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Family Matters

Friday, November 27, 2015
Who did Adam and Eve's children marry?

 

Sincerely,
My Family’s Not That Close

Dear My Family’s Not That Close,

They married each other.  Adam and Eve were the only people God created on day six (Gen 1:27, Gen 2:25).  Adam and Eve were given the command to “go forth and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen 1:28).  Since there was only the two of them in the beginning, their children had to marry each other.  Of course, this makes us think about incest and the problems with marrying people that you are too closely related to, but those were not applicable to the people during the initial years after creation.

Incest is only wrong because God says it is wrong, and He never condemned the practice until well after the Flood (Lev 18:6-18).  It was perfectly appropriate (and necessary!) for people to marry their close relations during early Earth history.  It was also perfectly safe because there was no worry about the genetic problems that we face today.  Today, when people marry someone that is too closely related to themselves, there is a risk of emphasizing genetic defects in the next generation – such as the infamous cases of hemophilia found amongst European royalty.  This wouldn’t have been a problem for the earliest generations of mankind.  In the beginning, Adam and Eve were perfect and without any genetic flaws whatsoever (Gen 1:31).  Therefore, there was no risk for them or for the generations that closely followed them of spreading a genetic flaw.  So yes, as strange as it may seem, Adam and Eve’s children married each other.

Day 238 - Jude

Thursday, November 26, 2015

5 minutes a day 5 days a week All the New Testament in a year

No Fear

Thursday, November 26, 2015
I am a christian, but there is one thing I've always been confused about. Hundreds of times throughout the Bible (Old and New Testaments) we are told to "fear the Lord" (Some examples are Deu 10:20, Ps 2:11, Ps 112:1, and Eccl 3:14), but then in certain passages it says that if God lives in you, there is no fear (like 1 Jn 4:18).  This seems to be terribly contradictory and confusing.  Can you explain it to me, please?

 

Sincerely,
Panic Attack

Dear Panic Attack,

The word ‘fear’ is used in two senses throughout the Bible.  ‘Fear’ is sometimes used to mean ‘terror and dread’.  This can easily be seen in the verses like Heb 13:6 and Acts 16:29.  This is the way we use the word ‘fear’ in our modern speech.  However, there is a second distinctly different meaning for ‘fear’.  ‘Fear’ can also refer to ‘respect and reverence’.  When God tells a woman to fear her husband – that means to respect him (Eph 5:33).  It wouldn’t make sense for God to command a wife to be terrified or to dread her husband.  This is also what is meant when God commands servants to fear their masters (1 Pet 2:18).

When God tells us to fear Him, He means that we should revere and honor Him above all others (1 Pet 2:17).  We should never forget that God is in control and mightier than us; those who forget to respect and revere God will be condemned (Rom 3:16-18).

However, when we turn to God and devote ourselves in love to Him, we no longer need to fear Him as our enemy.  When we love God and draw near to Him, He draws near to us (Jas 4:8).  We can now approach God as our Father (Rom 8:15).  As we perfect our love for God, we need no longer tremble in terror (which is one type of fear) because our respect and reverence (another type of fear) for our Heavenly Father has allowed us to boldly approach Him without fear of judgment (1 Jn 4:16-18).

"Gute" Enough For Gutenberg

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
I was wondering when the Bible was being copied and spread around, how careful were they about copying it?  Because I know they didn't have ‘copy-and-paste’ back then.

 

Sincerely,
Control C

Dear Control C,

The people who copied the Bible were so accurate and detail-oriented… they would put any OCD accountant to shame.  Those who made copies of the Bible were called ‘scribes’.  Ezra, from the book of Ezra, was a scribe (Ezra 7:6).  Scribes are recorded throughout Jewish history, from the time of David (2 Sam 8:17) all the way into the time of Christ (Matt 8:19).  Scribes were so proficient at copying text that they were also employed as lawyers because of their precise knowledge of all things legal.

When scribes copied a biblical text, they had some very stringent rules that they followed.  Secular history tells us that these rules were universal amongst scribes, and the rules were followed very, VERY strictly.  Here are some of those rules:

  1. Every word must be verbalized aloud while writing.
  2. There must be a review within thirty days, and if more than three pages required corrections, the whole document was destroyed.
  3. Letters, words, and paragraphs were counted, and the middle paragraph, word, and letter must correspond to the original document.
  4. If two letters touched, the entire manuscript had to be redone.
  5. Each column of writing could have no less than forty-eight, and no more than sixty, lines.

As you can tell from the list, scribes were exceptionally meticulous about accuracy.  The proof of this accuracy can be seen in the Dead Sea Scrolls.  When the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, amongst them was uncovered a copy of the Book of Isaiah that had been written by scribes.  This copy of Isaiah was ONE THOUSAND years older than any other previous copy.  Yet, over that thousand-year time span, there was no notable disagreement between the manuscripts.  In fact, the only difference between the Dead Sea Scroll copy and the other copies were punctuation marks and spelling differences.  There is no doubt that God has perfectly preserved the Bible over the centuries.

Day 237 - 3 John

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

5 minutes a day 5 days a week All the New Testament in a year

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