SEARCH THIS SITE

Bible Reference Index

Diglot Editions

Dunash ben Labrat

Ali Ahmad Said

Verbal System of Ancient Hebrew

The Bible as seen through the eyes of . . .

« The Wisdom of the ancient Catholic Church | Main | U of Sheffield backs down »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Stephen Barkley

Hi John,

I've really enjoyed this series of posts on the image of God. A couple questions came to mind:

If male-female procreation is the substance of the image of God, then is there some imago dei deficiency in those who are impotent? Sarah and Hannah come to mind as people whose deficiency was divinely repaired. What about Jesus?

If God is spoken of euphemistically as laboring to create the world, then maybe the image of God can be expressed by a community of I-Thou relationships creating together: art, literature, etc. Maybe the image of God in Jesus was expressed in his life-giving miracles where the faith of someone was united with the power of God in Christ.

I'm just thinking out loud—don't feel obligated to answer. Please keep up the thought-provoking blog.

JohnFH

Hi Stephen,

Fine blog you have, BTW.

There are many ways to fulfill the mandate given in Gen 2, to keep and cultivate the land, broadly understood. It is also true that Jesus's miracles are a manifestation of divine power.

But in Gen 1:28 discussed above, the focus seems to be on (1) bringing forth life and (2) adapting a God-given environment to the needs of the human community - my inadequate paraphrase of the dominion theme.

I would classify the non-biological creativity of the community of I-Thou relationships under (2). That's on the assumption that in Gen 1:1-2:3, biology is primary, with anthropology seen through that lens. If that makes any sense.

Sue

Are you saying that complementarity exists only in 1) bringing forth life, or 2) in adapting the environment to human needs, including art and literature, also.

Bob MacDonald

I agree with you that "Niskanen tries too hard in his article to wring meaning out of minor textual details." Nice way of putting it. I did enjoy the read though. I think you go too far if you insist on procreation. With respect to Jesus, for instance, being both male and female within himself is also a possible interpretation of image.

I repeat a question I have asked in a few places. Why is likeness not repeated in the making of the human? God says - let us make .. in our image according to our likeness. But though, as the in construction of the tabernacle, the poem in Gen 1 repeats verbatim several things, it does not repeat the 'according to our likeness'. Thoughts for a post? I wonder what the Rabbis made of this.

Doug Chaplin

Funny, this clayboy doesn't remember that woman

JohnFH

Doug,

So you're saying that you didn't have sex with that woman? We've heard that before.

Bob,

I think the text insists on procreation, but I wouldn't understand that rigidly, if that's what you mean. Let's say I'm a priest with the charism of celibacy. Am I unable to image God per Gen 1:28 because I myself am not a procreator? It does not follow.

I will image God by helping to positively shape the environment for those who are procreated by others. I will continue to see procreation, as a process and in terms of outcome, as a blessed thing which images God's own creativity, and teach the same.

As for the non-repetition of "according to his likeness" of which you speak, I wouldn't make too much of it. Note that it *is* repeated in Gen 5, but now Adam is the subject. That's easy to explain: it strengthens the echoing effect with respect to Gen 1.

Sue,

The complementarity of which Gen 1 speaks is biological - hence the words "male and female."

As far as complementarity in terms of default expectations with respect to roles and hierarchy within the marriage bond, or the man as hunter and the women as weaver, one has to look elsewhere in Scripture for traces of such things. Default expectations on such matters vary over time and space within the biblical literature and beyond. In the Bible, there is also considerable continuity in terms of a shared core of default expectations.

Sue

I don't want to be obtuse but I could have sworn that most people understand Ex. 35 as saying that the men were weavers. And both men and women were shepherds, and not all men were hunters.

Not that there is any point to my comment, so don't go looking for one. But I puzzle long and hard over some of this. While I certainly believe men are different from women (other than anatomically), I don't see this represented in scripture.

I have no theory to suggest, but I was wondering if some day you will express a view on this. Do you think that other than biologically, the scripture says anything at all about gender complementarity? I just haven't seen a verse which immplies this.

JohnFH

The Bible is full of texts which imply gender-based cultural complementaries. Just think of all the default complementation implied by texts like Proverbs 31 and 1 Tim 5:14.

Every human culture has gender-based cultural complementaries. Some of them are rigidly enforced. Most allow for exceptions "that prove the rule."

A woman in most cultures is not allowed to perform certain combat duties; she may - or may not - be allowed to be a commander, and then one must distinguish between charisma-based leaders like Deborah, and office-based leaders.

Innovation in gender complementation occurs when tipping points are reached, and a particular occupation is associated with one gender even if it once was associated with the other. The example that comes to mind is the veterinary profession. It once was a virtually all-male profession. It is fast becoming an all-female profession.

Other gender associations are more stable, such as with respect to nurses and elementary school teachers, or truck drivers and (front-line) firefighters.

Cultural gender complementation used to be, and often still is, fairly cut and dried, but the principle of individual choice - irrespective of default conventions - is highly valued in modernity.

The effects of the fact that everyone is expected to reinvent themselves in terms of complementation, that everything is negotiable, are both good and bad. That's a long story.

A corpus of literature in the Bible in which gender complementarities are assumed and also enforced is in law. Law in the Bible, as elsewhere the world over until very recently, has a patriarchal cast by and large, though various threads of a counter-tendency are also visible.

