quote:Seems wordy. I'd try to condense the above 3 sentences into one strong thesis statement. I'd also be interested in clarification on "the Christian God" ~ is this a reference to the God of both the Tenach (OT) and NT? or just the NT? Perhaps to be clearer you might say, the God of the Hebrew (and Greek?) Scriptures.
Originally posted by YellowFreakMeg: The Greek gods and goddesses are much like people and very different from the Christian God. These different traits can be seen in all the gods with their emotions. Some apparent emotions seen in the gods and goddesses are lust, jealousy, vanity, disloyalty, and their ability to feel pain.
A number of the ugly mortal traits (e.g., disloyalty) you list above could arguably be attributed to the biblical God, esp with regards to OT books; I would disagree with those who argue such, but anyone can "cut and paste" certain passages from the bible to prove whatever they want. The task of someone who is intellectually honest is to seek to understand what the bible teaches.
Let me give you an example or two. The Hebrew Scriptures make it clear God is a very jealous Creator:
God to Moshe: Be careful not to make a covenant with the people living in the land where you are going, so that they won't become a snare within your own borders. Rather, you are to demolish their altars, smash their standing-stones and cut down their sacred poles; because you are not to bow down to any other god; since ADONAI--whose very name is Jealous--is a jealous God (Exodus 34:13-14, Complete Jewish Bible; cf. 20:5; Deut. 4:24; 6:15; 32:21).
Now, Scripture posits and assumes God is always good, holy [set apart from human depravity and failures], just in His intentions and actions towards His creation. So, however "jealousy" fits into describing Him, one must ask, what would "good, uncommon, and just" jealousy look like? Read the book of Hosea in Scripture where God tells his prophet to marry a prostitute and to love her with all of his heart (God often used prophets' lives to dramatize His relationship with Israel). Hosea obeys; eventually his wife returns to her former whoring ways.... and Hosea learns firsthand what it means to be jealous for his wife's (and his) reputation, name, and affections.
quote:I understand what you mean here regarding lust [panting for illicit sexual relations], but I think I'd define "lust" better to leave no doubt in your readers' minds.
Lust is a human emotion not felt, and even frowned upon, by the Christian God.
quote:I have trouble with the idea of "partaking of an emotion considered morally wrong" ~ what does that mean exactly? Are emotions intrinsically wrong? I'd tend to argue raw human emotions are amoral; it's how a man channels those emotions and if he acts upon them, if he feeds those emotions. For example, what if a curvaceously beautiful woman walks by a red-blooded man who is escorting his wife to her car? The husband may feel the emotion of "lust" momentarily (he's wired that way by the Creator!), but I hardly think he's partaking of an immoral emotion. Now, if he nurtures that momentary emotion, rolls it around in his head, fantasizes about having an illicit affair with the curvaceous beauty, then he's partaking of wrong. So, in the case of the Greek gods, one sees no self-discipline in their thoughts and actions. Plus, the Greek gods have bodies (they are not just incorporeal spirits); In Scripture, God is spirit who dwells in unapproachable light.
The fact that Zeus partook in an emotion considered so morally wrong is definitely human-like compared to the Christian God, who in his “perfect-ness,” would never even feel such an emotion.
quote:I'd be careful here too. There are passages in Scripture that attribute to God distress, for example:
The gods’ ability to feel pain emotionally and physically is a huge human trait.
ADONAI regretted that he had made humankind on the earth; it grieved his heart. (Genesis 6:6, CJB)
And if Adam was made in the image of God, what does being an image-bearer mean? Perhaps there is a correspondence between man's personality (mind, emotions, will) and the Creator's? In other words, does man have the capacity to suffer b/c the Moral Governor of the universe does?
I hope I haven't muddled your paper's thesis too much. You do a good job of citing examples from Greek mythology (I love Grk mythology, btw) to support your points; I'd just encourage you to make finer distinctions (e.g., the biblical God's "good" jealousy and the Greek demigods' destructive jealousy).
All good wishes,
For if sprinkling ceremonially unclean persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer restores their outward purity; then how much more the blood of the Messiah, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself to God as a sacrifice without blemish, will purify our conscience from works that lead to death, so that we can serve the living God!" ~Messianic Jews 9:13-14, Complete Jewish Bible
[This message was edited by Airedale on 09-18-04 at 10:23 AM.]
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