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Death: Part of God’s World From the Beginning

Discussion in 'Creation & Theistic Evolution' started by Dale, Oct 13, 2021.

  1. Dale

    Dale Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Many creationists have said that there was no death before the Fall of Man and the Expulsion from Eden. Not only were Adam and Eve immortal, immune to death, but animals were also immortal. I’m not sure if plants were supposed to be immortal as well. Darwinian evolution is impossible, we are told, because it depends on the death of animals. There were many types of animals before the Fall led to death, so this would be a contradiction.

    The notion that there was no death before the Fall is a complete misunderstanding of Genesis. Let’s take a look.

    Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation:
    seedbearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed
    in it,
    according to their various kinds.” And it was so.
    The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according
    to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according
    to their kinds.
    And God saw that it was good.
    And there was evening, and there was morning — the third day.
    Genesis 1:11-13 NIV

    When God creates plants, He specifies that they have seeds. Why are seeds so important? God is very specific that these plants can reproduce. This is a strong indication that they aren’t immortal, they must reproduce to maintain their numbers.

    And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and
    let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.”
    So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living
    and moving thing with which the water teems, according to
    their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And
    God saw that it was good.
    God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in
    number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds
    increase on the earth.”

    And there was evening, and there was morning — the fifth day.
    Genesis 1:20-23 NIV

    When God creates fish, other sea creatures, and birds, He tells them to “Be fruitful and increase …” They are specifically told to reproduce. Once more, this emphasis on reproduction is a strong sign that they are not immortal. Individual fish won’t live forever, so they must reproduce so that the oceans will have plenty of fish. They same applies to birds.

    And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures
    according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along
    the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.”
    And it was so.
    God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the
    livestock according to their kinds
    , and all the creatures that
    move along the ground according to their kinds. And God
    saw that it was good.
    Genesis 1:24-25 NIV

    In Genesis 1:24-25, we have a new element: livestock. God creates land animals, and domestic animals, livestock, are specifically mentioned. There is no command for these animals to reproduce, but God has already told plants, fish and birds to be fruitful and reproduce so we can assume that the same applies to land animals.

    Livestock includes cows, sheep, goats and other domesticated animals. One of the main purposes of livestock is that they are available to be slaughtered and eaten as needed. People get other things from these animals, milk from cows, milk from goats, and wool from sheep, for instance. The skins of domestic animals can be made into leather. Nevertheless, the most consistent function of livestock is to be eaten by people. According to Genesis One, God created livestock to be killed and eaten as needed.

    Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our
    likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the
    birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth,
    [Hebrew; Syriac all the wild animals] and over all the
    creatures that move along the ground.

    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
    he created him; male and female he created them.
    God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase
    in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of
    the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature

    that moves on the ground.”
    Genesis 1:26-28 NIV

    In Genesis 1:28, God commands men and women to “Be fruitful and increase in number …” This parallels the commands given to plants, fish, birds, and which we can also presume to apply to land animals. In Genesis 1:26, God tells humans to “rule over the fish of the sea.” What does this mean? It means that people are free to go fishing, to catch fish with hooks, traps, or nets. They are free to kill fish and eat them. In the same verse, God tells the newly created men and women to rule over the birds of the air. Again, this means that they are free to hunt or trap these birds and eat them for dinner. The same applies to land animals, humans are to rule over them and use them for food, hunting them when necessary.

    It is clear that none of these animals are immortal. Fish and birds are available to be eaten and consumed, and so are livestock and wild animals. They aren’t immortal and there is no sin in killing any of them for food. This is partly why God makes clear His intention that all of these animals are to reproduce. They are to multiply so that they will be available in sufficient numbers to serve as food for people.
     
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  2. Abaxvahl

    Abaxvahl Well-Known Member

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    This is all in error. Firstly, Moses is receiving this revelation after the Fall and so uses names of things current to him rather than what they are called then (see the rivers and "livestock"). Secondly, man was not eating any animals (legally that is) until after the Deluge, see Genesis 9 and the return to Paradise of Isaiah 11 (and there was no sacrifice until God ordained it in Genesis 3). Thirdly, there is no reason to assume that because plants existed there was death or will be death in the future for you do not even know the manner of existence in Paradise or what existence in Glory will be. Fourthly, just because one has dominion does not mean that their dominion is to death, but rather it is as the Scriptures say "Adam was above every other living being in creation." Dominion does not prove death. And the Second Adam will head over all things without death (which He defeated).

    Finally, all of this is refuted by the Scriptures which say "God did not make death" and "death entered the cosmos through man's sin."

