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shrewsbury
07-10-2012, 11:32 PM
Instead of hijacking the other thread I thought I would just start a new one.

Most know I am not big on the OT, but as a Christian it does not mean I am unaware or uneducated in some of the material in it.
I started a thread a while back titles commonsense in religion, hopefully this thread has some commonsense in it.

One of the oldest and long going biblical arguments is Noah, with attention to the ark, and more specifically the animals on the ark.

I think we all imagine the classic image of Noah and his family gathering a male and female species of everything on earth in a giant boat and floating away. ok we have to deal with god talking to noah, god having noah build an ark, noah gathering all the animals on the ark and god flooding the earth, that's a lot of stuff. but to me none of these things really interest me too much, i am sure there was a flood, someone built an ark and had animals on it, sure why not, i can even go for the godly intervention, but there is something that is often overlooked about the story of noah, which interests me more than the story as we often see it.

so lets take a closer look.

If we bypass everything else and deal directly with who and what was on the ark we will be at Genesis 7:13 here it is stated that noah, his three sons, noah's wife and the wives of all three of noah's sons went into the ark.
genesis
7:14 here it states they had with them, remember they had all them with them, and it goes to state everything livestock and wild, everything that crawls and flies, big and small, everything in pairs was with them. (was with them)

now the catch
7:15
most see it as;

And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.

so we assume we are still talking about the animals and creatures, so noah and his family went in first and they followed, ok no big deal, but take a step back for a moment.

they already stated that noah and his group already had with them all the animals, creatures, fowls, and such, so why repeat this, and what is up with the breath of life? why because the ark will save them? maybe not

lets look at this again

here is a literal translation;

[QUOTE]And they come in unto Noah, unto the ark, two by two of all the flesh in which is a living spirit[QUOTE]

this shows they were not with noah, as the animal and such were but they came unto noah, and they came of all flesh in which is a living spirit, which is not cattle, animals, creatures that slither, or fowls of the air,

ruah is used in hebrew to describe the living spirit, this word is used over 300 times in the OT and all refer to a life force given by god to humans, angels, or the spirit, not beasts or fowls.
so what were these flesh of the living spirit that came unto the ark in pairs?
where did they go? why were they not humans or were they? were they other races? were they homoerectus? fairies?

most would say that the story is false but based on some flood happening in our far past or it teaches a lesson to make people fear god and it explains rainbows.

i think it is a book much older than we think and it is based upon true events, but these events have been altered, changed, and forgotten over time, leaving what appears to be nothing more than a great bedtime story.

It is obviously so much more, but without older texts these answers will never be known and this is one of the reasons I focus more on Jesus, because there is more material to work with and try to figure things out, but the OT lacks this. Many will point to the dead sea scrolls, but these are way to late to prove anything. they date to around the time of Jesus, so there are new testament and other works about jesus that date with 50 years of his life, but the dead sea scrolls (which don't even have genesis 7 in them) would date thousands of years after noah.

shortking98
07-11-2012, 11:04 AM
What is your take on the use of "ruah" in Ecclesiastes 3:19. To me it seems to imply that the breath of life applies to both men and animals but I am interested to hear your opinion.

shrewsbury
07-11-2012, 11:29 AM
this seems to be the literal translation


For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts even one thing befalleth them as the one dieth so dieth the other yea they have all one breath so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast for all is vanity

breath is used not spirit, we-ruah, which translates as deep breath, or that all living things breath, but not spirit.

as you stated the breath of life, but this does not imply the spirit of god.

this is only my take and could, with no doubt, be wrong

Tivo32
07-11-2012, 11:33 AM
breath is used not spirit, we-ruah, which translates as deep breath, or that all living things breath, but not spirit.

as you stated the breath of life, but this does not imply the spirit of god.

this is only my take and could, with no doubt, be wrong

I would agree with your take. It seems like the writer of Ecclesiastes is trying to harp on the point that we are no better than animals that also breath and also die. I don't think the writer there is trying to comment on God's spirit in either people or animals.