Note that it is, from an anthropological point of view, inappropriate to suggest that gender complementation is not instantiated simply because the association of spindles and whorls with a household economy which was the exclusive domain of women co-existed with other segments of the weaving economy in which men did the weaving. I hope this is clear.

In short, what a man does and what a women does is a legally and culturally constrained quantity in all societies. In specific cases, it is also a religiously constrained quantity. In pre-modern times, of course, the three spheres just mentioned overlapped to a greater degree than they do in a few secularized societies today.

The downsides of secularization have been explored by some anthropologists. Mary Douglas for example.

We have traveled very far from Gen 1:1-2:3, the focus of which, I have been arguing, is biological, not cultural. On the other hand, male and female are co-regents in Gen 1:28 in terms of subduing their habitat for the sake of the children they procreate.

Bob MacDonald

Did you really post this comment? There is a lot of verbal stuff there. I didn't see any illumination. It's not where I am or where I go. Bishop Stephen Neill some many years ago said that sexuality starts with the recognition that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes to us by faith in that Bridegroom of blood who gave himself for us. In him we are made whole, individually and corporately.

JohnFH

Hi Bob,

No, I did not post that comment. It's now deleted. Rather often, I'm afraid, commenters are really advertisers of a product of some kind, or a pet peeve to air. It gets confusing when they post as "John." Sorry I didn't catch it right away.

Stephen Neill speaks wisely from a Christian point of view. The next question: is it possible to integrate the particular emphases and insights of the Genesis narrative into the overall framework Neill proposes? I have no doubt that it is.

But Christianity, though somewhat less than Buddhism and Hinduism, has a long history of trying to overcome biology and sexuality in a variety of ways. When this becomes the ideal for the truly spiritual, the outcome in my opinion is on balance negative.

Breaker Morant 5

One of the points that Stephen Barkley brought up in an earlier post peaked my interest. If procreation comes from the image of god, what is the reason for couples who are unable to bear children? ‘God blessed them and God said to them,“Be fruitful and multiply…”’ God makes it clear that procreation is one of the most important parts of human life. Is this meant to be a test of faith for those who are unable to give life?
After reading this article I now wonder how overpopulation and its effects fit in with God’s image. Does the importance of reproducing change when Earth’s resources become sparse and pollution becomes more and more of a problem as a result of too much reproducing? Or maybe these problems are just a product of human’s mistakes-not overpopulation. This was just something that popped into my head as I read.

JohnFH

Very good questions, Breaker Morant 5.

Religious traditions handle the question about people who cannot or choose not to bear children in various ways.

For example, it is not that unusual and in fact typical of some forms of Christianity to encourage the choice of not having children of one's own among a few, and to encourage those for whom it is not a choice to embrace it as a mission.

What kind of mission? That of serving the common good and the good of the children of others in particular. So you have schools and hospitals staffed by nuns and priests and other people with fewer or non-existent obligations vis-a-vis children of their own.

On this view, God blesses the task of creating a place of one's own on earth designed to be enjoyed by generations upon generations. One can be a full participant in that project without necessarily doing any of the biological generating.

For the rest, it seems to me that recent trends make the risk of a population extremely unlikely.

There is plenty of recent research that shows that "the population bomb" is a false problem. According to this research, given a host of co-efficients in the realm of cultural and economic change, there is a self-correcting mechanism at work in longer term demographic trends. In fact, the current trend is in the direction of sub-replacement fertility, with 42% of the world's population already in this category.

In light of this, how many children a couple has in not in need of regulation. Least of all in the developed West and East. If a particular faith promotes large families, no harm is done in the sense of triggering a population explosion.

Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, most of Western Europe, Israel, Canada, Russia, and Australia, even China, already wish or will soon begin to wish that the biblical mandate "be fertile and increase" was written on the hearts of their citizens.

That said, one might still argue that a thinning of the current population is a good thing. Be my guest. My argument is driven by facts but also by felt experiences, an affirmative reading of mandates in the book of Genesis, and most of all, on a particular understanding of the shape and ambition of love exchanged.

Why do we have children? From a Christian point of view, Thomas Dalrymple says it well:

http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Why-We-Have-Children-Timothy-Dalrymple-01-26-2011.html

True Grit 3

I had the same question as "Breaker Morant 5", what about people that can't have children? Or what about people that don't want to, will God think of those people differently, or punish them in some way? I don't think this should be a test of faith, that just doesn't seem right.

shawshank redemption 5

"The sexual male-and-femaleness of humanity – the complementarity of the genders - is the means by which humanity imitates God. In that complementarity, very specifically, in sexual coupling, the generation of new life is given."

