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 Post subject: My literalism is acting up again.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:22 pm
Posts: 8837
:? We are doing the story of Isaac being sacrificed and as i read thru the passage i see God says THREE times that Isaac is Abraham's "only" son. The third time, at least in the NKJV, it's pretty emphatic, "because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son...".

Obviously Isaac was not Abraham's ONLY son. Did God forget about the other son? :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: My literalism is acting up again.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:14 pm
Posts: 8115
It IS acting up, isn't it? :ugeek:

Okay, when you read a passage like this, you HAVE to make basic assumptions.

A. God is Truth.
B. God is omniscient.
C. Therefore: There's not a mistake on his part.
D. The Bible is trustworthy - there's not a mistake in the Textus Receptus.

Which leaves us with two options:
1) translator/printer etc. error or
2) reader error (that's you ;) )

One class I took years ago said, Never use the parts of the Bible you DON'T understand to change your understanding of the parts of the Bible you DO understand. Good solid expression there : )

As it happens, I remember reading an article on this very question a while back. Unfortunately, I cannot find it :roll: .
But, the gist of it is this:
"Only" doesn't mean that there are no others in the general sense, but in the specific sense. Isaac was the only son of the promise. The only son of Sarah. And, as Strong's points out, "only" can be translated "beloved" or "united" as well as "only." Perhaps, in the modern vernacular, if we were doing a loose paraphrase, we might say "favorite" rather than "only"

But, besides the translational issue, there's a reader issue: we are not disturbed when we hear that God "gave His Only Son" for us - even tho the Scriptures tell us that we "shall be called the Children of God" - there's a difference between "Only" and "only" - we know it when we read about Christ and ourselves, but forget it when we read about Isaac. Isaac was UNIQUE : )

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