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Author Topic:   The Serpent of Genesis is not the Dragon of Revelations
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1630 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 256 of 302 (297496)
03-23-2006 5:54 AM
Reply to: Message 248 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-22-2006 10:39 PM


Dogmatic
quote:
Quoting Shabbat 63a is dogma because Shabbat 63a is one the few dogmatic pronouncements of the Talmud.
This was not an argument for my opinion on the snake in Genesis.

I've also pointed out that Judaism's definition concerning the plain text reading 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.

Again, this is not the focus of the thread, so let it go.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 248 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-22-2006 10:39 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has not yet responded

purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1630 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 257 of 302 (297500)
03-23-2006 7:06 AM
Reply to: Message 248 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-22-2006 10:39 PM


Outside Influences
quote:
Then why are you ignoring the cultures and religions which predated, surrounded, and interacted with Judaism --cultures and religions which all concluded that snakes had some mystical nature to them, whether benevolent of benign?
Yes there were many outside influences on the early Hebrew religion.

The serpent in Genesis could have easily been modeled after the Egyptian God Set, who supposedly took the serpent form of Aphophis the enemy of Re (the sun God).

If I have missed where you have presented outside influence as an argument for the snake in Genesis being Satan (enemy of God), please direct me to that post.

If snakes are believed to have mystical powers or to symbolize mystical powers, does that automatically make them Satan (enemy of God)?


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 248 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-22-2006 10:39 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has not yet responded

purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1630 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 258 of 302 (297502)
03-23-2006 7:22 AM
Reply to: Message 248 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
03-22-2006 10:39 PM


The Serpent
quote:
The literal meaning of the word dragon means something to the effect of "seeing one".
I don't see that meaning in the words I see used in the Bible for dragon. You need to be more specific as to what word, which language you are talking about, etc.

quote:
What are the hebrew words for "unique one" and does it sound at all similar to any ancient words for "seeing one" found in other ancient languages?
Not sure where you get unique one and why do you ask me? Make your argument.

quote:
Do you feel my statements support your opinion as well?
Your statements on what?

No you haven't connected any dots for me, you just complained about my wanting to look at the plain text.

Make your case for Satan (enemy of God) as the snake in the Garden. If you have already, refer me back to the post.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
This message is a reply to:
 Message 248 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-22-2006 10:39 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has not yet responded

jaywill
Member (Idle past 114 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 259 of 302 (297504)
03-23-2006 7:36 AM
Reply to: Message 254 by arachnophilia
03-23-2006 12:04 AM


Re: Hung up on a supernatural snake ?
no. telling someone to disobey god is also a sin, isn't it? man is responsible for his own actions, but the snake is also responsible for his.

Yes, the serpent is held responsible for his actions. I think we have a non argument here. I never said that in Genesis the snake is punished for what Adam did or that Adam is punished for what the serpent did. On this point we seem to have a debate in search of a disagreement.

uh, no, he just says what i said. that the two are analogs.

Analogs? That escapes me at the moment. However, we will come to no agreement here now. And that is because Christ's illumination upon the Numbers passage of the bronze serpent, for my faith as a Chtristian, transcends any human opinion.

All we can do is recognize that there is a line here between us. For me the integrity of Christ's reference to any Scripture is beyond dispute, beyond debate from human opinion.

that raises another question. if christ is like the snake -- and worshipping the snake is idolatry...

Nice try. We are not to worship a man on a cross. We worship a resurrected Man who redeemed us and rose from the dead to impart His life into us.

To be fair, the Catholics do have many images of a man on a cross which I think arrives at idolotry. I think it is wrong to emphasize homage to an image of a man on a cross.

And I would add that man has a religious nature that often leads him astray. This nature did not cease with the coming of the Chrtistian faith. As Judaism suffered periods of decline and corruptions so also Christiandom has.

you will find me preaching from time to time -- remember jaywill, i did once in a conversation with you here, and i got a potm for it from an athiest. think about it for a second.

