Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 08/15/2021
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Several weeks ago we talked about how, “abstract thought” is one of the capacities that sets us apart from the animal creation, and likens us to God.
Today we will look at another characteristic, sense of beauty.
What is beauty???
Webster: the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.
Beauty is often listed as one of the three fundamental concepts of human understanding besides truth and goodness.
A certain tension exists between notions of objective beauty and subjective beauty. Hence the phrase, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”
We could safely assume that everything in the earthly realm was beautiful before the fall because God declared it to be good.
Sin introduced ugliness (a distortion of the image) and a distinction between good and evil, truth and falsehood, beauty and ugliness.
In the contemporary, post-modern philosophy of the way things are, subjectivity rules the day. Just as there is no such thing as absolute truth, likewise, transcendent beauty is a fallacy. BUT
Is. 61:3, “to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes”
The Bible has much to say about beauty.
Ecc. 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
This verse indicates that 1) there is a creative element to beauty, and 2) that there is a process involved. In Gen. 1:2, “the earth was without form, and void” implies a certain lack of beauty. Form, shape, line, relationship, color and tone are all elements that give definition to visual beauty. Meter, rhyme, pitch, are elements of audio beauty. Gen. 49:21 says, “Naphtali...uses beautiful words.”
Interesting: Naphtali means, “wrestling” and was the 6th son of Jacob. Six is the number of man.
Some things declared beautiful:
a woman, Gen. 12:11 speaking of Sarai, and many other places.
a certain child, Ex. 2:2 speaking of Moses
fruit of trees, Lev. 23:40
cities, Duet. 6:10
houses, Duet. 8:12
spoils of Babylon, Jos. 7:21
garments; Isa. 52:1
the “inner self, the unfading beauty…” I Pet. 3:4
Interestingly, Eze. 28:11, speaking prophetically of Satan declares, “You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.”
Speaking of the Lord, Isaiah writes, “There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 53:2
Other things the Scripture declare as beautiful...”feet”
“How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace...Is. 52:7
Feet are not the most beautiful part of the human anatomy
Certainly the most compelling object of beauty is, “the beauty of holiness.” I Ch. 16:29, 2 Ch. 20:21, Ps. 29:2 “ko`-desh”