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Creation Story: Did God lie?

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

  1. Didaskomenos

    Didaskomenos Voiced Bilabial Spirant

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    Um, Josephus, "you must not be a Hebrew scholar." Hebrew scholars prefer the transliteration, "Elohim" over "Elohiem," which I have never seen seriously proposed.

    Besides, Hebrew scholars recognize a plural form of a noun (El) when they see one. You obviously dismissed my post without reading it, because I addressed the fact that "Elohim" came to be used as the name for God, either because they were using the majestic plural, or because over time they dropped away its numeric plural history (based in polytheism).

    Was that the only problem you had with my presentation? :)
     
  2. truthseeker

    truthseeker New Member

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    If any of you have an interest...I've found something else.

    from THE APOCALYPSE OF ADAM

    The revelation which Adam taught his son Seth in the seven hundredth year, saying, Listen to my words, my son Seth. When god had created me out of the earth along with Eve your mother, I went about with her in a glory which she had seen in the Aeon from which we had come forth. She taught me a word of knowledge of the eternal GOD. And we resembled the great angels, for we were higher than the god who had created us and the powers with him, whom we did not know.

    Then god, the ruler of the powers divided us in wrath. Then we became two aeons. And the glory in our hearts left us, me and your mother Eve, along with the first knowledge that breathed within us. Since that time we learned about dead things, like men. Then we recognized the god who had created us (after eating from the Tree). For we were not strangers to his powers, and we served him in fear and slavery. And after these events we became darkened in our hearts. Now I slept in the thought of my heart.

    There was a call made at midnight...AWAKE! AWAKE! The Bridegroom cometh!!!

    :pink: truthseeker
     
  3. theyre here

    theyre here Supreme Skeptic

    132
    +4
    Wait just one minute boys and girls. (Or in the words of the immortal Quick Draw Mc'Graw, "Hold on there Bubba-Louie!")

    In the course of the evolution of this discussion, the explanation for God's threat that Adam and Eve would die that same day if the eat the fruit is that the death was a "spiritual death".

    Perhaps I'm being simplistic, but I was under the impression that the concept of "soul" didn't include its death. If we transgress or stray, our soul is damned in hell for eternity. A horrible thought, but not the death of the soul.
     
  4. Sinai

    Sinai Well-Known Member

    +15
    Protestant
    "Spiritual death" does not mean that the soul dies per se, but rather that it is eternally separated from God. Sin separates us from God. The Bible also tells us that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23a). A person's wages is what he or she earns. The sins we have committed has earned us the wage of spiritual death: eternal separation from God and the consequences that brings (Hell).

    However, Romans 6:23 goes on to tell us that the gift of God is eternal life in or through Jesus Christ our Lord. This makes sense: God made us to worship Him and to have eternal fellowship with Him. The third creation mentioned in Genesis 1 is the creation of our eternal soul or the breath of eternal life (the first two "creations" were of the universe and of life). But God didn't make us as robots who had to worship him; He allowed us free choice to accept or reject Him and His commandments.

    The man-made religions and the other "holy" writings of other religions generally say that if a person can do enough good works to more than offset the bad deeds (or sins) he has committed, that person can earn his way into whatever equivalent of Heaven that religion uses. The Bible is different. The Bible teaches us that it is impossible for men and women to earn their way into heaven, and that even our righteousness is as filthy rags before God. Being a good person and leading a good life is not enough: God wants us to understand that we are helpless to save ourselves, and He wants us to call upon the Lord for our salvation and trust Him to save us. Quite frankly, I suspect that God was not all that interested in spending eternity with a bunch of proud, self-righteous, conceited people who were convinced that they themselves had earned their way into Heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9 makes it clear that men cannot save themselves--no matter how many good works may be performed.

    But God did make a way for us. In the Old Testament, He allowed people to repent of their sins and to bring a sin or guilt offering to Him. God then accepted the blood of the lamb as a substitute for the blood of the person offering the sacrifice, and forgave their sins. Note that it was God's grace that saved them--not their good works. God also pointed the way toward a new covenant that would be a more perfect way. God promised Abram (later Abraham) that He would make Abram into a great nation, that He would bless Abram, and that "all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." (Genesis 12: 2-3) God later promised David that from his lineage would come One who would rule His people forever.

