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The Land of Nod

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  • The Land of Nod

    Why is the Land of Nod interpreted as something figurative, and not a literal pre-Cain civilization. it seems to me that that would be the most likely way to interpret history. It seems though that the reluctance to interpret it this way is because there are theological implications that would conflict with certain schools of thought. What implications, if any, are there, if the Land of Nod was indeed a civilization that pre-dated Cain? If I had no pre-requisite knowledge, and I was offered two different explanations regarding this matter, I would have to go with the pre-existent civilization. It just seems to make the most sense when reading the text. Thank You!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Machinist View Post
    Why is the Land of Nod interpreted as something figurative, and not a literal pre-Cain civilization. it seems to me that that would be the most likely way to interpret history. It seems though that the reluctance to interpret it this way is because there are theological implications that would conflict with certain schools of thought. What implications, if any, are there, if the Land of Nod was indeed a civilization that pre-dated Cain? If I had no pre-requisite knowledge, and I was offered two different explanations regarding this matter, I would have to go with the pre-existent civilization. It just seems to make the most sense when reading the text. Thank You!
    IIRC, "Nod" means wander so it has generally been viewed as the land where nomads live. Not necessarily a country per se but a region. I'd see Genesis 4:12, where Cain is cursed to be "a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth," as supporting this, but then his later building a city (Genesis 4:17) seemingly contradicts it.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization thatís not the argument." --Tassman

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    • #3
      The text has Cain lamenting that he surely will be killed in the land of Nod because of the thing has done. So it seems like this civilization of Nod was built upon law and order.

      My question is does the existence of other groups of people, or other civilizations conflict with the rest of the Bible?

      Comment


      • #4
        Cain had a wife, and there were other people who Cain feared would avenge Abel's death. Obviously Eve must have given birth to other children.

        Eve gave birth to one more son and named him Seth, meaning "compensation" (Genesis 4:25, Keil & Delitzsch Commentary), but that doesn't necessarily mean she had no other sons, just that Seth was a compensation for Cain.

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        • #5
          I'm referring to a literal reading of the text.

          There weren't just other people. There was a society, a civilization, built upon moral laws, that Cain feared.

          Who was the mother of the people in this civilization? Where did they come from?

          And why does there seem to be hesitancy to entertain the possibility that maybe there were other creation events not described in the Bible.

          What doctrine or doctrines would this undermine?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Machinist View Post
            I'm referring to a literal reading of the text.

            There weren't just other people. There was a society, a civilization, built upon moral laws, that Cain feared.

            Who was the mother of the people in this civilization? Where did they come from?
            Eve, ultimately. We know from Gen. 5:4 that she had other sons and daughters besides Cain, Abel, and Seth. We don't know that she had none after Cain and Abel, but before Seth. We infer she did. Given the number of centuries involved, it is entirely possible that the Genesis account only lists a very few highlights, including the most notable persons.

            And why does there seem to be hesitancy to entertain the possibility that maybe there were other creation events not described in the Bible.

            What doctrine or doctrines would this undermine?
            It conflicts most explicitly with Gen. 3:20, which states that Eve was "the mother of all the living." IOW, no one who has ever lived had or has an ancestry that did not begin with Eve.

            It conflicts at least implicitly with the NT passages that contrast "Adam," the "first man," with Christ, the "second man" and "last Adam." (The idea is that from a Christian perspective, there are exactly two branches of humanity: Those whose only lineage is physical, leading back to Adam, and those who have been reborn and have a spiritual lineage in Christ.) -- Mainly 1 Cor. 15, also probably Rom. 5.
            Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

            Beige Nationalist.

            "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

            Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

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            • #7
              Thank you NorrinRadd.

              This passage has to be one of the more enigmatic in all the Bible. I guess for me personally, it just seems that the interpretation that requires the least explanation sounds the most likely way the author intended. I don't know abut the centuries that you are referring to. Could you elaborate? Yes, what you state about the doctrinal conflict is what I had expected. Thank you for confirming that!

              The mother of all living statement regarding Eve could go 2 ways it seems: One is that she is the mother of all living....the other she is the mother of all living Hebrew People.

