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Genesis and the Religion of Primitive Man (Was monotheism the original religion of primitive man?)
Xenos ^ | James L. Graham

Posted on 12/13/2009 7:33:11 AM PST by SeekAndFind

The familiar passages of the early chapters of the book of Genesis tell us that God not only created the earth and all it contains, but that He also revealed Himself to man and communicated directly with him. Clearly then, the Bible teaches that from his very beginning, mankind was aware of the existence of one God. Thus, if the biblical account is to be accepted, the first man was a monotheist. But, can this be reconciled with what modern science teaches us about the development and evolution of man and his institutions? Is it conceivable that the primitive mind could have grasped such a sophisticated theological concept as monotheism? The answer to these questions will involve the reader in an examination of the intriguing history of scholarship in the area of the origin of religion and a fascinating glimpse of the religious beliefs of certain surviving primitive cultures, aptly referred to as "living fossils:"

It seems beyond doubt that primitive man had religious beliefs. For instance, Neanderthal man, who lived 50,000 years ago, is known to have buried his dead with ceremonies that clearly suggest a belief in a life after death. For example, in a cave in Northern Iraq, a person of this period was found buried under a pile of rocks resting on a bed of many flowers.1 A pre-historic custom of dusting corpses with red ocher (a mixture of clay and iron oxide) is found throughout the prehistoric world. It is thought that the red pigment was a ritual substitute for blood, hence a symbol of life.2 Belief in survival after death would seem to be confirmed a fortiori by burial, since nothing else could explain the effort involved instead of simply abandoning the corpse.

Since primitive man did not have a written language, we have no hope of finding written evidence of the nature of his religious beliefs. While certain of his artifacts may have religious significance, they tell us little. As documents, they are "opaque."3 Nor will we ever know if primitive man worshiped God with altars of earth or uncut stones since these would have long since become non identifiable parts of the landscape.

Thus, we encounter the fact that we do not and probably never will have direct evidence of the religious beliefs of primitive man. This does not mean, however, that we must despair of finding an answer to our question. The following discussion will show that there is a source of compelling circumstantial evidence in the form of the religious beliefs of certain primitive tribes whose lives and circumstances closely approximate those that must have characterized primitive man.

In investigating the accuracy of the biblical account we must first face the question of whether or not primitive man's mental faculties were sufficient to permit him to grasp such a concept as one Creator God. Unless we can answer that question in the affirmative, there is no reason to proceed further. Again, it is interesting to note what the Bible has to say on this point. In Genesis 1:26, we are told that man was created in God's image, according to his likeness. Certainly this must have included a share, however small in comparison, of the Creator's boundless intelligence. In Genesis 2:19, man is shown exercising his intellectual powers in recognizing the special attributes of the various species of animals and birds and using language to give names to them. Clearly, the Bible tells us that the first man was a fully rational, creative and communicative being.

We know from the archaeological remains of early man that his tools and artifacts were crude and that his living conditions were harsh. Some have deduced from this that his mental functioning was also of a low order. The pervasive teaching of Darwinian evolutionism that tells us that man descended from an animal has heavily reinforced this. Thus, many would believe that primitive man must have had a mind something akin to that of an animal. Indeed theories of a "primitive mentality" have been constructed which picture primitive man engaging in ape like chatter and living in fear of the dark unknown. Lucian Levy Bruhl, a well known French sociologist, writing in the 1920s and 1930s claimed that the primitive mind was "pre logical", i.e., unable to reason from premise to conclusion and without any concept of cause and effect.4

In recent years, however, such theories about the cognitive powers of primitive man have been totally rejected by most respected anthropologists, ethnologists, and sociologists.5 Levy Bruhl himself rejected his own hypothesis in the last years of his life.6 Today, all respected authorities view such theories as ethnocentricity, a polite scholarly term for cultural bigotry.7 It is now generally agreed that, biologically speaking, primitive man's mental equipment was fully human.8 It has been established that all of the earth's surviving primitive peoples speak a definite language and while there are differences in their intellectual development, their latent potential intelligence is essentially the same as ours.9

Tools, fire and evidence of teamwork in hunting are found with the remains of earliest man.10 Teamwork presumes the existence of language and the manufacture of tools could not occur without rational thought and the understanding of cause and effect. It has recently been discovered that stone-age man had a system of symbolic notation based on observation of the moon's phases which was used to fix seasonal ceremonies in advance and which remained in force for over 25,000 years. Such may have been the precursor of writing, arithmetic, and calendars.11

Thus, at the earliest point at which he can be identified, man's work clearly bears the stamp of his mind. Indeed, it has been argued that taking all factors into consideration, primitive man should be placed above present day primitive races since he was an inventor and a pioneer whereas they have remained static throughout the millennia.12

Modern scholarship, therefore, agrees fully with the biblical account of primitive man's mental powers. Having found no reason to doubt the first man's mental ability to form religious beliefs, we can proceed to examine the question of whether or not the biblical account of original monotheism squares with what man has been able to determine about the religious beliefs of his earliest ancestors.

The question of the origin of religion has occupied the attention of thinking men for centuries. The Greeks and the Romans both conducted comparative studies of religion. Plato and Aristotle attacked the myths of Greek religion, both arguing that a governing intelligence was at the beginning of all things and that a process of degeneration must have occurred assuming that religion was formerly higher and purer.13

For the purpose of the present inquiry, however, we will limit our analysis to the men and the theories that have played an important role in the current understanding of this subject. With this goal in mind, we must focus first on the mid nineteenth century, a period of social and intellectual upheaval which spawned discoveries and schools of thought which have had a profound impact on our own day which in some instances are still unfolding. During the mid 1850s, the vogue in philosophy was positivism that was in essence a materialistic view of nature and society.14 The leading proponent of this philosophy was Auguste Comte, a Frenchman who also, rather coincidentally, advanced a theory of the origin of religion which he attributed to fetishism, or primitive man's belief in the magical powers of charms, amulets or other inanimate objects.15 In doing so, Comte anticipated by several decades the theories that were later expounded by evolutionist sociologists and ethnologists.

In 1859, at the height of this philosophical movement, Charles Darwin published his work, The Origin of Species by Natural Selection. Although Darwin's theories applied only to the field of biology, they were soon given general application to the development of all of man's institutions, including religion. Darwin's theories presented the materialist philosophers with an appealing mechanistic theory of nature rendering theological and teleological explanations obsolete.