I completely agree with this statement, but I also am very accepting of other sexualities. It's sort of taboo when talking about religion to imply that there is any right sexuality but heterosexual, but I truly believe God created the universe and everything in it, every person and every idea. I understand that the Lord created men and women to procreate, but God also created love and I believe he accepts all love between human beings. It's true, homosexual couples cannot have children, but they can adopt children who need homes. They cannot get married, which I still disagree with, but they can be joined in union. They can enjoy life with a significant other and isn't happiness in life the most important thing?
My mother is a lesbian. I have a real dad who was loved by and loved my mom. People can call me a bastard because my parents were never married. people can criticize my mom for who they think she is, but people don't know our lives. My mother was sexually abused many times even before the age of 12 and she was constantly beaten by her brother. She didn't tell my grandma about the rape until she was in her early 40's because she didn't want to cause trouble. In her late teens, she started feeling more comfortable with women, but hid it because she knew homosexuality was not easily accepted. Even into her late teens and adult years, she was physically and verbally abused by men. She only reported abuse once, when her spleen was ruptured. The trauma later caused her to have a seizure while driving over the Johnson street bridge in Fond du Lac. Her car was totaled and her ankle was broken. Her whole life, she suffered and endured and hid who she was because she was afraid to be herself.
God does not want anyone to hurt or be emotionally ruined, but this is what happens when people don't accept others for who they are. It's not like homosexuals are hurting or disrupting others' lives. God loves all his children, even me for being a bastard and even my mom for being a lesbian. People can say God hates homosexuals, but I have proof the Lord loves them. My mother has had ovarian cancer three times, breast cancer, cancerous sinus polyps, seizures, ulcers, and all sorts of other ailments, but she is alive. When people ask me why I believe in God, I always say, "If God wasn't real, my mother would be dead." It's then often said that doesn't necessarily mean God is there, but He also listened when I begged Him to please let my nephew Max live through surgery. He was five days old, a month and a half early, and less than five pounds. He had kidney problems and though doctors had wanted to wait til he gained a few more pounds, they conducted emergency surgery through which my sweet boy lived. He is now a year and a half and very healthy. God loves all his children, no matter how big or small, no matter how gay or straight.

Praying with Lior 2

@shawshank redemption 5,

People like you are the reason I still have my faith. Among all of the hate, lies, and deceit the world seems to have in modern day, it’s sometimes hard to remember what faith and God really is about. It’s about acceptance, and more importantly it’s about unconditional love. Although God created three biological sexualities (male, female, and intersex) that does not mean there are specific guidelines to live by.

I feel like too many religious people are wary of acceptance for different social genders and it interferes with their faith. As a Social Justice- Human Rights minor, gender orientation equality is a huge part of my academic life. I am an ally of the LGTBQ community and I have several homosexual friends. A few of those friends are involved in the church and have a better concept of faith than the majority of people I know. For me, it’s difficult to understand the concept that people were created in God’s image as solely male or female. If God is an androgynous being, than ALL types of people were created in His image. Why should heterosexual couples be the sole example of raising a new generation? To say that only biological male and female individuals are able to create a new “generation” makes the concept of homosexual couples bringing up a child as sinful or not right. Yes, only biologically male and female beings together can create new life, but that does not mean same sex couples do not create the same love for their children. If love is what our faith is about, then why do we constantly debate over the insignificant detail of biological gender?

As most of us know from John 3:16-17, Jesus said “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”

So why is the concept of homosexual couples still an argumentative topic if Jesus said “everyone who believes in Him will not perish.”

JohnFH

A variety of sexual arrangements have been stigmatized by the best known religions of the world: not just Judaism and Christianity, but Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.

In any given faith and in any given society, a variety of sexual arrangements are privileged - most often, unions of a potentially procreative couples. A variety of other sexual patterns are marginalized - that is, they are allowed, but not encouraged. For example, serial monogamy (marriage - divorce - remarriage - redivorce) may be allowed but the laws are such that one would be crazy to do it unless one is as rich as a Hollywood celeb. A few rich people (or people who live briefly as if they were) go down this road, though very few are so brash as to suggest that they are making choices worthy of imitation. Finally, a set of sexual arrangements are criminalized, in theory if not always in practice. For example, in Australia marriage between a brother and sister (including siblings of half-blood) is not permitted and these "prohibited relationships" include relationships traced through adoption.

I have yet to meet someone who does not agree that some sexual arrangements should be illicit; the causes for argument are how long the list of arrangements to be discouraged and/or prohibited should be.

That is why Praying with Lior 2's argument will not work for most people. For example, "everyone who believes in him will not perish," but not the preacher and practitioner of man-boy relationships.

Sex with children is outlawed in all countries, though only in theory; the demand for sex with children is quite high, and the economies of some countries depend heavily on receipts from sex with children.

A related point is that an individual Buddhist or Christian may very well feel that homoerotic love is not incompatible with the religion of reference. In this country, there is freedom of speech and everyone is entitled to their own opinions (don't even try free speech in China or Saudi Arabia, unless you want to be a martyr). But that doesn't change the fact that for the Dalai Lama (the supreme authority in a denomination of Buddhism), homoerotic love is forbidden, full stop, to Buddhists. In the same way, according to the Pope (the supreme authority for much of Christianity, the Catholic Church), people with same-sex orientation are to be treated with love and respect, but encouraged to abstain from sexual activity in that it is understood to be against nature. In fact, after all the scandals, a man of homosexual orientation, even if he has no history of acting on that orientation, is not permitted to be a priest (a heterosexual priest is also not allowed to act on his orientation).

Finally, to stick to the example SR 5 and PwL 2 are interested in, a liberal case against same-sex marriage has also been made. For example:

http://cslr.law.emory.edu/fileadmin/media/PDFs/Op-Ed_Pieces/Browning.Liberal_Case_Against_Same_Sex_Marriage.3.24.200.pdf

Sexuality and the way sexuality is constructed stand at the intersection of biology, culture, and social mores. It is important to reflect on these questions without disrespecting traditional religious viewpoints and without disrespecting those who, for whatever reason, cannot accept traditional religious viewpoints. This debate is a true test of civility on the part of all concerned.

