Author Topic: On the Bible and Punishment  (Read 4059 times)

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deances

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2012, 08:11:01 PM »
Hi Molly (et al.)

Yes, I think God is wrongfully represented in the Bible, unless the text is inaccurately translated, and "angry" means something other than losing one's temper.

Again, anger is a flaw.  Jealousy is a flaw.  On the other hand, "passion" and "protectiveness" are not flaws, and so if one were to say God is very passionate, and very protective, that is much different.

There are even passages in the Old Testament (don't recall in which book, somewhere between Exodus and Deuteronomy), where Moses has to calm God down, as God is ready to unleash tremendous havoc on the masses and Moses stops Him. Maybe God was simply testing Moses to see if Moses would have compassion, or had some other motive, but I find it completely inconceivable that God would lose His temper.

Also, after the Great Flood, God seemed to regret what he had done (a mistake, then?), and vowed never to destroy human beings again because, after all, they cannot help being bad - a vow which he broke over and over again.

Again, I disagree with those interpretations, which leads me back to my original point that either 1) they are simply inaccurate information; or  2) we are not reading them information correctly


Offline lomarah

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2012, 08:36:33 PM »
Actually He vowed never to destroy all living creatures again. "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done." Genesis 8

Death can be a merciful thing to those who keep digging themselves deeper and deeper into sin. They are in great bondage and only hurt themselves and others.

Make sure to read all of the "punishment" verses in light of this: He does not want ANYONE to perish, but wants ALL to come to repentance. (See 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:4). Also something to always keep in mind: Lamentations 3:33 "For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men." Take note: He does not like "punishing" us!

But: Hebrews 12:10 "...God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness."

All of our discipline is for our own good.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 08:39:49 PM by lomarah »
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deances

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2012, 09:00:39 PM »
I do believe that everything God does is for our own good.  The focus here is not the ACT, but the MOTIVE.  Consider these two examples, to illustrate:

SCENARIO A:  Jack makes fun of Bob's tie.  Bob loses his temper and punches Jack.

SCENARIO B:  Bob is walking home and notices a man (let's call him Baxter) attacking a woman, with a knife in his hand, about to stab her.  With no time to waste, Bob pulls out his gun and shoots Baxter, killing him.

ACT v. ACT:  In Scenario A, a mere punch.  In Scenario B, a fatal shooting.

MOTIVE v. MOTIVE: In Scenario A, anger.  In Scenario B, to save a victim's life.

So again, my immediate criticism is not WHAT God did, but human interpretation attributing it to his anger - to his loss of temper.

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2012, 09:45:40 PM »
The Hebrew word "anep" is only used for God's anger.
For the anger of humans various other words are used.
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Offline Cardinal

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2012, 09:59:15 PM »
 :cloud9: I think God's anger could be described as righteous judgment. His judgment is unto victory, ours is not. He can both kill AND raise up. My  :2c:
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

deances

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2012, 12:09:36 AM »
I think the Bible is a history of how people used to think and react to particular situations.  If you'll indulge me in another illustration:   suppose that little Johnny (5 years old) is afraid to go to sleep because he is afraid of monsters.  Crying and in clear distress, Johnny asks his father: "dad, can you please stand outside my door and if a monster tries to come in, you'll kill him?" 

Johnny's Dad thinks it is futile at this particular time of night to try to convince his little boy that those monsters he saw on TV are not real.  Instead, he takes an empty unlabeled spray bottle from the closet, fills it with water, and writes:  SPECIAL MONSTER-KILLING SPRAY on the label.  He tells Johnny "don't worry, son, I'll be outside this door with the special monster-killing spray, you're safe."

Fast forward 25 years later - Johnny - now John - is 30 years old and about to be married.  He and his dad are in the attic, looking over old memorabilia, and his dad is going to give John some fatherly advice about married life. In their search, they find that old spray bottle from when Johnny was five, with the SPECIAL MONSTER-KILLING SPRAY label still attached to it. They both share a good laugh over that old memory.

Now, here's the analogy:  IF Johnny were to write down his dad's wise advice about married life (such as: be good to your wife, treat her with respect and kindness, be quick to forgive, be loyal, be faithful, etc.), that would be like the WISE things written in the Bible (such as: turn the other cheek, love thy neighbor, with God all things are possible, etc.).

