will try to correct any omissions on my part.


If words actually mean anything, then we know that God, knowing the future, and not being able to lie did not contradict His nature. Or are you so far down the postmodernist rabbit hole that you can no longer see the light at all? Are you imagining that I somehow disagree with this?


No, and He was merciful, just not in your* unjust, dishonest way.
*My word, not yours. I feel it adequately sums up how you've engaged in this conversation, if it can be called a conversation that is.
Please substantiate your accusation of dishonesty or withdraw. I do not believe you are allowed to accuse others of dishonesty at TWeb without substant


Again, we are not God's counselor's, but He has made it clear He isn't merciful on the unrepentant. Or have you become a universalist? I pretty much agree with Hans Urs Cardinal von Balthasar and Avery Cardinal Dulles on this point.


If Genesis were a "poetic narrative" as you have so far defined it, then there would be absolutely no real reason to read it. I'm sorry you feel this way, and I certainly disagree with you, but I don't happen to recall if I have offered any formal definition of 'poetic narrative' nor do I think that is really necessary.


After all, why try to understand something that can't be understood, even in principle? This is too black-and-white of a characterization for me. I believe that we understand in part, as through a glass darkly by means of enigmas, but we will eventually know God face to face, that we shall know as we are known. If you feel this is gnosticism or evil mysticism, please take it up with St Paul.


I see nothing here that contradicts what I said, Notice the "having now received mercy". This is talking about those saved, IE, those who have repented. Good! I would hope not.


:sigh:
You are using equivocation. Yes, allowing us a way to be reconciled to God is a form of mercy, but it's not the same as making it so those who deserve to be punished and remain unrepentant do not get the lawful punishment they deserve. Can you show me a single instance of such a thing happening anywhere else in the Bible? Other than what you are saying in Genesis I mean. Please explain how you think I am using equivocation. I don't believe I have ever claimed that 'allowing us a way to be reconciled to God ... is the same as making it so those who deserve to be punished and remain unrepentant do not get the lawful punishment they deserve.' That is not my interpretation of Genesis 2-3 and it is not something that I believe. Thus, I will not try to show you where this happens anywhere else in the Bible.


Read above. Or do you think that God will forgo judgment at the end of times for those who remain unrepentant, like you claim He did for Adam and Eve? I do not think that, nor did I claim that Adam and Eve were not punished or judged by God.


Usually atheists who are trying to force a contradiction where there is none. Please answer my question. Specifically, who are the people whose position you were confusing with what I have said. Since you assumed that I was saying the same thing as these other people, I would really like to know who they are so that I can properly and fully differentiate my position from theirs so there will be no further misunderstanding based on your false assumption. In addition, it might be very good for you to acknowledge that your reaction to what I have said was based, in part, on your false assumption that I was supposedly saying the same thing that youve seen elsewhere, but which I have never actually said.


You are the one who has repeatedly said that Adam and Eve were not punished by God. No, I don't think I ever said that.


This clarifies nothing, because it still doesn't show how you get the idea that God didn't go through with what He said He would do. This directly answers your question about how I understand the infinitive absolute here. I don't think God exactly said in Gen 2,17 that he personally would kill Adam on the day that he transgressed this commandment, but my explanation of what may have transpired based on the actual text of this story is to be found elsewhere, not in my response to how I understand the Hebrew infinitive absolute here.


Want to? No, that's just what happens to have happened. I guess I should have put it all in one post. I can be forgetful at times. I am not asking about or disputing what happened in the narrative, but trying to clarify how my understanding of the infinitive absolute in Hebrew differs from what you seem to think about this construction in Hebrew.


Actually, the wording fits in the same as for Shimei and Moses from John Reece's citations earlier in this thread. If you could be more specific, I may be able to help you better understand some of the specific issues in John's quotations. There are differences of opinion in John's quotation, and I think one of the scholars made a mistake, and I think you are misunderstand some of what is said in his quotations. But I cannot say for sure unless you are more specific.


Then there's the fact that death is regularly used of those who are not in a right relationship with God. Again, please be careful here, but I think you may be implicitly contradicting yourself, but cannot say for sure unless you are more specific. Do you believe that in Gen 2,17 that God is expressing a punishment that he will impose on Adam or merely expressing what will be the consequences of his disobedience?


You don't even realize that all of this denies God's foreknowledge. No it does not deny God's foreknowledge, nor do I. It may deny Adam's understanding of God's foreknowledge.


Also, as I have repeatedly said, and done my best to conclusively show,
Genesis is not "poetic narrative", but historical narrative. Without history behind it, you invalidate all typology, and all the historical usages I previously outlined. I don't think you really want to do that, do you? I do not do that.


Oh, and Eve was explicitly cursed with increased labor pains, and with a "desire" for her husband(these would go to all women since Eve was the first of all women, thus represented them). Adam was directly cursed with hard labor, and to return to dust(which extended to all humanity since he was federal head of creation) Punished, yes, explicitly cursed know. Read the Hebrew text.


If we can't understand it in principle then what good is it to us at all? That's what your "poetic narrative" situation leads to when it's upon the reader to decide what it means.***I think you are making assumptions here about what you believe is my hermeneutical methodology. It might help to read Models of Revelation by Avery Cardinal Dulles to get a better idea of hermeneutical theology.

Cerebrum123
10-19-2014, 09:46 PM
Again with the attempt to insult. I thought I did indeed touched upon your arguments and rejected them. If you would like to repeat something specific that I may not responded to directly, I will try to correct any omissions on my part.

Again, physician, heal thyself. You were just as insulting when you called my syllogisms "pedestrian". As for the arguments not answered.

You dismissed my syllogisms, and refused to show why. As in you didn't show which premises were wrong, or how the conclusions drawn didn't follow from them.

You ignored the definition of typology, which destroys any case for a non-historical Adam and Eve, same with the historical usages, especially in clearly historical works.

You have repeatedly ignored my request for a clarification of your views, which is where I believe much of the disagreement lies.

You ignored and snipped my Biblical citations in just this recent post, and then ask me to be specific, while snipping out the specifics for crying out loud. That doesn't reflect well on you, especially when you're trying to claim the moral high ground here, while doing the things you are condemning me for.

You dismissed whole posts as "ridiculous, false accusations".


Are you imagining that I somehow disagree with this?

Given your posts so far, yeah, I do. You said in an earlier post that there was no correct interpretation of Genesis. This is a denial of any objectivity when it comes to the subject. So, what else am I supposed to think with statements like that?


Please substantiate your accusation of dishonesty or withdraw. I do not believe you are allowed to accuse others of dishonesty at TWeb without substant

I'll admit I worded that more poorly than I thought. What I meant was, God granted mercy, but not in the way that you claim He did that if He had done would be both unjust and dishonest.

I was not trying to say you are a liar. I apologize if that's what you thought.


I pretty much agree with Hans Urs Cardinal von Balthasar and Avery Cardinal Dulles on this point.

In an article I found, Avery denies universalism. It would have been nice for a link to their ideas on the subject.


I'm sorry you feel this way, and I certainly disagree with you, but I don't happen to recall if I have offered any formal definition of 'poetic narrative' nor do I think that is really necessary.

You didn't give a "formal definition", but your description in your first post makes it clear that there is no objectively true interpretation of Genesis. This would make it impossible in principle to understand it.


This is too black-and-white of a characterization for me. I believe that we understand in part, as through a glass darkly by means of enigmas, but we will eventually know God face to face, that we shall know as we are known. If you feel this is gnosticism or evil mysticism, please take it up with St Paul.

To describe what you are doing by referring to Paul is confusing. What he said is nothing like what you appear to be espousing. You appear to be espousing a kind of personal spiritual information that us "pedestrians" don't have. It's elitist at best, gnostic at worst.


Good! I would hope not.

Please explain how you think I am using equivocation. I don't believe I have ever claimed that 'allowing us a way to be reconciled to God ... is the same as making it so those who deserve to be punished and remain unrepentant do not get the lawful punishment they deserve.' That is not my interpretation of Genesis 2-3 and it is not something that I believe. Thus, I will not try to show you where this happens anywhere else in the Bible.

You claimed that Adam and Eve weren't given their lawful punishment, despite being unrepentant. You are equating mercy in the sense that God allows us a way to be reconciled, with the kind of mercy one receives when they repent and are saved. These are two very different things.


I do not think that, nor did I claim that Adam and Eve were not punished or judged by God.

Sorry, not punished in the way that God claimed they would be.


Please answer my question. Specifically, who are the people whose position you were confusing with what I have said. Since you assumed that I was saying the same thing as these other people, I would really like to know who they are so that I can properly and fully differentiate my position from theirs so there will be no further misunderstanding based on your false assumption. In addition, it might be very good for you to acknowledge that your reaction to what I have said was based, in part, on your false assumption that I was supposedly saying the same thing that you’ve seen elsewhere, but which I have never actually said.

I have forgotten some of their names, it's been a long time ago. The only specific one that comes to mind is duh-swami(not sure on spelling). Him, and many of his buddies made these kinds of accusations, but instead of accepting that the Bible was inspired, they instead used this "contradiction" to mock it.


