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Creation Story: Did God lie?

Discussion in 'Creation & Evolution' started by theyre here, May 24, 2002.

  1. theyre here

    theyre here Supreme Skeptic

    132
    +4
    I've discussed this point in other forums and am curious about the opinions here.

    If we examine the fable of Eden, we discover an interesting observation. God seems to have lied, and the serpent seems to have told the truth. God told Adam and Eve: (Genesis 3:3) “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die .” And the serpent responded: (Genesis 3:4) “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die .” Well, as the story goes, we know they both ate the fruit, and did not die.

    Following along...

    Next, who is God talking to in the following: (Genesis 3:22) “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us , to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever ”? Who is he addressing as us? Also, was the "tree of life" another alternate (but forbidden to humans) means of eternal life in heaven?

    Opinions?
     
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  2. Josephus

    Josephus <b>Co-Founder Christian Forums</b> Supporter

    +262
    Messianic
    God did not lie. Within 960 years, Adam and Even both died - a "day" equivalent to scripture that says "a thousand years is but a day to the Lord, and a day as a thousand years." Psalm 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8. And Satan lied. They did die.


    In the next passage you refer to, the "us" God is referring to is to the Heavenly Host who is watching the whole thing. This could include all the angels, or the other persons of the Trinity, or both - because the next phrase codifies specifically who "us" is - an "us" who "lives forever."

    There were two trees in the Garden. One tree could not be eaten from. Hebrew tradition states that when God gave Adam the choice "to eat from any tree in the Garden, except the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" it was actually a choice between the eating from the Tree of Life (which he did eat of course before the fall) or the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

    The moment Adam sinned and ate from the wrong tree, death entered - a process that would take less than 960 years to complete. Had he eaten again from the Tree of Life, death would have halted, and Adam would not have died. But God did not want Adam to live forever, because if he did, then Adam would be just like the fallen angels that rebelled: Lucifer, who became Satan, and the angels that became demons: their ability to live forever has made their rebellious, sinful, and now imperfect condition - PERMANENT - forever. God loved man so much that he wanted to give them a second chance, but he had to withold the Tree of Life from him, until a day came when He Himself would BE the Tree of Life hanging on a cross 4000 years later, and man's sinful nature could be completely changed and reversed. - the debt of sin, death, would be paid in full. And now, man can live forever as perfect...again.
     
  3. theyre here

    theyre here Supreme Skeptic

    132
    +4
    Thank you for the thoughtful reply.

    I'm not buying the Heavenly Host approach. At no other point in Genesis does god speak this way.

    Also, God was speaking to Adam about the tree of life when he said, "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." One would believe he was speaking to Adam's frame of reference regarding days, not God's.
     
  4. Sinai

    Sinai Well-Known Member

    +15
    Protestant
    Interesting question, TH, and equally interesting theory, Josephus--but what makes either of you think that God had to be talking about physical death as opposed to spiritual death?
     
  5. Josephus

    Josephus <b>Co-Founder Christian Forums</b> Supporter

    +262
    Messianic
    "At no other point in Genesis does god speak this way."

    Actually in Genesis, God says "Let us make man in our image." and the next verse says, in the "image of God He created them." Sounds like to me "God" at least is the "us" he is talking to - a truth evidenced by the fact that God is more than one "person", but is one single being. Jesus, after all, came in the form of... a man. :)

    Your next point is wrong. God was speaking about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, not the Tree of Life. And you are right, one would assume that God was speaking of Adam's frame of reference. And you know what? He was. They began to die that day. The first evidence of this is when they realize they both are naked. Now, don't tell me they were naked before and just never realized it. No, somehow, whatever they had blinding them to their nakeness, was lost. It left. In fact, God had to make clothing for them - a skin of an animal... the first death. The first sacrifice. Tradition holds that this animal skin was that of a lamb. So in that first day, death entered. And it is still here to this day. The moment you are born, your body is in the process towards death.
     