    This quote from St. Maximus is enlightening to the matter: "in the beginning sin seduced Adam and persuaded him to transgress God's commandment ... thus condemning our whole human nature to death and, via humanity, pressing the nature of (all) created beings toward mortal extinction."

    No matter what resolution is held a principle is to be maintained absolutely: death comes through sin, a thing St. James the Apostle and Brother of the Lord teaches in his epistle. Spiritual death and otherwise, death comes through sin.

    God bless.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
  3. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Correct. "No death" refers to the spirit.
     
  4. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    God is only concerned for the Human Spirit or Soul.
    Adam brought the issue of Spiritual Death into being by personally disobeying God. Which is sin.
     
  5. Abaxvahl

    Abaxvahl Well-Known Member

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    Prove it.

    I already know you can not for the position is irrational but I would like to see you try.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
  6. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Man existed for millions of years, but at some point God said let us remake man into our image.
    Those that are written in the book of life live on, and those not listed, end up dissolved in the Lake of Fire.

    Another example would be the parodical son who returns to the father voluntarily and gets a party in his honor for doing so.
     
  7. Abaxvahl

    Abaxvahl Well-Known Member

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    Not a single proof given, only more assertions. Give Scriptural, Patristic, or Magisterial support for your position that God is only concerned about the soul, and not death in His material creation also.

    Prove also that man existed for millions of years before Adam, who in my position (which I can prove) was the first human being and is the father of our whole race.
     
  8. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    "Proofs" are only available In Math. Not in any other fields.
     
  9. Abaxvahl

    Abaxvahl Well-Known Member

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    Manifestly false just look up the definition of the word. But I take it as with your other positions on many things you have none. Somehow though you sometimes are able to provide it, such as your excellent post "Knowing God Through Answered Prayer - Steps 1, 2, 3" which is filled with Scriptural proofs for your ideas. But at other times (like right now) you just refuse to do it. The Lord works in mysterious ways and so do you.
     
  10. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    Well lets consider:

    5 or 10,000 year or a million years of humanity. All dead.
    Animal's? All dead. Bodies? burned, dissolved, knifed, fed to lions. All gone or eaten.
    Families? All dead.

    The nearly infinite Cosmos? Except for the smallest fraction, never even seen by eyeballs.
    Our sea? Mostly unexplored. The earth? Hardly even documented.

    Most everything, everywhere unseen, unappreciated, or dead.

    Only the Spirit has the possibility of appreciating .01% or more of what God has made.
     
  11. Abaxvahl

    Abaxvahl Well-Known Member

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    This doesn't mean that God doesn't care about death in the material creation. It means things die. Death will be defeated and we will be resurrected, and all else recapitulated. There will be an eternity to appreciate and glorify God over all He has made then.
     
  12. Dale

    Dale Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Abraxvahl,

    Hello, since I don’t think I have met you before. Here is one thing you’ve overlooked.

    The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
    Genesis 3:21 NIV

    From this passage, it sounds like God slaughtered animals to make garments of skin for Adam and Eve. Perhaps God did it for them because they didn’t know how to do it for themselves. Did God break His own law by doing this? I don’t think so. The slaughter of animals was part of God’s world from the beginning.

    Abraxvahl: “Firstly, Moses is receiving this revelation after the Fall and so uses names of things current to him rather than what they are called then (see the rivers and "livestock").”

    You are starting from the assumption that Moses wrote the Books of Moses, the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. One way that we know this isn’t possible is that the last chapter of Deuteronomy tell us about the death and burial of Moses. Obviously Moses didn’t write about his own death.

    A Disciples of Christ minister explained it like this. In Biblical times you honored people by naming books after them. If you wrote a book and signed it as Abraham, people didn’t think you were lying, they thought you were quite rightly honoring Abraham.

    Creationists assume that Moses learned about the details of creation on Mt. Sinai and later wrote Genesis. Nothing in scripture tells us this so the key word is “assume.” Creationists assume that Moses learned about creation from God on Mt. Sinai because it fits with what they believe, but there is nothing to back this up.

    I notice that you put the word “livestock” in quotes. You don’t believe that livestock meant livestock? Jewish commentators thought livestock meant just that and so have commentators in the Christian era.

    Abraxvahl: “... death comes through sin, a thing St. James the Apostle and Brother of the Lord teaches in his epistle. Spiritual death and otherwise, death comes through sin.”

    I’m glad you’re a fan of the Book of James. Here is what James really said about death.

    When tempted, no-one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
    Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
    James 1:13-15 NIV

    James isn’t talking about the Adam, Eve, Eden, the origin of death or the death of animals. He doesn’t seem to be talking about physical death at all. He is talking about spiritual death, the spiritual death of an individual person whose sin has become “full grown.”
     
