YHWH\'s Shalom


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    Define your terms (by the Bible) and then keep to the terms defined.
    The interpreter should conscientiously abide by the plain meaning of words.
    The author confines the definitions strictly to their literal or idiomatic force; which, after all, will be found to form the best, safest, most solid basis for theological deductions.
    One is to regard the whole Bible as written for the Jew first . . . words and idioms are to be rendered according to Hebrew and Aramaic usage.
    Christ accepted the usage He found existing in His time.
    One must interpret phrases and histories of the N.T. in the sense of understanding the hearers and onlookers: according to the custom and common dialect of the nation.
    Many sentences derive their point and force from the connection in which they stand.
    One must understand Bible words according to the requirements of the context.
    Bible words when used out of context can prove almost anything.
    Every word understood in light of words before and after it.
    Our primary interest in the past is for the light it throws upon the meaning of the text.
    The strictest historical scrutiny is indispensable to all Biblical theology.
    - RULE OF LOGIC (could be called the rule of common sense)
    One must interpret the Scriptures because they were written by people thousands of years ago, from different languages, cultures and lifestyles. What is meant in one culture can mean something much differently in another.
    Interpretation is the use of logical reasoning. Logic means clear, consistent and reasonable.
    The Bible comes to us in the form of human language and appeals to our reason.
    One must understand the Scriptures on fair principles of interpretation such as would be admitted in a court of justice.
    In the law of evidence, an inference is a fact sensibly implied from another fact.
    It is a logical consequence.
    It is a process of reasoning.
    One derives it as a conclusion from a given fact or premise.
    Never violate the laws of syntax (the order of words in a sentence) and structure.
    Be aware and careful about misplacement of punctuation or misunderstanding the structure of a sentence.
    We must not violate the known usage of a word and invent another for which there is no precedent.
    The first thing a judge does is to compare the case before him with any precedents (past cases which are similar).
    - RULE OF UNITY (Also known as the Rule of Analogy)
    It is fundamental to an accurate interpretation of Scripture that the parts of a document, law, or instrument are construed concerning the significance of the whole.
    It is best to interpret Scripture by other Scriptures rather than by some external source.
    Any interpretation that creates a conflict or contradiction with other Bible passages should be scrutinized in the light of the whole of Scripture.

  • Babylon and Babel are often synonymous in Hebrew. both are indicators of an oppressor figure that expected Jews to assimilate into the dominant monoculture. what might that say about modern globalization and exporting our own western values overseas?
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_myths
    - The Ennead, in which Atum arose from the primordial waters (Neith), and masturbated to relieve his loneliness. His vomitus and saliva became Tefnut (moisture) and Shu (dryness), respectively. From Shu and Tefnut, were born Geb (earth), and Nut (sky), who were born in a state of permanent copulation. Shu separated them, and their children were Ausare (Osiris; death), Set (desert), Aset (Isis; life), and Nebet Het (Nephthys; fertile land). Osiris and Isis were a couple, as were Nepthys and Set.[22]
    - The Sumerian creation myth, the oldest known, was found on a fragmentary clay tablet known as the "Eridu Genesis", datable to ca. the 18th century BC. It also includes a flood myth.
    Where the tablet picks up, the gods An, Enlil, Enki and Ninhursanga create the Sumerians (the "black-headed people") and the animals. Then kings descend from the sky and the first cities are founded - Eridu, Bad-tibira, Larsa, Sippar, and Shuruppak.

  • pronunciation:
    - (genesis) bersheit, strong’s #7225
    - (void) bo´-hoo; from an unused root (meaning to be empty); a vacuity, i.e. (superficially) an undistinguishable ruin:—emptiness, void.

    in the face of the other mesopotamian myths, this unique account arises. can we assume that such a contrasting narrative was subversive? did it serve to differentiate (both for Jews and for their neighbors) one people from another?
  • pronunciation: (woman) ‘iesha
    in the face of the other mesopotamian myths, this unique account arises. can we assume that such a contrasting narrative was subversive? did it serve to differentiate (both for Jews and for their neighbors) one people from another?

