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Home » CHFWeb Forum » BibleIssues » Tower of Babel
Re: Tower of Babel [message #454538 is a reply to message #450027 ] Mon, 22 September 2008 22:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kevin Megill  is currently offline Kevin Megill
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I think the point of Gen 1-11 (which I take to be literal, but with lots of metaphorical significance) is to show how we can interpret the way things are in light of God's design for the world. Each major section is looking at some mystery of the human condition and showing us how to think about it. In each case, it flows from a) God's creative design of the world before the fall, and b) the judgment of God that resulted from the fall.

Here, the main question seems to be about the scattered, alienated, disunited state of humankind. The story implies that this alienation of people and their communities completely cripples our ability as the human race. There is much that we cannot do because we cannot even get together in language.

The point is that this happened because of the judgment of God. We are divided as people because God could not allow us to reach our potential while we were in rebellion against him.

This affects how we think about the future. One day, when righteousness reigns again, humankind will come into its own. And yes, as someone speculated, Pentecost was a picture of the glorious state to come, when the whole human race has been reunited in Jesus as his bride.

This also affects how we think about our significance in the body of Christ. We are so oriented on the individual in our age, that we miss the importance of unity. It is as members of the one body that we find our significance as servants of Christ. The unity of the Spirit that we enjoy, and strive to maintain, is only the beginning of the great reversal of Babel that God is gradually bringing about. Compare all this to the second half of Eph 2, for example.

In Him,
Kevin


In Him,
Kevin Megill

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.
Re: Tower of Babel [message #454557 is a reply to message #454530 ] Mon, 22 September 2008 23:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Elizabby  is currently offline Elizabby
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Kevin Megill wrote on Tue, 23 September 2008 12:33

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 agree with this, so for me this statement comes under "science is science" and is a restatement of position 3, IMO. The problem comes when people don't define their "spheres of authority" clearly.

As you say, science has nothing to say about miracles or the supernatural. They just can't be part of a scientific model, by the very nature of science, and an honest scientist should admit this freely. Anyone who claims that 'science disproves God' or 'science disproves miracles' is moving science into the realms where it does not belong.

Quote:

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.


I suppose it depends on what you mean by 'true'. I would say that science speaks to scientific truths - science is quite right (IMO) about gravity, for example. Science does NOT speak to ultimate truths about the purpose of the universe or the meaning of life, nor should it try.

Quote:

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.


Fair enough. This is IMO position 4, or I should really have called it 1b as it means that science is "wrong" about Creation stuff (not taking into account the supernatural elements) but can be useful for other things.


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 #455930 is a reply to message #451397 ] Fri, 26 September 2008 10:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sister P  is currently offline Sister P
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Janice T. wrote on Sat, 13 September 2008 14:39


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 woke up with this on my mind this morning, as my puppy lay next to me in bed and I realized that he has the look of another type of dog even tho' he's "pure". Laughing

I think there are verses that talk about race, but not AS "racial".

Acts 13:1 Simeon that was called Niger (black), or from Niger - either way, I think it's a reference to his color.

Jacob and Esau came OUT looking totally differently and became two different nationalities.

By tradition, if nothing else(?), we "know" that Moses married a black woman... I think she was Ethiopian? I forget how we "know" that now and don't want to go searching at the moment.

It's my belief that Adam and Eve had all the genes for all the "races" and that the earliest children would've been born with a wide variety of traits and colors. They wouldn't inherit ALL of the variety of genes, tho'. Rather than the different aspects of our looks having to be "developed" over time, I think they were "weeded out" by the inbreeding that would've occurred when people moved off away from the "gene pool". That explains, to me, why Inuits are as dark as Africans. Wink I've always questioned the "Africans got darker because they needed that extra protection" tho't. It would've taken so long to become dark enuf for protection that they would've died out! Laughing And how do all the WHITE Africans survive? Nope. That just doesn't work. Like languages "evolved" in secluded groups, that's how physical traits "evolved".

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the pic of the little family with segregated twins! The mom and dad were both mulatto and they had twins. One twin was completely and totally "black" - dark skin, dark eyes, kinky black hair, and the other was completely and totally "white" - tow-headed, blue eyed, fair skinned. Genes are very interesting things! Cool
Re: Tower of Babel [message #456128 is a reply to message #455930 ] Fri, 26 September 2008 19:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Elizabby  is currently offline Elizabby
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Sister P wrote on Sat, 27 September 2008 00:36


By tradition, if nothing else(?), we "know" that Moses married a black woman... I think she was Ethiopian? I forget how we "know" that now and don't want to go searching at the moment.



Really? I've never heard this before. If you find out where this comes from, I'd be interested to know.


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 #456386 is a reply to message #450027 ] Sat, 27 September 2008 15:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michelle, IL  is currently offline Michelle, IL
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I think sometimes we forget that satan is/was around. The Lord had told Noah and his sons to fill the earth.

Gen 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

With Nimrod as their leader,
Gen 11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top [may reach] unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

Here we again have direct rebellion against what God had said to do. Satan hates man and God, and satan is a deceiver.

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

I don't believe that this tower built in rebellion to God's instructions was any way meant to get closer to the true God of the universe. Perhaps Nimrod succeeded in using enough "god"/religious language to fool some that this was for the true God to get them to help in the construction.

Babylon is described as Rev 17:5 And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

I believe Babylon was the place of the start of all the pagan religions of the world. God confounding satan's plan by forcing them to disburse through languages was a blessing to man. Satan was trying to establish a One World Government and religion at Babel. Satan still desires to rule the world and replace God. Don't we see movements today toward a one world government inspite of physical distances made possible by technology.