At about this time, significant archaeological discoveries were made in France that revealed the existence of prehistoric man.16 During the entire century, there were numerous voyages of discovery and exploration that resulted in an ever increasing body of knowledge and literature about the primitive races which inhabited the farthest reaches of the globe.17

With all of these factors converging, it was only a matter of time before an eminent scholar in an appropriate field, laboring under the influence of new forms of thought, would use these new factual resources to formulate a comprehensive theory of the origin of religion. Moreover, this occurred in 1871 when Edward Burnett Tylor, England's first professor of anthropology, published his work entitled Primitive Cultures. In this book, Tylor expounded the theory that the origin of all religion was "animism" which he defined as the belief in spiritual beings. According to Tylor, the belief in spiritual beings began with early man's attempt to explain basic bodily and mental conditions such as sleeping, waking, trance or other unconscious states, dreams, illness and death. He theorized that primitive man pondered on these things and developed the idea of a soul or spirit separate from the body which was then extended to animals, plants, inanimate objects, heavenly bodies and deceased ancestors. It was then only a matter of time before primitive man began to worship these various spirit inhabited things which then became deities of various kind. Later, after hierarchies appeared in society, man projected a hierarchy of deities, some gods having more authority than others. When the hierarchical nature of society included kings who rule over all men, the concept of a supreme god was evolved and ultimately through a process similar to Darwinian evolution the concept of monotheism or one God was born.18

Tylor's theory gained immediate acceptance in the intellectual community, and for at least the next 30 years, it was regarded as the classical theory of the origin of religion.19 While Tylor's theory reigned supreme, it also stimulated similar thinking on the part of other scholars who adopted his evolutionary premise, but suggested different phenomena as the true point of beginning. Herbert Spencer received considerable attention with his theory of original "manism," the worship of ancestors or ghosts.20 VV. Robertson Smith held that totemism, the worship of animals and plants, was the true beginning of man's religious beliefs.21 J. G. Frazer and others argued instead that a belief in magic, which arose out of primitive man's awe and wonder in the face of inexplicable natural phenomena, was the real beginning.22 These later theories were referred to as "pre--animistic," inasmuch as their authors propounded a beginning earlier than the animistic beliefs that formed the basis of Tylor's Theory. Otherwise, they were completely consistent in rejecting the possibility of original monotheism and advancing as established fact that the earliest stages of religion were crude and illogical, based upon fear and superstition, and that the higher forms of religion were the result of thousands of years of unilineal evolution.

As the twentieth century began, these evolutionary theories of the origin of religion were substantially reinforced by the writings of two powerful figures, Emile Durkheim, the founder of modern sociology and Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychology.23

Freud used his new theory of the unconscious mind to reaffirm the theory of totemism as the original religious belief. Freud apparently, although incorrectly, believed that blood sacrifice of the totem animal was common to all totemic cultures. Freud also believed, again erroneously, that the family structure of primitive man consisted of a dominant male surrounded by a number of females and children and that the dominant male would drive off the younger males when they became old enough to evoke his jealousy. Freud believed that the expelled sons of the first primal horde banded together to kill their father and steal the females. Since the totemic animal represented the clan, the sacrifice represented the recreation of the original patricide. Thus, man's religion was a manifestation of one of Freud's favorite psychological constructions, the Oedipus Complex. This theory was carried to the extent of explaining the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the Christian religion. Incredible as it may seem, Freud's theories are still widely accepted popularly among Freudian psychologists.24

In the case of Durkheim, he, too, favored totemism as the original religion but for a much different reason. Studying the Australian Aborigines, he noted that the totem symbolized the quality of sacredness and the clan at the same time. Durkheim concluded that sacredness (or "God") and the social group were the same, and that totemism was therefore the original religion.25

The theories of Tylor, Frazer, Freud, Durkheim and the others had a vast influence not only on the scholarly level, but also at the popular level. Man's religious tendencies were reduced to a scientific explanation that destroyed their value and meaning. The concept of God was nothing more than the end result of the evolution of primitive man's fear and superstition. In other words, it could be said with scientific accuracy that God did not create man but that man created God.

This may well be where the history of the study of the origin of religion would end were it not for the efforts of one man, Wilhelm Schmidt (1868-1954), professor of ethnology, and the science of languages in the University of Vienna. Father Schmidt (he was a Catholic priest), devoted his life to attacking and destroying these intellectual fortresses constructed by the evolutionists. In the process, he produced a monumental work entitled Urssrunn Der Gottesidee (The Origin of the Concept of God). Completed one year after his death in 1955, it consisted of 13 volumes numbering more than 11,000 pages.

The impact of Schmidt's work can be seen in the fact that by the middle of the twentieth century, the evolutionary theories of Tylor, Spencer, Freud, et al., had been totally rejected by most reputable scholars. Schmidt accomplished this by showing beyond any doubt that the evolutionary theories were totally contradicted by historical facts.

The foundation of Schmidt's work was the formulation of an historic method for the study of man's social institutions. The theories of the evolutionists had been based upon the extensive data collected regarding the nature of the religious practices and beliefs of various primitive peoples and by then formulating mental constructions as to how such beliefs and practices might have originated and evolved. No effort was made to determine whether or not these speculations coincided with what might be discovered about the actual sequence of events. In all fairness, however, it would have been difficult for them to do so because no method yet existed for analyzing the facts on a historical basis.

Building upon the work of certain historians, notably F. Ratzel, L. Frobenius, F. Grabner, Schmidt expanded and refined the concept of culture circles or spheres (Kulturkreise) which permitted the historical stratification of cultures and made it possible to identify which elements are archaic or primitive and which are more recent.26 By using this method, it was possible to destroy the foundations of the evolutionary theories by showing that they contradicted historical facts. For instance, Schmidt was able to prove that primitive man was monogamous, thus destroying Freud's theory that was based upon the existence of a promiscuous primal human herd. Indeed, the verdict of modern ethnology is that no such condition ever existed at all in any era of man's development.27

Schmidt's effort to prove that man's original religious belief was monotheism was inspired by an Englishman, Andrew Lang, who was, ironically, one of Tylor's leading pupils and initially one of his most vigorous advocates.28 Lang, like Tylor, believed that monotheism had everywhere developed out of a lower animistic form of worship. However, Lang began to doubt the validity of this theory when he learned of the discovery of the existence of a belief in a Supreme Being among the primitive tribes of Southeast Australia. Upon studying these people and similar primitive tribes, he found clear evidence of the existence of a belief in a Supreme Being, usually existing alongside other mythical elements. He found that they did not regard the high god of these tribes as a spirit but as a being that really exists, thus the belief could not be explained on the basis of animism. Lang, therefore, was the first modern scholar to suggest the existence of primitive monotheism.29

The intellectual community greeted Lang's theories with resounding silence.30 Schmidt, however, took up Lang's basic premise and, applying the historical method described above, dedicated his life to the study of the role of high gods among primitive peoples. In the process, he destroyed for all time the evolutionary concept of the origin of religion.

