I'm sorry I've kept you waiting so long for this; I've been quite busy and had to do my research and typing in between my thinking. And it sure took a lot of thinking and research to write this reply! Most of the thoughts were already there, of course, just never flushed out and made specific; which, without you hanging in there with me this long, I would not have been motivated to do what it takes to get these thoughts in order.
And for that, I thank you.
Here, then, is my heart of thoughts. It was written in spurts with a lot of nascent axioms typed out and later nipped because what I was led to conclude from them was contradictory and unrevealing.
Hopefully, all of that effort will be transparent to you and this will be an effortless read. I was well challenged by you to examine my thoughts for truth and to discover that the understanding that is in me, as unique and contradictory as it seems to the Christian understandings that were derived from that ulterior motivated and therefore, deliberately mistranslated Latin-to-English text, is supportable in the original Greek and Hebrew text of The Words, to my own satisfaction.
A quick note: This first part of my reply was written in real time. I had decided, as a challenge to my understanding, to type out my discoveries as I researched your claim about the Hebrew word nacash
. And that was because I had no foreknowledge of what I would find, since your challenge about the Hebrew word translated 'serpent' was one I had never heard before. The only thing I did, later, was to go back and perform a 'spell check' and insert the hyperlinks and BBCode so you could see what I was seeing as I researched what you made claim to be a fact.
And so, if it's not a day late and a dollar short, here we go!
Could you link me to where you got this? Because, as you are probably aware, Strong makes no such mention of this- not that I think Strong is the ultimate authority. (And by the way do you know where there is a Concordant OT text available on the Internet?):
A primitive root; properly to hiss, that is, whisper a (magic) spell; generally to prognosticate: - X certainly, divine, enchanter, (use) X enchantment, learn by experience, X indeed, diligently observe.
Yeah, I got it from Strong's concordance in my e-sword program. I have the concordant NT and OT text in my e-sword program as well. nachash is the Hebrew word that we translate "serpent"
Thanks for the info about e-sword. I'll look into it.
OK... this is very interesting! I'm exploring this as I type...The Bible software I use simply says that it means 'serpent' all 31 times it's used...
And many of those times it refers to a literal serpent, not just to the one that was in the Garden, like the literal and fiery ones God sent among the Hebrews in Numbers...
I just checked with my published 2001 update to Strong's and it says the same thing; nachash
… yep, your English spelling is right... Strong's # 5175... What Strong's # are you using? You didn't say... simply means 'serpent' and that it is a masculine noun…
I'm checking The Blue Letter Bible... Gesenius says: a serpent
so called from it's hissing (see root) OK... The root is Strongs # 5172
... Ahhhh! This
is the word that you said is translated 'serpent'! Interesting... the only difference between the two is the vowel points, which would change the pronunciation
of the word... and that this
word is a root verb
not a noun!
Gesenius says it is: an onomatopoetic
word, unused in Kal
(Isn't 'Kal' a reference to the earliest and first form of the three forms of Biblical Hebrew?) meaning, exactly what you posted it meant, 'to hiss or whisper', specially used of the whispering of soothsayers…
And it's first appearance in The Words… Genesis 30:27
, is some two thousand, or more years after the events of Genesis 1-3… And this usage is somewhat unique from it's more consistent usage later on in that Laban uses it to reference the knowledge of God's ways that he got 'the hard way', so to speak.
So, if I'm understanding this right- like I said, I'm no language scholar- the first form of this Hebrew word spelled 'nun-cheit- shin' and pronounced 'naw-chash' (the guttural 'ch' with a short, hard 'a' and a truncated 's' similar
to our word 'cash', if spelled with a 'k'- 'kash') is a noun
that means a literal snake or serpent. And so because of what this literal serpent did
; for what it did
came first, even as the first appearance in Hebrew of this word is as a noun meaning 'serpent', the word also spelled 'nun-cheit- shin' but pronounced naw-chaasssh
(the guttural 'ch' but soft and long on the 'a', with a lingering 's' similar
to our pronunciation of the word 'cush
ion' if it were spelled with a 'k'- 'kush
-on') became, in later forms of Hebrew and in Arabic
(a much later language), a root verb
for the act of divination and was intended to resemble the hissing sound of a snake in the pronunciation of it's final syllable.