  • Son: in Hebrew “Ben,” in Arabic “Ibn”

  • how do agriculture and pastoralism differ? might cain have had proto-nationalist property ownership expectations? abel, a shepherd, would have no need for land permanence, as Cain would, and would not be moved to exclude others from wealth that was tied to a specific location

  • mite the sin be envy?
  • pronunciation: (slay) yahargee
  • pronunciation: (slay) yahargee

  • YHWH\'s Shalom

    1. 1. YHWH’s Shalom in the Midst of Man’s Violence Reseting the Foundations of Violence in the Creation and First Family Biblical Narratives *Artwork by 19th century French artist Gustave Dore
    2. 2. Violence in the Bible Ever present, from Genesis to Revelation What can we legitimately infer from the text, if violence abounds? Important to understand what the original authors were saying to their original audience.
    3. 3. Principles of Interpretation Important concepts to remember about historical documents: they... interpret themselves (later works base themselves on what already exists) are culturally specific (you must enter their world, they won’t enter yours) contain author bias (does not negate authenticity, but must inform interpreters)
    4. 4. Righting the Foundation Numerous Scholars, using literary criticism, suggest that the first time many oral Hebraic traditions were recorded was during the 1st Diaspora, under Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon This exilic period occurs after politically autonomous rulership of Saul, David, and Solomon (about 120 years in total) A key reason many Psalmists reference Babylon as a literary device to represent their oppressors What beliefs were they exposed to as they began to record their own oral traditions into written form?
    5. 5. Babylonian Creation Babylonian/Assyrian “Enuma Elish:” Marduk v. Tiamat; gods quarrel with their own offspring, creating the earth and sky from Tiamat’s halved body Humans created as a slave race by the blood of Tiamat’s assassinated husband, Kingu
    6. 6. Mesopotamian Creation What other creation myths may the ancient Israelites have come across? Sumerian “Eridu Genesis” (kings descend to rule from heaven) Egyptian“Ennead” (divine loneliness and masturbation)
    7. 7. Contrasting Creations God and Earth Creation of order and symmetry from “void”* (no pre-existing struggle between order and chaos) Includes no overt violence (divine spirit hovers over the ty™Iv waters and must only speak to bring material into being) aér “Genesis, beginning” *…(wh$Ob) Hebrew Strong’s # 922, occurs 4 times in the Bible
    8. 8. Contrasting Creations h¡DÚ God and Humankind vIa “woman, wife” Man co-creates with the god (names creatures, provides material for subsequent ‘wo’man) God interacts nonthreateningly, even sympathetically, with humans Focus on rest and enjoyment, not labor and subservience
    9. 9. Expulsion from Eden Not a violent act, but a consequence of the arrogance of pursuing godliness (specifically omniscience) Adam and Eve are provided for and sent off into the world, which has responded to their disregard for the created order by sprouting “thorns and thistles” - Gen.3:18
    10. 10. Violence as Fratricide The story of Cain and Abel contains the first instance of violence in the Judeo-Christian cannon. It is against this backdrop that that all other Biblical violence may be considered In ancient semitic cultures, the first of something is representative of the whole; this fratricidal event is the basis from which all others flow (all murder is a failure to see our kinship with fellow human beings)
    11. 11. Cain’s Imperative The catalyst for Cain’s action is God’s refusal of his offering (which he gave prior to Abel, Gen.4:3-5). The import of the narrative must not be overlooked: If God’s refusal of Cain’s offering was arbitrary ,the source of violence is found in God. However, if fault may be found with Cain, then the root of violence lies with him (and humankind).
    12. 12. Blood Brothers CAIN (Nˆyäåq) At birth, his mother sings praises Primogeniture: firstborn males would... receive the largest inheritance (a double portion) become figurehead in the patriarch’s absence adopt the family business* More importantly, the text says God “rejected Cain AND his offering” - Gen.4:5 (it wasn’t just the fruit of the soil YHWH disapproved of, but the grain of his character too) * In this case, agriculture (Gen.4:2)
    13. 13. Blood Brothers ABEL (lRb∞Rh) Literal meaning of Abel’s name in Hebrew translates to “worthlessness, meaninglessness, emptiness*” (can you imagine your parents naming you “worthless?”) Conception mentioned as a byline of his older brother’s nearly epic birth narrative - “Later she gave birth to his brother Abel” Of the 10 times he is referenced in Gen.4:1-12, over two thirds of the time it is as his murderer’s brother (“his/your brother Abel”) God is the only character to even acknowledge Abel’s presence! * Hebrew Strong’s #1892
    14. 14. Precursor to Murder Cain gives an offering of “the fruit of the soil” that he tills Abel, an offering of “the choicest of the firstlings of his flock” that he tends What gives? Cain thought the idea up, Abel was just following suit!
    15. 15. Precursor to Murder Ancient Semitic agreements often required human or animal blood to be shed to be recognized as legit Wealth was often measured by flock size, not crop size