A second's up.

book, chapter, verse?

That's much too large of a sub topic to touch on without opening a new thread.

But I will say this. In the experience of the unbeliever in God's Son the serpent is quite uncrushed and active and lying and deceiving you still. But in the sphere and realm those learning to live in the realm and sphere of Christ's indwelling life " .. they who are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and its lusts" (Galatian 5:24)

This is the daily subjective crushing of the sin nature that I experience when I turn my being over to Christ Jesus. The victory of Christ over the serpent is applied by faith for a moment by moment deliverence from sin. Here again "But I say, Walk by the Spirit and you shall by no means fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Gal. 5:16)

This is the crushing of the serpentine nature of sin by walking step by step in the Holy Spirit of the resurrected Christ. This too is learned and applied by faith. I am in the process of learning to apply Christ's victory over the serpent as are many thousands of others.

In our congregation in the church in Dunn Loring we experience a crushing of the serpent in that we are brought together in a genuine oneness that the world does not know - Chinese speaking, English speaking, Korean speaking, Abrabic speaking, and Spanish speaking - each week as we celebrate the Lord's table in a unity which this world does not know. This too is a crushing of the serpent's head based upon word of the Apostle - "Now the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you." (Romans 16:20)

So this crushing is applied by faith in those who obey the gospel. Remember what I wrote about the overcomers in Revelation 12? They overcame Satan because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they loved not their soul life unto death. This manchild is a corporate group of people who throughout the ages have subjectively applied Christ's victory in their daily lives. Like a little Gideon's army God will turn the age to the kingdom age soon and Christ will physically return to deliver Israel and arrest the globe from Satan's grip.

So this victory was accomplished by Christ on the cross. And this victory is then subjectively applied in the lives of the disciples of Christ by faith for the centries following His resurrection. At some point at the end of the age this victory will then be applied the the globe in Christ's second coming.

He delays this final stage to give the unrepentent like yourself time to repent and believe the gospel so that you would not be crushed along with Satan in his final execution.

You spoke eloquently before about man's responsibility. Today you and I are not responsible for Adam's fall. We are however responsible to repent of our sins and believe the gospel of Christ that we might not remain in Adam's fall.

whoa whoa whoa. back up. for someone debating me about how the snake is not "just a snake" you sure have missed a big one right here. the "scapegoat" is azazel -- a demon, or according to enoch head of the fallen angels. the goat goes off to be eaten by azazel, not to "escape."

I don't put the book of Enoch (if that is where you are getting this ) on the same level as the books of the Hebrew canon. The book of Enoch may be interesting reading. But I restrict my understanding of the significance of the scape goat to what the inspired Hebrew canon reveals. If you are getting this stuff from the Hebrew canon then you have to show me chapter and verse this time.

let's rephrase. because while your statement is technically correct, i suspect you're figuratively alluding to original sin,

Its a funny thing, but the term "original sin" which I see mentioned a lot is not a term I ever felt to use.


which is NOT correct. man was plunged into sin in the respect that man was removed from god -- and so every man afterwards sinned. but sin was evidently well within our capabality in the garden, too.

I suppose that you should make that argument to someone who speaks about "original sin."

I think I'll cut this response here.

This message has been edited by jaywill, 03-23-2006 07:37 AM

This message has been edited by jaywill, 03-23-2006 07:42 AM

This message has been edited by jaywill, 03-23-2006 08:00 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 254 by arachnophilia, posted 03-23-2006 12:04 AM arachnophilia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 260 by arachnophilia, posted 03-23-2006 6:20 PM jaywill has responded

arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 260 of 302 (297649)
03-23-2006 6:20 PM
Reply to: Message 259 by jaywill
03-23-2006 7:36 AM


bronze serpents and goat-eaters
Analogs? That escapes me at the moment. However, we will come to no agreement here now. And that is because Christ's illumination upon the Numbers passage of the bronze serpent, for my faith as a Chtristian, transcends any human opinion.

