Can’t believe I forgot to post this when I wrote it a few months back. LBD is available for free with the download of the Faithlife Study Bible (I did the notes for Genesis through Judges on that). Anyway, here’s my article on “Rephaim” in PDF:
I also did the entries on “Divine Council” and “Image of God” – I think I posted those earlier.
Are these articles already in Logo 6?
I (because I steadfastly refuse to behave like a responsible adult) blame you.
Nice LBD entry. It seems to reference this “unseen realm” thing. In time; all good things…
My electronica/logos LBD on the kindle is (bad word). Ain’t FaithLogos it’s (badword) amazon.
Forced me to vocab “chthonic”. It’s a heavy-metal band from Taiwan. “heavy metal” or “hairband-ballad” gives me the giggles comin’ outta the gate.
Imagine my joy.
Forced me to breakdown and buy a used DDD. Goodwill of Columbia, WA. Hopefully annotated by one of your former students. Tear stains and incredulity in the margins.
Nothing thumps like a really good book when you close it.
Forced me to use a Dick Armey/Mother’s Day quote. Sortta. Maybe.
“. . . the jam-packed room burst into raucous laughter as one reporter prefaced a question about the Lewinsky scandal by saying, “If you were in the president’s position . . . ” Armey didn’t miss a beat. “If I were, I would be looking up from a pool of blood and hearing my wife say : ‘How do I reload this thing?'”
See. It’s all your fault. I was havin’ tea with the pope when all that went down.
Thanks/Best to Mrs H.
I have a childhood friend that is now a pastor. We were both raised as somewhat young earth creationist, but I have since had a major crisis of faith. My friend is the one that actually sent me to your site recently and I have been doing a lot of reading.
The scholarship is simply outstanding. I understand why my friend sent me to you. Ironically, the level of scholarship here has only solidified my gnawing belief that the whole enterprise of the Jewish religion, along with its Bible is nothing more than mythology. The Assyrian, Ugaritic, Babylonian religions are all myth like those of the Greek. I see now that the Israelites’ religion is in fact just another myth from that region. There is very little in it that I can trust.
Congrats on the upcoming book though.
You have to test the truth claims of any religion, ancient or modern. The truth claims of the Hebrew Bible (about God, other spirits, etc.) are not all the same as other ANE civilizations. They all are thinking about “the one and the many” and have similar but different takes — all of which can be tested for logical coherence. Have you done so, or are you just drawing premature (surface) conclusions?
And why any of that has anything to do with creation is beyond me. The Bible makes no scientific claims about creation other than that there is a creator. (And that has stood the test of coherence, sufficient to make many thousands of modern scientists in all the hard sciences feel quite comfortable in affirming the idea). To press Genesis 1 or any other passage into teaching modern science is to make the Bible into something it was never intended to be. That would be our fault, not the Bible’s. (And Ken Ham’s I guess).
Don’t let YEC’s misguided trajectories guide your response to the things the Bible actually does assert.
Thank you for your reply.
You are correct that the truth claims of the Hebrew bible are not the same truth claims as other ancient near east people, but that does not make it objectively true.
I am not sure how one would go along testing something for logical coherence. All religions had and still have their own inherit system of thought. So how could I ever compare with an objective eye?
Maybe I can’t shake off my upbringing, but for me, what the Bible says should be true in the sense of both theologic and historic. If Adam was not a real person created exactly 6000 years ago as the first man, than why should I believe there was a Noah? If no Noah, then why should I believe in an Abraham and the covenant?
It appears to me, with all the scholarly work out there (yours included) it is far simpler and more coherent to see the bible as a work of great people, but is just one product in a line of other products of the time. You can easily put the hebrew bible and its theology on a list of other ancient near east beliefs. Sure, it is different from the others, but greek theology was different from the Hittites. And Hittites were different from the Egyptians. They all they have their unique theology that was coherent to its practitioners just like Christianity is coherent to you.
Do you want me to use logic to answer your questions? 🙂
All that talk about “alternative logics” or “alternative coherences” is BS. Something is either coherent or not, and all things aren’t equally coherent.
We all depend on logical discourse and logical thought to have any meaningful communication. I’m not saying you’re deliberately dancing around the logic issue, but you are dancing, nevertheless. Logic isn’t “western” vs. “eastern”. A cannot be A and non-A at the same time — it doesn’t matter if you’re asking that in America or India or a primitive culture. This sort of intellectual relativism is self-undermining, and it isn’t hard to show that. I’m talking about rules of clear thinking. And yes, all religious truth claims can be tested for logical coherence. And with respect to “objectively true” I’d need to know how you’re defining that. Truth arrived at through repeated observation is one kind of truth (and it’s not infallible, either – it depends on the quality of observation – as in Newton vs. Einstein vs. quantum theory now). But logical truth is how we approach things that can’t be repeated, or questions that deal with whether there is a reality outside the material world. In that case, the goal is to see which answer is most coherent. We use this in legal proceedings. The goal it to try and test all possible answers to find the one that renders the others more doubtful. Religious claims can be tested in that way, and religious claims vs. non-religious claims to the contrary can also be tested by the same means.
