I want to warn you before you read this blog I am writing currently. I WILL BE TALKING ABOUT RELIGION and questionable controversial text in the Bible, Torah, and the Quran. If you don’t read this with an open mind and an inkling of curiosity you may be offended. This blog is a way to fuel my curiosity and show my findings for someone who is also curious. I will be respectful in the right that anything read in these passages and texts does not take away the significance, power and sheer awesomeness of these religious tomes.
Adam and Eve -“In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.”In this passage Adam is both male and female. In Hebrew Adam means “man” as in humans not a singular male person. The word Adam was derived from the Hebrew word אדם meaning “to be red” referring to the ruddy colour of human skin. Eve in Hebrew was derived from חוה(chawah) which means “to breathe” or חיה (chayah) which means “to live”. So this passage could very well be talking about making the human race not one man and woman.
Another piece of this story that has been up for debate is Adam and Eve is not the story of creation for mankind in the physical world, but rather the creation of humans in spirit. According to orthodoxcatholicnew.com the story of Adam and Eve is an allegory meaning that it has a message, usually a whole string of truths one leading to another which is somewhat a theme in Genesis. The Garden eastward in “Eden” is usually identified with paradise which is described as a spiritual realm(2 Cor. 12. 2 – 4). The site uses Genesis 2 and 3 to make their point that Adam was in a spiritual state before entering Earth-life. This concept was not widely accepted until around the time of Alexander the Great. In some Pagan writings there are references made for this new intellection.
Christ and the original Apostles, who loathed the idea of the Hellenization of Jewish thought. This was a foreign idea incongruous to what they were being taught. Origen the great Christian scholar of the 3rd century wrote this about the subject:”Who would be so childish as to think that God was like a human gardener and planted a paradise in Eden facing the east, and in it made a real visible tree, so that one could acquire life by eating its fruit with real teeth or, again, could participate in good and evil by eating what he took from the other tree? And if the text says that God walked in the garden in the evening, or Adam hid himself under the tree, I cannot think that anyone would dispute that these things are said in the figurative sense, in an effort to reveal certain mysteries by means of an apparent historical tale and not by something that actually took place. . . . . ” (First Principles – 4: 16 by Origen of Alexandria)
Genesis 2:4 sums up the physical creation with “These are the generations of the heavens and earth…..” “generations” in Hebrew translates to “Toledath” which means “the origins of”. The interpretation is “this is the book of origins of the heavens and earth…” This information refers back to all the preceding chapters before it.
Different Verses in the Qur’an
1. Punishment for stealing As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise.” Qur’an-5:38- (5:39) But if the thief has repented and returned all the stolen goods and has mended himself, then truly Allah turns to him in forgiveness; surely Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. –
According to a (astudyofthequran.org) article says that the issue of cutting off a thief’s hand would not come up at all. In a truly Islamic state there would be social justice and the state would act as a trustee for the people. In the Qur’an, hunger, injustice and poverty would be eliminated and wealth would be used for the prosperity of the people not one single interest.
2. Does the Qur’an sanction the beating of women? (4:34) […]as for those women on whose part ye fear rebellion (nushuz), admonish them and banish them to beds apart, (and last) beat (adriboo) them. Then, if they obey you, seek not a way against them. (4:35) And if ye fear a breach between them twain (the man and the wife), appoint an arbiter from his folk and an arbiter from her folk. If they desire amendment Allah will make them of one mind. Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Aware.
Below are passages that give the true understanding of the role of women and their importance.
(2:228) […]the rights of the wives (with regard to their husbands) are equal to their (husbands’) rights with regard to them, although men have a degree (of advantage) over them. Allah is Almighty, Wise.
Physical strength is given to the man for the role he plays as a dominant role as a maintainer and as a counter measure the woman is given economic dependence in the sense that the woman’s earnings are entirely her own. The earnings are not to be mixed with the family’s earnings.
(33:35) Lo! Men who surrender unto Allah, and women who surrender, and men who believe and women who believe, and men who obey and women who obey, and men who speak the truth and women who speak the truth, and men who persevere (in righteousness) and women who persevere, and men who are humble and women who are humble, and men who give alms and women who give alms, and men who fast and women who fast, and men who guard their modesty and women who guard (their modesty), and men who remember Allah much and women who remember — Allah hath prepared for them forgiveness and a reward.
3. Polygamy in Islam
(4:2,3) Give unto orphans their wealth, exchange not the good for the bad (in your management thereof) nor absorb their wealth. Lo! That would be a great sin. And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hand possess. Thus it is more likely that ye will not do injustice.
The position of the Qur’an in this passage is that you must be able to with just equality, meaning you must be able to provide, financially, emotionally and equally to each new wife you were to marry, that goes for caring and fathering of the children.(4: 129) Ye will not be able to deal equally between (your) wives, however much ye wish (to do so). But turn not altogether away (from one), leaving her in suspense. If ye do good and keep from evil, lo! Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.
There is an argument that suggests both Europe and America has supported polygamy, but not legalized it in the way Muslim husbands are bound legally to take care of all of his families. If you see the families in Centennial Park that have been featured on Polygamy USA by National Geographic. The families defend their lifestyle choices.
What the Torah says about says about homosexuality?
Shelly a blogger for Temple Beth Am Tikkan Olam questions the Torah’s teachings and asks if the teachings are being taken too literal. For example they write:Leviticus Chapter 18, Verse 22: which states that “A man should not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, it is to’ebah.” The word “to’ebah” translates to mean “an offensive thing,” not “abomination” as I believe conservatives have mis-translated it. One main argument questioning this passage is why does it only condemn male on male homosexuality and not a woman with a woman?
The second point made in the article is the word” to’ebah” means an offensive thing NOT A SIN. In the entire Torah the word to’ebah is not used to define acts that are forbidden in the scriptures. Whether homosexuality is right or wrong is not questioned in the Torah. One point the author makes is that as long as the homosexual acts are not a mimicking of heterosexual procedure which would be taken offensively, then the Torah accepts homosexuality as a special relationship.
Opposition to Deuteronomy 33-34
So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-Peor; but no man knows his grave till this day. And Moses was 120 years old when he died; his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; and the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended. And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him; and the people of Israel listened to him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses. And there has not arisen since in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. In all the signs and the wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land. And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great and awesome deeds which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel. (Deut. 34:5 to 34:12)
According to aish.com the last eight verses pose challenges that the Torah was dictated by God to Moses. The Master has said: “Joshua wrote the book which bears his name and the last eight verses of the Pentateuch. This statement is in agreement with the authority who says that eight verses in the Torah were written by Joshua, as it has been taught: So Moses the servant of the Lord died there. Now is it possible that Moses being dead could have written the words, ‘Moses died there’? The truth is, however, that up to this point Moses wrote, from this point Joshua wrote. This is the opinion of Rabbi Judah, or, according to others, of Rabbi Nehemiah.” [But] Rabbi Shimon said to him: “Can the scroll of the law be short of one word? … No; what we must say is that up to this point the Holy One, blessed be He, dictated and Moses repeated and wrote, and from this point God dictated and Moses wrote with tears.” (Baba Bathra 15a) – The question here is was Moses or Joshua the spiritual channel for the word of God?
There are eight verses that give challenge to the way to think about who god was speaking to and who wrote the Torah. The website aish.com digs deeper into this mystery that contradicts that Moses wrote the Torah.
As always let me know what you think and give any commentary you may have.