No, I don't think I ever said that.

Sorry, not punished in the way God said they would be. I thought the context of this conversation would have made that clear by now.


This directly answers your question about how I understand the infinitive absolute here. I don't think God exactly said in Gen 2,17 that he personally would kill Adam on the day that he transgressed this commandment, but my explanation of what may have transpired based on the actual text of this story is to be found elsewhere, not in my response to how I understand the Hebrew infinitive absolute here.

That wasn't my question though. My question was where you get the idea that Adam and Eve were not punished by "death", and "on the day" they ate of it. You haven't really given much of an answer to that. Only posed your "questions to get me to think". I answered all of the other questions you asked too, and again, they didn't appear to be thinking everything through.


I am not asking about or disputing what happened in the narrative, but trying to clarify how my understanding of the infinitive absolute in Hebrew differs from what you seem to think about this construction in Hebrew.

:sigh:
But I've tried to make it clear that both understandings were met, so there is no contradiction either way you slice it, and that God did go through with what He said He would do.


If you could be more specific, I may be able to help you better understand some of the specific issues in John's quotations. There are differences of opinion in John's quotation, and I think one of the scholars made a mistake, and I think you are misunderstand some of what is said in his quotations. But I cannot say for sure unless you are more specific.

Shimei was told that he would "certainly die" the day he crossed the Kidron Valley, and Moses was told that he would "surely die" if he saw Pharoah's face again. Unless you think Solomon had his best messengers watching Shimei on a daily basis, and that it didn't take him very long to return from Gath, there's no way Shimei would have died "that day". He was however brought before Solomon and executed once he got back from Gath.


Again, please be careful here, but I think you may be implicitly contradicting yourself, but cannot say for sure unless you are more specific. Do you believe that in Gen 2,17 that God is expressing a punishment that he will impose on Adam or merely expressing what will be the consequences of his disobedience?

I say it's both.


No it does not deny God's foreknowledge, nor do I. It may deny Adam's understanding of God's foreknowledge.

What? I don't even. What does Adam's understanding of God's foreknowledge have to do with anything?


I do not do that.

By denying the cornerstone of what typology is by definition, does indeed have you doing just that.


Punished, yes, explicitly cursed know. Read the Hebrew text.

What God said about the ground was a curse(this is made even more explicit later on), what God said about the serpent was a curse, so yeah, what God said about Eve was a curse too.


I think you are making assumptions here about what you believe is my hermeneutical methodology. It might help to read Models of Revelation by Avery Cardinal Dulles to get a better idea of hermeneutical theology.

I don't have the money to go out and buy that, and I can't use a library for medical reasons(weakened immune system). It would be better if you could summarize here. Later in the post I asked for clarification. Please read a whole post before you respond.

robrecht
10-19-2014, 10:02 PM
And your attempt at insult with "pedestrian" in your earlier response was better? Physician heal thyself. Sorry you feel that way. I was not trying to insult you personally, and apologize if that was not clear, but I do stand by my comment about the inadequacy of pedestrian and pedantic propositional logic, yours or anyone's, to deal with the mystery of revelation.


I never said that anthropomorphisms weren't used, I said you were stuck on one, like you claimed I was earlier on. And again, Genesis is NOT "poetic narrative". Or are you really going to throw out most of the NT teachings? Each of the works in the NT uses Genesis as either typology, or history, even Jesus did so. To try and recast it as something else destroys each and every one of those uses, and completely invalidates the positions taught by them.
I did not say you did, but I did ask you a specific question here for a specific reason. If you want to have a conversation, please answer. Do you think that this text here uses an antrhopomorphic presentation of God? Do you recognize the limitations of anthropomorphic presentations of God? How do you think that I am 'stuck on an antrhopomorphism? I do not throw out any New Testament teachings. And, as I've already explained, I do not agree with your view that my hermeneutical method does this.


I know you don't agree, but you haven't shown where my logic fails, only declared it to be "pedestrian". I gave you the premises, show where they are wrong, or how the conclusion doesn't follow from them. You haven't done that at all, only dodged what I've said, and gone on to post 4 responses back to back. None of which have answered what I asked for so far, clarification on HOW you avoid those conclusions, or HOW the premises I outlined were wrong. I thought I already did this in my post entitled, "God’s Syllogisms." Please reread again and let me know specifically which of your premises I have not addressed. I do not want to repeat the same thing all over again if we are not connecting on this point. My post was not a dodge, but it does present some methodological principles that I follow. Again, it may also be helpful for you to read Models of Revelation by Avery Cardinal Dulles as that treats some of this same material in much greater detail and relates it to specific theologians.


Then you deny the very definition of typology. No, I don't think so. The first Googled definition I just found offers this definition:

"typology
tīˈpləjē
noun
1. a classification according to general type, especially in archaeology, psychology, or the social sciences. "a typology of Saxon cremation vessels"
2. the study and interpretation of types and symbols, originally especially in the Bible.

Number 2 seems like a good starting point.



I already supplied my sources on that, your denial without any real argument as to why is just another dodge. Here again since you apparently didn't read it.

Typology is basically a way of looking at history--a way of interpreting history, esp. the history of the interaction between God and Israel. Goppelt says it best:

"Only historical facts--persons, actions, events, and institutions--are material for typological interpretation; words and narratives can be utilized only insofar as they deal with such matters. These things are to be interpreted typologically only if they are considered to be divinely ordained representations or types of future realities that will be even grater [sic] and more complete. (GT:17-18)

Source. (http://christianthinktank.com/typol.html)I did read it, even pointed out the misspelling, which I just did again. Maybe you could point this out to this "Christianthinktank", whoever they are; I am not familiar with them. I stated very clearly that I do not share as a presupposition one element of their definition. That is not a dodge. It is about as direct as one can be. Obviously, various people will define typology differently. I would not include this presupposition. Nor do the great majority of biblical exegetes that I have known.


I don't think Genesis fully describes God's thought process either, which is why I take things from other Biblical works in the premises I gave previously. However, you have not clarified what I asked, and you still don't leave it clear if you believe that Adam, Eve, and the serpent all did what was ascribed to them. How am I supposed to understand you if you won't clarify yourself when asked? Perhaps you could ask again so we are both clear on what you think I have not addressed. I think I have been very patient with you and thorough.


You do realize that a historical narrative need not be "merely historical report", like you might see on the evening news. Or on a documentary. Yes, of course I realize that.


It means that what is recorded happens to be real events that really happened. I still can't tell if you're denying that or not, you seem to be, why deny the definition of typology otherwise? Since we do not have a 'merely historical report', it is very hard for us to say exactly what happened and what exactly God or the talking serpent might have said. Looking at the obvious artistry of the biblical author in reporting these conversation, I believe we do have a very profound account that is quite sophisticated, beautiful, and powerful. Some of the elements, eg, the talking serpent, do not strike me as likely historical. I have never met nor heard other reports of talking serpents that seemed to be intended as historical.


Here comes that gnostic feeling again. Apparently I'm someone who can't understand what you do, because you have access to reading the original language directly while I don't have that. You do realize that people can, and do explain things in other languages, and that God's truth is not limited by human language, right? God is far more powerful than any "language barrier" you might imagine. Learning the original languages of the Bible has nothing whatsoever to do with gnosticism. Nor have I ever said that you are unable to understand the things I do. I would be happy to teach you or anyone else biblical languages and I recommend them very highly to anyone. Your innuendo that I might not believe that God is more powerful than any language barrier is, of course, absurd. I have never said, implied, or hinted at anything of that nature.


No you haven't, you've merely dodged everything I've said, and attempted to drown me out with massive responses, very little of it touching my actual arguments. What little does, I've dealt with.

Also, I KNOW you don't agree with it, which is why I point it out at all. I know you would never agree to such as explicitly stated, but your words without the clarification I have asked for logically lead to just those conclusions, and you've done NOTHING to show otherwise other than condescending dismissals. Oh, and an appeal to a moral high ground you don't posess. Your judgments about my moral character, or lack thereof in your view, are not helpful, or accurate.


I KNOW YOU NEVER SAID THOSE THINGS! I'm saying that your words in this thread when followed through to their conclusions do just what you yourself would never agree with. Comprende? And I say that my words, when followed to their logical conclusions, most certainly do not do what you say they do.


Yes, you did. You said that God did not carry out His word to Adam, even though there was no repentance. That's not how God works when it comes to punishment for sin. It was an entirely false statement from your perspective. Adam didn't die, and according to you he didn't even begin to die as the text allows. Again, a 100% false statement, God, having complete foreknowledge would have known this to be so. All that together makes it a lie.

Yes you did, here's the quotes.

