Did God lie? Please discuss!

Fateless7
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Did God lie? Please discuss!

Hi everyone! I just stumbled upon this contradiction tonight while enjoying "The Brick Testament" and I would like thoughts from both theists and atheists on this matter.

Ok. God says no one can see his face and survive the experience:

Exodus

33:17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

33:18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
33:19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

Right? But in Genesis, Jacob proves God wrong:

Genesis

32:24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.

32:25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
32:26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
32:27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
32:28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
32:29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

Any thoughts on this? I am trying to play "devil's advocate" and say that Exodus happened after Genesis, and perhaps after the time of Genesis, God decided he should stop joking around and really have a face that no one can see and survive.

However, Jacob specifically says, "...and my life is preserved." This implies that the fatal nature of God's face is known to Jacob, and Jacob realizes he has survived the encounter anyway.

Either way, it would seem that God lied to Moses. It's not like he said, "No man can see my face and survive... except for this one time when I was drunk, but now, it's 'for reals'."

If God has a face, is he really omnipresent? How big does his face have to be to be everywhere at the same time? Many questions can be asked about this issue, but I'll stop here as not to complicate things further.

Please share your thoughts on this!


LosingStreak06
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According to some Christian

According to some Christian guy I talked to (I've talked to a lot of them), the God that Jacob wrestles with is actually a from of Jesus. The Father (who speaks to Moses in Exodus) cannot take physical form, but Jesus, who is the Word, can. So, according to him, while Jacob did wrestle with God, he didn't wrestle with the same God who spoke to Moses. He was actually wrestling with Jesus. But I don't think that would really make sense, since the stories were written by Jews, and that would make no sense at all to them.

Some other dude I talked to said that it was actually an angel of the Lord that Jacob wrestled with. But I'm not familiar with the translations, so who knows about that one.

On another hand, and this is just tossing ideas around, but perhaps since the Jacob story actually takes place before the ordeal with Moses, it was a "from this point onward" type of deal. Kind of like how they claim that incest wasn't wrong until God said it was.

It would seem, however, that whoever told the story of Jacob obviously knew of God's telling Moses about seeing his face and dying. The mere fact that he specifically mentions that Jacobs life was preserved (as though this would be unexpected) indicates some sort of significance in reference to Jacob. I'm not familiar with any scholarly work on this particular story, so everything I mention here is pure speculation, but I would imagine that Jacob (being renamed Israel) is allegorical to the Hebrew people. God designates Jacob (the Iraelites) as his chosen people, declaring that only they have seen him and are preserved.

More likely, though, it's something that I haven't even mentioned yet, and someone who is more educated than I will come along to save me from my blunders. 


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Since this it the kill em

Since this it the kill em with kindness forum, I will keep my fangs retracted.

But, I will say this. It never ceases to amaze me the plyability of that book. One person could see instructions on how to make a P-B&J and twist it into instructions on how to replace a distributor cap.

The bottem line is that the theist will see what they want to see. You cant have it both ways and the original post does demonstrate a contradiction. 

If you write something ambigious and plyable you can twist it into anything and give it any meaning. 

 

 

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LosingStreak, there's

LosingStreak, there's another possible explanation you didn't mention: maybe the bible is just a bunch of made up stories that are specific enough to contradict each other but vague enough to be twisted around to reinforce any belief.

 

In the absence of any evidence for being the word of a deity or devinely inspired, this should be the default position when reading such stories and i'll go with it.

 

cheers!

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Fateless7
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Losingstreak, lol-- you

Losingstreak, lol-- you made some of the same points I did in my original post!

Thanks for sharing what "that Christian guy" said. His theory is very interesting to me, and obviously creates some problems for the rest of the Biblical stories:

If Jacob wrestled with Jesus, that would mean that Jesus arrived on Earth before being born to the virgin Mary!! And then you have to ask: What? No one can see Jesus's face and survive? Why does Jacob say he survived seeing Jesus's face? Wouldn't Jesus have killed anyone he came into contact with in the New Testament? Or did he wear a ninja mask? If he had previously arrived on Earth before being born, we must add that he can not only rise from the dead, but he can also turn himself into a fetus.

