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The "Faith" of the First Murderer...Genesis 4 pt 3
http://billrandles.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/the-faith-of-the-first-murderer-genesis-4-pt-3/ ^ | 11-28-12 | Bill Randles

Posted on 11/26/2012 3:40:44 PM PST by pastorbillrandles

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.(Genesis 4:3)

Cain believed in God. Furthermore he worshipped him. The account of the first murder in human history, took place in the context of worship.

We would do well to consider the theology of Cain, for we are warned in the book of Jude that in the last days many within the church and outside of it would”go in the way of Cain”, plunging on into everlasting destruction.

Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; (Jude 11-12)

What exactly did Cain believe?

As stated earlier, Cain definitely believed in God. Furthermore, he was monotheistic, and understood the duty to worship God. I have no doubt that Cain acknowledged God as his Creator, and as sustainer of all life, as evidenced by the nature of his sacrifice, the fruit of the ground blessed by God.

But Cain refused to acknowledge that he was a sinner, nor did he offer the appropriate God ordained sacrifice, an innocent life as a substitute. He refused to bring a bloody sacrifice to God. He simply balked at bringing this offering as a contrite and broken-hearted supplicant, seeking salvation.

Abel did, but not Cain.

Cain’s approach to worship has a technical name, it is called “Will Worship”. After his own will and preference, he presumed to come to the Holy God, and that on his own terms. His was a defiant religion of the flesh, a works righteousness. He didn’t like to be considered a sinner, and worthy of eternal destruction, he saw no need for a substitute, he would rely on himself, thus idealizing his own power and ‘goodness’.

He would own God as Creator, but not as Redeemer, .

Cain’s insubordinate self-redemption, and self-justification would become the prefered ‘respectable’ religion of millions who would follow him. Those on the “way of Cain” are ever willing to acknowledge the Creator, and even to extol his benevolence or His other favorable attributes, but they would adamantly balk at any suggestion of their own sinful condition, or any reference to the need of Divine redemption, substitution or the certainty of wrath and judgment!

This is the religion of the first murderer. It is a self-exalting Will worship, self-justification, salvation by works, Knowing God as Creator indeed, admitting his benevolent gift of life, but denying the fall, redemption, and the certainty of Hell.

It’s origin is Cain but its thread is a constant of human history, leading all the way through to its final and fullest expression in the Anti-Christ, the ultimate “will worshipper”, the man of sin, the son of perdition, “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or is worshipped as God….” confessing ultimately that he himself is god!

The so called “mainstream” Protestant churches have long since gone the way of Cain, for the most part, offering only a “social gospel” of good works, and “social justice”. Abandoning the gospel they were brought into existence to bear witness to, what other use could justify the church, other than a social serves organization?

They have abandoned the gospel revelation of the sin of man, and the need for repentance and personal rebirth. The idea of a God of Holy Wrath is an embarrassment to them, it is considered a barbaric throwback, to primitive, unenlightened times. There will be no trembling hands bringing a bloody sacrifice to a Holy God in these churches now, only Cain’s fruit.

But alas, within evangelicalism also , Cain’s teaching can has taken hold. Pastors, teachers, authors, and theologians have now emerged to deny the doctrine of propitiation, and also the concept which underlies and presupposes it, ie the wrath of God against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.

Popular books are being published which deny the doctrine of eternal punishment(hell) in the name of the only attribute they will ever allow in God, Love. An evangelical church is “emerging” which emphasizes ritual, sensual religious experience, psychology, and humanistic love, but which adamantly opposes the idea of a Holy God of Wrath and Justice, as well as of Mercy and Grace.

But the most high God rejected the offering of Cain.

