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Frequently Asked Questions - HERMANEUTICAL QUESTIONS - Biblical Interpretation
It is the model prayer in which God is addressed as 'Our Father' and not as 'my Father' and the basic needs of all of humanity are submitted before God in solidarity with them. The three petitions for God's glory are followed by four petitions for man's needs, namely provision, pardon, protection and preservation. All these are in the first person plural and the first person singular does not appear in the whole prayer. The invocation and the doxology imply that the Father Who art in heaven has kingship over his kingdom, power over our weakness and all the glory for Himself. It is a proletarian prayer asking daily bread for all of humanity and not yearly provisions for any or daily cake for the one who prays. 'Give us this day our daily bread' means: 'Lord, divide all the bread of all the world for all the people of all the world and give all the people justly without giving any more than one's share.' This daily bread includes food, clothing, shelter, medicine, education, work, and spiritual food. No one has any right to enjoy luxury when fellowmen are deprived of these minimum necessities of life. But provision without pardon of sins will not be sufficient. Yet we must not preach pardon to the empty stomach without feeding them, but give provision and pardon their due places in the totality of human existence. The only conditional prayer in the whole prayer is the prayer for pardon; 'Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.' The pardon of the Lord cannot be appropriated by an un-pardoning hard heart and so we must forgive those who have offended us before praying this prayer. Preservation from the Evil One is necessary for a victorious Christian life. No selfish person can pray this prayer and so all of us are unworthy to offer this noblest of all prayers ever taught to humanity. The Name, Kingdom and Will of the Lord will be glorified if we become worthy to offer this proletarian prayer by simpler life-style and absolute trust in our Common Father who wants to provide for all without discrimination Jesus Christ, make us worthy to offer this prayer sincerely and truly.
Gen. 6: 1-4 is only an adaptation of an ancient legend. The cause that is attributed to the birth of mighty men of old before whom the Jews were like grasshoppers (Nu. 13: 33) is a mixed marriage which the Jews hated. Details cannot be pressed and none can be dogmatic as to who the sons of God and daughters of men were. The former could be either angels, or men in general or those who were the descendents of Seth and the latter women in general or daughters from the line of Cain (See Jerome Commentary or any, other good commentary). Mythological theme behind the J narrative is accepted and included in the Old Testament. The inspired author's contribution is the introduction of Jahweh in verse 3; The Jehovah said "My spirit shall not abide in man for ever, for he is flesh, but his days shall be a hundred and twenty years." Giants like Nephilim were born out of unholy alliance of the good with the evil and so the age of human being is reduced from 967 years of Methusaleh of the previous chapter to 120 years. The Deluge is also the punishment of such mixed marriages and the consequent wickedness of the off springs. The lesson for the modern student is that marriage partners should be carefully chosen from the sons of God and daughters of God and not from the wicked.
It is since Augustine that the phrase original sin has become a common usage in the church. The phrase does not appear in the Bible. Rom. 5: 12-21 is a description of the Adamic sin and not original sin. In the Pauline chapter on Resurrection, the contrast is not between original sin and salvation, but between death, and life. "For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive." (I Cor. 15: 21). In Pauline theology, all have become sinners in the sin of Adam and the free grace available in Christ is much more than what is needed to atone for the trespasses of Adam. The problem with the title original sin is that it gives the false idea that cohabitation of the married couple is a sinful act. The biblical basis for this is found in Ps. 51: 5, 'behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me,' is not a Christian idea, but an O. T. idea not in line with the sacrament of marriage and the Christian theology of the sexual coitus of the married couple as a sacred act of co-creation with God. The Christian teaching on the universality of sin, the inborn inclination towards sinning are all taken care of by the phrase Adamic sin. The question whether man commits sin because he is a sinner or whether he commits sin and become a sinner is only theoretical. The being and doing of sin go together.