All we can do is recognize that there is a line here between us. For me the integrity of Christ's reference to any Scripture is beyond dispute, beyond debate from human opinion.

christ said:

quote:
Jhn 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

that's a little paltry on the "interpretation" side. that's a comparison, a reference as you said. it doesn't tell us anything more than what i said: that christ on the cross is clearly analagous to the serpent on a stick in numbers.

Nice try. We are not to worship a man on a cross. We worship a resurrected Man who redeemed us and rose from the dead to impart His life into us.

also a nice try, for you are not to worship any man, for man is made in the image of god, and worshipping an image is idolatry. making claims about what makes this particular image different is no different than saying the golden calf represents god, who lead us out of egypt.

To be fair, the Catholics do have many images of a man on a cross which I think arrives at idolotry. I think it is wrong to emphasize homage to an image of a man on a cross.

no argument here.

And I would add that man has a religious nature that often leads him astray. This nature did not cease with the coming of the Chrtistian faith. As Judaism suffered periods of decline and corruptions so also Christiandom has.

yes, even the bible records this.

book, chapter, verse?

That's much too large of a sub topic to touch on without opening a new thread.

so i guess i should conclude that the bible does not actually say this, then?

This is the crushing of the serpentine nature of sin by walking step by step in the Holy Spirit of the resurrected Christ. This too is learned and applied by faith. I am in the process of learning to apply Christ's victory over the serpent as are many thousands of others.

yes, but i don't see an serpents biting heels and christ smashing his head in.

"Now the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you." (Romans 16:20)

lacks the serpentine aspect, and the biting of the heel.

You spoke eloquently before about man's responsibility. Today you and I are not responsible for Adam's fall. We are however responsible to repent of our sins and believe the gospel of Christ that we might not remain in Adam's fall.

we are not "in adam's fall." we're quite capable of it on our own. god does not hold the children responsible for the sins of the parents (and that IS in the bible).

I don't put the book of Enoch (if that is where you are getting this ) on the same level as the books of the Hebrew canon. The book of Enoch may be interesting reading. But I restrict my understanding of the significance of the scape goat to what the inspired Hebrew canon reveals. If you are getting this stuff from the Hebrew canon then you have to show me chapter and verse this time.

i don't either, but fact is that one of the only translations renders "azazel" as "scapegoat" is the kjv. the translators assumed, basically, that it was a typo. they translated עזאזל as a combination of the two root words that make it up: עז (goat) and אזל (go away). but if you look at the verse, it's not "to be the go-away-goat" it's "TO the go-away-goat." it says:

quote:
leviticus 16:8

גּוֹרָל אֶחָד לַיהוָה, וְגוֹרָל אֶחָד לַעֲזָאזֵל

...goral achad l-yahueh. v'goral achad l-azazel.

portion one to-[the lord],
and-portion one to-[azazel]


and it's not an infinitive, either. "azazel" is a noun, the same as "yahueh," because the structure is parallel. more importantly, azazel has a similar status to yahueh. meaning not only does it seem to be a proper noun, but it's probably the name of something spiritual.

azazel is either a demon, evil spirit, or another god that lives in the wilderness that the israelites are instructed to send sacrifice to, in the same manner they sacrifice to god. the goat does not escape. it is sent TO azazel. at best, he is another animal that eats goats. at worst, he is a competing god they consider very real.

and it has nothing to do with the book of enoch -- enoch interprets this "scapegoat" business as being a fallen angel, and thus presents the story of how he fell (~genesis 6). it's just evidence that people were reading azazel to be a divine entity, and not the goat who escaped.

I suppose that you should make that argument to someone who speaks about "original sin."

you made similar remarks above: "we ... remain in Adam's fall." etc. perhaps you should clarify this position (in a new thread) and detail how it differs from the classical dogma of original sin.