Just one last thing. You said:
“They all are thinking about “the one and the many” and have similar but different takes — all of which can be tested for logical coherence. Have you done so, or are you just drawing premature (surface) conclusions?”
I understand the question, but it seems to me that if they were all asking the same questions, than logically it also means that the majority of them made up the answers and more importantly, got it wrong. The likelihood that the hebrews got it right, therefore, is significantly low. I think, to me, that is what your scholarship has proved to me.
Asking the same questions is normative. But they all don’t produce the same answers. The issue is the answers.
What is the basis for your conclusion?
Thank you for your replies. I will respond but I just wanted to share with you the latest article on this website
It just asked the same question as I did. Providence? 🙂
Gen 1-11 is a response to various myths; it’s “the myth that is true” (stealing my old book title, taken from Tolkien of course). This is the nature of polemic. Each side’s assertions need to be tested for coherence.
I alluded to this issue not long ago in a previous post, that the conclusion HCF came to about ‘all religions being myths’ is gaining strength amongst popular opinion, alongside the view that ‘oldest is best’, therefore the Hebrew religion is just a rip-off of older versions (often coming from the mouths of theologians), which Im sure you know only too well given your opposition to Sitchens nonsense.
I also said previously that you should take this subject on, who better qualified to?! I really believe this subject to be important. I hope to tackle it myself, but Im no Michael Heiser! Its extremely difficult to find anything credible to read on the subject defending this issue from a Christian standpoint.
Who or what is HCF (it’s not ringing a bell and I don’t want to search for it)? This question was settled in the 19th century / early 20th century. It was part of the panbabylonian craze of that era. I can show people old material to that effect, but they won’t care. See:
People who believe this sort of thing haven’t read the primary texts, so secondary sources aren’t going to interest them either.
HCF is the pseudonym of the person you were conversing with directly above my post.
Thankyou for the link, you’re of course right people who believe this sort of thing haven’t read the primary texts, and thats partly the problem now that (I believe) needs addressing. They are more likely to get their info from some flaky secondary source in the form of a Sitchen novel or youtube video. I guess I’ll just have to keep directing people towards your Facade/Portent novels for now!
Excellent article I would like your opinion on betzel as shadow because i see a link between genesis and exodus here.
This is a short rabbinic commentary on exodus http://www.otniel.org/show_english.asp?id=32217
It appears to me consistent with the context of genesis that shadow as image refers to the position of Adam as an ambassador or vicar of God in his role as caretaker, judge, etc.
Following this it seems that seth in Adams likeness and shadow, the order of terms reversed, refers to fallen mans requirement to work in the sweat of his brow rather than purely administrate. Continuing then to Genesis 9 it does not appear that the reference contends that man is now in that shadow/image but that righteousness is acknowledging that man was created that way and should treat others in light of how things were intended, i.e. a sin against the order not the person (includes the idea of imputed righteousness, that man has no rights to life in his person but cannot kill because it violates Gods right to his property/man which he has created if another intentionally destroys his property/man).
I find this view consistent with the necessity of being conformed to the image of christ. Why would we need to be conformed to an image we are already in?? Likewise it doesn’t conflict with the way James uses image of God as the created standard in the order of genesis we behave in respect to, again because God has the right to demand that his property be treated as it was created to be, not with respect to the condition it is in.
For example, if you borrow my car you should drive it just as you would a new car even it is actually a piece of junk.
I think the point of “conforming” is one of DEGREE, not kind. We are already “like” God as his imagers, but we are not “as much like” him as Jesus was — in his character, decisions, avoidance of sin, etc.
I apologize, i forgot to add this to my first comment, That betzel as shadow also appears consistent with how Paul refers to us as the temple of God, see this messianic perspective of the use of betzel in exodus and if you please give me your opinion on how it relates to genesis
email this to me; by the time I have time to read it I’ll have forgotten it’s here.
loving these. read image of God and rephaim; in divine council article i think this section has a typo: …
This interaction had to be strictly
controlled in order to avoid both the potential dangers of unrestricted divine power and the pollution of
the divine man realm was brought about through their manifestation in a physical body, manifestation
in one body did not in any sense restrict a deity, for the non-corporeal essence of a by the impurity of
the human world. While the ability of deities to act in the visible, human realm was brought about
through their manifestation in a physical body, manifestation in one body did not in any sense restrict a
deity, for the non-corporeal essence of a deity was unlimited by time and space, and could manifest in
all its ‘bodies,’ in all locations, all at one time” (Robins, “Cult Statues in Ancient Egypt,” 1–2).
You’re right – I reported it. Thanks!