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How to interpert Genesis

StoveBolts

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Just to muddy the water a bit,...
Shem, Noah's son, was alive and well when Abram was traveling about...and likely living towards the top right hand side of the Fertile Crescent.

In fact it's possible that Shem was the messenger for God to tell Abram to start traveling because of the dynamics of Hebrew literature. (Messengers are often not mentioned in discussions involving two parties not face to face)
Muddy the waters? Ha! We can certainly do that lol!

http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/1326593/jewish/Who-Was-Melchizedek.htm

You'll have to bring me up to speed, what's the crescent?
 

StoveBolts

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I recommend you get a copy of Before Abraham Was by Kikowada and Quinn and start from there.
But your here now. Please share what you know. You don't have to respond to others just because they disagree.
Like I said, I'm not here to win an argument with you on this matter. I'm here to glean, learn and share.

I call it sifting and sorting.
 

Papa Zoom

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Is there a scripture to back you up on that?

Because here's one which says the opposite.
Proverbs 3:5-6
It seems to me it would be impossible to follow that without engaging the intellect. My God given skill to use reason and logic to gain understanding. Or am I not understanding "intellectualizing the Scriptures." "?
 
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It seems to me it would be impossible to follow that without engaging the intellect. My God given skill to use reason and logic to gain understanding. Or am I not understanding "intellectualizing the Scriptures." "?
Good question and it can be answered on different levels. It does say, come let us reason together, but then again, there is a way that seems right unto man, but in the end leads to death.

So while a certain amount of reason is a good thing, we must be careful not to, over-intellectualize the scriptures. We have to mix our reading of the Word with faith and then the Holy Spirit brings revelation to us...and we learn and grow.

When we over-intellectualize the scriptures we wind up chasing rabbits or worse, outright rejecting portions of it, because we can't totally understand it? That's not right. We have to be teachable. We don't know it all. It's a sealed book without the Holy Spirit! So if you leave the Holy Spirit out of it, you never will intellectualize into full understanding or grow.
 

Papa Zoom

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Good question and it can be answered on different levels. It does say, come let us reason together, but then again, there is a way that seems right unto man, but in the end leads to death.

So while a certain amount of reason is a good thing, we must be careful not to, over-intellectualize the scriptures. We have to mix our reading of the Word with faith and then the Holy Spirit brings revelation to us...and we learn and grow.

When we over-intellectualize the scriptures we wind up chasing rabbits or worse, outright rejecting portions of it, because we can't totally understand it? That's not right. We have to be teachable. We don't know it all. It's a sealed book without the Holy Spirit! So if you leave the Holy Spirit out of it, you never will intellectualize into full understanding or grow.
That seems a reasonable approach.
 
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A few things.

Some historical context help and add to our understanding. The meaning behind the phrase "the eye of the needle" comes to mind. Knowing the meaning behind that phrase adds to a better understanding of what Jesus was teaching. Yet even without that part explained the meaning is still clear that he was saying it is impossible or almost impossible for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. After a desciple asks if any of us can have hope, Jesus explains further that humanity speaking it is impossible but to God all things are possible. Though this is just one example of learning the cultural background, it is an example that understanding that background doesn't change our understanding but instead makes that understanding more fully understood. I think there is benifit in studying cultures, but the bible is still the foundation to go off of from. The studies are second to the text itself.
But you don't seem to understand that in order to understand what the Bible is saying in the first place, we must understand what the author meant by what they wrote, and that includes the cultural, historical, and theological contexts. There is no escaping those.

I'd even argue that if the studies go against what is written in the bible text then to be very cautious and skeptible.
That would be begging the question.
 

StoveBolts

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But you don't seem to understand that in order to understand what the Bible is saying in the first place, we must understand what the author meant by what they wrote, and that includes the cultural, historical, and theological contexts. There is no escaping those.
I agree. I find it challenging at times to understand what was driving the author of the text and how the original hearers understood what was being said based on their culture and circumstance.

Snodgrass wrote Stories with intent where he looked at many different pieces of the parables to root out its original intent. It was an eye opener for me.
 
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But your here now. Please share what you know. You don't have to respond to others just because they disagree.
Like I said, I'm not here to win an argument with you on this matter. I'm here to glean, learn and share.

I call it sifting and sorting.
You asked me "Can you point me to the texts?"
Before Abraham Was is a great place to start.
 

StoveBolts

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You asked me "Can you point me to the texts?"
Before Abraham Was is a great place to start.
I'm sorry, I just assumed that the idea behind population control would be grounded in the ancient texts and perhaps your source would cite their sources.

I have read the Sumerian accounts and have not run across anything that sounded like population control. However, I also know that if your not looking for it, one may not see it.

I am not asking you to defend yourself. I am simply asking you to cite the authors sources on the claim of population control.

Since I assume you own this book, and I assume the authors discuss population control in the ancient near East, it shouldn't be too difficult for you to cite their sources.

I really don't think I'm asking too much.
 

StoveBolts

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It does and it provides a thorough analysis of the AME literary forms.
Geez, this is like pulling teeth. Why are you making this so difficult? Will you please cite the authors sources. I already have the ANE texts, I just want to know what they say that would indicate population control.

Or do you not want me looking into It?