Clearly you found this to be an act of mercy. One that was given without even an inkling of repentance, and in fact, more defiance of God.I think we will have to agree to disagree about your understanding of what I meant by what I said. I do not now, nor have I ever believed that God has ever lied, even in part. You might be more careful about your indirect quotes of me. For example: "You said that God did not carry out His word to Adam, even though there was no repentance." My quote had nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not there had been any repentance and I did not claim that is how God works. My understanding of the narrative incorporates potentially mitigating factors as they are recounted, in fact I think the Hebrew artistry of the text can actually be seen as emphasizing this view. I do not believe nor did I say or imply that God made a 100% false statement, or even a .0000000001% false statement. I do not think the account ever addresses any philosophical questions of God's foreknowledge, complete, partial, or otherwise. When you bring such a philosophical presupposition to the text or my interpretation thereof you run the risk of misinterpreting the text and you completely misinterpret my understanding of the text. Also, I did not say Adam did not begin to die; I was merely speaking of the meaning and function of the infinitive absolute construction in Hebrew. Personally, I am not familiar with your ‘process’ interpretation of the infinitive absolute construction in Hebrew. As for what the text allows, I did say that it was a perfectly valid reading of the larger narrative.


Not directly, no, which is why I've had to walk you through this by the hand.Nor have I ever indirectly said or implied that God is unjust and your attempt to walk me through my own thoughts and words by hand are hopelessly misguided in my opinion. I know very well what I think and the implications of my beliefs and methodology, which as been examined very carefully not only by myself but also by others, professionals in the field and those with pastoral authority in the church. I do not mean to imply that my method is original. Quite the contrary.


Yet not when it comes to Genesis since there is no objectively true interpretation. I would not say that. I do think it is difficult to approach objectively true interpretations of some texts, perhaps especially those that touch upon the mystery of God and creation, but a variety of methods do help us to approach this truth. In the end, we may not understand a given historical author's understanding until we meet in heaven and read the text together, and he may likewise may not have been aware of some of the profundity of his own text at the time of writing, and none of us will understand how God reads the text, perhaps ever, but certainly not this side of eternity.


If, like wikipedia claims(yeah, I know, wiki isn't the best source for deep inquiry), that historic-critical method is "higher criticism", then I think that's a huge part of the problem. That is a very old way of speaking of higher and lower criticism and it is merely meant to differentiate relatively objective methods such as text criticism, grammatical and lexical study of languages from interpretative methodologies, be they historical or exegetical. It does not imply any 'huge part of the problem' other than the difficulty involved in interpreting texts and history.


The intent listed doesn't seem bad, but many of the attempts, and a few of the methods most certainly are. Rudolf Bultmann's "form criticism" for example. Please take that up with Rudolf Bultmann, not me.


I think you would be much better off with historical-grammatical method. At least it strives to take all the Biblical works together, rather than separate them, sometimes individual works, into small divided chunks. Thank you for the advice. I will take it under advisement.


***That certainly seems to be what you were saying with your original post in this thread.It is not clear to what this asterisk statement is meant to apply.

robrecht
10-19-2014, 11:42 PM
Again, physician, heal thyself. You were just as insulting when you called my syllogisms "pedestrian". As for the arguments not answered.

You dismissed my syllogisms, and refused to show why. As in you didn't show which premises were wrong, or how the conclusions drawn didn't follow from them.

You ignored the definition of typology, which destroys any case for a non-historical Adam and Eve, same with the historical usages, especially in clearly historical works.

You have repeatedly ignored my request for a clarification of your views, which is where I believe much of the disagreement lies.

You ignored and snipped my Biblical citations in just this recent post, and then ask me to be specific, while snipping out the specifics for crying out loud. That doesn't reflect well on you, especially when you're trying to claim the moral high ground here, while doing the things you are condemning me for.

You dismissed whole posts as "ridiculous, false accusations". I did not snip anything that I disagreed with or seemed to affect our discussion. I do think it is ridiculous for you to try and explain to me what my supposedly unexamined views imply. I have already apologized for the unintended implication of my view of the insufficiency of pedestrian and pedantic syllogisms, yours or anyone's, to deal with some of the issues of interpretation of some of these biblical texts. I have not attacked your character or ever claimed that you made false accusations, in the sense of any attempt at dishonesty, but I do think you have come to false conclusions about what you feel are the implications of my views and methodology. I dealt directly your definition of typology and have been extremely patient in trying to clarify my views for you.


Given your posts so far, yeah, I do . Then please stop using your imagination to try and discern my views.


You said in an earlier post that there was no correct interpretation of Genesis. This is a denial of any objectivity when it comes to the subject. So, what else am I supposed to think with statements like that? See my previous post where I have tried to explain to you why this is not a true understanding of my views.


I'll admit I worded that more poorly than I thought. What I meant was, God granted mercy, but not in the way that you claim He did that if He had done would be both unjust and dishonest.

I was not trying to say you are a liar. I apologize if that's what you thought.Thank you for withdrawing.


In an article I found, Avery denies universalism. It would have been nice for a link to their ideas on the subject. Ask nicely, and I will be happy to look for one. Shouldn't be too hard to find. Let me know what you have already found and I'll see if I can find any more detailed treatment.


You didn't give a "formal definition", but your description in your first post makes it clear that there is no objectively true interpretation of Genesis. This would make it impossible in principle to understand it. No, this is not really what I believe. Explained in greater detail above.


To describe what you are doing by referring to Paul is confusing. What he said is nothing like what you appear to be espousing. You appear to be espousing a kind of personal spiritual information that us "pedestrians" don't have. It's elitist at best, gnostic at worst. Then I think your view of what I appear to be espousing is completely wrong.


You claimed that Adam and Eve weren't given their lawful punishment, despite being unrepentant. You are equating mercy in the sense that God allows us a way to be reconciled, with the kind of mercy one receives when they repent and are saved. These are two very different things. I have never, ever equated those two things.


Sorry, not punished [I]in the way that God claimed they would be. ... Sorry, not punished in the way God said they would be. I thought the context of this conversation would have made that clear by now. As far as we know, God never claimed Eve would be punished in a particular way. In our text, God is only speaking to Adam and several things happened in the meantime that complicate how God should exercise punishment. This is actually a very cleverly written part of the narrative in Hebrew.


I have forgotten some of their names, it's been a long time ago. The only specific one that comes to mind is duh-swami(not sure on spelling). Him, and many of his buddies made these kinds of accusations, but instead of accepting that the Bible was inspired, they instead used this "contradiction" to mock it. Do you see the danger of assuming I was supposedly saying something that you were only vaguely recalling someone else as saying?


That wasn't my question though. Actually, it was your question. Allow me to recapitulate (not in a universalist sense):

robrecht (#55): You seem to be imagining that I am thinking that the infinitive absolute in Hebrew denotes immediacy instead of certainty, but I have said no such thing, and that is certainly not what I think.

Cerebreum123 (#56): Then what are you saying? That's the only meaning I've seen from people who say God didn't carry out His punishment, which He did.

robrecht (#68): I think I've already told you my position on the infinitive absolute in Hebrew. I would translate it the same as most translators, a number of examples of which you yourself have linked to, for example ...


My question was where you get the idea that Adam and Eve were not punished by "death", and "on the day" they ate of it. You haven't really given much of an answer to that. I think I have answered that directly. Adam did not die that day, but rather some 800 years later. Not sure about when Eve died, but in Gen 2,16 God is only speaking to Adam.


Only posed your "questions to get me to think". I answered all of the other questions you asked too, and again, they didn't appear to be thinking everything through. I certainly do not reach the same conclusions about my views that you seem to think are required.


:sigh:
But I've tried to make it clear that both understandings were me[an]t, so there is no contradiction either way you slice it, and that God did go through with what He said He would do. You are missing the intent of my question. I want you to try and clarify how both meaning are supposedly tied to the use and function of the infinitive absolute in Hebrew. If you will try to be specific about your view of this, especially with respect to the quotations provided by John, I think I can show you your error.


Shimei was told that he would "certainly die" the day he crossed the Kidron Valley ... Actually, that is not what is said in the Hebrew text. I think Victor P. Hamilton makes a mistake on this point.


... and Moses was told that he would "surely die" if he saw Pharoah's face again. Unless you think Solomon had his best messengers watching Shimei on a daily basis, and that it didn't take him very long to return from Gath, there's no way Shimei would have died "that day". He was however brought before Solomon and executed once he got back from Gath. No, that is not what I think, nor is such a view required for my understanding of the Hebrew here.


I say it's both. But can the single infinitive absolute phrase in Hebrew be realistically called upon to carry both somewhat contradictory meanings? Both a purpose and consequence clause at the same time, both God's purpose but also the consequences of Adam's own actions? Both immediate spiritual death and long-term physical death occurring over the next 800 years? If God is saying that he will certainly impose the punishment of physical death, and clearly he does this by preventing Adam's access to the Tree of Life, that is clear enough, but do you also believe that it is God who is at the same time saying that it is Adam who will himself directly cause his own spiritual death that very day? Is it not Adam who causes his own spiritual death by disobeying God's commandment? Or, if Adam is not the cause of his own spiritual death, how can God punish him for this? Not strictly speaking impossible, with God all things are possible, but usually we look for the plain sense of words and not really complicated multiple meanings of a two-word phrase, even two uses of the very same word. And, again, while with God all things are possible, but could Adam be expected to understand these two words in this way? Could he explain this effectively to Eve or any subsequent narrator, author or reader?


