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Home » CHFWeb Forum » BibleIssues » Tower of Babel
Tower of Babel [message #450027] Tue, 09 September 2008 13:25 Go to next message
~Janice  is currently offline ~Janice
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Genesis 11:
1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. 6 The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."

8 So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel —because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.


Thoughts and questions I have are:

1. What is the significance of this story?
2. Is it just to tell why there are different languages?
3. Is it showing us what happens when men unite?
4. Is this a warning against globalism?
5. Is this literal?
6. Do any of you think there is much, much more to the story
than this account?
7. Was there a level of technology beyond what we even have now? 8. Was this a space travel attempt?
9. Were different races created at this point too?

I've always found this to be such an intriguing story.


TAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS!

Janice T. ~ CHF member since 09/97 ~
Mom to four - ds 28, dd 26, dd 24 and ds 21 - and wife to my sweet husband Richard.
Re: Tower of Babel [message #450113 is a reply to message #450027 ] Tue, 09 September 2008 19:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Elizabby  is currently offline Elizabby
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Janice T. wrote on Wed, 10 September 2008 03:25



1. What is the significance of this story?
2. Is it just to tell why there are different languages?
5. Is this literal?
6. Do any of you think there is much, much more to the story
than this account?


5+6) I don't think it matters if it is literal or not - the message is the same. IMO this is a "metaphor" story where the lesson matters more than the literal content. We have what we need in terms of 'message' so I don't think the rest of the story (if there is any) matters. The author chose to write it as it is, and we have to satisfied with that.

1+2) I would say that this is a story about men's pride and ambition, and God's sovereignity, as well as about languages.

Quote:

3. Is it showing us what happens when men unite?


Not really, or only in the sens that even when men are at their best (not like now) God is STILL sovereign!

Quote:


4. Is this a warning against globalism?
7. Was there a level of technology beyond what we even have now? 8. Was this a space travel attempt?
9. Were different races created at this point too?



No, I don't think any of the above apply (see my answer to 5+6). Sorry so boring - I'm sure others will have more to say!


Your sister in Christ,

Elizabby

Evie is six, Zoe is four, and Benji is two!

Not online as much these days, contact me through email or my blog if you want to talk to me!
Re: Tower of Babel [message #450160 is a reply to message #450027 ] Tue, 09 September 2008 23:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Rose  is currently offline Rose
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Janice T. wrote on Tue, 09 September 2008 10:25

Genesis 11:
1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. 6 The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."

8 So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel —because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.


Thoughts and questions I have are:

1. What is the significance of this story?
I think this story shows us the arrogance of men to assume that they could build their way to heaven. I think that God confounded their plans in order to humble them. The way he does it seems particularly appropriate because I assume they took some pride in the group accomplishment. I also think that God did it to slow down the pace of the civilization so that thing would occur at the right time. I suspect to that the explanation as to the source of the languages of the world would have been more important to early civilizations because they would have been more aware of their common lineage. If there had been no explanation other myths probably would have arisen.

2. Is it just to tell why there are different languages?
I wouldn't say just that. See my first answer.

3. Is it showing us what happens when men unite?
Maybe partly. I'd say it shows how when men unite they can work together to do great evil.

4. Is this a warning against globalism?
I don't think so. Globalism may cause some similar problems but I don't think that's the point.

5. Is this literal?
I think so. To anyone that thinks that it's metaphorical I'd like to ask where the languages come from. If they arose some other way then wouldn't this story be ridiculously misleading?

6. Do any of you think there is much, much more to the story
than this account?
Maybe or maybe not. I don't know that speculating on that will get us any where.

7. Was there a level of technology beyond what we even have now?
I doubt it.

8. Was this a space travel attempt?
I don't think that ancient people had much of an idea of what space was. My understanding is that part of the problem laid in the idea that God resided "in the heavens." I think they were trying to build a tower to God.

9. Were different races created at this point too?
Quite possibly. That would make sense to me but I don't think we have any way of knowing that.

I've always found this to be such an intriguing story.




Rose - Official Bean Queen

wife of Joel
mom to Faith(5.5) and Paul(5)

"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." - Jesus
Re: Tower of Babel [message #450191 is a reply to message #450160 ] Wed, 10 September 2008 03:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Rose wrote on Wed, 10 September 2008 13:01


5. Is this literal?
I think so. To anyone that thinks that it's metaphorical I'd like to ask where the languages come from. If they arose some other way then wouldn't this story be ridiculously misleading?



Since this seems to be to my address, I will acknowledge the question, but the answer would take too long and be a thread hijack. Basically it has to do with metaphorical vs literal interpretation of Genesis - I think very little of Genesis is literal and I'm quite comfortable with that. I don't expect or require you (or anyone) to agree with me! Cool

I've said this before, but I stand by it: I don't think you have to take Scripture literally to take it seriously.

