Saturday, May 9, 2015

NET on Genesis 20:13

Gen 20:13 is an intriguing text, where the author of Genesis plainly teaches a doctrine of a plurality of gods. This has caused no end of problems for commentators who, a priori, hold to either a Unitarian or Trinitarian perspective. The NET Bible offers the following note to this verse:

The Hebrew verb is plural. This may be a case of grammatical agreement with the name for God, which is plural in form. However, when this plural name refers to the one true God, accompanying predicates are usually singular in form. Perhaps Abraham is accommodating his speech to Abimelech's polytheistic perspective. (See GKC 463 §145.i.) If so, one should translate, "when the gods made me wander."

Such words echoe that of Gordon Wenham in vol. 2 p. 73 of the Word Biblical Commentary on Genesis. Evangelicals and others who hold to similar views on the "number" of God are in a precarious position--either claim Abraham endorsed something that would be idolatrous and blasphemous in their theological perspective, wherein Abraham accommodated his language and theology to fit that of a pagan non-believer's theology (and this was *after* Gen 15:6, where, according to most Protestant commentators, Abraham was justified by God[!]; also note that is never condemned by God in the Genesis text, too) or that Abraham and the author of Genesis believed in a "plurality of Gods."

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