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Old 04-11-2012, 12:29 PM
Location: Canada
6,042 posts, read 3,512,863 times
Reputation: 350


Originally Posted by whoppers View Post
Pneuma, I think I am noticing something here.
Your approach to both Genesis and Chronicles is an example of retrojecting late theological (and linguistic) concepts into earlier texts. Rather than seeing an evolution in thought within Israelite and Jewish teachings concerning certain concepts, you see a gradual revelation of "truth" over the ages from a higher power. You are starting from later traditional concepts, and then arguing backwards, seeing these later concepts as "hidden" in earlier texts.

For example, there always was the later Jewish and Christian Satan - he just hadn't been revealed to the authors of Genesis 3 or II Samuel at the time. The serpent of Genesis actually WAS Satan - the author just didn't realize it. Likewise, the author of Job 1-2's "the satan" was not writing about a functionary in Yahweh's Divine Council - he was writing about the Christian Satan that is so clearly pictured in the Gospels and Revelation.

This is not reading a text. This is ignoring a text, and retrojecting later ideas back into it. You are not alone in this: the author of Chronicles did it frequently, the author of Jubilees did it when he rewrote Genesis, the author of the book of Enoch did it, early Christian writers did it, rabbinic writers did it in the Talmud and the Mishnah, and Mohammed did it with the Koran's portrayal of Abraham as "the first Moslem", among other things.

The above are all a particular tradition's interpretation of their traditum - at the expense of the traditum's original intention. You are exhibiting the same type of behavior when they relegated their own traditum (the Hebrew Bible) to the status of something faulty, outdated and no longer applicable: the "Old" Testament. In their view, the Old Testament gave way to, and could only be read in the light of, the "New" Testament. Orthodox Jews did a similar thing when they claimed that the Hebrew Bible could only be read through the lens of their own Oral Torah - which they insisted had always existed alongside the written Torah - another example of retrojecting a later theology back onto their traditum.

Paul, coming from this same Jewish tradition of interpretation did the exact same thing when he became a Christian: he took Christian ideas and "midrashed" them onto the OT. Now, since every tradition claims the same thing (the exclusive right to interpret their traditum) it should be clear that their idiosyncratic views do not accurately represent what the original traditum was saying, and the claims of gradual, Divine revelation of an earlier text's meaning are extremely dubious.

So, it appears that we are speaking at cross-purposes, and you will only ever view certain ancient Near Eastern texts - not in their original context and meaning -- but through a lens darkly.

Yes that is close to the way I view things Whopper. I believe everything was written for our learning, that what was written of old was a babies understanding of things. The further one grows up in knowledge they put that knowledge to pen for future generations. It works in much the same fashion as the first autopsy to see how the human body works. That was put to pen for future generations, they could look back at that and see the beginning of their understanding of how the human body worked, but they did not stay in those first baby steps, they used those baby steps to further understand how the human body works. Without a doubt we have a far greater understanding of how the human body works then those of days past.

So when I read the OT I see a progress of knowledge. That does not mean I do not like the OT, for without it I could not see our beginnings of knowledge.

It is like I said before Whopper our different views make it very hard for us to agree on anything as I take the NT as the growth of greater knowledge and you reject what the NT writers have to say believing they write from a biased point of view.

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Old 04-11-2012, 12:32 PM
Location: Canada
6,042 posts, read 3,512,863 times
Reputation: 350
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
What you seem to be describing is what I would expect to be necessary if there is a God inspiring us to try to understand our purpose. The information would necessarily be interpreted within the limited frame of knowledge and understanding of the recipients . . . but should be capable of revision using more advanced knowledge of later generations. I call it the spiritual evolution of our understanding of God. The increased sophistication of such evolution is unmistakable in what I call the "spiritual fossil record." You have pointed out the evolution as adoption of earlier myths.
That is the way I see it also brother
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