Michelle


Wife to 1. Mom to 4 dds ages 20, 18, 8 & 8 and 1 one wonderful ds (age 15) right in the middle of those 4 girls.
Re: Tower of Babel [message #468430 is a reply to message #450027 ] Tue, 28 October 2008 04:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DebbieM  is currently offline DebbieM
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This has always been one of my favorite Bible stories. Here are some of MHO.
1. What is the significance of this story?
I think one was to explain that various languages have not occurred by accident, that people were scattered throughout the Earth, and that making a name for themselves was not God's plan.
3. Is it showing us what happens when men unite?
I think yes, if their goal is putting themselves first.
4. Is this a warning against globalism?
I don't think it is as much about globalism, since this is something that will occur, but about people seeking power for themselves.
5. Is this literal?
I think so.
9. Were different races created at this point too?
This may sound crazy, but I think it was the beginning of various races. I believe just as their was one language that there was one race, and after people were scattered they adapted to living conditions. Darker closer to the equator, lighter as you move further away from the equator. A very interesting book is Eat Right 4 Your Type, the author has a theory of how blood types were developed and it begins with the first humans.
6. Do any of you think there is much, much more to the story
than this account?
Yes. After 9/11, I remember picking up my Bible on 9/15/08 when a headline read, "Why did this happen", I prayed first for the Lord to lead me to what He needed me to understand. I opened my Bible and it opened to Psalm 9:15. "The nations have fallen into the pit hey have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. The Lord is known by his justice, the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands."
By no means do I think this is meant for the victims of 9/11, I just think it was a warning to our Powerful nation. Look at us now.
The story of Babel always makes me think of our Mexican neighbors. So many people feel that they should have to learn English before coming to our country, that was not a requirement for the Acadians, French, Germans, Italians, Africans, Spanish or any other culture that makes the USA a melting pot. Does it give us power to take away something that makes them who they are? I think the Tower of Babel hits pretty close to home.

[Updated on: Tue, 28 October 2008 04:15]


Debbie
Re: Tower of Babel [message #468497 is a reply to message #456386 ] Tue, 28 October 2008 10:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
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>And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top [may reach] unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.<

If I'm remembering right, somewhere in Josephus, *he* thought that they were trying to avoid another flood and outwit God.

[It made me think of spaceships and the race to space the first time I read it, actually.]


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: Tower of Babel [message #468645 is a reply to message #468497 ] Tue, 28 October 2008 17:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Elizabby  is currently offline Elizabby
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Sherry in NH wrote on Wed, 29 October 2008 01:17

>And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top [may reach] unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.<

If I'm remembering right, somewhere in Josephus, *he* thought that they were trying to avoid another flood and outwit God.

It made me think of spaceships and the race to space the first time I read it, actually.


IMO, these are examples of how we read meaning back into stories of the past, and re-examine truths from the past in different ways to fit different circumstances. So is the 9/11 issue actually.

IMHO, it is much easier and more appropriate to do this if you take a 'non-literal' view of reading for meaning. Meanings are much more "transposable" than literal text. I think if we are going to be concrete-literal, then we would have to say that the writers could not have known or thought about 9/11, globalism, the space race, etc, so this story couldn't be applied to any of those issues. But if we take the *meaning* of the story we can then appropriately apply it to any issue that has relevance for us.


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 #468650 is a reply to message #468645 ] Tue, 28 October 2008 17:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
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I agree with the whole space thing not being appropriate, elizabby.

I'm just telling you what came to mind when I was a brand new Christian Wink

But the verse does tell us what they said their reason was...we [or at least I] just don't maybe understand why that appealed to them...I believe that God heard what they said and had someone write it down.

I just don't know why they thought that was a good idea when He'd told them what He wanted them to be doing.


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: Tower of Babel [message #468658 is a reply to message #456128 ] Tue, 28 October 2008 17:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
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Zipporah was Midian, it says in Exodus 2. Strongs says that that area is in the north of the Arabian peninsula. Her name means "bird".


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: Tower of Babel [message #468878 is a reply to message #456128 ] Wed, 29 October 2008 01:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sister P  is currently offline Sister P
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Elizabby said: Really? I've never heard this before. If you find out where this comes from, I'd be interested to know.

I came across this today. Num 12:1 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. KJV

(I was looking for an African name for my Love Bird and found out Zipporah means "bird" - how fitting!) Smile
Re: Tower of Babel [message #468882 is a reply to message #468878 ] Wed, 29 October 2008 02:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Elizabby  is currently offline Elizabby
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Sister P wrote on Wed, 29 October 2008 16:13

Elizabby said: Really? I've never heard this before. If you find out where this comes from, I'd be interested to know.

I came across this today. Num 12:1 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. KJV



How interesting! I have read Numbers, but I have to admit that not a lot of it went in...


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 #787882 is a reply to message #468882 ] Thu, 10 October 2013 17:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
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found this thread again...dd asked me last night what the deal with the tower and city of babel was...why dd god react so strongly???


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: Tower of Babel [message #787884 is a reply to message #787882 ] Thu, 10 October 2013 18:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sister P  is currently offline Sister P
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A heart issue, as usual.
But... [message #788121 is a reply to message #450027 ] Tue, 15 October 2013 07:43 Go to previous message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
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Right...but do we know what it was...why was building a city and a tower the tipping point? what could they have done? Look at all the tech stuff happening today...man on the moon? what was so out there that God had to intervene by splitting people groups and languages? it seems like there is something missing maybe...

[Updated on: Tue, 15 October 2013 07:44]


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
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