Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Self-Harmony of the Bible - 1 (Part Fifteen)

Does God Tempt Men? 
It may make people doubt when skeptics say “Genesis 22:1 says: ‘God did tempt Abraham!’” This worries them because James 1:13 says that God does not tempt others. However, the Hebrew word rendered as tempt at Genesis 22:1 by the King James Version, "nacah," can also mean "to test, try, [or] prove" according to The KJV Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon. Most new translations accurately render the sentence as “God tested Abraham” which is differs from tempting him. Other uses of the word "nacah" show this meaning as well (Daniel 1:12; Ecclesiastes 7:23). Therefore there is no contradiction. 

Has Anyone Ever Seen God? 
Exodus 24:9-11 states that Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and 70 of the older men of Israel "got to see the God of Israel" and Exodus 3:4 states: "God called to [Moses] out of the thornbush." At Judges 13:22 Manoah says that he saw God. However, John 1:18 (NWT) states: "No man has seen God at any time." Is there a contradiction here? 
No, for while it is true that Jehovah has never been seen his angels have been. We all know they story of the thornbush and say that God talked to Moses from there, but Exodus 3:2 reveals that it was Jehovah's angel who spoke for God. Likewise when Jehovah is said to appear it is an angel acting for God as his representative; there is no contradiction. 

Did Enoch or Elijah Go to Heaven? 
This so-called contradiction is based upon the idea that Enoch was transferred to heaven and that in these verses heaven can only mean the abode of God and that Elijah went to this heaven. If either of those are true then Jesus lied when he said: "no man has ascended into heaven." – John 3:13  
While the scriptures state: "By faith Enoch was [transferred] that he should not see death; and was not found, because God [transferred] him” it doesn't state where, only that Enoch was not aware of his death.3 – Hebrews 11:5 ERV 
Also 2 Kings 2:11b (NWT) states: "Elijah ascended to the heavens in the windstorm,” But it does not state to which heaven. Just as today, the word heaven back then could refer to the sky, the stars or the abode of God. By the fact that the sons of the prophets thought he was deposited on a mountain or valley and that Elijah later wrote a letter condemning the king of Judah we can say that Elijah only ascended into the sky (2 Kings 2:16; 2 Chronicles 21:12).  There is no contradiction.

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