    Other prophesies told additional details about this Messiah (or "annointed one"; Christ or Christos is the Greek equivalent). For example, Micah 5:2 says he would be born in Bethlehem. The second chapter of Daniel indicates that he would be born during the rule of the fourth great empire from that time, which turned out to be the Roman Empire. Daniel 2:44 says that during that fourth empire, the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3-5 predict the Messiah would be preceded by a forerunner to prepare the way, while Isaiah 9:1 says he would have a Galilean ministry. Zechariah 9:9 foretells his triumphant entry into Jerusalem upon a donkey. Psalms 41:9 says he would be betrayed by a close, trusted friend, while Zechariah 11: 12-13 discloses it would be for 30 pieces of silver, which would then be thrown back to the temple potter. If you recall, after Judas Iscariot threw the 30 pieces of silver back to the temple potter, the Jewish religious leaders used the money to purchase a tract of land that became known as the Potter's Field. The 53rd chapter of Isaiah, the 22nd chapter of Psalms, and Zechariah 12:10 and Psalms 34:20 all describe Christ's death. Together, they show that he would be silent to the accusations hurled against him; that he would be sneered at and mocked; his enemies would cast lots for his clothing; his hands and feet would be pierced but no bones would be broken; he would freely and voluntarily give up his life for our infirmities, would be pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities, and the Lord would lay upon him the sins and iniquities of us all; he would be buried in a rich man's grave; and the purpose of his death would be to serve as a guilt offering for our sins that we might be redeemed and have peace.

    Were all these prophesies fulfilled? Yes! Jesus did all this--and more. God has given us His Holy Spirit so that we may have the peace that passes all understanding. If you are not yet a Christian, I pray that you also come to know Him. May God bless you. Shalom.
     
  5. Josephus

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

    +230
    Messianic
    "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."

    I'm sure it's a 'nice and comfortable thought', ssm to assume allegory and metaphor in places that don't seem to jive with popular science. Except, the bible gives no indication Adam & Eve were ever meant to be anything BUT literal. From the beginning, it is assumed as a history, not a vision, not a parable, not anything in the text like other visions and parables have, that mention it is anything but what it says it is: a history of creation and of man.
     
  6. theyre here

    theyre here Supreme Skeptic

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    So... you're saying the creation story must be literal, but applying figurative meaning to "die that same day."

    How can you say both?
     
  7. Didaskomenos

    Didaskomenos Voiced Bilabial Spirant

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    Josephus, there is plenty that leads us to believe that the Adam and Eve story was not intended as "history" like the modernists taught. If you took early Genesis to a literary specialist who had never read the Bible, he would pronounce it a mythological tale due to its writing style, and not simply because of the supernatural elements. The Gospels read much more as history, because of the influence of the Greeks towards our modern concern for history. Early Genesis's style has much more in common with the genre of Myth than with the Historical genre.

    The Bible takes the Adam and Eve narrative seriously, because it's not a bedtime fairy tale. It's myth. If you don't think there's a difference, we have discovered your problem.

    The Bible at various points expresses truth through myth. There is truth in the creation account, but the truth intended to be conveyed might very well not have been the story's historicity itself. It does give God credit for creating the world, and that is the central truth there. Now I'm not saying that myths are parables, which, being allegorical, have a 1 to 1 correlation (the seed = the gospel, and nothing else). Myths can carry truths too deep to decipher. The point of a telling a parable is for the listener to be able to turn the parable inside out and see the truth it conveys by telling what the parable means. Myths, however, are stories that reflect meaning at a different level, a narrative able to reflect noumenal truth phenomenally. They act as a window to truth, which is bigger than our maxims, and cannot be reduced to simple statements such as, "The truth = ____." As much as modernist science and Fundamentalists would like that to be so, it's not. Read some C.S. Lewis, dude.
     
  8. Josephus

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

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    I'm not interested in the opinions of general literary scholars educated in Greek and Roman influenced ways of thinking. I'm interested in the Hebrew tradition and the opinions of Hebrew literary scholars. And they tell me quite clearly that Adam and Eve was meant to be a history of the family of Israel.
     
