Thread: Adam & Eve, revisited.
March 19th 2003, 05:16 PM #46
To AtheistArchonGod, a perfect being, creates humans... simply in order to sing his praises, if they want to. Perhaps we can study this character trait in another thread, but for now I understand.
Free will. You're saying that god put the tree in Eden in order to give mankind free will (for whichever odd reason).
But the tree was not necessary for such a moral decision to be available, yes? After all, Adam had the opportunity to, say, murder Eve from the first moment she was created. Is this not a moral choice? If we're assuming (and I think we are) that Adam and Eve had free will all along, then tree of knowledge was not the granter of free will; they already had it. So what was it for? What did the fruit do?
Did god want Adam and Eve to act in his accord, or not?
If so, then why put them to a test he knew they would fail?
1) Make Adam and Eve not fail the test.
2) Give them a new test, since He knew they would fail this one.
3) Let them fail the test of the Tree.
Option #1 is obviously unviable, because it takes away their free will. Option #2 gives two possible immediate outcomes: they either pass or fail this new test. God knows beforehand which will occur. If they pass it, great; if not, God has these three options again.
However, this still involves, indirectly taking away their free will. Correct me if I’m wrong, but, as you would have it, God should not give a test that he knows his subjects will fail. So option #2, essentially, turns into God changing the test until he finds one He knows they will pass. He is foreordaining that they will choose correctly, because he is ACTIVELY disallowing them from failing. The key here is the difference between foreknowing (a passive process) and foreordaining (an active process).
So that leaves only option #3, which the God of the Bible chose.
If not, then why punish them for simply doing what he planned all along?
March 20th 2003, 02:03 AM #47
I have a question, for anyone who wants to answer. I have been told that, unlike some books of the Bible, Psalms for instance, Genesis is not written nor meant to be read as an allegory. I have thought at certain times in my life that I could accept the metaphorical story in Genesis in a very broad sense. But, especially among orthodox or fundamental Christians today, metaphors don't exist in this book. Which brings me to my question.
Did the serpent really talk? Did all snakes talk then? Was this a special snake and if so why? I know that many people think the snake is a metaphor for Satan, but that clearly is not an option. Why is this thought so widespread? Just what was this snake doing there anyway and was it part of that which God saw was "good?"Volo anaticulam cumminosam meam!
March 20th 2003, 05:08 AM #48
- I have a question, for anyone who wants to answer. I have been told that, unlike some books of the Bible, Psalms for instance, Genesis is not written nor meant to be read as an allegory.
The Hebrew grammar of Genesis shows that Genesis 1–11 has the same literary style as Genesis 12–50, which no one doubts is historical narrative. For example:
- The early chapters of Genesis frequently use the construction called the ‘waw consecutive’, usually an indicator of historical sequence.
- Genesis 1–11 also has several other trademarks of historical narrative, such as ‘accusative particles’ (’eth) that mark the objects of verbs, and many terms that are carefully defined.
- The Hebrew verb grammar of Genesis 1 has a particular feature that exactly what is expected if it were representing a series of past events. That is, only the first verb is perfect, while the verbs that continue the narrative are imperfect. In Genesis 1, the first verb is bara’ (create) which is perfect, while the subsequent verbs that move the narrative forward are a series of imperfects, including wayyomer (‘And … said’, v. 3), and wayehi (‘and there was’, v. 3).
- Parallelisms, which are characteristic of Hebrew poetry, are absent from Genesis, except where people are cited, e.g. Genesis 4:23. If Genesis were truly poetic, it would use parallelisms throughout.
- Everywhere else Genesis 1-11 is cited in the Bible, it is treated as history. E.g., the days of Creation Week are the basis for the days of the working week in the 4th Commandment, Jesus cites Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 to teach on marriage, Luke 3 and Hebrews 11 treat Genesis 1-11 personages as equally historical with later ones, Paul accepts the reality of Adam bringing death to teach on the Resurrection in 1 Cor. 15, Paul justifies his commands on men and women teaching in Church with the historical fact of Adam's creation before Eve and the fact that Eve was deceived and Adam not.
- But, especially among orthodox or fundamental Christians today, metaphors don't exist in this book. Which brings me to my question.
- Did the serpent really talk? Did all snakes talk then? Was this a special snake and if so why? I know that many people think the snake is a metaphor for Satan, but that clearly is not an option.
- Why is this thought so widespread? Just what was this snake doing there anyway and was it part of that which God saw was "good?"
Last edited by Socrates; March 20th 2003 at 05:17 AM.
March 20th 2003, 02:26 PM #49Today @ 03:08 AM
The Hebrew grammar of Genesis shows that Genesis 1–11 has the same literary style as Genesis 12–50, which no one doubts is historical narrative. For example..."It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man." - Rich Mullins
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