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Featured Exodus 33:20. (If looks could kill)

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Twilight Hue, May 2, 2020.

  1. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    This is one of the most strangest Bible verses I've ever come across during the time I was a Christian and even now, it's a pretty bizarre statement aside from coming across similar mythological beings in the vast Pantheon of gods and demigods of the ancients, such as Medusa for example, where looks and a gaze would turn you into solid stone and for all intents and purposes quite dead.

    But I'm curious what Christian apologetics would say on the matter.

    Why would you die if you were to look upon a god purported to be good and holy?

    Unfortunately, most of the Christian explanations go way off track and it almost always leads away from the question at hand into to a sermon on love and such, taking the focus almost completely away from the verse explaining how exactly a gaze could kill you.

    So far the best attempted explanation I've come across so far, was an association made with vampires that if the bright sunlight hits you you would turn to dust and crumble away because you were so gosh-darn evil and that God comparatively is regarded as being the sunlight, and the people imbued with evil are the vampires whom essentially would crumble and die in the gods presence. Doesn't sound too nice if you are a vampire.

    Anyways it's a crazy sounding Old testament verse among many.

    Any apologists want to take a crack at this?

    Why would you die if you saw God's face?
     
  2. izzy88

    izzy88 Active Member

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    I think this is accurate. This is why souls must generally go through a process of purgation before they can enter heaven; heaven is simply experiencing the direct presence of God, seeing him "face to face", and all of the imperfection must be burned away before our souls can endure such a thing.

    It's also thought by many that hell isn't a different "place" than heaven - you're still experiencing the direct presence of God, but because your soul hasn't been purged of sin you're essentially experiencing the eternal destruction of your soul, which makes a lot of sense in the context of this verse.
     
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  3. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    Christianity is very confusing. Catholocism is one of the most confusing denominations of Christianity.

    According to you folks, God instills a soul into every embryo at the moment of conception. Let me repeat that with emphasis, God instills a soul into every embryo. If the soul is something that is instilled by God, why does the soul need to be purgated? How do imperfections get into the soul so that they need to be burned away?
     
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  4. izzy88

    izzy88 Active Member

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    From sin; both the sin we commit, and the original sin we inherit.

    You need to think of the soul as a seed; it's not a finished product when it first comes into existence. That's why the Church has never had an official teaching on what happens to souls of children who die before the age of reason when they're truly able to sin; we simply don't know for certain, but we know that whatever God does will be just.
     
  5. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue Faith-confidence in what we hope for (Hebrews 11)

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    Good question(s).
     
  6. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    If God is a Spirit Being who is described in the Bible as pure dynamic energy, and he created things like our sun that we can't even look at from millions of miles away without damaging our retinas, and exposing our skin to burns, what makes you think humans could have a face to face encounter with God and survive the experience? This is what Exodus 33:20 is all about.

    This has nothing to do with God's goodness or holiness...it has more to do with his physical presence and what that would do to a mere mortal. Only spirit beings can exists in God's presence.
     
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  7. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

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    This isn't really that strange if you consider how man is creature that traditionally had many taboos, especially per interactions with all things holy. I suppose though, it would be an interesting question to those who think that Jesus is specifically god. Because it would seem that the verse indicates that Jesus must be more of an intercessor, if that is the right word, since man must have looked at his human-form face for general interaction. None of those people who did would die instantly - then again, they must have eventually died, right? Which sort of leads to questions regarding original sin, since if original sin exists, it would be possible for christians to then argue Jesus was god in the light of your verse, since 'no one is free of sin.' But then, the verse becomes sort of redundant. Also, the verse does reflect a certain natural primate tendency, as in primates, the alpha animal generally doesn't like being stared at in the face, right? So there is some primate influence in the verse
     
  8. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

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    I've read several times about how various christians seem to believe that the body and soul aren't really separable, per some kind of argument about a bodily resurrection, so maybe that has something to do with what your talking about. Because then, the body would infect the soul with imperfection and vice versa.. I don't know, now I'm confused
     
  9. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    The verses is far more about God being exalted beyond human comprehension rather than a literal interpretation "if you see me you die." The exalted nature of the God of Abraham is a strong theme throughout the NT as Islam and the Baha'i Faith.
     
  10. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    That's really sad. Your omniscient god knew that A&E would disobey him long before he ever created them. Yet your "just" god told them it was their fault and punished not only them but even you 6000 years later.



