Yahweh's wonderful creation

by fulltimestudent 42 Replies latest jw friends

  • CalebInFloroda

    I have to agree with both Introvert 2 and defender of truth.

    Psalm 104 was clearly composed by someone reflecting on the visible world as normally witnessed by Semites. The writer never states that they have a special insight into the Creator's mind as to why things were so. On the contrary the psalmist limits the composition to facets of nature of quite a limited scope, one an Israelite of that ancient period could witness during their own lifetime.

    Instead of fanciful mythology, the writer is very realistic in this instance. He applauds not the miracles described of in the New Testament but the miracles of the natural world. Even how lions capture their prey is attributed to G-d here as part of this "miracle," without any excuse for how "violent" this may appear or claiming that sin has somehow upset the balance of nature. On the contrary all this is good and contrasted with the way of sinners, which at the end of the psalm are requested to be removed from this scene of holiness which includes nature's circle of life and death.

  • Perry
    You actually have Jewish theology behind you.
    In Judaism there is no doctrine of "Original Sin," and therefore none of the texts in the Hebrew Scriptures were written with this view in mind nor can be honestly read with this doctrine as an intention.


    It is there, just undeveloped by the Jewish sages:

    Psalm 51:5 states that we all come into the world as sinners: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”

    Genesis 8:21 declares, “. . . the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” Jonathan Edwards, in his classic work The Great Christian Doctrine of Original Sin Defended, remarks that on this verse: “The word translated youth, signifies the whole of the former part of the age of man, which commences from the beginning of life. The word in its derivation, has reference to the birth or beginning of existence . . . so that the word here translated youth, comprehends not only what we in English most commonly call the time of youth, but also childhood and infancy.”

    Psalm 14:2–3 we read: “The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Here again we see unrighteousness as a property of the human race: “they have all turned aside . . . there is no one who does good.”

    Job 15: 15 “Behold, He puts no trust in His holy ones, And the heavens are not pure in His sight; How much less one who is detestable and corrupt, Man, who drinks iniquity like water!”

    Jeremiah 17:9 says that “the heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” This seems to assume original sin — wickedness is a property of the human heart.

    Ecclesiastes 9:3 declares a similar truth: “. . . the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil, and insanity is in their hearts through their lives.”

    Without the doctrine of Original Sin (sometimes called ancestral sin) the whole world takes on an up-side-down appearance. When we accept that none of us (including unsaved religious people like JW's) really want or desire God, only then can we correctly perceive ourselves and others.

    When I was a JW, I worked hard for god. But, it wasn't for the God of the bible, it was for the god described by the Watchtower. It was for a false god who wanted my works. The God of the bible says my works are an abomination to try and use as a means for avoiding judgment.

    To think of God as other than he really is - is idolatry. Only an understanding of Original Sin can make this make sense.

    Another consequence of the fall of man is the so-called "curse on creation," described in Genesis 3:17-19. Since life and blessing come from God, and God inhabits the spiritual realm, earth's reduced fecundity after the fall can be thought of as a disruption of the power flow of the sustaining energy of the spiritual realm into the physical realm of our "two-storied" universe. The previously perfect "coupling" between the spiritual and the physical dimensions was reduced or disrupted by Adam's sin. Active evil also began to operate in the spiritual world as well as in the physical.

    ...And to Adam God said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, `You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

  • CalebInFloroda


    Jews have never had either a doctrine of "Original Sin" or a doctrine of "salvation." What you are talking about is how Christians have reinterpreted (and in some cases mistranslated) certain Jewish texts.

    But regardless of the interpretations or renderings, Jews still don't have such doctrines.

    For instance, you mention "works" being advocated by the Jehovah's Witnesses as a requisite to salvation. Did you know that it is a misconception that Jews believe that works of the Mosaic Law can gain salvation?

    It's simple:

    a. Jews have no doctrine of Original Sin

    b. Jews therefore see no need for gaining salvation

    c. There is no such theological concept of "works" of the Law in Judaism

    d. Obedience to the Law (or as we Jews call it, being Torah-observant) provides no merit

    e. Ezekiel 18 declares that the sin of parents cannot be visited upon children and that an individual can repent of the wickedness and be judged righteous without any type of sacrifice

    While I understand the Christian viewpoint and your need to explain your view, it still doesn't change the fact that what you believe is not what Jews or their Scriptures teach, which is the point I was making.

    And besides, with all due respect, I was not trying to counter your beliefs as a Christian. It does not violate your views to declare that the Jews who wrote the Hebrew Tanakh had no concept of Original Sin or held to a theology of personal salvation since Christian belief is that such views were introduced by Jesus of Nazareth. That being so, it would be expected that no such declarations would be found in any immediate reading of any Jewish religious texts.

  • CalebInFloroda

    Post script for Perry:

    One thing that might help you understand the stark differencs between the concepts you have as a Christian and that of the Jews is your mentioning serving "the G-d of the Bible."

    That doesn't exist for Jews since we knew G-d before any of us put "pen to paper" to create even a stroke of a letter of what would eventually become the Bible.

    Christians may believe in the G-d of the Bible, but Jews believe in the G-d of Abraham and Sarah, and we did this before there was a Bible.

    We believed in G-d before the Ten Commandments were inscribed on stone.

    We believed in G-d before G-d revealed the Torah to Moses.

    Now it is a good thing to believe in the Bible and what you learn of G-d within its pages, don't get me wrong.

    But the G-d of the Jews existed before the Bible and is not limited to the Bible. Thus our theological concepts can differ greatly. We are the people who knew about and worshipped G-d before there was a Bible, and we wrote the Book you put your faith in.