What? I don't even. What does Adam's understanding of God's foreknowledge have to do with anything? Well, let's assume we have here an historical narrative based upon the evidence of eye and ear witnesses; are we relying on Adam's report of what God said? Or should we assume that God told Moses what he had said to Adam? In which case, we would be dependent upon Moses understanding of God's foreknowledge here. Whomever the author of the story, we are ultimately dependent upon the author's ideas and expression of what happened. Whatever we think that may be, we are not necessarily saying anything at all about God's actual foreknowledge of anything. Personally, I see no evidence that the author, whomever he was, was directly addressing the philosophical question of the possibility of God's foreknowledge. My understanding of the narrative does not address this question and need not address this question. Thus, you cannot accuse me of necessarily implying anything at all about God's foreknowledge.


By denying the cornerstone of what typology is by definition, does indeed have you doing just that.No, not at all. You should not assume that I hold to your definition and presuppositions of typology. I do not. Nor do any of the many professional exegetes and hermeneutical theologians I have known over the course of my life.


What God said about the ground was a curse(this is made even more explicit later on), what God said about the serpent was a curse, so yeah, what God said about Eve was a curse too. Not explicitly, not in Hebrew. A punishment yes, absolutely, but a curse? Regardless, I think this is a minor issue and I'm not sure how or if it is relevant to your mistaken interpretation of my views. I just like to stick to the text as closely as possible, but I will freely grant you the liberty to avoid the Hebrew text if that is what you prefer.


I don't have the money to go out and buy that, and I can't use a library for medical reasons(weakened immune system). It would be better if you could summarize here. If you can find it on Amazon or somewhere at a reasonable price, I will purchase it for you, if you promise to read it. I am not going to summarize it here. Too much time and trouble.


Later in the post I asked for clarification. Please read a whole post before you respond. Not sure what you are referring to here, but I think you could also perhaps read your own posts in their entirety and revise accordingly before posting. Would that also solve the issue you are referring to here? When I have snipped irrelevant material from your posts, either because I do not disagree or do not see their relevance, you have complained. Now it seems like you are complaining when I respond to every point, even if you change your point later in your own post.

Geert van den Bos
10-20-2014, 07:36 AM
May I please have your input on what "your desire shall be for your husband" means in Genesis 3:16? Some have said it means women want to control men, which is a new interpretation to me and I'm not yet convinced.

Rashi:

http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/8167#showrashi=true


And to your husband will be your desire: for intimacy, but, nevertheless, you will not have the audacity to demand it of him with your mouth, but he will rule over you. Everything is from him and not from you. — [from Eruv. ad loc.]


your desire: Heb. תְּשׁוּקָתֵךְ, your desire, like: (Isa. 29:8): “a yearning (שׁוֹקֵקָה) soul.” - [after Targum Onkelos]

for intimacy = "l'tashmish" = sexual intercourse

Isaiah 29:8,

And it shall be, as the hungry man dreams, and behold, he eats, and he shall awaken, and his appetite is unsated, and as the thirsty man dreams, and behold he drinks, and he shall awaken and behold he is faint, and his soul yearns, so shall be the multitude of all the nations gathered on Mount Zion.

multitude of all the nations = "hamon kol goyim" ---

They do miss the letter "hey" that was added to "shishi" in Genesis 1:31, and also to the name Abram to make him "father of the multitude of nations " ....

Cerebrum123
10-20-2014, 08:31 AM
Sorry you feel that way. I was not trying to insult you personally, and apologize if that was not clear, but I do stand by my comment about the inadequacy of pedestrian and pedantic propositional logic, yours or anyone's, to deal with the mystery of revelation.

This is the exact same dodge you gave in response to my syllogism the first time. If you're going to engage my argument, you don't get to merely dismiss it without saying why, on it's own terms, that it's wrong. This would mean showing either the premises to be false, and showing how the conclusion doesn't follow from them, or both. Appealing to "mystery" in one of the most straightforward texts God has revealed makes it so that any possible chance at any real understanding is impossible. It's also an evasion of what I said.

Then there's the fact that you've had an air of condescension towards me for most of this thread. You may not think the first was insulting, but the second most certainly is. In fact, I find this kind of passive aggressive insult to be more insulting than if you had called me an idiot to my face.


I did not say you did, but I did ask you a specific question here for a specific reason. If you want to have a conversation, please answer. Do you think that this text here uses an antrhopomorphic presentation of God? Do you recognize the limitations of anthropomorphic presentations of God? How do you think that I am 'stuck on an antrhopomorphism? I do not throw out any New Testament teachings. And, as I've already explained, I do not agree with your view that my hermeneutical method does this.

I already DID answer the question. Yes, anthropomorphisms are used. YOU however, seem to think that God is like a man, that He should change His mind, when that is clearly not the case.

Numbers 23:19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?


I thought I already did this in my post entitled, "God’s Syllogisms." Please reread again and let me know specifically which of your premises I have not addressed. I do not want to repeat the same thing all over again if we are not connecting on this point. My post was not a dodge, but it does present some methodological principles that I follow. Again, it may also be helpful for you to read Models of Revelation by Avery Cardinal Dulles as that treats some of this same material in much greater detail and relates it to specific theologians.

No, you didn't answer. You dodged. You appealed to "mystery" when clearly we have this text for the purpose of understanding it. We also have other Biblical works that illuminate the meaning of the text.


No, I don't think so. The first Googled definition I just found offers this definition:

"typology
tīˈpləjē
noun
1. a classification according to general type, especially in archaeology, psychology, or the social sciences. "a typology of Saxon cremation vessels"
2. the study and interpretation of types and symbols, originally especially in the Bible.

Number 2 seems like a good starting point.

I did read it, even pointed out the misspelling, which I just did again. Maybe you could point this out to this "Christianthinktank", whoever they are; I am not familiar with them. I stated very clearly that I do not share as a presupposition one element of their definition. That is not a dodge. It is about as direct as one can be. Obviously, various people will define typology differently. I would not include this presupposition. Nor do the great majority of biblical exegetes that I have known.

What about Numbers 2 supports your non-historical version of typology? It's merely a description of how the tribes of Israel camped during the Exodus.

You seem to have only read the snippet I cited, rather than the whole thing. It goes into far more detail as to why this is so. The Jews viewed God as acting in a cyclical way throughout history, What He did in the past, He would do in the future, but in an enhanced way.Then there's also the fact that all of the other Biblical authors treated Adam, Eve, and the serpent(Satan), as real historical figures(as well as the rest of Genesis). Jesus Himself did so as well.

As for who they are, it's an apologetics site run by Glen Miller, and is very useful for those who want to be able to defend their faith.


Perhaps you could ask again so we are both clear on what you think I have not addressed. I think I have been very patient with you and thorough.

No, you haven't done that at all. You've dismissed much of what I've posted, and appealed to "mystery" when you couldn't answer. You accuse me of being insulting while insulting me yourself. You've dismissed two whole posts as nothing more than "ridiculous, false accusations".


Yes, of course I realize that.

Since we do not have a 'merely historical report', it is very hard for us to say exactly what happened and what exactly God or the talking serpent might have said. Looking at the obvious artistry of the biblical author in reporting these conversation, I believe we do have a very profound account that is quite sophisticated, beautiful, and powerful. Some of the elements, eg, the talking serpent, do not strike me as likely historical. I have never met nor heard other reports of talking serpents that seemed to be intended as historical.

So, you would deny the talking donkey in Numbers as well I suppose?

Numbers 22:31-33New International Version (NIV)

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

32 The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.[a] 33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.”

Or do you think that Satan can't use a serpent in his deceit?

Both are historical accounts, and both have things we wouldn't normally see, but so does the resurrection of Jesus, and a host of other miraculous events. Then there's the fact that often those who are to be shamed are not directly named. Which appears to have been done for the sun and moon in Genesis, and they aren't even living beings. They were however worshiped, which is more than enough to put them in a low light(pun not intended).


Learning the original languages of the Bible has nothing whatsoever to do with gnosticism.

I never said it did.


Nor have I ever said that you are unable to understand the things I do.

By saying that each individual is responsible for deriving meaning, that means that I can't get the subjective interpretation you get. Which would by definition of subjective experiences mean I can't get the same understanding.


I would be happy to teach you or anyone else biblical languages and I recommend them very highly to anyone. Your innuendo that I might not believe that God is more powerful than any language barrier is, of course, absurd. I have never said, implied, or hinted at anything of that nature.

Due to my disability learning a new language is an impossibility at this point. My short term memory is shot, and I'm often unable to even study the things I really have a passion for.


Your judgments about my moral character, or lack thereof in your view, are not helpful, or accurate.

I merely said you don't have the high ground like you think, and that's due to your passive aggressive condescending insult.


And I say that my words, when followed to their logical conclusions, most certainly do not do what you say they do.

If that were true you should be able to show that logically. You haven't done that. You've merely dismissed logic itself in this matter as "pedantic", and "pedestrian".


I think we will have to agree to disagree about your understanding of what I meant by what I said. I do not now, nor have I ever believed that God has ever lied, even in part. You might be more careful about your indirect quotes of me. For example: "You said that God did not carry out His word to Adam, even though there was no repentance." My quote had nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not there had been any repentance and I did not claim that is how God works.

