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Author Topic:   The Serpent of Genesis is not the Dragon of Revelations
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1537 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 226 of 302 (297036)
03-21-2006 10:11 AM
Reply to: Message 225 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-20-2006 9:47 PM


PaRDeS
quote:
However, if one is suggesting that the idea of serpent being the chief of adveraries is a Christian invention, then one has to wonder why some Jewish brethren arived at similar conclusions both before and after Christianity even came about.
That is not what I'm suggesting.

My topic is concerning very specific comments that have popped up in discussions.

On several occasions people have stated in various ways that the ancient serpent/dragon in Revelations that symbolizes Satan/Devil refers back to the serpent in Genesis 3:1 which means that the serpent in Genesis 3:1 is Satan.

It just happens to be a Christian concept. I don't believe I ever stated it was a Chritian invention to project Satan (enemy of God) onto the snake in the Garden, but I did say that it (Satan as God's enemy) didn't appear to be a part of the early Hebrew religion around the time the A&E story was probably written.

quote:
Obviously opinions vary within Judaism, just as opinions vary within Christianity.
Yes opinions vary, but the concept of PaRDeS in Judaism allows for the study of the plain text or Peshat (The understanding of scripture in its natural, normal sense using the customary meanings of the word’s being used, literary style, historical and cultural setting, and context.)

The Talmud states: ... A verse cannot depart from its plain meaning ... Shabbat 63a

Homiletics have their place and purpose as I alluded to in Message 38, but in this discussion I'm looking at the plain text meaning of the A&E story.

IMO, if we understand the plain sense of the text we are better equiped against false teachers.

In a nutshell, what you find me arguing against are homiletics presented as absolute.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 225 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-20-2006 9:47 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 228 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-22-2006 12:50 AM purpledawn has responded

arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 57 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 227 of 302 (297179)
03-22-2006 12:44 AM
Reply to: Message 205 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-20-2006 2:55 AM


Re: satanim
But the metaphors used are being applied to a cherub in the garden. You can wrangle the meanings whichever way you want -- the king of Tyre is being compared to a cherub that fell from God's grace.

There's no getting around this arach.

ezekiel uses "you" throughout to refer to the king. not the cherub. the image changes. the cherub itself is only mentioned once, and it's the reference to the ark. it says "you were this, you were this, and you were this." and "these" are not all the same thing, but the "you" is. the "you" is the king of tyre -- and it is the kind of tyre who will fall. it says nothing about the cherub falling.

notice when the cherub is mentioned again at the end, it's garbled together with the other imagery, and the fall is in FUTURE tense?

How do you know that?

As I said before, like all celestial beings, an adverary flies through the air (Genesis Rabbah 19), and can assume any form, as of a bird (Talmud, Sanhedrin 107a), a stag (ibid, 95a), a woman (ibid, 81a), a beggar, or a young man (Midrash Tanchuma, Wayera, end); he is said to skip (Talmud Pesachim 112b and Megilla. 11b), in allusion to his appearance in the form of a goat.

If this is true, it doesn't seem outside the scope of the Talmudic thinking to conclude that the adversary could also assume a serpentine form.

i think it's a mistake to start including the talmud. what was the joke about 2 rabbis having 3 opinions between them? there's a lot of fun stuff in the talmud that has very, very little to do with the bible. like that whole bit about lilith. looking at it is just looking at the opinions, interpretations, and ad-hoc ideas of others.

and we know that some people read the garden snake as satan. we know some read him as a representation of satan. we know some read him as an agent of satan. we know snakes are associate with evil spirits -- and we know this is a later tradition imported from zoroastrianism. and so when this opinion pops up in places like the talmud, we know why.

the question is what the people who wrote genesis thought, not what various different readers of it thought.

If you hold these things dear to you, I'm ok with that. It's not for me to judge. But yet you seem to be presenting these ideas as if anyone who concludes that the snake if more than a snake is absolutely wrong.

i'm not especially set on it. but the problem is that people just go reading things into the text willy-nilly, trying to retro-fit their current mythology onto a book that was never written to present the story they want told. my philosophy is pretty simple:

first, we read what's on the page. and on the page, he's a snake. and there are a lot of signs that point to him being a snake, and nothing more.

once we've got the literal meaning down, we can go interpretting it. we can interpret it on one level and say "look, it's a story about why a snake is a snake, why women do this, why men do that... etc." and we'd be right. and we can look at it on another level, and say "it's a story about morality, choice, and responsibility." and we'd still be right.

and we can look at it on yet another level, and say "it's about how god tests us, and the snake is a representative of satan, adam is representative of all mankind, and eve all women." and we'd STILL be right.

but to go back and read it and say "the snake IS satan, and there's all this stuff about opposing god and christ-prophecy" etc kind of ruins the other meanings. the standard christian reading, for instance, tends to miss the point that no matter what satan tells us and whether or not it's the truth, our actions are our own responsibilities -- they're busy blaming adam for all our problems. which is funny, because adam blames eve (or rather, god putting eve there), and eve blames the snakes. shifting blame is utterly against what the story means. there is no "the devil made me do it" here.

As I said before, we don't see any reference to a cherub in Eden before the fall. However, we do see the snake testing man and leading him away from God. Bearing the symbolism most likely borrowed from Zoroastrianism, many would simply conclude that the snake was the fallen guardian cherub in disguise.

that's jumping to conclusions though. we don't see a cherub in eden before "the fall." why wasn't adam the cherub? i'm not being funny, either. look who god set up in eden to take care of it BEFORE the cherubs that are explicitly mentioned:

quote:
Gen 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

adam is the care-taker of the garden. there's nowhere that you can fit the snake in here, either. the garden is made AFTER man, and man is placed in the garden as soon as it is planted. so if there's an "cherub" looking after eden that's not the ones the bible actually talks about, and we're being fast and loose with what constitutes a cherub here, why not adam?

adam looks after the garden. adam betrays god's trust. adam is kicked out. sound similar to the idea of ezekiel 28? it does to me. why do we need to read a story into it that isn't on the page when the one that is matches far, far better?

It's been my opinion from the beginning that they were supposed to have it -- after they partook in the tree of life first.