Karen Knudson

This article was very interesting to me and also caused me to question aspects of human life. Like True Grit 3 and Breaker Morant 5, I also had the question immediately after reading about people who cannot bear children. Does God or a “supreme being” automatically damn them? After all it is not their fault if they can’t have kids. And for those who do not want children, they should be entitled to their own opinion on children and they should be able to decide for themselves whether they want to have kids. And what about people who have children unfaithfully? Or what about the people that could die if they have kids or have severe health problems? By the bible saying “be fruitful and multiply” does that mean that everyone should? And at what time should they have children? In today’s society teen pregnancy is so prevalent but how many of those teens are really ready to multiply and take on the responsibility of having a family. So not everyone should have to multiply the land and people should not be judged by God for making that choice for themselves.

JohnFH

Hi Karen,

Thank you for pushing back on the topic of this thread. Your honesty and boldness are refreshing.

You ask,

"Does God or a 'supreme being' automatically damn them?"

Can I ask what leads you to ask such a question?

So far as I know, there is no evidence, either from the Bible or from the two faiths based on the Bible, Judaism and Christianity, that anyone has ever thought that this text implied that it was someone's fault if they can't have kids.

If you know of evidence, and can cite it, then we have a basis for discussion; otherwise, you are presenting what is known as a "straw man" argument.

That said, I think I see where you want to go with things. You don't think it's right for anyone in the name of God to assign an overall purpose to life that might conflict with your choice, or someone else's choice, not to have children.

If I misunderstand your drift, let me know.

I would say this to begin with. Gen 1:26-28 did not have in mind women or men who, though someone raised them, had no plans to raise others.

Gen 1:26-28 is in harmony with village culture, according to the maxim, it takes a village to raise a child. The cultural imperative this text embodies was felt and felt deeply in the community to which it was addressed.

The added value is that altruism for the sake of the larger community is blessed in the text. The rightness and goodness of said altruism are attributed to the creator of all biological life.

Biologists have proven that we are programmed as a species to reproduce and raise children. So this is an instance in which nature and religion are in harmony. There are many examples of such harmony.

Gen 1:26-28 wants to be affirming of a pattern of instinct and desire which unites the human species with other biological species. The parallelism is explicit in Gen 1.

There are philosophies of life on tap in the world today, particularly in the United States, in which individualism is taken to great extremes and is, among other things, a proven reason for material wealth multiplication. Ayn Rand for example understood this well, and embraced it. Such philosophies put a near total emphasis on self-realization and individual autonomy.

If that is what you are after in life, I would think that you would find any and every religion very confining. Religions are by definition enormous gift *exchanges* - collective projects of the first order. They are not in the least based on the principle of every man for himself - or every woman for herself.

Universal religions make room for people who want to be individuals by binding them to ascetic practices and giving them a purpose in the larger scheme of things.

Not just Christianity, but Hinduism and Buddhism are famous for coopting the idealism and loneliness of individuals for a cause. Think Spiderman, if you are looking for an entry into the psychology of this.

Feel free to push back against Judaism and Christianity further on this score, if you find it worthwhile.

Nell 5

I for one am not against homosexuality. I believe that people have the right to love who they want to love, and marry who they want to marry. I don’t think that other people have the right to tell others who they can and can’t love. My religion is now starting to become more accepting of homosexuals in the church; this is starting to cause conflict amongst members. A family that was very involved in the church actually left our congregation because of this. I think that being homosexual is slowly becoming more accepted in today’s society. But, like anything, there will always be the people who stick to the old ways and traditions of from when they were growing up.

JohnFH

Nell 5,

The question of gay unions poses a number of problems for Jews and Christians who consider the Bible and a tradition of interpretation of the Bible central to who they are. The subject matter merits a session of its own.

However, I doubt very much that you believe that people have a right to love who they want to love. My guess - I could be wrong - is that you are against a mother marrying her son, a sister her brother, a man three wives, a 50 year old an 8 year old. Most people, in a culture like ours with a Jewish and Christian heritage, are against these things. People of other cultures, not necessarily.

I also would guess that you don't believe necrophiliacs - this is a condition, perhaps inborn, of a small but fairly constant percentage of the population - have a right to have sex with corpses. Even if you are not a member of PETA, I assume you have issues with a human being raping an animal - there is no other way to describe it, it seems to me.

In short, individuals and societies think of sexuality and love, not as dimensions of life where anything goes, but dimensions of life in the concepts of right and wrong apply. The only question is: to what exactly.

Does that make sense?

TheTrumanShow1

The thing that interests me the most in this article is that in the first translation it says that "God said, let us make man..." I'm very curious as to how the word "us" was translated into this, and who else it might be refering to, since God alone made humans, who would he have consulted or had help from? I might be reading the passage wrong, but I don't think I have realized God ever use the word us to describe anything he did. Was this a connection to the Holy Spirit or perhaps a foreshadow to something else. I also agree with the commented made above on what was said by Karen. God has created every being in a particular way for a reason, so even if they end up not being able to have kids, doesn't mean its their fault or that they did anything wrong. Furthermore God gives each person a calling or a vocation, and some of those entail being single for their whole life especially in the religious life and so those people are not able to be fruitful and multiply and yet God still loves them exactly the same as He would with someone who has kids. So I am curious as to if there is reason for any other interpretation?

