George and Jon's scholarly quibbles about the Flood and what happens when you die


(Jon) #1

Yeah there is. There’s the survival of the Nephilm apart from anything else. This is why some early Jewish and Christian expositors understood the flood as local, including Philo and Josephus and some Syrian Christians.


Biblical Literalism
(George Brooks) #2

@Jonathan_Burke,

In weeks past, I would accept this kind of statement at face value. But since I am now familiar with your rather creative use of evidence, I think it would be good to actually LOOK at one of your examples of such “understanding”!

What is your example that “Jewish … expositors understood the flood as local” ?

Isn’t it just that they are trying to explain the survival of the Nephilm? OTHER than the Nephilm issue … do you have ANY OTHER references to the Genesis Flood that made Jewish readers think the flood was a regional flood?


(Jon) #3

George as always this isn’t simply my opinion. It’s actually documented in the literature.

Careful, I said “some early Jewish and Christian expositors understood the flood as local”. Philo.

‘Since the deluge of that time was no trifling infliction of water, but an immense and boundless overflow, extending almost beyond the pillars of Hercules and the great Mediterranean Sea, since the whole earth and all the spaces of the mountains were covered with water; and it is scarcely likely that such a vast space could have been cleared by a wind, but rather, as I have said, it must have been done by some invisible and divine virtue.’, Philo, ‘Questions and Answers on Genesis’, II.29, in Yonge, ‘The Works of Philo: Complete and Unabridged’, p. 824 (1996).

Philo however seems to have believed that the flood was anthropologically universal, though not geographically universal.

Josephus, quoting pagan historians who described the survivors of the flood.

‘Hieronymus the Egyptian, also, who wrote the Phoenician Antiquities, and Mnaseas, and a great many more, make mention of the same. Nay, Nicolaus of Damascus, in his ninety-sixth book, hath a particular relation about them, where he speaks thus:— (95)“There is a great mountain in Armenia, over Minyas, called Baris, upon which it is reported that many who fled at the time of the Deluge were saved; and that one who was carried in an ark came on shore upon the top of it; and that the remains of the timber were a great while preserved. This might be the man about whom Moses, the legislator of the Jews wrote.”’, Josephus, ‘Antiquities’, 1.94-95, in Whiston, ‘The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged’ (updated ed. 1987).

Scholarship recognizing Josephus understood the flood to be local.

‘However, in the light of Noah’s remark in the prayer, I think Josephus takes it that there were more survivors of the Flood, namely, honest people besides Noah, who were also judged fit to survive.’, Jonquière, ‘Prayer in Josephus’, p. 59 (2007).

‘Similarly, Josephus tells us that Noah asks God in his prayer that the people who were rescued may found cities and build up new lives.’, Jonquière, ‘Prayer in Josephus’, p. 59 (2007).

Debates about whether the flood was local or global, in the rabbinic literature.

Debates over whether the flood reached as high as the garden of Eden are found in rabbinic literature: Gen. R. 33. 6; Lev. R. 31. 10; Cant. R. 1. 15. § 4; 4.1, § 2; cf. PRE. 23.’, Lewis, ‘A Study of the Interpretation of Noah and the Flood in Jewish and Christian Literature’, p. 39 (1968).

‘Resh Lakish (PA. 2) and R. Johanan (PA. 2) differ over whether the land of Israel was included, for JR. Johanan insisted that it was not.1) R. Levi (PA. 3) agreed appealing to Ez. 22:23, “a land… not rained upon in the day of indignation.”2) Some authorities insisted that the flood did not reach as high as the Garden of Eden.3)’, pp. 142-143; the footnotes 1, 2, and 3 say ‘1) T.B. Zeb. 113b. 2) Gen. R. 33. 6; PRE. 23. 3) Gen. R. 33. 6; Lev. R. 31.10; Cant R. 1.15. § 4; 4.1. § 2; cf. PRE. 23 and Nachmonides, Gen. 8:11.’, Lewis, ‘A Study of the Interpretation of Noah and the Flood in Jewish and Christian Literature’, p. 143 (1968).

‘The source from whence the dove obtained the olive branch brought controversy. R. Abba bar Kahana (PA. 4) insisted she brought it from the young shoots of the land of Israel. R. Levi (PA. 3) contended for the Mt. of Olives which had not been submerged.’, Lewis, ‘A Study of the Interpretation of Noah and the Flood in Jewish and Christian Literature’, p. 146 (1968).

Early Syrian Christians who believed the flood was local.

"Of the Syrian fathers, Mar Ephrem said it only reached the outer confines of Paradise; see A. Levene, op cit., p. 84.’, Lewis, ‘A Study of the Interpretation of Noah and the Flood in Jewish and Christian Literature’, p. 39 (1968).

'Some Syrian fathers shared this view, among whom was Mar Ephrem who said it only reached the outer confines of Paradise.’,Lewis, ‘A Study of the Interpretation of Noah and the Flood in Jewish and Christian Literature’, p. 143 (1968).

No.

Well there’s the fact that the original writers had no concept of the entire planet, for a start.


(George Brooks) #4

@Jonathan_Burke,

I commend you on your collection of ancient comments and references.

It IS undeniably interesting what they have to say. But these comments are pretty clearly not a conclusive or even substantive interpretation of the Genesis story of the Flood.