It is the fundamentalist brethren who are definite that they are saved and want to know whether you are saved. One of the opening questions of their conversation is this. I wish they had known from the scriptures that salvation is both past, present, and future. When Jesus was asked "Lord, will those who are saved be few? His answer was strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able" (Luke 13: 23). Here salvation is not something static already accomplished, but dynamic and gradual. In Acts 2: 47, it is the Lord who adds those who were being saved to the church by baptism. Here also salvation is a continuous process and not that which is accomplished once for all. The past dimension of salvation is the Cross coupled with the resurrection which has happened in the center of history for the whole of humanity, once for all. The continuous process of salvation is by grace through faith and life, though close walk with the Lord, doing his will, through faith with works (James 2:17 etc), though the sacramental life, meditation, through obedience to the Word of God and above all through the power of the Holy Spirit. The future consummation of salvation is at the second coming of the Lord when new heaven and new earth will be inaugurated. The so called assurance of salvation based on the finished work of Christ is forgetting the needed response and the lack of assurance on the basis of one's own inadequacies, forgets that salvation is free and unmerited. The paradoxical situation is that we are saved by Him and yet we are not yet fully saved because we live in a sinful world participating in the unjust social and economic structures and the institutionalized injustice. The best answer would be, "He has saved me freely and I am secure under His protecting arms and yet I have not fully appropriated the riches of salvation deposited in my name in the bank."
This is only a mistake in the Malayalam translation. The RSV translation will clear the doubt. "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father." The NEB translation is 'do not cling to me.' Mary Magdalene had already caught hold of the feet of Jesus and would not let Him go due to her mystical devotion to the Lord and Savior. Jesus was telling her that He had to ascend to the Father and should not be prevented from the glorious ascension. He also gave her a message to be carried to the brethren; 'but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." The physical presence of Jesus is not everlasting, but Mary in her utter devotion wanted it. Jesus taught her a lesson and gave her mission.
It only means that those who are spiritually dead will remain in their own place without any sense mission to bury those who are physically dead, and those who are called to proclaim the Kingdom of God should not remain in their own homes just waiting for their old people to die and be duly buried by them. The cost of Christian discipleship is the readiness to forsake one's parents for the joy of preaching the Gospel. Father Damien left his sick mother to help the lepers of Molokai. It was in 1863 that he was sent to Sandwich islands. Ten years later he went to Molokai to nurse the 600 lepers there single-handed. Those of us who want to remain with the old parents to give them a decent burial before leaving the home to proclaim the good news of Christ are told by Jesus, 'leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.' Giving life to the spiritually dead is more important than giving a ceremonial burial to the physically dead.
Mt. 12:32 has been sources of controversy and even mental agony for so many people. 'Sin against the son of man will be forgiven, but sin against the Holy Spirit will no be forgiven.' Is the first 'son of man' any son of man or Jesus Christ? Whether it is any man or Christ, that part of the verse is not a big problem, because those who sinned against Christ were forgiven and Christ Himself prayed for their forgiveness. Sin against the Holy Spirit is not the so called mortal sin contrasted against the venial sin in the Roman Catholic theology on the basis of 1 Jn. 5: 16. Neither is it any sin about which one feels true repentance. Sin against the Holy Spirit is the blindness of the eye of the spirit in such a way that the stage of cataract operation is over. When one looks at Jesus Christ and calls His brilliance darkness, his spiritual eye must be utterly blind. When Jesus is called Beelzebub, it is sin against the Holy Spirit. There is no pardon for it in this world or in the world to come because such a person does not have any guilty conscience against anything and does not feel the need of repentance ever. Any penitential heart, which truly repents of one's sin is sure to get the pardon of Christ. The sinner who commits the sin against the Holy Spirit is already committed to Satan as he or she has sunk to the level of satan (Rom. 1: 24, 26,28). Any one who feels truly sorry for the sins committed and wants to forsake it and live a new life of purity has not committed any sin against the Holy Spirit and should not feel that one has no forgiveness.
The Seventh Day Adventists are under the illusion that Christ made no difference to the O. T. Sabbath. There are many arguments in favor of the change of the seventh day observance to the first day of the week, which I shall only mention here. The mere mention of the points will suffice any open-minded student who is ready to see the truth.
1. Our Lord came to make everything new and any one who comes to Christ does not return the old way of Judaism or Heathenism (Mt. 9: 16; 26: 28; Jn.13: 34; Ac. 17: 19; I Cor. 5: 7; II Cor. 5: 17; Gal. 6: 15;Eph. 4: 24; Heb. 9: 15; Rev. 5: 9: 21; 5). Remember the Magi who returned a new way (Mt. 2: 12).
2. He Himself broke the O.T. Sabbath and that was one main Jewish charge against Him that led him to crucifixion. He wanted to assert that the Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath (Mk. 2:27; Jn. 5:18 etc.)
