Questionable scripture Gen 18:13 & 1John 4:12

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by rdwray, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. rdwray

    rdwray New Member

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    Gen 8:13 And the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear [a child,] since I am old?’

    The word LORD in this scripture is Strong's 3068 YHWH which is God. The subject of Gen 18:1-15 is a child for Abraham and Sarah and in verse 1 "the LORD appeared" in person and there is a conversation with Abraham. There are too many scriptures in the Bible that point to the fact that the Son is not God which brings up the issue of how could God Himself appear to Abraham in person if He has never been seen? This is as close to any possibility of there being an error in scripture that exists in the Bible.

    1John 4:12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi rdwray –

    The appearance of the three men to Abraham at Mamre (Genesis 18) is a really interesting text. If you read the Hebrew, you'll see that the text is something of a riddle. Scholars have discussed these verses long and hard, but suffice to say none really see any reason to suppose an error, rather that the scribe was engaged in some quite sophisticated wordplay to signal that what was going on here was something out of the ordinary.

    With regard to the appearance itself, what Abraham sees is a man, who he identifies with God. There is a strong consensus that three angels appeared to Abraham, of whom one was clearly superior to the other two. Some suppose this is God, and two angels, all manifesting in human form. I could equally argue that all three are angels, the spokesperson being an archangel. Or he might be God.

    If God however, it is God manifesting in human form. So Abraham sees a manifestation of God, and God is want to manifest Himself to the Hebrews in various ways – pillars of fire, pillars of cloud, a burning bush, and so forth. God speaks to Adam and Eve, and speaks to the prophets, but we know that God does not have a body, so all these texts we have to read as a mystical text first and foremost. As such, there are rarely easy solutions.
     
  3. rdwray

    rdwray New Member

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    I have been trying to sort out who is God and who is Jesus in the Old Testament and I have come to the conclusion that it is totally impossible because the writers or the interpreters used words that confuse the issue. I take the Bible literally because taking it spiritually leaves every word open to becoming what anyone wants to make it.

    Riddle would imply that the scripture is totally false and would make it an error for sure. The man is identified as God not with, that is the explicit part. God manifested in human form would be same as saying Jesus is God, which is what the Trinitarians do. Gen 3:8 is another verse of many that brings up the same question.

    Let me throw this one up in the air: God made a covenant with Isaac: Gen 17:19 Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, [and] with his descendants after him

    God does not break covenants or he would be a liar, especially in this case. Gen 22:
    1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
    2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only [son] Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

    The question: Did Abraham have the upper hand on God in this case?
     
  4. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    Welcome rdwray,
    I think it would be a more interesting argument of why God would say an everlasting covenant, and then create a new covenant (New testament).

    I'm not going to argue the error in this from an Islamic standpoint, but it can be noted that Ishmael (PBUH) was now of adult age by the standard of the age, while he may not be fully mature yet, by all rights he was a man, who had been cast out of his father's home. Isaac would have been the only "son" in his house. I do find it more interesting that Jews and Christians neglect the idea that God would also have an interest in Ishmael's line given the detail about his first days in the desert, and his dealings with angels, and his "slave" mother also being comforted directly by angels.

    not exactly, it would prove Human involvement in it's inception. God very well could have seen it as acceptable due to the intended message, and not the riddled one.

    and if I'm not mistaken, Thomas is saying that it is possible the author might not have known that the form he is describing was actually an archangel or high ranking angel. Maybe Michael or Gabriel. Or as pointed out by many, this could all be a story to help understand that which cannot be explained. Abraham (PBUH) was contacted. That is the main point. There is another passage where (pardon me as I cannot remember which prophet it was) Fought a figure who he later determined was God himself. This is IMO an obvious point of the author not understanding something. Why would a Prophet not recognize God, or be fighting any righteous being?

