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Book of Genesis

tlranger

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Need help for university class, 'ID neither...nor'

The theologin is giving his first lecture, after a string of what is science lectures. He wants to know the origin and purpose of the Book of Genesis. So far it looks like, telling the Jewish People - they are the chosen people and why. Don't we know any more than that. the who, why, when? I'm thinking we may have forgotten more than we think we know.

Peace T L Ranger
 
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The book of genesis is a collection of stories told over the period of when ancient babylonian tribes just as every other culture came to some sort of thought to how earth and humans were created. This is escpailly the case in the Creation Stories. If you read Genesis with no prejudice you see traces of polytheism, henotheism, and of course the dominant monotheism.
 

F41

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tlranger said:
Need help for university class, 'ID neither...nor'

The theologin is giving his first lecture, after a string of what is science lectures. He wants to know the origin and purpose of the Book of Genesis. So far it looks like, telling the Jewish People - they are the chosen people and why. Don't we know any more than that. the who, why, when? I'm thinking we may have forgotten more than we think we know.

Peace T L Ranger
Here is a PDF file that might help you out;

Eschatology in the Book of Genesis
 

Upstart

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i believe in tranquility said:
The book of genesis is a collection of stories told over the period of when ancient babylonian tribes just as every other culture came to some sort of thought to how earth and humans were created. This is escpailly the case in the Creation Stories. If you read Genesis with no prejudice you see traces of polytheism, henotheism, and of course the dominant monotheism.
That is incorrect. The Dead Sea Scrolls disprove that theory. They contain almost a complete Genesis which is identical with the one we have today. The Scrolls date back to before the Babylonian Empire.
 
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go ahead and give some references to your assertion why don't you. If you are correct, i respect that, and even if you are wrong I respect that. But honestly it doesn't matter. What matters is that they are ancient stories from acient cultures.

Oh, and I hope you are claiming that my claim of ancient babylonian is incorrect, not the part about the "theisms".
 

Upstart

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Your claim that the book of Genesis is Babylonian in origin is what I am debating. The book of Genesis was written by the Jews and is their history as well as the beggining's history. The Jews were conquered and enslaved by the Babylon empire much after Genesis was written. Genesis was taken with the Jews and was continued to copied with the same meticulious care as it always has been.

Furthermore, it was written in Hebrew, the language of the Jews. Hebrew was not used by the Babylonians.
 
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i know i agree, im saying under the babylonian control. Im not saying it was the babylonian rulers who made genesis, but the anceint babylonian jews. Sorry for the confusion.
 

oracle25

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It's very simple, the book of Genesis Is factual account of actual events recorded by Moses. Despite all the controversy over the JEDP people, that fact still stands. There has never been any real confusion about where the book of Genesis came from, it's just a bunch of Atheist/Agnostics don't want to believe it.
 

shuamort

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oracle25 said:
It's very simple, the book of Genesis Is factual account of actual events recorded by Moses. Despite all the controversy over the JEDP people, that fact still stands. There has never been any real confusion about where the book of Genesis came from, it's just a bunch of Atheist/Agnostics don't want to believe it.
And how would Moses know to record these "actual events"?
 
T

The Real McCoy

oracle25 said:
It's very simple, the book of Genesis Is factual account of actual events recorded by Moses. Despite all the controversy over the JEDP people, that fact still stands. There has never been any real confusion about where the book of Genesis came from, it's just a bunch of Atheist/Agnostics don't want to believe it.
Wrong. I have a very strong belief in God but I don't believe most of Genesis. It's not that I "don't want to believe" that the Sun and Moon were created after plant life began to grow on the Earth, it's that I simply don't believe that because it's absurd.
 

tecoyah

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oracle25 said:
It's very simple, the book of Genesis Is factual account of actual events recorded by Moses. Despite all the controversy over the JEDP people, that fact still stands. There has never been any real confusion about where the book of Genesis came from, it's just a bunch of Atheist/Agnostics don't want to believe it.

I think you may want to look into the accepted definition of the term....."Fact"
 
E

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Well, from a Christian POV, how should the Book of Genesis be taken? I mean, unless there are huge contextual clues pointing that it should be not taken in a literal way, why shouldn't it be taken literally?

If you are going to say it is a metaphor or something like that, how do you know other things in the Bible are not a metaphor? Christ coming back to life is a big one to question here. Can you just pick and choose what parts of the Bible are literally true and which parts are not?

If you start saying things like 'a day to God is not a day to us,' well where does that end? What is forgiveness, morals, good, love to God? What meaning does anything have in the Bible at that point?