And again, that usage came to be because of what the literal serpent did
, beguile and seduce with flattering words, which is what soothsayers do. (It is not uncommon, in any language, to take a noun and turn it into a verb; we do it all the time in English. For instance the noun 'ship' is also a verb because of what a ship does
And that makes perfect sense given the expositions I found here
Well, I don't know what else to say, Doc. If my information is correct- and I welcome a challenge to it's accuracy- your's is not. And so, likely, would be any logical conclusions that you build from this belief that the Hebrew noun
of origin, pronounced naw-cash
in the Genesis creation account, meant the same thing, back then
, when this word was first used, that the root verb
, derived much later from this noun and pronounced naw-kasssh
, came to mean.
Or do you hold that these (fantastic) things are allegorical as well, simply because they are fantastic?
I don't have any problem believing that the God (or one of his agents) who created the universe...
One of His agents?!? This is certainly something I've never heard before! Could I ask you to expound?
Angels. Sometimes God chooses to speak through a messenger.
OK! Speak, yes. But create?!?
Doc, what else am I supposed to think you mean by saying this, other than that you believe it is possible that God spoke and it was the Angels
who did the actual work of creation?
That sounds pretty fantastic to me!
However, as you wish! It makes sense to you. And since I am unfamiliar with the logic that led you to this conclusion, I certainly won't gainsay it for the sake of 'traditional' thinking!
Interesting turn of a phrase, Doc, "cartoonish literal understanding". As if to say that to think literally of the persons and events in scripture, well at least of those in Genesis, is to be cartoonish.
I don't mean that as a put down, really. I'm just noting that your phraseology reveals something to me of how you think. Even as you stated your point about literal interpretations prior to this:
In some cases, it is cartoonish, when we have study tools available that can show us the way that biblical words are translated isn't what they really mean at all.
Well, I'm sure you perceive that I've been doing exactly that all along! themilios
means 'foundation', not katabole
means 'disruption'. And so the only English verses readily available to 'prove' that God knew, as a fact, that the Adam was going to turn before
He created them, Rev 13:8 and 17:8, do not
translate to the familiar belief that founds everything
so many build their understanding of Jehovah on, namely, the thought that 'Jesus was crucified from the foundation
of the world'! Which, belief, I conclude
the KJV Calvinists wanted you
to conclude, otherwise they'd have had no motive to make two Greek words mean exactly the same thing in English, anymore than they would have had motive to make three Greek words and one Hebrew word mean 'hell.'
I'm simply demonstrating that when we read the English word "serpent," we automatically think "snake". But the Hebrew word literally means "hissing one that whispers (a magic spell). that does not suggest a literal snake.
Well, it's up to you, now, to disprove what I discovered, at least to your own satisfaction, before you can continue to claim this as a fact.
Words mean things. And so, since no two words are exactly alike, there are correct and incorrect usages.
Do we have any other scriptural textual evidence that A&E were accustomed to speaking to animals and being spoken to by them?
No we don't. Even though we know some animals can learn to imitate human speech
. But that doesn't prove your point, because, as a fact, even as I stated it before, without the Genesis account we would be found stupid for the things we would imagine to fill in the knowledge gap that exists as we try to answer the question of where we came from and how we got to be where we are.
Fortunately, though, we do
have the literal and historical account in Genesis. So, at the least, we are without an excuse because, through this account- which gives us a complete and trustworthy, though admittedly fantastic story, when understood literally- we can, at least know
that we are being stupid about our origins rather than being stupid and
ignorant for not even knowing that we are being stupid!
