Lent

I have lost my mind.  But, that’s not a bad thing this time.  However, I am SO going to need God’s help, it’s not even funny.

So in talking with my mom, she mentioned what she was doing for Lent.  It includes paying a $1 fine for any cussing (which goes into the poor box), daily readings from a book a Catholic priest has written, and giving up sweets for Lent – which is a little disconcerting, given that her birthday is 9 days after Ash Wednesday.  So then she asked what I was doing.

Well, I’d already decided that I’d do the Society for St. John the Evangelist’s program.  And I’m going to work on some form of exercise on a daily basis again.  Then she asked what I’m giving up.  So, the one thing that prevents me from doing the most things that need to be done?  Fanfiction.  It exists.  It’s free.  It’s entertaining.  And I am completely and totally addicted – in the worst sense of that word.  So, no fanfiction for 40 days.  I wonder if this means I’ll actually get my house cleaned up entirely…

 

Brief Note

Finally got to talk with Dan today, and he pointed out that by using the particular translation of the Bible I’m using (NRSV) as opposed to others, but particularly the New King James, I’m not going to find answers to the questions I posed in this morning’s entry.  So, obviously, I need to bounce between translations for questions, and stick to the NRSV for the other project.  I’m so confused! (grin)

But, I’m having fun.  Oh, talked with Jan today (brilliant, wonderful, spiritually blessed woman who loves exploring as much as I do!), and she told me to look up Process Theology – that it might be something interesting for me to look into.  Haven’t had a chance yet, but I’ll get there. 🙂

Sons of God

Where did they come from?  (Genesis 6:2)  So, between verses 1-4, we hear the only reference to “sons of God”.  Plural.  Shortly after, in verse 4, the offspring of these beings and the “daughters of humans” are referred to as Nephilim, who were known as “heroes that were of old, warriors of renown.”

The implication here is, of course, that they were not human.

There are so many theories on this topic, and yet not enough information to even make an educated guess.  And yet, people do. 🙂

Jews look at “sons of God” as being those of the line of the righteous – or descendants of Seth.  Why, at the same time they then look at the women as being descendants of Cain and at the Nephilim as being bad, when there wasn’t anything bad said about them, I’m not sure.

Other Biblical scholars use different translations, pre-suppose that the knowledge surrounding this was so common at the time that whoever wrote it didn’t feel the need to explain.  With everyone prior to this living so long, that’s really quite possible.  I mean, if you think about it, Adam would have still been alive when Lamech was born, and only died 126 years before Noah was born.  Common knowledge at that point in time would have been a huge amount of information, y’know?

I had to work it out from the genealogy from Genesis 5:

Adam:                   0 –   930
Seth:                  130 – 1042
Enosh:              235 – 1140
Kenan:              325 – 1235
Mahalalel:        395 – 1235
Jared:                460 – 1422
Enoch:              622 –
Methuselah:    687 – 1656
Lamech:           874 – 1651
Noah:              1056 – 2006

And then, in 1556, the first recorded set of triplets was born.  Isn’t that a fascinating thing?

So, the flood took place (and of course, I’m starting “time” from the creation of Adam – completely arbitrary, I realize – but humans are pretty much the only things that care about “linear time” as a concept.  So don’t think this is an advocation for the earth only being approximately 7,000 years old, which would contradict science, and not take into account the time before humans existed.  This also doesn’t take into account that time went backwards BCE.) in approximately 1656.  Lamech and Methuselah had died, along with their progenitors.  So, Ham, Japeth and Shem were each 100 years old at the time.

Feast of Epiphany

The title is simply a way of indicating the date; I’m not actually going to talk about that here.

Had an interesting discussion on FB today, with a friend who is pretty much the definition of a true atheist – he really has no care about religion, although he does consider it all fairly useless superstition for himself.  He encourages those who have a path to follow their own path, so he and I are pretty cool with one another. 🙂

Anyway, one of the other Christians who are among his friends chimed in, and pointed out that in Genesis 1:28, God orders man(kind) to “replenish” the Earth.   Now he has some other interesting theories, but I’m not going to get into those here.

Replenish, by definition, means to restore to the former level or condition.  That’s a fascinating word, isn’t it?  Particularly in this context.