3. The sabbath is made for man and man not for the sabbath (Mk. 2: 27 etc.) The point here is that Man's benefit is more important than sabbath.
4. 'In the beginning God's principle enunciated in the beginning of the Bible was consummated only on the great Event of the Resurrection on the first day of the week, which inaugurated the primacy of God in the affairs of man and nature. Since the resurrection of Christ, no one can allow six days to pass on without the observance of the first day. The first six days will be without God if Sabbath is still on the last day of the week. In the O. T. the Holy of the Holies was in the Western part of the Tabernacle and Temple, facing towards the setting sun. When the Sun of righteousness rose up in the resurrection of Christ, the Holy of Holies is also changed to East, towards the rising sun.
5. The reason attributed to the origin of the Sabbath, that God rested on the seventh day is an anthropomorphic understanding of God and not theologically justifiable. God does not get tired by the work of creation as to Him rest is work and work is rest. He is the changeless and eternal God who works all days and rests all days as to Him there is no limit. (see Isa. 40: 28; Mal. 3: 6; Ps. 121: 4; Heb. 13: 8).
6. 'Letter killeth and the spirit giveth life' (II Cor. 3:6). Literalism which is behind the Seventh Day Adventists is a dead weight, which I hope they will throw away. The Islamic view of the Quran is not the Christian view of the Bible. (See answers to the first four questions).
7. In the early church the breaking of the bread was on the first day of the week and so Easter became powerful to break the Sabbath and its strong-hold on the Jewish converts in the very beginning of the church (Ac. 20:7; I Cor. 16:2). All the ancient churches observe the first day of the week and not the seventh day as the Jews for worship in the church.
8. The Seventh day Adventists are a new sectarian movement which does not recognize the tradition or ancient practice of the church and they will not be liberated to the joy of Christianity till they recognize the Lordship of Christ over the Sabbath and everything else.
9. St. Basil has compared the Sabbath to the eternal Sabbath that awaits the redeemed. The Cycle of first day is repeated on the eighth day and so the eternal rests starts where it should start with the risen Christ.
10. Christ changed not only the Sabbath, but every one of the ten commandments with His oft repeated 'but I say unto you' in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5-7). Deepening of other commandments into intention and thought, naturally changed the deepening of the seventh to the first.
The Trinity is eternally holy and not made holy. The saints are not holy in the sense God is holy, they are made holy by the Holy Trinity. Thus we use the word holy in two different meanings when it is applied for God and applied for anything or any one in the created order. The Holy Bible speaks of holy mountain (Ps. 87: 1), most holy things (Nu. 4: 4), holy day (Ex. 35:2), holy covenant (Dan 11:28), holy calling (II Tim. 1:9), holy apostles and prophets (Rev. 18:20), holy flock (Ezek 36: 38), holy nation (I Pet. 2: 9), holy people (Is. 62: 12). It is significant that when the priest says, 'holy things to holy people', in the Holy Eucharist, the reply of the saints is 'None is holy except Holy Father....' If one approaches the Holy Table saying 'I am holy and worthy and so give me the Holy elements', he is certainly unworthy to receive the Holy Qurbana. Saints are the dedicated children of God who know that they are unworthy even for the least of the blessings of God. When we say that the church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic, we know that all these four notes of the church are not manifest to the world and yet these notes are that of the Head, Jesus Christ, which the body is humbly claming and aspiring to reach in the power of the Holy Spirit. Similarly the saints are those who are being sanctified through the holy sacraments, holy meditation etc., by the Holy Spirit. Saints are called saints by others and not by themselves, for they know that they are sinners as long as they live in the fallen world and have not attained the ideal set for them by God and the society. In the N. T. all the Christians, the believers, the baptized community are called saints (Rom. 1: 7; I Cor. 1: 2; II Cor. 1: 1 etc.). The church, however, has seen special sanctity in a few and even declared some as saints. Our Church has declared Mar Gregorios of Parumala as saint. The Orthodox churches do not have the tedious and long processes of canonization of saints on the basis of the number of miracles and other detailed studies. The last and ultimate Judge is, of course, God alone.