The part about repentance is mine, but it displays accurately the situation that you claim happened. You claim that God did not go through with the punishment He specified. We also know that Adam was not only unrepentant, but was actively defiant at the time of the punishment. So, in essence, your own position states exactly what you deny, but somehow you are unable to see even that much.

Then, if we go by the definition of what is false, along with my given definition of a lie. You have God lying to Adam.

adjective, falser, falsest.
1.
not true or correct; erroneous:
a false statement.
2.
uttering or declaring what is untrue:
a false witness.
3.
not faithful or loyal; treacherous:
a false friend.

Is it true, or untrue, in your view that God punished Adam with death that very day(that's regardless of whether or not you only except instant spiritual death, or the beginning of a process of death).


My understanding of the narrative incorporates potentially mitigating factors as they are recounted, in fact I think the Hebrew artistry of the text can actually be seen as emphasizing this view. I do not believe nor did I say or imply that God made a 100% false statement, or even a .0000000001% false statement. I do not think the account ever addresses any philosophical questions of God's foreknowledge, complete, partial, or otherwise. When you bring such a philosophical presupposition to the text or my interpretation thereof you run the risk of misinterpreting the text and you completely misinterpret my understanding of the text.

You need to answer my previous question before you can really say if what God said was false. Then you can move onto whether or not that would be a lie.

Next, you are trying to separate Genesis into it's own little world completely cut off from the rest of the Bible. That is causing you to misunderstand the text as well.


Also, I did not say Adam did not begin to die; I was merely speaking of the meaning and function of the infinitive absolute construction in Hebrew. Personally, I am not familiar with your ‘process’ interpretation of the infinitive absolute construction in Hebrew. As for what the text allows, I did say that it was a perfectly valid reading of the larger narrative.

Yet you still have been saying that God did not punish Adam the way He said He would. Why is that? I simply can't understand it.


Nor have I ever indirectly said or implied that God is unjust and your attempt to walk me through my own thoughts and words by hand are hopelessly misguided in my opinion.

Yes you have implied that, especially with the serpent being punished for telling the truth. That is the implications of what you said earlier. I'm also not the only one who sees this either. Maybe there is more to this than you are currently realizing?


I know very well what I think and the implications of my beliefs and methodology, which as been examined very carefully not only by myself but also by others, professionals in the field and those with pastoral authority in the church. I do not mean to imply that my method is original. Quite the contrary.

So, you know others who think that the serpent was punished for telling the truth, and that Adam and Eve were not punished by God in the way God specified? Whoever these professionals are, tell me who they are so I know what I'm dealing with beforehand.


I would not say that. I do think it is difficult to approach objectively true interpretations of some texts, perhaps especially those that touch upon the mystery of God and creation, but a variety of methods do help us to approach this truth. In the end, we may not understand a given historical author's understanding until we meet in heaven and read the text together, and he may likewise may not have been aware of some of the profundity of his own text at the time of writing, and none of us will understand how God reads the text, perhaps ever, but certainly not this side of eternity.

Genesis is perhaps the most simple, straightforward text we have in the Bible. If we can't understand that, then what hope have we of understanding Christ's teachings, which are far more complex? Or what about Paul's teachings, whom even Peter said was hard to understand.


That is a very old way of speaking of higher and lower criticism and it is merely meant to differentiate relatively objective methods such as text criticism, grammatical and lexical study of languages from interpretative methodologies, be they historical or exegetical. It does not imply any 'huge part of the problem' other than the difficulty involved in interpreting texts and history.

I say it's a "huge part of the problem", because most of the time I read of someone using "higher criticism", they are arguing for things that are blatantly unbiblical, or at minimum do great harm to understanding Biblical texts. Especially if they are to be considered as a whole.


Please take that up with Rudolf Bultmann, not me.

Hard to do that with a dead person. Anyway, it was only an example of what I've seen come from this methodology. IIRC the Documentary Hypothesis is also from that methodology, and it also undermines Christ's very words. Especially by declaring that Moses did not write the works ascribed to him.


Thank you for the advice. I will take it under advisement.

:thumb:


It is not clear to what this asterisk statement is meant to apply.

It's part of my system when I write posts. When I have 1 asterisk next to a word in a post, I will place a clarifying statement at the end of the post, Same goes for 2, and 3. I don't think I've ever even reached a 3rd one since being on TWeb until now though. I think when I had to cut that response in two because of the character limit it might have gotten separated from the word that was marked.

I should probably change to a more clear system.

I may be dropping out of this discussion at this point(I will probably still read your response to this though), but I saw something from your next post that I wanted to deal with right now.

As for promising to read the book if you purchased it for me. I feel I can't do that, not because I don't want to read the book, but because the difficulties I have in reading them. Reading something on paper has become impossible for me if it's more than a short paragraph or two, and even on a kindle I find it more difficult to read books. I definitely can't ask you to pay for this when I know my limitations will keep me from carrying out such a promise.

I want to get back into reading books again, but I'm having a hard time with headaches when I try to do so. Perhaps it's because, unlike TWeb, I can't interact with them the way I can a person's posts. I'm not fully sure why this happens myself, and before it happened I loved to read. If I owned all the books I have read, I would have a pretty substantial collection by now, although mostly fiction of various types.

robrecht
10-20-2014, 01:28 PM
This is the exact same dodge you gave in response to my syllogism the first time. If you're going to engage my argument, you don't get to merely dismiss it without saying why, on it's own terms, that it's wrong. This would mean showing either the premises to be false, and showing how the conclusion doesn't follow from them, or both. Appealing to "mystery" in one of the most straightforward texts God has revealed makes it so that any possible chance at any real understanding is impossible. It's also an evasion of what I said. This is not a dodge, but my honest opinion. I do not agree with you that this is one of the most straightforward texts God has revealed. I think it is one of the least straightforward. I've given examples of the difficulty of applying strict logic by asking a series of questions that the text raises, which you have not answered because you can't. That's not a slight of you. I think that is, in part, the intent of author, and in part, the nature of a poetic narrative (Paul Ricoeur). As to the latter, on the one hand, a 'narrative' implies the existence of a logical story that 'explains' in this case the origins of evil in God's good creation, without actually giving answers to larger questions. Let's just review the first couple of questions I raised to illustrate the inadequacy of syllogisms when applied to such a narrative: Did God create evil? Why did he create and place a cunning serpent with us in the garden? Your response was to say that God did not create moral evil, but not to answer the larger or subsequent question. And your partial answer immediately departed from this text, looking for answers elsewhere in the Bible, a saying of Jesus in the gospel of Luke: "“I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." If this narrative were really one of the most straighforward texts God has revealed, why does it not provide us with a straightforward propositional answer to one of the most basic questions of all? Why? If God created evil, why? Why did God create the serpent and place him in the garden with us? This narrative provides us with no answer to this most basic, straighforward question of all. You need to jump elsewhere, but your answer is not only not from this narrative, it is somewhat at odds with this narrative, which says God created the serpent and placed it in the garden. Jesus' statement does not answer the question of why God placed the serpent in the garden; instead it says Satan fell like lightning from heaven. Does that mean God did not purposefully place the serpent in the garden, as our narrative says? And, again, why? Why did God place the serpent in the garden with us? You can, I'm sure, formulate the basic propositional logical 'answers' proposed in any treatise developed to deal with the philosophical problem of evil, but our narrative does not approach the issue in a philosophical manner. This is why propositional logic and syllogisms are not an adequate approach to understanding this narrative, or any such poetic narrative. And that is also why your attempt to analyze and critique my interpretive approach to this narrative by constructing premises and syllogisms will not successfully arrive at philosophical or theological positions that are supposedly the logical consequences of my approach to undestanding this narrative. You should not accuse me of dodging anything. I am just following the author in trying to understand the character of his poetic narrative. Do you accuse him of dodging your questions?


Then there's the fact that you've had an air of condescension towards me for most of this thread. You may not think the first was insulting, but the second most certainly is. In fact, I find this kind of passive aggressive insult to be more insulting than if you had called me an idiot to my face. Once again, your attempts to make judgments about my person and character are neither helpful nor accurate. Please try to avoid personal insults and focus on the content of the discussion.


I already DID answer the question. Yes, anthropomorphisms are used. Sorry, I took this to be a general answer about the use of anthropomorphisms in the Bible and not a specific answer to my questions about this particular narrative. Now, perhaps you can expand upon the strengths and weaknesses of the use of an anthropomorphic presentation of God in this particular narrative, which I have asked you about.


YOU however, seem to think that God is like a man, that He should change His mind, when that is clearly not the case.

Numbers 23:19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? No, exactly the opposite! You think that my approach to this narrative implies that God is a liar, but I reject your attempt to claim that this is implicit in my thinking. I do not move from anthropomorphic elements in the story to make implicit or explicit claims about God's nature. Propositional logic and syllogisms about my approach to an anthropomorphic presentation of God in a poetic narrative cannot succeed in exposing the supposed implications about my view of the nature of God.


No, you didn't answer. You dodged. You appealed to "mystery" when clearly we have this text for the purpose of understanding it. We also have other Biblical works that illuminate the meaning of the text. I did not merely appeal to mystery but rather attempted to illustrate why propositional logic and syllogisms are inadequate to the task. Speaking of dodging, I will ask you again: Please reread and let me know specifically which of your premises I have not addressed. I do not want to repeat the same things all over again if we are not connecting on this point.