[ETA: if you want me to discuss Bible interpretation in depth, I can, but I think we should start a new thread with some specific questions rather than taking over this one.]

[Updated on: Wed, 10 September 2008 03:28]


Your sister in Christ,

Elizabby

Evie is six, Zoe is four, and Benji is two!

Not online as much these days, contact me through email or my blog if you want to talk to me!
Re: Tower of Babel [message #450226 is a reply to message #450160 ] Wed, 10 September 2008 08:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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Rose wrote on Tue, 09 September 2008 23:01



9. Were different races created at this point too?
Quite possibly. That would make sense to me but I don't think we have any way of knowing that.




I don't think different races *were* created, per se. However, the fact that at this point, different language groups went off in different directions would have concentrated different genetic traits in the various groups. We're still all descendants of Adam and of Noah, so there aren't truly different "races" as we use the term.

I've also heard that this was a way to spread people out (the "go forth" part of go forth and multiply! Smile) to take dominion over the whole earth.

Quote:

7. Was there a level of technology beyond what we even have now?


I wouldn't say there was a level beyond what we have now, but definitely beyond what most people today think that people back then had. Our society is so inundated with the whole caveman/evolution idea that we forget the picture Genesis shows us. Read Genesis 4 and see what men were doing--certainly not merely living in caves (Obviously, there *were* cavemen...just not in the way that we are taught in school, IMHO).


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: Tower of Babel [message #450367 is a reply to message #450191 ] Wed, 10 September 2008 14:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
~Janice  is currently offline ~Janice
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The reason I put so much in one post is because these are things I've been curious about for years. I'm really getting a lot out of the answers given so far and would not consider any detailed discussion as a hijack - so go for it!!


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Janice T. ~ CHF member since 09/97 ~
Mom to four - ds 28, dd 26, dd 24 and ds 21 - and wife to my sweet husband Richard.
Re: Tower of Babel [message #450568 is a reply to message #450027 ] Thu, 11 September 2008 06:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
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On a completely random tangent, I'm pretty sure Josephus references this story.

I haven't read him for years, but I *think* he thought it was because they didn't want to be flooded again and thought they could outwit God.

I could be totally wrong about that because it was probably two decades ago that I tripped over that.

I am convinced it really happened, as I believe that every word is inspired and true in the original text.

I think that "let us go down there" -- the pronoun is interesting -- is it the Trinity talking? Is it Jesus talking? Is it God talking to angels?


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: Tower of Babel [message #450917 is a reply to message #450568 ] Fri, 12 September 2008 02:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Interesting Sherry. Dh has Josephus' writings... I'll have to hunt for that book.


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Mom to four - ds 28, dd 26, dd 24 and ds 21 - and wife to my sweet husband Richard.
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451121 is a reply to message #450917 ] Fri, 12 September 2008 15:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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I also wonder where this is in relation to the verse "in the time of Peleg, the earth was divided" and the idea that the continents may have floated away from each other.

Which reminds me of the time dh and I spent when we were muchhhh younger figuring out the genealogies on a timeline.

I seem to remember that something interesting happened right around the time of Methuselah, but I've forgotten now what...I'll have to see if I can ask him later.


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451147 is a reply to message #451121 ] Fri, 12 September 2008 16:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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I think that is around the same time which is why some people think that "the earth was divided" statement meant that's when God scattered the people so "the earth" really means the people.

Dh and I think maybe He scattered by land division.?? Interesting.


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Janice T. ~ CHF member since 09/97 ~
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Re: Tower of Babel [message #451263 is a reply to message #450191 ] Sat, 13 September 2008 01:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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elizabby wrote on Wed, 10 September 2008 17:26

Rose wrote on Wed, 10 September 2008 13:01


5. Is this literal?
I think so. To anyone that thinks that it's metaphorical I'd like to ask where the languages come from. If they arose some other way then wouldn't this story be ridiculously misleading?



Basically it has to do with metaphorical vs literal interpretation of Genesis - I think very little of Genesis is literal and I'm quite comfortable with that. I don't expect or require you (or anyone) to agree with me! Cool

I've said this before, but I stand by it: I don't think you have to take Scripture literally to take it seriously.



I've got some time, so I'll try to explain how I see it.

A metaphor is when something is not *literally* the thing which is being said, but it is useful to think of it this way. For example, if I said that my dh is my rock, my teddy bear and my sweet sugar pie - you would probably understand what I mean. You would not be puzzled that I have three dh's nor would you think I was married to a soft toy, dessert or lump of rock. The metaphor works because my dh is *not* in fact any of these things, but neither am I lying, in the usual sense.