And just to make sure that I'm not misunderstood- I am not
saying anyone here on Tentmaker is being stupid or even ignorant. (Quite the contrary! I am here exactly
because intelligent and studious humans, like you, Doc, are here- humans who have used logic and reason to discern the truth we call UR, exactly as I have, yet, have a different way
of thinking than I do about other things and against whom I can test my way of thinking for accuracy and truth.)
I was referring to exactly what I said before: Humans used to imagine a whole pantheon of gods as being responsible for creation and now many humans imagine that we evolved upward from... whatever… something
lower (they're not even sure!) And in these things
we demonstrate that we are stupid as we try to fill in the gap in our knowledge with imagination apart
from a literal understanding of the Genesis account; which account is the only
accurate, historical and truthful
record we have of where we came from and how we got to be where we are!
And that is why I firmly believe that Genesis must be understood and believed literally, first
, (no matter how fantastic the account may seem) before any other 'spiritual' layers of meaning are 'discovered'; just like in Jesus' parables.
"…Could you agree that my account is, at the least, internally consistent for my assuming that Jehovah did not know, as a fact (however unbelievable that may sound to you) that The Adam was going to turn before He created them?"
I would say that it probably is internally consistent.
But so is much of Calvinism,…
I agree. And with that statement you prove the very important point I was trying to make earlier when I was demonstrating how logic operates; for internal consistency is not proof of accuracy. Only accurate
axioms and truthful
facts will give you truthful and useful conclusions. Which means that any
inaccurate axioms or any
untruthful 'facts' will yield a conclusion, yes, but not a truthful and useful
one (except for the purposes of deception), no matter how internally consistent the logic is.
This fact about logic eludes most and is one of the reasons why John Calvin, a brilliant logician (who likely knew the 'game' he was playing with The Words), got away, for so long, with what he wanted us to believe about God: Calvin was internally consistent in what he taught, except what he taught wasn't the truth
what he did give us to believe about God turns out to be what we wanted
to believe, like that peculiar hell, as long as he could give 'us' a way to believe that 'we' were exempt from it.
....which you continually insist that I adhere to (even though I do not). I disagree with Calvin (and Augustine, for that matter) on a great many things, including the limitation of God's love to only the elect.
What's interesting about this comment is that, I as I wrote out my last reply, I came to foreknow that you would be concluding that I was doing this. And for foreknowing this, I offered a clarification, even this:
(Note: I am not saying, Doc, that you are a Calvinist, even if, perhaps, you are. What I am saying is that you, like so many other Believers (myself included), raised on the KJV, often hold, unknowingly and therefore, unquestioningly, several of his theological conclusions to be 'gospel truth'- for instance "The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" thingy! )
I am very sorry, though, that I left you frustrated here, Doc. I should have worked that clarification in earlier.
What I was really trying to do, however, was demonstrate a very simple point that I can now sum up for having presented most of my case:
Christians believe that Jehovah knew, as a fact
, that the Adam was going to 'fall' before
He created them because St Augustine and John Calvin wanted
us to believe this because it was needed for us to believe this to be a fact so we would could believe that peculiar hell existed!
In other words, the one 'fact' supported the other 'fact' such that if either one is false the other will be false. And that is why internal consistency is no proof of truth.
And so, through translational trickery, they made The Words say what they
wanted them to say so that we
would believe what they
wanted us to believe! And as I said earlier, what they gave Christians to believe about God, the majority of them wanted to believe, anyway.
A very exclusive club is what Calvinism gives us. And He was gracious enough to give us all the thoughts we would need to believe that it's all God's doing- that it's His fault
, if you will- that this exclusionary Believers Club is so
After all, weren't we taught that it was 'foreknown' by Jehovah, 'from the foundation of the world', which humans would be saved and which wouldn't?
And so I see this thought carried over into those with a UR mindset, only slightly altered, to be that Jehovah knew, as a fact, 'from the foundation of the world', that we would need to saved. Period.
And so, Jehovah sent Jesus, not to save just a relatively few humans from that peculiar hell, so that they could be His Son's bride, but to save all of us from... what?