If Jacob is allegorical to the Hebrew people, why does he have a family of his own, and what of God injuring Jacob's thigh? Do the Hebrew people have a collective thigh, a collective wife and child? For this to truly be an allegory, the Hebrew people would not only have seen God, but they would have captured him (let me go, it is almost dawn, etc) and forced him to bless them.

Of course, as atheists who have read the Bible, we can pass this off as mythology. Can we get some theists to comment on this too?


LosingStreak06
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el.kundo

el.kundo wrote:

LosingStreak, there's another possible explanation you didn't mention: maybe the bible is just a bunch of made up stories that are specific enough to contradict each other but vague enough to be twisted around to reinforce any belief.

 

In the absence of any evidence for being the word of a deity or devinely inspired, this should be the default position when reading such stories and i'll go with it.

 

cheers!

Your powerful and constructive contribution to the topic at hand has been noted. 


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There are varying views of

There are varying views of the story because the being refused to reveal its name. It can be debated but not proven that this mysterious being was a man, an angel, or God Himself. Assuming the stranger was God Himself can only be concluded through the naming of the place of struggle. Jacob named the place Penuel meaning "face of God", Jacob would be called Israel, meaning "one who has struggled with God". Neither are proof as to who the man was. 

 I have always heard that it was the guardian angel of Esau sent to destroy Jacob. All the art I have seen that depicts this story shows Jacob and an angel.

I do agree with Brian 37’s statment

“The bottom line is that the theist will see what they want to see.”

I don’t agree with: 

“You cant have it both ways and the original post does demonstrate a contradiction.” 

The reader, not the text implies the contradiction.Since we cannot name the mystery man you cannot relate this back to Exodus 33:20. by placing God in as the stranger. This is adding to the text and filling the gaps with God.


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"The reader, not the text

"The reader, not the text implies the contradiction.Since we cannot name the mystery man you cannot relate this back to Exodus 33:20. by placing God in as the stranger. This is adding to the text and filling the gaps with God."

Interesting point, however, Jacob clearly states that he has seen the face of God and survived.

Therefore, God was the man that Jacob wrestled with, or Jacob was deluded and only thought he saw God. Would you agree that Jacob, at least, believes he defeated God and survived seeing his face? I mean, he said he did.

Also, the man he wrestled with told him that he is like a prince with power over God and humans. If the man is telling the truth, then Jacob is more powerful than God. Or is the man lying in this instance?

And also... if Jacob lied about seeing God's face, why would they put it in the Bible like that? Wouldn't that amount to heresy or basically an insult to God? I will have to read to see if anything bad happens to Jacob because of his statement which pretty much calls God a liar.


Fateless7
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Possible additional evidence...

32:29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.

Wherefore is it that thou dost ask... now what does that mean? It's like saying, "Where do you get off asking me for my name? (Duh! Who else could I be?)."

We go from there... now note that Jacob held this guy captive demanding a blessing. He could have got a name from the guy too.

But here's the thing! The man's response probably is an indirect way of saying "Duh, I'm God you moron." Because Jacob then states specifically that he has seen God's face. I'm thinking the story leans heavily to the man confirming he is God, but once again, there is the possibility that Jacob was deluded, but then we have to ask if other people in the Bible could have likewise been deluded... will do more research.


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More evidence...

Here is some evidence showing that Esau was not the man Jacob wrestled with. I could be wrong, but I would like opinions/thoughts on this.

Esau is Jacob's brother. They would have recognized each other if they had been wrestling all night, but instead, both Jacob and the man asked each other for their name. Furthermore, Esau arrives shortly after the man departs:

33:1 And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids.

Additionally, Jacob gives the blessing he received from defeating God to Esau. Jacob also hints to Esau that he has seen the face of God. It's kind of funny, actually. He's like, "It's almost as if... I'd seen the face of God... *wink wink*"

33:8 And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord. 


