Re: [asa] fall of Satan logic questions

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Tue May 05 2009 - 19:14:57 EDT

Phil -

Sorry this got buried. There are a couple of ways to understand the Gideon story. OTOH, look at it in the context of all the other places in the OT in which the "angel of the LORD" figure occurs. In some it's clear, as I said, that the angel is in fact God rather thinly disguised - i.e., a literary device. That being the case, a reasonable surmise would be that it is here too & that the details you emphasize are details in the story but not historical occurences. Another possibility is that here "the angel of the LORD" is actually "an angel of the LORD" - i.e., a separate heavenly creature like the angels of later Jewish & Christian tradition. But angels like that generally don't come to prominence until the Persian period.


  ----- Original Message -----
  To: ; ;
  Sent: Saturday, May 02, 2009 1:08 AM
  Subject: Re: [asa] fall of Satan logic questions


  It seems to be a cross-roads in how much truth you ascribe to the Bible if you take the Angel of the LORD to be a mere literary device rather than an actual human-looking manifestation of God that walked on the earth. E.g., the following story couldn't have happened if it were a mere literary device:

  11 The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah... 12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said...
   14 The LORD turned to him and said... And the LORD said, "I will wait until you return."
   19 Gideon went in, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah [b] of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak.
   20 The angel of God said to him, "Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth." And Gideon did so. 21 With the tip of the staff that was in his hand, the angel of the LORD touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the LORD disappeared. 22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he exclaimed, "Ah, Sovereign LORD! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!"

  That's a lot of verbs ascribed to the Angel of the Lord. The story couldn't have happened without a human-looking manifestation standing there and doing those actions. This would require more literary invention than I'd like to believe. I'd rather believe the story actually happened and was not just invented to fill out a literary device.


  -----Original Message-----
  From: gordon brown <Gordon.Brown@Colorado.EDU>
  Sent: Fri, 1 May 2009 9:32 pm
  Subject: RE: [asa] fall of Satan logic questions

  On Fri, 1 May 2009, Dehler, Bernie wrote:
> George said:
> "I want to be clear that this figure of the angel of the LORD is a literary device, a way of speaking of a manifestation of the God of Israel. It does not refer to a separate divine person, the "unfleshed Logos.""
> Just to be clear, George. When Bible commentaries say this could be the pre-incarnate Christ, you disagree, correct? If correct, do you think your opinion is counter to most theologians in evangelical Christianity? I've never heard your view before, but I've heard many times the view that it could be the pre-incarnate Christ (could be because of the circles I'm in).
> Saying it is "just a literary device" makes sense. The pagans around that time probably all thought the gods came down and mingled with man... like even in the Bible with the Angels coming down and having kids with the beautiful women of Earth.
> ...Bernie
  It would be more accurate to say "in one interpretation of the Bible" rather than "in the Bible". There are different views about the meaning of sons of God, and I would think that all of them should be considered to be speculations.
  Gordon Brown (ASA member)
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Received on Tue May 5 19:16:35 2009

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