Saturday, January 02, 2010

Gen 5-7 for Jan 3

In the "can't see the forest for the trees" department, there is a translator's difference between versions of Genesis 7:1 that affects whether, in disputing things with others who disagree with you, you "use" this verse, or not!

Let's be circumspect in saying that, since factions (Ga 5:20) are one of the evident "deeds of the flesh" (5:19). Not to be quarrelsome is best (2 Tim 2:24).

One way not to be quarrelsome is to give a survey, not choosing one's self, but allowing others to see the options. Another way is to try and do some unprejudiced research and give one's own tentative conclusions if you can. This second way is almost unheard of nowadays :)

Bill Cosby memorialized the story of Noah. Some lesser comments could still be made, having heard him.

It was plainly a miraculous event. In downtown Dallas there is a large staff of specialists manning the city's aquarium, with strict instructions for all feeding times, cleansing of the environment, observation and care of the small number of animals, both marine and non-marine, in the space of one-half block, in a controlled environment. Noah's ark, measuring 50% longer than a football field (Gen 6:15), manned by 8 people (1 Pet 3:20), either required that all staff fly at the speed of Superman in Superman I, or better, that they themselves, like all the rest of the cargo, were cared for miraculously.

But if it was a miraculous event, then why all the preparation and measurements and instructions and specification of materiel? It is precisely at this point that people opt for the gradual accretion of a local-flood story to eventually a legend "of biblical proportions."

To which the answer is "what is so 'biblical-proportions' about it, if all that really happened was a little ship between a couple hills during a really long rainstorm?"

A second "defense" of the story is that it is talking about a "something," who knows what, in phenomenological terms, giving cultural equivalents in the language and understanding of the times.

And when we read what that "something" is, by those who venture to describe it, what comes out is "cultural equivalents in the language and understanding of the times" -- our times! Really helpful.

It reminds me of the discussion of the Resurrection, in which people say that we shouldn't take it as possible that the Resurrected Jesus could eat fish, since a supernaturally resurrected Christ who ascends to heaven bodily is "obviously" not made of stuff that needs carbon. Thank you for that cultural equivalent attempt.

So the Bible shoves this in our face, and says, with God you get an open box to live in, not a closed box.

Some ages "want" an open box -- usually an open box they think they can control, or attempt to. Some ages "want" a closed box -- which also, they think they can control, or attempt to.

What no age wants is an open box that God can do what He wants to, in. The "cultural equivalent" of that, in any age, is that we are not God.

Is a miraculous ark and flood and preservation compatible with taking measurements and constructing things and following instructions?

Well, you get out of bed every day and make breakfast, hopefully, don't you? ;)

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