Bible Question

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jmflash
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Bible Question

Post by jmflash » Sat Mar 06, 2004 4:43 am

I don't know if anyone can answer this but I had a question about Genesis. The beginning of Genesis talks about the Story of Creation and the Garden of Eden. It says that God than made Adam and Eve. Genesis 1:26 says, "Then God said, 'And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us.' " Who is the 'we' and the 'us' ? Only one God was mentioned, were there believed to be many gods? Also, after Adam and Eve are taken out of the garden they have only two children, Cain and Abel. After Cain kills Abel, the Lord curses Cain. Cain says in Genesis 4:14 "I will be a homeless wanderer on the earth, and anyone who finds me will kill me." Who is anyone? At this point are not the only existing people Adam, Eve, and Cain? Is this an error in the Bible? Is it for certain that when the Bible says the 'Lord God' that that is equivalent to 'God.' ? I'm confused about the Bible and I don't want to go to church to try and find the answers so I would appreciate some help.
September_Cohen
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Post by September_Cohen » Sun Mar 07, 2004 11:50 am

christians don't want you...I'm sure of
One for the money
Two for the show
Three to get ready
Go man go
I said tell me Mr. Siegal
How do I get out of here
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Sandra
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Post by Sandra » Sun Mar 07, 2004 5:32 pm

when He says us it means that he is three persons (Father, Son and the Holy Spirit)
and when Cain says anyone it means anyone but not in that very moment it may be later when there are more people ....
(this is my personal answer ....may be a theologist could answer better)
jmflash
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Post by jmflash » Tue Mar 09, 2004 6:50 am

Sandra I've seen this answer before, I guess I'm not really satisfied with it. I thank you for responding though but I do not see this trinity mentioned anywhere in Genesis and I do not think the Bible supports this idea. I'm also curious when monotheism first appeared in history. About Cain, in the context it seems as if he is speaking about present danger. Also, it mentions him getting married next without stating the creation of any new people. Is his wife also his sister?

September Cohen, sorry to have offended you but some of the most vicious, racist people I have met in my life, and throughout history, have been Christians. Christ says in Matthew 6:5 "When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites! They love to stand up and pray in the houses of worship and on the street corners, so that everyone will see them...But when you pray, go to your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen." Kevin Cooper is an innocent African American on death row in California. He writes:
I, Kevin Cooper, a 40 year-old African-American am writing this article from death row at San Quentin Prison in California. I am also writing this article as an innocent man. I know this statement is hard to believe. In this great country called America and in this great state called California, we have no innocent men on death row. Certainly we have never executed an innocent person because, I am told, we have the best legal system in the world and it doesn’t make mistakes nor do the good people who control it. Besides, who really cares if a mistake is made? Who really cares if an innocent man is executed? Certainly people who insist on having a death penalty don’t care.
The irony of this is that many people who insist on having a death penalty are religious people. These people use God and the Bible as justification for their support and use of the death penalty. They also will admit that only God can take a life. How can that be? Religious people should be leading the fight to end the death penalty based simply on the moral issue that ending life is solely within God’s domain.
I want to make a distinction between religion and spirituality. Being a religious person is not the same as being a spiritual person. Believing in a higher entity is spiritual, while religion is a man-made concept. In the minds of many people these two different things have been put together. I personally have never heard of a spiritual person who supported legal killing. Moses (“thou shalt not kill”), Mother Teresa, the
Dalai Lama, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. were all spiritual people, representing different religions and different walks of life, but they had one thing in common. They understood true spirituality and they were all opposed to legal murder.
On the other hand, Hitler was religious. The Ku Klux Klan is religious. Those who declared women to be witches and therefore, executed them, did so in the name of religion. Many people involved in the slave trade were religious. In fact, most crimes against humanity were done and are being done today by religious people and organizations. No crime against humanity has ever been committed by spiritual people. In fact, most spiritual people have worked hard to save man from his evil nature.
I sit here on death row and I wonder who really cares about justice. Many religious organizations support the death penalty directly, others by their failure to speak out against it. Their silence stings and is just as bad as those who vocally support legal death. I have been asked if I am a Christian. It seems important to Christians that I be “saved” before I am executed. I am not a Christian. How could I possibly be part of a
religion that fails to lead the fight to end the death penalty? A religion that doesn’t care.
I am a spiritual person.
September_Cohen
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Post by September_Cohen » Tue Mar 09, 2004 8:52 am

Bible's not for everyone, sure about it. But, you can surely read Truman Capote...go to sleep with that
One for the money
Two for the show
Three to get ready
Go man go
I said tell me Mr. Siegal
How do I get out of here
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Sandra
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Post by Sandra » Tue Mar 09, 2004 9:16 pm

jmflash......I think the same as you. I am a spiritual person too.
Religion is very contaminated with human interests and personal beliefs.
Einat
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Post by Einat » Tue Mar 09, 2004 11:41 pm

Hi jmflash , regarding your questions:
In the specific line you quoted , god is called : "Elohim" (in hebrew, one of god's names), which is a plural form , that why the action is in a plural form as well ("na'aseh" and not "e'eseh"), and that's why it was translated this way . The reason one of god's name is in plural is , I guess , to express his mightyness.
If we were to use the jewish mythology as a source ,another possibilty is that he was reffering to other elements (angels) who had helped him with the creation.
Regarding the second question :ka'yn (caine) was reffering not necessarily to other people (although he could have reffered to his parents who at that certain point probably didnt know about the murder)
but to the animals- he felt quite intimidated and rejected after what he had done.
And yes- according to the Hallacha , ka'yn and hevel each had a female twin, but if I remeber correctly , this doesnt appear in the original text.
London O2 July 2008 / Ramat Gan September 24 2009
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Zabka
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Post by Zabka » Wed Mar 10, 2004 2:01 am

Well, I've got a question now...if there was only Cain, Eve and Adam....where would all the "other people" have come from?