    all in all this argument of whether the Bible contains errors will always come down to literal vs metaphysical or allegorical. I agree that a scripture of revealed text should be able to be take literally and non-literally. But it isn't my place to tell Christians of all their errors, but rather convey what I know and what I think, and hope they agree, if not, pray the fulfill their needs of their covenant.
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Not really. But writers are writing about something that is beyond words to adequately explain. The only way they can do it is by metaphor, analogy, story, and so on. It's a bit like 'love' or 'time', we can talk about it, technically or otherwise, but we always end up saying, "It's like ... "

    Again, I would disagree. The Bible is a collection of texts, chosen by the fathers of a tradition, to explain the tradition, to followers of the tradition, and they are the best interpreters of the text. The idea that a text has to be self-evident is unsound, especially if one was not raised in the tradition. Also, a literal reading depends on the ability of the reader.

    The idea that because I can read I understand everything about everything I read is easily shown to be a wrong idea.

    In your opinion. Perhaps riddle is the wrong term. What I meant was, the scribe required the reader to contemplate the text.

    For example, one that I picked up just last night, Abraham 'laughed': "Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, saying in his heart: Shall a son, thinkest thou, be born to him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sara that is ninety years old bring forth? "Which when Sara heard, she laughed behind the door of the tent" (18:10) "And she laughed secretly, saying: After I am grown old and my lord is an old man, shall I give myself to pleasure?" (18:12). This is the only time Abraham or Sarah laugh, and 'laugh' is a pun upon the name Isaac (Hebrew: He will laugh).

    Yes, and the scribe would probably tell you, "Do you not understand the God of the Hebrews? Well then ... "

    As Bigjoenobody said above, something happened, it's a mystery, and all the language can do is hint. I do like the old movie scene of this, when the three men who visit Abraham are all played by the one actor ... for the same reason. You play it straight, three guys visit Abraham, but they're all the same guy, or identical triplets, or ...

    ... all Scripture is there to make one think, contemplate, pray. Too often the literal interpretation means I don't have to think about the text, just assume I know what it means. I can pretty well guarantee if you thinks there's an error, you've missed the point.

    Yes we do. He said so Himself "Jesus saith to him: Have I been so long a time with you; and have you not known me? Philip, he that seeth me seeth the Father also. How sayest thou, shew us the Father?" (John 16:9) and "He that confesseth the Son, hath the Father also" (1 John 2:23).

    No.
     
  6. rdwray

    rdwray New Member

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    You lost me on the meaning of this.

    This is one of the things that allow for the Bible to be interpreted to suit the reader rather than getting the true meaning of what is being said. I totally disagree with this.

    Then you deny the deity of God who is the only immortal being that exists or will ever exist (1Timothy 6:13-16); and that the Son will be subject to the Father (1Corinthians 15:24-27) when all is accomplished.

    Is God a liar that He should be a man (Numbers 23:19)?
     
  7. rdwray

    rdwray New Member

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    This is an easy one. Under the first covenant we would be living under works, but under the new one we are living by living by faith through grace (Ephesians 2:8).

    You are speaking of Jacob (Genesis 35:10).

    Prayer through faith is all we have (John 20:29)...
     
  8. rdwray

    rdwray New Member

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    After some thinking, I may have given a response that was inadequate: Acts 15:10 (NKJV)
    “Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

    Most people do not have the ability to live by the laws of Moses which Christ annulled by being the final sacrifice (Galatians 5:1).
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I'm suggesting there's perhaps more to Scripture than you assume.

    How do you know that your 'literal interpretation' is not just the one that suits you, rather than the 'true meaning'?

    You see, you don't even understand me!

    OK. Was Jesus lying when He said: "Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am." (John 8:58)?

    D'you think God inspired Scripture?
     
  10. rdwray

    rdwray New Member

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    This is what I am talking about when scripture is not taken for what it says, it can be turned into anything that anyone wants it to say, that is why we have so many denominations - they all have their own theology and at present time I don't know of a single one that follows scripture.

    I completely understand you, you are a polytheist that believes there are multiple gods and I deny that completely (1Corinthians 8:6; 1Timothy 2:5; James 2:19).

    No He was not lying (Ephesians 3:9). Also He was not with God originally (Colossians 1:15; Revelation 3:14) but was the first creation of God.

