Monday, March 15, 2010

Lutheran Study Bible - all about animal skins - Genesis 3:20

I am behind in my project of reviewing the two study Bibles. The Lutheran Study Bible (C) has been published by Concordia and the Lutheran Study Bible (A) has been published by Augsburg. I have deliberately refrained from saying that I prefer the one over the other as I would like to keep an open mind for as long as I am able to do so.

I invite anyone to submit comments to this blog for consideration.

A reader of this blog has this to say about the (C). The reference is to a note on page 20, Genesis 3:21. "It [i.e. the note in the (C)] says, 'Some commentators argue that God killed animals to provide a covering for Adam and Eve, thus anticipating the introduction of the sacrificial system (as providing a covering for sins), and so ultimately pointing to Christ. However, nothing in this verse necessarily implies that god killed the animals whose skins were used; they could have died of natural causes after the fall. Moreover, this verse is never treated as messianic elsewhere in the Bible. While it may be read by Christians as an allegory pointing to Christ, it is probably more accurate in this context to suggest that the verse demonstrates God's continuing care for Adam and Eve (ultimately for all creation) despite the judgment that He had pronounced on them.'

"I [i.e. the correspondent to this blog] believe whoever wrote this is entirely wrong. In fact, all of Scripture testifies of nothing else but Christ (Jn. 5:39). The fact that this passage isn't quoted directly in some passages of Scripture is irrelevant. We do not always need a direct quote in order to make a link from this or that passage to Christ. If the link can be made we should make it. Furthermore, why would God use the skins of dead animals to cloth [sic] Adam and Eve, especially given the fact that He later makes it divine law that anyone who touches the body of a dead animal that still has blood in it (which of course one that died of natural causes would) is unclean. Given the fact that 'without the shedding of blood there is no remission (Hb 9:22), and that those standing around the throne of God are 'they who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb' (Rv. 7:14), it seems to me that the natural conclusion to make with regard to Gn. 3:21, is that the clothing made of skin were provided by shedding of the blood of some beast of the field; and I can well imagine that it may even have been skin from a Lamb.

"I have naught, my God to offer,
Save the blood of Thy dear Son;
Graciously accept the proffer;
Make his righteousness mine own.
His holy life gave He, was crucified for me;
His righteousness perfect He now pleads before Thee;
His own robe of righteousness, my highest good,
Shall clothe me in glory through faith in His blood.

"No, Norman, I believe that those are exactly right who say that the skins provided for the clothing of Adam and Eve after the fall into sin, were provided by the shedding of blood; and that this is a metaphor of the robe of righteousness, the wedding garment provided for every believer in Christ by the shedding of His blood on Calvary's holy Cross."

[In my hymnbook, The Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary, the verse is from #182.]

(A) has no note for Genesis 3:20.

1 comment:

  1. I received this comment today: "Your correspondent's allegorical reading of this verse surprised me. Creative, for sure, but surprising if the the writer dwells among the ELS/WELS/LCMS Brotherhood, which tends to rely on the historical/literal sense, or so I thought. Perhaps both assumptions wrong. This exegete also surprised me by claiming his allegorical reading as the only correct one.

    "C proposes an allegorical reading also, but less dogmatically, happy to say. However, raising the possibility that the Creator went around collecting diseased animals or road kill puzzles me no end."

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