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?

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2 thoughts on “January 1, 2016

  1. I’m thinking this is where we may have differences in personality. 🙂 My sister-in-law is similar to you – accepts that things work based on faith, and isn’t interested in exploring anything behind the *why* it is the way it is. Why is a huge question for me, in most areas of life. It allows me to find the commonalities between religion and science – which only makes sense, since science is entirely of God. Without the methods used by God, scientists would have nothing to discover. That they come to different conclusions is their own problem. I get to wonder in awe at the universe created by God, because only *creation* makes sense, given what science has discovered. I’m also a social historian – I’m more interested in why people make the choices they make, and how they interact with one another than in the dry dates and facts – those are important, don’t get my wrong, but I’m interested in what motivates people. And while I am not idiot enough to anthropomorphize God in order to understand Him, and am well aware that God is unknowable, I am hopeful that in learning to understand small pieces, I will gain a clearer picture of the whole. As an example, I can accept that laying on hands works, but for it to work for me, I needed to understand the science in combination with faith behind it. And it’s actually quite easily explained through physics and vibrational rates at which everything in the Universe exists. With that knowledge, I can hopefully be a better tool for God’s love to heal others. Any of that make sense?

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