    Scripture is the product of our religion, not its basis. The G-d we interact with is not found just in Scripture. At best, G-d is merely reflected in it, at least as Jews understand G-d.

    So approaches and conclusions can only differ since you are basing you belief on what a book says about G-d, but we wrote the book based on our experiences. That is very different.

  • prologos

    Back to the question of Animal diet, The caption picture of the omnivorous pig perhaps eating the carnivorous tiger. When did this start? According to the strict WT interpretation not at the eating of the forbidden fruit , but ~1200 years later AFTER the "flood" a delay of a good "day". Lions did not stop eating straw right after the garden incident, but after the appearance of the rainbow. Animal diet was that closely linked to Human diet. so

    When you see the rain bow, think of steak. and

    kiss steak good by soon, after Armageddon, the antitypical flood (sorry, ignoring new wt doctrine policy), Change of diet again, but it's timing is not tied to "sin."

  • Perry
    Jews have never had either a doctrine of "Original Sin" or a doctrine of "salvation." What you are talking about is how Christians have reinterpreted (and in some cases mistranslated) certain Jewish texts.

    Any person can read for themselves the Hebrew scriptures, such as the ones I listed, and decide for themselves whether or not ancestral sin is taught by the prophets.

    The greatest Jewish doctrine of Salvation is the Passover, where the families that were under the lambs' blood that was splashed on the door headers and posts were passed over by the judging angel. Those families that were under the blood, experienced Salvation that night.

    Likewise, the animal blood that was spilled each year in the animal sacrifices was a "death" that occurred vicariously in place of the sinner. "The wages of sin is death".

    Finally, many Jews are still waiting on the "Messiah" which means:

    1. 1.
      the promised deliverer of the Jewish nation prophesied in the Hebrew Bible.
    2. 2.
      a leader or savior of a particular group or cause.

      The reason many Jews reject the the idea of original sin, their need for a savior, and that their prophets not only taught original sin, but bore witness to Jesus - is precisely because of the harmful effects of the exaggerated pride that original sin exacerbates.

      The Jews, like everyone else, do not want God as he is; but rather as they imagine him to be. They want a God who is impressed with their good works, rather than his...... which is just another sin - idolatry.

  • CalebInFloroda

    Flood stories in ancient Mesopotamian literature are a type of cosmogony-creation story. All cultures from that area believed that life and the elements of the universe came from a cosmic sea (there was no vacuum of space in their minds).

    One cosmogony does not state that there was a "beginning" in the traditional sense. This particular model claims that life in our current world came from life of a previous world that was destroyed via a flood or collapse of the cosmic waters.

    The details differ, but the gods (an essential element or "players" in the cosmogony) either warn a human of the coming deluge who contracts a vehicle to transfer himself and animals from the old world to the present or the gods do the tranfering themselves.

    The Noachin flood is the third of three creation-origin stories emoloyed by the Hebrew people in their religious tradition. In it the "sin" of the previous world is wiped out to make room for the new, good, and holiness of the present. In this new paradigm animals are said to fear humans and carnivorous diets as said to begin, but this is due not to sin but due to sin being wiped away by the flood.

    Of course the Bible is not saying that the world has seen three creations. The culture from which the Jews emerged shared these three cosmogony models in common, and each was employed in the prologue leading to the "history" of the Jewish people. If you note, the first 11 chapters of Genesis are filled with origin stories, but beginning with chapter 12 the type of narrative used changes dramatically with the call of Abraham. These origin stories are a deposit of the various traditions cherished by the Jews, not a literal history of the world in the chronological order in which they occurred.

    The Noachin flood is just the last of the "creations" in this deposit before moving on to address the setting for the actual Torah which begins with the lives of Abraham and Sarah. The eating of animals by animals is seen as a nominal facet of this "new world" without sin after the "flood," but each of the three traditions are backdrops for a more important truth that comes with the Law, not in the creation stories themselves.

  • CalebInFloroda


    And again, a point which you seem with Watchtower-blindness to skip over and ignore, we Jews do not believe that our actions hold any merit with G-d or impress him or gain us salvation. I've said that before but you keep acting as if those words have never been written here on this thread by me.

    JWs act the same you are doing, claiming that others don't know their own convictions as well as they, JWs do. Why are you going back to the same attitudes?

    I think it great if you want to be a Christian, and despite anything I've written I also think it can bring you closer to G-d (it's not one thing or the other in Jewish thought). My religion teaches me it is wrong to claim that Christians "imagine" G-d into something that G-d isn't or that Christians embrace a theology that they clearly do not. Apparently your religion teaches differently.

    Back to the subject at hand...the idea that the Biblical texts provide a literal model for the physical world creates more problems than they solve.

  • Heaven

    Another of Yahweh's awesome creations: Invasive species - Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a perennial plant and a member of the carrot family. It is a garden ornamental from southwest Asia that is naturalizing in North America and becoming more common in southern and central Ontario. Giant Hogweed has the potential to spread readily and grows along roadsides, ditches and streams. It invades old fields and native habitats such as open woodlands.

    The clear watery sap of Giant hogweed contains toxins that can cause severe dermatitis (inflammation of the skin). You can get severe burns if you get the sap on your skin and the skin is then exposed to sunlight. Symptoms occur within 48 hours and consist of painful blisters. Purplish scars may form that last for many years. Eye contact with the sap has been reported (in the media and by various web sites) to cause temporary or permanent blindness. However, evidence of permanent blindness linked to exposure to Giant hogweed cannot be substantiated by any existing research. Coming in contact with Cow parsnip and Wild parsnip can cause similar reactions.

  • prologos
    bible 'truth': start of carnivor diet coincided with the appearance of the rainbow.

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