This message has been edited by arachnophilia, 03-23-2006 06:21 PM


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 259 by jaywill, posted 03-23-2006 7:36 AM jaywill has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 261 by ReverendDG, posted 03-24-2006 2:48 AM arachnophilia has responded
 Message 264 by jaywill, posted 03-25-2006 7:44 AM arachnophilia has responded

ReverendDG
Member (Idle past 2283 days)
Posts: 1119
From: Topeka,kansas
Joined: 06-06-2005


Message 261 of 302 (297705)
03-24-2006 2:48 AM
Reply to: Message 260 by arachnophilia
03-23-2006 6:20 PM


Re: bronze serpents and goat-eaters
azazel is either a demon, evil spirit, or another god that lives in the wilderness that the israelites are instructed to send sacrifice to, in the same manner they sacrifice to god. the goat does not escape. it is sent TO azazel. at best, he is another animal that eats goats. at worst, he is a competing god they consider very real.

just as a question, i wonder if azazel came into play before or after the exile to babaylon
this sounds like zoroastrianistic effects
{aBe: ahh i guess looking up something would help better, seems azazel was a god/demon that pulled belief from yanweh, but also a symbol as a scapegoat http://www.deliriumsrealm.com/delirium/mythology/azazel.asp}

This message has been edited by ReverendDG, 03-24-2006 02:54 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 260 by arachnophilia, posted 03-23-2006 6:20 PM arachnophilia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 262 by arachnophilia, posted 03-24-2006 3:27 AM ReverendDG has responded

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 262 of 302 (297714)
03-24-2006 3:27 AM
Reply to: Message 261 by ReverendDG
03-24-2006 2:48 AM


Re: bronze serpents and goat-eaters
just as a question, i wonder if azazel came into play before or after the exile to babaylon
this sounds like zoroastrianistic effects

well, the principle effect seems to be closely linked to the naturist religions -- they send the goat off to be eaten, so the predator doesn't come through their flock and cause more harm.

it's possible that he was elevated in status, much the way satan was. though both, concievably, could have come from other sources.

(short answer: "i don't know.")


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 261 by ReverendDG, posted 03-24-2006 2:48 AM ReverendDG has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 263 by ReverendDG, posted 03-25-2006 2:57 AM arachnophilia has not yet responded

ReverendDG
Member (Idle past 2283 days)
Posts: 1119
From: Topeka,kansas
Joined: 06-06-2005


Message 263 of 302 (297998)
03-25-2006 2:57 AM
Reply to: Message 262 by arachnophilia
03-24-2006 3:27 AM


Re: bronze serpents and goat-eaters
rofl maybe i should have left that out and just gone reading.

Anyway Baaahhhhh


This message is a reply to:
 Message 262 by arachnophilia, posted 03-24-2006 3:27 AM arachnophilia has not yet responded

  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 114 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 264 of 302 (298014)
03-25-2006 7:44 AM
Reply to: Message 260 by arachnophilia
03-23-2006 6:20 PM


Re: bronze serpents and goat-eaters
that's a little paltry on the "interpretation" side. that's a comparison, a reference as you said. it doesn't tell us anything more than what i said: that christ on the cross is clearly analagous to the serpent on a stick in numbers.

Then again the Apostle Paul warned the disciples of those who were "always learning yet never able to come to the full knowedge of the truth." (2 Tim.3:7)

This message has been edited by jaywill, 03-25-2006 07:48 AM

This message has been edited by jaywill, 03-25-2006 07:50 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 260 by arachnophilia, posted 03-23-2006 6:20 PM arachnophilia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 266 by arachnophilia, posted 03-25-2006 3:26 PM jaywill has responded

Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12445
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 265 of 302 (298021)
03-25-2006 9:03 AM
Reply to: Message 210 by purpledawn
03-20-2006 7:40 AM


Re: Plain Text meanings
brennakimi writes:

revelation is clearly a purposeful incantation of ancient mythologies meant to convey a certain immediate point. whether this point is the fall of rome under nero or some other, it is certainly not consistent with the rest of the bible and most definitely not consistent with the rest of jesus' teachings. if nothing else, it is the completion of the attempt to meld jesus with the promised military savior that the jewish messiah was supposed to be. it is a weak and bizarre rebuttal.