I've already explained this before with the ergot analogy if I recall correctly. In other words, he forbid them to eat of it because eating from it was most likely harmful to them in that state. However, after cutting down the tree of knowledge and preparing it for medicinal purposes, it would be quite benevolent to humanity.

no offense, but that's just silly and missing the point. god creates eden especially FOR mankind. in genesis 1, god creates everything preparation for the ultimate creation: mankind. in genesis 2, god makes a specific man, and the creates everything he needs as he goes. the garden is one of those creations.

would you put rat poison in your child's playpen?

I'll also note that serpent is a strong symbol within medicinal circles.

yes -- in relation to numbers, not genesis. (close, though...)

arach writes:

he could have just as easily NOT put those things there. god's not dumb.

I don't think God's dumb either. I think he's the most intelligent being ever.
arach writes:

god put the tree of knowledge there...

...perhaps for good reasons.
arach writes:

...and god put the snake there.

...perhaps for good reasons.

exactly.

I think what we have is God placing his trust in man. I think humanity's downfall is the result of humanity betraying God's trust -- not vice versa.

I also think that shame is the final result of their actions.

well, i think the idea is that god was trying to find out if he could trust us to do something that doesn't make sense, just because we trust him. the idea was that he could not -- we betrayed that trust.

Was the serpent following orders or reason?

Where in the Genesis account does it say the serpent was obeying God when he did what did?

Or, was the serpent using clear reason?

Where in the Scriptures does it say this?

Or, for that matter, why does God curse the serpent so harshly if indeed the serpent was simply following orders or clear reason?

well, i don't think god would curse someone or something for following his orders. but what's wrong with cursing someone for following reason? the serpent is, afterall, the right one. the tree doesn't kill them. and the serpent apparently makes a pretty good case to eve. and it is the tree of KNOWLEDGE.

We should follow the one who tells the truth out of love -- even if the truth hurts.

but that wasn't the choice they were given, was it? they were given the inaccurate but morally correct word of their creator, vs the accurate and immoral word of some puny snake whom they owed nothing to.

According to many Christian thinkers, he was already there.

Do you think it was the Father walking around with Adam and Eve?

i meant the whole dying-on-the-cross salvation and absolution-of-sins bit. (and yes, i do. but that's a different thread i think. we're already pretty far off topic)

But I'm not saying that Ezekial can be read 100% literally. In fact, I'm the one claming that Ezekial is using a metaphor when describing the king of Tyre.

On the other hand, it seems as if you are saying that Ezekial's contrast of the king of Tyre compared to the cherubim is a two-fold metaphor. In other words, perhaps the king of Tyre is compared to a cherub, but neither of them may have ever really existed because both of them could apparently be metaphors for other things that likewise may have never actually existed either.

What exactly are you saying?

i'm saying that multiple metaphors are being used for the king of tyre. one is probably adam, another is aaron. another is moses. another a cherub on the ark of the covenant. and another is the tabernacle. if we recall, adam was kicked out of eden, neither aaron nor moses were allowed to enter the holy land, the ark of covenant was lost and the temple was destroyed at about the time ezekiel was writing.

i'm saying that it's not all one metaphor, for some uber spiritual evil force, but multiple ones for well known biblical figures.

So you don't think the king of Tyre was in Eden?

If so, I don't either. It's a metaphor in my opinion.

However, what he's being compared to doesn't appear to be a metaphor.

right, but it never says the CHERUB was in eden. it says "YOU" were in eden -- using adam as a metaphor. it says "YOU" were a cherub, using the ark of the covenant as a metaphor. what you're trying to do is equate the metaphors, and make it all one great big metaphor instead of a collection of smaller and rather obvious references.

So what is the fallen cherubim a reference to?

Was the fallen cherubim a non-existent metaphor...or did it really exist?

the "fallen cherub" sits on top of the ark of covenant. which, btw, is still missing from what i hear. he's a physical object, made of gold.

I will also note that, according to the ancient Israelites, angels were often compared to stars in the celestial heavens. For example, according to Wikipedia, the identification of the "hosts" with the stars comes to the same thing; although not the same things, the stars were thought of as being closely connected with angels.

i think the qabalists have an angel per sphere of the heavens. but it's no suprise that we see angels associated with "the heavens." the problem is, why refer to something heavenly when all the other references are very down to earth? if you could show that the "stones of fire" have to be heavenly objects, you MIGHT have a point. might.

There is, or course, the reference to Lucifer the fallen/morning star found within Isaiah. A similar reference to Christ seems prevalent within the Christian Scriptures as well.

that does not appear to refering to anything angelic either. it is a similar mock. the similar reference to christ is probably intentional. christ *IS* what the king of babylon claimed to be.

so who is he being compared to? aaron, moses, an angel, and several inanimate objects.
Could you point out these references in Ezekial 28? Looking through it, I'm not immediately seeing them.

quote:
Eze 28:13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God;

Gen 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.


quote:
Eze 28:13 ...every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold:

Exd 28:3 ...they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.

Exd 28:15 And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work;

Exd 28:17-20 And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings.


quote:
Eze 28:13 ...the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

Exd 35:11 The tabernacle, his tent, and his covering, his taches, and his boards, his bars, his pillars, and his sockets,


although it might be referring to saul and david...

quote:
1Sa 18:6 And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick.

1Ki 1:40 And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them.


david, as we know, was also a musician.

quote:
Eze 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so:

Exd 25:20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.


israel and tyre... ?

quote:
Eze 28:14 ...thou wast upon the holy mountain of God;

Exd 3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.


or maybe even:

quote:
Psa 2:6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

and i still don't know about the stones of fire. but the above things are clearly references to adam, aaron, moses, and the ark. the more questionable ones might be the tabernacle or saul and david. none of these are satan, and they are all different things. it's a mistake to read a SECOND and more mysterious metaphor into all of these.

I tend to agree with this. I'm quite sure that even if the adversay were locked up for a thousand years humanity would still tend to take a long time to filter out the wrongs.

exactly. we don't need a devil to sin, or to fall from grace. we just need our own human nature.

Hmmm...I think that's a bit of a stretch to be honest. But let's run with it for a moment and see where the Spirit leads.

A casual glance through the Scriptures doesn't seem to imply that this phrase strictly means to silence an opponent. It seems to imply that an adversary has been thoroughly humbled though -- so I can see this in a round-a-bout way I guess. But I'll also note that the adversaries are presented as being in rebelion against God's will whenever that phrase "lick the dust" appears -- so this doesn't seem to reinforce the idea that the serpent was following God's orders in my opinion.

i don't think the serpent was following god's orders. neither was eve. but yes, there is a humbling aspect. as there is when one puts their foot in their mouth (figuratively). but when one HAS no feet to put in their mouth....

