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Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Self-Harmony of the Bible - 2 (Part Thirteen)

Was Woman Made at the Same Time as Man?
            Genesis 1:27 (NWT) says: “And God went on to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them.” The skeptic, when reading this, notes in his mind that God created both at the exact same time. Keeping that in mind, he then reads Genesis 2:7 (NWT) which says, “And Jehovah God went on to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living person,” and notes to himself, “the woman doesn’t exist yet.” Then he comes to Genesis 2:22 (NWT) which says, “And Jehovah God built the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman.” He concludes that at one time the Bible shows them to be made at separate times, and at once.
            However, his first reading, Genesis 1:27, is a summary and not a chronological statement. Therefore, his initial interpretation is flawed and his accusation falls flat; there is no contradiction.

Did Jacob Die on the Top of His Staff or at the Head of His Bed?
            The skeptic finds fault with what Genesis 47:31 (NWT) says, namely: “Israel bowed down at the head of his bed,” which the skeptic assumes to be the position that Jacob died in. He finds fault with this because Hebrew 11:21 (NWT) says: “By faith Jacob, when about to die, blessed each of the sons of Joseph and worshipped while leaning on the top of his staff.”
            The skeptic gathers that both of these describe the positon that Jacob died in because Hebrews says that he was “about to die.” But this doesn’t imply that he was on his death, for Genesis plainly reveals that he went on to speak for some length. He did not die in either of those positions! “However, does that not still mean that the “worship” or “obeisance” given to Joseph was done while Jacob was lying on the head of his bed or while leaning on the staff? It can’t be both,” the skeptic says.
            Read Genesis again, for it says: “that he bowed at the head of his bed,” not that he leaned on it (necessarily). It is entirely possible that he leaned on his staff while he was at the head of the bed. Or, the solution could be that the Septuagint, the version that Paul seems to quote from here in Hebrews 11:21, differs on this insignificant detail.
            In any even there is no contradiction, for the level of detail produced by Paul and the Greek Translators is in harmony with the expectations of their culture, and do not adversely affect us. I personally prefer the harmonization I submitted (the first one), but I will let you decide for yourself which harmonization you agree with.

Did Abraham Set Foot in Canaan?
            The skeptic says, and I agree, that the Bible says that Abraham set foot in the land of Canaan. The scriptures plainly state that he lived in tents at Hebron (Genesis 13:18), in the modern day West Bank, which was part of the land of Canaan. However they argue that Acts 7:5 contradicts that, and why? Because it says, “And yet, he did not give him any inheritance in it, no, not even enough to put his foot on?”
            Are they unable to distinguish words? Where does it say that Abraham did not live in this land? Why Stephen says in Acts 7:4 (NWT), “God caused [Abraham] to resettle in this land where you now dwell!” Must I speak slowly, “Receiving the land as an inheritance is not the same as living on it.” Ask the homeless if they own the place where they are. There is no contradiction, save on between the skeptic and common sense.

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