Article to be "Orthodox-ied
This is an excellent start, to say the least. But if someone has access to the Orthodox understanding of these stories, it would ceratainly be a great addition to this page, IMHO.
- > I would have to say that this article goes past an Encyclopedic entry and is also not very Orthodox friendly. I daresay, we should revisit this article and pull together a more Orthodox entry that is more to the point. ~ Ixthis888, 3.09PM August 3, 2011 (EST)
What does it matter the 'genetic perfection' (sic) of Noah when God has chosen him on grounds that he is 'righteous before me'?
This is a quote from the OrthodoxWiki page on Genesis:
"God selected one man, Noah, and his family, to survive the flood, as Noah's family is still perfect genetically (Genesis 6:9 [being offered as the reference for this interpretation])."
Now, we wonder why it says that "Noah's family is still perfect genetically"!
We have four translations in Swedish at our disposal, neither of which has anything concerning genetics, nor anything that could be interpreted as such. We have also consulted the King James Bible, and we have in fact found a lot of things in the context that makes Genesis 6:9 meaningful, but none of it has anything to do with genetics. Having no training in Hebrew we want only to point out what is obvious albeit from our limited point of view, and hopefully someone who has knowledge of Hebrew as well as the authority to interpret Scripture can look into this and correct any possible fault concerning the interpretation of this locus.
The main reason why God chose Noah seems to be that he was righteous and above reproach (this being by the way roughly the meaning found in all four of the Swedish translations that we have consulted). (These are Bibel 2000, Åkessons översättning, 1917 års översättning and Karl XIIs översättning.) Contrary to many if not all others "Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD" (Genesis 6:8). We must suspect that it is a word which is used in a certain way in the King James rendering of Genesis 6:9 which is the source of some confusion, namely the word 'generations':
"These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God." (Genesis 6:9.)
In Swedish it says that Noah was righteous (or perfect [in Karl XIIs översättning]) in this generation (or race), and this meaning recurs again in Genesis 7:1 where, furthermore, the Swedish translation is in agreement with King James:
"And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation." (Genesis 7:1.)
And as we all can see, here it is also stated explicitly that the reason why Noah was chosen was that Noah was righteous before God! We wonder if this was not already implicit in Genesis 6:9, for according to our University teacher in Old Testament studies, when two sentences that are related in meaning are stated after one another, they are often different ways of expressing one and the same meaning. Hence, when it is said in Genesis 6:9 that 'Noah was [...] perfect in his generations', we wonder if this should not be taken as synonymous with what is said in direct connection with it, namely that 'Noah walked with God'! We see no reason to doubt it on grounds of the understanding of the Orthodox Christian faith that we have been granted by our spiritual father either, and nevertheless we do look forward to the opinion of someone who is qualified to make the assertion. In any case, we do not see how it is relevant that Noah was 'still perfect genetically', as the OrthodoxWiki page on Genesis has it while we are writing, if the LORD has already chosen Noah saying that he is 'righteous before me'!
Anthropos, Sunday January 3rd in the year 2010 of our LORD.