Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Remember the former things of old (Revisiting Genesis 1)

It's fascinating to me to find that in thetime that I have been working on this, there has been so much change in the text of the SAB. In going back and cleaning up old entries, I've found that a few things I attempted to refute appear to have been accepted by Steve Wells (although not necessarily solely on my say-so, of course) and edited out.

At the same time, I note that there are new things added that were not there before. Both his project and mine are obviously ever-changing, as repeated readings of the Bible reveal more and more things, both for and against Christian belief.

Anyway, since it was there, I thought I'd go back and take a look at what seem to be new points in Genesis 1.

The SAB has incorporated a page on Gap Theory, which wasn't there when I was covering that chapter, although I mentioned it as a matter of academic interest. It might be fun to read some of those links and learn more about this odd theory; anyone who read my post before and wanted to know more would probably learn a lot from those links, since I really gave all of what little knowlege I had, and I know the theory is far more fleshed out by some others. There is also a reference page for the firmament.

I don't recall the SAB referring to the idea that childbearing is sinful. It's easy enough to address, though; the answer is no. The verse given to suggest otherwise is misrepresented, in my opinion. Yes, the mother had to bring an offering, but that does not necessarily imply that childbearing was a sin; it's just part of a ceremonial cleansing.

I'm sure the question about marijuana wasn't there before, I think I would have remembered. I think that's an interesting interpretation of this verse that falls apart under further scrutiny. Think of all the poisonous plants that exist; surely God did not intend that we eat poison ivy (toxicodendron radicans), right? (Actually, the SAB also discusses that elsewhere.) One possibility here is that at the time of creation, before the fall, every plant was edible, but some became poisonous or otherwise dangerous. Another possibility is the one most people get out of that verse: that humans were originally designed to be vegetarians, and it was not meant that all plants were to be eaten, but that all they were to eat was plants. Now that being said, I will go on the record as saying that all the plants mentioned there (if you didn't click the link, there's more than marijuana in the question) have potential medicinal value, and as such, they are good. I think it's foolish to miss that there is a difference between drug use and drug abuse. I myself have been known to be an abuser of the plant coffea arabica, another plant that naturally produces a drug. The right and wrong of drug use is only partly related to the legality of the matter, I really ought to avoid excessive use, and have done so for quite some time. (Reading up on the matter, it turns out that caffeine is a natural pesticide. Interesting, no?)

Anyway, that was a fun break from discussing Mosaic Law, which hopefully I'll get back to in sooner than a month's time.


Anonymous said...

"I'm sure the question about marijuana wasn't there before, I think I would have remembered."

Odd. Are you trying to address the Books or are you reviewing the SAB? I can see that this may just be explaining why there is stuff on the SAB that you haven't answered, but it comes across as whining that the SAB changes.

If you want your work to stand alone, maybe you shouldn't depend so heavily on echoing the SAB. If you're only going to answer Steve's posts, then do it on the SAB Discussion board.

If nothing else, if you've answered something that Steve had accepted, and withdrawn, someone else will probably have the same question some day, some time. Those comments you've addressed will still apply. Or will apply again.
If you find something you haven't addressed, well, there are just OODLES of comments on the SAB. No one expects you to answer them all. Yet.

Brucker said...

Oh, I hope I'm not coming across as whining, that's certainly not my intent. I was just noting that the SAB is an ever-changing document, and I wouldn't expect it to be otherwise, as everyone's understanding of the Bible, be they theist or atheist, is always evolving.

I'm never 100% sure how I feel about my work here supposedly standing alone. I hope it does to a degree, but frankly, 90% of my traffic on the blog comes through the SAB. On the other hand, if and when I post on the discussion board at the SAB, it quickly turns into a chaotic neverending debate, and I make no progress. Here, I at least have a modicum of control over my progress. While I welcome comments, really my posts are meant to be more of a static response to the SAB than a discussion about the SAB.

This particular post was just something I did because the annotations were there.