Gidon and Pastor Latta - December 18, 2023
Bible Study: Genesis and Exodus
Alan and Gidon had an in-depth discussion about the Bible, specifically focusing on specific passages in the books of Genesis and Exodus. Alan highlighted certain verses that he had recently discovered, which he felt were significant. Gidon, using a traditional Bible, confirmed the verses Alan mentioned and also explained the method of breaking up text in the Bible, pointing out the absence of breaks in Chapter 4.
Burning Bush Revelation Location Debate
Gidon and Alan discussed the location of the burning bush revelation. Gidon asserted that it occurred on Mount Sinai, a fact that Alan hadn’t noticed.
Biblical Chapter Division Discussion
Gidon and Alan discussed the division of chapters within the biblical story, specifically focusing on Chapter 3, Chapter 4, and the beginning of Chapter 5. Gidon clarified that the story begins in Chapter 3, verse 5 and that Chapter 4 begins mid-passage, contrary to the way Christian tradition has organized these chapters. Gidon emphasized the importance of this story in Jewish tradition.
Free Will in Judaism and Ethics
Gidon and Alan discussed the concept of free will, its significance in Judaism, and its impact on human accountability and ethical decision-making. Gidon emphasized that without free will, rewards or punishments would be meaningless, and he used a humorous example to illustrate their point. Alan agreed with Gidon’s argument, raising a question about God’s ability to suspend a person’s freedom to get their attention.
Biblical Figures and Mental Illness
Alan and Gidon had a conversation about biblical figures King Saul and David, focusing on the concept of free will and mental illness. Gidon, drawing from his religious studies, clarified that he didn’t believe in demons and viewed King Saul’s condition as mental illness. They also discussed the significance of music in soothing King Saul.
Genesis 15 and the Pillar of Fire: A Biblical Discussion
Gidon and Alan engaged in a conversation about the biblical text of Genesis 15. Gidon agreed to this line of inquiry and further discussed the possible connections between this symbolism and the pillar of fire and cloud that led the Israelites through the wilderness.
Abraham’s Covenants and Circumcision
Gidon explained the traditional method of studying the Bible, looking at the way characters like Abraham made covenants. Gidon also touched upon the idea of making oaths or covenants in Abraham’s time, where the physical symbol of God’s holiness, the commandment of circumcision, was used instead of a Bible as we use today.
Biblical Covenant and Significance of Seven
Gidon discussed a biblical story involving Abraham and Elimemlech, focusing on their decision to make a covenant. Gidon explained that Abram, as Abraham was also known, presented seven sheep as a symbol of their agreement. They emphasized the significance of the number seven in both the covenant and the Hebrew language. Gidon concluded by stating that this practice was a common one in biblical times.
Religious Texts and Historical Context
Gidon discussed the historical context of religious texts from Abraham’s time, specifically focusing on the Bible. They highlighted the existence of other texts from the same era, such as the code of Hammurabi, and discussed the question of the authorship of the Bible. Gidon also touched upon the absence of texts from the time of King Melchizedek, as mentioned in the Bible, and speculated about the possibility of Hammurabi being a contemporary of Moses.
Jewish Tradition and Academic Scholarship
Gidon discussed the increasing number of orthodox Jews who hold traditional beliefs but also have academic qualifications, citing a website called ‘TheTorah.com’ which aims to bridge the gap between traditional Jewish scholarship and academic scholarship. Gidon mentioned a book named “Ani Maamin” (I Believe) by Dr. Joshua Berman from Bar Ilan University, an orthodox university, and suggested that Alan might find it interesting. Alan brought up the concept of obedience as a bridge, referencing the story of Abraham in Genesis 15. They also discussed the promises made to Abraham and the ongoing conflicts related to them, specifically focusing on the promise of land from the Euphrates to the River.
Bible Interpretation: Questioning Tradition
Gidon and Alan engaged in a deep discussion about the interpretation of the Bible. Gidon emphasized the importance of questioning and grappling with the text, rather than blindly accepting traditional understandings. They suggested that the Bible contains ambiguities that readers should struggle with, rather than dismissing them. Gidon also highlighted the importance of individual interpretation and the need to respect others’ interpretations. Alan agreed, suggesting that this wrestling with the text could help shape character.