Now think about Jesus' parables in the NT. When Jesus says "There was a man who had two sons, etc," do you think that there really was such a man who really had two sons who really behaved the way Jesus describes? My answer is: it doesn't matter. Whether such a man really lived or not is immaterial to the point that Jesus is making. Jesus' story is told to communicate a message and the message is neither more or less true whether the man did or did not really exist.

I think much of Genesis is like this - parables, stories which exist to give us a message. IMO the message is neither more or less true whether the Tower of Babel, or Eden or Noah did or did not really exist.

Radical stuff, and I don't need y'all to agree with me, but my view of metaphor allows me to take the meaning of the Bible and use it, without getting bogged down or distracted in questions of literal truth or not, and associated speculation.

So it doesn't really bother me whether people believe in Creation or Evolution, for example. I'm happy to rest in the knowledge that God made the Earth in the way that seemed best to Him. Similarly, the various differences between the various Gospel stories are no problem - each writer put down what mattered to him in the way that best got his message across. So Matthew feels that the resurrection is an "earth-shattering" event but the others don't? I'm fine with that.

I find this a freeing and helpful way to read the Bible, so I offer it here as an alternive view to the usual discussions of trying to pin down exactly where Eden was, etc. BTW, there is a long Jewish tradition of understanding their own scriptures this way, so I'm not making it all up!


Your sister in Christ,

Elizabby

Evie is six, Zoe is four, and Benji is two!

Not online as much these days, contact me through email or my blog if you want to talk to me!
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451373 is a reply to message #450027 ] Sat, 13 September 2008 15:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa T.  is currently offline Lisa T.
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Just another interesting thought about the Tower of Babel...how does it compare/contrast with the Upper Room at Pentecost?

Just as so many OT events have a contrasting counterpart in the NT, I think this is one to consider. To me, it is a question of "Who is in charge?" In the case of Babel, humans believed that they were "in charge" (the sin of pride). In the case of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit changed the hearts of truly humbled (even frightened) people.

So many OT events are much more understandable and enlightening when contrasted with events in the NT. (At least, that's what I think).


Lisa T.
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451381 is a reply to message #451263 ] Sat, 13 September 2008 15:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
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This might be a rhetorical question, but my answer for me:

>When Jesus says "There was a man who had two sons, etc," do you think that there really was such a man who really had two sons who really behaved the way Jesus describes?<

Yes, I do.

If He says "There was a man..." and He's the Lord of the universe, then I think there really was a man. And it's interesting to think about when that man lived, etc.

If He says, "It's like a man..." then I am less sure that there really was a man...but I think it's possible that there really was a man who did that.

But it gets back to my "interpretive principle" -- mine currently is adapted from The Golden Rule of Interpretation, which goes something like (we may have discussed this before): "If the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, then seek no other sense; therefore take each word at its primary, ordinary, common, literal meaning unless the context of the Scripture indicates clearly otherwise."

Oh, here's the exact wording of maybe the original:

>"When the plain sense of scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages
and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise." -- D. L. COOPER<


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451383 is a reply to message #451263 ] Sat, 13 September 2008 15:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
~Janice  is currently offline ~Janice
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elizabby wrote on Sat, 13 September 2008 00:42

....Now think about Jesus' parables in the NT. When Jesus says "There was a man who had two sons, etc," do you think that there really was such a man who really had two sons who really behaved the way Jesus describes? My answer is: it doesn't matter. Whether such a man really lived or not is immaterial to the point that Jesus is making. Jesus' story is told to communicate a message and the message is neither more or less true whether the man did or did not really exist.

I think much of Genesis is like this - parables, stories which exist to give us a message. IMO the message is neither more or less true whether the Tower of Babel, or Eden or Noah did or did not really exist.

Radical stuff, and I don't need y'all to agree with me, but my view of metaphor allows me to take the meaning of the Bible and use it, without getting bogged down or distracted in questions of literal truth or not, and associated speculation.

So it doesn't really bother me whether people believe in Creation or Evolution, for example. I'm happy to rest in the knowledge that God made the Earth in the way that seemed best to Him. Similarly, the various differences between the various Gospel stories are no problem - each writer put down what mattered to him in the way that best got his message across. So Matthew feels that the resurrection is an "earth-shattering" event but the others don't? I'm fine with that.

I find this a freeing and helpful way to read the Bible, so I offer it here as an alternive view to the usual discussions of trying to pin down exactly where Eden was, etc. BTW, there is a long Jewish tradition of understanding their own scriptures this way, so I'm not making it all up!



Thanks for this elizabby and I'm much more open to your view than I would have been just a few years ago. Still not totally on board but I can see that this isn't "against" God and would help in understanding the big story.

One question though, how did the different races come about? (the literal crowd doesn't have an answer either) The Bible stories only deal with the physical scattering and with language.

Also, the Babel story (whether literal or not) is fascinating because of the implication that unity of all mankind would lead to evil - or at least to something God does not want.