Schmidt's studies placed great emphasis on the religions of the world's surviving primitive cultures. These are peoples living in isolated regions where they are the only inhabitants, with no traces of an earlier population and inaccessible to later and more advanced peoples. These peoples are still in the initial stage of economic development. They are food gatherers who do not breed cattle or till the soil, who live in primitive housing, wear primitive clothing and use primitive tools and weapons, with no evidence that they ever achieved a higher or richer state of affairs and with no evidence of influence by higher cultures. Such peoples are the most ancient races of mankind and in them are found the oldest forms of religion we can hope to find. Since these religions are, comparatively speaking, nearest to the origin then they should retain more of its attributes than any other. Since these peoples are all preliterate, it is obvious that their cultures are older than any of those which have produced a written record of its religion such as the Egyptian or Babylonian or for that matter, the Hebrew. Such peoples, about whom we have sufficient data, include the Asiatic and African pygmies, some of the oldest tribes of Australia, the Negrillo and Bushmen tribes in Africa, various tribes of Northern Asia, the Eskimo, various North American Indians and the tribes of Tierro del Fuego.31

These primitive peoples have been studied extensively by many investigators over a lengthy period of time and there is an extensive body of literature concerning them. Schmidt's work was to document and analyze all that is known about these peoples in order to determine the nature of their religious beliefs and to put them into the proper chronological framework of the development of human cultures. This work succeeded in identifying which peoples have the most ancient cultures, and what their religious beliefs consisted of.

Schmidt showed that a belief in a Supreme Being is found among all of the people of the most primitive culture. He also found that the geographical distribution of these most ancient peoples completely encircles the earth. It is reasonable to assume that their common belief in a Supreme Being must have been deeply and strongly rooted in the even more ancient culture they shared before the individual groups separated from one another.32

The details of the nature, attributes and worship of these primitive high gods are fascinating and illuminating. The most basic feature of the primitive monotheism identified by Schmidt is the belief in one Supreme Being, the recognition of dependence on Him and the obligation to obey Him. While some primitive tribes believe in other exalted beings, they are generally described as being created by Him and deriving their power from Him and often act under His direction. Thus, even these peoples retain their monotheism although in somewhat weaker form.33

Most of the oldest groups do not associate a wife or children with the Supreme Being and to some of them the question of whether He would have a wife or child is regarded as offensive and ridiculous. The worship of animals, ghosts, or ancestors is unknown among these peoples, except in groups subjected to later influence.34

Heaven or the sky is the dwelling place of the Supreme Being, although it is often said that in earlier times He was on earth among men when He taught them all of their religious, moral, social and economic tasks. This was the happiest time on earth; however, He went away on account of some sin they committed and now lives in the sky. As to His form, it is generally said that they do not know what it is or that He cannot be seen, only felt. Often, however, He is described as having a human form, usually that of an old and venerable man. Light, splendor and fire are often associated with Him. However, nowhere in primitive culture is a picture or any other representation ever made of Him, nor is He ever represented in the sacred dances by a human being.35

His name is not spoken without need and is always said with reverence. His most frequent name is "Father." Other names include "He who is above," "Creator," "The most ancient," "The Giver," "Immortal," and "Eternal."36

Almost all peoples assign to Him some basis of eternity. It is commonly said that He existed before all other beings and that He will never die. His nature is eminently moral and He watches over all that men do.37 "He is everywhere and knows everything." All good things come from Him.38 He is sympathetic and ready to help and invites men to pray to Him.39 His power is unbounded. He can go everywhere and do anything.40 His role as Creator is recognized by most and not specifically denied by any. The Winnebago tribe of North American Indians and one pygmy tribe of the Congo have attributed to their Supreme Being the highest form of creativity, namely: creation ex nihilo.41

The Supreme Being Himself is always morally good, indeed He is the creator and source of morality. His commands include care for human life, observance of sexual morality, fair dealing, and readiness to give help to those in need.42 In many races, these commands are impressed on the youth at initiation rites. Generally speaking, these primitive peoples obey these positive and negative commandments and live a moral life by any objective standard. That they do obey and submit is all the more remarkable in view of the fact that they are fiercely independent in their social relationships.43

Forms of personal worship include prayer, sacrifice, and ritual ceremonies. Purely mental prayer, often with intense concentration of thought, has been observed in a number of groups. Verbal prayer may he spontaneous and informal or ritual and ceremonial. Prayers may consist of either prayers of petition or prayers of thanksgiving. Out of all the primitive tribes, only one has been found in which prayer has not been documented. Nevertheless, even here there are certain mysterious ceremonies, the significance of which have not been discovered.44

The only form of sacrifice in any primitive culture is the practice of offering first fruits: the offering of a small portion of the fruits of the hunt or of plant gathering or of a meal before it is eaten. This is done in recognition that the food belongs to and is the gift of the Supreme Being.45 One pygmy tribe, the Semang of Malacca, practices a form of sacrifice for atonement of sin that appears unique. When they hear thunder, which is the voice of their Supreme Being, Kari, they make a small cut in the skin below the knee, mix the blood in a cup of water and fling it into the sky, asking for forgiveness of their sins and confessing them in detail.46

The foregoing is a summary of findings among various primitive cultures that have been made and documented by many investigators over a considerable period of time. In some, this or that form of worship is unknown, but in all, it exists in some form.47

What conclusions can be drawn from this work which will help us answer the question of the nature of the first man's religion? Schmidt, in the preface to The Origin and Growth of Religion, states that his intention has been only to identify the religions of those people who are found to be ethnologically the oldest. He concedes that their religion is not necessarily the primordial inasmuch as these people do not share a wholly uniform culture. He does not offer an opinion on the nature of man's original religion but leaves that question to the fields of philosophy and theology.48 In the final section of this book, however, he points out that one of the important values of identifying the religions of the earth's most ancient peoples is the ability to project the essential elements of their religion even further back in time. Schmidt's position is that since these people are closest to the origin "these religions are our proper base for attacking the problem of the origin of religion . . . "49

In discussing the possible origins of the belief in a Supreme Being that he found among all of the oldest races, Schmidt observes that only such a God fulfills the total sum of human needs. Among these, Schmidt includes man's need to find a rational cause for his own existence and that of the world around him, his social needs, moral needs, and emotional needs. Schmidt suggests that the belief in such a God furnished primitive man with the ability and the power to struggle against his environment, and in doing so, seems to suggest that the belief in a Supreme Being may have been the deciding factor in the survival of the human race. Schmidt points out that primitive man had no model in his experience from which to formulate a God who was eternal and transcendent. He then states that the question of the origin of this God cannot yet be answered. It seems reasonable to ask whether it is likely that a natural solution to that question will ever be found. If indeed there was nothing in original man's experience of nature from which all of the attributes of such a God could be deduced, then this would seem to leave the answer in the realm of the supernatural.

In his book entitled Primitive Revelation, a somewhat earlier and frankly apologetic work, Schmidt flatly states that divine revelation is the most logical explanation for the origin of primal man's belief in a Supreme Being. He supports this with the observation that these primitive religions themselves attribute their origins to the Supreme Being and not to any process of searching or inquiry on the part of man. These peoples believe that God himself taught them what they believe about Him.50 Finally, Schmidt argues from the psychological standpoint that the only reasonable explanation for the unity and persistence of the belief in a Supreme Being throughout the millennia would be the occurrence of a tremendous and overwhelming experience. Obviously, the only such experience which would fit the facts would be the occurrence of direct communication from the God of Creation Himself." 51Schmidt concludes the argument thus:

Actually the history of religion here constructs a new proof for the existence of God: the oldest religion of mankind cannot be understood in its entirety, fullness and unique character, unless one assumes the existence and operation of God who created it created it in that He Himself personally instructed the men of that age in their beliefs, moral commandments and acts of worship.52

The question remains, however, as to how man could forget or abandon a pure religion. Schmidt describes the process as one of decay, resulting from the influence of animism, manism and magic. Animism, which was at first a general mental attitude in which man saw spirits in all natural objects, began to encroach on the true religion when man gradually accorded to these spirits exclusive power, thus elevating them to religious status. The same process occurred with manism or ancestor worship. Magic and the practice of sorcery may have been anti religious from the beginning, seeking access to secret powers of nature even in opposition to the will of the deity. Or, it could have sprung from religion itself when the words of prayers and rituals were emptied of their real meaning and the mere external formula was expected to produce the results.