Purpledawn writes:

Given that there was roughly 700 years between the Isaiah verse and John's vision, a lot changes over time.
Just because a dragon/serpent is used to symbolize Satan in John’s vision, doesn’t make the serpent/snake in the Garden, Satan.
Sometimes a snake is just a snake.

I am questioning the idea of Biblical literalism in my own personal walk of faith. Despite what many literalists say, there does seem to be sketchy details surrounding the early stories of Genesis and the much later books of the New Testament. Many philosophical concepts are introduced in the Bible, and many other philosophical concepts have been discussed throughout the history of humanity.

People liken the snake and the story of the Fall as indicative of the concept of free will. Maybe the snake was "just a snake", but regardless whether Genesis was literal or a symbolic collection of early writings, it can be argued that the ideas and cultural yearnings of that day and age were adequately explained in the first book of the Bible and that a foundation for faith was suggested.

RC Sproul writes:

There can be no doubt that human beings do make choices. I am choosing to write, you are choosing to read. I will to write, and writing is set in motion. When the idea of freedom is added, however, the issue becomes terribly complicated...Even the most ardent Calvinist would not deny that the will is free to choose whatever it desires. Even the most ardent Arminian would agree that the will is not free to choose what it does not desire.

If the snake is just a snake, and the stories are just stories, the philosophies and questions of the early authors will be discussed and pondered for generations from now.

  • We know that the authors of Genesis were many many years removed from the author(s) of Revelation.

  • We do not know the events that inspired the authors to record what they had observed or were taught. Literalists assume that the entire Bible was inspired by One Spirit. Genesis may have been written for us if the authors intended folk to read it.
    Similarly, Revelation may have been written for folk to read. But were these books...(and the snake...and the Dragon...) written as stories to our souls and questing hunger for spiritual enlightenment?

    This message has been edited by Phat, 03-25-2006 07:21 AM


    Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. Even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained; and even in the best of all hearts, there remains a small corner of evil. --Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 210 by purpledawn, posted 03-20-2006 7:40 AM purpledawn has not yet responded

  • arachnophilia
    Member (Idle past 150 days)
    Posts: 9069
    From: god's waiting room
    Joined: 05-21-2004


    Message 266 of 302 (298100)
    03-25-2006 3:26 PM
    Reply to: Message 264 by jaywill
    03-25-2006 7:44 AM


    Re: bronze serpents and goat-eaters
    Then again the Apostle Paul warned the disciples of those who were "always learning yet never able to come to the full knowedge of the truth." (2 Tim.3:7)

    jay, that's not an answer; that's an insult. and it's condescending.

    if you are in possession of the full meaning, why don't you address my concerns about the comparison of christ to the serpent, instead of pretending that it's already been dealt with by a statement far less detailed than my question?


    אָרַח

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 264 by jaywill, posted 03-25-2006 7:44 AM jaywill has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 268 by purpledawn, posted 03-25-2006 8:57 PM arachnophilia has not yet responded
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    Mr. Ex Nihilo
    Member (Idle past 4721 days)
    Posts: 708
    Joined: 04-12-2005


    Message 267 of 302 (298134)
    03-25-2006 8:50 PM


    purpledawn and arachnophilia
    I've already said that I myself think the earliest parts of the Genesis account seem to be a dark parody of the Israelites (Adam and Eve) in contrast to the Pagans (the serpent) that surrounded them. In other words, in my opinion, the serpent in Judaism would be akin to a synthesis of many cultural influences, albeit adapted for a monotheistic belief system. In this sense, the serpent could be partly symbolic of the Canaanites for example, a culture that did worship snakes and thought they were quasi-divine bringers of secret knowledge. To me, similarities like this, and many others which predated the emergence of Judaism, seem extremely obvious.

