Interpretation & Meaning in Genesis + Sabbath

Sounds time memorial we have been trashing the planet and you think that is now going to change all of a sudden? People are going to stop eating meat, destroying our forests and wetlands, become carbon negative? Fighting wars? You may believe in a Utopia all I see is Dystopia. And all religion is interested in is being nice to other humans.

Let’s see how humans measure up to volcanic activity when it comes to trashing the earth and polluting the air. By the standard claimed volcanoes must be well educated with knowledge.

@ovdtogt
It is my contention that Humans by acquiring Sentience/Sapience, constituted the Original Sin. Genesis refers to this as ‘eating from the Tree of Knowledge’. This resulted in Humans being evicted from the Garden of Eden.(Being integrated in Nature as are our closest relatives [Simians] still to this day). The Simians do not live in Sin as they lack the Knowledge (Sentience) to radically transform their environment. Through this Knowledge Humans have developed agriculture and husbandry; in essence destroying God’s work for one’s own benefit. We are now living with the consequences of our ‘sinful’ existence: ecological degradation and intraspecies strife (Cain and Abel, Tower of Babel).

 
Let me think. . .

Is there any item anywhere in the picture called rebellion–rebellion against knowledge? The knowledge attained from the forbidden fruit was not just knowledge, but knowledge of good and evil. Evil was experienced as consequences of the fall ever since.

Where in scriptures were we told that we are related to Simians (monkeys)? What do we do with Genesis 2:7 that tells us that we humans were independently created from scratch from the dust of the earth?   Eve was created from Adam’s rib. What bone from a monkey was man created?

Earl

Well consider humans as a permanently erupting volcano. Humans are the cancer in total body of life on this planet. A volcano with intent.

Late stone age humans (who authored Genesis) had no idea they had evolved from their closest relative: the great ape.

It’s easy to sink into that morass - it never lacks for fuel. But you should really listen to the 4th podcast (on soils) - the podcast link given in that thread. I think it represents the best and most biblically faithful Christian response to our faith - that calls us to work against the cynicism that so easily takes over our lives. I know you don’t identify with this faith in particular, but it might help you see that there are those who, through deeper and more respectful biblical study do see beyond the mistaken notion that scriptures endorse exploitation of God’s planet. You are right, though, that we Christians have much work to do in just calling ourselves and each other to account for our neglect of scriptural callings in this regard.

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Yes all nice and well these good intentions. In the meantime the Earth is burning up (literally) due to human behaviour.

A magazine I enjoy reading is about the latest projects in engineering. They are hard at work to tackle climate change and environmental degradation. Engineering has caused the problem and I suppose they are the only ones that will be able to solve it.

Hello Oliver,

@ovdtogt
Well consider humans as a permanently erupting volcano. Humans are the cancer in total body of life on this planet. A volcano with intent.

But what caused the human race to become an erupting volcano other than sin, humanity’s collective rebellion against higher authority? Do we expect to live the rest of our lives taking our part in the snowballing eruption? Are we gods to adversely control the ultimate fate of the earth? The “cancer” you spoke of is unregenerate out-of-control human nature that’s alienated from God.

But God has offered a cure (Genesis 3:15) that brings redemption that counters the cancer. Have you considered the much good done by the redeemed? There’s much yet to be done.

@ovdtogt
Stone age humans (who authored Genesis) had no idea they had evolved from their closest relative: the great ape.

The only stones in the life of Moses that I know of were those of Egypt from which Pharaoh built his empire with the forced labor of the Israelites. It is Moses that authored Genesis under inspiration from God.

Did humans evolve? Addition of un-biblical things to the Bible is the equivalent of adding to the value of constants like pi to manipulate mathematical equations to force desired answers. The value of pi is not in the millions!

@ovdtogt
Yes all nice and well these good intentions. In the meantime the Earth is burning up (literally) due to human behaviour.

What will we do about it–take it laying down or take up on God and His redemption offer?