If there is a “way of Cain” as the Apostles warned us, surely there is a contrasting way of Abel, As Erich Sauer points out in his “Dawn of World Redemption”-

It is ,“the humble acknowledgement that sin demands death,the reliance of the guilty on the sacrifice appointed by God himself,the enduring of persecution for the sake of the eternal goal,the expectation of the triumph of the Divine Redemption through the woman’s seed “.(Sauer,”Dawn of World Redemption,Pater Noster press, pg 64)

Cain’s way will soon perish, it leads to the AntiChrist and to judgment and hell itself, for it is ever rejected of God. But Abel, though like the ultimate Abel, the Messiah, who also was persecuted and even slain, attains eternal life!


TOPICS: Charismatic Christian; Evangelical Christian; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: bloggersandpersonal; cain; jesus; salvation; sourcetitlenoturl; theology; vanity

1 posted on 11/26/2012 3:40:52 PM PST by pastorbillrandles
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To: pastorbillrandles

and as usual you take a single verse completely out of context and twist it to your meaning....unfortunately you miss the true meaning and context of Jude which is that unbelievers will perish. It is not because they have fallen into the way of Cain. It is because they do not believe......and of course some of the types of people listed include those who distort God’s words


2 posted on 11/26/2012 3:59:10 PM PST by Nifster
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To: pastorbillrandles

Interesting perspective, I will take a further look. Would love to see you widen your picture of how the link is to the last days.

(Just thinkin of the Mathew 24, Luke and Mark comments that in the last days it will be like the days of Noah, Lot...)


3 posted on 11/26/2012 4:13:48 PM PST by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: pastorbillrandles

Wow, this message has been coming up in my readings a lot lately.


4 posted on 11/26/2012 5:41:22 PM PST by Thorliveshere
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To: pastorbillrandles
I have spent the last two years translating Genesis 4 from Hebrew.

It wasn't a murder.

5 posted on 11/26/2012 7:22:24 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party: advancing indenture since 1787.)
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To: Carry_Okie

Are you saying Cain didn’t murder Abel? Please elaborate,


6 posted on 11/26/2012 7:24:30 PM PST by pastorbillrandles
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To: Carry_Okie

That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom you slew between the temple and the altar.(Matthew 23)

Jesus thought it was Righteous blood shed in guilt, is that not murder?


7 posted on 11/26/2012 7:28:28 PM PST by pastorbillrandles
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To: pastorbillrandles
Are you saying Cain didn’t murder Abel?

It's rather obvious from what I wrote.

Please elaborate,

It's seventy pages of elaboration, that will be an attachment to an existing book on the Sabbath year. I'm working on a 10pp summary now to fit within the regular text. I'm really not sure how much I should divulge as it is not yet published. But I will touch upon the more obvious features of the story.

If you look at most of the grammatical constructions for Abel in the Hebrew, they are PLURAL. Yes, I know there are explanations for this, but they make no sense compared to the awesome and very deep story that is actually there. Further, there are important distinctions between the Septuagint and the Masoretic text that render violence unlikely.

I don't know if you've done it but decoding the names in Cain's line maps onto the entire story from Gen. 2-4, possibly as a mnemonic device. That Abel is replaced by Seth is particularly telling, as it sets the compilation of the story into the Torah exactly during the time of the Exodus. IOW, I believe the story is true, but not the way it is currently interpreted.

Jesus thought it was Righteous blood shed in guilt, is that not murder?

Well, if you look at the story, "blood" is "damim," a plural construction for "bloods." Nor is that construction reserved exclusively to people as is commonly thought. So, in my opinion, Yeshua was teaching from a metaphor he knew the people would grasp based upon what He knew of the common understanding. In fact, this interpretation sheds some considerable light on several of His teachings, particularly in the Sermon on the Mount.

As this work is not yet published, I can't go into great detail publicly without a non-disclosure agreement. All I can say is that no one who has read it has disagreed with the thesis, including an Israeli linguist.

8 posted on 11/26/2012 9:39:04 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party: advancing indenture since 1787.)
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To: Carry_Okie
I have spent the last two years translating Genesis 4 from Hebrew. It wasn't a murder.

Cain slew Able out of jealously and envy and that is not murder? How many possible meanings does the word 'slew' have. That word is what it is and it really does not matter what specifically the word 'blood' is translated into in the English.