    Consider the legend of St. Patrick within my own Catholic faith.

    As one person asked Straight Dope...

    Straight Dope writes:

    Dear Straight Dope:

    Early Christian myth suggests that St. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland. This sounds like a load of rubbish to me but the fact remains that there are no species of snakes native to Ireland. Why is this? --Rich

    I found the answer rather interesting, and I think this does apply to the argument that the snake was viewed as "just a snake" in the Genesis account.

    Straight Dope writes:

    SDSTAFF Colibri replies:

    Snakes in Ireland were wiped out not by St. Patrick, but by the last ice age. Up until roughly 10,000 years ago the British Isles, along with most of the rest of northern Europe, was covered by icecaps and glaciers, not the most snake-friendly of environments. Both Ireland and Great Britain were part of the continent then--sea level was lower since so much of the Earth's water was locked up as ice. Snakes survived in southern Europe, where conditions were warmer. Once the climate improved, snakes were able to recolonize northern Europe, but didn't manage to reach Ireland before rising ocean water caused by melting ice cut them off by forming the Irish sea--snakes don't cross water very well. Only three species of snakes were even able to reach Great Britain--the grass snake, smooth snake, and adder. They either colonized it before the English Channel formed, or perhaps were somehow able to cross it afterward.

    The British Isles as a whole are pretty poor in reptiles and amphibians in general. Besides the three snakes, Great Britain has only three lizard species, one frog, two toads, and three newts. Ireland does even worse, with no snakes, one lizard, one frog, one toad, and one newt, all of them species that also occur in Great Britain. And the frog may have been introduced by humans.

    Many have explained the legend about St. Patrick and the snakes as a metaphor for his success in converting the pagan Celts to Christianity. Snake imagery has been important in many ancient religions, often as a symbol of rejuvenation or rebirth due to the snake's habit of shedding its skin. In Ireland, the snake symbol was associated with some Celtic goddesses, and also with the cult of Crom Cruaich, which demanded human sacrifice to a serpent deity. Patrick did not drive snakes themselves out of Ireland, but rather these Celtic snake spirits. How did the Irish Celts come up with symbolic snakes if they'd never seen real ones? First of all, their ancestors, and their religion, had come from the European mainland where snakes were plentiful, and second, they were in frequent contact with areas that had snakes, most obviously Britain, where the adder was capable of memorable bites. It's not surprising that such enigmatic creatures would be preserved in mythology even if they weren't present physically.

    --SDSTAFF Colibri
    Straight Dope Science Advisory Board

    I think this puts things in clear perspective in relation to my thoughts about the serpent representing the pagan cultures that surrounded the Israelites.

    But...

    I wouldn't dare, not even in my wildest dreams, make the claim that this is what the Israelites themselves believed about their own sacred writings.

    See what I mean?

    You guys shift back and forth in your definitions, often exchanging 'literary criticism' for 'plain text reading', and then make these astounding claims that this must have been what the ancient Israelites thought.

    In addition to this, you guys ignore about 1500 years of ancient religions which predate Judaism, many of which ascribed mystical significance to the role of the serpent in the world -- whether Egypt, Assyria, or Babylon for exmaple.

    In addition to this, you guys ignore a wealth of information coming from the Jewish people themselves, some of which can be dated anywhere from 300 to 100 years before the birth of Christ -- and many of which ascribe evil spiritual tendencies to the serpent in the garden.

    You also ignore information within the Hebrew Scriptures which indicate that the Israelites clearly felt that snakes were something akin to an arch-nemesis of humanity.

    I dunno guys. I think it's a joke what you're trying to pull here.