The Truman Show 5

My thoughts on the Nell 5 post,

Homosexuality my be seen as an abomination in the religious community, but who are we to judge? Isn’t the judgement decided by the Lord? I think people are for to hasty to try and “convert” others into what they deem is holy. As I observe the debate between homosexuality and heterosexuality, all I ever hear is “God is going to judge you” , “ The Bible says”. What I think is that people should not judge you, but love you as you are. Who are we to say one man can’t marry another man. We are all “God’s children” and from I have read, he loves us.

True Grit 1

From what The Truman Show 1 said about how some people can not have kids because they just can't and that it does not mean they are being punish or they are being discipline. Everyone has a gift from God and that gift from God is something special. You do not need to go compare to others or be jealous that you do not have this but the other do. For example if you want kids but at the end you just can't have any but others around you have kids. It does not mean that you are punish, it is just the gift that God gave you. Kids are a miracle to everyone's life and how they are so special to others. But without having a kid it does not mean you are not blessed by God because you do not have a kid. People are blessed by God in many different ways. From what I think about people that are gay and lesbian I think it is alright to be like that. I mean you were born to be that way you did not have a choice to become what you want. I think God will see that that person is born like that and can not do much but I'm pretty sure God wont punish anybody for marrying the same gender. Even though his bible stated a quote saying something about marrying the same gender.

Pulp Fiction 1

Genesis is a very good chapter to get a real understanding of creation. Although there are many different beliefs, genesis makes it more clear (at least for me). The way it is put with the words "us" you can debate because who did God have help from, but then again maybe that's just how the book was written. There are things that are debatable and at the same time still agreeable. The image of God is a clear as they can put it i believe because it's possible to nit-pick things all day, but then again its just the general idea of God and his creations that should fascinate with his powers/sacrifice.

Nell 5

I like this article. In a way, it makes sense to say that Adam was created in God's image and therefore we are all born in the image of God. Also, the way this article says that the sweep of human history is the geanology of Adam but is also a geanology of God as well. It makes a tremendous of sense to put it that way. I agree with you Pulp Fiction 1 on your take on how good of a chapter Genesis is in terms of understanding creation. Like they say, in order to know a means to end, you must first know the beginning; be it the beginning of a story, a life or just the beginning of all life in general.

The Mission 2

To clear up some confusion for you, Pulp Fiction 1, the reason the Bible uses the words “us” or “our” when God speaks is because of the concept of the Trinity. The Trinity is a very hard concept to understand. The Bible only refers to one true God, but God has three different persons in Himself: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. An example of the Trinity can be seen at Jesus’ baptism in Matthew 3:13-17. The Spirit of God is God the Holy Spirit, the voice from heaven is God the Father, and Jesus is God the Son. Some may suggest that these three persons are separate Gods, however, in John 14:1-14 Jesus explains to His disciples that He and The Father are one. In a similar way in the following passages Jesus explains how the Advocate (God the Holy Spirit) comes from the Father and from Himself, thus the meaning of the Trinity (Three in One) is supported. Also God’s image may not mean that we necessarily look like God. Since God has been seen in countless shapes throughout the Bible, we cannot conclude that God in His true form is human. Instead God’s image can be seen as characteristics like righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24) or knowledge (Colossians 3:10).

Dead Man Walking 6

Only males and females being together can create children, but in my opinion, same sex couples still can give love and care for their children as well. The statement, “The sexual male and femaleness of humanity – the complementarity of the genders- is the means by which humanity imitates God. In that complementarity, very specifically, in sexual coupling, the generation of new life is given,” is a true statement in many ways, but I am also accepting of other sexualities. I think there is no wrong with that. God creates the land and the sky to start a life, Adam and Eve to generate people, love being between people to share their thoughts with each other. So, acceptance or ignorance of the variety of sexual arrangements is just about how a person views. Yes, somehow the religious bond into that concept and it interferes with people faith. I am glad that one person from the previous comment posted the statement that Jesus said “ For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” Therefore, why is the concept of the homosexual couples still an argumentative issue around the world?

The Truman Show 3

Reading some other comments on this blog I remembered a comment I heard regarding celibacy and choosing not to have children. When a priest or a nun chooses to remain celibate it is seen in a way that they are just not effecting the lives of children they otherwise would have had, but are embracing others' children as their own. Why is it that a priest or nun who chooses such a lifestyle is held in high regard, but a same sex couple who chooses not to have children is frowned upon? I'm sure there are many same sex couples who have adopted children and raised them in a manner that would far exceed the way in which some heterosexual couples raise their children.

True Grit 12

The idea of inequality in this article confuses me. It seems almost as if the combination of male and female is equal to God, or is at least an imitation of God. "The sexual male-and-femaleness of humanity – the collaborative complementarity of the genders - is the means by which humanity imitates God." How then, can one explain the idea that both man a woman together are sinful? Is there something to be said of the joining together of the two genders that transcends one gender alone? Or is it simply the diversity which makes us closer to God?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo

Google Blogrolls

a community of bloggers

  • Abnormal Interests
    Intrepid forays into realia and texts of the Ancient Near East, by Duane Smith
  • After Existentialism, Light
    A thoughtful theology blog by Kevin Davis, an M. Div. student at University of North Carolina-Charlotte
  • AKMA's Random Thoughts
    by A. K. M. Adam, Lecturer in New Testament at the University of Glasgow
  • alternate readings
    C. Stirling Bartholomew's place
  • Ancient Hebrew Grammar
    informed comment by Robert Holmstedt, Associate Professor, Ancient Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Languages, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto, and John Cook, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore KY)
  • Antiquitopia
    one of the best blogs out there, by Jared Calaway, assistant professor in the Department of Religion at Illinois Wesleyan University.
  • Anumma - Hebrew Bible and Higher Education
    by G. Brooke Lester, Assistant Professor in Hebrew Bible, and Director for Emerging Pedagogies, at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Evanston IL)
  • Awilum
    Insightful commentary on the Bible and the Ancient Near East, by Charles Halton
  • AWOL - The Ancient World Online
    notice and comment on open access material relating to the ancient world, by Charles Jones of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University
  • Balshanut
    top-notch Biblical Hebrew and Semitics blog by Peter Bekins, Ph. D. student, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati OH, faculty member, Wright State University (archive)
  • Believing is Knowing
    Comments on things like prophecy, predestination, and reward and punishment from an orthodox Jewish perspective, by David Guttmann
  • Ben Byerly's Blog
    thoughts on the Bible, Africa, Kenya, aid, and social justice, by Ben Byerly, a PhD candidate at Africa International University (AIU), in Nairobi, Kenya working on “The Hopes of Israel and the Ends of Acts” (Luke’s narrative defense of Paul to Diaspora Judeans in Acts 16-20)
  • Berit Olam
    by a thoughtful Matt Morgan, Berkeley CA resident, grad student in Old Testament at Regent University, Vancouver BC (archive)
  • Better Bibles Blog
    Discussion of translation problems and review of English Bible translations by Wayne Leman, Iver Larsen, Mike Sangrey, and others
  • Bibbia Blog
    A Bible blog in Italian and English by former students of the PIB and PUG
  • Bible Background research and commentary
    by Craig Keener, professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary
  • Bible Design & Binding
    J. Mark Bertrand's place
  • BiblePlaces Blog
    a spotlight on the historical geography of the Holy Land, by Todd Bolen, formerly, Assistant Professor at the Israel Bible Extension campus of The Master's College, Santa Clarita CA
  • Biblicalia
    The riches of orthodoxy brought online by Kevin Edgecomb, a seminarian at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Brookline MA)
  • Biblische Ausbildung
    by Stephen L. Cook, professor of Old Testament / Hebrew Bible at Virginia Theological Seminary
  • C. Orthodoxy
    Christian, Contemporary, Conscientious… or Just Confused, by Ken Brown, a very thoughtful blog (archive). Ken is currently a Dr. Theol. student at Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, part of The Sofja-Kovalevskaja Research Group studying early Jewish Monotheism. His dissertation will focus on the presentation of God in Job.
  • Catholic Bibles
    a thoughtful blog about Bible translations by Timothy, who has a degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome (Angelicum) and teaches theology in a Catholic high school in Michigan
  • Chrisendom
    irreverent blog with a focus on the New Testament, by Chris Tilling, New Testament Tutor for St Mellitus College and St Paul's Theological Centre, London
  • Claude Mariottini
    a perspective on the Old Testament and current events by a professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Chicagoland, Illinois
  • Codex: Biblical Studies Blogspot
    by Tyler Williams, a scholar of the Hebrew Bible and cognate literature, now Assistant Professor of Theology at The King's University College in Edmonton, Alberta (archive)
  • Colours of Scripture
    reflections on theology, philosophy, and literature, by Benjamin Smith, afflicted with scriptural synaesthesia, and located in London, England
  • Complegalitarian
    A team blog that discusses right ways and wrong ways Scripture might help in the social construction of gender (old archive only; more recent archive, unfortunately, no longer publicly available)
  • Connected Christianity
    a place to explore what it might be like if Christians finally got the head, heart, and hands of their faith re-connected (archive)
  • Conversational Theology
    Smart and delightful comment by Ros Clarke, a Ph.D. student at the University of the Highlands and Islands, at the (virtual) Highland Theological College (archive)
  • Daily Hebrew
    For students of biblical Hebrew and the ancient Near East, by Chip Hardy, a doctoral student at the University of Chicago
  • Daniel O. McClellan
    a fine blog by the same, who is pursuing a master of arts degree in biblical studies at Trinity Western University just outside of Vancouver, BC.
  • Davar Akher
    Looking for alternative explanations: comments on things Jewish and beyond, by Simon Holloway, a PhD student in Classical Hebrew and Biblical Studies at The University of Sydney, Australia
  • Deinde
    News and Discussion by Danny Zacharias
  • Discipulus scripturae
    Nathan Stitt's place
  • Dr. Claude Mariottini
    balanced comment by a professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Seminary, Lombard IL
  • Dr. Platypus
    insightful comment by Darrell Pursiful, editor at Smyth & Helwys Publishing, on the New Testament faculty of Mercer University
  • Dust
    A diary of Bob MacDonald's journey through the Psalms and other holy places in the Hebrew Bible
  • Eclexia
    The heart and mind of this Bible and theology blogger sing in unison
  • Eat, Drink, and be Merry
    The journey of a grad student with a love for ancient languages at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (archive)