shortking98
07-11-2012, 12:47 PM
Genesis 7:15 is also translated "breath of life" in the King James, NIV, ESV, NKJV and comes from the same Hebrew word used in Ecclesiastes. Taking into account the context of verses 14 and 16, it seems to me that the "they" referred to in verse 15 is animals. Reading on into chapter 8, only Noah, his sons, their wives and animals are mentioned as leaving the ark, again implying that there were no other people in the ark. Chapter 9, specifically in verse 19 states that all the earth was descended from Noah's sons further emphasizing that Noah, his sons and their wives were the only people on the ark.

shortking98
07-11-2012, 12:54 PM
Forgot to add, 1 Peter 3:20 goes even further specifically stating that only 8 people were saved from the flood in the ark (Noah, his 3 sons and their wives)

shrewsbury
07-11-2012, 12:54 PM
i would disagree with the word being used in literal hebrew translation, it is much like the word chi or qi in chinese. it can mean breath, life, spirit or energy, depending on the situation it is used in. weruah is not the same as ruah, but again this in my interpretation, i am no OT scholar. so, no argument with that, but i think somethings are missing.

shrewsbury
07-11-2012, 12:57 PM
sure 8 people were mentioned, but from what version were they learning from, and the oldest known copy would have been from his lifetime and is missing genesis 7

again, i am not saying you are wrong or i am right, this just points out why i stick to jesus, the OT gets to be very tricky for me.

shortking98
07-11-2012, 01:17 PM
What makes you think Peter did not have a copy of Genesis 7? Simply because we do not have copies of genesis older than that era (due to preservation issues) does not mean Peter would not have had access to them 2000 years ago. I am also not sure how you would justify other people being on the ark in light of the context I mentioned in chapters 7,8 & 9.

As an aside, I am not an expert on the dead sea scrolls but my understanding of them was that several copies of genesis were part of it. Is this incorrect?

habsheaven
07-11-2012, 01:44 PM
Forgot to add, 1 Peter 3:20 goes even further specifically stating that only 8 people were saved from the flood in the ark (Noah, his 3 sons and their wives)

What about Methuselah & Lamech? According to biblical geneaology. They both died years after the flood.

Tivo32
07-11-2012, 02:00 PM
What about Methuselah & Lamech? According to biblical geneaology. They both died years after the flood.

I just did a very quick look (emphasis on very quick) and it looks like Lamech is assumed to have died a few years prior to the flood and Methuselah died the same year as the flood. There is some belief that Methuselah's name may have been a prophecy for the coming of the flood.

shortking98
07-11-2012, 02:18 PM
What about Methuselah & Lamech? According to biblical geneaology. They both died years after the flood.Per genesis 5, Lamech lived 595 years after he had Noah and Methusaleh lived 782 years after he had Lamech. Noah was born when Lamech was 182 years old, meaning that Methusaleh lived 600 years after the birth of Noah. In genesis 7, Noah is 600 years old at the time of the flood so the math works as Methusaleh would have died in the year of the flood and Lamech 5 years prior.

shrewsbury
07-11-2012, 02:22 PM
shortking,

never said peter did not have access to anything, i said i did not know what he studied and neither does anyone else, could have been a better more complete version or the same thing we have now, i do not know.

from what i know the dead sea scrolls do contain some of genesis but no complete version

and just to add, peter more than likely did not write anything in the new testament, could have been his understudy. some say the understudy wrote it at peters request, some say he wrote them, and others say, neither wrote them.

peter was a jew and i am sure knew genesis quite well, but i would bet jesus never explained the story of noah to him, so who knows?

again, i could be flat out wrong, but would need more proof to think either way.

shortking98
07-11-2012, 02:31 PM
In Luke 17:26/Matthew 24:37 Jesus refers to the "days of Noah" so I think it would be reasonable to assume that the listeners were familiar with Noah.