What about Numbers 2 supports your non-historical version of typology? It's merely a description of how the tribes of Israel camped during the Exodus.Not Numbers 2, as in the chapter of the biblical book, but the Number 2 in the definition of typology I just quoted: "2. the study and interpretation of types and symbols, originally especially in the Bible."


You seem to have only read the snippet I cited, rather than the whole thing. Please do not argue by weblink. If you want me to respond to specific points that can be found in a link, please let me know which points you are thinking of.


It goes into far more detail as to why this is so. The Jews viewed God as acting in a cyclical way throughout history, What He did in the past, He would do in the future, but in an enhanced way.Then there's also the fact that all of the other Biblical authors treated Adam, Eve, and the serpent(Satan), as real historical figures(as well as the rest of Genesis). Jesus Himself did so as well.

As for who they are, it's an apologetics site run by Glen Miller, and is very useful for those who want to be able to defend their faith. But, again, because I and others define typology differently, you cannot use a different definition of typology do argue that I supposedly throw out teachings of the New Testament. You might be able to make a logical argument about the implications of my approach if I did use this definition of typology but I do not so your attempt to describe or impose the logical consequences of your defintion and my views are not logically valid when speaking of the supposedly logical consequences of my views.


No, you haven't done that at all.Again, please let me know specific points that you would like me to address. You keep claiming that I have not addressed your points and when I ask you to be more specific you repeatedly will not identify any of the specific points that I have not addressed.


You've dismissed much of what I've posted, and appealed to "mystery" when you couldn't answer. You accuse me of being insulting while insulting me yourself. You've dismissed two whole posts as nothing more than "ridiculous, false accusations". What specifically do you think I am unable to answer? Where have I insulted you? I'm sorry you do not see how ridiculous it is for you to try and impose your presuppositions and logical consequences on my views. I do think this has led you to false conclusions about me and my views. Should I call something 'true' that I know to be 'false'?


So, you would deny the talking donkey in Numbers as well I suppose?

Numbers 22:31-33New International Version (NIV)

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

32 The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.[a] 33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.”

Or do you think that Satan can't use a serpent in his deceit?

Both are historical accounts, and both have things we wouldn't normally see, but so does the resurrection of Jesus, and a host of other miraculous events. Then there's the fact that often those who are to be shamed are not directly named. Which appears to have been done for the sun and moon in Genesis, and they aren't even living beings. They were however worshiped, which is more than enough to put them in a low light(pun not intended). Would I 'deny' the talking donkey? I suspect it is probably a poetic element, either of Balaam's vision or the author's narrative, but I don't see that as 'denying' it, just trying to best understand its function in the narrative text being studied. As a rule, the exegetical study of texts does not primarily or directly seek to determine the historicity of the events reported in the text, but to study the texts themselves. Arguments about the historicity or implausibility of events reported in the texts are usually engaged in by apologists of religious points of view and their opponents. As for what Satan can or cannot do, I have no special knowledge in this area or any particular opinion, nor am I sure how the sun and moon relate to our discussion. All of these issues seem completely irrelevant to our understanding of the text itself.


I never said it did.

By saying that each individual is responsible for deriving meaning, that means that I can't get the subjective interpretation you get. Which would by definition of subjective experiences mean I can't get the same understanding. Nope, it does not mean that at all. I believe very much in intersubjectivity. Please stop trying to divine logical consequences of my views and what they mean, especially in arguing against what I have already stated as my view.


Due to my disability learning a new language is an impossibility at this point. My short term memory is shot, and I'm often unable to even study the things I really have a passion for.

I merely said you don't have the high ground like you think, and that's due to your passive aggressive condescending insult. I submit that focusing your attention on what you believe are my internal thoughts of having some moral high ground and your perception of my supposed passive aggressive condecension as an insult of you are not at all helpful in our discussion. I'm sorry to hear about your disability and lack of short-term memory.


If that were true you should be able to show that logically. You haven't done that. You've merely dismissed logic itself in this matter as "pedantic", and "pedestrian". You want me to show that my words do not lead to your conclusions about my words, or something like that. I think I have pointed out in several places and in various ways why this is so. Let's see if I can illustrate simply with your next point:


The part about repentance is mine, but it displays accurately the situation that you claim happened. You claim that God did not go through with the punishment He specified. We also know that Adam was not only unrepentant, but was actively defiant at the time of the punishment. So, in essence, your own position states exactly what you deny, but somehow you are unable to see even that much.

Then, if we go by the definition of what is false, along with my given definition of a lie. You have God lying to Adam.

adjective, falser, falsest.
1.
not true or correct; erroneous:
a false statement.
2.
uttering or declaring what is untrue:
a false witness.
3.
not faithful or loyal; treacherous:
a false friend.

Is it true, or untrue, in your view that God punished Adam with death that very day(that's regardless of whether or not you only except instant spiritual death, or the beginning of a process of death).
The conclusion you want to draw here is poorly supported by your representation of my position because it leaves out the most central point of my approach, namely that the text presents quite a few possibly mitigating factors in why God might have chosen to punish Adam and Eve and the Serpent differently than what he first presented to Adam alone as the immediate punishment or consequences of disobedience. For me this is an illustration of the fundamental character of God as compassionate and merciful and his intent for the future of humanity. For me, if an antrhopomorphic God changes his previously stated approach (to one human) for good intervening reasons and for a multitude of characters, including all of future of humanity since Eve is the mother of all the living, that does not lead to the conclusion that God is a liar or that he lied to Adam. In the story it is true that God's actions, presumably on that very day, did result in Adam's physical death some 800 years later, but it was not the case that Adam died that day. You think this view necessarily entails the view that God is a liar. I think it is an anthropomorphic presentation of God beginning the story of salvation and that the use of propositional logic, presuppositions, and syllogisms to prove that I somehow really believe or must view God as a liar if only I would examine the logical consequences of my own approach to this story is actually ignorant of my whole methodological approach to a poetic narrative. Likewise, the use of propositional logic, presuppositions, and syllogisms to prove that I somehow really must believe or view God does not have foreknowlede of future events is also misplaced as a supposedly logical consequence of my approach to this anthropomorphic story that I do not believe was intended to address the philosophical examination of questions of theodicy and divine foreknowledge or providence.


You need to answer my previous question before you can really say if what God said was false. Then you can move onto whether or not that would be a lie. Of course it is not a lie. I am continually shocked that you ever and even continually keep bringing this up as a possibility.


Next, you are trying to separate Genesis into it's own little world completely cut off from the rest of the Bible. That is causing you to misunderstand the text as well. No, I am not trying to do that. One can look at pericopes as separated wholes and one can look at biblical theology as a whole, and many things in between (books, chapters, etc), and there are various methodologies geared toward doing this. Pleaes stop making statements about what I am supposedly 'trying to do' in your opinion of my intentions.


Yet you still have been saying that God did not punish Adam the way He said He would. Why is that? I simply can't understand it.I presented a number of possibilities, based on elements in the text. I am not going to list them all over again.


Yes you have implied that, especially with the serpent being punished for telling the truth. That is the implications of what you said earlier. I'm also not the only one who sees this either. Maybe there is more to this than you are currently realizing? No, I have not implied that God is unjust. You have inferred that based on assuming a meaning of unjust mercy that I did not, do not, and will not endorse. If anyone else has followed you or independently presumed this, they are kindly invited to reevaluate their views based on my patient attempts to present my views in more detail.


So, you know others who think that the serpent was punished for telling the truth, and that Adam and Eve were not punished by God in the way God specified? Whoever these professionals are, tell me who they are so I know what I'm dealing with beforehand. That is not at all what I said. I was speaking of what seems to be the strange presumption that I am unaware of the implications of my beliefs and methodology, which has been examined very carefully not only by myself but also by others, professionals in the field and those with pastoral authority in the church. I do not care to name those who have evaluated my methodolgy as they would probably prefer to remain blissfully ignorant of this discussion.


Genesis is perhaps the most simple, straightforward text we have in the Bible. If we can't understand that, then what hope have we of understanding Christ's teachings, which are far more complex? Or what about Paul's teachings, whom even Peter said was hard to understand.
I am extremely hopeful that we can! I think many people understand Genesis very well, but there are honest disagreements about this or that element so scholars are generally circumspect in claiming that they have correctly and fully understood a given historical author's intent. Although that is the goal of most historico-critical approaches, we must acknowledge that the lack of consensus among scholars employing the same methodologies is telling.


I say it's a "huge part of the problem", because most of the time I read of someone using "higher criticism", they are arguing for things that are blatantly unbiblical, or at minimum do great harm to understanding Biblical texts. Especially if they are to be considered as a whole. Back when it was more common to speak of lower and higher criticism, the idea of a unified or monolithic biblical theology actually had a much greater acceptance.


Hard to do that with a dead person. Anyway, it was only an example of what I've seen come from this methodology. IIRC the Documentary Hypothesis is also from that methodology, and it also undermines Christ's very words. Especially by declaring that Moses did not write the works ascribed to him.