I think some Talmudic references I quoted above seem to indicate that the Israelites did not think it inconceivable for an adversary to appear as an animal.

In addition to this, animals that creeped on their belly (like snakes) were also considered unclean according to Mosaic Law. Certainly, the references to snakes and serpents within the Hebrew Scriptures do not present them as generally good for them. Many passages contrast their venom to vile poisons for example.

well, like i said. we may be lacking some social context. pigs are also unclean -- and in one instance in the new testament, we find demons in pigs. jesus put them there.

but unclean animals and unclean spirits are different things. and yes, we can find talmudic stuff that says that unclean spirits take the forms of unclean animals (like, uh, women...) but how are we going to sort out the traditions and superstitions from the religion and the text?


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 205 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-20-2006 2:55 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 249 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-22-2006 11:11 PM arachnophilia has not yet responded

Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4628 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 228 of 302 (297181)
03-22-2006 12:50 AM
Reply to: Message 226 by purpledawn
03-21-2006 10:11 AM


Re: PaRDeS
purpledawn writes:

That is not what I'm suggesting.

My topic is concerning very specific comments that have popped up in discussions.

On several occasions people have stated in various ways that the ancient serpent/dragon in Revelations that symbolizes Satan/Devil refers back to the serpent in Genesis 3:1 which means that the serpent in Genesis 3:1 is Satan.

Yes.

And you also said, "The dragon/serpent mentioned in John’s vision regardless of the adjectives used to describe it represents Satan/Devil as he fit into the beliefs of the time. IMO, the imagery was more than likely drawn from the leviathan in the Old Testament."

This does raise an interesting question...

Why are you permitted to conclude the imagery was more than likely drawn from the leviathan in the Hebrew Scriptures whereas other are not permitted to conclude that the imagery was more than likely drawn from the serpent in the Hebrew Scriptures?

purpledawn writes:

It just happens to be a Christian concept. I don't believe I ever stated it was a Chritian invention to project Satan (enemy of God) onto the snake in the Garden, but I did say that it (Satan as God's enemy) didn't appear to be a part of the early Hebrew religion around the time the A&E story was probably written.

I'll note that, from a traditional Christian perspective which seemed prevalent very early in church history, it appears to be fairly well accepted that Cain was of the evil one.

For example...

I John 3:11-12 NIV writes:

This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous.

This also comes back to a passage I quoted earlier...

I John 3:7-10 NIV writes:

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

As far as early Judaism is concerned, I'll note a passage that many here seem familiar with...

Genesis 6:1-8 writes:

When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with [a] man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years."

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them." But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

I've heard many bizarre explanations as to what these passages concerning the Nephilim mean -- everything ranging from fallen angels to aliens or fallen children of god to pagans -- all of them involving literal sexual reproduction.

However, when I read these passages I don't necessarilly connotate sex at all in a physical sense. Rather, in regards to having children, I simply see something akin to demonic possession. The "birth" in this sense could be understood in a negative contrast to Jesus' own words indicating that children of God are "born from above".

In other words, it seems obvious to me that no literal sexual encounter is prevalent when a person becomes Christian. It simply indicates to me that God's Spirit has impregnated their being. It's poetic imagery.

Similarly, it seems obvious to me that no literal sexual encounter is prevalent when the children of God becomes Christian. It simply indicates to me that fallen spirits have impregnated their being. It's poetic imagery.

If I'm correct, it seems to me that this does make a connection between fallen angels and their "children" very early in the Hebrew Scriptures. I'll also note one of the Books of Enoch makes this connection even stronger -- according to Enoch, the earth has been and still is host to embodied evil spirits, Watchers and fallen angels who are the cause of evil, war, hatred, genocide and the myriad atrocities which have been committed on earth since the beginning of time. Even the "Serpent" who seduced Eve was not a mere snake but one of the fallen Watchers whose name was Gadrel.

Bear also in mind many myths within pagan nations that involve some kind of celestial rebellion against their spiritual "parents". Consider the Olympians going against the elder Titans or the Asgardians rising against the primordial Giants for example.

purpledawn writes:

Yes opinions vary, but the concept of PaRDeS in Judaism allows for the study of the plain text or Peshat (The understanding of scripture in its natural, normal sense using the customary meanings of the word’s being used, literary style, historical and cultural setting, and context.)

I think evangelicals would simply call it something like "allowing the Bible to interpret the Bible."

I'll note the similarity between the concept of PaRDeS within Judaism compared with the senses of Scripture as understood within traditional Roman Catholicism...

The senses of Scripture writes:


According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.

The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: "All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal."

The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God's plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.

1. The allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ's victory and also of Christian Baptism.

2. The moral sense. The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written "for our instruction".

3. The anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, "leading"). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.

A medieval couplet summarizes the significance of the four senses:

The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith;
The Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny.

"It is the task of exegetes to work, according to these rules, towards a better understanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture in order that their research may help the Church to form a firmer judgement. For, of course, all that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgement of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God."

Sound familiar?

But let's examine what the concept of PaRDeS in Judaism allows for the study of the Peshat...

purpledawn writes:

The Talmud states: ... A verse cannot depart from its plain meaning ... Shabbat 63a

Quoting the Talmud now?

I'll note the words you spoke before...

purpledawn writes:

You have the whole Bible to draw upon, but the analogies need to actually be in the text of the Bible not projected onto it.

That's all I ask.

So then why are you quoting the Talmud to make your point?

Unless, of course, you consider the Talmud to be part of the "Bible".

This, of course, raises a few interesting points:

1) Many within Judaism consider the Talmud to be of equal authority with the "Bible".

2) In fact, some within Judaism consider the Talmud to be of superior authority to the "Bible".

3) As a point of fact, some within Judaism consider the "Bible" to be incomplete an ineffective without the Talmud's expanded exegesis.

Which view do you hold?

This also raises another interesting question:

Why should Shabbat 63a of the Talmud be considered something being of greater authority than other passages found within the Talmud?

Here's an interesting article that discusses many different opinions regarding the authority of Talmud within the various schools of Judaism itself...

http://www.answers.com/topic/talmud

Please note that there are many different views regarding the authority of the Talmud.