Quoting from the Origin and Growth of Religion:

Thereafter, as external civilization increased in splendor and wealth, so religion came to be expressed in forms of ever -increasing magnificence and opulence. Images of gods and demons multiplied to an extent that defies all classification. Wealthy temples, shrines, and groves arose; more priests and servants, more sacrifices and ceremonies were instituted. Despite the glory and wealth of the outward form, the inner kernel of religion often disappeared and its essential strength was weakened. The results of this, both moral and social, were anything but desirable, leading to extreme degradation and even to the deification of the immoral and antisocial. The principal cause of this corruption was that the figure of the Supreme Being was sinking further and further into the background...

But all the while, the ancient primitive religion still continued among the few remainders of the primitive culture, preserved by fragmentary peoples driven into the most distant regions. Yet in their condition of stagnation, poverty and insignificance, even there it must necessarily have lost much of its power and greatness, so that even among such peoples it is much too late to find a true image of the faith of really primitive men. It remains for us, by dint of laborious research, to put gradually together from many faded fragments a life like picture of this religion.

NOTES

1 Eerdmans Handbook to The World's Religions (First American Edition: Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982), p. 24.

2 Eliade, Mircea. A History of Religious Ideas (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1978) p. 9.

3 Ibid., p.6.

4 Eliade, Mircea. The Quest (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1969) p.16; Schmidt, Wilhelm. (The Origin and Growth of Religion 1st Ed., New York, N.Y.: Cooper Square Publishers, Inc.) p. 132; Koppers, Wilhelm, (Primitive Man and His World Picture, London: Sheed and Ward, Ltd., 1952), p. 3.

5 Schmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, p. 134 Koppers,Primitive Man and His World Picture, p. 4.

6 Eliade, The Quest, p. 16.

7 Norbeck, Edward, (Religion In Primitive Society, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Row, Publisher, Inc.) pp. 8 9.

8 Koppers, Primitive Man and His World Picture, p. 4; Eliade, The Quest, p. 33.

9 Koppers, Primitive Man and His World Picture, p. 63.

10 Koppers, Primitive Man and His World Picture, p.64.

11 Eliade, A History of Religious ideas, p. 22.

12Kraft, G., Der Urmensh als Schopfer: Die geistige Welt des Eiszeitmenschen (Primeval Man's Creative Powers The Mental Outlook of the Ice Age). Berlin, 1942, as quoted in Koppers, Primitive Man and His World Picture, pp. 64 65.

13 Schmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, p. 18.

14 Shmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, pp.55, 56.

15 Schmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, pp. 56 58.

16 Eliade, The Quest, p. 40.

17 Schmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, p.56.

18 Ibid, p.55.

19 Ibid, pp. 74 77 and Norbeck, Religion In Primitive Society, p.17.

20 Schmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, p 74.

21 Ibid, pp. 61 72.

22 Ibid, pp.104-108.

23 Ibid, pp. 103 105.

24 Eliade, The Quest, p.24.

25 Schmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, p.110-112.

26 Eliade, The Quest, p.15.

27 Schmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, pp. 220 222.

28 Ibid., pp. 112 115.

29 Ibid., pp. 174--178.

30 Ibid., p.173.

31 Ibid., pp. 251 257.

32 Ibid., pp.257-261.

33 Schmidt, Wilhelm, (Primitive Revelation, Binghamton and New York: Vail Ballou Press, Inc., Copyright 1939, B. Herder Book Co.) p. 124.

34 Ibid., p. 126.

35 Ibid., p. 129 131.

36 Ibid., p. 131.

37 Ibid., p. 132.

38 Ibid., p.133.

39 Ibid., p.134

40 Ibid., p. 135.

41 Ibid., p. 136.

42 Ibid., p. 137.

43 Ibid., p. 138.

44 Ibid., pp. 141, 142, 143.

45 Ibid., p.145.

46 Ibid., p. 146.

47 Ibid., p. 148.

48 Schmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, Author's Preface, p. 7.

49 Ibid., p.255.

50 Schmidt, Primitive Revelation, pp. 178 181.

51 Ibid, pp. 182, 183.

52 Ibid., pp.185,186.


TOPICS: History; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: genesis; monotheism
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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1 posted on 12/13/2009 7:33:12 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Cylons fault.


2 posted on 12/13/2009 7:34:20 AM PST by BigCinBigD (")
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To: SeekAndFind

bookmark


3 posted on 12/13/2009 7:39:11 AM PST by FrdmLvr ("The people will believe what the media tells them they believe." Orwell)
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To: SeekAndFind

From whence did Cain’s wife come?


4 posted on 12/13/2009 7:42:43 AM PST by HangnJudge
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To: HangnJudge

For explanation regarding Cain’s wife, See here :

http://www.gotquestions.org/Cains-wife.html

Here :

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c004.html

and Here :

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/who-was-cains-wife


5 posted on 12/13/2009 7:45:20 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Can science be believed? Global warming zealots are as closed minded as Darwinists
6 posted on 12/13/2009 7:47:14 AM PST by mountainlion (concerned conservative.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Outside of the big 3 monotheist religions it looks to me like many religions have lesser gods under a single creator god.


7 posted on 12/13/2009 7:48:39 AM PST by cripplecreek (Seniors, the new shovel ready project under socialized medicine.)
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To: HangnJudge

From Cain’s mother and father.


8 posted on 12/13/2009 7:51:54 AM PST by vladimir998
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To: SeekAndFind

French sociologist, writing in the 1920s and 1930s claimed that the primitive mind was “pre logical”, i.e., unable to reason from premise to conclusion and without any concept of cause and effect
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

there’s plenty of “modern” humans that fit this description.


9 posted on 12/13/2009 7:55:48 AM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: SeekAndFind

Why are there two different days and accounts Written regarding the creation/formation of the flesh body?


10 posted on 12/13/2009 7:58:49 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: mamelukesabre

There really are two MAIN competing thoughts when it comes to man’s religion.

One is ORIGINAL MONOTHEISM. Anthropologists who gravitate to this point of view believe that mankind everywhere originally believed in ONE GOD but slowly gravitated towards the polytheistic form as Shamanism took over and charismatic figures became god-like, causing people to follow and worship them. This eventually led to agnosticism and atheism.