:thumb:

It's part of my system when I write posts. When I have 1 asterisk next to a word in a post, I will place a clarifying statement at the end of the post, Same goes for 2, and 3. I don't think I've ever even reached a 3rd one since being on TWeb until now though. I think when I had to cut that response in two because of the character limit it might have gotten separated from the word that was marked.

I should probably change to a more clear system.

I may be dropping out of this discussion at this point(I will probably still read your response to this though), but I saw something from your next post that I wanted to deal with right now.

As for promising to read the book if you purchased it for me. I feel I can't do that, not because I don't want to read the book, but because the difficulties I have in reading them. Reading something on paper has become impossible for me if it's more than a short paragraph or two, and even on a kindle I find it more difficult to read books. I definitely can't ask you to pay for this when I know my limitations will keep me from carrying out such a promise.

I want to get back into reading books again, but I'm having a hard time with headaches when I try to do so. Perhaps it's because, unlike TWeb, I can't interact with them the way I can a person's posts. I'm not fully sure why this happens myself, and before it happened I loved to read. If I owned all the books I have read, I would have a pretty substantial collection by now, although mostly fiction of various types. Well, we can always hope for more interactive discussion with dead authors in heaven.

Violet
10-20-2014, 03:46 PM
Rashi:

http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/8167#showrashi=true



for intimacy = "l'tashmish" = sexual intercourse

This makes sense to me, but I wonder about the interpretive constraints of Gen. 4:7 that other interpreters put on Gen. 3:16? Some believe 4:7 explains what "desire" means because of the similar structure of these verses. What do you think about it?


Isaiah 29:8,

And it shall be, as the hungry man dreams, and behold, he eats, and he shall awaken, and his appetite is unsated, and as the thirsty man dreams, and behold he drinks, and he shall awaken and behold he is faint, and his soul yearns, so shall be the multitude of all the nations gathered on Mount Zion.

multitude of all the nations = "hamon kol goyim" ---

They do miss the letter "hey" that was added to "shishi" in Genesis 1:31, and also to the name Abram to make him "father of the multitude of nations " ....

Will you explain how you believe this helps explain Gen 3? It seems the rare and relatively obscure word "desire" in Gen 3:16 is only used elsewhere in Gen 4:7 and in the Canticles. Apparently the usage in Gen 4:7 likely determines the use in 3:16 because the interpretation of the word is contextually better understood in 4:7 and because the structure of the verses is the same (implying that the same structure means the same interpretation for the difficult to translate word). So it's not just a matter of interpreting the word itself and seeing how it most naturally flows in the immediate text but of seeing where the same word was used with the same structure and reading the definition of that (more clear) verse into this more obscure one. At least that is how I think the argument goes. What do you think about it?

Geert van den Bos
10-20-2014, 04:23 PM
This makes sense to me, but I wonder about the interpretive constraints of Gen. 4:7 that other interpreters put on Gen. 3:16? Some believe 4:7 explains what "desire" means because of the similar structure of these verses. What do you think about it?

Will you explain how you believe this helps explain Gen 3? It seems the word "desire" in Gen 3:16 is only used elsewhere in Gen 4:7 and in the Canticles. Apparently the usage in Gen 4:7 interprets the use in 3:16 because of the same structure of the verses. So it's not just a matter of interpreting the word itself and seeing how it most naturally flows in the immediate text but of seeing where the same word was used with the same structure and reading the definition of that (more clear) verse into this more obscure one. At least that is how I think the argument goes. What do you think about it?

I would say in both instances it is related to sexuality. The verb in Genesis 4:7 "ravats" = to lie, couch, stretch out, sit over, makes out of sin kind of a living being.

Rashi:

and to you is it’s longing: [The longing] of sin- i.e., the evil inclination-which constantly longs and lusts to cause you to stumble.


Genesis 3:16 being about the female desire, and Genesis 4:7 about the male.

Cf. Rashi on Genesis 1:28,

and subdue it: The“vav” [in וְכִבְשֻׁהָ is missing, [allowing the word to be read וְכִבְשָׁה, the masculine singular imperative] to teach you that the male subdues the female that she should not be a gadabout (Gen. Rabbah 8:12), and it is also meant to teach you that the man, whose way it is to subdue, is commanded to propagate, but not the woman (Yev. Yev. 65b).


By the way, the above mentioned things might prove that the bible was written by men (males) for men, and not for women, nor by women.

Violet
10-20-2014, 04:33 PM
That is the main issue under discussion, yes, but a related issue which quickly cropped up as a key disagreement is whether a desire to sin necessarily results in sin.

A desire to sin does not mean one must sin. However, how could one resist a desire if it was given by God? Also, this seems much like temptation. And God does not tempt anyone to sin, not even those in Rom 1. They were predisposed to those depraved dispositions and God handed them over which is different than saying God gave them those desires in the first place. Additionally, the text does not indicate that Eve had tried to dominate her husband by giving him the fruit. Indeed, she was uneducated and therefore easily deceived. How does offering the fruit to her husband imply domination, anyway? Her problem was not accurately knowing what God had said and was therefore easily deceived by the serpent. There is nothing in the text that says she was trying to dominate her husband. Rather, she was offering her wrong view and misunderstanding and Adam, who actually knew better, sinned. She was deceived, not dominating. It was Adam who knew better but disobeyed.



If God can give humanity over to impurity, to dishonourable passions, to a debased mind, what is inconceivable about such a punishment - if it is indeed a punishment, and not just a statement of fact?

I think James 1:13-17 is helpful in seperating the Genesis text from Rom. 1. The desire to control may be a statement of fact instead of a punishment. However, it comes with the other punishments and because she had not tried to already dominate her husband I do not see this as a "handing over" to do what she was already doing. But I'm still thinking about it

Paprika
10-20-2014, 04:57 PM
A desire to sin does not mean one must sin. However, how could one resist a desire if it was given by God?
Why do you assume that a desire given by God is irresistible? God gives us the desire to love Him and love our neighbour but that is not irresistible.


Also, this seems much like temptation. And God does not tempt anyone to sin, not even those in Rom 1. They were predisposed to those depraved dispositions and God handed them over which is different than saying God gave them those desires in the first place.
So if the people in Romans 1 were predisposed to depraved dispositions, why couldn't Eve be predisposed to wanting to dominate her husband?


Additionally, the text does not indicate that Eve had tried to dominate her husband by giving him the fruit. Indeed, she was uneducated and therefore easily deceived. How does offering the fruit to her husband imply domination, anyway? Her problem was not accurately knowing what God had said and was therefore easily deceived by the serpent. There is nothing in the text that says she was trying to dominate her husband. Rather, she was offering her wrong view and misunderstanding and Adam, who actually knew better, sinned. She was deceived, not dominating. It was Adam who knew better but disobeyed.
I'm not sure what education has to do with this. Though she was deceived (presumably about whether she would die), she still tried to destroy God's authority over Adam, contradicting God, the one in authority, and telling Adam what to do; instead of desiring her husband to follow God she influenced him into following her words and her example.

Violet
10-20-2014, 05:04 PM
I would say in both instances it is related to sexuality. The verb in Genesis 4:7 "ravats" = to lie, couch, stretch out, sit over, makes out of sin kind of a living being.

Rashi:


Genesis 3:16 being about the female desire, and Genesis 4:7 about the male.

Cf. Rashi on Genesis 1:28,

This really makes a lot of sense to me and I had also brought this up. However, it seems to some interpreters that because "desire" is used in the same structure as "control" and "mastery", that desire must mean to negatively control. But I still don't see why it can't still mean in sexual way, ie intimate way in both instances, as in your example. One is just negative and the other positive. But I guess it is believed that because it is negative in 4:7 that it is also negative in 3:16.




By the way, the above mentioned things might prove that the bible was written by men (males) for men, and not for women, nor by women. I see your point. I do, however, still come at the scriptures believing God has inspired the story.

Paprika
10-20-2014, 05:15 PM
This really makes a lot of sense to me and I had also brought this up. However, it seems to some interpreters that because "desire" is used in the same structure as "control" and "mastery", that desire must mean to negatively control. But I still don't see why it can't still mean in sexual way, ie intimate way in both instances, as in your example. One is just negative and the other positive. But I guess it is believed that because it is negative in 4:7 that it is also negative in 3:16.
So you think that Gen 4:7 is about male sexual lust?

Violet
10-20-2014, 05:24 PM
Why do you assume that a desire given by God is irresistible? God gives us the desire to love Him and love our neighbour but that is not irresistible.

Because it is a desire to sin and I disagree that God gives sinful desires. This seems to run counter to James 1:13-17.



So if the people in Romans 1 were predisposed to depraved dispositions, why couldn't Eve be predisposed to wanting to dominate her husband?

Because the people in Rom. 1 knew God but refused to worship Him, they themselves thought up false ideas about what God is like. As a result, God gave them over to the darkened way they had conceived themselves.

Eve, on the other hand was deceived into believing the lie of Satan. The people of Rom 1 were rather deliberate.