  • Elizaphanian
    Rev Sam tussles with God, and limps away
  • Emerging from Babel
    Stephen investigates the potential of narrative and rhetorical criticism as a tool for expounding scripture
  • Evangelical Textual Criticism
    A group blog on NT and OT text-critical matters
  • Evedyahu
    excellent comment by Cristian Rata, Lecturer in Old Testament of Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology, Seoul, Korea
  • Exegetica Digita
    discussion of Logos high-end syntax and discourse tools – running searches, providing the downloads (search files) and talking about what can be done and why it might matter for exegesis, by Mike Heiser
  • Exegetisk Teologi
    careful exegetical comment by Stefan Green (in Swedish)
  • Exploring Our Matrix
    Insightful reflections by James McGrath, ass't. professor of religion, Butler University
  • Faith Matters
    Mark Alter's place
  • Ferrell's Travel Blog
    comments of biblical studies, archaeology, history, and photography by a tour guide of Bible lands and professor emeritus of the Biblical Studies department at Florida College, Temple Terrace (FL)
  • Fors Clavigera
    James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin College, thinks out loud.
  • Friar's Fires
    an insightful blog by a pastor with a background in journalism, one of three he pens
  • Gentle Wisdom
    A fearless take on issues roiling Christendom today, by Peter Kirk, a Bible translator
  • Giluy Milta B‘alma
    by Ezra Chwat and Avraham David of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jewish National and Hebrew University Library, Jerusalem
  • He is Sufficient
    insightful comment on Bible translations, eschatology, and more, by Elshaddai Edwards
  • Higgaion
    by Chris Heard, Professor of Religion, Pepperdine University
  • Idle Musings of a Bookseller
    by James Spinti of Eisenbrauns
  • if i were a bell, i'd ring
    Tim Ricchiuiti’s place
  • Imaginary Grace
    Smooth, witty commentary by Angela Erisman (archive). Angela Erisman is a member of the theology faculty at Xavier University
  • James' Thoughts and Musings
    by James Pate, a doctoral student at HUC-JIR Cincinnati
  • Jewish Philosophy Place
    by Zachary (Zak) Braiterman, who teaches modern Jewish thought and philosophy in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University
  • kata ta biblia
    by Patrick George McCollough, M. Div. student, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena CA
  • Ketuvim
    Learned reflection from the keyboard of Jim Getz
  • Kilbabo
    Ben Johnson’s insightful blog
  • Kruse Kronicle - contemplating the intersection of work, the global economy, and Christian mission
    top quality content brought to readers by Michael W. Kruse
  • Larry Hurtado's blog
    emeritus professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology, University of Edinburgh
  • Law, Prophets, and Writings
    thoughtful blogging by William R. (Rusty) Osborne, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies as College of the Ozarks and managing editor for Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament
  • Lingamish
    delightful fare by David Ker, Bible translator, who also lingalilngas.
  • Looney Fundamentalist
    a scientist who loves off-putting labels
  • Menachem Mendel
    A feisty blog on rabbinic literature and other Judaica by Michael Pitkowsky, Rabbinics Curriculum Coordinator at the Academy for Jewish Religion and adjunct instructor at Jewish Theological Seminary (New York)
  • mu-pàd-da
    scholarly blog by C. Jay Crisostomo, grad student in ANE studies at ?
  • Narrative and Ontology
    Astoundingly thoughtful comment from Phil Sumpter, a Ph.D. student in Bible, resident in Bonn, Germany
  • New Epistles
    by Kevin Sam, M. Div. student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon SK
  • NT Weblog
    Mark Goodacre's blog, professor of New Testament, Duke University
  • Observatório Bíblico
    wide-ranging blog by Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica/Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, Brasile (in Portuguese)
  • Observatório Bíblico
    Blog sobre estudos acadêmicos da Bíblia, para Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica / Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, SP.
  • Occasional Publications
    excellent blogging by Daniel Driver, Brevard Childs' scholar extraordinaire
  • old testament passion
    Great stuff from Anthony Loke, a Methodist pastor and Old Testament lecturer in the Seminari Theoloji, Malaysia
  • Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Blog
    A weblog created for a course on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, by James Davila (archive)
  • On the Main Line
    Mississippi Fred MacDowell's musings on Hebraica and Judaica. With a name like that you can't go wrong.
  • p.ost an evangelical theology for the age to come
    seeking to retell the biblical story in the difficult transition from the centre to the margins following the collapse of Western Christendom, by Andrew Perriman, independent New Testament scholar, currently located in Dubai
  • PaleoJudaica
    by James Davila, professor of Early Jewish Studies at the University of St. Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland. Judaism and the Bible in the news; tidbits about ancient Judaism and its context
  • Pastoral Epistles
    by Rick Brannan and friends, a conceptually unique Bible blog
  • Pen and Parchment
    Michael Patton and company don't just think outside the box. They are tearing down its walls.
  • Pisteuomen
    by Michael Halcomb, pastor-scholar from the Bluegrass State
  • Pseudo-Polymath
    by Mark Olson, an Orthodox view on things
  • Purging my soul . . . one blog at a time
    great theoblog by Sam Nunnally
  • Qumranica
    weblog for a course on the Dead Sea Scrolls at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, taught by James R. Davila (archive)
  • Ralph the Sacred River
    by Edward Cook, a superb Aramaist
  • Random Bloggings
    by Calvin Park, M. Div. student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton MA
  • Resident aliens