    We all need to think of the soul as a man made concept with no basis in anything, including the bible.
     
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  11. izzy88

    izzy88 Active Member

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    The creation account in Genesis is a mythological story meant to convey theological truth; if you're reading it literalistically it's no wonder you find it ridiculous.

    My mistake; I thought you were asking questions because you wanted to learn the answers, but it turns out you were only asking so you could ignore the answers and state your own opinions as fact.
     
  12. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue Faith-confidence in what we hope for (Hebrews 11)

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    I was thinking something similar. Since God created electric energy such as lightning and lightning can kill, there is something that Moses could not look at and God protected him. Yet it is said that he spoke to the Lord God "face to face," which must mean something different than that which occurred when Moses had the encounter with God on the mountain.
     
  13. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue Faith-confidence in what we hope for (Hebrews 11)

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    I see no problem with reading that part literally. But the question is really, does God see everything that will happen in the future? And the answer is if He chooses to do so, he would. But in this case, that is what free choice means. He did not know in advance. He chose not to know.
     
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  14. izzy88

    izzy88 Active Member

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    Our choices don't cease to be free if God knows what we'll do before we do it; knowledge of future events does not cause those events. Even if God knows what choices we'll make, we are still the ones making the choices.
     
  15. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue Faith-confidence in what we hope for (Hebrews 11)

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    There's a limit to free choice anyway. But again, it wouldn't make sense if God "knew" what Adam would do in advance. That would mean that every event, every injustice, every torture by man or beast is God's fault. And -- it is not. But it takes time to understand that. And yes, even some clergymen say that if a child dies, God wanted another child in heaven, thereby blaming God for this sadness. I remember when the flood came to New Orleans, some religious leaders said God caused it because the people there were so defiled.
    Now let's think about this for a while. If God knew Adam would disobey Him, He could have stopped it, couldn't He? And further, it could be said that God set up the so-called test knowing what would happen. But the Bible says that God is a God of justice. And it wouldn't be justice to set up a barrier knowing someone couldn't get past it and would get hurt if he tried, and then also know in advance that the person would try. It wouldn't be right (justice). Even our minds can see that such a circumstance wouldn't be "right."
    Deuteronomy 32:4 - The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.
     
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  16. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue Faith-confidence in what we hope for (Hebrews 11)

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    He knows that this world will be at peace one day. But He does not dictate step-by-step every little thing that happens. I know some people believe that He does. I don't, because it is not within His desire to know every little thing that happens. But I do know that if we look for Him, He will allow Himself to be found. 1 Chronicles 16:11 - Search for the LORD and for His strength; seek His face always.
    Also look at: Isaiah 9:7 - "Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this."
    So He knows the future in that respect, but does not know every choice or how we will respond. For instance, if someone chooses to go into a store without a mask these days, He does not predict in advance who will get sick from the virus. Even if someone wears a mask...sad to say, someone can still get sick. But HE does not foreordain details. Otherwise, we would not have free choice to go out and wear or not wear a mask. We wouldn't need to be cautious. But there will be peace forever in the future. THAT He knows, and we know that now, too.
     
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  17. izzy88

    izzy88 Active Member

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    I fail to see how your idea of a willfully-ignorant God is better than a God who grants us freedom despite knowing what we'll do with it because he also knows it will ultimately result in something beautiful.
     
  18. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue Faith-confidence in what we hope for (Hebrews 11)

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    Here's how I'm going to explain it to you. At least that is how "I" look at it. Others think God knew in advance what Adam & Eve would do. Again -- I do not. So here's how I look at it. God is all-powerful. He did not WANT to foreordain Adam & Eve to do what he told them not to do. He also knew (unlike a monster) that if they wanted to obey him, they could do it.
     
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  19. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    .
    Exodus 33:20
    20 But you cannot see my face. No one can see me and continue to live.”

    And how could you see his face if you can't look upon it in the first place. It's like threatening armless folk with arrest if they throw stones.

    .
     
    #19 Skwim, May 3, 2020
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
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  20. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    It would make for a huge contradiction with those who believe God is an invisible being who's perpetually outside the universe or something like that.

    Starting at Exodus 33:18 Moses was able to see God's back according to the story.

    That's another bizarre take on the story because apparently God's lethal divinity apparently projects from his face, and not from his back.
     
    #20 Twilight Hue, May 4, 2020
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
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