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Old 12-01-2004, 01:44 PM   #46
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Study of the Old Testament is exciting when you see the consistency of God's message of grace throughout. The more we understand what it means to be Jewish, the more we understand what it means to be a Christian.
I feel like I am looking at the book for the first time.

I figure if guys like Abraham and Jacob were alright in God's eyes, I have a fighting chance
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Old 12-01-2004, 01:46 PM   #47
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One way of putting the relation between the two Testaments is that the New Testament in one sense serves as a commnetary on the old, ie. it tells you how it should be read. And you can't have one without the other. Most of what Jesus said was either direct quotations from the OT or derived from the OT in some way. Paul was a Pharisee and as such made heavy use of the Herew scriptures. The two are inseparable.

Where the difficulty lies, is that as otehrs have said, each book of the OT represents a different understanding of God. For example the Deutornomic histories (Joshua through 2 Kings) are all interprative histories which look at the history of Israel through the lense of Deuteronomy. They take the relation between success and keeping the covanant very seriously and interpret all things in that way.

Israel means roughly "he who struggles with God" and that is really what you see in the OT, a people's trials as they strive to understand the God who chose them. At first they don't even know his name, calling him the god of Abraham, or of our fathers or El-Shaddai. Only when we get to Moses do they know what to call him. The authority of God moves from local to the universal level.

And if one doubts this just look at Genesis, there are some weird bits there. Gen 6:1-4 describes "sons of God" who mated with human women to produce "Nephilim", heroes and warriors. who get wipedout in the flood. The Apocryphal book of Enoch expands on this. Most scholars believe that ancient Israel had a much more devloped mythology than whatis recorded in the OT, and that the writers of the OT rejected it,though a few bits remained like the mysterious figure of Azazel. Again more step along the way to understanding the full nature of God.

And given that Christians believe that the only way God became truly knowable was in coming in as a human in Christ, such limitiations to earlier understandings of God are not surprising.

BTW, there's nothing inhernetly wrong about anger. What matters is the reason for it, how one acts upon it and wheter it goes any further into rage, bitterness etc. Righteous anger over sin and wrong doing as long as it doesn't lead to sinful behaviour is perfectly right. Hence there is nothing off in God being described as angry. Jelous is more problematic and I tend to think that a flawed analogy as I can't hink of that emotion withou negative aspects. God is personal but not human and we are limited in that to describe him we must use allegories of human emotions.
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Old 12-01-2004, 01:47 PM   #48
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The heros of faith in Hebrews 11 is a nice summary of Old Testament faith and grace.
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Old 12-01-2004, 01:49 PM   #49
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Good to see you posting Uncle Blackie!
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Old 12-01-2004, 01:58 PM   #50
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I believe there are other references to Satan in the Old Testament. I have those at home and will follow-up later.

The fall of Satan is described in Isaiah 14

The snake as Satan is supported by the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 "And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel."
Isaiah 14 is actually a dirge on the King of Babylon, as evidenced by the prose passage before it.

"On the day when the Lord gives you relief from your pain and trouble and from the cruel servitude imposed upon you, you will take up this taunt-song over the King of Babylon." (Isaiah 14:4)

My footnote backs this up. "This dirge is referred to the king of Babylon in its prose introduction and conclusion, but the song itself could have been applied to any of Israel's oppressors."

I suppose by oppressor you can name Satan, but it's stretch.

I'm curious to know some more.
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Old 12-01-2004, 02:46 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader

The Corinthians passage is directed to us, to direct us in our limited notion of love. God's love for His own can be shown in each of the examples above.
honestly i'm not sure how smiting sodom and gomorrah with burning sulfur displays love of any kind. especially when paul describes love as holding no record of wrong. also, god must have loved the woman and children of non-jewish cities so much that he ordered joshua to systematically murder them along with every other living inhabitant...this after god ordered moses to purge the holy land upon his arrival.

where is the love?
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Old 12-01-2004, 03:29 PM   #52
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The Bible says that God is always has been and always will be the same.

Just because the laws changed doesn't mean he did. Man had no direct mediator between himself and God before Jesus came along.
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Old 12-01-2004, 03:34 PM   #53
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Originally posted by Se7en
honestly i'm not sure how smiting sodom and gomorrah with burning sulfur displays love of any kind. especially when paul describes love as holding no record of wrong. also, god must have loved the woman and children of non-jewish cities so much that he ordered joshua to systematically murder them along with every other living inhabitant...this after god ordered moses to purge the holy land upon his arrival.

where is the love?
If we use the notion of love to say that God cannot judge or punish, we will get no where. It is akin to saying "if you love me, you must forgive me". God gives his forgiveness freely, but is under no obligation to us whatsoever.

