The Genesis Creation Accounts

  1. Why Adam and Eve Did Not Die
  2. Was the Fruit Really Forbidden
  3. The Good Shepherd 
  4. The Biblical Nature of Evil 
  5. On Being Human
  6. Lost in Translation Part II
  7. Lost in Translation Part I
  8. Knowledge of Good and Evil
  9. Eve Misrepresents God
  10. Does the husband rule I
  11. Does the husband rule II
  12. Because It Had Not Rained
  13. Because It Had Not Rained – Futato.2
  14. Because It Had Not Rained – Futato.1
  15. ANE Naming

Cain and Abel

  1. Sin is Crouching at the Door 
  2. The Bloods of Your Brothers

The Abraham Narrative

  1. Does God Say Please?
  2. Whose Righteousness – God’s or Abram’s

11 Responses to Commentary

  1. Alephtav says:

    I have this burning question which I have been trying to find an answer for the longest time.
    What is the Hebrew word for righteousness and what does it really mean? Does it mean being set free from guilt and condemnation?

    No! Only acts of repentance can free one of guilt and only forgiveness can free one from condemnation. Repentance and forgiveness are two sides of the same coin. One cannot exist in the absence of the other.

    The Hebrew word for righteousness is tzedakah and is a judgment as to one’s character. For example, consider intelligence. To judge someone as intelligent does not make that person intelligent. Likewise, to judge someone as righteous does not make that person righteous. Like intelligence, we base such judgments on the basis of how a person acts and talks and interacts with other people. In the same way, God judges as righteous those who treat other people according to His will.

    What, then, is God’s will? Micah 6:8 answers this question perfectly.

    Now, go and study.

    p.s the article referenced in my response to your previous comment might also be instructive.

  2. Alephtav says:

    Hi, kindly allow me the liberty to seek an answer to another question in my mind.
    There is a teaching that God actually told the Gospel story to Abram with the stars in Genesis 15:5.
    Is there any truth in that based on the Hebrew context?
    Thanks for your patience and generous sharing.

    I am not aware of such a teaching and would like to learn more. Perhaps you can describe the teaching more fully or provide a reference. In any case, I personally see no support for such a teaching in either the language (Hebrew) or the context. But this might help – here is a paraphrase of Genesis 15:5-6:

    … (5)”Look toward heavens and count the stars if you are able to count them.” Then
    He said to Abram, “So shall your descendants be.” (6)Once again, Abram believed
    in the LORD and thought the truth of God’s promises to be evidence of the LORD’s

    The details of this translation are fully described in the article above titled, “Whose Righteousness – God or Abraham’s? Pay careful attention to the words and grammar. Abram attributes righteousness to God, not the other way around as virtually all Christians (and some Jews) believe.

    Now, go and study.

  3. Alephtav says:

    Hi, I have been reading your materials for the past few days and have enjoyed every moment of it. It has definitely provided a fresh perspective.

    It is mentioned in “The biblical nature of evil” that ‘the story of Adam and Eve is not about disobedience. It is about the consequences that arise from God’s gift of free will.’

    Following the Hebrew context, it does make sense. However, I am trying to reconcile it with Romans 5:19 (KJV), “For by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

    Would you be able to shed some light on this?


    • Michael says:

      Great question. The short answer is that the English translations of Romans 5:19 do not accurately reflect Genesis 2:16, but that 5:19 in Paul’s original Greek actually does. The Greek word in question is parakoes (παρακοῆς – See Gingrich’s Greek-English Lexicon of the NT, p. 149) the literal meaning of which is “failure to hear” or “inattentive hearing”. With this meaning in mind, perhaps a better translation of 5:19 would read something along the lines of,

      For just as by the one man's "failure to hear" God’s words the many were made sinners, so by the one man's sacrifice the many will be made righteous.

      Parakoes has a wide semantic range because it can convey one of three meanings: it can mean those who (1) disobey a command, (2) do not follow instructions, or (3) ignore a warning.

      In other words, Paul’s use of parakoes in 5:19 is entirely consistent with the interpretation that God did not command Adam but warned him.

      One final point: to sin against God in both Hebrew and in Greek is to do something that estranges or separates one from God. Adam and Eve’s failure to heed God’s words accomnplished precisely that. They estranged all of mankind from God. Indeed, that’s one of the main points of the second creation story. Whether by accident or on purpose, the ignored God’s warning with its consequent results.

      Now, go and study

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