The Talmud in modern-day Judaism writes:


Orthodox Judaism continues to regard the Talmud as the primary document through which Judaism in general, and Halakha in particular, is to be understood. Orthodox Jews study the Talmud in depth, but rarely use Talmudic legal methodology to alter Jewish law as codified in later compendia. Orthodox Jews will also study the Talmud for its own sake; this is considered a great mitzvah, Talmud Torah (see Talmud study, Torah study)...

Conservative Jews also consider Halakha as binding, but do not always accept modern (post-1500) legal codes as absolutely binding; as such they use the Talmud in the same way that pre-1500 rabbis used it. This is theoretically still an option in the Orthodox community, but in practice is used very rarely. The reason for this is that the Orthodox community feels that the correct possibilities were mostly exhausted by rishonim; therefore, we defer to them.

Reform and Reconstructionist Jews usually do not teach much Talmud in their Hebrew schools, but they do teach it in their rabbinical seminaries; the world view of liberal Judaism rejects the idea of binding Jewish law, and uses the Talmud as a source of inspiration and moral instruction...

Which view do you ascribe to?

The reason why I ask is because your view as presented within this thread seems to jive with the Orthodox view, essentially rarely using Talmudic legal methodology to alter Jewish law as codified in later compendia.

Or perhaps you ascribe to the Conservative view, in effect not always accepting modern (post-1500) legal codes as absolutely binding.

Or maybe you also hold to some Reform and Reconstructionist views, essentially rejecting the idea of binding Jewish law but nevertheless using the Talmud as a source of inspiration and moral instruction.

Either way you look at it on the overall view, your adherence to Shabbat 63a within the context of this debate seems to link you with the Orthodox or perhaps Conservative branch -- which I find an odd adherence for you to take.

The reason why I find it odd is because this links you with the more dogmatic aspects of Judaism -- and yet I specifically remember you telling me that you didn't care for dogma if I recall correctly. :confused:

Maybe I should just cut to the chase here...

Is it possible that you adhere to the more dogmatic aspects of Judaism when it suits your argument and reject the more dogmatic aspects of Judaism when it doesn't suit your argument -- just like the rest of us?

I say this because, on the whole, the Talmud in itself presents many contradictory statements just like the entirety of Holy Scriptures themselves can do -- including the traditional Christian canons.

While it is admitted that the Babylonian Talmud seems to carry some more authority among Judaism, when one compares the differing views as presented between the two distinct Gemaras (the Yerushalmi and the Bavli) and their corresponding Talmuds (the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud), one can still be left, quite frankly, very confused in our modern era of competitive Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist and Reform Judaic interpretations of the "The Talmud".

As I quoted before, the consensus of the Scriptural commentators in classical Judaism is that the serpent of the narrative in Genesis was indeed literally a serpent. They differed, however, regarding what it represented: The evil inclination (Yetzer HaRa), Satan, or the Angel of Death. Others have suggested that the serpent was a phallic symbol.

Futhermore, the Babylonian Talmud also states that the Evil Inclination (Yetzer ha-Ra), the Angel of Death and Satan are identical.

In a midrash (Genesis Rabbah 19) Samael, the chief of the satans (a specific order of angel, not a reference to demons), was a mighty prince of angels in heaven. Samael came into the world with woman, that is, with Eve (Midrash Yalkut, Genesis 1:23), so that he was created and is not eternal.

In some works some rabbis hold that Satan is the incarnation of all evil, and his thoughts are devoted to the destruction of man. In this view, Satan, the impulse to evil and the angel of death are one and the same personality.

In other words, purpledawn, depending on which view one holds, the Talmud effectively states many, many, things.

I don't think you're quotation of Shabbat 63a carries as much authority as you think it does.

purpledawn writes:

Homiletics have their place and purpose as I alluded to in Message 38, but in this discussion I'm looking at the plain text meaning of the A&E story.

So what plain text reading within the Genesis account explains why the snake was "talking" to Adam and Eve?

And what plain text reading within the Genesis account explains why snakes don't "talk" to people today?

The only other time I see an animal talking within the Hebrew Scriptures is the account of the ass talking to Baalam -- and we know from that account that God supernaturally enabled the ass to talk to him...

an ass writes:

What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?

Bearing this in mind, looking back at the account of the serpent in the garden, is it possible to infer that the serpent's ability to speak was also supernaturally enabled?

If so, is it also possible to infer that, since the serpent was punished by God for what it said, it was not actually God himself who supernaturally enabled the serpent to speak?

If so, then who enabled the serpent to speak?

Or, looking at another possibility, is it possible that the serpent wasn't actually speaking -- but rather that the speech employed by the serpent was used symbolically like passages such as this...

Dr. Doolittle writes:

But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds of the air, and they will tell you;

or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish of the sea inform you.

Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the LORD has done this?

purpledawn writes:

IMO, if we understand the plain sense of the text we are better equiped against false teachers.

And who are the false teachers?

purpledawn writes:

In a nutshell, what you find me arguing against are homiletics presented as absolute.

But the Talmud itself is a vast compilation of the Oral Law with rabbinical elucidations, elaborations, and commentaries, in contradistinction to the Scriptures or Written Laws.

In other words, by quoting Shabbat 63a it seems as though you are employing homiletics presented as absolute.

One of your original points was presented as follows...

purpledawn writes:

Given that there was roughly 700 years between the Isaiah verse and John's vision, a lot changes over time.

Yes, but...

As Avram Yehoshua notes, the Rabbis say that Talmud or Oral Law came from Moses, who got it from Yahveh. But there isn't one rabbi -- or anyone else -- named in Talmud that goes back before Babylonian captivity around 580 BCE. This is not noted to contest the fact that the seminal form of Talmud (Mishna) is ancient. But it does suggest that ancient doesn't equal divine -- and there's a long void between Moses and Babylon -- anywhere from 900 to 600 years by different account.

Furthermore, the redaction of the Mishna was completed under the auspices of Juda ha-Nasi, c.A.D. 200, who collected and codified the legal material that had accumulated through the exposition of the Law by the Scribes (Soferim), particularly Hillel and Shammai, and its elaboration by the Tannaim of the 1st and 2d cent. A.D., particularly Akiba ben Joseph. The Gemara developed out of the interpretations of the Mishna by the Amoraim. Both the Palestinian and Babylonian schools produced Talmuds, known respectively as the Talmud Yerushalmi (compiled c.5th cent. A.D.) and the Talmud Babli (c.6th cent. A.D.).

