"But That's The Old Testament"

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Acheick
 
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2006 01:56 pm
Torah and alleged inconsistencies Part IV
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[quote]Walker wrote:
1a. Man is created before the plants [sic; you meant "before the animals"]:

1b. Man is created after the animals:
Genesis 2:18-19
Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." So out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.

Argument: Even if this inconsistency is due to the compilation to two written accounts, the chronological orders cannot both be right. One is inaccurate. A superhuman being must above committing such an error.
======================================================[/quote]


Nothing in the plain text of verses 2:18-19 conflicts with the plain text of Chapter One, regarding the creation of animals before the creation of man.

FIRST, please note that your English translation of verses 2:18-19 contains the word "SO." The word SO can indicate chronological order - whatever is written before the word SO can be understood as a motivating cause for whatever is written afterwards.

The problem is that - unlike your English translation - the Hebrew text doesn't contain any conjunctive adverb in verses 2:18-19. Here is a more accurate English rendition, without the word SO:

______________________________________________________

2:18-19 HaShem God said, "It is not good that the man be alone. I will make a 'corresponding helper' for him." HaShem God formed from the soil every beast of the field and every bird of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call each. Whatever the man would call each living being, that is its name.
______________________________________________________



SECOND, rules of grammar inform us:

In English, Perfect verbs indicate order of completion of action through the use of spelling changes or 'helping verbs' (e.g., John ran; Tom had run; by which we understand that Tom ran before John ran). In Hebrew, Perfect verbs are not similarly marked. When evaluating two or more Hebrew Perfect verbs in the same paragraph, it is the LARGER CONTEXT that informs the reader when the actions were completed relative to each other.

[[[ I located for you this webpage (http://tinyurl.com/y2rdhs) for additional discussion. Be careful, because I found some errors on this webpage, but it does convey some of the pitfalls in translating Hebrew into English. ]]]

For example, if there were no larger context to consider, it would be plausible to translate verses 2:18-19 as either of the following. Indeed, we could not know which of the following two translations is the more accurate rendition, if there were no larger context:

TRANSLATION 1
HaShem God said, "It is not good that the man be alone. I will make a 'corresponding helper' for him." HaShem God FORMED from the soil every beast of the field and every bird of the sky and brought them to the man to see what he would call each; and whatever the man would call each living being, that is its name.

TRANSLATION 2
HaShem God said, "It is not good that the man be alone. I will make a 'corresponding helper' for him." HaShem God HAD FORMED from the soil every beast of the field and every bird of the sky and brought them to the man to see what he would call each; and whatever the man would call each living being, that is its name.



However, a logical and reasonable Torah translator does not ignore the larger context, particularly when a rule of Hebrew grammar DEMANDS that context be considered. The Torah was written for a Hebrew-fluent audience, and the Author had a reasonable expectation that His target audience understood at least the fundamental rules of Hebrew grammar.

What is the larger context? Chapter One precedes all other chapters - and so it provides PROPER CONTEXT with which the logical and reasonable Torah translator should frame subsequent text dealing with the events of Creation. The plain text of Chapter One clearly and unequivocally conveys that God created the animals BEFORE God created the man.

Through the logical application of Hebrew grammar - including its requirement that the chronology of Hebrew Perfect verb forms be evaluated within the framework of larger context - Translation 2 is recognizable as the more accurate English rendition, because it utilizes an English 'helping verb' (i.e., HAD formed) to better convey that God had formed the animals BEFORE He said, "It is not good that the man be alone...."

Having resolved the problem of your added "SO" and your missing "HAD," nothing remains in the plain text of verses 2:18-19 that conflicts with the plain text of Chapter One, regarding the creation of animals before the creation of man.
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Wed 13 Dec, 2006 07:02 pm
Re: Torah and alleged inconsistencies Part IV
Quote:
However, a logical and reasonable Torah translator does not ignore the larger context, particularly when a rule of Hebrew grammar DEMANDS that context be considered. The Torah was written for a Hebrew-fluent audience, and the Author had a reasonable expectation that His target audience understood at least the fundamental rules of Hebrew grammar.

