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« Hebrew in the air | Main | Driftwood, deadfall, and hanging on »
Saturday
Nov232013

The difference a day makes ...

On Monday I posted a few photos taken around sunrise at Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, but the morning was filled with a ghostly fog, leaving the deadfall stark, though no less beautiful, as if drawn in black and white.

Tuesday morning the skies were mostly clear and it was as if God had filled in the paint-by-numbers picture with glowing color.

What a difference a day can make.

A few days later, the Baptists Today staff retreat is history and I'm sitting in a hotel room in Baltimore, watching the sun crest the buildings outside my window. The Society of Biblical Literature meeting is here (along with the American Academy of Religion), and trying to decide which of four really intriguing sessions I want to go to most.

Will it be Assyriology and the Bible, where I can hear a paper on "The Intellecutal Content of Ludlul-bel-Nemeqi," or Prophetic Texts and Their Ancient Contexts, where "On the Location of Divinatory Dreams in Biblical and Ugaritic Narrative" sounds really interesting?

But wait, there's more! The section on Social Science and the Interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures includes the delightful title "Penurious Penman or Scriveners of Scions? Reconsidering the Social Classes of Biblical Hebrew Writers in an Ancient Near Eastern Context."

That could light a fire. But I'm leaning toward a less pleasant, though important subject. A section on the Use, Influence, and Impact of the Bible is discussing "Biblical 'Genocide' in Biblical Scholarship." The Hebrew Bible contains multiple stories that claim God ordered the Israelites to exterminate other peoples, and that's always been troubling to me. So, a paper like "Canaanite Genocide and Biblical Scholarship: The Danger of Justifying Wholesale Slaughter in the Old Testament" has a particular appeal.

The good news is, that's just the morning session. In the afternoon, I'll have even more mind-prickling sessions to choose from.

Isn't this the way you'd love to spend your Saturday?

Reader Comments (3)

Tony, I too, have long been troubled by the OT accounts of genocide. I cannot imagine our Lord Jesus giving that sort of command to His followers. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this subject.
Joe

Nov 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

My view on mass slaughter in the Old Testament: It was at a time when the Hebrews were still closer to the pagan religion from which Abraham was called than to the religion of Christ, which was many centuries in the future. We will have to accept the fact that writers of this part of the Old Testament would say that that the slaughter of the enemy was the will of God, as they believed it as. (There is no shortage of saying in our day in saying something is the will of God when it seems to be the right thing to do.) Remember W. T. Conner, the great theology teacher at Southwestern Seminary in the earlier 1900's? He stated on p292 of his book, THE GOSPEL OF REDEMPTION that the Old Testament "was a providential preparation" for the spiritual kingdom.
In my book, FOOTSTEPS OF THE SAINTS, I begin with an 8-page Prologue that follows Abraham and his descendants through some of the steps of learning, based on his message to the Apostle Paul to his converts in Galatia.
We often use the words, "New Testament" to describe our churches and that is for a reason.
The concepts of the time don't measure up to Christian Standards, which are based on the New Testament.
Al Teel

Nov 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterA

My view on mass slaughter in the Old Testament: It was at a time when the Hebrews were still closer to the pagan religion from which Abraham was called than they were to the religion of Christ, the latter being many centuries in the future. We will have to accept the fact that writers of this part of the Old Testament would say that that the slaughter of the enemy was the will of God, as they apparently did believe it was. (There is no shortage of saying in our day in saying something is the will of God when it seems to be the right thing to do.) Remember W. T. Conner, the great theology teacher at Southwestern Seminary, in the earlier 1900's? He states on p 292 of his book, THE GOSPEL OF REDEMPTION that the Old Testament "was a providential preparation" for the spiritual kingdom.
In my book, FOOTSTEPS OF THE SAINTS, I begin with an 8-page Prologue that follows Abraham and his descendants through some of the steps of learning a new and better way and based it on the message of the Apostle Paul to his new converts in Galatia. I used this information to help show the proper relationship between the Old and the New Testament/Covenants.
We often use the words, "New Testament" to describe our churches and that is for a reason, for Is. 31.31 prophesies: "Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel...."
Al Teel

Nov 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterA

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