HOWEVER, if Johnny were ALSO to write down:  "In case a monster tries to break in to our bedroom and kill my wife and me, I must always remember to keep a bottle of SPECIAL MONSTER-KILLING SPRAY on hand," then that would be like the portions of the Bible that sound (to me) as if they were interpreted by folks from Ancient times with limited knowledge, who seem utterly child-like to us today (such as:  God and the Devil made a bet about how faithful Job would be, God didn't speak out against slavery altogether, just made sure that if you knock out your slave's tooth, you have to set him free, the only man good enough to survive the flood - Noah - disowned his son who dared to view Noah naked when Noah was drunk out of his mind, etc.).

So I think the Bible contains some of the truly WISE things that Jesus said, and much of the illogical primitive interpretations of like made by the folks at the time.  Much like SPECIAL MONSTER-KILLING SPRAY.

Offline Cardinal

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2012, 01:25:13 AM »
 :cloud9: What it comes down to, is you're accessing what the carnal minds of men have interpreted it to say. It doesn't matter what age it was in, the carnal mind of men was never intended to be the Interpreter in the first place. But try, try, it will, with it's last dying breath. My  :2c:
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

Offline lomarah

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2012, 01:33:45 AM »
TRUTH! Just the other day my husband and I were discussing the Bible and he asked in exasperation, "Why did God make the Bible so impossible to understand?!?" And then it dawned on me that it was precisely because we need the Lord to guide us into all truth- the carnal mind could never do it!
From Him and through Him and to Him are all things.

Offline jabcat

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2012, 01:36:08 AM »
Lomarah, that's an excellent post!  You, Card, and really everyone, have made some really good points.

God-breathed scripture may not always sit well with us or make sense to our extremely limited, only partly-functioning (5%?) human mind.  But to say it's just man's interpretations and opinions, is to deny what the scriptures say about themselves;  that they are God-breathed, and the things were recorded by holy men of old as directed by the Holy Spirit.

As I said earlier, I also struggle with some of these things.  However, I don't think we can always explain it, nor that we should attempt to explain it away.  I believe we need to take it to the Lord for help in understanding and revelation, ask the Holy Spirit for interpretation, and humble ourselves before Him.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2012, 01:53:43 AM by jabcat »

Offline redhotmagma

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2012, 01:51:21 AM »
Deances and Cardinal I don't think you two are too far off.  Paul talks of us growing into the fully mature man.  I wonder if there is individual growth into the fully mature man and global growth.  If all of history, and this whole ride is for our learning, then maybe the human race is maturing as a corporate body. We will be a corporate body eventually.

Slavery is a good example.  Its pretty abhorrent to the majority of humans on the planet now, back then maybe not so much, I'm sure the slaves weren't too happy about it, but there didn't seem to be too much uproar from the disciples about it.

I'm not saying all the things in the bible didn't actually happen, but maybe they went down that way because of the immaturity of the population (morally, scientifically, spiritually).  God was introduced as elohim-- power, then given more and more revealing names as time went on, to finally "I will be salvation".  If you look at the most primitive cultures who have animistic religion, thats what god is, power, everything has a spirit, because so much is unknown. 
 :dontknow:

Offline Cardinal

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2012, 01:59:02 AM »
As I said earlier, I also struggle with some of these things.  However, I don't think we can always explain it, nor that we should attempt to explain it away.  I believe we need to take it to the Lord for help in understanding and revelation, ask the Holy Spirit for interpretation, and humble ourselves before Him.

 :cloud9: EXACTLY.....I have yet to find, in decades of study, that contradictions remain in the light of increased revelation.  :thumbsup: The "problem" was ALWAYS, not enough light IN ME. My  :2c:
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

deances

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #36 on: January 05, 2012, 02:44:43 AM »
Those are all good points, which is why I remain open-minded and always say: "I may think I'm right, but I know I could be wrong" about anything and everything.

Again, it is not whether certain events happened, it is whether we consider the explanations of why they happened to make sense.  For instance, a four year-old in need of an emergency appendectomy might interpret the entire experience as: "I didn't finish my dinner last night so mommy and daddy were very angry with me and took me to a dark room with these people with scary masks that cut me open with a knife and hurt me and made me cry. I promised my parents that from now on, I'll finish my dinner every night, so they won't hurt me again."

Is that really much different from explaining a tsunami as: "God was angry at the entire population - except for Noah and his kinfolks - and caused a Great Flood that drowned them all."


Offline thinktank

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #37 on: January 05, 2012, 02:48:50 AM »
God had to make do with the best he had in those days and had to be practical. e.g circumcision seems a cruel practice today, but back then it was an easy way for Israelites to identify each other.

Also
Those ancient culture, especially the non Israelites philistines etc seem much more carnal minded than the worst of pagans of today.