I'm not sure what education has to do with this. Though she was deceived (presumably about whether she would die), she still tried to destroy God's authority over Adam, contradicting God, the one in authority, and telling Adam what to do;
Where does she tell Adam what to do? Adam was with her when she ate and she gave it to him. Where is it implied that she domineered her husband into submission? Nowhere.


instead of desiring her husband to follow God she influenced him into following her words and her example.

Influence is by no means the same as domination.

Paprika
10-20-2014, 05:28 PM
Because it is a desire to sin and I disagree that God gives sinful desires. This seems to run counter to James 1:13-17. I don't believe it does.


Eve, on the other hand was deceived into believing the lie of Satan. The people of Rom 1 were rather deliberate.
So Eve didn't deliberately eat the fruit?


Where does she tell Adam what to do? Adam was with her when she ate and she gave it to him. Where is it implied that she domineered her husband into submission? Nowhere.
Nonsense. "And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you,"


Influence is by no means the same as domination.
Quite, influence might be manifestation of the wish to dominate without domination completely actualising.

Violet
10-20-2014, 05:34 PM
So you think that Gen 4:7 is about male sexual lust?
No, indeed. In Gen 4:7 it is sin that does the desiring. In Gen 3:16, it is the woman who does the desiring.

robrecht
10-20-2014, 05:37 PM
Why do you assume that a desire given by God is irresistible? God gives us the desire to love Him and love our neighbour but that is not irresistible.

Because it is a desire to sin and I disagree that God gives sinful desires. This seems to run counter to James 1:13-17.
I think this question also relates to whether we see this desire as actually a curse given by God that we would presumably be unable to counteract.

Paprika
10-20-2014, 05:41 PM
I think this question also relates to whether we see this desire as actually a curse given by God that we would presumably be unable to counteract.
I believe Violet is doing special pleading here:

She cannot deny that God gives us good desires that are resistible, but somehow any (hypothetical) sinful desire given by God must be irresistible.

robrecht
10-20-2014, 06:01 PM
I believe Violet is doing special pleading here:

She cannot deny that God gives us good desires that are resistible, but somehow any (hypothetical) sinful desire given by God must be irresistible.With respect to your own view only, if I recall correctly, you did at one time seem to conisder this desire to be part of a curse of Eve by God, but then were not so sure because the word 'curse' is not explictly applied to Eve. Is that correct? Has your view changed subsequently?

Violet
10-20-2014, 06:01 PM
I don't believe it does.

How is God supposedly giving a desire to sin not the same as God tempting someone to sin?



So Eve didn't deliberately eat the fruit?

She did deliberately eat. But this is different than the picture we get in Rom 1 where they deliberately, knowingly exchanged the truth of God for a lie.


Nonsense. "And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you," Are you saying that when a woman speaks to you that she is actually trying to control you?

robrecht
10-20-2014, 06:04 PM
Are you saying that when a woman speaks to you that she is actually trying to control you?Wait, you mean that is not true? I need to show this thread to my wife!

Violet
10-20-2014, 06:18 PM
I believe Violet is doing special pleading here:

She cannot deny that God gives us good desires that are resistible, but somehow any (hypothetical) sinful desire given by God must be irresistible.

True. I take it back.

However, the problem remains that God giving a desire to sin is akin to God tempting one to sin which the scriptures say He does not do.

Violet
10-20-2014, 10:16 PM
The question of whether the "desire" in Gen 3 is a curse/punishment or a description/prediction of what was to be the inclination of the woman is a good one and I've been trying to think it through. I'm not claiming to be a fantastic thinker, I'm just trying to think these through.

Here is what I've been considering:

The reasons it could be a curse/punishment is the context. The words are given in a like manner of the punishments to the serpent and to the man and to the "pain in childbirth" and "man will ruler over you" punishments also given to the woman.

The reasons it could be a description/prediction of woman's nature after the fall is....? It matters a lot if "desire" means "control" or if it is of a more sexual nature, as in the Canticles (as discussed above).

I try to ask myself these questions, as a woman, and see what corresponds to reality. While I know that a woman's sexual desire for a man is part of her nature, I do not know that a woman's desire to control her husband is part of her nature. While the pain of childbirth corresponds to reality, while men being "rulers" of women throughout history corresponds to reality I cannot discern if a perpetual inclination for women to control husbands actually corresponds to reality, as a description of reality. In fact, with the many oppressed women on the planet I think they'd have a death wish if they did. But they do still intimately desire to have a man, which tends to make me think that this is what the description actually is.

I can speak of reality in my own experience, too. I do not have a naturally controlling personality (even if I was not a Christian--according to the Myers-Briggs type indicator--if you put weight in that sort of thing). So, while I cannot say I have been sinless in this, I can say that desiring to control my husband is not an accurate description of me as a woman as like having pain in childbirth is for me as a woman. If it is to be a description of women, it is not talking of an occasional temptation to control her husband, but of a quality, a characteristic, a property. The lack of an accurate correspondence to reality counts something to me. Maybe it shouldn't? Maybe a bad analogy but if people told you the scriptures mean to say that the sun revolves around the earth, no matter how good their exegesis, it doesn't correspond to reality, you know its not true. Instead of saying the Bible is in error, you go back and re-examine if this is what the scriptures are really saying.

Please know I'm not committed to a view yet; I'd like help thinking these things through.

Geert van den Bos
10-21-2014, 06:22 AM
The question of whether the "desire" in Gen 3 is a curse/punishment or a description/prediction of what was to be the inclination of the woman is a good one and I've been trying to think it through. I'm not claiming to be a fantastic thinker, I'm just trying to think these through.

Here is what I've been considering:

The reasons it could be a curse/punishment is the context. The words are given in a like manner of the punishments to the serpent and to the man and to the "pain in childbirth" and "man will ruler over you" punishments also given to the woman.

The reasons it could be a description/prediction of woman's nature after the fall is....? It matters a lot if "desire" means "control" or if it is of a more sexual nature, as in the Canticles (as discussed above).

I try to ask myself these questions, as a woman, and see what corresponds to reality. While I know that a woman's sexual desire for a man is part of her nature, I do not know that a woman's desire to control her husband is part of her nature. While the pain of childbirth corresponds to reality, while men being "rulers" of women throughout history corresponds to reality I cannot discern if a perpetual inclination for women to control husbands actually corresponds to reality, as a description of reality. In fact, with the many oppressed women on the planet I think they'd have a death wish if they did. But they do still intimately desire to have a man, which tends to make me think that this is what the description actually is.

I can speak of reality in my own experience, too. I do not have a naturally controlling personality (even if I was not a Christian--according to the Myers-Briggs type indicator--if you put weight in that sort of thing). So, while I cannot say I have been sinless in this, I can say that desiring to control my husband is not an accurate description of me as a woman as like having pain in childbirth is for me as a woman. If it is to be a description of women, it is not talking of an occasional temptation to control her husband, but of a quality, a characteristic, a property. The lack of an accurate correspondence to reality counts something to me. Maybe it shouldn't? Maybe a bad analogy but if people told you the scriptures mean to say that the sun revolves around the earth, no matter how good their exegesis, it doesn't correspond to reality, you know its not true. Instead of saying the Bible is in error, you go back and re-examine if this is what the scriptures are really saying.

Please know I'm not committed to a view yet; I'd like help thinking these things through.


Mark 12:25 comes to mind, seeming to provide an answer:
For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.



Death being punishment for sin, or: consequence of sin.

Paprika
10-21-2014, 12:42 PM
How is God supposedly giving a desire to sin not the same as God tempting someone to sin?
Because when the desire is active at certain times it is not the God that tempts but the desire - part of the person's own nature - that drags and lures away.


She did deliberately eat. But this is different than the picture we get in Rom 1 where they deliberately, knowingly exchanged the truth of God for a lie.
Good. Did she deliberately tell Adam to eat it? Did she not know that God did tell Adam not to eat it, and that she was asking Adam to disobey?


Are you saying that when a woman speaks to you that she is actually trying to control you?
:ahem:
Are you done with silly strawmen?

Violet
10-21-2014, 01:48 PM
Because when the desire is active at certain times it is not the God that tempts but the desire - part of the person's own nature - that drags and lures away.


I see a need to make a distinction between the two options of 1) is it God directly giving the desire to sin or 2) are these words the description of the effects of mankind's sin nature after the fall? I believe you have erroneously combined them. What do you think? Did God put an evil desire in woman or is He describing the effects of the fall upon the woman? Please explain.


Good. Did she deliberately tell Adam to eat it?

I think this is part of the question. We cannot tell from the text if her "voice" was commanding or offering. There is nothing in the text that indicates she was trying dominate her husband.


Did she not know that God did tell Adam not to eat it, and that she was asking Adam to disobey?

She did know. Even so, her sharing the fruit with her husband is not indicative of control.



:ahem:
Are you done with silly strawmen?

No, I have another. Do you believe every time someone offers you something that they are, in fact, trying to control you?

Paprika
10-21-2014, 01:55 PM
No, I have another.
Then this discussion is at an end.

Violet
10-21-2014, 02:17 PM
Then this discussion is at an end.

Wow, you took that way too seriously. I was being silly, as you suggested. :wink: