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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
    What aspect of the passage would indicate spiritual death?
     
  2. God Fixation

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

    74
    +2
    Truth, Sinai! Who knows, the hebrew word could very well mean spiritual death.
     
  3. God Fixation

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

    74
    +2
    Being separated from God, is in my opinion spiritual death. Hell is eternal separation from God and thus eternal death...
     
  4. Sinai

    Sinai Well-Known Member

    +15
    Protestant
    Instead of answering the question, theyre here posted another question:
    I'm reasonably sure I could come up with additional items if I thought and studied a bit more, but some of the more obvious aspects that would indicate that the Bible is probably talking about spiritual death include:
    A. The Hebrew words used to describe the creation of Adam (compared with the words used for creation of other life on the planet);
    B. Paul's comparison of Adam with Christ; and
    C. The fact that the Bible tends to be much more concerned with our eternal destiny (eternal life vs. eternal death refers to eternal fellowship with God vs. eternal separation from God--which are spiritual matters).

    What aspect of the passage would necessitate physical death? What makes you think that God had to be talking about physical death as opposed to spiritual death?
     
  5. theyre here

    theyre here Supreme Skeptic

    132
    +4
    Okay, fair enough. ;)

    Two points for consideration.

    It's my recollection that that the Hebrew idiom bªyôm (“in the day”) was used in the original nere, and means the certainty (of death). "If you eat" certainly "you will die." Cause and effect, without adjunctive explanation, implies immediacy.

    Second, there are no discussions of a spiritual death elsewhere in Genesis. But there is a great deal of physical death.
     
  6. Josephus

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

    +262
    Messianic
    th:
    "From what reference are you assuming man was not going to die before they ate the fruit?"

    What reference? The refence of Logic. The logic that says if they ever died before they ate the fruit, then God would've been a hateful God - making them forced recipients of a permanent "concequence" for a rule that they would never have broken.

    This contradicts scripture that says God is the God of love, of justice, and of mercy.



    Sinai:
    "What makes you think that God had to be talking about physical death as opposed to spiritual death?"

    It's both. I would actually sum it up as "Total death" since obviously God doesn't distinguish here which one in particular. So... both. :)
     
  7. stillsmallvoice

    stillsmallvoice The Narn rule!

    +174
    Judaism
    Married
    Hi all!

    Well, our Sages comment on God's use of the plural in Genesis 1:26. One explanation is that God is using the well-known "Royal We." Another is that he was talking to the angels. But the one that I like is that He was talking to the Earth itself. Consider: When it comes to populating the planet, in 1:24, He said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind..." He did not say, "Let thete be living creatures..." Thus, our Sages teach that using the plural in Genesis 1:26, He was addressing the earth (kind of like He did in 1:24), in effect saying, "Let us be partners in making the man. You will supply dust for his body & I will supply his living soul." When we die, God & the earth each reclaim their respective parts (btw: Judaism ABSOLUTELY rejects cremation as an abomination, to the point where if parents for whsatever reason, will that they be cremated, the children must NOT honor the will). This jibes 100% with Ecclesiastes 12:7, "And the dust returns to the earth as it was and the spirit returns to God who gave it." (Of course, it goes without saying that a trinitarian take on 1:26 is Christian and not Jewish.)

    Regarding lies, it was Eve who told the first lie. In Genesis 3:3, she tells the snake, "...God has said...neither shall you touch it, lest you die." This is, of course, quite wrong. God said no such thing. Our Sages say that the snake knew this full well, but upon seeing that Eve lied, this gave him the opening in her spiritual armor that he was looking for. It is partly for this reason, that the Torah later commands: "All this word which I command you, that you will observe to do, you shall not add thereto, nor diminish from it." Eve added to God's command and this was the origin of her eventual downfall.

    At the risk of being repetitive, I will repeat here what I wrote in my lead post for the thread "A Jewish view..."
    _____

    Those who do insist on a strict, narrow, "literal" interpretation of Genesis are, I believe, forcing it into a literary and spiritual strait-jacket entirely of their own devising that does no justice to the scriptures.

    So, that being said, how do I – as an orthodox Jew – view Genesis? Well, of course, I believe that it (and the other 4 books of the Torah: Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) is the literal word of God as He revealed it to Moses our Teacher. We believe that the Torah can be understood/appreciated/interpreted on any of four general levels ranging from that which is most in accord with a close reading of the (original Hebrew!!!) text, to the metaphorical, to the most rarefied and esoteric (the grasp of which is waaay beyond most of us). Who is to say which chapter and verse of Genesis is to be best understood or appreciated on which level? Moreover, our Sages say that the Torah is like a diamond with many facets, each with its own brilliance, each offering a different perspective from which to behold the wondrous jewel.

    (...)

    Lastly, I would humbly argue that we are grasping at trees & missing the forest. What is more
    important – (sterile?) debates over whether Genesis proves/supports or disproves/opposes evolution, or discussing, studying and seeking to internalize its sublime moral, ethical and spiritual truths (such as befit the word of
    God)?
    _____

    I appreciate Josephus' comment that up until very recently, Jews interpreted Genesis literally & traced our [and everybody's] lineage directly back to Adam & Eve. That may be so on a certain level, but there have always been those of our Sages who appreciated the early chapters of Genesis on a more metaphorical and allegorical level. Which view is correct? A well-known adage from the Talmud says, "These and these are the words of the Living God." There you go!

    (Did everybody have a nice weekend? Sunday is a workday here. We had a lovely Shabbat, i.e. the Sabbath. Yesterday's readings were Numbers 8:1-12:16 and Zechariah 2:14-4:7.)

    ssv
     
  8. theyre here

    theyre here Supreme Skeptic

    132
    +4
    While I am indeed an atheist, I respect Christians and their overall beliefs. However, the impetus of the question that began this thread was to show that aspects of Genesis are apparently open to interpretation. God’s assertion that Adam and Eve would die if they eat from one particular tree has resulted in two figurative interpretations; 1) They died eventually within one of God’s days, 2) They died a “spiritual” death.

    This leads to the following query, what else within the creation story is open to figurative interpretation? Can a figurative interpretation of Genesis 1:24, “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so” assume that “after his kind” is a simplistic description of evolution? It doesn’t seem to be any more of a stretch than considering the alternation meaning of death and the timing discussed in this thread.

    I ask because I am genuinely confused by the reaction of Christians toward the concept of evolution. The pure concept (irregardless of a few vocal anti-religious scientists) in itself does not preclude the possibility of God.

    Why do you feel your beliefs are threatened by evolution?
     
  9. Josephus

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

    +262
    Messianic
    stillsmallvoice:

    If God said "Let us make man in 'our' image" and if he was talking to the earth when he said this; wouldn't Adam have looked kind of roundish, maybe a little blue in spots, and a good replica of the Earth? It also means that God looks like the Earth. Is God the Earth?

    Be careful what you assume. :) Scripture bears out the truth of the trinity, and thus the answer to this plurality of God who calls himself "one".

    in Yeshua,
    Josephus
     
  10. Josephus

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

    +262
    Messianic
    th:

    "God’s assertion that Adam and Eve would die if they eat from one particular tree has resulted in two figurative interpretations; 1) They died eventually within one of God’s days, 2) They died a “spiritual” death."

    You're forgetting my position: I claim 'total death' happened: which includes both of these. This also seems to be THE one and only intrepretation there is. They died spiritually that day, they lost "something" which covered up their nakedness, and their bodies immediately became mortal - a concequence of which was death under a general conception that to God, time for a day could be as a thousand years, or a thousand years as a mere day.

    What you have are not different interpreations, but different ways of comming to the same conclusion!
     
  11. theyre here

    theyre here Supreme Skeptic

    132
    +4
    Josephus, well, there is one other, they were supposed to die immedately, but God changed his mind.


    What about the question about evolution?
     
  12. Sinai

    Sinai Well-Known Member

    +15
    Protestant
    Good point, T H. Bªyôm (or beyôm) does mean "in the day of" or "on the day of" and does imply a degree of immediacy, as you state. The Complete Biblical Library's commentary on that verse makes a similar statement: "Adam was created a moral being with the power of free choice. God placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden giving an opportunity to choose to obey Him instead of pleasing the self. Because God is a just God and cannot look on sin with indifference, a penalty was provided for disobedience. As a moral being Adam was accountable for his actions, and eating from that tree would bring death (which in the Bible has the primary meaning of separation). The Hebrew uses an infinite absolute here to emphasize the certainty of death, literally, "dying you shall die," means "you shall surely die."
     
  13. Josephus

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

    +262
    Messianic
    "What about the question about evolution?"

    The bible gives no indication that God used evoltion "survival of the fittest (how cruel)" and death as a part of his original creation. God is not the God of death, but of Life.
     
  14. theyre here

    theyre here Supreme Skeptic

    132
    +4
    There is also no indication in Genesis that God intended to mean a "spirtual" death or that his warning did not carry immediacy.