    16. 16. Precursor to Murder A nomadic Abel would be much more dependent on divine providence for his sustenance - giving a whole sheep meant he went without food! Cain’s agrarianism afforded more geographic stability and longevity - and instilled a sense of property ownership...
    17. 17. Precursor to Murder Cain’s ego is hurt, but God notices and offers redemption, says Cain may “master the sin crouching at [his] door” - Gen. 4:7
    18. 18. The Dastardly Deed `Eg√rAhÅ¥y Cain leads his younger “to kill” brother to “the field,” his own home turf Details do not emerge from the text, we only know that Cain kills his younger brother
    19. 19. The Dastardly Deed God immediately asks `Eg√rAhÅ¥y “to kill” the elder Cain where his brother is (hey, isn’t God omniscient?) Do you have younger siblings? Did your parents ever pose the same question to you?
    20. 20. Anti-Primogeniture Cain seems to insist he is not, in fact, his brother’s “Keeper,” or that he did not know of this duty this word in Hebrew, shomer (r¶EmOv*) denotes “guardian and protector,” something that would have come as second nature to the eldest son Primogeniture demanded that Cain be his brother’s shomer, and his coy response only reveals his own foreknowledge *Hebrew Strong’s #8104
    21. 21. Anti-Primogeniture God expels Cain from his land, almost a second “fall,” another forbidden knowledge In punishing this second generation, God again provides protection, a mark, to make sure Cain does not fall victim even the very crime he introduced! kind of contradicts the old “eye for an eye” demand...
    22. 22. Questioning Violence What does all this say about violence? How does resetting the foundational assumptions about Biblical violence alter readings like Deuteronomy 20, Canaanite expulsion, Joshua, Judges, etc.?
    23. 23. Nonviolently Ever After? If the first murderer is supposed to be the antagonist, then where is the protagonist? Does the text just leave us at that? Is it really that ambiguous, or is there a model provided for us to emulate over and against the model set by Cain? Of course, you will only find the answer if you keep reading (the Bible, that is, not necessarily my slides)
    24. 24. Nonviolently Ever After? Hebraic cultures focused very heavily on genealogies (why do you think there are so many in the Torah?) From Cain and Abel, how does the narrative develop? Let’s look finally at the contrasting genealogies of Cain and perhaps the most under represented Biblical figure, his new brother Seth! Abel’s “replacement,” Gen. 4:25
    25. 25. Nonviolently Ever After? 2.Cain 2.Seth (“God has provided”) 3.Enoch (also the name of the first city, 3.Enosh (“human being.” “it was built by his father) then that men began to call on The 4.Irad (“fugitive”) Name of the Lord” - Gen.4:26) 5.Mehujael (“struck by God”) 4.Kenan (“to be sanctified”) 6.Methusael(“where is God?”) 5.Mehalalel (“praise of God”) 7.Lamech (first to have multiple wives, 6.Jared also tried to justify his own violence on 7.Enoch (“walked with God” and the protection God offered Cain) did not die - Gen.5:22&24) 8.Methuselah 9.Lamech (not the same guy) 10.Noah *Meanings of names are underlined
    26. 26. Nonviolently Ever After? Notice in the text: Seth, not Cain, is said to be “in the likeness of Adam (who similarly, has the “likeness of God” - Gen.5:1&3) Seth’s line includes 10 generations (a ‘complete’ number in Judaism), while Cain’s only lasts 7 generations before The Flood wipes it away generated because the earth was “filled with violence” - Gen.6:11 Israel emerges later as descendants of Seth’s lineage (thru Noah) Lifespans of Seth’s lineage mimic the ancient Sumerian King List
    27. 27. Conclusion Based on the original intent, do we find violence reflected upon favorably, even ambiguously? Given the circumstances in which Genesis was written it is clear that the author/s of Genesis made apparent their disapproval of Cain and his unique contribution to humanity Furthermore, considering the setting for its transcription, it is worth considering that an Hebraic view of violence contradicted foundational assumptions present in neighboring cultures, such as the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Assyrians
    28. 28. Conclusion The most basic misunderstanding of violence in the Bible is whether it is prescriptive or descriptive Prescriptive - suggested as what should/can be Descriptive - merely indicated as having existed
    29. 29. Conclusion The issue, then, is when are things being prescribed and when are they merely being described? there are indeed prescriptive claims made, but they are not in support of violence must not read between the lines in the midst of merely descriptive elements (especially in histories such as 1&2 Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles)
    30. 30. References Adele, Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler. The Jewish Study Bible. New York: Oxford University, 2004. Eliger, Karl. Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1990. McDonald, Patricia M. God & Violence: Biblical Resources for Living in a Small World. Scotsdale: Herald, 2004. Uittenbogaard, Arie. Meaning, Origin and Etymology of Bible Names. 2007. Abarim Publications. 8 Oct. 2009. <http:// www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning>.