What is the larger context? Chapter One precedes all other chapters - and so it provides PROPER CONTEXT with which the logical and reasonable Torah translator should frame subsequent text dealing with the events of Creation. The plain text of Chapter One clearly and unequivocally conveys that God created the animals BEFORE God created the man.
This would be a perfect explanation were it not for the fact that according to the documentary hypothesis Chapter 2 predates Chapter 1. Thus, the larger context for Chapter 2 is lost and the text must be taken at face value.

Most of the English translations have Genesis 2:19 as, "And out of the ground..." (see parallel translations), the "and" denoting a sequential order.

Additionally, every event leading up to that verse is in sequential order:
1) God creates man
2) Then God causes the plants to grow from the seeds (which, as you demonstrated earlier, were created on the third day)
3) Then God places man in the garden and warns him about the tree of knowledge of good and evil
3) Then God says that it is not good for man to be alone

Thus, it can easily be argued that verse 19 was intended by the author to be a description of the next event in that sequence.

Quote:
Nothing in the plain text of verses 2:18-19 conflicts with the plain text of Chapter One, regarding the creation of animals before the creation of man.

FIRST, please note that your English translation of verses 2:18-19 contains the word "SO." The word SO can indicate chronological order - whatever is written before the word SO can be understood as a motivating cause for whatever is written afterwards.
If I were basing my argument on the word "so", you would be correct in your conclusion.

However, there is another word that clearly establishes the order of events.

That word is "alone"--spoken by God when he said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." (Genesis 2:18 ).

At face value, this means that Adam was the only living creature in the universe and that God had not yet created any other living thing.

But let's assume that the word "alone" means that he was the only human. We will then also have to assume that God, being an infallible being, created only the male animals first. After all, would an infallible being create both male and female of every animal (thereby enabling reproduction) yet fail to think of creating such a sexual counterpart for the male human? Surely not.

So if we assume that "alone" doesn't really mean "alone", then logically it follows that:
1) God intended for Adam to find a companion (and reproductive counterpart ??) among the animals (supported by Genesis 2:20)
2) God was not so careless as to create a female of every species other than the homosapien and therefore created only the male animals first.

Is this the way you see it--that "alone" doesn't really mean "alone"--or do you agree with me that "alone" means that Adam was the only living thing at the time?
 
evanman
 
Reply Thu 14 Dec, 2006 04:50 pm
Actually, according to the text the animals were brought before Adam in order that he might name them, it was not so that he could find someone to mate with.

The land animals were created on the same day as Adam, so it really doesn't matter which came first on that day--Adam or the land animals.

Adam may have sought a mate, having seen all the creatures, he certainly did not find a suitable help that would meet his needs.
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Thu 14 Dec, 2006 05:26 pm
evanman wrote:
Actually, according to the text the animals were brought before Adam in order that he might name them, it was not so that he could find someone to mate with.
evanman, does the word "assume" mean nothing to you?

The text says nothing about what Adam was looking for other than a "corresponding helper" so anything may be assumed. To formulate a counter argument to my own I did just that in my last post as did you in your's.

Based on the available text, I can just as well assume that he was looking for a partner as you can assume that he was not.

evanman wrote:
The land animals were created on the same day as Adam, so it really doesn't matter which came first on that day--Adam or the land animals.
Perhaps it doesn't matter to you because you've already accepted all of this as your reality and have compartmentalized these discrepancies. But for someone who is not willing to settle for half-baked answers, it matters.

Somehow I doubt you'll ever understand that.
 
evanman
 
Reply Sun 17 Dec, 2006 01:32 pm
You see discrepancies in the creation narrative--the discrepancies in evolutionary teaching are much worse.
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Sun 17 Dec, 2006 06:30 pm
evanman wrote:
You see discrepancies in the creation narrative--the discrepancies in evolutionary teaching are much worse.

Must one embrace the theory of evolution simply because one rejects the Bible's version of life's origins? Is it all black and white for you, evanman?

Again, you're basing your arguments on assumptions, and again, they have nothing to do with the current debate.
 
evanman
 
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2006 07:30 am
I assume nothing. Do you assume that I do?