[Updated on: Sat, 13 September 2008 15:18]


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Janice T. ~ CHF member since 09/97 ~
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Re: Tower of Babel [message #451388 is a reply to message #451383 ] Sat, 13 September 2008 15:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
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>(the literal crowd doesn't have an answer either)<

This seems simplistic, so maybe I'm not understanding you, but: genetic differentiation?

Just like how there are different breeds of dogs or cats due to combinations of genes?

One "kind" -- dog results in pekinese to English sheep dogs to St. Bernards to wild dogs.

One "kind" -- cat results in tame house cats to wild lions.

One "kind" -- man results in people with all different shades of skin color, hair color, eye color, etc.

Why do you think that people who interpret the Bible literally don't have an answer for that, Janice?

Or is it that you disagree with the answers you've heard them say?

[Updated on: Sat, 13 September 2008 15:22]


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451397 is a reply to message #451388 ] Sat, 13 September 2008 15:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Sherry, I don't know of any verses (whether taken literally or not) that discuss the various colors of people - races. My question is not a Bible question just a human one. Why are there different looks and how did they all end up together?
I'm not looking to argue literal vs metaphor. Just asking? Do you have any verses that discuss this?


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Janice T. ~ CHF member since 09/97 ~
Mom to four - ds 28, dd 26, dd 24 and ds 21 - and wife to my sweet husband Richard.
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451401 is a reply to message #451397 ] Sat, 13 September 2008 15:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
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Just to clarify: Are you saying that you are looking for verses that discuss the difference in people's looks?

I don't believe in separate races, to be honest. There's one race; the human race. God made us all. We are all one in Christ, assuming that we know Him. Neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female. Jesus loves the little children of the world...black and yellow, red and white, they are precious in His sight Wink

My guess is *because* of separation and because of genetic differentiation...the general look of people in a specific area changed as they did combinations and permutations, genetically, in their own pools of genes and chromosomes.

[Updated on: Sat, 13 September 2008 20:12]


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451447 is a reply to message #450027 ] Sat, 13 September 2008 19:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dina  is currently offline Dina
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I take it very literally.
(luv ya elizabby! hows that little one??)

RE: races. The folks suddenly found themselves unable to understand the person that they were talking to. Can you imagine the chaos?? The fear??

What would have happened would be that they would have eventually separated into groups.... chosen by God , by way of the language they were speaking. What I mean is that groups would have eventually been formed of like speaking people... Greek speakers over here... spansish speakers over there... indian language up here... chinese language down there.

In order to survive they would have had to live closely with their language group. They would have scattered about ... eventually... all over the globe. I cannot remember either if this would have been before or after the literal spitting up of the land mass into separate continents divided by ocean. Or if during the ice age.....

if the continents were separated, I have no probem with boats.... the land masses may have still been moving and there may not have been as much ocean btwn the continents as there is now. Or ... land bridges or even ice bridges.

but ....as for what we call the races.... each language group settled in one area. So that area had only the genetic information supplied by the folks in the group. dominant genes would have won out and non dominant ones would have died out.... such as eye shape, hair color, eye color, pigmentation.

Those living on the equator who did not have lots of melanin might have died out so that only darker skinned folks who could withstand the sun would have survived..... after generations, the most dominant traits would have been just that... dominant.

So yes, there is only one race.. the race of adam.. or the human race. The people groups as we see them all over the world are a result, I believe of the tower of babel.... with certain climates as well as diet and definitey genetic info, dictating what that people group looks like today...

Dina




Dina ....... HE has made me glad!
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451502 is a reply to message #451447 ] Sun, 14 September 2008 00:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Okay. Sorry I brought up something obviously very ummmm... politically incorrect?? So, nevermind. Confused



[Updated on: Sun, 14 September 2008 00:18]


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Re: Tower of Babel [message #451513 is a reply to message #451381 ] Sun, 14 September 2008 02:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Sherry in NH wrote on Sun, 14 September 2008 05:15

This might be a rhetorical question, but my answer for me:

>When Jesus says "There was a man who had two sons, etc," do you think that there really was such a man who really had two sons who really behaved the way Jesus describes?<

Yes, I do.



OK, you can go that way if you like. But my main point was that for jesus' story to make sense, for the message to be taught and heard and understood - it doesn't really matter whether such a man really lived or not. The point is the message of the story as told by Jesus - not the literal truth of it, IMO.

Can I refer to "life of Brian" here?? Wink It's like when Brian is trying to teach people something and he says "A man had two sons" and the crowd says "Where did he live? What were their names?" etc. Brian gets really frustrated and starts yelling at them "It doesn't matter!" Not very Jesus-like, but the point is that IMO it is possible to get caught up in the literal details and miss the main message.

