Daily Archives: 2010-10-30 01:39:08 GMT+0000

Hanoi and UN

I’ve had a lucky chance to be in Hanoi right now. (The observant might have noticed my last 3 posts all scheduled in advance to appear at same time each day.) it’s nice to see the United Nations honoured here — as it is also in Cambodia — with national and UN flags together adjacent images of handshakes and doves.

The UN has had a rough trot since the Security Council has become the plaything of just one superpower. It’s like old times seeing nations like Vietnam and Cambodia still hoping for something of worth through the UN.

What would it take to have a system where the General Assembly had the real power over war and peace instead of the inSecurity Council? Too daunting for me to think about realistically.

But something has gone wrong somewhere when one sees the UN so often ignored or rejected or criticised in a rich exploitative nation which is my own nation, and honoured in countries we used to see as alien.

Two Adams – and never the twain did meet

Continuing from my post Divine human-like figures in Hellenistic Judaism . . . .

During the period that saw the early evolution of Christianity (or Christianities — a range of beliefs that eventually coalesced into what we would recognize as Christianity today) there was a rich diversity of Jewish sectarian beliefs. Most of these vanished as rabbinic Judaism extended its influence throughout the first few centuries of the Christian era. But some of these early Jewish beliefs offer tantalizing clues to the matrix of Christianity in its formative years. Alan F. Segal notes that

Adam traditions are especially important in this regard. . . . Philo identifies the heavenly man with the logos, which is identified with God’s archangel and principal helper in creation. There is an extraordinary amount of Adam speculation in apocalyptic and pseudepigraphical writings, often including descriptions of Adam’s heavenly enthronement and glorification. The traditions can be dated to the first century, if an early dating of enthronement of Adam in the Testament of Abraham ch. 11 can be maintained. Adam legends are certainly well ramified later in Jewish, Christian, gnostic, Mandaean and other documents, and even appear at several important junctures in the ascent texts of the magical papyri. . . . (p. 189 of Two Powers in Heaven)

Philo justified his view that there were two Adams in the Garden of Eden by interpreting Genesis 1:26 to refer to two separate creations:

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; read more »