I understand why Rashi might like the idea of "no before or after" in the Torah, since that would fit well with the idea that the Torah is eternal. But I think his idea is entirely wrong-headed, factually false, and does serious violence to the meaning of the text.
As for the word terem: You quoted Rashi as saying " it cannot be made into a verb form, to say הִטְרִים,". This assertion is directly contradicted by Earnest Klein, author of the Exhaustive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language, who lists that exact form (the hiphil) in his dictionary.
Furthermore, Klein defines the verb terem as "to do before" and the adverb as "not yet, before, ere". So Rashi is correct that terem can mean "not yet" but he most certainly erred when he said "Every terem in Scripture has the meaning of 'not yet'".
That's three big strikes against Rashi.
Is there any reason we should trust Rashi as a commentator on the Bible?
- His "reading-rule" imposes the false notion of "no before or after"
- He erred about the definition of terem as always meaning "not yet"
- He erred about the verb terem not having a hiphil form.
"For me, I would have to see a verse that teaches we acted as individuals before being conceived before I could assert that we had pre-existence. As far as I can tell, the Bible does not make any explicit statement on this point, so it seems to be a biblical "gray area." The only hint I know of that points in the direction of pre-existence is the rather mysterious verse of John 9:1-2
John 9:1-3 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Now what sort of world-view did the disciples have that allowed them to ask if a man was "born blind" because of his own sin? Did they believe we could "sin in the womb" or that we sinned in a pre-existent state? Why didn't Jesus correct their implicit world-view if it was wrong? Why did God include this story in the Bible if the implicit world view is wrong? "
In looking again at the John 9 verses above, can we consider the following?;
1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth
At this point, we do not know anything except what we have been told. The blind man, that Jesus saw as He was passing by, was born in that condition.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
In the manner this verse is stated, it appears that the disciples knew that the blind man was born blind. And if they did have that knowledge, which we are not told that they truly knew this about the man, then, their question may be construed as to whether the blind man sinned before he was born, or, the blindness was a result of the sin of his parents before he was born, or, as a third alternative, they may have been asking the question; "Who sinned here causing this blindness? ....the blind man....or his parents?"
The question that arises, in my view, is; Could the verse be structured to say?;
2 And asked Him, the learners of Him, saying, did this one sin, or, the parents of Him that blind he may be generated?
If structured in that manner, it eliminates the issue about sin occuring by the man before he was born which cannot be supported anywhere in scripture, to my knowledge.
And, the answer that Jesus offered is more clear;
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be manifest in him.
Abraham was first called Abram.So, what did He mean when He said "Before Abraham was, I am"?
He did get the letter "hei" added to his name denoting the covenant of circumcision.
And Abram was ninety-nine years old, and God appeared to Abram, and He said to him, "I am the Almighty God; walk before Me and be perfect.
"and be perfect" :
According to its midrashic interpretation, walk before Me refers to the commandment of circumcision, and thereby, you will be perfect, for as long as the foreskin is upon you, I consider you imperfect (Gen. Rabbah 46:1). Another explanation: 'and be perfect' -Now you are missing [control over] five organs: two eyes, two ears, and the male organ. I will add a letter to your name, and the numerical value of your letters [of your name] will be 248, corresponding to the number of your organs (Tan. Lech Lecha 16, Ned. 32b).
I think Jesus was referring to this.
same notion to be found in Matthew 3:9,
And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones
"we have Abraham as our father" = we are circumcised.
same letter "hei" was added to "shishi" in Genesis 1:31.
אֵלֶּה תוֹלְדוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ, בְּהִבָּרְאָם: בְּיוֹם, עֲשׂוֹת יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים--אֶרֶץ וְשָׁמָיִם.
These are the generations of the heaven and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.
בְּהִבָּרְאָם, "b'hibaram" = when they were created,
"hibaram", written with the same letters as "Abraham" --
that's why it is read: "for the sake of Abraham."
The letter "hei" is stressed by writing it smaller than the other letters.
so one can also read: "with the letter "hei" they were created. "
John knew all about this, I am sure.