Quote:


"When the plain sense of scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise." -- D. L. COOPER.


Well, I don't know who this Cooper person is, but I don't agree. When reading a document written approx 4,000 years ago, in another country, in another culture which comes to us via at least one, more often two translations, IMO it is naive to think that our first impressions of what the words mean are going to be the final and definitive truth. My interpretive framework is very different, therefore.


Your sister in Christ,

Elizabby

Evie is six, Zoe is four, and Benji is two!

Not online as much these days, contact me through email or my blog if you want to talk to me!
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451516 is a reply to message #451383 ] Sun, 14 September 2008 02:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Janice T. wrote on Sun, 14 September 2008 05:16


One question though, how did the different races come about?


Well, since I believe in evolution, I have no problem with saying that the different looking peoples of the world have different genetic components. Certain environments select for certain genes, so as groups move away from each other and interbreed, certain genes are selected for and the groups start to look more and more different.

Um - not sure if this is exactly what you meant.

Quote:


Also, the Babel story (whether literal or not) is fascinating because of the implication that unity of all mankind would lead to evil - or at least to something God does not want.



Interesting interpretation - not one I agree with though. Part of my concept of interpreting the story as "metaphor" means that the metaphor can't be pushed too far. I don't think I would draw the conclusion that ANY unified effort of human must necessarily be evil. I think that's generalizing too much.


Your sister in Christ,

Elizabby

Evie is six, Zoe is four, and Benji is two!

Not online as much these days, contact me through email or my blog if you want to talk to me!
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451526 is a reply to message #451516 ] Sun, 14 September 2008 06:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa T.  is currently offline Lisa T.
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elizabby wrote on Sun, 14 September 2008 01:38

[quote title=Quote:


Also, the Babel story (whether literal or not) is fascinating because of the implication that unity of all mankind would lead to evil - or at least to something God does not want.



Interesting interpretation - not one I agree with though. Part of my concept of interpreting the story as "metaphor" means that the metaphor can't be pushed too far. I don't think I would draw the conclusion that ANY unified effort of human must necessarily be evil. I think that's generalizing too much.
[/quote]

Here's what I think: The implication is that mankind working in unity by themselves, under their own power only will inevitably lead to evil. While Pentecost reveals that mankind working in unity under the influence of the Holy Spirit can work wonders!

[Updated on: Sun, 14 September 2008 06:58]


Lisa T.
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451651 is a reply to message #450027 ] Sun, 14 September 2008 20:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dina  is currently offline Dina
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aw janice! dont be sorry! Its a very worthwhile question and discussion! Dina


Dina ....... HE has made me glad!
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451652 is a reply to message #450027 ] Sun, 14 September 2008 20:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dina  is currently offline Dina
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elizzabby, my problem with your talk of metaphor and OT vs NT is that in the NT Jesus stated that he was talking in parables. If the rest of the Bible is already parable or metaphor, why did Jesus feel the need to tell them that at this time He was speaking in parables?

Also, Genesis differs from the Gospels in that no one within the text says that the text is a parable. ( as Jesus does say in the Gospels)

Dina

[Updated on: Sun, 14 September 2008 20:47]


Dina ....... HE has made me glad!
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451657 is a reply to message #450027 ] Sun, 14 September 2008 20:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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re: the landmasses.... my dh notes that during the flood, the landmasses would have already been separating as the waters came up from the deep.... It is thought that geysers , earthquakes etc were all happening, thus the separation of the continents.

Also we beleive that the ice age would have been just getting started around the time period at Babel.

We really see it as history. But no one there could be writing it down etc.... so we have to peice it together and look at geographical evidence that we do have, as well as stories passed down thru the generations.... even among different continents and people groups.

Dina


Dina ....... HE has made me glad!
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451665 is a reply to message #451652 ] Sun, 14 September 2008 21:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Elizabby  is currently offline Elizabby
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Dina wrote on Mon, 15 September 2008 10:41

Genesis differs from the Gospels in that no one within the text says that the text is a parable. ( as Jesus does say in the Gospels)


Maybe you didn't quite understand me, but the whole point of a "metaphor" is that no-one says "this is a metaphor" before they say it. So it is different from a parable in that sense. If I say "my daughter is a cuddly little koala" I don't *tell* you that she isn't literally a koala, you can just infer that she clings on like one.

Quote:

in the NT Jesus stated that he was talking in parables. If the rest of the Bible is already parable or metaphor, why did Jesus feel the need to tell them that at this time He was speaking in parables?


Lots of reasons - if someone says "Let me tell you a story" you listen differently from if they say "Let me tell you a lesson hidden in a story" (which is what I understand a parable to be). Also, to set the scene and make it clear that this lesson is for them, not just "chit-chat" about a king in a faraway kingdom, for example.