  9. Josephus

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

    +230
    Messianic
    "So... you're saying the creation story must be literal, but applying figurative meaning to "die that same day."

    "For in the day of eating it, surely you shall die."

    Doesn't sound like to me much of a sudden concequence. "in the day" and not "of the day?" and "surely you will" instead of just "you will?" sounds a lot to me like God was warning them of a possibility, not of an actuality. It was as if God was reserving for himself the right to judge what he was or was not going to do, and if it included partial death, total death, or no death but something else like it, was his perrogative.
     
  10. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

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    I would say that "surely" is not leaving a lot of wiggle room. He's warning them that this is *serious*. It's not *possible* that you'll die; it's *certain*.

    So, whatever happens to them, it's "death". Or God lies.
     
  11. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

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    They certainly interpreted some of it that way. I don't think that proves that that's how God meant it. We know that people misunderstand Him a lot.
     
  12. theyre here

    theyre here Supreme Skeptic

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    Unbelievable. A true student of the Hovind school of religious debate.

    Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

    Surely Die That Day

    I’ve asked before, and I’ll ask again. How are you able to pick and choose which passages to construe literally and which to read metaphorically? Because, if we’re going to discuss topics such as creation, and how it happened, I’ll really need a guidebook to better understand which passages are to be examined in which way.
     
  13. Didaskomenos

    Didaskomenos Voiced Bilabial Spirant

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    "Greek and Roman influenced ways of thinking"?

    What? If you're uninterested in Greek and Roman ways of thinking, so am I. We must take our views from the contemporaneous cultures of ancient Israel, all who had their own myths, and even some common mythological elements with Israel.

    My view is taken from a broad range of study, taking into account literature, linguistics, and ancient history. Yours is taken solely from the views of one religious group, and hundreds of years after the writings themselves. I think the Hebrews themselves were supposed to believe the myths, because myths are true. So later, when the Hebrews themselves began to be more influenced by those pesky "Greek and Roman ways of thinking" they came to believe that the stories were true on a historical level, because [sarcasm] obviously, that's the only true way to read any story [/sarcasm].

    Seems to me like the Greco-Roman influence is harder to shake than you think it is.
     
  14. Josephus

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

    +230
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    "I’ve asked before, and I’ll ask again. How are you able to pick and choose which passages to construe literally and which to read metaphorically?"

    Easy. Please refer to the Bibliology forum and my announcement/thread regarding biblical hermaneutics (How to Study the Bible).

    In this case, it is justified simply by harmonizing what what's happened, to what we know of God: that he does not lie - or does he only tell the partial truth? hehe that's another subject. It is my personal belief that God witholds information from us for a reason. There are times in the bible when God only gives enough truth to have one make a decision, but never overwhelms someone with truth. Of course, this is just like we would expect a loving God to be like. :)

    There aren't any "myths" in Hebrew tradition of the caliber not accepted of in the bible. The Jews have always refered to the writings in the Torah as a literal account. Other stories possibly could be found (to be honest, I know of no myths in Jewish history. I guess the Jewish people weren't ever myth-making people). If there were, they are obviously distinct from the Torah, and not meant to be included in the Torah as "popular, accepted, Jewish tradition" discounts anything not in the Torah as non scriptural.
     
  15. Didaskomenos

    Didaskomenos Voiced Bilabial Spirant

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    Because every other culture known to man had myths, doesn't it make sense that Israel would have had them, too? Isn't it odd that they didn't?

    That's because they did! God chose Israel, which had myths that recorded Truth in a way that was unsurpassed in other cultures, and those myths were specially apt for God to use to convey his Truth, which ultimately came to Israel as a Person. God took Israel's myths and inspired them (breathed into them), and they became alive. That's why they're in the Bible.
     
  16. Sinai

    Sinai Well-Known Member

    +15
    Protestant
    Just curious, TH: Could one's insistance that the passage you quoted must be interpreted as only meaning physical death (rather than spiritual death, even though that is much more likely) also qualify one as using a tactic of a "true student of the Hovind school of religious debate"?
     
