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Author Topic: "Mean" Old Testament God  (Read 1002 times) Average Rating: 0
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Super Apostolic Bros.
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« on: September 14, 2009, 02:18:22 AM »

I hate this view. It is often held by non Christians, but also often espoused by Christians who really don't know their faith/Scripture. Did these people rip out swathes of text from their Bibles?

But I was wondering, where does this view originate from? Gnostics?

(As an aside, I sometimes think that God isn't mean enough.)
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Alveus Lacuna
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2009, 02:22:14 AM »

A great place to start would be a brief synopsis on Marcionism.
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GammaRay
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2009, 06:38:47 AM »

It's because the people, who are against God in the OT, are always wicked persons and the phrase "they were very sinful" is not able to convince us about this. See, pedophilia, zoophilia, infant sacrifice, massive orgies and stupidity are not just "great sins", but also immoral acts.
Therefore God's energies seem to them as angry and evil and this is what the accountants and the Prophets have also spoken of, since they were speaking to such people.

Most people can't see that God is actually not "tempered" easily (for the matter, He cannot essentially become any angry at all). His face seems so mean because He was dealing with evil and pervert people. He was still the same loving Father for the ones who were following His ways.
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2009, 05:34:08 PM »

In the West?

It doesn't have so much to do with Gnosticism/Marcionism as it does the way that the West's understanding of Man's relationship to God has developed for quite some time now. From Augustine of Hippo to Anselm of Canterbury to Thomas Aquinas to Martin Luther, and so on, the West's understanding of the depravity of Man and the strict justice of God slowly became greater and greater until we see a great resurgence in Gnostic-like beliefs, because this time the Christians actually do believe in an evil deity, and people are naturally reacting to it by rejecting this "god", without seeing the obscure yet more appropriate cure of the original interpretation of the Judeo-Christian God in Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2009, 05:55:07 PM »

Believe it or not, this topic isn't only brought up by evil atheist or Christians with little interest in God/Christianity, but also by a (former) theist, i.e. myself (who, at the time, would have personally claimed to have been a devout Christian).  Here is a discussion on the very topic from a number of years ago.  I do suggest you read with caution because even though my intentions were not to lead people astray the lack of  definite answers to my questions did lead a few to question some of God's actions in the Old Testament.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8236.0.html

p.s. sorry, some of the script is messed up.
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Nazarene
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2009, 06:12:15 PM »

You guys might want to read the Targums - ancient Jewish Aramaic paraphrases of the Hebrew Tanakh. Skim through these English translations of the Torah Targums, and let me know what you think. Rabbinical Judaism is full of surprises, guess to whom the Targums attribute most of the things YHWH said or did.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 06:14:25 PM by Nazarene » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2009, 06:26:04 PM »

Targum Psuedo-Jonathan on the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah:

And the Word of the Lord had caused showers of favour to descend upon Sedom and Amorah, to the intent that they might work repentance, but they did it not: so that they said, "Wickedness is not manifest before the Lord." Behold, then, there are now sent down upon them sulphur and fire from before the Word of the Lord from Heaven. [JERUSALEM. 24. And the Word of the Lord Himself had made to descend upon the people of Sedom and Amorah showers of favour, that they might work repentance from their wicked works. But when they saw the showers of favour, they said, "So, our wicked works are not manifest before Him." He turned (then), and caused to descend upon them bitumen and fire from before the Lord from the heavens.] And He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and the herbage of the earth.

Targum Psuedo-Jonathan with fragments from the Jerusalem Targum: http://targum.info/onk/Gen18_22.htm.

About the Targums: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Targum
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 06:28:55 PM by Nazarene » Logged
EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2009, 06:35:31 PM »

An OO perspective (which I think is in general agreement with the general EO perspective) on the matter of how to understand Scriptural references to God's being angry and executing vengeance: click here.
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2009, 06:57:50 PM »

Yes very similar, and this is also authentic Jewish teaching from the Apostles. And lets not forget through whom God carries out judgement:

{Isaiah 51:9-10} Awake, awake, clothe yourself with splendor. O arm of YHWH! Awake as in days of old, As in former ages! It was you that hacked Rahab in pieces, That pierced the Dragon. It was you that dried up the Sea, The waters of the great deep; That made the abysses of the Sea A road the redeemed might walk.

And chastenment:

{Ezekiel 16:27} Now, I will stretch out My arm against you and withhold your maintenance; and I will surrender you to the will of your enemies, the Philistine women, who are shocked by your lewd behavior.

And this same Arm of YHWH was revealed in the flesh and died for our sins. Meanness? Hardly.




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