@ovdtogt
A magazine I enjoy reading is about the latest projects in engineering. They are hard at work to tackle climate change and environmental degradation. Engineering has caused the problem and I suppose they are the only ones that will be able to solve it

Has engineering or neglect caused the environmental problems? Which? Engineering is good or bad depending on how we use it.

It is written:
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments (Psalms 111:10).”

The God-centered mind of stewardship uses knowledge and engineering to advantage that they may serve us. Corrective measures should be taken to correct unintended adverse side effects.

Earl

Genesis was completed during the Babylonian exile in 586-539 B.C. https://biologos.org/articles/when-was-genesis-written-and-why-does-it-matter/

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Read this and found interesting. I was skeptical regarding Wellhausen’s P source and his transition to legalism agenda, which is precisely what Enns picked up on as well. I was well aware of the content of Job and Isaiah largely being motivated by the Babylonian exile, so I cannot be too surprised by the idea that the writing of most of the rest of the OT was influenced by this as well. I would only caution that just because it was written at such a late time in history does not mean all of its content was made up at that time also.

Our god-like ability(Original Sin) to transform the planet.

That is what we have been witnessing sinds our eviction (destruction) from (of) the Garden of Eden. Our fall from Grace.

To receive God’s redemption respect, preserve and honor ALL LIFE (God’s creation) on earth.

Anything that destroys Nature (God’s creation) is bad.

I believe this story is much older and was handed down for generations.

Yes, definitely. You have to take into consideration a culture of orality and the different role of “authorship” and texts. Most scholars see it as a compilation of sources, but one that was given a unity and authorial intent by its authors/editors. I was mostly objecting to the “written in the stone age” assertion.

Got done reading the essay and loved it but I feel that a lot of the stories of the Bible were around even before the exile but might have been kept orally and maybe even a few written documents that are now lost but it was around the Babylonian exile that the Hebrew scribes took seriously the documenting of their history and religious prophecies. I do personally belive that Moses and the Levite scribes in a sense did write down the Law and Genesis stories but got more told orally over time. it would make sense for the exiled scribes to write down their history and religious literature in exile in order to preserve what they were as a people, both nationally and religiously.

Yes. Here is an excerpt from a commentary that I think expresses the prevailing view of OT Bible scholarship.

Many modern critical scholars believe the “documents” lying behind the present biblical texts were either too fragmentary to reconstruct or were melded so closely into the final text that it is now impossible to separate them confidently from their context. Also, many believe that the sources used by the biblical writers may have circulated in oral form before they were written down and eventually used in composing the biblical narratives. That, of course, does not rule out the likelihood that some records were written from the start. Few biblical scholars today, however, have the appetite for the painstaking and often fruitless task of unscrambling the literary fabric that now forms the biblical stories. What this means is that the attention of biblical scholarship has, at least in many circles, turned to the biblical narratives themselves, the ones that now lie before us in the present text. Though there is still little interest among biblical critics today in viewing the Pentateuch as a Mosaic document—that is, a document written or contributed to largely by Moses—there is a great and growing interest in viewing the Pentateuch as a document composed of many ancient written records and reflecting a final unity of design.

Sailhamer, J. H. (2008). Genesis. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis–Leviticus (Revised Edition) (Vol. 1, p. 30). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

The main takeaway for me is that although there is clearly intertextuality with source texts (oral and written), Genesis is not merely an encyclopedic document that compiles historical documents and oral tradition. It was “authored” for an audience and with a purpose, and that audience and those purposes were shaped by the exile and the needs of the Jewish people to re-establish and maintain their identity and recover the theology of their heritage.

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Why? They must have had an oral tradition.
The period lasted roughly 3.4 million years[1] and ended between 8700 BCEand 2000 BCE

Oral traditions are shared in culture groups. The idea that an oral tradition would pass from language to language and culture group to culture group and move from place to place for millions of years is not credible. Anything beyond 10,000 years is not attested in human experience. Multiplying that by factors of 100 is not credible.

Stone age lies between 8700 [BCE]and 2000 BCE
The Kingdom of Israel emerged as an important local power by the 10th century BCE

“Stone age” can also refer to 2.5 million years ago or earlier.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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