Also, my apologies for misinterpreting what you were saying regarding the scriptures Peter was using.

habsheaven
07-11-2012, 02:50 PM
Per genesis 5, Lamech lived 595 years after he had Noah and Methusaleh lived 782 years after he had Lamech. Noah was born when Lamech was 182 years old, meaning that Methusaleh lived 600 years after the birth of Noah. In genesis 7, Noah is 600 years old at the time of the flood so the math works as Methusaleh would have died in the year of the flood and Lamech 5 years prior.

Yes, I see that now. I misread the flood date as 1651 not 1657. Curious how Arphaxad outlived his great-grandson; his great, great-grandson; his great, great, great-grandson; and even his great, great, great, great-grandson. Can only imagine the conversations at the dinner table when your descendants keep dropping like flies.

Tivo32
07-11-2012, 03:03 PM
Yes, I see that now. I misread the flood date as 1651 not 1657. Curious how Arphaxad outlived his great-grandson; his great, great-grandson; his great, great, great-grandson; and even his great, great, great, great-grandson. Can only imagine the conversations at the dinner table when your descendants keep dropping like flies.

I imagine it'd be a tad depressing. Or awesome if you preferred quieter holiday meals. ;)

shrewsbury
07-11-2012, 04:12 PM
shortking, being familiar with noah and having jesus explain it to you are two different things

shortking98
07-11-2012, 04:45 PM
Shrewsbury - I think we have differing views on how to read scripture and that is the real root of our disagreement. I prefer to look at scripture as a whole to make my conclusions while you seem a lot more skeptical of OT passages in general such as the context chapters around Genesis 7 in this case. I'm not going to say you shouldn't have that opinion or anything like that, I just think that is where our difference of opinion stems from.

shrewsbury
07-11-2012, 04:56 PM
shortking, that is why we are here, we have opinions, and i like to here everyones, including yours, heck you may say something that helps me change my mind for the better.

i would be bold enough to say, you seem to be thinking i am taking stuff out of context, when in fact, i would say you are stringing things together for the sake of trying to make sense out of it.

one example would be trying to date anything in the OT, because if you do this, you have 3 choices. you will either believe the earth is 6000 years old, realize something is missing somewhere, or think it is all fake.
i personally go with the something is missing somewhere.

and since we are on the subject of how we veiw things, what is your take on the Nag Hammadi library?

and please don't veiw me as saying i am right and you are wrong, if we disagree it very well could be I am wrong, just need to figure out why

theonedru
07-11-2012, 11:37 PM
What about the argument that the flood was a local rather than a global phenomenon. It would make more sense to the validity of the story

habsheaven
07-11-2012, 11:50 PM
To accept that argument you have to accept that the story is a lie as it is told. If you accept it as a lie, you end up questioning the validity of everything else. That is the conundrum facing believers.


What about the argument that the flood was a local rather than a global phenomenon. It would make more sense to the validity of the story

shortking98
07-12-2012, 09:52 AM
shortking, that is why we are here, we have opinions, and i like to here everyones, including yours, heck you may say something that helps me change my mind for the better.

i would be bold enough to say, you seem to be thinking i am taking stuff out of context, when in fact, i would say you are stringing things together for the sake of trying to make sense out of it.

one example would be trying to date anything in the OT, because if you do this, you have 3 choices. you will either believe the earth is 6000 years old, realize something is missing somewhere, or think it is all fake.
i personally go with the something is missing somewhere.

and since we are on the subject of how we veiw things, what is your take on the Nag Hammadi library?

and please don't veiw me as saying i am right and you are wrong, if we disagree it very well could be I am wrong, just need to figure out why

I am actually quite enjoying this discussion. In regards to the Nag Hammadi library I will admit that I am not an expert. I know that they are very gnostic in nature which would make sense given their location. I haven't read the texts themselves (are they available somewhere?) so I can only comment on what I have read about them. Based on what I know though I would favor the Bible to these texts and think there is a good chance that these were a mixture of original texts/quotes and gnostic writings parsed together. What is your opinion on them as I sense you may have a better grasp on them than I do

*censored*
07-12-2012, 10:17 AM
What about the argument that the flood was a local rather than a global phenomenon. It would make more sense to the validity of the story

It's entirely possible, but many cultures have stories of great floods. The epic of Gilgamesh was the first to come into my mind.