  17. theyre here

    theyre here Supreme Skeptic

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    Perhaps ;)

    But you'd have to show me where else in Genesis spiritual death is discussed. And where else a day is not a day.

    As Jesephus points out in his Bible study guidelines (in another forum), one must take the context of the entire book (Genesis) into account.
     
  18. Sinai

    Sinai Well-Known Member

    +15
    Protestant
    Hebrew has two words for soul, nefesh (or nephesh) and neshama (or nishmath), and both come into play in the first two chapters of Genesis. When Genesis 1:21 tells us that “God created…every living creature,” it signifies that all animals (humans included) are infused with the nefesh or soul of life--i.e., they are living creatures. When humans are mentioned a few verses later (Genesis 1:27 and 2:7), the text tells of a further creation that distinguishes humans from lower animals: The third “creation” mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis is of our human soul (or God's spirit or God's breath of life or the capacity to fellowship with God), our neshama (the first two “creations” were of the universe and of life).

    The closing of Genesis 2:7 has a subtlety lost in the English: It is usually translated as: “…and [God] breathed into his nostrils the neshama of life and the adam became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7). Dr. Gerald Schroeder has noted that the Hebrew text actually states: “…and the adam became to a living soul.” Nahmanides, seven hundred years ago, wrote that the “to” (the Hebrew letter lamed prefixed to the word “soul” in the verse) is superfluous from a grammatical stance and so must be there to teach something. Lamed, he noted, indicates a change in form and may have been placed there to describe mankind as progressing through stages of mineral, plant, fish, and animal. Finally, upon receiving the neshama, that creature which had already been formed became a human. He concludes his extensive commentary on the implications of this lamed as “it may be that the verse is stating that [prior to receiving the neshama] it was a completely living being and [by the neshama] it was transformed into another man.”

    The Bible begins its story of man with the first human with a soul. Whether there were other man-like creatures before Adam appears to be unimportant to the Bible, which is more concerned with telling us about God, His relationship with mankind, and His desire to have an eternal fellowship with those humans who also desire such a fellowship enough to keep His commandments and accept His covenant. It takes the Bible only 31 verses to discuss the creation of the universe, creation of life on earth, and creation of human beings. When the Bible gets to discussing the neshama, the pace slows down tremendously as the Bible begins discussing the greatest love story ever told: the story of God's love for us.

    Since Paul's contrast of Adam and Jesus is rather straightforward, you should be able to see that he is talking about spiritual life and death without my continuing a post that is already too long. But take a look at the thread that discusses the days of creation (click here) for theories that relate to the rest of your question. Please look over the theories that are listed and then post (on that site or on both sites) which you tend to agree with, if any. If you prefer another one that is not listed, then post information regarding that theory as well. Thank you.
     
  19. theyre here

    theyre here Supreme Skeptic

    132
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    I understand the material and the original meaning of nefesh. However, you still haven't explained where Genesis discusses a spiritual death as many apologists claim this first death reference actually means.

    I'm sorry, I really am not trying to be obtuse. I was raised in an environment were literal reading of the Bible was the accepted standard. My ultimate point is that there are often several different ideas of any given verse (especially ones such as this), nearly as many as there are Christians. ;)

    The point to this little exercise has been to show were we fallible humans might get our interpretations wrong. (I have other issues with the Bible, but this is not the place.) When it comes to the creation story, were much is open to interpretation, there are large enough holes for evolution to fit.
     
  20. Sinai

    Sinai Well-Known Member

    +15
    Protestant
    If your "ultimate point is that there are often several different ideas of any given verse (especially ones such as this)," then we are in agreement on that point. As I have posted earlier, I think you can make a somewhat plausible point for this verse meaning a physical death--but a stronger case can probably be made for it meaning a spiritual death. My objection was that it appeared that you kept trying to restrict the meaning to only one interpretation (and that being the less likely interpretation at that). I agree that it is open to interpretation.

    Take a look at that other thread, though, and post which theory (or interpretation???) you lean toward, or which one(s) you think may be correct...or incorrect....and why. Thanks!
     
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