PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Monday, August 15, 2011

 

Bible study notes - 3

Bible study notes - 3


It's amazing what new things we keep on learning from the Bible through our Bible study.

I, for one, have learned that, through the process of noting the subtle parallels and unexpected reversals, we can unlock new meanings and interpretations from the text even if we have encountered them a hundred times. Here are the old and new symbolisms I've been reminded of and learned lately. Truly the Bible is a rich mine of the thoughts of God:

In the murder of Abel by Cain (the world's first murder case)...

Cain's offering is rejected by God because unlike Abel's offering, which was taken from the best crop/livestock, Cain's offering was merely perfunctory and not from a thankful heart.

Cain = symbol of wickedness, prefiguring the enduring evil in man's heart through the millennia
Abel = symbol of hope of God for a good "seed" that will save the world from Adam and Eve's (man's) fall from grace; prefigurement of Jesus Christ

In the story of the tower of Babel...



Tower of Babel = symbol of man's pride, i.e., of man's self-reliance in place of faith in God



Note how the Babel of linguistic confusion and division led to a beautiful but surprising reversal during the Pentecost, with various people from all over being united through the Holy Spirit despite their Babel of tongues.



Self-reflection: What is my tower of Babel? Have I contributed to any division because of my pride? How has the Holy Spirit worked in me to promote peace and unity in my home, work, community?



**



In the story of Noah's ark...



Noah's ark = a preview of man's salvation through Jesus Christ and his Church



(An aside from Ate Agnes P.: Note how Protestants, in Fr. Jun Lingad's interpretation, have built numerous small boats instead of joining the Ark.)



Flood = preview of baptism



Seven days = recalls the seven days of creation; this means God was recreating the world after the Great Flood



Rainbow = symbol of hope and renewal after the storm and the flood



Dove = represents and previews the coming of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the faithful



Self-reflection: Have I joined Noah in the ark? In what ways do I create little boats that capsize during a massive flood? How do I assure my own salvation through the Ark of Christ?



**



Other parallels and reversals through the Genesis portion of the Biblical timeline:



In the various Genesis stories we've read, man is always the same. Man keeps on falling into concupicence (the tendency to sin), especially the sin of idolatry.



However, God always offers a way out, even through our sinfulness. He saw how curses, flood, and confusion didn't work, so tried a new tack.



The time came when He thought of a final solution. His redeeming work for mankind reaches its height in the supreme sacrifice of His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.



**



What a beautiful story! And we're just getting started. I'm excited for the next installment, aren't you? ;P


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