A few here: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/flood-myths.html

So this opens up a number of possibilities:
1. There was a great worldwide, cataclysmic flood at one time or another in the distant (to our sense of time, at least) past
2. There was a crapload of localized flooding ages ago
3. It's all made up and just shared across several cultures as a parable

Make of it all what you will.

shrewsbury
07-12-2012, 10:47 AM
shortking, i am fascinated by some of them, where some of them I can easily say were not part of the apostles works. The gospel of thomas and the gospel mary (though very controversial) are some great works. they certainly could be fakes, but the thomas one seems likely, why did he not contribute anything to the NT? he was a huge part of the jesus movement and if it were not for him, everyone would have left jesus right off the bat. and mary was a huge part of jesus and played some important roles in his life, so though it is plausible, i am still unsure, but not unsure enough to keep thinking about it.

the issue is the gospel of mary is not in full and very fragmented, and the gospel of thomas in not complete. they are both worth reading and i think strengthen the idea of christians as individuals and has some interesting aspects.

please don't get caught up in the gnostic idea, remember the church used this as a negative term to get a stronghold on the christian people. when the council of nicea was debating on the contents of the bible, they were shown up by a gnostic, they tried to make him look bad, but it backfired, so he was exiled, and the so called gnostic works were burned.

the term gnostic should really be early christians, these were the people who were interested in jesus and not the church nor power.

http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/nhl.html

here is my favorite;

http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/gthlamb.html

and here is another but a little bit more of a stretch, but interesting to say the least

http://www.gnosis.org/library/marygosp.htm

mrveggieman
07-12-2012, 11:16 AM
Sorry to veer off topic but speaking of the early christians they were indeed vegetarian which opens up a whole new can of worms for today's christians. Except for the SDA church.

http://www.donoteatus.org/Were_Early_Christians_Vegerarian_Layout2.htm

shrewsbury
07-12-2012, 12:24 PM
veggie, though being a vegetarian is a great thing, it is not what jesus taught (in my opinion)

remember it is not what goes into the mouth but what spews from it. the article has very little sound argument, but i don't think it matters either way.

shortking98
07-12-2012, 02:51 PM
shortking, i am fascinated by some of them, where some of them I can easily say were not part of the apostles works. The gospel of thomas and the gospel mary (though very controversial) are some great works. they certainly could be fakes, but the thomas one seems likely, why did he not contribute anything to the NT? he was a huge part of the jesus movement and if it were not for him, everyone would have left jesus right off the bat. and mary was a huge part of jesus and played some important roles in his life, so though it is plausible, i am still unsure, but not unsure enough to keep thinking about it.

the issue is the gospel of mary is not in full and very fragmented, and the gospel of thomas in not complete. they are both worth reading and i think strengthen the idea of christians as individuals and has some interesting aspects.

please don't get caught up in the gnostic idea, remember the church used this as a negative term to get a stronghold on the christian people. when the council of nicea was debating on the contents of the bible, they were shown up by a gnostic, they tried to make him look bad, but it backfired, so he was exiled, and the so called gnostic works were burned.

the term gnostic should really be early christians, these were the people who were interested in jesus and not the church nor power.

http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/nhl.html

here is my favorite;

http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/gthlamb.html

and here is another but a little bit more of a stretch, but interesting to say the least

http://www.gnosis.org/library/marygosp.htm

Yes, I know the term gnostic is kind of a catch all that grouped several groups together as one. On many issues I think the Gnostics had a better biblical understanding than the Catholics, especially early Gnostics. Also, I appreciate the links and will have to read the passages when I have a bit more time

JustAlex
07-12-2012, 05:13 PM
I just want to say that the Noah story was probably the biggest reason why I started to doubt the bible...

