Last week, I began to explore the process of multiplication as observed in human conception. In so doing, I began an attempt to demonstrate how demon spirits came into being. I discussed how both parents contribute equally to the chromosomal makeup of their offspring.
But is this 50/50 split the case with the spirit of the child, the breath of life, which actually gives the child life and makes the child to become a living soul? If everything in the reproductive process is a 50/50 split between the mother and the father, then why does the Bible universally say the father begat the children?
Many people assume that the spirit of a child is deposited by God at the time of conception, like God reaches down from heaven adding an individual new spirit into the child. But God says that we reproduce by “multiplication”, not addition.
If the spirit of a child was added by God, or was 50/50 from the mother and father, along with the child’s body or soul being 50/50 from the mother and father, then it would seem counter-intuitive that the Bible always speaks of men begetting children.
In fact, as solely the mother’s body grows the child’s body in pregnancy, it would make more sense for her to be said to beget the children, all things being equal. Yet it is always the father who begets the child, and God the Father who begot Jesus Christ.
As the spirit of the child, the breath of life, is what makes the child to be alive and a living soul, then this is essential to the child being alive. If the father alone were to contribute the spirit giving life to the child, this could explain why a child is begat only by their father.
And this essential ingredient to a living child would also balance with the mother’s larger contribution in pregnancy. Only the mother can go through pregnancy, perhaps in the same way only the father can give the spirit, the breath of life, and this is what it means that the father begets the child. There is more in the Bible which seems to verify this idea.
"For the man is not out of the woman, but the woman is out of the man; For just as the woman is out of the man, in this manner also the man is through the woman; but all together from God.” 1 Corinthians 11:8,12. The Bible says the children came through Eve, as in “passing through”. The word here “dia” means “a motion through”.
The distinction is clearly made that while Eve came “out of” Adam, that her sons “passed through” her. And so also, while sons and daughters come “out of” their fathers, all children have come “through” their mother, not “out of” her. It cannot be physical birth that is spoken of here, as obviously babies come out of their mothers. It could not be the multiplication of the body that is referenced to here, as we know the child body is multiplied from both the parents equally.
Rather, this stated difference must reference to spiritual multiplication. Applying this to Eve, this means her children came through her, but solely “out of” Adam. It must be the spirit that is referenced here, the breath of life, an essential ingredient, which when added to the body makes a child to become a new living soul. This is indicative that the spirit of a child (male or female) comes only from the father of a child, and is multiplied from him alone.
But on the other hand the body and soul of a child clearly have traits of both of the child’s parents. If begetting means giving life, and the spirit is the breath of life, then it makes sense that the spirit would come only from the father of the child, because the Bible says that fathers alone beget children.
And in the larger scheme of things, if the father solely was the source of multiplication for a child’s spirit, this would balance the larger contribution of the mother in the “multiplication” of the child’s body in pregnancy. There is more in the Bible to confirm this idea. In keeping with this, the Bible confirms that it was by Adam alone (not Eve) who passed the sinful/dying spiritual state to all of humanity.
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned – for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:12-21 NASB.
“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 45. It seems the spiritual change that occurred when Adam ate from the tree, when his eyes were opened, and his spirit became in a dead/sinful state, passed from him alone to all of humanity.
The Bible makes clear that this spiritual state came from Adam alone, and not from Eve. This would make the most sense if all of his children were multiplied solely from his own spirit. It seems after him eating from the tree, his spirit gained these qualities of a dead/sinful state, and all spirits multiplied from his original would inherit this quality as well. These passages parallel Adam and Jesus very closely. It is true that through Jesus Christ, singularly, all Christians become spiritually born again to life.
This matches most closely with the concept that through Adam, singularly, all people were born spiritually to death. In the same way that in Adam alone all die spiritually, all are made alive spiritually by Jesus Christ alone, through a new birth by the Holy Spirit.