The other major competing thought is EVOLVED MONOTHEISM. This school of thought believes that monotheism WAS NOT the original state of mankind’s religious belief. It slowly EVOLVED MUCH LATER.

This particular article supports the former ( ORIGINAL MONOTHEISM ). I am sharing this for discussion purposes so that you can share YOUR point of views ( which point of view do you support more and why ).

Kindly keep smart-alec and wise-guy one liner remarks to a minimum.


11 posted on 12/13/2009 8:03:49 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: vladimir998
From Cain’s mother and father.

Would seem implausible...
The know rate of genetic mutations
generating various traits and diseases
would be difficult to explain over a
less than 10,000 year interval

Would seem more likely that the Genesis story
is a data point in a continuum,
instead of a origination point of an entire species

Call me a skeptic (along with C.S. Lewis and Tolkien)
that the Genesis story might be better described as
“True Myth”

http://protestantism.suite101.com/article.cfm/biblical_creation_is_a_true_myth

12 posted on 12/13/2009 8:04:59 AM PST by HangnJudge
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To: HangnJudge

You wrote:

“The know rate of genetic mutations
generating various traits and diseases
would be difficult to explain over a
less than 10,000 year interval”

With God anything is possible.


13 posted on 12/13/2009 8:08:30 AM PST by vladimir998
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To: HangnJudge

According to the King James Bible, Cain’s wife came from a land called Nod, most probably what today is called outer Mongolia.
On the 6th day God created all the races...MANKIND.
On the 7th day God rested for the sake of His creation.
AFTER that on the 8th day God created Adam and Eve...hence, Israel.
There were 2000 years worth of people on thw earth BEFORE Adam and Eve ever made the scene. Oh, and Adam WAS NOT cain’s son.
To understand these things is to possess THE KEY OF DAVID.


14 posted on 12/13/2009 8:08:39 AM PST by SentForth5 (Just sayin' is all...)
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To: cripplecreek; SeekAndFind
Outside of the big 3 monotheist religions it looks to me like many religions have lesser gods under a single creator god.

There is only one G-d.

He has given us His NAME; His NAME is YHvH.

YHvH has provided us His Salvation
to all who will call on His NAME

Allah is not YHvH.

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
15 posted on 12/13/2009 8:08:55 AM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: SentForth5
There were 2000 years worth of people on the earth
BEFORE Adam and Eve ever made the scene.

That would seem to be a very long “Day”

16 posted on 12/13/2009 8:12:44 AM PST by HangnJudge
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To: HangnJudge

2Peter
ch 3 v. 8

“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”


17 posted on 12/13/2009 8:18:20 AM PST by SentForth5 (Just sayin' is all...)
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To: SentForth5
“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

OK, that helps somewhat

18 posted on 12/13/2009 8:20:30 AM PST by HangnJudge
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To: UriÂ’el-2012

#15...Beautiful. YHVH is our life Yah’shua is our light!
And so we pray.


19 posted on 12/13/2009 8:24:41 AM PST by SentForth5 (Just sayin' is all...)
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To: SeekAndFind

Personally I tend to think monotheism came first. As I said, most religions (outside the big 3) tend to have one creator God and many underling Gods.

It just seems to me that it would be most natural to believe in one creator God at first and then add others as time went on.

We could also look at it in our Christian context of God along with angels and demons. What we consider to be angels and demons could easily be seen a lesser Gods by someone with no knowledge of Christianity.


20 posted on 12/13/2009 8:25:58 AM PST by cripplecreek (Seniors, the new shovel ready project under socialized medicine.)
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To: SentForth5

Oooops Adam was not cain’s FATHER.


21 posted on 12/13/2009 8:35:49 AM PST by SentForth5 (Just sayin' is all...)
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To: vladimir998

Let’s not digress this thread into another debate about the age of the earth or evolution vs creation.

I’d really like this thread to be a discussion about what sort of religion most of mankind originally held in ancient times -— monotheism or polytheism.


22 posted on 12/13/2009 8:38:20 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

The Ancient Hebrew texts and the Masorah tell us plainly that people began calling other things “god” during the time of Nimrod.

Nimrod tried to get people to worship him and ascribe their happiness to his government.
The first commie.

It only followed that soon people would fall from the original monotheism and begin to worship a multitude of gods as was convenient.
Sorry for digressing.


23 posted on 12/13/2009 8:44:11 AM PST by SentForth5 (Just sayin' is all...)
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To: cripplecreek
I've lived and worked in Taiwan and China for long periods of times and can speak Mandarin.

I've always been intrigued at the generic term they use for God -- SHANGDI ( The Emperor Above all ) and when it was used earliest.

The earliest references to Shangdi are found in Oracle Bone inscriptions of the Shang Dynasty (ca. 1600 BC – ca. 1046 BC). Shangdi is first mentioned in Chinese Literature in the Five Classics or Wǔjīng allegedly compiled by Confucius in the 6th century BC. The Wujing was a collection of five books that represented the pinnacle of Chinese culture at that time. The oldest parts of the Wujing were first written around 1000 BC, apparently relying on older texts. All of the five classics include references to Shangdi.

This is just a sampling, and alternate translations and compilations will yield slightly different numbers. The total for the Wujing collection alone totals over 85 references.

Other classics mention Shangdi as well (a formalized analysis showing the development of the term over time would be useful). Another "Classic" collection, the Four Books , mentions Shangdi also, but it is a later compilation and the references are much more sparse and abstract. The highest amount of occurrences appear to be in the earliest references; and this may reflect the cultural development (or rejection) towards ShangDi as a whole over time.

The many references to Shangdi assign attributes to his character, including: maleness, emotion, compassion, intellect, judgement, mastery, and greatness.

Shangdi is considered by some to be the Creator of the universe. If this is true, he would predate the later Daoist creation myth of Pangu (which dates to around 200 AD) by at least 500 years.

However, a trend of "depersonalization" of Shangdi began to appear, or at least grow, after the Warring States period with the ascension of Taoism. Oddly, later Taoism appears to restore personality traits to Heaven around 900 AD.

From the earliest eras of Chinese history, Shangdi was officially worshipped through sacrificial rituals.

Shangdi is believed to rule over natural and ancestral spirits, who act as His ministers. Shangdi is thought to be the Supreme Guide of both the natural order and the human order. The ruler of China in every Chinese dynasty would perform annual sacrificial rituals to Shangdi at the great Temple of Heaven in the imperial capital. During the ritual a completely healthy bull would be slaughtered and presented as an animal sacrifice to Shangdi.

It is important to note that Shangdi is never represented with either images or idols. Instead, in the center building of the Temple of Heaven, in a structure called the "Imperial Vault of Heaven", a "spirit tablet" inscribed with the name of God is stored on the throne. That name is "Supreme Sovereign God of Heaven (Huangtian Shangdi).

During an annual sacrifice, the emperor would carry these tablets to the north part of the Temple of Heaven, a place called the "Prayer Hall For Good Harvests", and place them on that throne.