But the biggest problem I see is if you don't believe that Genesis is literally true, why don't you? Is it because the wording and structure of the text indicates it is just a story? Or is it because you believe and accept something else (science, evolution, big bang, evidence, your own sense) more than you believe the word of God? Is that reasonable?
 
T

The Real McCoy

EnforcerSG said:
Well, from a Christian POV, how should the Book of Genesis be taken? I mean, unless there are huge contextual clues pointing that it should be not taken in a literal way, why shouldn't it be taken literally?
There ARE huge contextual clues pointing out that it should not be taken literally.


EnforcerSG said:
If you are going to say it is a metaphor or something like that, how do you know other things in the Bible are not a metaphor? Christ coming back to life is a big one to question here. Can you just pick and choose what parts of the Bible are literally true and which parts are not?
Tis a dilemma to be sure. I think this is the reason so many Christians blindly accept a literal interpretation of Genesis and see science as a foe and not what it actually is, a means for discovering truth. It puts the whole Bible, and therefore, their entire faith into question.


EnforcerSG said:
If you start saying things like 'a day to God is not a day to us,' well where does that end?
From what I've heard, the original text of Genesis used the Hebrew word "yom" which translates to "day" but can also mean "age." Unfortunately, this still doesn't make the 7 day, or 7 age if you will, acurate in terms of chronology.


Enforcer said:
What is forgiveness, morals, good, love to God? What meaning does anything have in the Bible at that point?
My love for God and forgiveness for others comes natural. I don't need a book to tell me when I'm right or wrong.


EnforcerSG said:
But the biggest problem I see is if you don't believe that Genesis is literally true, why don't you? Is it because the wording and structure of the text indicates it is just a story? Or is it because you believe and accept something else (science, evolution, big bang, evidence, your own sense) more than you believe the word of God? Is that reasonable?
The problem here, is that (it seems anyway) you assume the Bible actually IS the word of God. Rather than blindly accepting what one book says, I prefer to use my God given power of reason to ascertain truth by studying astronomy, geology, biology, physics, etc.
 
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E

EnforcerSG

The Real McCoy said:
There ARE huge contextual clues pointing out that it should not be taken literally.
Such as?
The Real McCoy said:
From what I've heard, the original text of Genesis used the Hebrew word "yom" which translates to "day" but can also mean "age." Unfortunately, this still doesn't make the 7 day, or 7 age if you will, acurate in terms of chronology.
So the Bible is vague?
The Real McCoy said:
My love for God and forgiveness for others comes natural. I don't need a book to tell me when I'm right or wrong.

The problem here, is that (it seems anyway) you assume the Bible actually IS the word of God. Rather than blindly accepting what one book says, I prefer to use my God given power of reason to ascertain truth by studying astronomy, geology, biology, physics, etc.
My first words in the post were "Well, from a Christian POV..." I meant that to carry through my entire post.

I think you misunderstand me. I don't believe in the Bible. I am asking "If you are a Christian, then..." If you are Christian, then is it ok for you to trust science, yourself, other evidence for other things, etc... over the word of God? If you just think the Bible is a useful guide but not the end all of religious texts, or more of a general god or gods that organized religious doesn't seem to accept, or if you are an atheist, then it is fine to trust other things than Scriptures.

Basically I am asking if you are a Christian, must you take the Bible literally? I first pointed out problems that could come up if you didn't (not knowing what anything means and the slippery road of making any part you want of it subjective). I then asked why would a Christian even doubt that something is literal? Is there a good reason to (it is one thing if the Bible said "And Bob told a story about..." and believing that the story may not be true. It is another thing if a Christian is putting their faith into something other than God)?

To me, it is a contradiction. I assume (maybe incorrectly) that a Christian should by definition have absolute faith in God. Yet if one would say that Genesis is not literal, and they are doing it because they believe evolution, then they are putting more trust in science than they are in the word of God. Am I making some mistake?
 

americanwoman

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I'm glad I came upon this thread because I was going to start one similar. I was watching a very interesting program called, "mysteries of the bible" and this particular episode focused on the book of Genesis and it's inconsistencies and time jumps. It talked about the book of Jubilee and how it helps to fill in some chapters such as there was Adam and Eve and they had Cane and Able but how did they start everyone else? That is the kind of thing I have questioned.

