Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Two Unconnected Thoughts From Genesis

Okay, First thought: The thought actually comes from the note at the bottom of the OSB, in ref. to Gen. 5:3 -

5:3 - Seth was begotten from Adam and Eve. This threefold relationship illustrates, to a certain extent, the Holy Trinity. Adam had no human father. He was begotten by no one. Thus, he was unbegotten. Seth was begotten from Adam. Eve was neither unbegotten nor begotten. Instead she proceeded from Adam (2:21). Therefore, Eve and Seth were related to the unbegotten Adam, but each in a unique manner - Eve proceeded from Adam, but Seth was begotten from him. Each person had his or her own distinct and unique properties - unbegotten, begotten and proceeding - but all three possessed the same human nature.

Similarly, the manner in which these three existed images the Holy Trinity. God the Father is Unbegotten; God the Son is Begotten from the Father, and God the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. These distinct and unique properties - unbegotten, begotten, and proceeding - distinguish each of the individual Persons of the Holy Trinity from each other; yet, They are one in nature. (John of Damascus) - Orthodox Study Bible, pg. 10

Okay, so, well all know that Amber doesn't take the entire Bible, word for word literally. Some parts are, some parts aren't. I don't believe that the very beginning, the creation, is literally what happened. I don't think God created woman out of man's rib. I view the Creation story as more myth and allegory, you know? But why the image of woman being created out of man? The above quote makes it make sense. Just quite nice to run into.

Second Thought:

The relevant bible passage is Gen. 16: 7 - 13, and, again, the thought comes from the notes:

16:7 - The Lord is the Father, and the Angel is His Son (Hilary of Poitiers). And the prophet Isaiah calls Him "the Angel of Great Counsel" (Is 9:5). "The Son is called Angel because He alone reveals the Father" (Athanasius the Great).

16:8 - The Lord asked Hagar questions, not because He was ignorant, but for Hagar's sake and for ours. After He became Man, He also asked questions in the four Gospels, not because He was ignorant, but for the sake of the immediate listeners and of the faithful. For He is God in the flesh, and therefore, never ignorant of anything (John of Damascus).

16:9 - Since He is God, the Angel Commanded Hagar. She obeyed (v. 15). This Angel is the Word of God.

16:10 - This statement by the Angel could not have been made by a created angel, for only God can say, "I will surely multiply your seed exceedingly, that it may not be counted because of its multitude." No created angel can do this. The Angel is God the Son.

16:11 - The Angel then spoke to Hagar concerning the Father and said, "The Lord has taken notice of your humiliation."

16:13 - Hagar called the Angel who appeared to her both Lord and God. The Church knows Him as the Only-begotten of the Father (Jn 1). As the Father's Only-begotten, He is "true God of true God" (Creed). One meaning of the name God is, 'You are the God who sees me'. The Only-begotten sees everything. So do God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. - OSB, pg. 21

Okay, so, a) never had anyone tell me that the angel in this passage was God. It makes sense, given the notes at the bottom. b) and this is a wacky thought, and I am aware of this, but here it be:

So, God is outside of time. When God the Son became Incarnated, the 'process' was irreversible. The human body was perfected, glorified, and taken up to Heaven. God the Son would, for all eternity, have that body. So, um, when people see the Angel, God the Son, in the Old Testament, could they be seeing the physical form of Jesus? Before He was, in linear time, born? Not that it makes any difference, it's just a wacky, wacky thought that occurred to me. Too much scifi?


  1. Interesting theory. I never thought about Jesus having the same human form in the OT as well as the New. Hmmm. I don't know what I thought ... maybe that He could appear however He wished -- as an old man, a young man, an angel, a black man, white man...whatever. Never really considered it.

    I guess I thought Jesus took on the human form when He came as a BABY and then grew up, of course. Hmmm.

    You sure do provide some good things to think about.

    Btw, how do you believe God created the world since you don't believe Genesis? And how do you personally know which parts to keep and which parts to reject?

  2. Once again, Amber, you nailed the essence of Orthodoxy with all these thoughts.

    Any appearance of the Lord in the OT is God the Son. It is through the Son that the Father is revealed.