    Aspects of Genesis have been, in the past, read to mean that our earth is the center of things. As we learnt more, our perception changed.
     
  15. Josephus

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

    +262
    Messianic
    Well let's see. The writer of Genesis (about 4000 years ago in a little tent in the Sinai Desert), probably wondered that same thing... unless of course he didn't wonder at all. Why write something so confusing? You assume people have been stupid for 4000 years, even the author himself - as you make him out to apparently not comprehend what he was writing about. Obviously he had what satisfied him... and to him, his eternal soul rested on knowing the truth (otherwise he wouldn't be writing it AS truth!)
     
  16. Sinai

    Sinai Well-Known Member

    +15
    Protestant
    No. There definitely are indications in Genesis that God did mean a spiritual death, as I have previously pointed out. I agree that it is possible to make a somewhat plausible argument for the physical death interpretation, but a much stronger case can be made for it being a spiritual death or separation from God.

    Yes--There was an immediate separation from God, as is evidenced by the shame and guilt evidenced by Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God. Their actions show that they immediately began reaping "the wages of sin" as they sought to hide both their nakedness and themselves from God.
     
  17. theyre here

    theyre here Supreme Skeptic

    132
    +4
    I made no assertion that Moses was stupid, or not comprehending his subject. I'm simply wondering what aspects are literal, and which are figurative. If the creation story is not literal, it leaves open many possibilities. You helped examine one passage and shed light on a general accepted figurative meaning.

    And I believe the Egyptians were likely much more intelligent that we are now. Moses had the benefit of being an elite Egyptian, and the benefit of their learning. The ancient Egyptians knew the earth was round, and its approximate diameter.
     
  18. Josephus

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

    +262
    Messianic
    I think we've answered the question then. :)
     
  19. stillsmallvoice

    stillsmallvoice The Narn rule!

    +174
    Judaism
    Married
    Hi all!

    Josephus posted:

    "If God said 'Let us make man in 'our' image' and if he was talking to the earth when he said this; wouldn't Adam have looked kind of roundish, maybe a little blue in spots, and a good replica of the Earth?"

    Funny, funny! (Don't tell me you're one of those folk who insist on a narrow, "literal", interpretation of the scriptures.) I think the metaphor/allegory is very nice.

    "It also means that God looks like the Earth. Is God the Earth?"

    Doesn't God encompass all of existence? Is there a place where He is not?

    "Be careful what you assume. Scripture bears out the truth of the trinity, and thus the answer to this plurality of God who calls himself 'one'."

    Hmm, I s'pose that we'll have to (amicably!) log this one under the heading of "agree-to-disagree." My people would respectfully beg to differ in the strongest possible terms.

    "in Yeshua"

    ???

    Be well!

    ssv
     
  20. truthseeker

    truthseeker New Member

    97
    +0
    I know that Apocryphal Writings are not widely accepted but, here is a few paragraphs that seem to give answers to your discussion ;)

    from The Hypostasis of the Archons

    The Rulers (of darkness) laid plans and said, "Come, let us create a man that will be soil from the earth." They modeled their creature as one wholly of the earth. They had taken some soil from the earth and modeled their man after their body and after the image of GOD that had appeared to them in the waters. And he breathed into his face; and the man came to have a soul and remained upon the ground many days. But they could not make him arise because of their powerlessness. Like storm winds they persisted in blowing, that they might try to capture that image, which had appeared to them in the waters. And they did not know the identity of its power.

    Now all these things came to pass by the will of the Father of the entirety. Afterwards, the Spirit saw the soul-endowed man upon the ground. And the Spirit came forth from the Adamantine Land; it descended and came to dwell within him, and that man became a living soul. It called his name Adam; and the Rulers gathered together all the animals of the earth and all the birds of heaven and brought them in to Adam to see what Adam would call them, that he might give a name to each of the birds and all the beasts.

    They took Adam and put him in the Garden, that he might cultivate it and keep watch over it. And the Rulers issued a command to him, saying, "From every tree in the Garden shall you eat; yet from the tree of recognizing good and evil do not eat, nor touch it; for the day you eat from it, with death you are going to die.

    These passages seem to indicate that man first exsisted as a soul; created from powers from the shadow. They could not give it Spirit. We were created in the deficiency and later received the breathe of life from the Spirit.

    I am a level-headed person. :D I know that this may seem far fetched but, doesn't it only make perfect sense? And doesn't it answer alot of questions?

    It especially answers: Is god a tyrant??? YES Is GOD a loving, gracious, and merciful FATHER??? YES, YES, YES

    :pink: truthseeker
     
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