I love how God makes us think. 🙂

January 3, 2016

There are times I get so irritated with “feminist” authors!  Mom and I had our Bible study last night, and this chapter was on Lot’s daughter (unnamed in the Bible).  The author managed to justify her getting her father drunk and sleeping with him in order to become pregnant by stating that she didn’t think mankind would continue on unless she did so, and she had to help fulfill God’s promise to Abraham that his progeny would number in the thousands.  I am completely confused as to why the author would think such a thing.  Abraham had, just two chapters previous, sent 318 *men* to get Lot and his family back from those who had kidnapped him.  There was no question that there were available men – perhaps not immediately available, but good grief!  I do not understand the classification of atrocious actions as being “pious” when Sarah had already made the same mistake of not trusting God to fulfill His own promises, and taking matters into her own hands by giving Hagar to Abraham.  That’s not trusting in God!  That’s believing you know better than God!  And the result of the two children Lot unknowingly fathered?  Moabites and Ammonites – non-believers and deadly enemies of the Jews.

Now, I’m not saying that Lot didn’t bear a portion of the burden, because God had already warned against drunkenness, and you have to be an active participant in that happening.  But I would say that as horrid as Lot was in offering his virgin daughters to the people in the town to protect the hospitality of travelers – raping their own father was equally heinous, or perhaps moreso, given that the angels protected Lot and his family; and the daughters went ahead with their plan.

How can that be justified?

January 2, 2016

Okay, so finally sitting down and figuring out that I need to do approximately 6 chapters a day to get through the Old Testament by the end of May, I think I should likely do the reading/marking of words spoken by people other than women, and focus a little less on the wide variety of questions each chapter brings up separately, despite it being rather interesting – to me, at least. 🙂

I’ve also figured out that I truly need to put more commentary in between the words, identifying who spoke them, and the context – I can get an accurate count later.  That way, it’s not just a bunch of words. <g>  I can go back later and add in historical context, actual evidence, foreshadowing, similarities, and any additional sources that corroborate or contradict the words being spoken.

So, I’m not sure what will go on here, it will likely depend upon time.  We have so much of that. 🙂

January 1, 2016

Time for a new year. 🙂

Chapter 3 of Genesis talks about the Fall of Man.  There are several interesting portions, of course.  One Sunday, Pastor C was discussing Genesis 3, and he had a different interpretation for Verse 16 than anything I’d ever seen, so I went looking.  It’s apparently from the “New Living Translation”:

16 Then he said to the woman,

“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy,
and in pain you will give birth.
And you will desire to control your husband,
but he will rule over you.[a]”

Now, this included the footnote:  Or “And though you will have desire for your husband, / he will rule over you.”

For whatever reason, Pastor C  went with the one translation that uses that language, where most of the rest go with the footnote language. So, I went looking at the original Hebrew…

“Unto the woman He said ‘I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

Now literally, that translates as: Unto the woman He said “I will increase the count of womankind’s pain and thy pregnancy. In labor, thou shalt bear generations; and thy longing to thy man, and he (or possibly “that”) shall rule over thee.

So, rather than a desire to dominate her husband, it turns out that womankind was cursed to be hot for her mate. Hmm, not a bad curse, I’d say.

In any case, this verse seems to imply that pregnancy was not new, and that there had been previous progeny – simply delivered with less pain.

The other verse I want to talk about here is the last one of the chapter:  “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”.

It’s always interesting how many questions can come from one verse.  Who’s God talking to, since he says “one of us”?  Had Adam and Eve never eaten of the tree of life before?  It wasn’t the forbidden tree.  Was it simply because if they didn’t know that it was the tree of life, then they would continue living without questioning immortality?

The Trinity concept is bolstered by this verse, of course, with God talking with Christ and the Holy Spirit.  Others have posited that God often spoke as a plurality, in the way many monarchs do, making it a “royal we” concept.  That would work if He hadn’t used “one of” in the statement.

And then, of course, the question – why would God provide a tree that grants immortality next to a tree that grants the knowledge of good and evil?  What purpose do they serve?  Obviously, if He could plant them, He didn’t need them to achieve those things.  Who did?  Was it merely a test?  These are being put here to see if you follow instructions?  Being omniscient, as well as being outside of time, God knew what would happen.  And yet, He provided them anyway.

So, the first major question of the New Year:  Why?