    Lots of cool "sci-fi". (I also like what the Holy Spirit did with St. Philip after he spoke to the Ethiopian Eunich. Divinely wrought teleportation. he he.

    FWIW the Orthodox reading of Genesis is that it is literally true that God is the creator, etc. but that the Genesis account can't be reduced to science, but is rather a theological statement.

    Each of the days of creation, by the way, corresponds to an Ancient Middle Eastern Deity. So it's a loud and clear theological statement that the LORD is God and HE created the heavens and the earth {all the stuff the people are falsely calling gods and worshiping).

  3. Susanne,

    Well, I would never say that He couldn't do what He wanted (appear in any guise). However, what I was saying was, The Son, when He became Incarnate as Jesus, took on that physical form. He was a foetus, then an infant, etc. as you say, He grew up. Until that point (the Incarnation), linearly, He did not have a body like us. *After* that point, linearly, He was joined with the body, and the two could never separate. The union could not be undone.

    *But* God is outside of time. We move through time in one direction. God does not, necessarily. So, it's not outside the realm of possibility that the Son, appearing in the Old Testament, had the form of Jesus. Even though, linearly, the hypostatic union had yet to occur. As I said, it makes no difference, really, but it's an interesting thought. :)

    Perhaps, the 'I don't take it literally' phrase isn't quite right.

    I believe that God created everthing, literally. End of story. However, I don't think that the Creation story, in Genesis, is exactly what happened. The Bible is a religious text, not a scientific one. *How* God created everything, the mechanics of it, is not covered. Not because it's not important, but because that's not the purpose of the text.

    Now, how do I think God created? I don't know. Big Bang, evolution, who knows? There's evidence, whether it's strong or not, for all sorts of theories. And, to be perfectly honest, it doesn't matter to me *how* He did it. Science could come out tomorrow with absolute, hard core, inarguable proof that xyz happened to produce humans as a species. And I'd accept it, and say 'God did it'. That may be *how* he did it, but He still did it.

  4. Alana,

    It's because they just make sense! :) I may not have thought these things in such explicit terms before, but once I read them, or they occur to me, it's sort of a...'well, of course. duh.' moment.

    I think some of the best 'sci-fi' ideas have come from the Bible.

    Re: Orthodox reading of Genesis - see, that's what I've always thought. Only, you know, more concisely. :)

    I did not know that about the days, but, again, it makes sense. :)

  5. I'm a conver too ~ I became Catholic in 1998. On December 8th, Feast of the Immaculate Conception! :-)

  6. Lady, I like yer blog! :-)

    Was digging around a bit and looked at some of your hijab and covering posts.

    I live on a rock in the north of Scotland. Everyone has been here for about, oh, say, the past five thousand years give or take a decade. They so related here there's not much of a family tree. More like a family stick. My husband had to import his bride (me) for hybrid vigor. (Well, ok, we fell in love first...)

    Everyone knows freakin' everyone and I, just by default of being American, am a circus freak.

    Toss hijab into the mix and I'm still a circus freak.

    Take off said hijab and I'm still a circus freak.

    Being a circus freak has its perks: once it has been established that you're a circus freak, you can get away with ANYTHING. Anything your little heart desires because you're already a circus freak. It's just the initial becoming-the-local-circus-freak transition phase that's kinda painful and mortifying.

    But hey: No pain, no gain!

    Moral of this exhausted rambling comment? (Sorry, it's lambing season. I'm dead on my feet.)

    Moral: Don't give a crap what anyone thinks. Do what you want, do it proudly, and if someone is so insecure that they have to be rude to you, pray for them to get a clue and love God more then self-image. THEY are the ones that are weak and suffering. Meanwhile you'll be happily living life with all of the freedom and perks of being an established circus freak.

  7. *waves* I'm glad you like it!

    *lol* Well, if you're going to be the freak no what, you might as well emabrace it. :)

    I almost think it'd be easier if I got to do that, move to another place, where no one knows me and start out wearing hijab. As it is, I'll just have to work on convincing myself to let my inner circus freak out. :)

    Also, very good that you and hubby fell in love first! :) And how much do I love that you live on an island in Scotland? A lot. I'm imagining that it's very beautiful.


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