Bearing these time-lines in mind, what gives the Talmud chronologically more authority in resolving this matter than Christian tradition?

Likewise, since there are Judeo-Hellenistic views of "the fall" which easilly agree with Christian thinking -- even though they predate both Christianity and the Talmud -- what gives the Talmud more authority, chronologically speaking, than these other Judeo-Hellenistic works?

What about the views of the Essenes, which also predated the birth of both Christianity and Talmudic Judaism?

purpledawn writes:

Just because a dragon/serpent is used to symbolize Satan in John’s vision, doesn’t make the serpent/snake in the Garden, Satan.

In traditional Christian theology, it does.

purpledawn writes:

Sometimes a snake is just a snake.

Not if it's tempting humanity to disobey God.

That's how it seems to me anyway. :)

This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 03-22-2006 01:49 AM


This message is a reply to:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 57 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 229 of 302 (297184)
03-22-2006 12:59 AM
Reply to: Message 228 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-22-2006 12:50 AM


what was eve, then?
sorry to interrupt here, but i think this point needs to be made:

purpledawn writes:

Sometimes a snake is just a snake.

Not if it's tempting humanity to disobey God.

what was eve, then? she tempted adam to disobey god in the exact same way. when adam is questioned by god, he blames god for putting eve in the garden.

we could find similar misleading women all throughout the bible. you know their names, too. delilah, jezebel, bathsheba... surely they are not the devil too?


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
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Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4628 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 230 of 302 (297185)
03-22-2006 1:30 AM
Reply to: Message 229 by arachnophilia
03-22-2006 12:59 AM


Re: what was eve, then?
No, actually, it doesn't...because Eve didn't tempt the snake.

Neither did Delilah, Jezebel, or Bathsheba for that matter.

We're talking about "talking snakes", right?

I think you're trying to extrapolate my words beyond what was intended.

Nice try though. ;)

Edit: I do find it interesting that your comparison connects the serpent to people though.

Is the Genesis account talking about a person using the allegory of a serpent like Micah 7:16-17 does?

NIV writes:

Nations will see and be ashamed,
deprived of all their power.
They will lay their hands on their mouths
and their ears will become deaf.

They will lick dust like a snake,
like creatures that crawl on the ground.
They will come trembling out of their dens;
they will turn in fear to the LORD our God
and will be afraid of you.

This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 03-22-2006 01:36 AM

This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 03-22-2006 01:39 AM


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 57 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 231 of 302 (297188)
03-22-2006 1:41 AM
Reply to: Message 230 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-22-2006 1:30 AM


Re: what was eve, then?
why would eve tempt the snake? the snake tempted her, and SHE gave man the fruit (possible temptation there, but never spelled out).

bathsheba temps david, and misleads him. jezebel tempts ahab, and misleads ALL OF ISRAEL. delilah tempts samson, and leads him astray (and gives him a haircut).

certainly these are just as much satan, for tempting and leading men astray?

I think you're trying to extrapolate my words beyond what was intended.

am i? if the serpent is satan because it misleads mankind, why isn't ANYTHING that misleads mankind also satan? remember, he flies through the air, and can take any form, including a bird, a stag, a woman, a beggar, a young man, and a goat...


אָרַח

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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 57 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 232 of 302 (297189)
03-22-2006 1:42 AM
Reply to: Message 230 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-22-2006 1:30 AM


Re: what was eve, then?
Edit: I do find it interesting that your comparison connects the serpent to people though.

Is the Genesis account talking about a person using the allegory of a serpent like Micah 7:16-17 does?

no. the genesis account defines what a snake is: it crawls on the ground and licks dust. the passage in micah invokes the imagery from genesis as a metaphor. it's not a metaphor for a metaphor, as you put it.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
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Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4628 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 233 of 302 (297190)
03-22-2006 2:17 AM
Reply to: Message 232 by arachnophilia
03-22-2006 1:42 AM


Re: what was eve, then?
More absolutes eh?

Look arach, there appears to be a BIG problem with this assumption...snakes don't talk period.

They don't appear to converse with humans.

They don't appear to ask people to eat things.

They don't appear to do many of the things that the Genesis account portrays this serpent as doing.

I've noted this before too.

There appears to be nothing within the "plain text" reading to conclude that God took away this ability from the serpent.

There also appears to be nothing within the "plain text" reading to conclude that the serpent was simply questioning God's plan.

And there also appears to be nothing within the "plain text" reading to conclude that the serpent was blessed for his independent thinking.

How many snakes do you know of that can reason and articulate to the level necessary to convince a human being to go against God's will?

And how many times in the Scriptures do we read of an animal talking?

We know that the only other case of this happening in the Scriptures is when when God supernaturally enables the donkey to talk.

If this is the case, then why can't others inder that the serpent was supernaturally enabled to talk?

And, since the serpent did not appear to be doing God's will, why can't others infer that some unclean spirit supernaturally enabled the serpent to talk -- or infer that the serpent was itself a spiritual manifestation for that matter?

It's not like this idea is totally foreign to Judaism and so totally whacked out that it can't even be considered a valid interpetation -- because other Jewish thinkers did conclude these same things well before Christianity was even born.

According to one of the books of Enoch, the earth has been and still is host to embodied evil spirits, Watchers and fallen angels who are the cause of evil, war, hatred, genocide and the myriad atrocities which have been committed on earth since the beginning of time. Even the "Serpent" who seduced Eve was not a mere snake but one of the fallen Watchers whose name was Gadrel.

Enoch 68:6-7 writes:

The name of the third is Gadrel: he discovered every stroke of death to the children of men. He seduced Eve; and discovered to the children of men the instruments of death, the coat of mail, the shield, and the sword for slaughter; every instrument of death to the children of men.

I'm sorry guys but this does not appear to be your ordinary serpent.

If you want to hold that view, I'm fine with that. But don't give me static because I don't agree with you. You're not really making a convincing case here as to why someone can't conclude that the this serpent is more than a serpent as portrayed within the Genesis account.

I'll address the Ezekial passage tomorrow. :)

This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 03-22-2006 02:44 AM


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 57 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 234 of 302 (297212)
03-22-2006 4:39 AM
Reply to: Message 233 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-22-2006 2:17 AM


Re: what was eve, then?
Look arach, there appears to be a BIG problem with this assumption...snakes don't talk period.

neither do donkeys:

quote:
Num 22:28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?