Those who quote this verse against the practice of calling a priest as Fr. M. V. George or Fr. John do not seem to understand the meaning of the verse. The same passage says that no one should be called a teacher or a master. The implication is that all the Christians are brothers and sisters. If the verse is taken literally, our own physical fathers also cannot be called father as they are also on earth, neither can our teachers be called teacher. The uniqueness of God the Father as the only Father who has no other father and of Jesus Christ as the only Teacher who had no other teacher (Mk. 6:2) and of the Holy Spirit as the only Master or Guide without another guide must be discerned in this passage with three questions. St. Paul himself says, "I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment" (Philem. 10). Similarly, those who baptize become fathers of the baptized for whom baptismal regeneration is given (Tit. 3: 5) and the priests of the Christian church must be called 'father.' God Almighty, the Eternal Father, is the proto-type of every family on earth. "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named" (Eph. 3: 14). Hence, if God can be called 'Father' our earthly fathers who give us physical birth and spiritual fathers who give us spiritual birth must be called 'father.' The quest ion is a clear example of fundamentalist way of taking a proof-text from some passage, removing it from the context and giving it a dangerous and impracticable literal interpretation.
The first thing to be noted is that Jesus refused to perform miracles as a means of having people believe in Him. At the very beginning of His public ministry he overcame the feeling to jump from the pinnacle of the temple of Jerusalem and to make the people believe in Him by such a feat. Whenever He performed any miracle he told the healed person not to tell anyone about it (Mt. 8: 4; Mk. 8: 26, 30; 9: 9; Lk. 5: 14; 8: 56). Christ chastised the people who followed Him to eat the bread that he increased miraculously. He wanted the people to know that His ability to provide is constant (Mk. 8: 14-21). The next point is that all the miracles of Jesus were miracles of overflowing Love, which He revealed as the very nature of God. Does he not supply food in the desert for His followers even today, out of His bounteous love ? Any Mother Theresa of history would still bear witness to the fact that he continues to increase five loaves and two Fishes to feed five thousands even today. The story of Dr. Ida Scudder and the Christian Medical College, Vellore, is the story of God's miraculous feeding and healing of thousands out of very little. Thirdly, science magazines are now describing miracles they see and cannot explain. Albert Einstein was right in pointing out that the more we know of the physical universe we are convinced that there is yet more to be known. After all, how limited is our knowledge of God's activities in the billions of stars and planets ? Science is not scientific when it says that there is no God or no miracles as science can only say something positive about the known facts and nothing negative about the unknown universe and mysteries. A scientist who casts a net of one inch holes in the sea and catches one inch size fish can only say that there are one inch size fishes in that sea and not that there is no smaller fishes in it because a later scientist might make a smaller sized net and catch smaller fishes. From what we know of science, it is not yet scientific to say that miracles are impossible. That which is miracles in one generation may not be miracle in the next and yet miracle as such remains as long as we are finite. Fourthly, if we believe in an Almighty God, under Whom are the laws of nature, we should not limit God under the laws He created and say He cannot end it or mend it. He who fixed the laws of nature for the good of man will have the right, freedom, and power to over-rule it at any given situation to show His love of His children. The virgin birth and the resurrection must be seen in such a light. He who fixed a modus operandi for procreation is free to enter His world through a virgin and also to rise again on the third day to His pre-existent glory. Belief in miracles is belief in the power of God over the created nature. Fifthly, Bultmann's 'demythologization' is an aid to the interpretation of the miracles of the Bible to an age of Science. There is something behind each of Christ's miracles which is more miraculous than the physical miracles. If a German mind sees the change of heart of the people to part with their hidden bread and fishes when the small boy gave all his bread, and also as a result of listening to the preaching of Christ, there is still a miracle Christ effected in the hearts of the people, which is deeper than the increase of bread and fishes by a supernatural action of Christ. I am not saying that all miracles must be demythologized, but that there are physical and psychological miracles. Finally, there is a qualitative distinction between the two incarnational miracles of virgin conception and resurrection and other miracles and that these two miracles are necessary to explain the supreme miracle of God-Man.