The bible can be vague when it just skips over things like that which are very important. I believe when they were writing the bible they left out alot of important things that might help fit the puzzle together. I think you can not believe in Genesis but still believe in God and all that. Come on there is bones of dinosaurs and other things like that but it isn't even mentioned in the bible. How do you dispute that evidence?
 

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I'll mention a couple of things that should help people connect a few dots:

1) Usrai mentions in the Talmud cobbling together stories that the Jews brought back from Babylon with stories possessed by the Samaritans that remained in Israel and Judah, and editing them all for coherence, to form the modern Torah, which includes Genesis.

2) There is evidence of substantial redaction within the book of Genesis itself. For one thing, there are at least three distinct names of God mentioned--Elohim, YHVH, and El Shaddai. Elohim is a feminine singular noun--Elo--with a masculine plural terminative--him. It therefore probably means either "The Goddess and the Gods" or "The Goddesses and Gods," but it may also imply a mystical bisexuality to a single entity--though given the fact that the name predates the axial age, the former explanation is to be preferred. All this presents an anachronism, however. Adam used the name YHVH, whereas this same God reveals himself to Mosheh in the burning bush and says specifically that this was a name he had revealed to no one prior to then.

3) Other signs point to redaction within Genesis. The numerical equivalents of "Messiach" and "Nechesh" (the serpent in the Garden) point to a probable redaction by a later unknown person, perhaps the "great redactor" himself, of the story of 2 and 3 Genesis. The occurrence of the story of the Tower of Babel in the middle of the lineage of Shem, and the careful play on words in the story itself, also lend credence to the notion of redaction. And there are scores of other such examples.

4) Still other signs show that it is a highly synthetic book--the resemblance of the story of Noah with the story of Utnapishtim from the Epic of Gilgamesh is simply too great for the former not to have been based on the latter, which was itself written at least a millenium prior to the earliest possible date for a written version of Genesis. The presence of the name El Shaddai, a Sumerian deity of storms, as the God of Abraham is further evidence.

Finally, this:

That is incorrect. The Dead Sea Scrolls disprove that theory. They contain almost a complete Genesis which is identical with the one we have today. The Scrolls date back to before the Babylonian Empire.
is false. The Babylonian Empire (well, the second Empire) dates from something like 626 B.C., whereas the earliest of the Dead Sea scrolls dates from the 3rd century B.C. Ergo, the earliest scrolls are three centuries later than the Babylonian Empire.

In any case, the stories of Genesis bear strong resemblance to the stories of Sumeria, not Babylonia, which makes sense since Abram was from Sumeria originally.
 

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Elohim is a feminine singular noun--Elo--with a masculine plural terminative--him. It therefore probably means either "The Goddess and the Gods" or "The Goddesses and Gods," but it may also imply a mystical bisexuality to a single entity--though given the fact that the name predates the axial age, the former explanation is to be preferred. All this presents an anachronism, however. Adam used the name YHVH, whereas this same God reveals himself to Mosheh in the burning bush and says specifically that this was a name he had revealed to no one prior to then.-ashurbanipal

It is my belief as an LDS(Mormon) that Elohim given in Genesis here refers to a man and a woman united in eternal marriage(how is that for the nature of God.) Also in our theology YHVH was the premortal Jesus, who was the first born son of Elohim. It is our belief that the human family existed prior to being born on earth as spirit children of these divine parents and that YHVH(pre-mortal Jesus) is our eldest brother.


the resemblance of the story of Noah with the story of Utnapishtim from the Epic of Gilgamesh is simply too great for the former not to have been based on the latter, which was itself written at least a millenium prior to the earliest possible date for a written version of Genesis. The presence of the name El Shaddai, a Sumerian deity of storms, as the God of Abraham is further evidence.-


Both stories of Noah and Utnapishtim could descend from a more ancient record.
 
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George_Washington

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Look you guys, Genesis wasn't written by Moses. It was written by sacred, ancient, and mysterious authors-the Yawhist, Priestly, Deuteronomist, and Elohist traditions.

Geezz, I can't believe so many of you guys on this forum have never heard of this! I will post excerpts from a good book on this when I have the time but you can look up any one of these mentioned authors on the Internet.
 

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George_Washington said:
Look you guys, Genesis wasn't written by Moses. It was written by sacred, ancient, and mysterious authors-the Yawhist, Priestly, Deuteronomist, and Elohist traditions.

Geezz, I can't believe so many of you guys on this forum have never heard of this! I will post excerpts from a good book on this when I have the time but you can look up any one of these mentioned authors on the Internet.
I concure, Moses did not write the book of Genesis, However, Moses was what you would call the editor of Genesis. He was the one who put the book together from different manuscripts as listed in the above quote.
 