    And I just hope you guys realize that when you make the claim that the ancient Israelites beleived the snake was "just as snake", it is actually you guys who are 'projecting' your mythical literary style onto what the ancient Israelites believed about their own holy text.

    Me and jaywill, approaching the Scriptures from two very different perspectives, may arrive at complementary opinions that are contradictory to your opinions. But you're both no different from the rest of us in this regard. In fact, bearing in mind the vast religious historical contexts prior to the Israelites, contexts which ascribed some spiritual significance to the snake, I'm fairly sure that you're both far more guilty of 'reading something into the text' than we ever were accused of doing.

    By the way, I've editted those previous posts now -- so you can both go check them out if either of you like. But my next post will probably be a chronology of the development of the spiritual significance of the snake over the last 4,500 years or so. :)


    Replies to this message:
     Message 269 by purpledawn, posted 03-25-2006 9:13 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

      
    purpledawn
    Member (Idle past 1630 days)
    Posts: 4453
    From: Indiana
    Joined: 04-25-2004


    Message 268 of 302 (298137)
    03-25-2006 8:57 PM
    Reply to: Message 266 by arachnophilia
    03-25-2006 3:26 PM


    Misleading Quote
    It is interesting the way jaywill uses a partial sentence and makes it appear that even Paul frowned upon people who understand the literary basics of the writings.

    jaywill writes:

    Then again the Apostle Paul warned the disciples of those who were "always learning yet never able to come to the full knowedge of the truth." (2 Tim.3:7)

    When in reality, that wasn't what Paul was talking about at all.

    2 Timothy 3
    1 But know this: difficult times will come in the last days. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to the form of religion but denying its power. Avoid these people! 6 For among them are those who worm their way into households and capture idle women burdened down with sins, led along by a variety of passions, 7 always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

    As much as that technique is used to today, I'm surprised that people don't realize that it is not a new technique.

    The comment concerning the snake on a stick in John for example gives a good visual since the audience was probably familiar with it, but doesn't change the original story.


    "Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 266 by arachnophilia, posted 03-25-2006 3:26 PM arachnophilia has not yet responded

    purpledawn
    Member (Idle past 1630 days)
    Posts: 4453
    From: Indiana
    Joined: 04-25-2004


    Message 269 of 302 (298141)
    03-25-2006 9:13 PM
    Reply to: Message 267 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
    03-25-2006 8:50 PM


    Make Your Case
    quote:
    You guys shift back and forth in your definitions, often exchanging 'literary criticism' for 'plain text reading', and then make these astounding claims that this must have been what the ancient Israelites thought.

    In addition to this, you guys ignore about 1500 years of ancient religions which predate Judaism, many of which ascribed mystical significance to the role of the serpent in the world -- whether Egypt, Assyria, or Babylon for exmaple.

    In addition to this, you guys ignore a wealth of information coming from the Jewish people themselves, some of which can be dated anywhere from 300 to 100 years before the birth of Christ -- and many of which ascribe evil spiritual tendencies to the serpent in the garden.

    You also ignore information within the Hebrew Scriptures which indicate that the Israelites clearly felt that snakes were something akin to an arch-nemesis of humanity.


    Please show or refer to where we have specifically done this and present what we have ignored and how that applies to the OP. All I see you saying is that we are ignoring various things. Show where, don't just say it.

    quote:
    And I just hope you guys realize that when you make the claim that the ancient Israelites beleived the snake was "just as snake", it is actually you guys who are 'projecting' your mythical literary style onto what the ancient Israelites believed about their own holy text.
    Where have I actually said that?

    My OP: IMO, the plain text reading does not support that the serpent of Genesis is the same as the serpent/dragon in the vision of Revelation.

    and:

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


    "Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 267 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-25-2006 8:50 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 270 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 03-25-2006 10:18 PM purpledawn has responded

    Mr. Ex Nihilo
    Member (Idle past 4721 days)
    Posts: 708
    Joined: 04-12-2005


    Message 270 of 302 (298156)
    03-25-2006 10:18 PM
    Reply to: Message 269 by purpledawn
    03-25-2006 9:13 PM


    Re: Make Your Case
    purpledawn writes:

    Please show or refer to where we have specifically done this and present what we have ignored and how that applies to the OP.