And so there are several conclusive points that the Bible seems to make about how humans reproduce by multiplication, which align with what is known of Jesus Christ. If human multiplication was set up by God so that the mother’s spirit is not multiplied to the child in any portion, then this would allow for Jesus Christ to have been fully God spiritually, His spirit being begotten solely by God the Father.
Some teachings seem to argue that how Jesus was fully God and fully man is a mystery. But this teaching here would allow for Jesus Christ to have been fully God spiritually without anything having happened in reproduction that violated the way God set up human multiplication to work, in the beginning.
This teaching makes the fully God spiritual nature of Jesus Christ to be completely consistent with the process of reproduction through multiplication which God set up originally. If all people receive their spirit as multiplied solely from the spirit of their father, then Jesus Christ being fully God would work without inconsistency.
But if the spirit of the mother was also multiplied in combination to grow the spirit of the child, then this could be argued to have been at odds with Jesus being fully God spiritually. He was not half-man spiritually, but fully God spiritually. Jesus surely was not half-man spiritually and half-God spiritually, with a contribution from his mother Mary affecting his spiritual full God-ness, but rather Jesus Christ was fully God.
This lines up with the spirit of the child coming solely from the spirit of the father. At the same time, Jesus was fully man in His body, receiving both from his mother… and paradoxically from Himself… as He is the image of the invisible God.
“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature” (Col 1:15). The 50/50 contribution of Jesus’ body from God the Father and from Mary, can only be understood in that Jesus Christ is eternal, and always was… so His paternal bodily blueprint came from Himself. This is not meant in that Jesus was His own father, as that would contradict that God is His Father, and I am not stating otherwise, nor blurring the lines of the persons of the Godhead or Trinity.
But what I do mean is found in the truth Jesus spoke, "Before Abraham was, I AM”, in that Jesus Christ eternally always was, is, and will be God, and here before He made time itself, a paradox that is only solved by Jesus Christ eternally existing. Colossians 1:15 also means we all were made in the image of God, which means we all were made in the image of Jesus Christ, from the beginning. He always was.
The body of a child comes from, is multiplied from, both the mother and father, as seen in Adam and Eve. And the body is grown solely by the mother in pregnancy. But at the same time the spirit, breath of life, of the child is multiplied solely from the spirit of the father of the child. This seems to be the definition of “begetting”.
And the spirit of the child therefore inherits the qualities of the spirit of the father, such as the example of a sinful spiritual nature and death passing from Adam to all of his children. And so it seems that the Bible teaches that in multiplication the body of the child will be half from the mother, and half from the father, but that the spirit of the child will come solely from the father of the child, which gives the breath of life, which makes the child to become a new living soul.
Understanding this to be the case, there is an account in the Bible which sticks out, in regards to where demons came from. It sticks out because understanding this about human multiplication; this account requires some strange implications.
Going back to the first wave of fallen angels, the “sons of God”, messenger-type angels who looked like men: “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown.” Genesis 6:1-4. Here the “sons of God” had children with human women. Based on what we have covered, this has some interesting implications.
These “sons of God” were of the messenger type of angels, who universally are described to look like human men. Apparently, they were able to reproduce, in having a bodily form of human men. Another thing we know about angels is that they are immortal spirits. Their children are described to have been mighty men, and giants (Nephilim in Hebrew).
They are described as men, and so they looked human, but were giants. What would happen if a human-looking male angel had children with a human woman? If this was the case, then the result as described here were giant men.
This is a question that should seriously exercise the mind of every Botswana citizen and every science researcher, every health worker and every political leader political.
The Covid-19 currently defines our lives and poses a direct threat to every aspect and every part of national safety, security and general well-being. This disease has become a normative part of human life throughout the world.
The first part of the struggle against the murderous depredation of this disease was to protect personal life through restrictive health injunctions and protocols; the worst possibly being human isolation and masks that hid our sorrows and lamentations through thin veils. We suffered that humiliation with grace and I believe as a nation we did a great job.
