Naked Bible Podcast Episode 82 – Q & A #8 Posted by DrHeiser | Jan 10, 2016 | Biblical Study & Translation, NakedBible | The episode is now live. Share: Rate:
Lots of interesting discussion!
Given some of the astral and genealogy discussion…what’s the issue with the French guy’s (his name eludes me) contention that the ages in Gen5/census numbers in Numbers have astronomical origins?
Is there question that the Babylonians (and thus the Isrealite redactors) didn’t have such information at the time of the Pentateuch?
The portrayal of Israel as an earthly host mirroring the heavenly host makes a lot of sense — dovetails with Daniel 12.3.
I too share the critique of Malina, though it’s a great reference book. There’s a book by a guy named Chevalier called A Postmodern Revelation that looks at the astral language as well; very interesting. Although the author is primarily an anthropologist. It seems no one has written anything on Revelation taking both the OT and the astral language seriously. But the aforementioned book works well with divine council theology; he basically sees Revelation as a polemic of the star/astral worship of John’s day.
P.S. I’ve been listening to some ETS recordings (including the one you referenced) and recognized the voice of a certain someone during the QA period. 🙂
funny on ETS. 🙂
The Pentateuch question would depend somewhat on when you think that was composed/put together. However, Mesopotamian astronomy was older than that (at least as an enterprise — the astronomical texts come from different periods).
Is there a reason you don’t like the term “borrow.” If Israelites took concepts that pre-date them, to either polemicize or to adapt, why is borrowing a bad term?
It’s not necessarily bad, but it’s a poor choice in certain contexts, especially in instances where the better explanation for an idea is common context / environment. You can really only speak of “borrowing” when there is clear interaction by a writer with an extant text (so you can see he was working with a specific text in mind). In short, “borrow” is over-used and imprecisely used in many instances.
Any thoughts on Romans 28-30 , and whether it is referring to Jesus’ lineage being righteous ? Conforming to the image of his Son so that he may be the firstborn etc…
I just don’t know what you’re asking here.
Well I am wondering if the verses relate to the idea of the lineage of Jesus having to be righteous before God so that Jesus could be born from righteous lineage.
What is the terminology, “so he may be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” about? I see the “He” in this quote as meaning Jesus.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
“firstborn” isn’t a strictly chronological term; it refers to pre-eminence instead (e.g., this is why the messianic king / David can be called the firstborn even though he wasn’t chronologically first – Psa 89:27). The idea here is pre-eminence and the eventual conformity of all God’s children to the ultimate son.
Thanks heaps Mike, very helpful.
Thanks so much for answering my questions and for directing me to some critical Kabbalah resources!
I almost forgot, I think another person’s question was about Jacob’s wrestling match.
I don’t think it was really addressed, and it’s a question I have too.
Here’s a brief copy and paste from an Amazon review that better asks the question (and please do remember, this excerpt does not necessarily express my own views):
when Micaiah sees the vision of God’s council in 1 Kings 22, is this a true vision of God’s throne-room? Or is God “translating” events in Heaven into Near Eastern terms?
Or take the idea of the descent of the sons of God to marry the daughters of men in Genesis 6:1-4. Heiser repeatedly states that this is a “polemic” against Babylon. Well, if the story is there for polemical purposes, then did it really happen?
What’s being asked is:
What parts of the Bible would look very similar if The New York Times acquired a time machine and had reporters rewrite the Bible?
Which parts are there *solely* to convey ideas instead of empirical, sense-perceptible facts?
And how do we know the difference?
God isn’t choosing the wording of the account. It’s what Micaiah sees — the divine throne room.
This isn’t a polemic — the writer isn’t shooting at any specific ANE text / religious point.
Chris, these are terrific questions that have been asked here and on other sites as well, that sadly, have not really been adequately dealt with. You can check this link as well for the same sort of question
Your question, is my question and if you dig a little deeper in the archives here you can see other people have asked it too. It’s basically the question of: if X did not happen, why ought anyone follow in the theology that emanates out of it? X either happened or it did not? Theology only matters if something happened. But what is alway said here is that the Israelites were products of their surroundings and what they wrote was influenced, by the surrounding cultural beliefs. That’s fine. Where it gets sticky is then saying God utilized that for His benefit. So did an angelic host REALLY impregnant women or not? Was there REALLY a dispersion of makind 4000+ or not? In my opinion these are the most critical questions. Because if they didn’t really happen, (and I am positive ancient Israelites believed they are historical) why should anyone devote their faith and hopes to shaky theology not rooted in reality.
I truly believe Mike should devote a post to this.
can you put this to me in an email? thanks.
You want this as a reminder for you to post? We have already had private conversations about this in the past and I don’t think it got anywhere. That’s why I think a public post would do better since more voices on the subject can be heard.
You have to keep reminding me. Even now I can’t quite remember what it’s about. I’ll have to look. You have to realize that I cram a pile of email and commentary into about 5% of my day. There are a dozen other things that cry for attention. Things WILL drop off my radar, with regularity and in not too much time.
Hey Dr. Heiser,
I would like to submit a two-part-question based on your statement (in one of the last Q&A-editions of the Naked Bible Podcast) concerning the second death, that “one could consider annihilation”. An answer would be deeply appreciated and might be interesting for others as well.
Part A) Is it possible that there are two categories of unsaved dead humans heading for the lake of fire:
1. children of the world, who just didn´t know Jesus and burn up / cease to exist;
2. children of the devil, who consciously rejected Jesus and burn forever (have no rest / the worm doesn´t die).
Part B) What about dead humans who belonged to ancient people outside the Near East and before the time of Christ, who never even heard of Israel, like Indigenous Australians? Could they have received an opportunity to at least hear about the savior in Sheol, depending on their more sheep- or goat-like behavior in life (in analogy to surviving non-Christian humans in the millennial kingdom who treated the brethren nicely, some ancient Aboriginal guys may have lamented the human condition, fled wicked practices or perhaps entertained angels of the Lord).
Any insights or ideas?
For my thoughts on the unborn or infants who die, see the archive on Romans 5:12.
In reference to episode 81,because it seems to not have been posted here on the blog(I’m catching up from the holidays),
You made a remark of long hair in ancient culture.
I thought you’d find it off some interest that Chinese, Japanese and Thai Culture all have makes wearing long hair and “life braids” to illustrate their longevity and more then likely their virility.
All these warriors (Japanese, Chinese and Thai) all showed their long braids to illustrate long life and strength.
thought you’d find the ancient cultural connection fascinating between them.
interesting; when you say “was not posted” what specifically is missing?