  6. Josephus

    Josephus <b>Co-Founder Christian Forums</b> Supporter

    +262
    Messianic
    Also, ancient Chinese character for a spirit is simply that of a pictogram of a man, with a flame comming from him. Tradition holds that Adam and Eve were "clothed" in bright glory - like angels are.
     
  7. Didaskomenos

    Didaskomenos Voiced Bilabial Spirant

    +40
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    The plural here is either a remnant from an ancient style of writing (the so-called "majestic plural"), or a carryover from a polytheistic source. Moses (or whoever) used old sources to tell the stories of Genesis. Differing writing styles point to this. It should be noted that the idea of Moses using old sources is not harmful to the position of the inerrancy advocates, because Luke readily admitted using sources. I believe God guided Moses as to which sources to use.

    Personally I think it points to the fact that Moses was taking from polytheistic sources to get his mythology, and obviously took no great pains to hide this. This suggests that Moses believed that God could speak spiritual Truth through even pagan stories, and God showed him which myths glorified himself the most.

    Of course, Josephus will disagree...
     
  8. Didaskomenos

    Didaskomenos Voiced Bilabial Spirant

    +40
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Also, the word "God" in this passage is plural as well. "Elohim" is either what Hebrew scholars call the "plural of majesty" or it is a remnant of the people's polytheistic past. I prefer to think it is a majestic plural. In Hebrew, things that they wished to show as having splendor, majesty, and greatness, they would often pluralize. That's where the phrase "heavens" comes from - and not because of the multiple heavens that they came later to understand. The "seas" is another instance - not because they were referring to more than one sea, but because the sea is so majestic that they pluralized it. That's probably what happened with Elohim here.

    However, rarely anywhere else (I can't think of the other passage off-hand) does God refer to himself with plural pronouns. It could be that it's an old feature of the Hebrew language that died out when the Israelites realized that it didn't sound monotheistic enough, and Moses used this archaic form because he was quoting archaic sources. Or maybe the story was taken from a polytheistic source, either a neighboring people's mythology or their own pre-monotheistic mythology.
     
  9. Joe V.

    Joe V. Rabbit Worshipper

    240
    +1
    Here's my 2 pennies worth.

    The Adam and Eve story is a parable. The apple is science. We were warned not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, but we ignored the warnings. We have bitten from the apple, and many of us don't like the taste.

    We're not at the center of the universe; our world is one of countless billions, swimming insignificantly in the backwaters of the cosmic ocean. We aren't the all-important creatures we thought we were; we arose from a primordial goo like every other creature on this planet.

    Personally, I can think of nothing more humbling than these "facts". Why are there Christians who find them humiliating?

    - Joe
     
  10. Josephus

    Josephus <b>Co-Founder Christian Forums</b> Supporter

    +262
    Messianic
    In regards to truth found in other stories, no D, I don't disagree. The fact we find similar flood stories worldwide and in cultures sepertated by entire oceans, support the idea that the biblical account is the original, and henceforth the correct account.

    In regards to Elohiem, you must not be a Hebrew scholar for the Hebrew word for Spirit is simply Elohiem, and it is used in many passages throughout the bible, including it's Greek equivalent - much in the New Testament.


    Joe. V:

    Why do they find them humilating? Because beliefs in Evolution, are based on the same evidences for Creationism. The only differences are interpretations of that evidence. Christianity can not be reconciled with Evolution for Jesus himself speaks of Adam and Eve as if they are real. There is also nothing in the context of the bible to even remotely suggest the story of Adam and Eve was ever meant to be taken as a parable. Throughout Jewish antiquity it has always been accepted as a real story of real ancestors of the Hebrew people who trace their lineage straight back to Adam. To reject the story of Adam and Eve into just a mere parable or fable is the recent invention of modern relativistic philosophy brought about by the advancement of the theory of evolution as the origin of the species.
     
  11. theyre here

    theyre here Supreme Skeptic

    132
    +4
    Josephus, thank you for participating.


    Evolution:

    Through the discoveries of science, religious beliefs have been modified in the past.

    For example, we no longer believe the earth to be the center of things. Nor are we considering those passages of the Bible once interpreted to describe a flat earth, as literal depictions of a flat earth.