    reflections of one not at home in this world
  • Revelation is Real
    Strong-minded comment from Tony Siew, lecturer at Trinity Theological College, Singapore
  • Ricoblog
    by Rick Brannan, it's the baby pictures I like the most
  • Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
    Nick Norelli's fabulous blog on Bible and theology
  • SansBlogue
    by Tim Bulkeley, lecturer in Old Testament, Carey Baptist College (New Zealand). His Hypertext Commentary on Amos is an interesting experiment
  • Ancient Near Eastern Languages
    texts and files to help people learn some ancient languages in self study, by Mike Heiser
  • Midrash, etc.
    A fine Hebrew-to-English blog on Midrash, by Carl Kinbar, Director of the New School for Jewish Studies and a facultm member at MJTI School of Jewish Studies.
  • Phil Lembo what I'm thinking
    a recovering lawyer, now in IT, with a passion for a faith worth living
  • Roses and Razorwire
    a top-notch Levantine archaeology blog, by Owen Chesnut, a doctoral student at Andrews University (MI)
  • Scripture & Theology
    a communal weblog dedicated to the intersection of biblical interpretation and the articulation of church doctrine, by Daniel Driver, Phil Sumpter, and others
  • Scripture Zealot
    by Jeff Contrast
  • Serving the Word
    incisive comment on the Hebrew Bible and related ancient matters, with special attention to problems of philology and linguistic anthropology, by Seth L. Sanders, Assistant Professor in the Religion Department of Trinity College, Hartford, CT
  • Singing in the Reign
    NT blog by Michael Barber (JP University) and Brad Pitre (Our Lady Holy Cross)
  • Stay Curious
    excellent comment on Hebrew Bible and Hebrew language topics, by Karyn Traphagen, graduate, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia PA (archive)
  • Sufficiency
    A personal take on the faith delivered to the saints, by Bob MacDonald, whose parallel blog on the Psalms in Hebrew is a colorful and innovative experiment
  • The Sundry Times
    Gary Zimmerli's place, with comment on Bible translations and church renewal
  • Sunestauromai: living the crucified life
    by a scholar-pastor based in the Grand Canyon National Park
  • ta biblia
    blog dedicated to the New Testament and the history of Christian origins, by Giovanni Bazzana
  • Targuman
    by Christian Brady, targum specialist extraordinaire, and dean of Schreyer Honors College, Penn State University
  • Targuman
    on biblical and rabbinic literature, Christian theology, gadgetry, photography, and the odd comic, by Christian Brady, associate professor of ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature and dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State
  • The Biblia Hebraica Blog
    a blog about Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the history of the Ancient Near East and the classical world, Syro-Palestinian archaeology, early Judaism, early Christianity, New Testament interpretation, English Bible translations, biblical theology, religion and culture, philosophy, science fiction, and anything else relevant to the study of the Bible, by Douglas Magnum, PhD candidate, University of the Free State, South Africa
  • The Forbidden Gospels Blog
    by April DeConick, Professor of Biblical Studies, Rice University
  • The Naked Bible
    by Mike Heiser, academic editor at Logos Bible Software
  • The Reformed Reader
    by Andrew Compton, Ph.D. student in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (focus on Hebrew and Semitic Languages) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • The Sacred Page
    a blog written by three Catholic Ph.D.s who are professors of Scripture and Theology: Michael Barber, Brant Pitre and John Bergsma
  • The Talmud Blog
    a group blog on Talmud News, Reviews, Culture, Currents, and Criticism
  • Theological German
    a site for reading and discussing theological German, by Mark Alter
  • theoutwardquest
    seeking spirituality as an outward, not an inward quest, by David Corder
  • This Lamp
    Incisive comment on Bible translations in the archives, by Rick Mansfield
  • Thoughts on Antiquity
    By Chris Weimer and friends, posts of interest on ancient Greek and Roman topics (archive). Chris is a graduate student at the City University of New York in Classics
  • Threads from Henry's Web
    Wide-ranging comment by Henry Neufeld, educator, publisher, and author
  • Tête-à-Tête-Tête
    smart commentary by "smijer," a Unitarian-Universalist
  • Undeception
    A great blog by Mike Douglas, a graduate student in biblical studies
  • What I Learned From Aristotle
    the Judaica posts are informative (archive)
  • Bouncing into Graceland
    a delightful blog on biblical and theological themes, by Esteban Vázquez (archive)
  • Weblog
    by Justin Anthony Knapp, a fearless Wikipedian (archive)
  • Writing in the Dust
    A collection of quotes by Wesley Hill, a doctoral student in New Testament studies at Durham University (UK), and a Christian who seeks the charism of chastity
  • גֵּר־וְתוֹשָׁב
    by David Miller, Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism, Briercrest College & Seminary, Caronport, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • ואל-תמכר
    Buy truth and do not sell: wisdom, instruction, and understanding - a blog by Mitchell Powell, student of life at the intersection of Christ, Christianity, and Christendom
  • משלי אדם
    exploring wisdom literature, religion, and other academic pursuits, by Adam Couturier, M.A. in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)

Viewing Documents

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
    To view the documents on this blog you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have this, download it from the link above.
Blog powered by Typepad

Technorati

Terms


  • Ancient Hebrew Poetry is a weblog of John F. Hobbins. Opinions expressed herein do not reflect those of his professional affiliations. Unless otherwise indicated, the contents of Ancient Hebrew Poetry, including all text, images, and other media, are original and licensed under a Creative Commons License.

    Creative Commons License

    Copyright © 2005 by John F Hobbins.