Ask Your Preacher
Recent research says that most of the first chapter of the Bible was written in 100 AD. The part that is puzzling is that there are two ‘creation of man’ stories. One is the traditional rib story, and the other is that He created them man and woman. Which is true – if any? Another part says that God created man in His image and likeness. If God is a spirit, what are His image and likeness?
We don’t know what recent research you have been reading, but there is not a notable Bible historian on the planet that would say that the first chapter of Genesis was written in 100 AD. Even if you only used the Dead Sea Scrolls, those manuscripts are dated around 100 BC.
As for the dual creation stories, the confusion comes when people read Genesis 1 and see that God made man and woman, and then read Genesis 2 and see God making man and woman all over again. The key is to realize that chapter one is an overview of the entire six days of creation (which includes the creation of man on day six), and Genesis chapter two is a more detailed account of what happened when God made Adam and Eve.
Think of chapter two as a microscope honing in to get a closer look at the most important detail of the creation story – the creation of humans.
Gen. 3:15, I have no understanding. What is your interpretation?
Looking For Clarity
Dear Looking For Clarity,
Gen. 3:15 is a prophecy regarding Jesus. Satan, the old serpent (Rev. 12:9), would forever battle with Eve’s descendants, but one of Eve’s descendants would crush the head of Satan. Satan bruises the heel, but Jesus bruised the head – He delivered a deathblow. Heb 2:14 shows that Jesus’ death destroyed the power of Satan and crushed him under the power of Jesus’ selfless gift. Rom 16:20 shows Satan is crushed under the feet of those that Jesus paid for with His blood (Acts 20:28).
What does Psalm 23 mean? I read that it means that God is our shepherd, and we are the sheep.
You are seeing it properly. Ps 23:1 says, “The Lord is my shepherd.” That first verse sets the tone for the entire psalm. David is comparing the relationship of God and His faithful to the relationship between a shepherd and his sheep.
God said He hated Esau for selling his birthright for a bowl of mush. How could he sell something that was not his to sell?
Food For Thought
Dear Food For Thought,
Esau’s birthright was his to keep or sell; culturally, that is different than our society today, but that was the case back then. The Bible refers to Esau as a man that was “profane” because he sold his birthright for a meal (Heb 12:16). Esau took something holy (e.g. his right as the firstborn to have a double portion of the inheritance) and sold it for something as common as dinner. The warning from Esau’s mistake is to not sell our souls, the holiest part of us, for common worldly pleasures (Mk 8:36-37).
What is the “accursed thing” in Jericho that God told Joshua about in Josh 6:18?
The accursed thing was the spoils of war that typically would have been plundered after looting Jericho, but in this case, they were to be burned or devoted to the Lord. God was very specific that the Israelites were not supposed to keep any of Jericho’s valuables for themselves and that the entire city’s goods were devoted to the Lord (Josh 6:17). The accursed thing (some versions say “the devoted thing”) in Josh 6:18 refers to the commandment to not keep any of the goods for themselves. In Josh 7:1, we see that Achan disobeyed that command, and when it was found out, he was stoned for his disobedience (Josh 7:24-26).