2008-05-20

The offering of Isaac: its evolution into the template of the Jesus event: 2

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by Neil Godfrey

Continuing from the previous post on this topic . . . . . (discussing Levenson’s Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son . . .

Continue reading “The offering of Isaac: its evolution into the template of the Jesus event: 2”


2008-05-18

The offering of Isaac: its evolution into the template of the Jesus event: 1

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Neil Godfrey

An intriguing read is Jon D. Levenson’s The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity. (There are public domain reviews online here and here.)

Levenson’s argument is that the Jewish interpretations of the Aqedah (the story of the Binding of Isaac at his moment of sacrifice by Abraham) developed into an etiology of the Passover, and Isaac himself eventually became a willing sacrificial victim for the redemption of Israel. These interpretations can be traced from the second century b.c.e. Chistianity displaced this Isaac legend with its theology of the Jesus crucifixion.

There is too much in the book for me to cover here, but will share a few of the highlights. Continue reading “The offering of Isaac: its evolution into the template of the Jesus event: 1”


2007-11-19

More on Luke’s use of Genesis

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Neil Godfrey

One of Luke’s changes to the Gethsemane account found in the Gospel of Mark was in the way he chose to describe the kiss of Judas.

Luke changes the wording in Mark in preference for the same wording in the Greek Septuagint uses in Genesis to picture Jacob kissing his father Isaac in deceit. (This is another tidbit I picked up from Jenny Read-Heimerdinger and Josep Rius-Camps article I drew on in my first Ennaus post.)

One can compare the Greek words in the Greek-English interlinear Septuagint available here, but the English translations are suggestive enough in this quick blog context:

And he came hear and kissed him (Genesis 27:27)

And drew near to Jesus to kiss him (Luke 22:47) Continue reading “More on Luke’s use of Genesis”


2007-10-09

Comparing the myths of Adapa and Adam, prototypes of priest and humankind

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Neil Godfrey

I found Liverani’s comparative analysis of the Babylonian and Hebrew myths interesting enough to share here. He dismisses earlier attempts to force relationships between the former with the Genesis account as failures because they attempt to impute themes and meanings where they do not really exist.

Liverani does see a structural relationship between the two myths, however, and when that structure is understood then not only points of comparison stand out, but also an explanation for their differences becomes apparent. Continue reading “Comparing the myths of Adapa and Adam, prototypes of priest and humankind”


2007-03-25

The Tree of Wisdom in the Garden of Eden

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Neil Godfrey

The best explanation I have read for the meaning of the story of the 2 trees in the Garden of Eden came from Thompson’s The Mythic Past.

The Genesis story warns that wisdom will make Adam and Eve like gods and then they will die.

They eat of wisdom, and the wisdom they learn is that they are naked. That is what their wisdom is: knowledge of their nakedness. Sounds pretty dumb. How can that be called being made “wise”?

But the story continues. Adam and Eve have become as gods (elohim) or God — God himself said this, Gen.3:22 — and then are sentenced to death.

All their wisdom does for them is to cause them to see they are naked, and then die.

The story does not quite flow. This has opened it up for later generations imputing their own pet speculations of what exactly is the meaning of the fruit, etc. Continue reading “The Tree of Wisdom in the Garden of Eden”

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