Now the vaccines are here, ushering us into the second phase of this war against the plague; and we are asking ourselves, is this science-driven fight against Covid-19 spell the end of pandemic anxiety? Is the health nightmare coming to an end? What happy lives lie ahead? Is this the time for celebration or caution? As the Non State Actors, we have being struggling with these questions for months.
We have published our thoughts and feelings, and our research reviews and thorough reading of both the local and international impacts of this rampaging viral invasion in local newspapers and social media platforms.
More significantly, we have successfully organised workshops about the impact of the pandemic on society and the economy and the last workshop invited a panel of health experts, professionals, and public administers to advance this social dialogue as part of our commitment to the tripartite engagement we enjoy working with Government of Botswana, Civil Society and Development partners. These workshops are virtual and open to all Batswana, foreign diplomatic missions based in Gaborone, UN agencies located in Gaborone and international academic researchers and professional health experts and specialists.
The mark of Covid-19 on our nation is a painful one, a tragedy shared by the entire human race, but still a contextually painful experience. Our response is fraught with grave difficulties; limited resources, limited time, and the urgency to not only save lives but also avert economic ruin and a bleak future for all who survive. Several vaccines are already in the market.
Parts of the world are already doing the best they can to trunk the pestilential march of this disease by rolling out mass-vaccinations campaigns that promise to evict this health menace and nightmare from their public lives. Botswana, like much of Africa, is still up in the disreputable, and, unenviable, preventative social melee of masked interactions, metered distances, contactless commerce.
We remain very much at the mercy of a marauding virus that daily runs amuck with earth shattering implications for the economy and human lives. And the battle against both infections and transmissions is proving to be difficult, in terms of finance, institutional capacities and resource mobilization. How are we prepared as government, and as citizens, to embrace the impending mass-vaccinations? What are the chances of us succeeding at this last-ditch effort to defeat the virus? What are the most pressing obstacles?
Does the work of vaccines spell an end to the pandemic anxieties?
Our panellists addressed the current state of mass-vaccination preparedness at the Botswana national level. What resources are available? What are the financial, institutional and administrative operational challenges (costs and supply chains, delivery, distribution, administering the vaccine on time, surveillance and security of vaccines?) What is being done to overcome them, or what can be done to overcome them? What do public assessments of preparedness tell us at the local community levels? How strong is the political will and direction? How long can we expect the whole exercise to last? At what point should we start seeing tangible results of the mass-vaccination campaign?
They also addressed the challenges of the anticipated emerging Vaccinated Society. How to fight the myths of vaccines and the superstitions about histories of human immunizations? What exactly is being done to grow robust local confidence in the science of vaccinations and the vaccines themselves? More significantly, how to square these campaigns vis-vis personal rights, moral/religious obligations?
What messages are being sent out in these regards and how are Batswana responding? What about issues of justice and equality? Will we get the necessary vaccines to everyone who wants them? What is being done to ensure no deserving person is left behind?
They also addressed issues of health data. To accomplish this mass-vaccination campaign and do everything right we need accurate and complete data. Poor data already makes it very hard to just cope with the disease. What is being done to improve data for the mass-vaccination campaign? How is this data being collected, aggregated and prepared for real life situation/applications throughout Botswana in the coming campaign?
We know in America, for example, general reporting and treatment of health data at the beginning of vaccinations was so poor, so chaotic and so scattered mainstream newspapers like The Atlantic, Washington Post and the New York Times had to step in, working very closely with civil society organizations, to rescue the situation. What data-related issues are still problematic in Botswana?
To be specific, what kind of Covid-19 data is being taken now to ready the whole country for an effective and efficient mass-vaccination program?
Batswana must be made aware that the end part of vaccination will just mark the beginning of a long journey to health recovery and national redemption; that in many ways Covid-19 vaccination is just another step toward the many efforts in abeyance to fight this health pandemic, the road ahead is still long and painful.
For this purpose, and to highlight the significance of this observation we tasked our panellists with the arduous imperative of analysing the impact of mass-vaccination on society and the economy alongside the pressing issues of post-Covid-19 national health surveillance and rehabilitation programs.
