By Candida R. Moss
In the e-book of Genesis, the 1st phrases God speaks to humanity are "Be fruitful and multiply." From precedent days to at the present time, those phrases were understood as a divine command to procreate. Fertility is seen as an indication of blessedness and ethical uprightness, whereas infertility is linked to sin and ethical failing. Reconceiving Infertility explores conventional interpretations akin to those, delivering a extra whole photo of the way procreation and childlessness are depicted within the Bible.
Closely studying texts and issues from either the Hebrew Bible and the recent testomony, Candida Moss and Joel Baden supply important new views on infertility and the social stories of the infertile within the biblical culture. they start with might be the main well-known tales of infertility within the Bible--those of the matriarchs Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel--and express how the divine injunction in Genesis is either a blessing and a curse. Moss and Baden cross directly to talk about the metaphorical remedies of Israel as a "barren mother," the notion of Jesus, Paul's writings on family members and replica, and extra. They display how biblical perspectives on procreation and infertility, and the traditional contexts from which they emerged, have been extra varied than we think.
Reconceiving Infertility demonstrates that the Bible speaks in lots of voices approximately infertility, and lays a biblical origin for a extra supportive non secular surroundings for these being affected by infertility today.
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Extra resources for Reconceiving Infertility: Biblical Perspectives on Procreation and Childlessness
It is, rather, culturally dependent. The fundamental questions—How do we define infertility? Why does it occur? —are answered differently in different times and places. Because so many of our modern notions come from the Bible, what concerns us here is how they would have been answered in biblical times. That is to say, how would Hannah have understood and experienced her The Matriarchs as Models 25 barrenness? And how can a greater appreciation of ancient ideas about infertility lead us to reassess some of our own ideas?
85 Given the centuries upon centuries of readers who have understood infertility within this overarching religious framework, and given the centrality of the Bible as the source of our understanding of God, it is natural to assume that for all of the ancient biblical authors, as well, infertility was thought to be the result 44 Chapter 1 of divine punishment. But is this a necessary conclusion—or have we been so overwhelmed by the master narrative that we are unable to see other strands of thought present in the narrative?
While it is largely presented as negative, it is on other occasions assumed or neutral. In some cases childlessness is a part of the divine plan, is embedded in creation, or serves as eschatological foreshadowing. There are junctures in the text where real thought is given to an alternative form of divinely authorized family. And by the time we reach Paul the celibate life seems actually to be preferred. 18 Introduction The organization of this book reflects our conviction—a conviction shared by the majority of biblical scholars—that the Bible is a collection of voices.
Reconceiving Infertility: Biblical Perspectives on Procreation and Childlessness by Candida R. Moss