              I understand that it would conflict doctrinally. What of Original Sin for instance? Which honestly, as a Christian myself, things like the passage in question here makes me reflect on these fundamental notions of Biblical Truth. And I feel that that is a good thing, hopefully bringing my understanding to a greater level of maturity. I don't feel as though I am seeking to find holes in the story, and I feel comfortable facing difficult questions like this. Nor do I feel that I will be damned for pausing, and suspending my preconceived notions and objectively taking a look.

              So the detail in question is this other civilization and any implications it's existence may have.

              I would like to discuss this to the fullest capacity.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you NorrinRadd.

                This passage has to be one of the more enigmatic in all the Bible. I guess for me personally, it just seems that the interpretation that requires the least explanation sounds the most likely way the author intended. I don't know abut the centuries that you are referring to. Could you elaborate? Yes, what you state about the doctrinal conflict is what I had expected. Thank you for confirming that!

                The mother of all living statement regarding Eve could go 2 ways it seems: One is that she is the mother of all living....the other she is the mother of all living Hebrew People.

                I understand that it would conflict doctrinally. What of Original Sin for instance? Which honestly, as a Christian myself, things like the passage in question here makes me reflect on these fundamental notions of Biblical Truth. And I feel that that is a good thing, hopefully bringing my understanding to a greater level of maturity. I don't feel as though I am seeking to find holes in the story, and I feel comfortable facing difficult questions like this. Nor do I feel that I will be damned for pausing, and suspending my preconceived notions and objectively taking a look.

                So the detail in question is this other civilization and any implications it's existence may have.

                I would like to discuss this to the fullest capacity.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Pardon the double post there. I am also having trouble with my avatar.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Machinist View Post
                    Thank you NorrinRadd.

                    This passage has to be one of the more enigmatic in all the Bible. I guess for me personally, it just seems that the interpretation that requires the least explanation sounds the most likely way the author intended. I don't know abut the centuries that you are referring to. Could you elaborate? Yes, what you state about the doctrinal conflict is what I had expected. Thank you for confirming that!

                    The mother of all living statement regarding Eve could go 2 ways it seems: One is that she is the mother of all living....the other she is the mother of all living Hebrew People.

                    I understand that it would conflict doctrinally. What of Original Sin for instance? Which honestly, as a Christian myself, things like the passage in question here makes me reflect on these fundamental notions of Biblical Truth. And I feel that that is a good thing, hopefully bringing my understanding to a greater level of maturity. I don't feel as though I am seeking to find holes in the story, and I feel comfortable facing difficult questions like this. Nor do I feel that I will be damned for pausing, and suspending my preconceived notions and objectively taking a look.

                    So the detail in question is this other civilization and any implications it's existence may have.

                    I would like to discuss this to the fullest capacity.
                    What you are talking about is the possibility of pre-Adamites and what the Bible refers to human, i.e., "Biblical man"

                    I'm always still in trouble again

                    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization thatís not the argument." --Tassman

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Pre-Adamites...Co-Adamites...yes. Other created people or people groups.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Machinist View Post
                        Pre-Adamites...Co-Adamites...yes. Other created people or people groups.
                        This brings up something that I wrote awhile back in a thread wrt evolution.

                        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                        We already see human settlements far into the Americas from that time with places like Cactus Hill in Virginia likely dating from that time and Monte Verde way down in Chile being dated from this time and possibly even a good bit earlier. And then there is the evidence provided from genomes being sequenced as well.

                        As Charles Hodge, who wrote in What is Darwinism? that "Darwinism is atheism"[1] (p.156), observed in his Systematic Theology: "The scriptures do not teach us how long men have existed on earth. Their tables of genealogy were [not] intended to prove ... how many years had elapsed between creation and the advent." He is far from alone what with a number of Biblical scholars (Green, Orr, Warfield etc.) also say that it is a mistake to attempt to use Genesis genealogies to determine the time at which Adam and Eve (or the first homo Sapiens, for that matter) actually lived.

                        And again, this all raises the possibility that there were what we would regard as humans living for along, long time. Cro-Magnons, now referred to as Early Modern Humans (EMH) date back to at least 48,000 years ago. This again leads us to the point that there could be a profound difference between what science calls human and what the Bible refers to human. "Biblical man" could have arose from when he was given a "God-breathed" soul and a type of consciousness (and conscience) that had not previously existed in any "pre-Adamic" man.