This story can't to be 100% literal, it's just too implausible.

Maybe there was a flood that lasted a few days, maybe a lot of people died, but that's as much as I'm willing to believe.

There was no arc, there were no collection of animals (This part of the story has been DEBUNKED various times), and there is no way that a flood could cover the earth and kill every living thing and we're all here today...

I think Christians really need to examine this story a lot more closely, think about how many different animal species there are in the world, think about what the mixture of Fresh water (rain) would do to all the oceans (Salt Water).....it would have killed every marine animal.

Eight humans left to repopulate the earth is just silly....the same could be said about the animals, it would be impossible to repopulate the entire earth with just ONE pair of each species.

Lastly, the thing about the Rainbow, Science has clearly demonstrated how rainbows work (a spectrum of Light appears when the sun shines on droplets of moisture).

C'mon, I don't think anyone can believe that rainbows NEVER occurred before the "flood"...

The story is clearly an explanation to something which humans did not understand, It should be treated as allegorical, not literal.

shrewsbury
07-12-2012, 05:22 PM
alex, if you believe in evolution then you would believe that everything came form one organism, not even two, and the whole earth is populated.

also i believe more than 8 people were on the ark, well maybe i believe it

but as a christian why focus on noah, maybe jesus would be a better idea

habsheaven
07-12-2012, 07:13 PM
Jay, I could be wrong but I think Alex's contention partly involves the issue of time. 8 people turning into 7 Billion in 4,600 years is just not possible.


alex, if you believe in evolution then you would believe that everything came form one organism, not even two, and the whole earth is populated.

also i believe more than 8 people were on the ark, well maybe i believe it

but as a christian why focus on noah, maybe jesus would be a better idea

shrewsbury
07-12-2012, 08:44 PM
I heard one educated jewish leader say he thought the torah was millions of years old, but i agree if it was 4700 years ago, the math doesn't add up

theonedru
07-12-2012, 08:57 PM
It's entirely possible, but many cultures have stories of great floods. The epic of Gilgamesh was the first to come into my mind.

A few here: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/flood-myths.html

So this opens up a number of possibilities:
1. There was a great worldwide, cataclysmic flood at one time or another in the distant (to our sense of time, at least) past
2. There was a crapload of localized flooding ages ago
3. It's all made up and just shared across several cultures as a parable

Make of it all what you will.

Did they not find ancient marine skeletal remains at high elevations somewhere, possibly South America?

They could possible have all for the most been massive local flooding, after all what really was considered the Whole world to those people back then around the middle east/north Africa.. They had no knowledge of The Americas or Antarctica, Iceland.........

shrewsbury
07-12-2012, 11:09 PM
there is no doubt of global flooding. at the end of each ice age we would have seen flooding in many places.

the issue i have with this story is the dating. there is no possible way the earth is anywhere near 6000 years old, we aren't even talking millions, but billions.
then when you add in how old some of these people lived to be, it just further shows dating and lineage is off.

if adam and eve were the first and noah was not too long after that, then from noah to moses there is a whole bunch of time missing

if from noah to moses timeline is correct, which is more feasable, then we have to deal with the time between noah and adam.

you could repopulate the earth with humans in less than one hundred years if all plays out.

the current rough population stats show there were around 1 million people in 10,000 BC

so if we started with 4 pairs of humans to breed, they could breed every nine months, and the off spring would be equal male female that could breed every 9 months starting at age 12

then the rough stats would look like this.

64 in 12 years

576 in 12 more years

5000 in 12 more years

so in 36 years we have a population of 5000 people from 8

48 years 50000

60 years 500000

so in less than a hundred years you could be at 1 million in 10,000 BC, which would get us around the end of the last ice age, so to me this makes more sense, but there is still a lot to explain.

mrveggieman
07-13-2012, 09:29 AM
I never got anyone trying to say that the earth is only 6000 years. Even Stevie Wonder can see that dosen't make 1 ounce of sense.