He send His Son to save us from? (He asked with a knowing smile!)
So, Doc, being the non-Calvinist you say you are for having rejected everything else he and that misanthropic Saint told Believers to think about your God, it seems that the only thing left, now, for you to decide, for hanging in there with me this far, is whether what the scriptures actually say Jehovah 'foreknows' is, indeed, what St. Augustine and John Calvin wanted you to conclude Jehovah foreknew, specifically, that He knows the future as a fact
(as if it had already happened) and therefore, He knew, as a fact
, that The Adam was going to 'fall' before He created them.
And so, if you are still willing to entertain my persistent insanity, here we go.
But it would also mean that God is not in control of his creation, and therefore that he is really not sovereign, a concept that I am unwilling and unable to accept.
I've been pondering this that you said from our last round… Doc, are you a chess player? Have you ever played someone with a Master rating? I have. He tore me up!!
And I am not
a weak player! This man ruled
over the chess board as he not only played me but 15 others, simultaneously. And he won all
of the games!
This man was sovereign
, he reigned supreme
over those boards and none could outsmart him or outmaneuver him while he, on the other hand, seemed to be able to got me and everyone else, at the same time, to move like he wanted me and them to! From my perspective it was uncanny... almost like he foreknew
how I was going to move.
So, do you think any human could win a game of chess against God? No, of course they couldn't. But NOT
because He 'foreknows', as a fact
, what you are going to do next, but because what He foreknows is the game
. And soon enough He will have you on the defensive and thus making the moves He would want you to make so He could win.
God would truly be the Ultimate Grand Master, ruling and reigning with unquestioned sovereignty over the game. Not because he knows every move you will make in advance, as a fact
, but because He knows the game, intimately
. Thus, He will
win every time. And when the sovereign God Who rules and reigns over the universe that He created and thus knows very well, including all the souls in it, wins
-not necessarily because He foreknows what everybody is going to do before they do it, but because he knows The Game and therefore exactly how to lead you and everyone else, simultaneously, into seeing that Truth that He is
through experiencing His love and forgiveness- everybody wins!
Does this parable help you to see "foreknowledge" a little differently?
I said of your previous above reply:
I really don't expect any other reply because I know, well, how unconventional and even bizarre the conclusions I have drawn seem to those whose understanding of God was ingrained into them by the concepts shoe-horned into the original text to make it support the theology of St. Augustine and John Calvin- Many of which are concepts that those here at Tentmaker have learned to reject as untruthful by using logic and reason and literal interpretations to support their rejections.
Well, I am using logic and reason and a literal interpretation of the words in exactly the same way Tentmaker does to challenge the idea of that peculiar hell to show that where scripture speaks of God's 'foreknowledge', using the Greek words prognōsis and proginōskō that the writers are not teaching that Jehovah has foreknowledge of the future, but, of something else.
So what, exactly, do the scriptures say He 'foreknew', where these two related Greek words appear?
You've avoided answering this question, directly, several times now.
I have attempted to answer this question directly.
Yes, Doc, you did give an
answer before, an indirect one, yes. But this that you gave here is answering it directly.
However, I'm going to have to flip the order in which these quotes were addressed because I now realize, after much careful consideration of your reply and how I will need to type out my thoughts, that these quotes with the word prognōsis
will be better grasped after I give my reasoning using the quotes were proginōskō
Here, then, are your comments on these quotes where proginōskō
Proginosko is used in more places in the New Testament, (than prognosis)but only a few of them directly apply to God's foreknowledge, so I'll only quote the relevant ones:
Well, I perceive then that you looked up the quotes and gave them all a good read through!
I would think, though, that all
the quotes would be relevant to understanding the usage of the word proginōskō
But, yes, you are right. There are two other quotes in the words that use the word proginōskō
. And they are relevant to understanding
because in these two other quotes, where this word is used, we can gain a proper understanding of the usage of proginōskō
; for these quotes declare that humans can 'foreknow' in pretty much the same way that God does, from intimate experience and acquaintance.