They represent, like your posts, an attempt to develop some possible explanations for what were Biblical inconsistencies…

Much like the Biblical deductions of the New Testament period:

“Since the Bible talks about the God of Abraham and Isaac, and God is the God of the living, then Abraham and Isaac must STILL be alive in an afterlife.”


(Jon) #5

No George, Second Temple Period exegesis tells us that this was understood as a reference to the resurrection.


(George Brooks) #6

Quibble, quibble. You’ll argue just about anything, won’t you … Yes, I’m sure there were those who saw
the End of Days resurrection in this … But the plain meaning of the sentence suggests the Essene view
of an immediate afterlife. The present tense is not to be so causally set aside.

Matthew 22:32 “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”


(Jon) #7

Scholarship please George, I need to see the relevant scholarship.


(George Brooks) #8

@Jonathan_Burke,

Sometimes you don’t need a journal article to understand a sentence.

[EDIT - - but this quote was so good… I didn’t see any reason not to add it
to the post - - - .

On page 82 of “Translating Resurrection,” by Gergely M. Juhász, we
this very relevant discussion:

"Jesus first rebukes them for their ignorance of the Scriptures and the
power of God… In the ‘resurrection,’ Jesus explains, people either
marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels. Then, to prove
the veracity of the ‘resurrection,’ he replies with a quote from Exodus
(3:6): 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob,'
and combines it with a theological theorem: God is not the God of the
dead but the of the living (see 4 Macc.7:19; 16:25). "

"Strictly speaking, Jesus’ answer does not prove the bodily resurrection…
It rather shows that the patriarchs are not dead but are in some sense
alive; thus, there must be some kind of continued existence after death in
which the dead are like angels and do not marry."]


(Jon) #9

When you’re reading a text from which you are linguistically, chronologically, and socio-culturally isolated, you need to pay attention to what mainstream professional scholars say about it, because they know more than you. Reading an English translation and asserting a meaning for which you provide no evidence, is what YECs do.

It’s irrelevant unless he can show that was the intended meaning of the original Hebrew text, and that this was the understanding Jesus had. In both cases he will need to do the necessary socio-cultural and lexical analysis.


(George Brooks) #10

@Jonathan_Burke… this is the problem with your constant quibbling… you drive the discussion to the point where you don’t even remember what the point was.

The POINT I was making was not what the Hebrew was intended to mean… it was about what the New Testament writer believes JESUS could make it mean.

Not only is the meaning rather plain in a natural reading … but I actually found a scholar who SPECIFICALLY endorses the view I described as the correct one.

As to you being so argumentative … what’s wrong, Jonathan… not enough hugs when you were a child?


(Jon) #11

And the point I am making is that you are simply asserting what the New Testament writer believes Jesus could make it mean. You’re not providing any actual evidence.

A natural reading? Jesus states explicitly that his comment is about the resurrection.

Matthew 22":
31 Now as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God,
32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living!”

But you claim a “natural reading” is that he is not talking about the resurrection. This just doesn’t make any sense.

But cherry picking a single scholarly source is precisely what you should not be doing.

Several months here and a few interactions with the admins have confirmed that this kind of statement you’ve just made is acceptable here. It’s quite disappointing.


(George Brooks) #12

OMG… @Jonathan_Burke… now you are going to criticize me because I’m PROVIDING a scholarly source… but there is only ONE. And yet you haven’t provided ANYTHING except your opinion!

Please go back in time to the original reason for writing the “God of Abraham” text :

I wrote about your quotes regarding post-New Testament Jewish and Christian commentators on how extensive the Genesis Flood was:

I commend you on your collection of ancient comments and references.

It IS undeniably interesting what they have to say. But these comments are pretty clearly not a conclusive or even substantive interpretation of the Genesis story of the Flood.

They represent, like your posts, an attempt to develop some possible explanations for what were Biblical inconsistencies…

Much like the Biblical deductions of the New Testament period:

“Since the Bible talks about the God of Abraham and Isaac, and God is the God of the living, then Abraham and Isaac must STILL be alive in an afterlife.”

My source SPECIFICALLY says that the part of Jesus’ statement about the “God of Abraham” does NOT prove resurrection … but is evidence for a RELATED idea which SUPPORTS resurrection …

LIKE SO: “Strictly speaking, Jesus’ answer does not prove the bodily resurrection… It rather shows that the patriarchs are not dead but are in some sense alive; thus, there must be some kind of continued existence after death in which the dead are like angels and do not marry.”

P.S.
Jonathan [name corrected], if you spent a little more time “playing fair” and less time “arguing.about.every.single.thing.a.person.writes” … you would probably be treated with much greater tenderness. Just look at your last posting … you actually offer the refutation that Jesus mentions “resurrection” when the author of the book I quote SPECIFICALLY addresses the irony that Jesus’ statement doesn’t actually address resurrection.


(Benjamin Kirk) #13

Pot…meet kettle.

By the way, George, I didn’t write any of that, so it would be interesting to understand why you addressed this to me…


(Benjamin Kirk) #14

Interesting. George is concurrently going into YEC mode when he is discussing evolutionary matters, too, as though the term “FISH” represents a species:


#15

The title of this :laughing:


(George Brooks) #16

Yes, @benkirk, I typed the wrong name into the P.S. Correction has been made.


(George Brooks) #17

@benkirk

Let’s continue the FISH-y discussion in the thread where the other comments are…


(Christy Hemphill) #18

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