They don't appear to converse with humans.

They don't appear to ask people to eat things.

They don't appear to do many of the things that the Genesis account portrays this serpent as doing.

I've noted this before too.

well, something DOES change at the end of genesis 3. it changes the snake, and it changes how we think of snakes.

quote:
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

quote:
Main Entry: en·mi·ty
Pronunciation: 'en-m&-tE
Function: noun

: positive, active, and typically mutual hatred or ill will


doesn't sound like we're on speaking terms.

There appears to be nothing within the "plain text" reading to conclude that God took away this ability from the serpent.

maybe the authors thought snakes could still talk?

There also appears to be nothing within the "plain text" reading to conclude that the serpent was simply questioning God's plan.

he wasn't. he was contradicting it. he told man that god lied.

And there also appears to be nothing within the "plain text" reading to conclude that the serpent was blessed for his independent thinking.

nor was man, nor was woman. they were ALL punished for their actions.

How many snakes do you know of that can reason and articulate to the level necessary to convince a human being to go against God's will?

how man evil spirits do you know? look, at certain point, you just have to accept that this is a story with a talking snake in it. if you want to get technical about it -- snakes don't have vocal chords. they can't talk, whether or not they are possessed by satan.

And how many times in the Scriptures do we read of an animal talking?

We know that the only other case of this happening in the Scriptures is when when God supernaturally enables the donkey to talk.

and it was the animal talking, not god. god just gave it the ability. and these beasts in revelation talk, too:

quote:
Rev 4:7-8 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

And, since the serpent did not appear to be doing God's will, why can't others infer that some unclean spirit supernaturally enabled the serpent to talk -- or infer that the serpent was itself a spiritual manifestation for that matter?

can you provide another instance of an evil spirit granting an animale the ability to talk? and even if snakes *ARE* unclean spirits -- what are they doing in the garden? you remember how animals GOT there, right?

quote:
Gen 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

quote:
Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made

is the serpent not a beast of the field, made by the lord?

It's not like this idea is totally foreign to Judaism and so totally whacked out that it can't even be considered a valid interpetation -- because other Jewish thinkers did conclude these same things well before Christianity was even born.

if it's not foriegn to judaism... why isn't it in the bible? the question isn't what this rabbi or that rabbi reads into the text, but what the person who wrote the book thought.

According to one of the books of Enoch, the earth has been and still is host to embodied evil spirits, Watchers and fallen angels who are the cause of evil, war, hatred, genocide and the myriad atrocities which have been committed on earth since the beginning of time. Even the "Serpent" who seduced Eve was not a mere snake but one of the fallen Watchers whose name was Gadrel.

and why is the book of enoch not in the bible?

there are other books that have the snake literally biting seth on the heel:

quote:
The Books of Adam and Eve.

xxxvii. 1 Then Seth and his mother went off to wards the gates of paradise. And while they were walking, lo! suddenly there came a beast 2 [a serpent] and attacked and bit Seth. And as soon as Eve saw it, she wept and said: 'Alas, wretched woman that I am. I am accursed since I have not kept the commandment of God 3 And Eve said to the serpent in a loud voice: Accursed beast! how (is it that) thou hast not feared to let thyself loose against the image of God, but hast dared to fight with it?'

xxxviii. 1 The beast answered in the language of men: 'Is it not against you, Eve, that our malice (is directed)? Are not ye the objects of our rage? 2 Tell me, Eve, how was thy mouth opened to eat of the fruit? But now if I shall begin to reprove thee thou canst not bear it.'

xxxix. 1 Then said Seth to the beast: 'God the Lord revile thee. Be silent, be dumb, shut thy mouth, accursed enemy of Truth, confounder and destroyer. Avaunt from the image of God till the day when the Lord God shall order thee to be 2 brought to the ordeal.' And the beast said to Seth: 'See, I leave the presence of the image of God, as thou hast said.' Forthwith he left Seth, wounded by his teeth.


here's another book, which links satan and the serpent -- the OTHER way:

quote:
First Book of Adam and Eve

XVII 1 The Adam and Eve came out at the mouth of the cave, and went towards the garden. 2 But as they went near it, before the western gate, from which Satan came when he deceived Adam and Eve, they found the serpent that became Satan coming at the gate, and sorrowfully licking the dust, and wiggling on its breast on the ground, by reason of the curse that fell on it from God. 3 And whereas before the serpent was the most exalted of all beasts, now it was changed and become slippery, and the meanest of them all, and it crept on its breast and went on its belly. 4 And whereas it was the fairest of all beasts, it had been changed, and was become the ugliest of them all. Instead of feeding on the best food, now it turned to eat the dust. Instead of living, as before, in the best places, now it lived in the dust. 5 And, whereas it had been the most beautiful of all beasts, all of which stood dumb at its beauty, it was now abhorred of them. 6 And, again, whereas it lived in one beautiful home, to which all other animals came from elsewhere; and where it drank, they drank also of the same; now, after it had become venomous, by reason of God's curse, all beasts fled from its home, and would not drink of the water it drank; but fled from it.

XVIII 1 When the accursed serpent saw Adam and Eve, it swelled its head, stood on its tail, and with eyes blood- red, acted like it would kill them. 2 It made straight for Eve, and ran after her; while Adam standing by, cried because he had no stick in his hand with which to hit the serpent, and did not know how to put it to death. 3 But with a heart burning for Eve, Adam approached the serpent, and held it by the tail; when it turned towards him and said to him: -- 4 "O Adam, because of you and of Eve, I am slippery, and go on my belly." Then with its great strength, it threw down Adam and Eve and squeezed them, and tried to kill them. 5 But God sent an angel who threw the serpent away from them, and raised them up. 6 Then the Word of God came to the serpent, and said to it, "The first time I made you slick, and made you to go on your belly; but I did not deprive you of speech. 7 This time, however, you will be mute, and you and your race will speak no more; because, the first time My creatures were ruined because of you, and this time you tried to kill them." 8 Then the serpent was struck mute, and was no longer able to speak. 9 And a wind blew down from heaven by the command of God and carried away the serpent from Adam and Eve, and threw it on the seashore where it landed in India.