It is very unfortunate that such a question is asked. The O. T. is the Bible of three major religions of the world namely the Jews, the Christians, and the Muslims. For the Jews it is their only Scripture. For the Christians it is the historical and theological background of the N.T. and so forms an integral part of the Holy Bible containing the O. T. and the N. T. Our Lord has quoted from it even hanging on the Cross 'My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me' (Ps. 22: 1). He defeated the temptations of Satan by quoting the passages from the Bible esp. the Book of Deuteronomy. (See Dt. 9: 9; 8:3; 6: 13; 1 Kings 19: 8 Ps. 118). St. Mathew quotes profusely from the O. T. to show that Jesus was the expected Messiah. When Our Lord. read the Bible in the Synagogue at Nazareth he was reading Is. 61: 1. St. Paul's whole theology of justification by faith is based on the faith of Abraham and the very phrase, "the righteous shall live by his faith" is from Habakkuk 2: 4. The Epistle to the Hebrews can never be understood without a thorough study of O. T. priesthood, the Tabernacle, the priesthood of Melchizedak etc. (See Ex. 25-40 for Heb. 9: 1-28). Creation of man in the image of God is basic for any Christian anthropology. The ten commandments is only fulfilled by Christ in the deeper version of it in the Sermon on the Mount and not abrogated. Those who say that the O. T. must be replaced by the Vedas and the Upanishads for the Indian Bible are not giving due value to the simple fact that Christianity is a historical religion unlike Hinduism and the Hebrew Christian Revelation has unique continuity in spite of the discontinuity. To say that Christ is the final answer for the quest of all ages and all religions is true, but there is a unique validity for the claim that the Messianic prophecies of the O. T. are fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth. Is not the devotional reading of the Psalter practiced in all the branches of Christendom to this very day? Is not the 23rd Psalm the most favorite passage of the whole Bible next to the Lord's prayer? Are not the stories of the O. T. more interesting to the Sunday school students than the stories of the N. T ? As the very God of very God became very man in the form of a Jew, how can we understand Him and his life and teaching without a study of the Jewish Bible ? It seems to me that those who do ignore the O. T. are trying to draw a picture without a black-board or trying to plant a tree without any roots. The O. T. gives the necessary background for the understanding of the New Israel, its sacraments and priesthood in relation to the sacrifices and priesthood of the Old Israel. It can easily be shown that if we do not read the O. T. our reading of the N. T. is partial and incomplete and even unintelligible. The lack of interest of many modern Christians in the O. T. will ultimately lead them to a lack of interest in the N. T. also. Even the phrase 'Christ our paschal lamb' (I Cor. 5: 7) is unintelligible without a study of the original paschal lamb of Ex. 12. As Jesus Christ stands between B. C. and A. D. as the center of history. He stands hidden in the O. T. and revealed in the N. T., as expected Messiah in the O. T. and as revealed Messiah in the N. T. and the whole Bible is history only as His Story. Therefore let us study the O. T. with a deep sense of dedication and expectation.
The word 'selah' appears frequently in the Psalms (4: 2, 4; 7; 5; 9: 16 etc.) When the psalm is read, this word need not be read as it is only a musical notation intended to give direction to the singers of the Hebrew psaltery. It is a liturgical or musical direction probably given by the leader of the Choir to raise to the voice or perhaps to indicate a pause. Scholars are not agreed to the literal meaning of it. The word appears outside the Psalter also: (See Heb. 3: 3, 9, 13). It does not appear in any of the prose narratives in the Bible. Even if we put the psalm into music, the word 'selah" need not be taken into the new musical notations as its real meaning and relevance is not yet clear from the various contexts in which it is found.
"But when Pharoah saw that there was a respite, he hardened his heart and would not listen to them: as the Lord had said," (Ex. 8: 15), "and the Lord hardened the heart of Pharoah, as he did not listen to them; as the Lord had spoken to Moses," (9:12). To the writer of Exodus, both these verses meant the same thing. Whatever happens in history, it is Jehovah who acts. "The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation (17: 16); "and the Lord sent thunder and hail and fire ran down to the earth and the Lord rained hail upon the land" (9: 23). The Hebrews were extremely religious people to whom the Lord God was behind every natural phenomenon. They did not raise the modern question, 'would a good God do evil ?' It is in the face of Jesus Christ that we see God as He is. The O. T. revelation of God was partial and fragmentary (Heb. 1: 1). Our Lord used to point out the sin hidden in the disbelief of hardened hearts (Mb. 6. 52; 8; 17). The Islamic faith in predestination of everything by Allah (kismet) was the faith of the Hebrews in the time of Exodus and so even the hardening of the heart of Pharoah was the doing of God. St. James makes it clear that God does not tempt any one. "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one: but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire." (1: 3) Sin would harden our hearts and we are asked to be vigilant. "Exhort one another everyday, as long as it is called, 'today', that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sins." (Heb.3: 13) Many such passages like the hardening of the heart of Pharoah in the O. T. then must be interpreted as the faith of that particular time of the writing of that particular book and not as the eternal truth revealed in the N. T. by Jesus Christ, the only Son of God.