    The conclusion of the OP is this:

    purpledawn writes:

    Sometimes a snake is just a snake.

    Furthermore, when I asked you this...

    Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

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

    You answered with this dodge...

    purpledawn writes:

    The literary style is mythical.

    So you actually believe the people who scribed these thoughts and carried these traditions were writing them in order to carry on myths they didn't actually beleive in? :confused:

    The answer "The literary style is mythical" is the standard bull$h!t answer that I'm challenging here. This kind of answer is also exactly what I was getting at when I said this...

    Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

    You guys shift back and forth in your definitions, often exchanging 'literary criticism' for 'plain text reading', and then make these astounding claims that this must have been what the ancient Israelites thought...

    So what are you not understanding here?

    purpledawn writes:

    All I see you saying is that we are ignoring various things.

    No. I'm saying that you're making some magnificient claims without having actually looked into the full range of reasons as to why the Israelites may have employed the serpent within the Genesis account.

    In order to make a claim like this for example...

    purpledawn writes:

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

    ...one has to completely ignore 2500 years of serpentine-like symbolism found all around the world (including extra-biblical Jewish writings and thought) that predated, merged, and overlapped the development of the Hebrew Scriptures.

    Focussing on the fact that roughly 700 years passed between the development of these ideas is total bunk if one has restricted their inquiry to the passages you're 'allowing'.

    It gets even worse when you can't even conceive of the possibility that your insistence that 'a verse cannot depart from its plain meaning' may in fact be based on someone else's homiletic writing written to convey a predetermined concept or lesson.

    purpledawn writes:

    Show where, don't just say it.

    I already have started if you'd taken the time to check back a bit.

    I've presented serpentine ideas from Assyrian, Egyptian, Zoroastrian, and Indian religious thoughts which predated Judaism. I've presented things within the Scriptures themselves which open my case -- including links to similar phrases used within the Scriptures. I've presented several later Talmudic ideas which have no problem with what I've presented. And, for that matter, arach has already presented several quotes from many of 'extra-biblical' Jewish writings I've suggested -- all of which have further illustrated my point.

    In other words, what we have here is a tremendous body of Jewish literature concluding the snake was either:

    1) influenced supernaturally by an adversary
    2) became an/the adversary
    3) represented or was an agent of the adverary
    4) actually was an/the adversary
    5) or was outright the pre-eminent symbol of enmity

    Interestingly enough, what we never see in the ancient writings is a Jewish thinker claiming that the snake was merely a mythical literary device employed to explain why the Israelites didn't like snakes.

    How much more can I present?

    I suppose one has to even consider the ideas of the Essenes an the Pharisees, both groups which used language such as "viper's brood" to designate things like "devil's children" -- much like Christianity did.

    But since you seem to be having difficulty with this, I'll start with a repeating a few simple links which begin to present my case.

    The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha (June 2001) By Michael E. Stone*

    Reptiles Throughout Mythology by Norman A. Rubin

    Snakes in mythology
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Like I said before, I'm working on a chronology to analyse serpentine mythology throughout the period in question, and then backward from there into other ancient cultures. I'm doing this specifically to analyse your initial assumptions.

    So please forgive me if this takes a bit longer to put together accurately with references in the most simple way possible. However, this may take some time. If this thread's still open, then I'll try to present the general time-line tomorrow night -- complete with links and commentary on how these ideas developed.

    Is that ok with you?

    This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 03-25-2006 11:12 PM


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 269 by purpledawn, posted 03-25-2006 9:13 PM purpledawn has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 283 by purpledawn, posted 03-26-2006 8:47 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

      
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