Is It a Sin to Get a Tattoo?

I was leaving a comment on another blog and it got out of control.  I decided to post instead and link to it.

For a person getting a tattoo to disobey God, there would have to be verse of scripture that says “Do not get a tattoo.” Some would be surprised to find there is no such verse in the Bible.

I know, Leviticus 19:28 says not to get a tattoo. Shame on any Bible translation (and most of them do, sadly including the ESV) that renders any Hebrew word as “tattoo.” That commandment is about cutting, specifically involving a practice of worshiping the dead. You have to consider the context of the command; who God was talking to, the time period, and where they were. The Hebrews were meant to live (act, dress, eat, worship) differently than the many pagan, polytheistic cultures surrounding them. Continue reading

Theological Trivia: Did Animals Talk in the Garden of Eden?

I used to post occasionally on some of the wacky search terms that led people to my blog, and also what I call trivia question theology.  Questions like “Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?” or “Can God make a rock so big he can’t move it?”  Okay, maybe those aren’t real questions, but here is a question that a reader entered into a search engine that was sent to my blog looking for answers.

Could animals talk before the fall?

That’s a legitimate question.  Because Genesis describes the serpent as the most subtle of all the animals in the garden.  That’s why Satan came to Eve in that form.  Eve doesn’t seem surprised when the serpent begins speaking to her.  There is a joke that goes like this: Two muffins where sitting next to each other in an oven.  When one said “Whew, it sure is getting hot in here” the other said “Whoa!  A talking muffin!”  If animals did not talk to humans before the fall, it stands to reason that Eve would have reacted differently at the sight of a talking snake rather than carry on a casual conversation with it.  When Moses witnessed the burning bush in the wilderness he turned aside to see why the bush was not consumed.  It was a curious thing that got his attention.

I try to be real careful about not making the Bible say something it doesn’t say.  The Bible does not say the animals could talk.  But we do have Eve carrying on a conversation with it instead of either finding Adam and telling him he has to see this, or simply freaking out.  We also know that the resulting curse changed things.  The relationships between men and women changed, man’s relationship with God changed.  Perhaps the animals did talk casually to people before the fall; God did.

Wacky Questions & Trivia, episode 3

question_mark_3dActually, this one may not be so wacky.  I saw this evening where someone had been searching for occurrences of knives in the Bible, specifically the word “knife.”  By the way, when I searched for knife, I went first to the ESV website and then to Biblegateway, both listed under Useful Links in the right-hand column.  That’s always where I start a search of the Bible text.  Here’s what I found versus what I expected.

The word knife appears 5 times in the ESV.  Two occurrences are in Genesis, in the story of Abraham going up to sacrifice his son Issac.  There’s a post I need to write.  All of the uses of knife are found in the Old Testament, but I didn’t find the one I expected to.  I remember a story of a king, a fat king as a matter of fact, that was slain with a knife.  He was so fat that the entire knife, handle and all, were swallowed up in his fat roles, and the assassin simply walked out of the throne room.  I search the King James text at BibleGateway; there I found 6 instances of knife, but still not that story.  Did I imagine it?  Couldn’t have.

The king was Eglon of Moab, and the KJV uses the word dagger instead of knife.  The ESV actually uses sword, but without researching any Kebrew linquistics I imagine dagger is a better word.  A sword?  How fat could one person be?  At any rate, I was right about the story, wrong about it being a knife.  That’s being really technical.  The story of Eglon’s death is recorded in Judges chp 3.  It’s probably not one you want to read your children before bedtime.

Wacky questions, episode 2

question_mark_3dWacky questions.  You know, like if I say to my history class “Lincoln was shot at the Ford Theater,” and a student asks “What movie was he watching?”  This is my second installment of wacky theological questions and/or search engine terms.  Today’s example is of the latter.

This phrase, typed into a search engine, brought 3 people to my blog today:

“photo of angels and shepherds.”

 

If you don’t get why that’s funny, go back and watch Gone with the Wind.  That’s the movie Lincoln was watching the day he was shot.

Theological Trivia Questions & Wacky Search Terms

I’m going to start a new category on my blog listing some of the wacky questions I get asked.  WordPress lists the search engine terms that people type in that leads readers to my blog, and some of those make you wonder what people are thinking.  I’ve often laughed to myself, but decided other people might want in on the joke.

I’m not making fun of anybody.  There’s an old saying that there are no stupid questions, only stupid people who don’t ask questions.  Often times though, the very question being asked reveals the person’s misunderstanding of the subject.  What’s funny is not that someone doesn’t know the answer, but that their  whole mindset is misguided.  This is especially true of theology.  Continue reading