Research suggests the aftermath of Covid-19 vaccination is going to be just as difficult and uncertain world as the present reality in many ways, and that caution should prevail over celebration, at least for a long time. The disease itself is projected to linger around for some time after all these mass-vaccination campaigns unless an effort is made to vaccinate everyone to the last reported case, every nation succeeds beyond herd immunity, and cure is found for Covid-19 disease. Many people are going to continue in need of medications, psychological and psychiatric services and therapy.
Is Botswana ready for this long holdout? If not, what path should we take going into the future? The Second concern is , are we going to have a single, trusted national agency charged with the mandate to set standards for our national health data system, now that we know how real bad pandemics can be, and the value of data in quickly responding to them and mitigating impact? Finally, what is being done to curate a short history of this pandemic? A national museum of health and medicine or a Public Health Institute in Botswana is overdue.
If we are to create strong sets of data policies and data quality standards for fighting future health pandemics it is critical that they find ideological and moral foundations in the artistic imagery and photography of the present human experience…context is essential to fighting such diseases, and to be prepared we must learn from every tragic health incident.
Our panellists answered most of these questions with distinguished intellectual clarity. We wish Batswana to join us in our second Mass-vaccination workshop.
Today is International Women’s Day – it’s a moment to think about how much better our news diet could be if inequities were eliminated. In 1995, when the curtains fell in one of the largest meetings that have ever brought women together to discuss women in development, it was noted that women and media remain key to development.
Twenty-six years later, the relevant “Article J” of the Beijing Platform for Action, remains unfulfilled. Its two strategic objectives with regard to Women and Media have not been met. They are Increase the participation and access of women to expression and decision-making in and through the media and new technologies of communication
Promote a balanced and non-stereotyped portrayal of women in the media.
Today, as we mark International Women’s Day, it’s an indictment on both media owners and civil society that women remain on the periphery of news-making. They cannot claim equal space in either the structures of newsrooms or in the content produced, be that as sources of news or as the subjects of reports. Indeed, the latest figures from WAN-IFRA’s Women in News Programme show just one in five voices in news belong to women*, be they as sources, as the author or as the main character of the news report.
Some progress was evident several years back, with stand-out women being named as chief executive officers, editors in chief, managing editors and executive editors. But these gains appear short lived in most media organisations. Excitement has turned to frustration as one-step forward has been replaced with three steps backwards. In Africa, the problem is acute. The decision-making tables of media organisations remain deprived of women and where there are women, they are surrounded by men.
Few women have followed in the footsteps of Esther Kamweru, the first woman managing editor in Kenya, and indeed sub-Saharan Africa. Today’s standout women editors include Pamela Makotsi-Sittoni (Nation Media Group, Kenya), Barbara Kaija (New Vision, Uganda), Mary Mbewe (Daily Nation, Zambia), Margaret Vuchiri (The Monitor, Uganda), Joyce Shebe (Clouds, Tanzania), Tryphinah Dongwana (Weekend Post, Botswana), Joyce Mhaville (Independent Television -ITV, Tanzania) and Tuma Abdallah (Standard Newspapers,Tanzania). But they remain an exception.
The lack of balance between women and men at the table of decision making has a rollback effect on the content that is produced. A table dominated by men typically makes decisions that benefit men.
So today, International Women’s Day is a grim reminder that things are not rosy in the news business. Achieving gender balance in news and in the structure of media organisations remains a challenge. Unmet, it sees more than half of the population in our countries suffer the consequences of bias, discrimination and sexism.
The business of ignoring the other half of the population can no longer be treated as normal. It’s time that media leaders grasp the challenge, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it also makes a whole lot of business sense: start covering women, give them space and a voice in news-making and propel them to all levels of decision making within your organisation.