If you have the chance to visit Beijing, The Temple of Heaven is a very intriguing place to visit. CHinese temples have lots of idols in them to various deities.

However, Shangdi is never represented with either images or idols. Verrry Interrrresting.
24 posted on 12/13/2009 8:46:58 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: HangnJudge; SentForth5
The Science of God is an excellent book that answers a lot of these questions that stem from a superficial understanding of the English translations of the Bible.


In the instance of Cain's wife, it hypothesizes the same thing that SentForth5 has stated, except that it supports it with medieval Hebrew scholarship to show that it is not a flimsy attempt to reconcile Darwinian evolution and creationism.

Gerald Schroeder is a superb scientist, scholar, and author, and reveals how juvenile and shallow a lot of the New Atheists are in their lines of questioning Biblical accuracy.
25 posted on 12/13/2009 8:47:43 AM PST by angryoldfatman
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To: SeekAndFind
What we need to know is found in the Bible, the Word of God. Here is part of the Christmas story about Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, from the Gospel of Matthew, up to the time when the Father in Heaven, acknowledged Him as His Son...


   Matthew Chapter One

 1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the
   Son of Abraham:

 2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and
   his brothers.

 3 Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and
   Hezron begot Ram.

 4 Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot
   Salmon.

 5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot
   Jesse,
   
 6 and Jesse begot David the king.David the king begot Solomon by her
   who had been the wife of Uriah.

 7 Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa.

 8 Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot
   Uzziah.

 9 Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah.

10 Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah.

11 Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were
   carried away to Babylon.

12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel,
   and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel.

13 Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor.

14 Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud.

15 Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob.

16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus
   who is called Christ.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations,
   from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations,
   and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen
   generations.

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary
   was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found
   with child of the Holy Spirit.

19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her
   a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.

20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord
   appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be
   afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in
   her is of the Holy Spirit.

21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus,
   for He will save His people from their sins."

22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by
   the Lord through the prophet, saying:

23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they
   shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."

24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord
   commanded him and took to him his wife,

25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son.
   And he called His name Jesus.

   Matthew Chapter Two

 1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod
   the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,

 2 saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have
   seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."

 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem
   with him.

 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the
   people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

 5 So they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written
   by the prophet:

 6 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among
   the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will
   shepherd My people Israel.' "

 7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined
   from them what time the star appeared.

 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for
   the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me,
   that I may come and worship Him also."

 9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which
   they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood
   over where the young Child was.

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with
   Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had
   opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense,
   and myrrh.

12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return
   to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared
   to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His
   mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for
   Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him."

14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and
   departed for Egypt,

15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled
   which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of
   Egypt I called My Son."

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was
   exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male
   children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two
   years old and under, according to the time which he had determined
   from the wise men.

17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:

18 "A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great
   mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted,
   Because they are no more."

19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a
   dream to Joseph in Egypt,

20 saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the
   land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child's life are dead."

21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into
   the land of Israel.

22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead
   of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned
   by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee.

23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be
   fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, "He shall be called a
   Nazarene."

   Matthew Chapter Three

 1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of
    Judea,

 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"

 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
   "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of
   the Lord; Make His paths straight.' "

 4 And John himself was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt
   around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

 5 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan
   went out to him

 6 and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.

 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his
   baptism, he said to them, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee
   from the wrath to come?

 8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,

 9 and do not think to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our
   father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to
   Abraham from these stones.

10 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore
   every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown
   into the fire.

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming
   after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.
   He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His
   threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn
   up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.

14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You,
   and are You coming to me?"

15 But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for
   thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he
   allowed Him.

16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water;
   and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of
   God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.

17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son,
   in whom I am well pleased."

26 posted on 12/13/2009 8:48:40 AM PST by Star Traveler (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a Zionist and Jerusalem is the apple of His eye.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Here is part of the Christmas story about Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, from the Gospel of Luke...


    Luke Chapter One

 1 Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of
   those things which have been fulfilled among us,
 
 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers
   of the word delivered them to us,
 
 3 it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all
   things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most
   excellent Theophilus,
 
 4 that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were
   instructed.
 
 5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest
   named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the
   daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
 
 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments
   and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
 
 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were
   both well advanced in years.
 
 8 So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the
   order of his division,
 
 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense
   when he went into the temple of the Lord.

10 And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the
   hour of incense.

11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side
   of the altar of incense.

12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

13 But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your
   prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and
   you shall call his name John.

14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.

15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither
   wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit,
   even from his mother's womb.

16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.

17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn
   the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the
   wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

18 And Zacharias said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an
   old man, and my wife is well advanced in years."

19 And the angel answered and said to him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in
   the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these
   glad tidings.

20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these
   things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be
   fulfilled in their own time."

21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so
   long in the temple.

22 But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived
   that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and
   remained speechless.

23 And so it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed,
   that he departed to his own house.

24 Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself
   five months, saying,

25 "Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me,
   to take away my reproach among people."

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of
   Galilee named Nazareth,

27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of
   David. The virgin's name was Mary.

28 And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored
   one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"

29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered
   what manner of greeting this was.

30 Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have
   found favor with God.

31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and
   shall call His name Jesus.

32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the
   Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom
   there will be no end."

34 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?"

35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come
   upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore,
   also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her
   old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.

37 For with God nothing will be impossible."

38 Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me
   according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste,
   to a city of Judah,

40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.

41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the
   babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among
   women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should
   come to me?

44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears,
   the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those
   things which were told her from the Lord."

46 And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord,

47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold,
   henceforth all generations will call me blessed.

49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His
   name.

50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation.

51 He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in
   the imagination of their hearts.

52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly.

53 He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent
   away empty.

54 He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy,

55 As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever."

56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her
   house.

57 Now Elizabeth's full time came for her to be delivered, and she
   brought forth a son.

58 When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great
   mercy to her, they rejoiced with her.

59 So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child;
   and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias.

60 His mother answered and said, "No; he shall be called John."

61 But they said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who is
   called by this name."

62 So they made signs to his father--what he would have him called.

63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, "His name is
   John." So they all marveled.

64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he
   spoke, praising God.

65 Then fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings
   were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea.

66 And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, "What
   kind of child will this be?" And the hand of the Lord was with him.

67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and
   prophesied, saying:

68 "Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed
   His people,

69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His
   servant David,

70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, Who have been since
   the world began,

71 That we should be saved from our enemies And from the hand of all
   who hate us,

72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His
   holy covenant,

73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:

74 To grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
   Might serve Him without fear,

75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.

76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will
   go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,

77 To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their
   sins,

78 Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on
   high has visited us;

79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To
   guide our feet into the way of peace."

80 So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts
   till the day of his manifestation to Israel.

   Luke Chapter Two

 1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar
   Augustus that all the world should be registered.

 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.

 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into
   Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was
   of the house and lineage of David,

 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.

 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for
   her to be delivered.

 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling
   cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them
   in the inn.

 8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields,
   keeping watch over their flock by night.

 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of
   the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.