    We are seeing the consideration of change, as in the case of theologians hypothesizing that God’s “creation day” may actually be thousands or millions of years.

    We’re also able to compare from this vantage point and see that Moses had borrowed from several sources for the basis of his creation story. Sources that in all likelihood, borrowed from antiquity as well.


    God’s “lie”?

    I’m not buying that Psalms 90:4 (For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night) means God’s reference for a day is one thousand years. It simply refers the perception of time passing quickly when the entire Psalm is read in context.

    Nor 2 Peter 3:8 (But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day) which again in context has a different meaning than yours. The context here has nothing to do with the days of creation. Indeed, it is also not defining a day because it doesn’t say ‘a day is a thousand years’. The correct understanding is derived from the context — the Apostle Peter’s readers should not lose heart because God seems slow at fulfilling His promises because He is patient, and also because He is not bound by time as we are. The usage is a simile, to teach that God is outside of time (because He is the Creator of time itself). In fact, the figure of speech is so effective in its intended aim precisely because the day is literal and contrasts so vividly with 1000 years — to the eternal Creator of time, a short period of time and a long period of time may as well be the same.

    Both of your references, in context, do not refer to the days of creation, nor God’s actual temporal frame of reference.

    So, we’re back to the original question. They did not die that day as the serpent said. Is this passage to be taken as written, meaning what it says?
     
  12. God Fixation

    God Fixation ~*G-o-d Chaser*~

    74
    +2
    Do you realize that this is exactly how the first sin came into being...questioning God's word>? That's satan's #1 way of leading people astray, "is that really what He meant?" "He didn't say that exactly" "He never said you couldn't..." etc. Anyway, just thought I would point that out :)
     
  13. God Fixation

    God Fixation ~*G-o-d Chaser*~

    74
    +2
    And no, I believe God most certainly did NOT lie. God said "...for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die" I believe that they died spiritually. While they were in the garden they fellowshiped with God in person, but after the fall they were separated from Him, thus spiritual death.
     
  14. theyre here

    theyre here Supreme Skeptic

    132
    +4
    God Fixation, thanks for jumping in...

    "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Is a very clear statement about the consequences of eating from The Tree of Life. Wouldn't applying a different meaning be "questioning the word of God?" Are we not told several times in the Bible not to add meaning and take it for what it says?

    In reality, I'm not questioning it, I'm attempting to take exactly for what it says.
     
  15. truthseeker

    truthseeker New Member

    97
    +0
    Hello Everyone :wave:

    I have been meaning to start a thread on The Garden and the Tree of Knowledge. Here is a twist on the familiar story.

    If there was a Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; we know that Evil existed before man. Man did NOT bring evil into the world. I have been doing some research and here is a Gnostic View of the Garden.

    Man was created from matter, as a living soul (NOT spirit) by a power (a god) dwelling in the Shadow. He became jealous and envious of the image he saw in the light and wanted to capture that image. He was powerless to cause it to possess the glory he had seen. On the seventh day he rested; abandoned the project. The HOLY Spirit came into the picture to breathe Life into man. The god of the darkness knew that the glory in Adam was above him and he caused a "sleep"; the Sleep of Ignorance to fall upon Adam. They we enamored of Eve and wished to defile her; so the Spirit left her and left behind the carnal Eve. They served this god in fear and slavery. This is the god of wrath and curses. He did not want Adam to live forever in glory and thus banished him from the Garden and the Tree of Life. This is the god that caused the flood; brought 72 ailments of the flesh that would lead to death; and confused the language of man.

    Man was not created perfect by our heavenly Father. We are matter in the Shadow and He has sent redemption to bring us Life. Unless we are baptized with His Spirit, we cannot enter into the Light of Eternal Life. Our souls would remain under the power of the god of the shadow.

    The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was placed in the Garden by the Spirit, so that; we would see the Evil for what it is. Adam chose the Light and therefore we all have the spark in us to chose the Good.

    Here is the BIG one...Jesus said, "Be wise as serpents". The rod of Moses turned into a serpent. The Lord commanded Moses to place a serpent on a pole and all those who looked upon it would be healed. From what I've read; the Son put on the form of a serpent and instructed Eve to eat of the Tree; so that their eyes would be open and they could recognize the evil gods.