If a person rejects that everything had a creator at the beginning then what else is there but evolutionary theory?
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2006 10:10 am
evanman wrote:
I assume nothing. Do you assume that I do?
Heh. Not anymore. Thanks to your first sentence above, I now know for a fact that you do. Smile

evanman wrote:
If a person rejects that everything had a creator at the beginning then what else is there but evolutionary theory?
Based on the fact that you continually contrast the theory of evolution against the creation story, I take it you actually intend to refer to abiogenesis. The theory of evolution does not concern the origins of life. If you are familiar with the theory of evolution, then I'm sure you realize that acceptance of it does not rule out acceptance of the Biblical account of creation. Abiogenesis does.

Regardless, you clearly haven't bothered to inform yourself about this topic before asking your question. There are hundreds of varying theories on life's origins outside of the Bible/Torah. Here are a few:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panspermia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_life
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_within_belief_systems

The fact that you'd ask a question like that without informing yourself beforehand demonstrates complacency with your beliefs.
 
Acheick
 
Reply Thu 21 Dec, 2006 09:21 pm
Torah and alleged consistencies part 5
Walker - I'm sorry I'm falling down on the job. They've been working me split shifts and I've been trying to fit in Christmas shopping for 8 children and 2 grandchildren. Yikes - I'm tired. Anyway, here's something I was supposed to post and didn't and I will send Torah friend your other response. I'm sure she is chomping on the bit to look at it and respond Smile

You guys are so much fun:

Walker says:
Quote:

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When I say internal logic, I am referring to deeper interpretations and exegesis. What you refer to as internal is what I am referring to as external. At this point, it is a matter of semantics I am willing to overlook.
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Okay. If you don't mind, would you please switch to my definitions for this debate? Thanks if you would.


Quote:
Walker:
======================================================
if one cannot prove the premise of divine being's existence, then logically one's claim of divine authorship also falls apart. Correct?
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We must reach a common definition of the word, "prove," before I can answer. Please offer your definition?


Walker:
Quote:
======================================================
Quote:
Once again, I concede that even an internally consistent text DOES NOT prove its authenticity (i.e., Truth). Nonetheless, as I said before, disproving your examples of internal inconsistency DOES mean that one of your initial arguments is based on an UNSUPPORTED PREMISE.


Premise, yes. Unsupported, no. If it was unsupported, then there would be no contest.
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After I finish refuting all your supporting evidence of internal inconsistency, then your premise (that the Torah is internally inconsistent) will be without supporting evidence. At that point, by definition, your premise will be unsupported until such time that you produce additional supporting evidence that I haven't yet refuted.

I realize that my tone is quite optimistic of my successful refutation. Smile


Walker:
Quote:

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I am certainly not the first to criticize the Torah's authorship, nor will my arguments necessarily be the best there are.
======================================================


If you feel that other people have supporting evidence, which supports your premise that the Torah is internally inconsistent, please feel free to present it. I will continue to refute your premise's supporting evidence until you have no more to offer.
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Tue 26 Dec, 2006 09:31 am
Re: Torah and alleged consistencies part 5
Acheick, thanks so much for forwarding my correspondence. I completely understand your position and would not expect you to put this debate above your personal life.

Quote:
Okay. If you don't mind, would you please switch to my definitions for this debate? Thanks if you would.
I will. However, your definition fails to adequately label what I was referring to as internal logic. But that can be addressed if/when that form of logic is errantly used in this debate.

Quote:
We must reach a common definition of the word, "prove," before I can answer. Please offer your definition?
I would use the same definition you will use to determine if I have proven my hypotheses that the Torah is not of divine authorship. Fair enough?

Quote:
After I finish refuting all your supporting evidence of internal inconsistency, then your premise (that the Torah is internally inconsistent) will be without supporting evidence. At that point, by definition, your premise will be unsupported until such time that you produce additional supporting evidence that I haven't yet refuted.

I realize that my tone is quite optimistic of my successful refutation. Smile
Considering you haven't yet refuted (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/refute) any of my arguments, you are indeed optimistic. And that is your prerogative so long as your optimism doesn't reduce your ability to concede when an opposing argument is better than your own.

Quote:
If you feel that other people have supporting evidence, which supports your premise that the Torah is internally inconsistent, please feel free to present it.
When I come across a well expressed argument in favor of my current position (or yours, for that matter) I'll be sure to use it.
 
Acheick
 
Reply Thu 4 Jan, 2007 09:28 am
Are you ready, Walker?
This a great study. I hope others are enjoying it too.