                        Of course Biblical man could still mate with others, and the the eternal souls could be passed down through their progeny. That there were other humans around would explain the Mark of Cain (why would he need an identifying mark when if there were no other humans just being an outsider would have been more than sufficient) and the fact that he founded a city.





                        1.Less well known is that in that work he did in fact allow for evolution, "If God made them it makes no difference so far as the question of design is concerned how he made them; whether at once or by a process of evolution." (p.95). He rejected naturalistic or materialistic views of evolution but accepted that evolution might be established and directed by God (i.e., theistic evolution).
                        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                        At this point I just want to add that the idea that Adam and Eve may have descended from earlier ancestors is not some new, radical fringe view but rather has the support[1] of a fairly large number of eminent conservative, orthodox theologians, scholars and preachers.

                        For instance, the great and highly respected Baptist theologian Augustus Hopkins Strong used the term "brute" and spoke of the brutish ancestry of human beings saying that such an ancestry was in no way incompatible with our excelling status as creatures in the image of God.

                        IIRC it is in his Systematic Theology (which has been a mainstay of Baptist theological education even today and still required reading in some conservative Christian colleges) where Strong drew an analogy with Christ's miraculous conversion of water into wine saying that

                        "The wine in the miracle was not water because water had been used in the making of it, nor is man a brute because the brute has made some contributions to its creation."


                        And at the 17th Annual Sessions of the Baptist Congress held in the Delaware Baptist Church in Buffalo, New York during November of 1898 Strong stated

                        "That man is the offspring of the brute creation does not prevent him from being also the offspring of God."


                        Another well regarded Baptist, the Rev. Billy Graham, who is arguably the greatest evangelist of our time, is of a similar mind as Strong, stating in his autobiography Billy Graham: Personal Thoughts of a Public Man (written with the help of David Frost)

                        "I don't think that there's any conflict at all between science today and the Scriptures. I think that we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we've tried to make the Scriptures say things they weren't meant to say, I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science. The Bible is a book of Redemption, and of course I accept the Creation story. I believe that God did create the universe. I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process and at a certain point He took this person or being and made him a living soul or not, does not change the fact that God did create man ... I personally believe that it's just as easy to accept the fact that God took some dust and blew on it and out came a man as it is to accept the fact that God breathed upon man and he became a living soul and it started with some protoplasm and went right on up through the evolutionary process. Either way is by faith and whichever God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man's relationship to God."


                        And this wasn't something that Graham has only recently come to believe. Nearly 50 years prior to this Graham is quoted in the United Church Observer in July of 1966 that

                        "How you believe doesn't affect the doctrine. Either at a certain moment in evolution God breathed into one particular ape-man who was Adam, or God could have taken a handful of dust and blowed and created a man just like that."


                        Benjamin B. Warfield, rightly regarded as the great apologist or champion of biblical inerrancy and whose influence can be seen in the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (in that he was probably the most vocal advocate of that doctrine), held that there was nothing in the first chapters of Genesis that could not be properly interpreted in a way consistent with the evolutionary development of the present world. He explained that

                        "If under the directing hand of God a human body is formed at a leap by propagation from brutish parents [that is, per saltum evolution (evolution by mutation)], it would be quite consonant with the fitness of things that it should be provided by his creative energy with a truly human soul."


                        IOW, God created the matter of the universe with the forces of nature ex nihilo, through evolution he providentially formed man, and by a special act of mediate creation he created the soul of humans.

                        George Frederick Wright, who pastored Congregational churches in Vermont and Massachusetts before becoming professor and later professor emeritus of New Testament language and literature at Oberlin Theological Seminary, pointed out that Genesis truthfully portrayed "an ordered progress from lower to higher forms of matter and life" that left room for God's creation of life forms with "a marvelous capacity for variation" -- and for Adam and Eve as well.

                        He held that the biblical creation accounts were meant to teach theological truths, and thus should not be expected to reveal scientific knowledge.

                        The Rev. George Macloskie who wrote in his Theistic Evolution in 1898 that

                        "It has been recognized that man may have been both created and evolved, that his creation may have been effected under divinely directed evolution, either as a natural development or possibly as a development with supernatural incidents and expediated."


                        Elsewhere he remarked that "the theory of the Pre-adamites does not affect the unity of the race" while simultaneously noting that the "Bible seems to set forth Adam as our first father."