33:9 And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself. 


33:10 And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.


33:11 Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.

Wow! So Jacob again references seeing the face of God, and also seems to imply that his blessing was given to him by God (God hath dealt graciously with me-- an understatement) which again points to the man he wrestled, who was the one he received the blessing from.

And after that, God himself actually confirms that he was the man that Jacob wrestled with.

35:1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother


35:2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:


35:3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.

See, God appeared to Jacob when Jacob was hiding from Esau. Jacob was distressed that Esau would "smite" him and his family, and that very night, Jacob wrestled God and received God's blessing.

I could be wrong, but this seems pretty clear to me. Smiling Thoughts please!


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LosingStreak06 wrote: The

LosingStreak06 wrote:

The Father (who speaks to Moses in Exodus) cannot take physical form, but Jesus, who is the Word, can.

god can't take physical form? but, then how did he rape mary?? 

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Why are we discussing what

Why are we discussing what 'god' may or may not have said?

The discussion should have stopped here:

Quote:
Did God lie? Please discuss!

The answer is, "God IS a lie". Nothing more than mere mythology. 

 


LosingStreak06
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BGH wrote:

BGH wrote:

Why are we discussing what 'god' may or may not have said?

The discussion should have stopped here:

Quote:
Did God lie? Please discuss!

The answer is, "God IS a lie". Nothing more than mere mythology.

 

 

Because it's fun to talk about stuff like the Bible, or Harry Potter, or Tolkein's works, or even Star Trek. Now quit being a killjoy. Tongue out

 

Fateless7 wrote:

If Jacob wrestled with Jesus, that would mean that Jesus arrived on Earth before being born to the virgin Mary!! And then you have to ask: What? No one can see Jesus's face and survive? Why does Jacob say he survived seeing Jesus's face? Wouldn't Jesus have killed anyone he came into contact with in the New Testament? Or did he wear a ninja mask?

The idea is that Jesus and the Father have different faces. You can't see the Father's face and survive. Jesus, on the other hand, is A-Okay.

Quote:
If he had previously arrived on Earth before being born, we must add that he can not only rise from the dead, but he can also turn himself into a fetus.

Don't know about that one. The closest guess that I can give is that he appeared in whatever form angels appear (the guy who told me the whole "he wrestled Jesus" idea also told me that Jesus served as God's physical representative all through the OT, so apparently he pops up other places as well), but when he arrives in the NT, he is born from Mary (i.e. "The Word became flesh and comes now to dwell with us" and all that). So apparently he was some sort of robot or something before that. In any case, he didn't have his "flesh" body yet, which we see in the Gospels, but different one. He's a proto-Jesus, I guess.

Quote:
If Jacob is allegorical to the Hebrew people, why does he have a family of his own, and what of God injuring Jacob's thigh? Do the Hebrew people have a collective thigh, a collective wife and child? For this to truly be an allegory, the Hebrew people would not only have seen God, but they would have captured him (let me go, it is almost dawn, etc) and forced him to bless them.

That's a rather mocking way of asking someone a question. I must say, for someone who decided to make a topic on the KeWK forum, you aren't being very pleasant. Anyways, in terms of him having a family and such, I always thought that Jacob's twelve sons were to represent the twelve tribes of Israel, which they supposedly end up fathering. As to the entire nation of Israel needing to have captured God, I think that's a rather unfair demand. It can be allegorical without being a perfect representation.

 

djneibarger wrote:

god can't take physical form? but, then how did he rape mary??

Holy Spirit did that, IIRC. 

 


Fateless7
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LosingStreak06

LosingStreak06 wrote:

That's a rather mocking way of asking someone a question. I must say, for someone who decided to make a topic on the KeWK forum, you aren't being very pleasant. Anyways, in terms of him having a family and such, I always thought that Jacob's twelve sons were to represent the twelve tribes of Israel, which they supposedly end up fathering. As to the entire nation of Israel needing to have captured God, I think that's a rather unfair demand. It can be allegorical without being a perfect representation.