9 posted on 11/26/2012 10:03:18 PM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: pastorbillrandles
I'll spare you looking up the other NT references:

Hebrews 11:4
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

1 John 3:12
Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

Yes, they reflect the usual interpretation.
10 posted on 11/26/2012 10:06:12 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party: advancing indenture since 1787.)
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To: Just mythoughts
You are analyzing it in English, not Hebrew. The root hay-resh-gimmel is NOT the same root used in the commandment prohibiting murder; it is the most generic term for "kill" in a language that does include figurative usage. This IS about the end of Abel, but from what I can tell, not by violence.

BTW, show me in the Hebrew where it even mentions jealousy.

BTW, the post said I've been working on just this chapter for two years. I've had linguists go over the whole thing. For you to take such a caustic tone is unwarranted. I know how hard this is going to be for people. You should see the stuff I've found from Genesis 1-8. THAT will have everybody screaming at me. No, I'm not looking forward to it. Still, once found I must report it, with G_d as my witness. The only solace is that it really is a very cool story with major implications for how we live in His Creation.

As to whether or not what I have found in the past is reliable, know this: the Chabad Orthodox Jewish translation of Exodus 23:11 has been changed to reflect what I published, Jacob Millgrom notwithstanding.

11 posted on 11/26/2012 10:28:19 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party: advancing indenture since 1787.)
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To: pastorbillrandles
I agree with the author about the "sin of Cain". Because he was jealous that God accepted Abel's sacrifice and rejected his, he murdered his own brother. The reason why God rejected Cain's sacrifice - though an offering of 'first fruits' IS part of the sacrificial ordinances of God - the offering that was required in this instance was a "sin" offering and "it is the BLOOD that makes atonement for the soul" (Lev. 17:11) Cain offered the works of his hands instead of what God required and he resented that his younger brother was right and he was wrong.

It is true that ALL religions in the world have as their common thread the works of man in order to bind himself back to God (the meaning of the word "religion"). The sad fact is that there are many "Christian" denominations that have strayed from the narrow path that leads to eternal life because they base salvation on what a man does over what a man believes. We are saved by faith apart from works because of God's unfathomable GRACE.

Thanks for the thread.

12 posted on 11/26/2012 11:06:43 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: pastorbillrandles

Yes, i think Cain must have believed in God, other wise why would he have even given an offering.

Like the scribes and Pharisees in the days of Christ, they believed in a God but they believed in them selves more which lead to love of power and money, as far as they were concerned God was millions of miles away.

They were using God for their own purpose.

We can argue all day if some one believes or not but the scriptures say that even Satan believes.

Jesus could have been King if he had of went along with Satan, but he would not, in that case the religious leaders would have excepted him.

If the religious leaders would have excepted Jesus then they would have had to become servants, that they did not want.

Remind you of any of the great religious leaders of today?


13 posted on 11/27/2012 6:29:47 AM PST by ravenwolf
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To: pastorbillrandles

“The so called “mainstream” Protestant churches have long since gone the way of Cain, for the most part, offering only a “social gospel” of good works, and “social justice”. Abandoning the gospel they were brought into existence to bear witness to, what other use could justify the church, other than a social serves organization?”

What does the author consider “mainstream” in this case. This is certainly not the focus with my (First Baptist) church.


14 posted on 11/27/2012 10:44:27 AM PST by Bruinator ("For socialism is not merely the labour question, it is before all things an atheistic question")
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To: Bruinator

United Methodism, Methodism, much of Presbyterianism,Much of Evangelical Lutheranism,Episcopalianism, United Church of Christ etc etc


15 posted on 11/27/2012 11:26:03 AM PST by pastorbillrandles
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To: Carry_Okie
You are analyzing it in English, not Hebrew. The root hay-resh-gimmel is NOT the same root used in the commandment prohibiting murder; it is the most generic term for "kill" in a language that does include figurative usage. This IS about the end of Abel, but from what I can tell, not by violence. BTW, show me in the Hebrew where it even mentions jealousy.