                        James Orr, yet another influential defender of evangelical doctrine and a contributor to The Fundamentals, who was a vocal critic of theological liberalism with his writings and lectures upholding the doctrines of the virgin birth and resurrection of Jesus, and the infallibility of the Bible, was also open to the idea. He once noted that

                        "evolution is coming to be recognized as but a new name for creation."


                        This view was echoed by others like William L. Poteat, President of Wake Forest University who defended the teaching of evolution as the "divine method of creation", arguing it was fully compatible with Baptist beliefs.

                        The last great conservative and utterly orthodox Christian thinker that I'll cite is G.K. Chesterton, who wrote in his classic of Christian apologetics, Orthodoxy:

                        "IF evolution simply means that a positive thing called an ape turned very slowly into a positive thing called a man, then it is stingless for the most orthodox; for a personal God might just as well do things slowly as quickly, especially if, like the Christian God, he were outside time."


                        There are a good many others with the above list being anything but an exhaustive list.

                        A few others include the Congregational evangelist R. A. Torrey, one of the three editors of The Fundamentals[2], the series of essays that gave its name to what came to be called "fundamentalism," and who accepted the idea of pre-Adamites.

                        Gleason Archer was yet another one who believed in pre-Adamism. Gleason writes in his 1985 book titled A Survey of Old Testament Introduction:

                        "To revert to the problem of the Pithecanthropus, the Swanscombe man, the Neanderthal and all the rest (possibly even the Cro-magnon man, who is apparently to be classed as Homo sapiens, but whose remains seem to date back at least to 20,000 B.C.) it seems best to regard these races as all prior to Adams time, and not involved in the Adamic covenant. We must leave the question open, in view of the cultural remains, whether these pre-Adamic creatures had souls (or, to use the trichotomic terminology, spirits)."


                        And the well known Anglican cleric John R.W. Stott[3] also believed that God could have created Adam out of some supposed pre-Adamite "hominid".

                        So it seems that I'm standing on pretty firm ground here.







                        1. or at the very least consider it a distinct, viable possibility

                        2. A.C. Dixon, was another editor of The Fundamentals), is cited much in the same way Charles Hodge is (see post #130 including the footnote) for his comments against "evolution" -- but his target was actually Spencer and the Social Gospel. As one biographer, Brena M. Meeham, wrote:

                        "Dixon upheld the possibility that Darwinian evolution could find a place in the Bible, with God as Evolver and evolution as his method of creation."


                        3. Stott was one of the authors of the Lausanne Covenant (a 1974 Christian religious manifesto promoting active world-wide Christian evangelism and one of the most influential documents in modern Evangelical Christianity. It was written and adopted by 2300 evangelicals at the International Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland, from which it takes its name). Time Magazine ranked John R.W. Stott among the top 100 MOST influential people in the world in 2005.
                        So it really doesn't look like it would be that much of a threat to the Bible or biblical doctrine itself, but rather more of one to particular biblical interpretations.

                        Kind of like what happened after we realized that the earth circled the sun and not the other way around


                        I'm always still in trouble again

                        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization thatís not the argument." --Tassman

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                        • #13
                          Wow. That's a lot of material you posted there. Thank you thank you! I will read it all several times and ponder everything. That's alot of homework. Give me a day or so!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The stakes may be a little higher if we take a leap and posit that any Pre-Adamites had souls or spirits. Did their Eve eat of the fruit as well?

                            This civilization that Cain feared we know from the text had a moral law. It stands to reason that that if they had a moral law, then they also had a conscience, and from there, it's just a matter of abstraction to get to the soul and spirit.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Machinist View Post
                              The stakes may be a little higher if we take a leap and posit that any Pre-Adamites had souls or spirits. Did their Eve eat of the fruit as well?

                              This civilization that Cain feared we know from the text had a moral law. It stands to reason that that if they had a moral law, then they also had a conscience, and from there, it's just a matter of abstraction to get to the soul and spirit.
                              Scripture Verse: Genesis 3:6

                              So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate

                              © Copyright Original Source



                              While it can be argued that all animals have souls of some sort, only mankind were bestowed with immortal souls.

                              I'm always still in trouble again

                              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization thatís not the argument." --Tassman

                              Comment

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