notice that the serpent becomes satan, not vice versa. (also, notice the point in both where the snake goes mute). there's another book or two that has "the devil" talking the snake into it, and talking throught the snake:

quote:
The Apocalypse of Moses

xvi. 1 And the devil spake to the serpent saying, "Rise up, come to me and I will tell thee a word 2 whereby thou mayst have profit." And he arose and came to him. And the devil saith to him: 3 "I hear that thou art wiser than all the beasts, and I have come to counsel thee. Why dost thou eat of Adam's tares and not of paradise? Rise up and we will cause him to be cast out of paradise, even 4 as we were cast out through him." The serpent saith to him, "I fear lest the Lord be wroth with 5 me." The devil saith to him: "Fear not, only be my vessel and I will speak through thy mouth words to deceive him."


if this sounds a little, um, unbiblical, it's because it is. none of these books are in the bible -- they're ALL later traditions. they provide us with some insight into what people were thinking at the time, and they way they were reading the texts they had. but they're not the bible. they're newer.

and frankly, some of them just sound kind of silly after a while.

I'm sorry guys but this does not appear to be your ordinary serpent.

in all of the above texts i presented -- he is. or at least was. in the first text, which includes satan's fall from the heavens, he is quite an independnet force from the serpent. in the second, the serpent BECOMES satan. in the third, the satan possesses. but in all three texts -- he's just a snake.

now, i can find more texts, if you want, that associate the snake and azazel (whom you might remember from enoch -- he falls in typical satan fashion).

the point i'm trying to make here is that there's a lot of different interpretation going on. finding one little bit that supports your idea doesn't actually mean anything. it's just how one particular author read that particular passage, and what he thought it meant. these are ALL post-biblical, and non-biblical.

If you want to hold that view, I'm fine with that. But don't give me static because I don't agree with you. You're not really making a convincing case here as to why someone can't conclude that the this serpent is more than a serpent as portrayed within the Genesis account.

and the only real point you've got is that "snakes don't talk." but like i said, a certain point, you have to deal with the fact that this is a story with a talking snake in it.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 233 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-22-2006 2:17 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
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jaywill
Member (Idle past 21 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 235 of 302 (297223)
03-22-2006 6:16 AM


Mr. X,

Thanks for your labors. There are many valid points to consider in your research there.

I've done some swift catch up reading here.


ReverendDG
Member (Idle past 2190 days)
Posts: 1119
From: Topeka,kansas
Joined: 06-06-2005


Message 236 of 302 (297224)
03-22-2006 6:24 AM
Reply to: Message 233 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-22-2006 2:17 AM


Re: what was eve, then?
It's not like this idea is totally foreign to Judaism and so totally whacked out that it can't even be considered a valid interpetation -- because other Jewish thinkers did conclude these same things well before Christianity was even born.

it is foreign to judaism, the idea of evil spirits would be silly to yahweh believers since he is so powerful and angels are not independent of him, they are servents created to do his work, so even if it was a spirit possessing the snake it would be on gods watch

the beliefs in spirits are influences from other religions, heck satan as gods oppesite is from zoranderism


This message is a reply to:
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jaywill
Member (Idle past 21 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 237 of 302 (297227)
03-22-2006 6:41 AM
Reply to: Message 234 by arachnophilia
03-22-2006 4:39 AM


Re: what was eve, then?
Arach,

the point i'm trying to make here is that there's a lot of different interpretation going on. finding one little bit that supports your idea doesn't actually mean anything. it's just how one particular author read that particular passage, and what he thought it meant. these are ALL post-biblical, and non-biblical.


but like i said, a certain point, you have to deal with the fact that this is a story with a talking snake in it.

So your point seem to be that there are many views and opinions and that at a certain point one has to realize that a talking snake issue is really the only thing that is important?

Beside a talking snake you also have a number of other things which are equally in demand of dealing with:

1.) A tree of life
2.) A tree of the knowledge of good and evil
3.) A first man and a first woman for that matter
4.) God freely and audibly speaking and conversing with humans
5.) A paradise Eden
6.) A woman formed from the rib of a man
7.) Human beings potentially free from death until they sin

Are any of these matters less issues that one must eventually deal with like a talking snake?

This message has been edited by jaywill, 03-22-2006 06:42 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 234 by arachnophilia, posted 03-22-2006 4:39 AM arachnophilia has responded

Replies to this message:
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jaywill
Member (Idle past 21 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 238 of 302 (297231)
03-22-2006 7:08 AM
Reply to: Message 211 by ramoss
03-20-2006 10:54 AM


Re: satanim
Ramoss,

But the Israelites did have a tradition of ascribing bad behavior to unclean spirits.

While that does seem to enter the consideration is 1st century christians, where is your support that it was traditional amoung the isrealites?


Psalm 106:37
Leviticus 19:31; 20:6,27; 17:7
Deut. 18:11

First Samual 16:14,15,16,28; 18:10; 19:9; 28:3,7,8,9; 2 Kings 21:6; 23:4;

1 Chron 10:13
2 Chron. 33:6

Judges 9:23

Isa. 8:19;19:3;29:4


This message is a reply to:
 Message 211 by ramoss, posted 03-20-2006 10:54 AM ramoss has not yet responded

purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1537 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 239 of 302 (297251)
03-22-2006 8:41 AM
Reply to: Message 228 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-22-2006 12:50 AM


Make the Connection
quote:
Why are you permitted to conclude the imagery was more than likely drawn from the leviathan in the Hebrew Scriptures whereas other are not permitted to conclude that the imagery was more than likely drawn from the serpent in the Hebrew Scriptures?
That opinion was given in my OP and as you know, to keep the OP relatively short we don't usually show our complete argument in the first post.

Jaywill addressed that opinion in Message 134. I didn't respond because I felt his last statement supported my opinion.

jaywill writes:

Leviathan is symbolic of the nations who trouble Israel. They are as the mythological dragon in the sea which God will punish with His mighty sword.

Due to another question by jaywill, in Message 143 I tied the word for dragon back to the same greek word used for Leviathan. The imagery for John's vision could just have easily been drawn from outside writings, but I have no access to what he might have known outside the OT.

If you disagree with my opinion then make your case that the imagery is more reasonably pulled from the plain text of Genesis.

quote:
I'll note that, from a traditional Christian perspective which seemed prevalent very early in church history, it appears to be fairly well accepted that Cain was of the evil one.
There was also over 1000 years between the probable penning of the Cain story to the early Christian Church and even though the author of 1 John states that Cain is of the evil one, the original story of Cain, does not.

