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Old 03-24-2001, 08:31 AM   #11
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devnet, do you translate the word "adam" at the beginning of the sentence as "man" or "mankind"? Due to other uses of the word in the OT, I believe it translates "mankind" here, meaning both male and female.

This yields at least some abstraction to the "anthropomorphic image" of God. In other words, God wouldn't necessarily have to look like the popularized old bearded man...

Ish
 
Old 03-24-2001, 03:08 PM   #12
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Mankind's "appearance" is definitely plural. Are you arguing for polytheism, Ish?
 
Old 03-24-2001, 03:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ish:
devnet, do you translate the word "adam" at the beginning of the sentence as "man" or "mankind"? Due to other uses of the word in the OT, I believe it translates "mankind" here, meaning both male and female.</font>
The Hebrew makes no distinction. As for the correct translation, I think "man" is suitable. Woman was an afterthought. Although it says "zakhar un'keva bra'am" (male and female created He them), it seems the male is taken to represent the female as well.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">This yields at least some abstraction to the "anthropomorphic image" of God. In other words, God wouldn't necessarily have to look like the popularized old bearded man...
</font>
My opinion on how the ancients viewed God is mere conjecture. Throughout the OT and the Talmud we find body parts associated to God without qualms, and only in the 12th century, due to Islamic influence, do we find aversion to that. Perhaps the ancients did think of Him as glowing, faceless, a light being, an outline of light, but He was clearly sitting on a throne of glory (kes hakavod). So too in the Qur'an, although the Qur'an is much less anthropomorphic.
 
Old 03-24-2001, 10:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">SingleDad:

Mankind's "appearance" is definitely plural. Are you arguing for polytheism, Ish?
</font>
By the Gods, No man!

Seriously though, I'm not quite sure what you're getting at here unless you're talking about the suffix of "b'tsalmenu", meaning "our" ("in our image")... Honestly, I'm not sure anyone knows for sure why these plural references are used. Some have suggested the "plural of majesty", the "heavenly host" with God, a foreshadowing of the trinity. Another possibility that has been suggested is that a little bit of polytheism shows through here. I doubt the polytheism "left-overs". I believe that if the text was converted to a monotheistic text, then these "left-overs" would have been "cleansed" long ago... One of the previous answers seems much more likely.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">devnet:

Throughout the OT and the Talmud we find body parts associated to God without qualms..."
</font>
Yes. I'm sure I've read somewhere that this is a feature of the Hebrew language, the tendency to speak very metaphorically. In other words, "the arm of the Lord" was quite metaphorical... I believe that Hebrew was a "picture language" and lacked the abstract terms that we take for granted in English (and probably borrowed through Greek influence anyway).

I'm not quite sure where the Qur'an thing is taking us though, considering it would be much more tainted by Greek philosophical thought of God given its late date (and previous exposure to other religions).

Ish



[This message has been edited by Ish (edited March 25, 2001).]
 
 

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