10 Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring
   you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.

11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who
   is Christ the Lord.

12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in
   swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly
   host praising God and saying:

14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward
   men!"

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that
   the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and
   see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us."

16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying
   in a manger.

17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was
   told them concerning this Child.

18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told
   them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.

20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the
   things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

21 And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child,
   His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was
   conceived in the womb.

22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses
   were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord

23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male who opens the
   womb shall be called holy to the Lord"),

24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the
   Lord, "A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."

25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and
   this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel,
   and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not
   see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought
   in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law,

28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

29 "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According
   to Your word;

30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation

31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,

32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your
   people Israel."

33 And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken
   of Him.

34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this
   Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for
   a sign which will be spoken against

35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts
   of many hearts may be revealed."

36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the
   tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband
   seven years from her virginity;

37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart
   from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him
   to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

39 So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord,
   they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.

40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and
   the grace of God was upon Him.

27 posted on 12/13/2009 8:49:17 AM PST by Star Traveler (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a Zionist and Jerusalem is the apple of His eye.)
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To: SentForth5

Thanks for the information.

No you are not digressing, you are ON TOPIC.

BTW, when you talk about Nimrod becoming a diety, which Ancient Hebrew texts are you referring to ? That definitely isn’t in the Hebrew Torah.


28 posted on 12/13/2009 8:49:20 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
And the significance of Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, coming back to set up the Kingdom on this earth -- Peter's first sermon...


   Acts Chapter Two

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said
   to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be
   known to you, and heed my words.

15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third
   hour of the day.

16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will
   pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall
   prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream
   dreams.

18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit
   in those days; And they shall prophesy.

19 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath:
   Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood,
   Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.

21 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
   Shall be saved.'

22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested
   by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through
   Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know--

23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of
   God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;

24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was
   not possible that He should be held by it.

25 For David says concerning Him: 'I foresaw the Lord always before my
   face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.

26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my
   flesh also will rest in hope.

27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your
   Holy One to see corruption.

28 You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of
   joy in Your presence.'

29 "Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David,
   that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an
   oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He
   would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne,

31 he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ,
   that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.

32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.

33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received
   from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this
   which you now see and hear.

34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'The
   Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand,

35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool." '

36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made
   this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."

37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter
   and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"

38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized
   in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall
   receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

29 posted on 12/13/2009 8:49:39 AM PST by Star Traveler (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a Zionist and Jerusalem is the apple of His eye.)
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To: angryoldfatman

I appreciate that! I have a large library, but I don’t have that one.
I been digging into this for 20 years, now. I’m gonna see if Amazon has one!


30 posted on 12/13/2009 8:53:27 AM PST by SentForth5 (Just sayin' is all...)
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To: Star Traveler

Star Traveler, You don’t have to quote scripture at me. Just refer to the Bible verses and I can read them for myself.

For now, I’d like this thread to be a discussion about Original Monotheism. It is interests me to learn what the original religious state of mankind is.

The gospels you quote are interesting, however that is thousands of years AFTER monotheism was already well established in Palestine.

Can you for instance show me what the original worship structure is in Egypt ( before they started worshipping RA or OSIRIS ?).


31 posted on 12/13/2009 8:56:11 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Oh boy did you read too much into my comment!

Sheesh.

I meant to point out that modern humans are not so different from “primitive” humans in terms of mental ability. We think that because we have cars, planes, computers, tv, etc that we have these things because we have better brains. WRONG.

Primitive does not equate to impaired mental function. If anything, primitive man had enhanced mental functions for survival. ingenuity and creativity WITH A PURPOSE, is far more demanding than reading a book.

Put me in the “original monotheism” camp.


32 posted on 12/13/2009 8:59:03 AM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: SeekAndFind
You were saying ...

Star Traveler, You don’t have to quote scripture at me. Just refer to the Bible verses and I can read them for myself.

Well, it wasn't for you, necessarily. It's just that the poster of an article ends up "getting" the comments, doncha know... LOL... even when they aren't directed at him... :-)

So, I was more talking to a thousand or more readers who will be seeing your thread and some of them can't even find Matthew or Luke..., much less even know where they put that pesky Bible :-)

33 posted on 12/13/2009 9:04:14 AM PST by Star Traveler (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a Zionist and Jerusalem is the apple of His eye.)
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To: SeekAndFind
You were saying ...

The gospels you quote are interesting, however that is thousands of years AFTER monotheism was already well established in Palestine.

Actually monotheism started with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. And for generations everyone knew of the one and only God in the universe. It's only since we've gotten further and further away from what Adam and Eve knew directly and exclusively -- that these other human philosophies and inventions come about.

One of the things that many people don't realize unless they look carefully at the generations in the Bible, that those who lived right up to the time of the flood (close to it, within a generation of it) could still talk directly to Adam and get the information about God directly from him.

And also, another thing that people don't realize is that Abraham was also able to talk to Noah, the one who built the Ark, that saved 8 people from which the entire human race started up again.

So, at those particular times, people were not that far removed from the "direct knowledge" from those who were in direct contact with God and could speak from first hand experience (like Adam, and then like Noah and the flood).

34 posted on 12/13/2009 9:09:57 AM PST by Star Traveler (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a Zionist and Jerusalem is the apple of His eye.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I’d really like this thread to be a discussion about what sort of religion most of mankind originally held in ancient times -— monotheism or polytheism.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

impossible.

There’s no way to debate it or to prove one way or the other. It was(and is) as constant struggle between one religion or another. There are even struggles between two different monotheistic religions...even between two related sects of the same branch of the same monotheistic religion.

The endless struggle began the day that god created eve. Maybe before then.


35 posted on 12/13/2009 9:10:21 AM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: SeekAndFind

The King James has the most available study tools that coincide with it, but it is full of small errors borne of the sopherim not understanding the languages well, but Genesis ch 10 speaks of Nimrod as a “mighty hunter” before the Lord. Yeah, he hunted souls of men from the Lord!

Josephus cleans this up very well in Antiquities Jud i. e. 4. 2, and there is a wonderful appendix written on this in Bullinger’s Companion Bible.
The Targum of Jonathan nd the Jerusalem Targum say Nimrod was mighty in rebellion against the Lord, and a hunter of the sons of men. He founded Babylon. The original tyrant.


36 posted on 12/13/2009 9:12:17 AM PST by SentForth5 (Just sayin' is all...)
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To: angryoldfatman
The Science of God is an excellent book
that answers a lot of these questions
that stem from a superficial understanding
of the English translations of the Bible.

Fascinating comments at end of review
It would seem each of the comments speak
more about the prejudices of the commenter than
the Book they comment upon.

A problem I've noted is that
each person sees what they have been conditioned to see
by their life experiences.

None the less, works of this type are helpful and useful
if only to point out, by inference, out own blindness

Science speaks to what is the Universe
It makes no statements as to why the Universe exists
Who made it, or if It has a Purpose

To do this requires something Science cannot do...
to see "Out of the Box"


37 posted on 12/13/2009 9:23:52 AM PST by HangnJudge
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To: Star Traveler; SeekAndFind
Here is part of the Christmas story about Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, from the Gospel of Luke...