First, though, I need to uncover for you the now familiar knavery of John Calvin, even as I have done all throughout this thread.
There are five other Greek words, besides proginōskō
, that are translated by King James' interpreters with the English verbs 'know' and 'knew'; and not incorrectly
so, even if the accuracy
is questionable on a number of them. However, a thorough treatment of the 'what' and the' why' of this, I've found, by investigation, would be long and unproductive and unnecessary here, except
to say that by this much repeated use of the verbs 'know' and 'knew', when in some places words like 'perceive' and 'recognize' are more accurate, they, in effect, made the Greek verb proginōskō
a standout and especial word in the places where they chose
to translate it with the made-from-scratch, compound English verbs 'foreknow' and 'foreknew'- thus causing the English reader to conclude that God has 'foreknowledge'.
Which He does, but of what? The future? Yes, but indirectly
. I believe that the immediate
future is knowable to Him. But 'The Future' was not 'foreknown' to Him from either being a fact
, played out to Him before it was played out (talk about fantastic!), or, as a highly detailed, planned out and executed, known- from- the- foundation- of- the- world act, (like John Calvin wanted us to think), even as the Greek words will reveal, in context, exactly what He does have foreknowledge of and can, through that, 'foreknow' the immediate
So, that being said, I will focus down on exactly how John Calvin practiced his knavery on the two Greek verbs that are relevant.
Both of them are derived from the Greek verb ginōskō
. They are epiginosko
After studying what I linked you to, I think you will note that epiginosko
means, more accurately, 'to perceive' and 'to understand by becoming acquainted with'; hence it can mean 'to ascertain knowledge'. And that it is an intimate
word even as the Greek word ginosko
is also used to describe our sexual joining, not just as an act, but, to convey how, when we make love, we gain intimate knowledge of our spouse.
And so we should expect to find that proginōskō
is also a word that describes knowledge gained intimately.
However, what the King James interpreters did to hide this intimate knowledge from you, the English mind, was to translate differently the two other times the word proginōskō
appears with only
the much overused verb 'knew' in Acts 26:5 and with the more declarative, but still misleading phrase, 'know these things before', in 2 Pet 3:17.
And so the Calvinists made these two other places seem to be saying something different, even something less
than what The Words would say if they had chosen to use those especial words 'foreknow' or 'foreknew'; words that they deliberately held in reserve to translate proginōskō only
where the context can be twisted to lead you to conclude something different than what you would have concluded if they had no ulterior motive but to translate The Words accurately and consistently; rather than to interpret The Words so that they were forced into confirming the ugly theology of the Saint and his toady.
Here, then, are those two other KJV verses with me translating proginōskō
using their words 'foreknew' and 'foreknow' :
"My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; which foreknew me (KJV 'knew') from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee." Acts 26:5
"Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye foreknow these things (KJV 'know these things before'), beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness." 2Peter 3:17
So what did these quotes tell you about the usage of this word and what these humans they are referencing had 'foreknowledge' of?
Well, it's not the future.
In the first case it was the Jews who 'foreknew' Paul to be a very good Pharisee.
that mean? How can this be made to make sense?
Answer: "… which knew me before
, from the beginning, if they would testify…)
In the second quote it was that the Jewish believers foreknow that destruction comes on those unlearned and unstable souls who twist the scriptures.
Why does this make sense? Answer: Because they're acquainted with what Peter is writing about and so they know, from before, 'foreknow', what happens to those who twist scripture.)
As an aside observation and an important one, even A. E. Knoch's CLV avoids using the misleading words 'foreknew and 'foreknow' here, in these two verses, even though they readily use it in those other
verses. A fact I found very disappointing, considering the claim made to this being a concordant
translation; for there is no logically justifiable reason, from the Greek text, that I could find, for them to do this, other than a pre-conceived notion.
Truly and of truth, I am treading on the sacrosanct.
END OF PART ONE