Actually, I'm being serious. If Jacob is an allegory, why can't I ask what his thigh represents? It's a valid point. There's no ad hominem going on, so I'm not sure what you find unpleasant about it.


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LosingStreak06

LosingStreak06 wrote:

Fateless7 wrote:
If Jacob is allegorical to the Hebrew people, why does he have a family of his own, and what of God injuring Jacob's thigh? Do the Hebrew people have a collective thigh, a collective wife and child? For this to truly be an allegory, the Hebrew people would not only have seen God, but they would have captured him (let me go, it is almost dawn, etc) and forced him to bless them.

That's a rather mocking way of asking someone a question. I must say, for someone who decided to make a topic on the KeWK forum, you aren't being very pleasant...

Your comment is unjustified. How did you possibly find anything cynical in this question?

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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God appeared in the form of

God appeared in the form of a man.
Then Jacob wrestled with the man.
Later in the text he describes this man as Eloheem the plural form of the Creator. This is not the personal name of God that was given to Moses and can be interpreted as God representing himself in a form not showing his complete or true image. If God was to show his true image I don’t think Jacob have any trouble identifying who the stranger was from the start.
The two stories appear contradictory but nonetheless can be explained away. Whether you accept or not or which explanation you want to accept is a personal choice. These Bible stories of man meeting God have also spun into Close Encounters of the Bible Kind, which proves God to be no more than an alien.
Quite simply, trying to find a personal interpretation of the Bible is controled by ones resolute beliefs. When trying to interpret the Bible, or almost everything else in your life, you can find what you are looking for. Attempting to prove contradictions will never rise above ad hoc rationalizing of differing concepts.

The wounded thigh represents the inevitable wounds of the Jews suffering to come, be they through persecution or assimilation.


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How can something that doesn't exist lie?

How can something that doesn't exist lie?


JCE
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LosingStreak06 wrote: BGH

LosingStreak06 wrote:
BGH wrote:

Why are we discussing what 'god' may or may not have said?

The discussion should have stopped here:

Quote:
Did God lie? Please discuss!

The answer is, "God IS a lie". Nothing more than mere mythology.

 

 

Because it's fun to talk about stuff like the Bible, or Harry Potter, or Tolkein's works, or even Star Trek. Now quit being a killjoy. Tongue out

 

LOL!  I can't wait until religion gets to the point of having 'goddies' and hosting conventions where people dress up like jesus, mary, the apostles, etc.  That would be great! 


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Some people are asking,

Some people are asking, "How can this thread be of relevance when the subject is fictional/non-existant?" Let me clarify that I am not asking about the existance of the Christian god.

I am an atheist. What I am trying to do is spark some discussion based on observation of the passages I quoted above. If you think it's fiction, take a look at the passages I've quoted and treat it as fiction, but please give me your take on it: According to the information provided, would you say that God lied in Exodus by saying none can see his face and survive?

There are some posts I made above that haven't been responded to! I've quoted additional passages that occur after Jacob's wrestling experience. These passages seem to clarify that God himself acknowledges that he was the one who wrestled with Jacob.

So, yeah, this is more of a "take it as fiction or truth, but give me your verdict based on the information" thread. I think if I was a Christian theist, this issue with Jacob would be of interest to me. Even if you can't prove who the man was (but I think you can), that possibility that it was God is still there! And you know, this might be a part of the bible that some theists never read. Nonetheless, I enjoy some good exercise using deductive logic.

Discuss on please! Posts still remaining above to be replied to!


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Mjolnin wrote: The wounded

Mjolnin wrote:
The wounded thigh represents the inevitable wounds of the Jews suffering to come, be they through persecution or assimilation.

I think there's probably more to it than that, although I haven't the slightest idea as to what exactly it is. The fact that the thigh becomes part of the Israelites dietary restrictions immediately after the event suggests some sort of deeper meaning, I would think. That, and the suffering of the Hebrews had already been alluded to in Jacob's vision of the ladder to heaven.