As I say, I don't insist on it if you don't like it - it is just another way of looking at the Bible and getting wisdom, truth and meaning out of it.

BTW, I don't think the WHOLE Bible is all and only metaphor! There IS a lot in there that is literally true - I just don't happen to think that Genesis is. IMO, Job, Jonah, Prov 31 and the Song of Solomon are probably metaphors as well. Not sure about Hosea, and most of the "historical" books like Kings and Chronicles are literally true, from the Israelite POV at least.

[Updated on: Sun, 14 September 2008 21:26]


Your sister in Christ,

Elizabby

Evie is six, Zoe is four, and Benji is two!

Not online as much these days, contact me through email or my blog if you want to talk to me!
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451671 is a reply to message #451665 ] Sun, 14 September 2008 21:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
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Jonah and Hosea!?

Girl, how do you decide?? Smile


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451673 is a reply to message #451671 ] Sun, 14 September 2008 21:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Elizabby  is currently offline Elizabby
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Sherry in NH wrote on Mon, 15 September 2008 11:22

Jonah and Hosea!?

Girl, how do you decide?? Smile


That IS the tricky part, I'll admit. Part of it is the language style (Genesis 1 is very poetical) part of it is the imagery and common understandings used, part of it is the content. That's why Hosea is so tricky - some of it seems pretty weird and unlifelike, but it could have happened. The nice part about reading it as metaphor is that you don't need to know. I'm OK with not knowing whether or not Hosea (the prophet) really married her and named all his children those terrible things, or whether this is a metaphor. I just skip over that debate and go straight on to the lesson contained in the story.

It really is a very freeing thing, though I realize that most of you won't see it that way. Have you ever tried to read Genesis 1-3 WITHOUT thinking about Creation/Evolution or timeline issues? Just to read about the glory and power and love of God? I highly recommend it if you never have. There is so much more to the Bible than just "did this actually happen, and when and where and can the archeologists prove it?"

[Updated on: Sun, 14 September 2008 21:32]


Your sister in Christ,

Elizabby

Evie is six, Zoe is four, and Benji is two!

Not online as much these days, contact me through email or my blog if you want to talk to me!
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451699 is a reply to message #451397 ] Sun, 14 September 2008 22:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Janice T. wrote on Sat, 13 September 2008 15:39


Sherry, I don't know of any verses (whether taken literally or not) that discuss the various colors of people - races. My question is not a Bible question just a human one. Why are there different looks and how did they all end up together?
I'm not looking to argue literal vs metaphor. Just asking? Do you have any verses that discuss this?



I personally don't believe there is any discussion of different races because there aren't any. Just the one. The looks are obtained through basic genetics. Adam and Eve had all the genes necessary to come up with every variation of human that you see today. By combining in a variety of ways, various genes were concentrated in various populations, while other genes are lost--just the same as generations of breeding certain dogs will strengthen certain traits and cause others to be lost.


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451702 is a reply to message #451699 ] Sun, 14 September 2008 22:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
~Janice  is currently offline ~Janice
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Lisa R. wrote on Sun, 14 September 2008 21:30

Janice T. wrote on Sat, 13 September 2008 15:39


Sherry, I don't know of any verses (whether taken literally or not) that discuss the various colors of people - races. My question is not a Bible question just a human one. Why are there different looks and how did they all end up together?
I'm not looking to argue literal vs metaphor. Just asking? Do you have any verses that discuss this?



I personally don't believe there is any discussion of different races because there aren't any. Just the one. The looks are obtained through basic genetics. Adam and Eve had all the genes necessary to come up with every variation of human that you see today. By combining in a variety of ways, various genes were concentrated in various populations, while other genes are lost--just the same as generations of breeding certain dogs will strengthen certain traits and cause others to be lost.



If you believe in young earth vs old earth that would have to have happened in about 6000 years. It just doesn't seem possible.


TAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS!

Janice T. ~ CHF member since 09/97 ~
Mom to four - ds 28, dd 26, dd 24 and ds 21 - and wife to my sweet husband Richard.
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451718 is a reply to message #451702 ] Sun, 14 September 2008 22:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Janice T. wrote on Sun, 14 September 2008 22:33

Lisa R. wrote on Sun, 14 September 2008 21:30

Janice T. wrote on Sat, 13 September 2008 15:39


Sherry, I don't know of any verses (whether taken literally or not) that discuss the various colors of people - races. My question is not a Bible question just a human one. Why are there different looks and how did they all end up together?
I'm not looking to argue literal vs metaphor. Just asking? Do you have any verses that discuss this?



I personally don't believe there is any discussion of different races because there aren't any. Just the one. The looks are obtained through basic genetics. Adam and Eve had all the genes necessary to come up with every variation of human that you see today. By combining in a variety of ways, various genes were concentrated in various populations, while other genes are lost--just the same as generations of breeding certain dogs will strengthen certain traits and cause others to be lost.