  13. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    That may be so, but you won't find any such material sentimentality about this creation in God's Word.

    Revelation 8:5
    Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

    Revelation 8:7

    The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

    2 Peter 3:7
    But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

    2 Peter 3:13
    But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
  14. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    You might think I should be motivated to persuade you. Yes?
     
  15. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    God sent His son to rescue our spirit lives. Our material lives are destined to end anytime He chooses.
    Millions before even being born.
     
  16. coffee4u

    coffee4u Well-Known Member

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    The answer to that is no. The Bible describes death in a very specific way.

    The Bible says plants wither or fade, they don't die.

    Life was defined by having nephesh (the soul) the ruach (breath of life) and the blood.
    Leviticus 17:11

    11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.


    Animals like cats, dogs and cattle all have soul, breath and blood as do birds.

    Gets a bit harder when you move to sea creatures, some may and some might not.
    Invertebrates don't have blood, they have hemolympha heterogeneous fluid.

    I'm sorry but animals were not for eating in Geneses 1.
    God only gave mankind permission to start eating animals including fish after the flood.
    Genesis 9:3
    Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
    "I now give you everything" God did not give them fish or birds or any other creature with a soul to eat at creation.


    Genesis 1 says man and animals were created to eat plants.
    29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

    30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

    Now interestingly It says nothing about the creatures who don't have the breath of life, so it's possible that insects were not under this plant eating edict or maybe all creatures have the breath of life even those without a soul or life blood.

    Most times when you hear one of us refer to 'no death before sin' we are talking about people, animals, birds, water animals like whales and fish.
    Please stop thinking we are referring to things like skin cells, plants or mosquitoes, we are not.
     
  17. Abaxvahl

    Abaxvahl Well-Known Member

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    Heyo, nice to meet you.

    God did not break the Law for the Law was that they could not eat any animals, but He instituted sacrifice here to cover for sins (and mystically clothed them with futile flesh), as He covered their nakedness with something that had been killed (just as we are covered in the Precious Blood of Jesus).

    I think that Moses wrote the most and it was edited/finished by Joshua or Ezra (two popular options for this), but of Genesis he did write and see. This opinion is based on Patristics who I believe are divinely inspired, and icons of the Church which teach the faith, not to do with creationism. I am not a creationist myself I just hold to certain principles. The reconciliation and finding of their application in natural science is not my job for I am not studied for that and never will be. St. John Chrysostom says:

    "The blessed Moses, instructed by the Spirit of God, teaches us with such detail ... so that we might clearly know both the order and the way of the creation of each thing. If God had not been concerned for our salvation and had not guided the tongue of the Prophet, it would have been sufficient to say that God created the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and living creatures, without indicating either the order of the days or what was created earlier and what later.... But he distinguishes so clearly both the order of creation and the number of days, and instructs us about everything with great condescension, in order that we, coming to know the whole truth, would no longer heed the false teachings of those who speak of everything according to their own reasonings, but might comprehend the unutterable power of our Creator."

    The principles I hold to are this: death comes only through sin (death of any type), Genesis is accurate. What does "accurate" mean when applied to the world or in what manner did Genesis happen materially I do not know, but it is truly accurate. Evolution might fit with that and it might not fit with that, creationists like Ken Ham might be wrong and they might be right, I do not know, all I know is these principles.

    I believe that livestock are that, but I put it in quotes as I do not believe they were initially called that, I think Moses is calling animals that which came to be called that after the Fall in his account of the world before the Fall, hence the quotes. It's like the river Euphrates in Eden, I don't think it was called that before the Fall but after, but in his seeing he saw that it was the same or related to what is now called Euphrates, so he called it that.

    Indeed St. James is talking of this, but I do not see how it doesn't generally apply. Did not Eve go through this very process? Scripture says "because of a woman we all die." This is not only spiritual in us but also physical, so it seems to me to just be a general principle.
     
  18. Abaxvahl

    Abaxvahl Well-Known Member

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    Romans 8:19-22 is where this comes from, and that there will be a deathless New Heavens and New Earth and our bodies will be raised incorruptible shows to me that God cares about it and will save it.
     
  19. Abaxvahl

    Abaxvahl Well-Known Member

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    Nah, I myself am not really motivated to persuade others often.
     
  20. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    I was referring to the annihilation of this current cosmos and every living body.
    To be completely replaced by a totally different one rather than reanimated walking dead.

    A New Heaven and a New Earth
    (Isaiah 65:17–25)

    1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,a for the first heaven and earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying:

    “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man,

    and He will dwell with them.

    They will be His people,

    and God Himself will be with them as their God.b4‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes,’c

    and there will be no more death

    or mourning or crying or pain,

    for the former things have passed away.”
     
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