Did Able die? How did Able die? Who caused Ables death? Why did Able die?

I use the Strong's when I need to check out to see if the translators picked the correct word to give the meaning intended. Slew as found in Genesis 4:8 is the Hebrew #2026 harag, (accent over the first a) haw-rag'; a prim. root; to smite with deadly intent: -destroy, out of hand, kill, murder (-er), put to [death], make [slaughter], slay (-er), x surely.

This word slew (Strong's Hebrew 2026) was used in Genesis 4:8, 4:25, 34:25, 34:26, 49:6; Exodus 13:15; Numbers 31:7, two times in Numbers 31:8, Joshua 9:26, 10:11; two times in Judges 7:25, 8:17, 8:18, 8:21, 9:5, 9:24, 9:45, 9:54; IISamuel 3:30, 4:10, 4:12, 14:7, 23:21; IKings 2:5, 2:23, 11:24, 18:13; IIKings 9:31, 10:9, 11:18, 17:25; IChronicles 7:21, 11:23, 19:18; IIChronicles 21:4, 22:8, 23:17, 24:22, 24:25, 25:3, 28:6, 28:6, 28:7, 36:17; Nehemiah 9:26; Esther 9:6, 9:10, 9:15, 9:16; Psalms 78:31, 78:34, 135:10 136:18; Lamentations 2:4

The word murder in Psalms 10:8 is the same (Strong's Hebrew # 2026)

Murderer is the same word in Hosea 9:13

Murderers is the same word in Jeremiah 4:31

The word kill is the same (Strong's Hebrew # 2026) in the following Scriptures: Genesis 12:12, 26:7, 27:42; Exodus 2:14, 22:24; Leviticus 20:16; Numbers 11:15, 22:29, 31:17 (two times); ISamuel 16:2, 24:10, IKings 12:27, Esther 3:13, Ecclesiastes 3:3:

The word killedst is the same (Strong's Hebrew # 2026) found in Exodus 2:14, ISamuel 24:18

The word killeth is the same (Strong's Hebrew # 2026) found Job 5:2

The word killing is the same (Strong's Hebrew # 2026) found in Judges 9:24

The word slay is the same (Strong's Hebrew # 2026) found in Genesis 4:14, 20:4, 20:11, 27:41, 37:20, 37:26; Exodus 2:15, 4:23, 5:21, 21:14, 23:7, 32:7, 32:27; Leviticus 20:15; Numbers 25:5, Joshua 13:22, Judges 8:19, 8:20; IKings 18:12, 18:14, IIKings 8:12; Nehemiah 4:11, 6:10 (two times); Esther 8:11; Job 20:16; Psalms 59:11, 94:6; Proverbs 1:32; Isaiah 14:30, 27:1; Jeremiah 15:3; Exekiel 9:6; Amos 2:3, 9:1, 9:4; Habakkuk 1:17; Zechariah 11:5

The word slayer is the same (Strong's Hebrew # 2026) found in Ezekiel 21:11

The word slayeth is the same (Strong's Hebrew # 2026) found in Genesis 4:15; Ezekiel 28:9

The word slaying is the same (Strong's Hebrew # 2026) found in Joshua 8:24; Judges 9:56; Isaiah 22:13

Peradventure I mistyped any of the above Scriptures anyone can go to the Strong's and look up each and every word I did and find for themselves IF what I typed is correct.

Genesis 4:3 And in the process of time it came to pass, (we do not know how long or what took place instruction wise) that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

verse 4 And Able, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

But unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

The Hebrew meaning of the word wroth is Strong's Hebrew # 2734 charah, khaw-raw'; a prim. root [comp. 2787]; to glow or grow warm; fig. (usually) to blaze up, of anger, zeal, *jealousy*: -be angry, burn, be displeased, x earnestly, fret self, grieve, be (wax) hot, be incensed, kindle, x very, be wroth. See 8474.