If you believe in young earth vs old earth that would have to have happened in about 6000 years. It just doesn't seem possible.



Is. 55:9: "For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. "

It seems totally impossible because of our training in evolutionary thought. I was not taught the "theory of evolution" in school, but was taught "evolution" as if it were a proven fact. I trusted my teachers and assumed they were right--Adam and Eve must have been primitive cave men like you see in the evolutionary explanations or something.

Yet, if you set aside all those "facts" and just read what the Bible says, you get a whole different perspective--and evolution doesn't really fit. We tend to think there must be an explanation for the different races because we see different races...and there are scientific explanations given. So we take our science and look at the Bible and say, "the Bible can't be true." But if we look at the Bible as God's Word, and give it the authority over man's scientific ideas. (apologies to elizabby and others who disagree--this is just my understanding of God's Word, and I take that over man's teachings)

It's late, and I'm probably not being terribly coherent---but yes, I believe that what we see today as far as human "races" has come about in a bit over 6000 years. It's what I see in the Bible. The only way I see to come up with something different is to set aside the Bible.


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451722 is a reply to message #450027 ] Sun, 14 September 2008 23:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dina  is currently offline Dina
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for the record, Im another who sees this all happening in 6000 years. When ive looked at geneologies, its very compelling.

This is all fairly new to me. I find it facinating! Until just a few years ago I did just read Genesis without thinking of history and archeology. Now I read it historically, and I still see the Glory and magnificence of the Creator.

Dina


Dina ....... HE has made me glad!
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451762 is a reply to message #451718 ] Mon, 15 September 2008 02:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Lisa R. wrote on Mon, 15 September 2008 12:59

Janice T. wrote on Sun, 14 September 2008 22:33

Lisa R. wrote on Sun, 14 September 2008 21:30

Janice T. wrote on Sat, 13 September 2008 15:39


Sherry, I don't know of any verses (whether taken literally or not) that discuss the various colors of people - races. My question is not a Bible question just a human one. Why are there different looks and how did they all end up together?
I'm not looking to argue literal vs metaphor. Just asking? Do you have any verses that discuss this?



I personally don't believe there is any discussion of different races because there aren't any. Just the one. The looks are obtained through basic genetics. Adam and Eve had all the genes necessary to come up with every variation of human that you see today. By combining in a variety of ways, various genes were concentrated in various populations, while other genes are lost--just the same as generations of breeding certain dogs will strengthen certain traits and cause others to be lost.



If you believe in young earth vs old earth that would have to have happened in about 6000 years. It just doesn't seem possible.



Is. 55:9: "For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. "

But if we look at the Bible as God's Word, and give it the authority over man's scientific ideas. (apologies to elizabby and others who disagree--this is just my understanding of God's Word, and I take that over man's teachings)

I believe that what we see today as far as human "races" has come about in a bit over 6000 years. It's what I see in the Bible. The only way I see to come up with something different is to set aside the Bible.



You don't need to apologize - you are right to defend your understanding of the Bible as clearly as possible. And I do the same! Cool

Janice, you are correct though, that "standard" genetics as we currently understand it is NOT compatible with all this happening in 6,000 years. This is not the only point on which "young earth" theory does not match with current science. There are only three possibilities:

1) Science is wrong and the Bible is right.
2) The Bible is wrong and science is right.
3) Science is science, and the Bible is not about science but is true in a "metaphor" sense and is true about spiritual things but is not "scientific journalism". In this case both science and the Bible can be right in their spheres of authority.

and I just thought of another one:

4) In the early days of Creation science worked differently than it does now. This would be a subset of (1) really, as it would make Creation a special kind of miracle not subject to scientific laws.


Your sister in Christ,

Elizabby

Evie is six, Zoe is four, and Benji is two!

Not online as much these days, contact me through email or my blog if you want to talk to me!
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451857 is a reply to message #451762 ] Mon, 15 September 2008 12:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
~Janice  is currently offline ~Janice
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Interesting elizabby! And thanks.


TAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS!

Janice T. ~ CHF member since 09/97 ~
Mom to four - ds 28, dd 26, dd 24 and ds 21 - and wife to my sweet husband Richard.
Re: Tower of Babel [message #451873 is a reply to message #451147 ] Mon, 15 September 2008 13:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sister P  is currently offline Sister P
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As an aside - we have in our lineage - a man named Peleg. He seems to have been born while crossing to the U.S. or shortly after they arrived here. Smile
Re: Tower of Babel [message #453197 is a reply to message #450027 ] Fri, 19 September 2008 02:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
chellewho  is currently offline chellewho
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What about the blue people of Kentucky? That's a whole nother "race" that didn't take alot of time (compared to the age of the earth) to come about.