This question is frequently asked as the students are not taught that Gen. 1-11 are pre-historical. Any one who compares Gen. 1: 1-2: 3 with Gen. 2: 4-24 can easily recognize that there are two distinct stories of creation and none is to be taken literally as the answer to the question how the world was created. The creation story in Gen. 1 is 'P' Document and God is called Elohim in it. Its date is around 450 B.C. and whoever wrote it did not compare the earlier story found in the second chapter where God is called Jehovah. This second chapter called 'J' Document is dated around 750 B.C. In the creation story in the first chapter, creation takes place in six days, humanity is created male and female in the image of God on the sixth day, the sun and moon are created on the fourth day and water covered the land before land and water were separated. In the earlier story found in the second chapter there is no mention of creation on each day, Adam is created before the animals are created and Eve is created from the rib of Adam after the creation of animals and the plants grew due to the mist that went up and watered the whole earth. Those who believe that the Bible gives the answer to the question 'how' the world was created will have to choose one of these stories and leave the other as myth. Those who have taken the pain to study the Bible critically would agree that the creation story is a saga to answer certain theological questions such as who created the earth and all things visible and invisible and not the biological questions about the age of the earth and the plants and life on earth. The theological answer regarding the image of God in man is also of immense significance concerning the questions related to the nature and destiny of man. In both the creation stories, it is God who created, whether Elohim or Jehovah. It is very unfortunate that the Fundamentalist brethren degrade the Holy Bible of eternal value to the level of time-bound and changing values of scientific truths. We ought to leave to science to answer the question how the world was created, by slow evolution or by sudden creation. The Holy Bible is not a text-book of Physics or Chemistry or Geography or Zoology or Biology. It is the basic text book on theology and must be kept in that level. Let the Bible answer the fundamental questions about God, the salvation of man, the life after death etc., and let us allow science to answer all physiological questions that can be verified by objective tests in the laboratory or outside.
The question 'whom did Cain marry ?' is raised out of the misunderstanding about the word 'Adam.' Adam in Hebrew is not a proper name, but it just means 'man or humanity.' The presence or absence of other human beings at the time of Adam does not change the theological truths about the first Adam, the representative fallen man taken as the head of the fallen humanity. The Second Adam, Jesus Christ is, the representative and the Head of the redeemed humanity in spite of the fact that other human beings lived at the time of the economy of salvation in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Just as the defeat of Goliath meant the defeat of all the Philistines (I Sam. 17), the fall of Adam meant the fall of the whole of humanity. We must move from the Second Adam to the first and not vice versa.
The story of Cain in Gen. 4 makes it clear that there were other human beings in the land of Nod where Cain fled and found a girl whom he took to wife. "Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, east of Eden" (16). Nod was a place of so many people that Cain built a city there for the inhabitants in honor of his son Enoch (17). Some of the fathers thought that Cain married his sister, but it seems very unlikely. If there were no other people, why did Cain say, "whoever finds me will slay me" (4: 14) ? The point is that even if creation was evolutionary, there is no problem as far as the theology of the creation story is concerned. It is alright to teach creation story as it is recorded in the Bible in the primary class in the Sunday School when evolutionary creation is understandable to the kids. But a little later the students will ask, "How were the first three days of creation calculated with the words, 'and there was evening and there was morning,' when the sun, the moon and the stars were created only on the fourth day ?" When the students are able to ask such questions, the truth of creation should be explained as theological and not biological or zoological. Thus the question, 'whom did, Cain, marry ?' is a good opportunity to explain the fact that, first two chapters of Genesis belong to pre-historic narrative and also the documentary theory that in the days of Ezra, the Jehovistic. Elohistic, Deuteronomic, and priestly codes were amalgamated into one volume for the first time and the reasons for the discrepancy in the two creation stories, two flood narratives etc. The fundamentalists are not doing full justice to the Bible itself as they are not open-minded to confess that the Bible is a divine human book with the unchanging truths of God are recorded in the changing and even fallible words of man. The Bible interpreted in such a way that there is no conflict between the Bible and science. "The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."