All above are elements required to meet the meaning of premeditated murder.

BTW, the post said I've been working on just this chapter for two years. I've had linguists go over the whole thing. For you to take such a caustic tone is unwarranted. I know how hard this is going to be for people. You should see the stuff I've found from Genesis 1-8. THAT will have everybody screaming at me. No, I'm not looking forward to it. Still, once found I must report it, with G_d as my witness. The only solace is that it really is a very cool story with major implications for how we live in His Creation.

I am sorry to offend you, but, even the translators could not hide the LORD's distaste of Cain and his actions. I think your linguists read over the word the LORD had Moses pen regarding HIS take on Cain.

Actually how many read with understanding that the LORD created human males and females on the 6th day, and then on the 8th day formed the Adam, and from the Adam the woman was formed? I do not have any problems with what is Written, but, the apparent attempts to make Cain out to be something else will get a reaction from me if I read it. The WORD says one way or another every soul/spirit will be required to learn the instruction with understanding at some point in time, either during this flesh age, or the age yet to come. Might as well do it correctly the first time around.

As to whether or not what I have found in the past is reliable, know this: the Chabad Orthodox Jewish translation of Exodus 23:11 has been changed to reflect what I published, Jacob Millgrom notwithstanding.

16 posted on 11/27/2012 12:05:06 PM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Just mythoughts; pastorbillrandles
Did Able die?

All of them, as a people.

See? You have no idea what I'm talking about. Yet the bulk of usages with regard to Abel are PLURAL, as I had said above and as you chose to ignore. If your Strong's didn't tell you that then the Concordant Literal Interlinear will, as will any reasonable introductory text on Hebrew grammar. So, go lay out all those plurals and tell me why they are there. Then tell me why it shifts to a mix of singular and plural in v8-9.

If you think that in two years I haven't done as much as to look at a concordance... dear G_d, give me patience. Accordingly, all I can say now is that your citations are unimpressive to me. I posted in the first place because the good pastor had put in some considerable effort and I was willing to share with him a draft, on condition of a signed non-disclosure of course. You didn't. He at least had the decency to ask a question first before citing the same kind information on the standard interpretation I read all my years of study prior to the finds that led to Shemitta. Not you. Accordingly, I don't have time for your level of depth; you'll just have to wait until I publish it.

17 posted on 11/27/2012 1:40:39 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party: advancing indenture since 1787.)
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To: Carry_Okie
Interesting theory, and one I won't dismiss out of hand given that Esau is also mentioned as a people. It also explains how the sons of Adam could procreate without any daughters being mentioned in the Scripture.

I'll have to think about it some more.

18 posted on 11/27/2012 1:53:31 PM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: Carry_Okie

When/where/how are you publishing this information? It sounds intriguing.


19 posted on 11/27/2012 2:36:29 PM PST by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: Carry_Okie
All of them, as a people. See? You have no idea what I'm talking about. Yet the bulk of usages with regard to Abel are PLURAL, as I had said above and as you chose to ignore. If your Strong's didn't tell you that then the Concordant Literal Interlinear will, as will any reasonable introductory text on Hebrew grammar. So, go lay out all those plurals and tell me why they are there. Then tell me why it shifts to a mix of singular and plural in v8-9.

Genesis 4:25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: "For God," said she, "hath appointed me another *seed* instead of Abel, whom Cain slew."

There is your plural the 'seed' of Able which Cain prevented ever having the opportunity of being born of woman.

I did not spend 20 minutes typing allllllllllllllll the places 'slew' and varying words translated from that prime word that were used in the Hebrew to impress you. The point and purpose was to get the prime root meaning of that word 'slew'. Given what God had Moses to pen, this is God speaking to any who take the time to investigate. Cain with premeditation murdered his twin Able. It was predestined that thorough this blood line would come Christ our Saviour. Does not change what took place or matter for any and all who reject Christ. What God set in motion happened in spite of all those whose purpose was to derail His plan.