The latest response from Torah friend:

======================================================

Walker wrote:

When I say internal logic, I am referring to deeper interpretations and exegesis. What you refer to as internal is what I am referring to as external. At this point, it is a matter of semantics I am willing to overlook.



Torah Friend wrote:

Okay. If you don't mind, would you please switch to my definitions for this debate? Thanks if you would.



Walker wrote:

I will.

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Thank you.






======================================================

Walker wrote:

However, your definition fails to adequately label what I was referring to as internal logic. But that can be addressed if/when that form of logic is errantly used in this debate.

======================================================



Agreed.




======================================================

Walker wrote:

if one cannot prove the premise of divine being's existence, then logically one's claim of divine authorship also falls apart. Correct?



Torah Friend wrote:

We must reach a common definition of the word, "prove," before I can answer. Please offer your definition?



Walker wrote:

I would use the same definition you will use to determine if I have proven my hypotheses that the Torah is not of divine authorship. Fair enough?
======================================================

Okay. Based on my definition of the word, “prove,â€
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Thu 4 Jan, 2007 06:41 pm
Re: Are you ready, Walker?
Quote:
However, I am unwilling to address “proofsâ€
 
winter 1
 
Reply Fri 5 Jan, 2007 05:32 pm
Re: Are you ready, Walker?
Acheick wrote:
This a great study. I hope others are enjoying it too.

GOD CREATED THE ADAM AS A MALE?

Not initially. According to the plain text, the Adam was initially created as an hermaphrodite – and was only later divided into two beings, one with the male attribute and one with the female attribute.

...

REPRODUCTIVE COUNTERPART?

No. As I have already mentioned, according to the plain text, the Adam was initially created as a self-breeding hermaphrodite. Therefore, the logical and reasonable Torah reader does not conclude that God's intention was for the Adam to find a "reproductive counterpart among the animals.â€
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Mon 8 Jan, 2007 02:38 pm
Re: Are you ready, Walker?
winter wrote:
I am pretty sure that concluding that Adam was a hermaphrodite is reading into the text.
While Adam's bisexuality is not implied in the Torah itself, it is clearly stated as such in the Midrash (Genesis Rabbah 8:1) which, one could argue, is testament to the discrepancies found in the Torah in that its explanations are intended to elaborate on the questionable textual passages found in the Torah and offer some form of believable explanation for them.

Some of these explanations, such as Adam being created first as a hermaphrodite or bisexual with two body fronts which were later split in two by God (Leviticus Rabbah 14:1) or that he was created without a foreskin and grew one only after he committed the first sin (Avot D'rav Nasan 2:5), sound utterly ludicrous from a scientific perspective. It would seem that those who contributed to the Midrash attempted to resolve perceived discrepancies by justifying them using internal logic or, in cases as those above, an active imagination.
 
winter 1
 
Reply Fri 12 Jan, 2007 04:50 am
Isn't "Midrash" younger than the Torah itself? As WalkerJ said, isn't "Midrash" trying to explain the Torah?

I think that is about as mature as trying to make a holy perfect religion out of a proverb. I wonder how embarrassed Moses or some of the other sages would be.
 
alieninside
 
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 05:57 am
Re: "But That's The Old Testament"
Thorwald wrote:
My point exactly: But That's the Old Testament

I have been arguing the same for many, many years.

The Bible should be rated R: What's So Bad About Killing Children?

http://www.freethought.mbdojo.com/elijah.jpg


way to bring them up to your level there prophet. i never knew that story existed in the bible.
 
Monger 1
 
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 12:53 pm
Re: "But That's The Old Testament"
alieninside wrote:
i never knew that story existed in the bible.

There's no shortage of others like it.
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 06:20 pm
Start with Skeptic's Annotated Bible under the sections, "Cruelty and Violence" and "Intolerance" then "Sex". Believe me, the Bible is FULL of grotesque images. Why it has not been rated R and is still given to young children as a "righteous example", eludes me. If any of these stories were literally portrayed in images and/or filmed, they would be immediately rated R.
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Fri 6 Jul, 2007 09:07 am
Love this trash Christianity place (sarcasm intended). You can have it - I'm oughta here.
 
Monger 1
 
Reply Sat 7 Jul, 2007 10:57 am
Nothing personal against Christianity. I'm an equal-opportunity religion offender.
 
 

 
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