I think that is because the spirit of Christ is flowing and pouring upon all flesh, bringing civilized manners even to the heathen.
 :2c:

Offline thinktank

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #38 on: January 05, 2012, 02:50:42 AM »
Those are all good points, which is why I remain open-minded and always say: "I may think I'm right, but I know I could be wrong" about anything and everything.

Again, it is not whether certain events happened, it is whether we consider the explanations of why they happened to make sense.  For instance, a four year-old in need of an emergency appendectomy might interpret the entire experience as: "I didn't finish my dinner last night so mommy and daddy were very angry with me and took me to a dark room with these people with scary masks that cut me open with a knife and hurt me and made me cry. I promised my parents that from now on, I'll finish my dinner every night, so they won't hurt me again."

Is that really much different from explaining a tsunami as: "God was angry at the entire population - except for Noah and his kinfolks - and caused a Great Flood that drowned them all."



With no holy blood, so animal sacrifices and no holy spirit, those peoples of Babylon were contaminated the same way as a lepor, so have no choice but to destroy them before they infect Noah and his familly.

Offline redhotmagma

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #39 on: January 05, 2012, 02:53:06 AM »
God had to make do with the best he had in those days and had to be practical. e.g circumcision seems a cruel practice today, but back then it was an easy way for Israelites to identify each other.

Also
Those ancient culture, especially the non Israelites philistines etc seem much more carnal minded than the worst of pagans of today.


I think that is because the spirit of Christ is flowing and pouring upon all flesh, bringing civilized manners even to the heathen.
 :2c:
:thumbsup:

Offline Molly

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #40 on: January 05, 2012, 02:57:17 AM »
You have some wonderful examples, deances.

I am especially in need of that SPECIAL MONSTER KILLING SPRAY myself.

I"m wondering where I could get my hands on some.

Again, a child said to me once, Who cares if it's just my imagination, my fear is REAL.

So true... :laughing7:



But, yes, I do believe God had his very good reasons for the flood, and he makes it clear he is doing it for a  good reason:


5And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

 6And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

 7And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them
--Gen 6



Offline CHB

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #41 on: January 05, 2012, 03:23:00 AM »
Quote from: Molly
6And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

 7And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them
--Gen 6

For some reason this just doesn't sound right to me. It sounds like God was surprised at the wickedness of man and that he made a mistake by creating man. That just cannot be right. There has to be another explaination.

CHB

Offline jabcat

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #42 on: January 05, 2012, 03:39:06 AM »
I've looked at that before C, and there is some info on it that indicates translationally, that it had more to do with the last part of the first sentence, that He was grieved/sorrowful, rather than Him changing His mind ("repenting"), being surprised, made a mistake etc...  Maybe later I can look at some other translations..would be curious to know what the Hebrew Interlinear looks like, going a little "deeper" into the wording than the surface translations.. :2c:

Offline gregoryfl

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #43 on: January 05, 2012, 04:07:52 AM »
I've looked at that before C, and there is some info on it that indicates translationally, that it had more to do with the last part of the first sentence, that He was grieved/sorrowful, rather than Him changing His mind ("repenting"), being surprised, made a mistake etc...  Maybe later I can look at some other translations..would be curious to know what the Hebrew Interlinear looks like, going a little "deeper" into the wording than the surface translations.. :2c:
Perhaps this understanding will help. The actual concrete meaning derived from the 2 letter root of the word, Nun and Chet, is the same 2 letter root word for Noah. That concrete meaning is 'to sigh.' It carries both a positive and negative connotation. In the case of Noah, and the related word, Strongs Number 5118, both speak of a positive sigh, such as of relief. In the case of what God felt toward wicked humanity, it was a negative sighing, related to a groaning. Even in English we are familiar with both types of sighing.

Nothing in the word conveys the idea of God being suprised. Rather, he is describing how he felt when he witnessed the wickedness. He sighed that he made man.-Gen 6:6. Yet he knew that Noah would bring a sigh of relief (albeit briefly) when the flood occurred.-Gen 5:29

Ron

Offline jabcat

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #44 on: January 05, 2012, 04:11:13 AM »
I've looked at that before C, and there is some info on it that indicates translationally, that it had more to do with the last part of the first sentence, that He was grieved/sorrowful, rather than Him changing His mind ("repenting"), being surprised, made a mistake etc...  Maybe later I can look at some other translations..would be curious to know what the Hebrew Interlinear looks like, going a little "deeper" into the wording than the surface translations.. :2c:
Perhaps this understanding will help. The actual concrete meaning derived from the 2 letter root of the word, Nun and Chet, is the same 2 letter root word for Noah. That concrete meaning is 'to sigh.' It carries both a positive and negative connotation. In the case of Noah, and the related word, Strongs Number 5118, both speak of a positive sigh, such as of relief. In the case of what God felt toward wicked humanity, it was a negative sighing, related to a groaning. Even in English we are familiar with both types of sighing.