Tashah

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According to biblical scholarship, the Torah in its present form was written by the Yahwist (the J-Writer) during the Babylonian captivity period of Jewish history. It is assumed that the Yahwist put order to and perhaps edited earlier Jewish documents and oral traditions. One can also discern a borrowing in Genesis of non-Jewish sources such as the Sumerian 'Epic of Gilgamesh'... a pre-Torah account of the Great Flood and the oldest known written work of literature.

Many people of religion consider the Book of Genesis as a historicity... a literal chronicle of the creation event. Although this may offend some, interpreting Genesis in such an absolute manner is both simplistic and disingenuous. The Yahwist was much more clever than that. Rather than a literal chronicle of creation, the Yahwist intended Genesis to be a celebration of the holy Shabbot (Sabbath). Even God in the midst of creation... honored the sanctity of Shabbot.

This is Jewish thought, and perhaps you should consider this unique Yahwist avenue of approach the next time you read the Book of Genesis.

Tashah
 

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Tashah said:
According to biblical scholarship, the Torah in its present form was written by the Yahwist (the J-Writer) during the Babylonian captivity period of Jewish history. It is assumed that the Yahwist put order to and perhaps edited earlier Jewish documents and oral traditions. One can also discern a borrowing in Genesis of non-Jewish sources such as the Sumerian 'Epic of Gilgamesh'... a pre-Torah account of the Great Flood and the oldest known written work of literature.


Tashah

Pssst -- Tasha. I'm going to say this really, really quietly, so to keep this between just you and me. If folks heard such stuff, they might attack me with pitchforks, so mum's the word, o.k.?


Anyway, I just wanted to add that there is at least a little bit of conjecture that J was a.......a......... a.....gasp.....WOMAN!

at least according to Harold Bloom, among others.


Needless to say, this must be kept under wraps at all costs.
 

Tashah

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Gardener said:
Pssst -- Tasha. I'm going to say this really, really quietly, so to keep this between just you and me. If folks heard such stuff, they might attack me with pitchforks, so mum's the word, o.k.?


Anyway, I just wanted to add that there is at least a little bit of conjecture that J was a.......a......... a.....gasp.....WOMAN!

at least according to Harold Bloom, among others.


Needless to say, this must be kept under wraps at all costs.
Lol Gardner. I believe Harold Bloom mused on this possibility in his wonderful book... 'Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine'.

The conjecture that the Yahwist was a female cannot be ignored or easily dismissed. If one closely examines Torah and fractures the scripture according to literary style, it is evident (at least to me) that a feminine hand is present in its composition.

One must also consider that Hebrew nouns and verbs have grammatical gender. Many feminine words end with 'h' (i.e. Tashah). Torah (תּוֹרָה) which means 'instruction'... is a feminine word and is closely related to the Hebrew word for 'light' which is also feminine. Coincidental? ;)
 

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americanwoman said:
The bible can be vague when it just skips over things like that which are very important.
Right, I think that goes to show that it's not perfect, nor is it's central character. If this fellow is perfect, why would he leave out key details in his book? Geese, the bible depicts God as having a barely abecedarian amount of knowledge on man's inclinations, or of science for that matter. No wonder he makes no appearances now, if primitive man can make him seem like a mental midget, imagine what we'd do to him now!

I believe when they were writing the bible they left out alot of important things that might help fit the puzzle together.
Yes, keep in mind that God never authored even a modicum of it, it's all man. And they could have wrote anything in it, I'm sure they included/left out certain things according to their prejudices at the time.

I think you can not believe in Genesis but still believe in God and all that.
Explain to me how you can discount one book, but hold virtue in all the others.

Come on there is bones of dinosaurs and other things like that but it isn't even mentioned in the bible. How do you dispute that evidence?
Well, it says various times in the Bible that God created everything, destroyed it, then let it flourish once again. Heck, he should have brought a tyranosuarus rex to Adam to name him, that would be a hoot!
 

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kal-el said:
Yes, keep in mind that God never authored even a modicum of it, it's all man.
Even though the book of Genesis does not say who wrote it, Jesus did say that the writer was Moses. Mark 12.26 says "And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?". This is found in the Book of Genesis.



Though God did not say who He used to write Genesis , Jesus (Yahweh) did give the credit to Moses. But I guess you would need to believe in his word to begin with.

It is almost like saying Leonardo DA Vinci did none of his paintings, his brushes did. :mrgreen:
 
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