How about Romans 8:29 : For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Besides the obvious - Jeremiah 1:5 and PSALM 139 - that's all I can contribute - Besides : God is the Alpha and the Omega - and John 1:1-3 : In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And Proverbs 8:22 : The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. ... Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth...
In Christ, for of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Romans 11:36 - Amen. And we are In Christ, right? and He is from everlasting to everlasting... The Beginning and the End...
So what do you think, White? Did we have a pre-existence with God before we were conceived? My answer is "probably not" but I leave it open since the Bible doesn't actually say (as far as I can tell, anyway).
I see - Good point - Can't name any other verses right now, but I will keep this question in mind because it is so important. Personally I always felt (and I know feelings don't cut it but give me some slack) that the entire WORD OF GOD was "written" in Heaven before HE brought it down to Earth and we are just living out what is already foreknowledge of the LORD. Whether the LORD just knows all of our thoughts, actions etc. every second of the day or whether we lived our life in Heaven before we came to Earth, I do not know, but we'll find out sooner or later, right? - PSALM 139:16 : "Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be." Eyes saw, all written down, days shaped before even a day was made... Fore-knowledge yes, pre-existence may-be? You be the judge.
Of course the sin problem would kind of ruin that thought because Lucifer was kicked out of Heaven because unrighteousness was found in him - Ezekiel 28:12-19 ... you were stamped with the seal of perfection, of complete wisdom and perfect beauty. In Eden, the garden of God, you were, and every precious stone was your covering... of gold your pendants and jewels were made, on the day you were created (God and I have something in common: we are both Jewelers!), ...blameless you were in your conduct from the day you were created, until evil (unrighteousness) was found in you...violence was your business and you sinned. Then I banned you from the mountain of God... I cast you to the earth (thanks God), so great was your guilt... you have become a horror, you shall be no more (and that's a promise from GOD ALMIGHTY - I like to be on the winning team, how about you?)
Now since we are all sinners, we could not really have lived in Heaven beforehand, but Lucifer did and he did evil and was kicked out, never to enter Heaven again. Ok, I give in for today but I don't give up yet. I'll pray about it tonight during my special Prayer-time with the LORD. Maybe you'll hear from me tomorrow..., yes definately, tomorrow...
Last edited by White; 06-19-2007 at 04:20 PM.
Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
It seems that verse says the body was prepared (in the womb of Mary) at the time when Christ "came into the world."
We see something similar in the word panim (face, Strongs 6440) which is always written as a plural even when it refers to a "face" in the singular, and again (most significantly) in the word Elohim which also is plural in form and can be used to refer to a plurality of gods, but is primarily used to refer to the One True God.Chayam: Life, as an abstract idea, meaning the state of being alive as opposite to being dead. Life at its best, health, endless life.
It seems to me that the Bible teaches we are souls, not that we have souls. And even if we did "have souls" where do we get the idea that mour souls were created at the same time as Adam? And for that matter, where do we get the idea that we already had a "soul" before we were formed of the earth?
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
These parts can be represented as three concentric circles with the body on the outside, the spirit in the middle and the soul in the centre. We are not our bodies, we are not our spirits, but we are our souls. The soul is also spirit and life and the body is the manifestation of that invisible life. The soul is like the seed and the body the fruit that contains the seed. The DNA is built according to the blueprint in the soul.
Genesis 1:11-12 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. (12) And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.Acts 2:30-31 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; (31) He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
His seed that remaineth in him is his soul. God created the earth and formed the body of our father Adam from whose body our bodies are formed; God created our spirits, but gave birth to our souls. Children are born, not created. The father gives birth to the soul into the mother's womb, the mother gives birth to the body and then God places the spirit into the body and the baby cries.
When Jesus died, His body went to the tomb, His spirit went to God and His soul went to hell.
Matthew 27:59-60 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, (60) And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, and departed.
Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father,into thy hands I commend my spirit:and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
Acts 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
This is what I believe, but my understanding is not perfect yet.
Last edited by Geoffrey; 07-20-2007 at 02:05 PM.
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