I believe in new earth but i can get elizabby's point because sometimes it seems like i go from trying to understand the people in the Bible to get the point to missing the point.


michelle (txn in pa)
Re: Tower of Babel [message #453247 is a reply to message #453197 ] Fri, 19 September 2008 08:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
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What are the 'blue people of Kentucky'? <puzzled>


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: Tower of Babel [message #453256 is a reply to message #453247 ] Fri, 19 September 2008 08:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
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Sherry in NH wrote on Fri, 19 September 2008 08:37

What are the 'blue people of Kentucky'? <puzzled>

I googled them. Fascinating. Inbred people in the hills of KY that had methemoglobinemia, which was a deficiency of something in their blood, that made their skin a blue color.


Blessings,
Lisa R.
Re: Tower of Babel [message #454530 is a reply to message #451762 ] Mon, 22 September 2008 22:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kevin Megill  is currently offline Kevin Megill
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elizabby wrote on Mon, 15 September 2008 01:54


There are only three possibilities:

1) Science is wrong and the Bible is right.
2) The Bible is wrong and science is right.
3) Science is science, and the Bible is not about science but is true in a "metaphor" sense and is true about spiritual things but is not "scientific journalism". In this case both science and the Bible can be right in their spheres of authority.

and I just thought of another one:

4) In the early days of Creation science worked differently than it does now. This would be a subset of (1) really, as it would make Creation a special kind of miracle not subject to scientific laws.



Or

5) It is science which is the metaphor.

What I mean is that it is only a *model* of reality.

Science makes no claim to discover what really happened when the universe was created. It only claims that it has iteratively refined its model until what it predicts is very close to what happens in reality. I don't find this a convincing argument that science's model is "the way things really are". It merely predicts well. In fact, since science disallows anything supernatural in its model, and since the reality is that there WERE supernatural processes involved, science cannot possibly really be true.

My take on the old earth/young earth question is that God created the universe to look old, i.e., at a point of maturity which, under normal circumstances, would have occurred only after a *lot* of time. Naturally, science would extrapolate backwards, producing a model in which the age of the universe is enormous. It would be completely "false" but very trustworthy for making predictions by, which is all it needs to be.

Evolution is another question entirely, which I am not addressing here.

Whether the Biblical account taken fairly literally still contradicts the scientific model under my view depends on whether any remaining discrepancies can reasonably be explained by appealing to supernatural processes in place of natural ones. If there are still serious contradictions, then one would say, I suppose, that both are metaphors.

Or do you think I've simply restated one of the other 4 in another guise?

Complicated stuff, but what fun!
Kevin
Re: Tower of Babel [message #454533 is a reply to message #454530 ] Mon, 22 September 2008 22:40 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
~Janice  is currently offline ~Janice
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Kevin Megill wrote on Mon, 22 September 2008 21:33

elizabby wrote on Mon, 15 September 2008 01:54


There are only three possibilities:

1) Science is wrong and the Bible is right.
2) The Bible is wrong and science is right.
3) Science is science, and the Bible is not about science but is true in a "metaphor" sense and is true about spiritual things but is not "scientific journalism". In this case both science and the Bible can be right in their spheres of authority.

and I just thought of another one:

4) In the early days of Creation science worked differently than it does now. This would be a subset of (1) really, as it would make Creation a special kind of miracle not subject to scientific laws.



Or

5) It is science which is the metaphor.

What I mean is that it is only a *model* of reality.

Science makes no claim to discover what really happened when the universe was created. It only claims that it has iteratively refined its model until what it predicts is very close to what happens in reality. I don't find this a convincing argument that science's model is "the way things really are". It merely predicts well. In fact, since science disallows anything supernatural in its model, and since the reality is that there WERE supernatural processes involved, science cannot possibly really be true.

My take on the old earth/young earth question is that God created the universe to look old, i.e., at a point of maturity which, under normal circumstances, would have occurred only after a *lot* of time. Naturally, science would extrapolate backwards, producing a model in which the age of the universe is enormous. It would be completely "false" but very trustworthy for making predictions by, which is all it needs to be.

Evolution is another question entirely, which I am not addressing here.

Whether the Biblical account taken fairly literally still contradicts the scientific model under my view depends on whether any remaining discrepancies can reasonably be explained by appealing to supernatural processes in place of natural ones. If there are still serious contradictions, then one would say, I suppose, that both are metaphors.

Or do you think I've simply restated one of the other 4 in another guise?

Complicated stuff, but what fun!
Kevin


Sometimes fun; sometimes frustrating! Thanks for your post Kevin.


TAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS!

Janice T. ~ CHF member since 09/97 ~
Mom to four - ds 28, dd 26, dd 24 and ds 21 - and wife to my sweet husband Richard.
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