1 John is a homiletic writing. It is written to convey a predetermined concept or lesson. It would be a whole other discussion to determine if the belief at the time 1 John was written (90-120CE) truly was that Cain was of the evil one, but given the evolution of Satan (enemy of God) they probably did.

I don't see your point in presenting Genesis 6:1-8.

quote:
I think evangelicals would simply call it something like "allowing the Bible to interpret the Bible."
I don't see this as the same as plain text. You'll have to be more specific.

quote:
...For, of course, all that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgement of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God."...
I realize that each religion has their method of interpretation. I prefer to look at the plain or simple meaning of the text (The understanding of scripture in its natural, normal sense using the customary meanings of the word’s being used, literary style, historical and cultural setting, and context.) Judaism just happens to have the definition that describes how I read the Bible. That is my reason for presenting that definition to you and what the Talmud stated. Do you feel that other interpretations override the plain text? I don't. I don't support Jewish dogma and tradition either if it contradicts the plain text reading.

The Talmud is commentary and yes it gives many opinions. I'm presenting my opinion from a plain text reading concerning the issue presented in the OP.

quote:
Is it possible that you adhere to the more dogmatic aspects of Judaism when it suits your argument and reject the more dogmatic aspects of Judaism when it doesn't suit your argument -- just like the rest of us?
Which one of my arguments were dogmatic?

quote:
So what plain text reading within the Genesis account explains why the snake was "talking" to Adam and Eve?
The literary style is mythical.

quote:
Bearing these time-lines in mind, what gives the Talmud chronologically more authority in resolving this matter than Christian tradition?
I don't understand your question in relation to the OP.

quote:
And who are the false teachers?
Those in it for the money, their own glory, power, etc.

If you are not comfortable discussing the plain text, then don't continue in this thread. The choice is yours, but using homiletics to counter plain text doesn't really get us anywhere.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 228 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-22-2006 12:50 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 248 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-22-2006 10:39 PM purpledawn has responded

jaywill
Member (Idle past 21 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 240 of 302 (297256)
03-22-2006 8:48 AM
Reply to: Message 219 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-20-2006 7:28 PM


Man to stop the enemy
Mr. Ex Nihlo,

jaywill, do you know of any passages within the Scriptures which talks about God creating man with the special purporse of defeating the adversary but failing...or somesuch?

As for Adam having a mandate to defeat God's advasary I would submit Psalm 8. As for man failing to attain to that I would argue that that is precisely what Genesis three reveals.

I would present Psalm 8 with that interpretation. It is a Psalm on creation. And in it man is spoken of as positioned to still the avenger and the advasary:

"O Jehovah our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, You who have set Your glory over the heavens! Out of the mouths of babes abd sucklings You have established strength because of Your advasaries, To stop the enemy and the avenger.

When I see You heavens, the works of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You ordained, what is mortal man, that You remember him, and the son of man that You visit him?

You have made him a little lower than the angels and have crowned him whith glory and honor. For you have caused him to rule over the works of You hands;

You have put all things inder his feet ...

The Recovery Version margin indicates "established strength" is rendered "estalbished praise" in the Septuagint. And "angels" in verse 5 is elohim, normally translated God.

I need to learn more about these variants. However we have in this Psalm man made a little lower than God or angels to establish strength or praise because of God's advasaries and God's enemy.

Two questions I ask myself when I study this Psalm in the context of the whole Bible:

1.) Are the advasaries of God and the enemy of God here only human?

Answer: At present I believe that this should not be the case that human beings were created to establish strength against only other human advasaries of God. If they were all created for that purpose then where would human advasaries against God come into God's plan?

It rather should indicate spiritual advasaries and enemy of God. That these were joined by human ones might be understandable. At present I take it that God created man with a mandate not only to have dominion over creation but to establish His strength against ancient angelic advasaries and an enemy. That would of course be Satan and his host of evil angels and evil spirits.

2.) The other fair question which I have contemplated is, could it be that the mandate to stop the enemy was only added to the created man's purpose AFTER Adam sinned?

At present I think the weight of the biblical evidence is that this was mandated to man from God in man's inherant creation and not added as an afterthought.

A first or the first recorded advasary or enemy of God in Genesis is the serpent. Whether you want to view that serpent as a satan or Satan makes little difference to this point. Had Adam and Eve excercised thier divine ordination to have dominion over all the earth and the creeping things thereof (Gen. 1:26) he would NEVER have allowed his family to succumb to a contradictory word against God.

I think the enemy and advasary knew better than most of us what this creature made from the dust called Adam was ordained to. And it launched a preemptive strike to save its own life. This may be difficult to prove from the text of Genesis.

But consider. Why wouldn't Adam and Eve go immediatly to God and protest that in paradise there was this creature who was subtly contradictiing the word of God? Why is it hard to imagine that what should have happened is that Eve tells Adam of the serpent. Adam says "What? One of the creatures is contradicting God's command? Oh God what is THIS ??."

Then God with Adam's approval would destroy the serpent from the garden (and all that was associated with the serpent). And why not? Man was to have dominion acting in consort and obedience with his Creator. Maybe God would have told Adam as He told Moses in effect "Why call on me? Destroy the lying serpent immediately." See how God commands Moses to take the initiative to miraculously cross the Red Sea:

"And Jehovah said to Moses, Why do you cry out to Me? Tell the children of Israel to move forward" (Exo. 14:15)

God could have likewise have told Adam to take the initiative and remove or destroy the evil creature from the garden. Many people have read Genesis and thought to themselves "Wait a minute. If this is suppose to be paradise what is this subtle lying serpent doing in the picture? This doesn't fit."

I think the first persons who should have realized that the serpent "didn't fit" should have been Adam and Eve who were ordained to "have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of heaven and over the cattle and over all the earth .... AND over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth" (Gen. 1:26)

This message has been edited by jaywill, 03-22-2006 08:53 AM

This message has been edited by jaywill, 03-22-2006 08:55 AM

This message has been edited by jaywill, 03-22-2006 08:55 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 219 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-20-2006 7:28 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 241 by jaywill, posted 03-22-2006 9:16 AM jaywill has not yet responded
 Message 250 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-22-2006 11:13 PM jaywill has not yet responded

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