The point/purpose is to learn what the Creator of all souls/spirits, has to say, NOT what mortals pick over, emphasis, and conclude the words mean. The Heavenly Father made clear through Moses His perfect opinion of Cain.

Cain committed a premeditated jealous rage murder. However, the later 'death' sentence required of premeditated murder had not yet been commanded. But Cain was cursed, he could no longer grow his food, he needed somebody else to grow his wheat!

20 posted on 11/27/2012 3:07:49 PM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Future Snake Eater
Some of it will be up early next year. Yet this is only one of about four major blocks: the Sabbath year (already done), Cain & Abel, Genesis 1-2:3, and Genesis 2:4-Ch8 with C&A as a separate discussion. The work will be on multiple levels: summary, thesis, and detailed exposition with links between them.

The key to what is driving this is to see the Torah through the eyes of a nomadic herding culture already thousands of years old at the time the Torah was written. Remember: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David were all herdsman. They see the world very differently than we do. There are many of what I consider to be interpretive errors on the part of Ezra et al when Israel returned from Bavel. It was my familiarity with habitat restoration in xeric and Mediterranean mesic landscapes that helped me discern the themes behind what was actually being said and not any special talent as regards Hebrew. Ezra was a priest, not a herdsman and warrior, and he saw what he was reading in a mystical fashion. Not that he altered the text, but that what went into the Talmud that so heavily influenced our latter day understanding is where that influence was most felt. In a way, these distinctions do much to confirm that the original stories (which some believe were transcribed from tablets) are as old as it says they are. I can't go into that right now.

This is a real-world understanding, with little to no mysticism involved. Hence, the metaphors work backward from those to which we are used, with the story mapping onto everyday technical military, social, economic, and environmental reality. To get a taste for that, take a look at the Shemitta web site. BTW, although it says there is a CD I'm not selling them any more because so many of the recent findings have me focused upon an update, particularly as regards how we might apply these laws today. As it is, I may just put most of this up on the web for free, but for those "picture books" for which I would have to request specific permission. We have simply got to get people DOING what the book teaches or we stand to lose everything.

21 posted on 11/27/2012 3:23:41 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party: advancing indenture since 1787.)
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To: Carry_Okie; pastorbillrandles

Carry_Okie, please include me on any future updates and of how I can purchase from the fruits of your efforts. I thank you, in advance.

Pastor Bill, thank you, too, for the wonderful words you continue to offer.


22 posted on 11/27/2012 5:10:43 PM PST by ConservativeMind ("Humane" = "Don't pen up pets or eat meat, but allow infanticide, abortion, and euthanasia.")
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To: Carry_Okie

Not saying I believe or disbelieve what you are saying, just that I agree with you that most of the time we read things primarily in the limitations of English, ignorant of the fact that the other languages may have other meanings.


23 posted on 11/28/2012 3:54:15 AM PST by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: Carry_Okie
The key to what is driving this is to see the Torah through the eyes of a nomadic herding culture already thousands of years old at the time the Torah was written

err... are you saying 10s of 1000s or 1000s?

24 posted on 11/28/2012 3:56:29 AM PST by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: Cronos; pastorbillrandles
err... are you saying 10s of 1000s or 1000s?

Yes, I do understand the Biblical chronology, having translated the names in a couple of genealogies. I know how hard this can be. I really do know how upsetting discussion of this kind can be, yet I also feel a responsibility to share with you a little of why I have taken the position I have, if only out of respect for a brother.

According to the archaeological record, at the time the Torah was put into writing, people had been herding in that area and across the Sahel for 14,000 years. Yes, that means I don't think the Creation of Bereshit was a literal story but a metaphor teaching a pattern of specific roots by which to learn about the cyclical nature of the relationship between the Lord and humankind. It is effectivley an overview of a cycle first described in the teachings from Gen. 2:4-Chapter 8. There are very good scriptural reasons for that observation I will not discuss here but suffice it to say that the hypothesis has been independently reviewed and I am pursuing it further.

