Transcendence of God

Transcendent means beyond this material world around us.  Immanent is the opposite, within this world.  This mysterious reality of a transcendent God is not a thing, but a being, a personal being, beyond all personality that is all-powerful and all gentle.  This transcendent mystery may be sometimes contradictory, yet we try to live in harmony and in accord with this unknown.  An encounter with mystery is an experience that we feel is a part of our lives.  Thus, a personal encounter with a personal mystery is an attempt to explain our human relationship with God.  How is reading the Bible an encounter with a transcendent God?

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Different points of view

The New Testament references the Hebrew Bible that came to be known as the Old Testament.  The New Testament books were not referred to until the second century of the common era.  Consensus on its contents did not occur until the late fourth century.  There is nothing wrong with different points of view or inconsistencies.  The first two chapters of Genesis are not contradictory.  The synoptic gospels give different versions of the Baptism of Jesus.  Most of us just say “so what?”  We understand different points of view.  The Bible had different authors over a considerable amount of time.  The Old Testament took hundreds of years to complete.  The New Testament took thirty to sixty years to finish.  Very few could write, so that oral tradition dominated in that society.  The texts themselves were rewritten, so that we say that the texts we have, with all its corrections, is the one that God wants us to have.

Torture the wicked (Ps 59:11-59:13)

“Do not kill them!

My people may forget.

Make them totter

By your power!

Bring them down!

Yahweh!

Our shield!

For the sin of their mouths,

For the words of their lips,

Let them be trapped in their pride!

For the cursing that they utter,

For the lies that they utter,

Consume them in wrath!

Consume them

Until they are no more!

Then it will be known

To the ends of the earth

That God rules over Jacob.”

Selah

David did not want his enemies killed, he wanted vengeance. He wanted them to suffer so that his own people would not forget what evil was. The evil ones were to totter and be brought down. Yahweh was the shield and protector of good ones. The evildoers sinned with their words and their lips because they were trapped in pride. Thus they uttered curses and lies. They should be consumed in the wrath of God. In somewhat contradictory terms, David wanted them consumed until they actually died instead of just suffering. At that point, the whole world would know that the God of Jacob ruled the world. At that thought there was the musical interlude meditative pause, Selah.