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horny religion?

11 Mar

I received this question from a friend this week – and probably had a bit too much fun answering it. Perhaps this question comes from someone really seeking truth and having an issue with, well, horny religion; but then, perhaps not. Without further adieu, here’s the question followed by my havering answer…

Hello Mike,

I have a question for you, that was posed to me by a non-believer. This gal states that in Old Testament times, a person who was believed to have seen or been touched by God was described as having horns coming from their head…as Moses.  Then she asks, what does that say of my devil, or better yet, my Jesus as the Son of God? She then cites Exodus 34:29 as her reference. I don’t see that, even in the KJV.  Looking at the original word “karan” for face shone, states it still more a radiance, not horns.

How would one explain this to a non-believer?

Tell your friend that even great medieval artists have made the same mistake she is making (due to the “absurd rendering” of the Latin Vulgate; see lexicon entry), so she shouldn’t feel too badly about it…you can show your friend this if you like:

This is Gesenius’ classic Hebrew Lexicon entry for karan – and even if they were “horns” people saw on Moses (no mention of anyone else in Scripture experiencing the same phenomenon – so, nice try but wrong again) the “horns” were coming from the face of Moses, not the top of his head. (And isn’t that a fetching picture for your imagination!) So on at least three counts, I would tell your friend she needs to do some more homework before attempting to pose such a presumed conundrum, otherwise – while she may not have horns on her head – she will end up with egg on her face.

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4 Comments

Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Bible Questions, Old Testament

 

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4 responses to “horny religion?

  1. mike jackson

    March 21, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Exactly the way I feel just coming off a mountain top experience. I’ll have that glow, inside and out,of the Lord, and in only a few brief encounters I feel those horns inside my head jutting from the surface of my face. Usually in the form of my tongue. Oh how I wish the guru imagery of a wise old sage clothed in sandals and kindness would take permanent root. Did Jesus ever have a goad to get? I know the answer to that one. Just blogging out load.

     
  2. wordhaver

    March 22, 2011 at 12:26 am

    I hear you Mike! I don’t believe any of us are spared the daily “putting to death of the old man” and “putting on of the new.” Mountain top experiences and those in the valley (with and without horns coming out of our faces!) are part of those rhythms for all of us!

     
  3. BornagainChild

    May 25, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I don’t understand, if that’s the case then why isn’t Jesus drawn with horns on his head? Some one please explain to me. I mean i thought if you have horns it was a demonic sign and being touched by god was receiving the holes in the palms of your hands (stigmata)

     
  4. wordhaver

    May 26, 2011 at 3:19 am

    Actually, Dann, there weren’t any literal horns growing out of Moses’ face or head (or out of Jesus’ face or head either, for that matter). They were rays of light emanating from Moses’ face because of his exposure to the presence of God. It was a poor choice of words resulting from the Latin translation of the Bible that resulted in horns being placed on Moses’ head in the famous sculpture. Furthermore, horns biblically don’t represent evil but power. And come to think of it, Jesus when pictured in Revelation 5 as the “lamb that had been slain” is pictured as having seven horns. Nothing satanic or evil about that picture — it’s just a picture of complete, (and in this case) messianic power. When the devil is pictured in Revelation, he is pictured as a red dragon with his own ten horns on seven heads on which he wore seven crowns — all of which well captures the idea of the worldly power that satan wields. The depiction of satan as a man in a red suit with a forked tail and two horns is traditional but not biblical. Being exposed to satan is doesn’t, as far as I’m aware, cause anyone to grow horns — it would be something far more insidious: a deceived heart and a betrayer’s spirit resulting in murder most foul… Hope this helps Dann. Blessings to you!

     

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