A clear scriptural reading of Luke
will point the Yah'shua's conception
at Chanukah
(Matt. 5:14; Jn. 8:12; 9:5; 11:9; 2 Co. 4:4)
and His birth at Sukkoth.
John 1:14
shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
38 posted on 12/13/2009 9:32:31 AM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: SentForth5

Genesis 4:1 — “And Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.”


39 posted on 12/13/2009 9:58:13 AM PST by Library Lady
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To: angryoldfatman; stylecouncilor

Gerald Schroeder bump.


40 posted on 12/13/2009 10:03:45 AM PST by onedoug
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To: SeekAndFind
You were saying ...

I’d really like this thread to be a discussion about what sort of religion most of mankind originally held in ancient times -— monotheism or polytheism.

I would think that it would be clear, absolutely so, that when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden that they didn't think in terms of "religion" but in terms of "reality" and they knew that there was only one God, "in reality".

It was later on as men rebelled against God and also as their rebellions produced lies and "religions" to compete against the "reality" of the One God, that you have all the resulting confusion in the world.

As the Bible says, Satan is the father of lies and it's in his own interest to tell all sorts of lies about "diety" and to invent competing "religions"... :-)

41 posted on 12/13/2009 10:19:16 AM PST by Star Traveler (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a Zionist and Jerusalem is the apple of His eye.)
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To: All
Oh, and Dennis Prager's 2 part interview with Gerald Schroeder. Well worth having.
42 posted on 12/13/2009 10:29:00 AM PST by onedoug
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To: UriÂ’el-2012
You say, Sukkot, and I've considered also, the Feast of Trumpets (or Rosh Hashanah... :-)
43 posted on 12/13/2009 10:36:30 AM PST by Star Traveler (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a Zionist and Jerusalem is the apple of His eye.)
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To: Star Traveler

The rebelling against god seems to me to have started with eve and the serpent. There was something there even before that or the serpent wouldn’t have had any success.


44 posted on 12/13/2009 10:40:35 AM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: Star Traveler
You say, Sukkot, and I've considered also, the Feast of Trumpets (or Rosh Hashanah... :-)

Chanukah is a great time for followers of the Jewish Messiah to celebrate.
The eight day Feast of Chanukah echoes of the eight days of the Feast of Tabernacles
It was most likely when the "light of the world"
(John 8:12) entered human form and tabernacled among us.

Feast of Tabernacles is the birth day of Yah'shua.

This question is answered when you believe and trust
the Holy Word of Elohim in Luke 1.

Yah'shua's birth on Sukkot
(Sukkot is the Feast of Tabernacles or booths,
where we live in temporary shelters.
Sukkot is when YHvH took on a temporary
garment to be with His People
and to die as the Lamb of G-d on Pesach
in order to bring salvation to all
who would call on His Name:
(Romans 10:13 & Joel 2:32)
Yah'shua ( YHvH is become my salvation)).
Ps. 18:2, 46; 27:1; 35:9; 38:22; 88:1;
118:14; 119:174; 140:7; Isa. 12:2; 56:1;
61:10; Mic. 7:7; Hab. 3:18

Sukkot as the date is supported by Elizabeth's
pregnancy of John the Immerser.
The time sequence is outlined by the
Holy Word of Elohim in Luke 1 with Zacharias.

Zacharias served as a high priest and
based on his tribe, we know when he served
(1 Chronicles 24:7-18) and when he was
struck dumb and when John was conceived.

John would have been born on Pesach.
Most Jews believed that Elijah
would come at Pesach to announce
the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5).

Factor in when Miriam visited her cousin Elizabeth,
Elizabeth was six months pregnant (Luke 1:26)
Thus the timing of Yah'shua's birth can be ascertained.

John (1:14) tells us that Yah'shua was made flesh
and tabernacled among us.

The word "dwelt" in the Koine Greek is:

σκηνόω Strong's G4637 - skēnoō
1) to fix one's tabernacle,
have one's tabernacle,
abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent),
tabernacle
2) to dwell

Eight days after the beginning of Sukkot is
another Holy Feast Day called Shemini Atzeret.

Eight days after a Jewish male is born he is circumcised.

After the Eighth day comes the the most Joyous day:
Simchat Torah or
the rejoicing in the Torah (The Word of Elohim).

Nine months back from Sukkot is Chanukah
where the light entered the temple.

Biblical Dates for the Birth of Yochanan the Immerser
and for the Conception and Birth of Yeshua HaMashiach

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
45 posted on 12/13/2009 10:40:54 AM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: mamelukesabre
The rebelling against god seems to me to have started with eve and the serpent. There was something there even before that or the serpent wouldn’t have had any success.

Not to mention that fruitcake, Lilith.

46 posted on 12/13/2009 10:43:09 AM PST by Ted Grant
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To: Ted Grant

Lilith? Dont remember that one.


47 posted on 12/13/2009 10:47:08 AM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: mamelukesabre
Lilith is Adam's first female companion, according to Jewish folklore.

Edited from Wikipedia...

The Alphabet of Ben Sira is considered to be the oldest form of the story of Lilith as Adam's first wife. Whether this particular tradition is older is not known. Scholars tend to date the Alphabet between the 8th and 10th centuries AD. Its real author is anonymous, but it is falsely attributed to the sage Ben Sira. The amulets used against Lilith that were thought to derive from this tradition are in fact, dated as being much older.[33] The concept of Eve having a predecessor is not exclusive to the Alphabet, and is not a new concept, as it can be found in Genesis Rabbah. However, the idea that Lilith was the predecessor is exclusive to the Alphabet. ...

The idea that Adam had a wife prior to Eve may have developed from an interpretation of the Book of Genesis and its dual creation accounts; while Genesis 2:22 describes God's creation of Eve from Adam's rib, an earlier passage, 1:27, already indicates that a woman had been made: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." The Alphabet text places Lilith's creation after God's words in Genesis 2:18 that "it is not good for man to be alone"; in this text God forms Lilith out of the clay from which he made Adam but she and Adam bicker. Lilith claims that since she and Adam were created in the same way they were equal and she refuses to submit to him.


48 posted on 12/13/2009 10:50:54 AM PST by Ted Grant
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To: UriÂ’el-2012

What is it, in particular, that makes a difference of the fourteen days between one of the two?

I’m not sure I see where those fourteen days are specifically accounted for...


49 posted on 12/13/2009 11:10:50 AM PST by Star Traveler (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a Zionist and Jerusalem is the apple of His eye.)
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To: Star Traveler
What is it, in particular, that makes a difference of the fourteen days between one of the two?

I’m not sure I see where those fourteen days are specifically accounted for...

I think I understand.

Chanukah is always the 25th of Kislev.

Last year the 25th of Kislev was the 22nd of Dec.

In 2007 it was the 5th of December.

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
50 posted on 12/13/2009 11:19:51 AM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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