Listen, I'm not asking you to do anything I wouldn't do. I was defending Baptism and gladly cited the authors sources. Sure I had to copy a few foot notes and go to the back of the book to cite his sources. It's not that big of a deal.
 
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Will you please cite the authors sources.
There's five pages of bibliography.
Here's one: An article by Anne Kilmer "The Mesopotamian Concept of Overpopulation and its Solution as Reflected in the Mythology", Orientalia 41 (1972):16-177
Also: Kilmer "Mesopotamian Concepts" pp. 160-77
 
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But you don't seem to understand that in order to understand what the Bible is saying in the first place, we must understand what the author meant by what they wrote, and that includes the cultural, historical, and theological contexts. There is no escaping those.


That would be begging the question.
I understand what you're saying Free, it's just that I still disagree. Understanding the context that the bible is written in helps understand it better, but the text is still more important then those studies to further understand it. In a way I'd rather read the bible in a translation that is reliable in it's translation and that is understandable in it's language. Have this and everything else can only help you gain a better more fuller understanding. But the context it was written in or written to shouldn't change the meaning of the text enough to actually change our understanding.

Take for example the prophets quoted the past to their present audience. Calling them forgetful of all that God has done (even though none of them would have been around at the times of their anscestors) or pointing to sections in scripture to their current audience. The context would have definitely changed. Context of ancient Israel, to the days of Abraham, or Noah, or Adam being applied in the modern day that the prophet speaks. The people being spoken to could have studied the scripture or have been well taught by it by others, but unless their understanding of it matched that of the temple priests and religous scribes, I doubt they should know the context of what the authors meant any more then we would. Yet it's still there to hear and understand.

Here's the trick. God uses the words of the past for the people long into the future. Regardless if it was meant by the author in a way that it would be explained in the future by Jesus or a prophet, the truth is that words of the past (say like the psalms) are used and explained to a people in a far future.
 

StoveBolts

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There's five pages of bibliography.
Here's one: An article by Anne Kilmer "The Mesopotamian Concept of Overpopulation and its Solution as Reflected in the Mythology", Orientalia 41 (1972):16-177
Also: Kilmer "Mesopotamian Concepts" pp. 160-77
So you don't have any direct sources that you can cite back to the ANE texts?
That concerns me. It reminds me of how one can read the biblical text outside of its context and read into it something that is not there. As a result, doctrines get built around the faulty interpretation and other texts are read in the same faulty manner.

As I said, I am not here to dispute you, nor dispute with you. All I have asked were your sources in hopes of rooting it back to the original ANE texts. It looks like you can't root your sources back to a specific text in any of the ANE texts.

What I can say is I'm disappointed because without credible sources rooted in the text and culture that you can share, anybody can write whatever their imagination can think up.

In other words, I can tell you what I think about a biblical text, but I should also be able to directly show you the text.
 
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What do you mean by "over-intellectualize"?
Almost missed this. Over-intellectualization can be (to me at least) described almost like...anti-faith. Where one uses rationalization and reasoning to to block the need for faith. The conscious mind will seek to throw off the unconscious emotional stresses and mental conflict that are involved in taking something in faith...in taking a leap of faith. There's a mental confrontation that takes place in the mind to turn something over to faith. A choice has to be made which is uncomfortable because it is something that we do not see. So in order for a person to get out of it, and not have that confrontation...he will over-tellectualize it and seek to explain it "logically". Then, (usually) a very excessively intellectual and abstract explanation is given, and, Voila'! No need to confront faith, and I have explained it and proved it to be or not to be, such as the topic was. Over thinking it.

It's purported that wise men will reason it out according to logic. But the Bible doesn't really support this that I can see. It says to believe and have faith. Very much of what we are being asked to have faith in can not be seen, and many times defies logic. It's my belief that God wrote the scriptures in such a way that one would not be able to understand the meat of it, without the (unseen) Holy Spirit to help us. The Bible is clear, that putting your belief and faith first, before reading it, then the Holy Spirit comes and let's you see it. Believing is seeing...


rather than, seeing is believing. It's not, well if I can understand it then I'll believe it, because it doesn't work that way and will remain a sealed book until you approach it correctly. Many people have too much pride to be able to do that. I'm smarter than that...Lol.

Reason and logic do work well with the milk of the Word, but it wont hang with the meat of the Word.
So the short answer is that over-intellectuallize is a defense mechanism!
They've got so many people so scared of the spiritual realm through horror movies and parnormal stuff that people do not want to confront faith, because it's spiritual and can not be seen.

So they over think it. A defense mechanism, yep.
 
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I think that Science is a religion now, the way many seem to use it. Most of the time that science is argued, it is against bible truth. You see, that can't be possible because it's been proven that, blah blah blah and everybody knows that, duh! But in actuality we do not KNOW many of these things that we think we do. That's just, something we were told when we were very young and everyone else accepts it too, it must be true, right? Not necessarily because scripture says that deception is their primary tool. So we should really question everything...and if one desires conformation about something then they can simply go to the book of standard truths (The Bible!) and see what it says about your subject. Rather than going to the "new age bibles" of science textbooks.

Then you can decide for yourself and it makes moot the scientific double-speak that they use, knowing that you wont understand it, and go ahead and give them the benefit of the doubt because they sound like they know what they're talking about, so accept it as a belief. In essence, putting your faith into a man (scientist/author) rather than God. Big mistake and very basic!