We can no longer afford to imagine that it’s only men who make and sell the news and bring in the shillings to fund the media business. Women too are worthy newsmakers. In all of our societies, there are women holding decision making positions and who are now experts in once male-only domains such as engineers, doctors, scientists and researchers.
They can be deliberately picked out to share their perspectives and expertise and bring balance to the profile of experts quoted on our news pages. Media is the prism through which society sees itself and women are an untapped audience. So, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us embrace diversity, which yields better news content and business products, and in so doing eliminate sexism. We know that actions and attitudes that discriminate against people based on their gender is bad for business.
As media, the challenge is ours. We need to consciously embrace and reach the commitments made 26 years ago when the Beijing Platform for Action was signed globally. As the news consuming public, you have a role to play too. Hold your news organization to account and make sure they deliver balanced news that reflects the voices of all of society.
Jane Godia is a gender development and media expert who serves as the Africa Director of Women in News programme. WOMEN IN NEWS is WAN-IFRA’s ground-breaking programme to increase women’s leadership and voices in the news. It does so by equipping women journalists and editors with the skills, strategies, and support networks to take on greater leadership positions within their media. www.womeninnews.org
The eve of International Women’s Day presents an opportunity for us to think about gender equality and the long and often frustrating march toward societies that are truly equal.
As media, we are uniquely placed to drive forward this reflection and discussion. But while focusing on the challenges of gender in society, we owe it to our staff and the communities we serve to also take a hard look at the obstacles within our own organisations.
I’m talking specifically about the scourge of sexual harassment. It’s likely to have happened in your newsroom. It has likely happened to a member of your team. It happens to all genders but is disproportionately directed at women. It happens in every industry, regardless of country, culture or context. This is because sexual harassment is driven by power, not sex. Wherever you have imbalances in power, you have individuals who are at risk of sexual harassment, and those who abuse this power.
I’ve been sexually harassed. The many journalists and editors, friends and family members who I have spoken to over the years on this subject have also been harassed. Yet it is still hard for leaders to recognize that this could be happening within their newsrooms and boardrooms. Why does it continue to be such a taboo?
Counting the cost of sexual harassment
Sexual harassment is, simply put, bad for business. It can harm your corporate reputation. It is a drain on the productivity of staff and managers. Maintaining and building trust in your brand is an absolute imperative for media organisations globally. If and when a case gets out of control or is badly handled – this can directly impact your bottom line.
It is for this reason that WAN-IFRA Women in News has put eliminating sexual harassment as a top priority in our work around gender equality in the media sector. This might seem at odds with the current climate where social interactions are fewer and remote work scenarios are in place in many newsrooms and businesses. But one only needs to tune into the news to know that the abuse of power, manifested as verbal, physical or online harassment, is alive and well.
Preliminary results from an ongoing Women in News research study into the issue of sexual harassment polling hundreds of journalists in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia indicate that more than 1 in 3 women media professionals have been physically harassed, and just under 50% have been verbally harassed. Just over 15% of men in African newsrooms reported being physically harassed, and slightly less than 1 in 4 reports being verbally harassed. The numbers for male media professionals in Southeast Asia are slightly higher than a quarter on both forms of harassment.
The first step in confronting sexual harassment is to talk about it. We need to strip away the stigma and discomfort around having open conversations about what sexual harassment is and isn’t. Media managers, it is entirely in your power to create dynamics in your own teams that are free from sexual harassment.
Publishers and CEOs, you set the organisational culture in your media company.
By being vocal in recognising that it happens everywhere, and communicating to your employees that you will not tolerate sexual harassment of any kind, you send a powerful message to your teams, and publicly. With these actions, you will help us overcome the legacy of silence around this topic, and in doing so take an important first step to create media environments that truly embrace equality.
Melanie Walker is Executive Director of Media Development of the World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). She is a creator of Women in News, WAN-IFRA’s ground-breaking programme to increase women’s leadership and voices in the news. It does so by equipping women journalists and editors with the skills, strategies, and support networks to take on greater leadership positions within their media. www.womeninnews.org