JM, I'm sorry to hear about your situation and I have to say I agree with your experience of certain Christians. Someone saying that you have to be Christian to be saved is a bunch of garbage, that's just more of the same hypocritical judgemental bullshit. If there is a God, then surely he will be the one making the decisions about whether we are "saved" or not at the end of our lives, isn't he the final judge after all? The death penalty is inconsistent with the new testament, and supposed christian values.

If you are spiritual then I guess I would suggest forgiving the people imposing on you, "for they know not what they do". Then you have to look into your soul and see if you can be okay with yourself. I don't know what else to say without sounding patronising.

Best wishes
ZZ

What we have learned is like a handful of earth. What we have yet to learn is like the whole world. (Avvaiyar)
September_Cohen
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Post by September_Cohen » Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:43 am

maybe that's why i'm christian...probably
One for the money
Two for the show
Three to get ready
Go man go
I said tell me Mr. Siegal
How do I get out of here
jmflash
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Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2003 12:09 am

Post by jmflash » Thu Mar 11, 2004 4:33 am

Einat, thanks for responding and I like the answer you gave for why God was referring to 'us.' For the second answer it seems a little strange that Cain would be referring to animals. What is the Hallacha? I'm thinking it might be worth it to learn Hebrew just to understand the Bible.
Einat
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Post by Einat » Sat Mar 13, 2004 7:48 pm

Hi jmflash , you're welcome and..
Yes, I've heard of priests who have learned hebrew for the reason you mentioned , though I must note that the bible is difficult to be read ,even by native hebrew speakers , since the ancient hebrew is different from the modern hebrew , plus the bible contains words that are taken from arabic and other semi languages, such as aramic and acadit . But since each sentence and word can contain various meanings and can be interpreted in many ways ( there is a saying: "Seventy faces to the Torah"), I guess many things get lost in translation.

I think the bible was first translated into Greek and only afterwards to other languages , English among them. This double translation process might expain some of the mistakes.
Zabka: you asked a very good question :Only Adam , Eve , Ka'yn , Hevel and Shet are being mentioned in the text, so it is not clear how were kay'n's and shet's families created later on . This is an example of one of many gaps that exsist on theological texts and I guess this is where belief and religion step in , you either accept certain axioms , or you don't...
Last edited by Einat on Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Zabka
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Post by Zabka » Mon Mar 15, 2004 7:03 am

Einat

Nice post...and I relate to your explanation of translations...I think that's why some versions of text from the Bible are a bit hard to fathom... multiple translations, interpretations filtered through the opinions of the translator. But I think some of the basic messages are on the whole pretty good tenets for living in society.

Re scientific inability to accept axioms...well, I'm not really sure of what you are saying. Science is built on axioms. It evolves as new evidence challenges accepted priniciples (axioms). It's partially incorrect to use the term "scientific approach" as there are many approaches (just as there are in religion, cooking and business finance).

I guess that you aren't trying to start a "science vs religion" debate, but would like to add that I am a trained scientist, but I was born human with the ability to reason, analyse and question, believe, hope, doubt, use intuition and love. There are extremes, but also plenty overlap!
glyn
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Post by glyn » Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:04 pm

Remember as well that there are two creation stories in Genesis. One really quite monotheistic the other very much influenced by Babylonian ideas when the Jews were in Exile in 600BC. Take that, and some bizarre organising of chapters and verses as well as translation then there the fun begins.
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Taigaku
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Post by Taigaku » Sat Apr 17, 2004 1:17 pm

Hi~

Just to add a little complexity.. later Christian tradition has tended to read Genesis 1 in light of the Gospel of John, which opens like this: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." This opening marks also the start of an effort on the part of the author (who wrote his gospel around 100 CE) to secure the divine status of Jesus Christ. For John, Christ is Logos - the Word - and as the passage shows, it was "with God" in the beginning, and it "was God". Thus Christ is un-created ("born, not created", as it says in later formulations of the Nicene Creed, 325 CE). Even before anything is created, Christ is. Then God actually effects creation through his Word, i.e. it is through Christ that the world is made...

Also, it's interesting to note the differences between the two creation stories in Genesis. In the first, after God has created the animals,
"God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them."

So, the "image of God" is both the male and the female.. Together.

In the second version, "the LORD God formed the man [adam] from the dust of the ground [adamah] and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." Then God sees, however, that "it is not good for the man to be alone", so he decides to "make a helper suitable for him". So, the Lord God then creates "all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air", but still the man was lonely. God then "caused the man to fall into a deep sleep", and he removes a rib from his side and from it creates woman. When Adam wakes he says:
"This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called 'woman',
for she was taken out of man."

Anyone see a slight shift in emphasis as regarding anthropology?

~Taigaku
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Post by Tchocolatl » Sat Apr 17, 2004 2:46 pm

Hello Tagaiku, and previous,

To add to the complexity of this question there is also another controversy because some thinks that Lilith was the first mate of Adam but here again, versions differ about this creature.

BTW, Jung have another theory about this male/female thing. He said that when we reach the state of the Self (perfect conciousness) both inner parts male and female into us are unified (that process of union goes by little steps and/or big bounds through the individuation process).
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
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