God, in His love for His own, wanted the Hebrews to live free from the influences of the ungodly cultures. Hence the directives to purify the land.
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Old 12-01-2004, 03:42 PM   #54
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I believe it is the same God, who reveals himself to people in different ways.
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Old 12-01-2004, 08:08 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Good to see you posting Uncle Blackie!
Thanks Dread, it's been a while.
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Old 12-01-2004, 09:26 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally posted by Se7en


honestly i'm not sure how smiting sodom and gomorrah with burning sulfur displays love of any kind. especially when paul describes love as holding no record of wrong. also, god must have loved the woman and children of non-jewish cities so much that he ordered joshua to systematically murder them along with every other living inhabitant...this after god ordered moses to purge the holy land upon his arrival.

where is the love?
Like I said in the other thread, please don't base your opinions on God on some OT narrative stories that may never have happened anyway.
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Old 12-01-2004, 09:29 PM   #57
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nbcrusader and others:

There is an interesting story in Exodus 32 where human intercession clearly changes God's mind, and thus, his plan.

When we say that God does not change, we are saying that his compassion, his love, the goal of his guidance of history does not change. Sometimes the plan may change, or his mind may change (as we perceive it), but I think God, in ultimate freedom, may reserve that right.

What is constant about God is not necessarily the brass tacks about how he accomplishes his will in the world, but that his will is always to redeem--in some way--all of his creation. That is a constant. As Christians, we look to the cross to see the ultimate length to which God will go to enter the human experience and affect victory over all things which stand in opposition to his will.
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Old 12-01-2004, 09:59 PM   #58
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The notion of Moses changing God's mind is what is in the text and reflects a the idea that God is changeable. But if one reads the whole account there is also another reading possible. In deciding to destroy Israel God also offers that Moses alone would be the founder of a great nation. But Moses rejects this offer and chooses to save his people.

The puropse of this text is to show the righteousness of Moses, which is why God is shown to change his mind. The ultimate point is that Moses is put to the test and choses the well being of others, even those who betray him above glorifying himself. Taken against what the rest of scripture has to say about the unchangeable nature of God one should read this story as God testing Moses rather than Moses changing God's mind, otherwise Moses comes out as having a higher moral character than God. One must read any verse in the Bible against the entire Bible.

Though the books were originally separate it wasn't for purely human reasons that they were gathered together as an authoritative collection. No single book quite gets the matter right, only together does one get a reasonably complete picture of God. On a smaller scale take the Gospels. If any particular Gospel were sufficient in and of itself why have four? Becasue all four are necessary to get a full picture of Christ, and to balance out the opinions of four different writers. One keeps the each book nuances and unique insights but balances these with others. We don't harmonize becuase to do so would lose those unique insights. A harmonized version would be easier to understand (as would an amalgamated, rewritten OT) but critical material would be lost. Thus we keep the books in their original forms and learn from their nuances.
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Old 12-02-2004, 12:17 AM   #59
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The God of the OT and the NT are the same. Testament is another word for 'covenant'.

The definition of covenant is a solemn agreement that brings unrelated people into kinship relationship. There are many different covenants that are formed in the OT, that bring God into relationship with His people. Covenants must be kept as long as they are valid...therefore there are several instances in the OT that have convenant renewals (off the top of my head I know there is one within Joshua 23-24).

So in the New Covenant (Testament) there are several 'covenants' that aren't renewed, for example the circumcision rites as well as many of those from Leviticus for example (those strange laws really served a certain purpose at the time they were made--ie. boiling a goat in it's mother's milk was a pagan ritual at the time and that is why the book of Levit. outlaws it). However there are some that still do remain...for example Jesus sums up the Two Greatest Commandments by qupting an OT source from the book of Dueteronomy. And of course the nature of God isn't contradicted either.

So my point is the two Testaments are deeply connected. I bristle when I hear Christians who speak of only being familiar with the NT. There is a lot of understanding to be gained of God's nature through the OT and one can really see how they are connected....there are many instances of the OT that point to the coming of Jesus that can be seen casual reading or nuanced through tranlation of the Hebrew & Greek.

Also through reading the OT you can better understand the concept of progressive revelation....God slowly reveals Himself and His nature more and more throughout the OT.
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Old 12-02-2004, 07:44 AM   #60
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Blacksword, your response to the story in Exodus 32 is insightful, but I can't discount God's action simply as a test for Moses. I think the Hebrews understood that something was really going on in the heart of their God at that point.

The Hebrew word (nifal) for "changes his mind" in Exodus 32 is "be sorry, moved to pity, have compassion." This same root in the nifal is used in Psalm 90:13 as "have compassion." Thus, the emphasis for the Hebrews who would have recorded (and revised) this story would have been God's mercy and compassion, not God's inconstancy. Even at a time when God's people have committed such a heinous offense to God's commands, at a time when the people of Israel seem as lost and confused as ever in the Sinai, God is swayed to respond with mercy, pity, and compassion. This theme of atonement and mercy bears direct relationship to the word of the cross.
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