Nothing in the word conveys the idea of God being suprised. Rather, he is describing how he felt when he witnessed the wickedness. He sighed that he made man.-Gen 6:6. Yet he knew that Noah would bring a sigh of relief (albeit briefly) when the flood occurred.-Gen 5:29

Ron

Excellent, thanks Ron!  Yes, 'sighing', that's it...I'd forgotten.   :thumbsup:

Offline redhotmagma

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #45 on: January 05, 2012, 04:29:59 AM »
I've looked at that before C, and there is some info on it that indicates translationally, that it had more to do with the last part of the first sentence, that He was grieved/sorrowful, rather than Him changing His mind ("repenting"), being surprised, made a mistake etc...  Maybe later I can look at some other translations..would be curious to know what the Hebrew Interlinear looks like, going a little "deeper" into the wording than the surface translations.. :2c:
Perhaps this understanding will help. The actual concrete meaning derived from the 2 letter root of the word, Nun and Chet, is the same 2 letter root word for Noah. That concrete meaning is 'to sigh.' It carries both a positive and negative connotation. In the case of Noah, and the related word, Strongs Number 5118, both speak of a positive sigh, such as of relief. In the case of what God felt toward wicked humanity, it was a negative sighing, related to a groaning. Even in English we are familiar with both types of sighing.

Nothing in the word conveys the idea of God being suprised. Rather, he is describing how he felt when he witnessed the wickedness. He sighed that he made man.-Gen 6:6. Yet he knew that Noah would bring a sigh of relief (albeit briefly) when the flood occurred.-Gen 5:29

Ron

 :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Offline Beloved Servant

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #46 on: January 05, 2012, 04:55:56 AM »
Deances and Cardinal I don't think you two are too far off.  Paul talks of us growing into the fully mature man.  I wonder if there is individual growth into the fully mature man and global growth.  If all of history, and this whole ride is for our learning, then maybe the human race is maturing as a corporate body. We will be a corporate body eventually.

metamorphoo

Offline Cardinal

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #47 on: January 05, 2012, 03:20:53 PM »
 :cloud9: Loved that, Ron.... :thumbsup:
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

Offline CHB

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #48 on: January 05, 2012, 05:00:07 PM »
I've looked at that before C, and there is some info on it that indicates translationally, that it had more to do with the last part of the first sentence, that He was grieved/sorrowful, rather than Him changing His mind ("repenting"), being surprised, made a mistake etc...  Maybe later I can look at some other translations..would be curious to know what the Hebrew Interlinear looks like, going a little "deeper" into the wording than the surface translations.. :2c:
Perhaps this understanding will help. The actual concrete meaning derived from the 2 letter root of the word, Nun and Chet, is the same 2 letter root word for Noah. That concrete meaning is 'to sigh.' It carries both a positive and negative connotation. In the case of Noah, and the related word, Strongs Number 5118, both speak of a positive sigh, such as of relief. In the case of what God felt toward wicked humanity, it was a negative sighing, related to a groaning. Even in English we are familiar with both types of sighing.

Nothing in the word conveys the idea of God being suprised. Rather, he is describing how he felt when he witnessed the wickedness. He sighed that he made man.-Gen 6:6. Yet he knew that Noah would bring a sigh of relief (albeit briefly) when the flood occurred.-Gen 5:29

Ron

Thanks for these post, sighing sounds much better but it still sounds like God is disappointed, in how man has turned out, or how man was living. I don't see this thought because God knew and even planned the whole thing. I guess His ways are past finding out??

CHB

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: On the Bible and Punishment
« Reply #49 on: January 05, 2012, 05:10:33 PM »
Sometimes it's clear the Bible doesn't mean what the exact words mean.
(Gen 3:9) And LORD God called to the man, and said to him, Where are thou?

The literal meaning of the words simply mean that God couldn't find Adam.
I think it's safe to assume that nobody on this forum thinks that God really couldn't find Adam.
God asks questions quite often. Is God trying to learn something? Again I think everybody will answer "no".

Unfortunately in other cases it's not that obvious....
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...