    All things perishable will perish. Unless we partake of the Spirit, we being made from the perishable, will perish.

    I have only just touched on this the best I can. I know that it's way out there, but I am a believer and it's seems to make perfect sense to me.

    OK >>> Let's have some fruit...but please, NO Tomatoes!!!

    P>S> Think about this...If GOD never changes, is the same yesterday, today and forever...Why would he curse man with death and then provide redemption???

    Yours in Him,
    :pink: truthseeker
     
  16. theyre here

    theyre here Supreme Skeptic

    132
    +4
    How do we know the serpent is the "fallen angel" Lucifer, or any other spirit for that matter?

    I can't recall the mention of Satan or similar "fallen angel" anywhere in Genesis. I could be wrong (often am)... anyone else?

    Jesus had referred to the record of Adam and Eve's creation as the basis of His teaching on marriage and divorce (Matt. 19:5-6); there is not even the slightest hint that He read it figuratively.

    "For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived (by the serpent), but the woman being deceived was in the transgression" (1 Tim. 2, 13-14) - so Paul, also, did not read Genesis figuratively but literally. And of additional importance, he wrote earlier about the way "the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty" (2 Cor. 11,3) - Paul doesn't mention the "devil" or "evil" beguiling Eve.

    Further evidence for the literal 24 hour days of creation can be found in the Sabbath law of Ex. 20:10,11. The Sabbath was to be 24 hours of rest, because God rested on the seventh day, having worked for six days. The plants made on the second day of creation depend on the bees and other insects created on the sixth day. A long 1,000 year gap between their creation is inappropriate.
     
  17. Josephus

    Josephus <b>Co-Founder Christian Forums</b> Supporter

    +262
    Messianic
    "So, we’re back to the original question. They did not die that day as the serpent said. Is this passage to be taken as written, meaning what it says?"

    Perhaps you didn't read my main point. You seem to understand somehow that I meant God's time is relative to ours by a thousand years; when I was simply pointing out the fact that to God, time is not something he is bound by. My main point was that on that day, both Adam and Eve BEGAN TO DIE! Quite literally. Their cells died that day. They burst, and died. Causing a chain reaction which would eventually cause the entire body to die. Adam and Eve did die that day. That day, they became mortals. For an immortal being, becomming mortal, I would imagine, is in fact... death.

    Also, I pointed out that something did die that day: God sacrificed an animal for them, and made skins out of it for them to wear. For all intents and purposes, they died that day. They were no longer what they once were.
     
  18. Josephus

    Josephus <b>Co-Founder Christian Forums</b> Supporter

    +262
    Messianic
    And what does God, the author of Life, mean when he says something is going to die?

    We have our preconceptions, but what is real death in God's view? The death of the spirit.
     
  19. theyre here

    theyre here Supreme Skeptic

    132
    +4
    Hello again...

    Actually, you did attempt to relate 1,000 years of our time to be equal to one day in God's frame of reference. Attempting to imply that since Adam and Eve supposedly died 900+ years later, their death was within one of God's days.

    At no point (I’m aware of) in Genesis do we read the implication that man was immortal before they ate from The Tree of Knowledge. It’s a bit facetious to interpret the line as meaning “well certainly, they did eventually die.” We all start dying as soon as we’re born.

    From what reference are you assuming man was not going to die before they ate the fruit? Certainly, if God is the “author of life” he will have a very different frame of reference than us. One we cannot possible fathom. (Hmmm… is God not “alive” since he created life?) However, one should assume that when such a being is addressing his lesser creations, he would speak to their frame of reference.

    Well then, if we’re not to take this passage as its literal meaning, are there others? Which ones? How do we know?
     
  20. Sinai

    Sinai Well-Known Member

    +15
    Protestant
    I'll ask the question again for those of you who seem to think that Genesis 2:17 can only be referring to physical death: What makes you think that God had to be talking about physical death as opposed to spiritual death?
     
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