    EDIT: The Son was present before the creation of the world.

    2Timothy 3:16
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  11. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    here is the point I was trying to make, an everlasting covenant is not made with an intent to be anulled. Now a reasonable response would be more appropriate as "the old covenant is still available if anyone is able to follow it, but there is a new one that will be easier for a majority of people.

    This is a point many Muslims will disagree with you (speaking of those of us who have actually read and at least studied the translations). First off the conclusion you have come to isn't representative of the text. The apparent meaning of the text is more of people who accept his teaching without seeing the miracles and Prophet Jesus (PBUH) are more blessed than those who did, and much more so than those who required it. This is because they have accepted it through faith, or more directly through acceptance of the message through other means.
    I would say there is more to any scripture that has at any point been inspired than anyone could possibly know because God (Allah/YHWH/The Creator) is much more knowledgeable, and his words contain so much that we cannot comprehend.

    to be fair, the classic Christian interpretation of this is not the only way it has ever been. going back to the point I just made, it is possible that Jesus (PBUH) is making a point that God was always there ("I am" being a name reference to Genesis) He was being asked how he could know Abraham (PBUH) and yet the whole of the argument misses the possibility that Jesus (PBUH) was a prophet and could have been introduced in a trip to heaven that God allowed him at some point, or that he allowed communication in Jesus' dreams. One must recognize the importance of Abraham (PBUH) in the Jewish tradition, often referred to as the "Father" of the Jews (and consequently also the Ishmaelites which would later nearly completely integrate into Arab peoples).
    I agree it is a problem, Cherry picking is a must for most Christians. Which is why we must remember who the author is of each and every book. Inspired text, as the Bible/Quran claims the Bible to be, is not saying it is God's word, but rather a man's version and understanding of God's words and actions as he witnessed it.
    Be careful claiming someone a Polytheist, or from a Muslim Background a Kuffar (someone who associates others as equals with God). The common Christian idea is not 3 separate Gods, but rather 3 pieces or structured of the same God. It is their belief that Jesus is not separate, but is merely a part of the same god, But just as in math infinity divided by 3 is infinity itself, They believe Jesus to be both a whole of God, and a part of his whole.

    I went through a phase where I claimed myself a Biblical Christian, using what I found to be the literal interpretation as the one true denomination, barring me from really believing in any others. This sounds as though you are in that phase. I'd suggest reading more. read supporting and contrasting ideas. From an Islamic point, I would also encourage you to pick up and read a Quran (Yusuf Ali or Sahih International translations are pretty good). Once I read the Quran, I started understanding what the authors were trying to say in the Bible (obviously as I think it is supposed to be interpreted). And in that I found it much more clear in the Quran.
     
  12. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    scripturally speaking... prove it :D
     
  13. rdwray

    rdwray New Member

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    Colossians 1:15; Revelation 3:14
     
  14. rdwray

    rdwray New Member

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    Hebrews 8:7-13

    I don't know anything about Muslims.

    Nothing to respond to - I am not Muslim.
     
  15. rdwray

    rdwray New Member

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    I am going to end this conversation, I came here to ask a question and that is all. I am making request to the moderator to remove my account, I have already suspended watching this thread.
     
  16. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Nothing worse in this world than a closed mind, especially in religion. And there are sure a great many of them. rdwray came here not to ask a question but to get the answer he wanted. Nothing more. Sad.
     
  17. StevePame

    StevePame Administrator Admin

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    There are some closed minds that simply have yet to open. Some people reach that realization at their own pace and that's why it is good that we're here so we can share our experiences and understandings of faiths when a person is receptive to listening and discussing. Others never have that realization. It would certainly appear based on his/her short tenure here that rdwray is in the latter group.
     
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  18. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    Red flag went up as soon as I read the title of this thread. Looked like someone out to set us poor sinners straight from the get go to me.
     
  19. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    Well I had started to respond... then noticed the rest... oh well... i'm sure you were right DA and SP... He seemed very pointed, and ill-informed of other views on the topic.
     

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