That doesn't mean I don't think we have an all powerful G_d. It does mean that I think we don't know Him very well. I cannot imagine the kind of love it takes to tolerate so much ignorance flying off in all directions while He lets us work it out and truly learn how little we know and how much we need His direction.

I know, it can be very upsetting, but allow me to offer you an example as to what I mean as to translation problems. Consider this: A transliteration for the first two words in the Hebrew Torah would be "Bereshit bara," the standard translation to which is "In THE beginning." Yes, we are only two words into the Bible and we already have a problem: There is no definite article for "the" in "bereshit." If in fact it meant "In THE beginning," the Hebrew would read "b'hareshit" (the Hebrew definite article for "the" is "ha"). So a more accurate translation of what is on the scroll would be "in beginning," or "in A beginning" which would suggest a cycle and not THE beginning of all things. The second word for "created" is transliterated as "bara." Yet any Hebrew linguist will tell you that the root for "bara" as originally understood DOES NOT mean "created" as in 'something from nothing,' but indicates a shaping process involving a pre-existing workpiece (be sure to read the Genesius' lexicon entry within the page). Virtually all the references within the lexicon entry to 'something from nothing' come from our existing understanding of the passage and not from the language itself. That's how bad it is. In short, we're stuck in a tautological understanding of way too many words in the Torah to have a very good understanding of what was originally intended, for which there is a very good reason.

Remember: Until the last 120 years, Hebrew was virtually a dead language. In fact, the primary Christian source for the "old Testament" is the Septuagint. It was written in Greek in 235 BC for the purpose of making the Torah available to the vast majority of Jews who only spoke Greek. Over the next millennium, the Jewish people studied Torah and especially the Talmud almost exclusively in Greek up until the modern era. Virtually all the scholarship of Rashi, Maimonides, and Nachmanides, was written in Greek. Modern Hebrew was reconstructed from their 19th century modern Jewish understanding of the Bible built primarily on the writings of those three great rabbis.

Over the last several decades and especially since Israel was resettled by European Jews, archaeology has found numerous tablets by which to improve our understanding of the ancient language. One can read business orders, grocery lists, contracts... by which to refine our understanding of the language and its idioms at that time.

Unfortunately, the churches of this world haven't kept up with that explosion in knowledge (at least insofar as informing their parishioners). This is partly because many of the researchers were so hell bent on destroying religion but it is also because the parishioners would freak if they understood how little the priests really know. It would be very bad for business. In other words, the scholarship of the attackers was pretty bad but so was that of the defenders.

I don't pretend to be a scholar, although I do know a few and have contributed work they respect. I have a computer that doesn't care. Over time, the resources available on the Internet have become VERY powerful, allowing anyone willing to dig access to what was available only to academics 20 years ago with the addition of very powerful search tools. What I have that they don't have is a the combined understanding hands-on of land management, economics, political corruption, and history. I was brought up going to a Catholic school, going to an Episcopalian church, and attending the Jewish Community Center thereafter and over summer. I learned everybody's schtick.

As to Cain and Abel, it is probably a shepherd's polemic that is Sumerian in origin. That is certainly in no way in conflict with the Torah, but is at odds to our understanding of it.

25 posted on 11/28/2012 9:51:09 AM PST by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party: advancing indenture since 1787.)
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To: Carry_Okie

interesting. I don’t know hebrew, so can’t debate it. A shepherd’s polemic you say. hmmm... I look forward to your future posts, please can you add me to any ping list you have.


26 posted on 11/28/2012 11:28:53 PM PST by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: Cronos
A shepherd’s polemic you say. hmmm...

As in a Sumerian oral history later told among "the children of Shet" (see Num. 24:17) which has the same spelling as "Seth." The key to the point of the "polemic" is expressed in the contrasts between the names of Abel and Seth. There's your hint.

27 posted on 11/29/2012 12:23:52 AM PST by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party: advancing indenture since 1787.)
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