Eternal life for flesh and blood creatures

by donny 22 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • donny

    I was explaining the basic teachings to a non-Witness coworker the other day and we began talking about the incident in the garden of Eden. I told him that according to the Society, if Adam and Eve had not sinned, the world today would be full of perfect human beings who never die.

    He then asked "What about the animal kingdom? Would they be mortal and grow old and die and if so, how would God explain that to humans?"

    I pulled a JW on him and said, "I'll get back to you on that."

    So what is the Societys position on this issue? Would it not be strange that humans would be living forever while all other flesh and blood creatures eventually grow old and die?


  • JWoods

    From a purely scientific viewpoint, there are micro-biological reasons why DNA based creatures grow old and die. These apply to animals as well as humans and are inexorable due to natural aging of the DNA sequence, environmental issues, and the constant existence of external radiation.

    I have heard (but cannot recall reading) the notion that animals could not (or would not) eat of "the tree of life" in the garden of eden, (or in the paradise earth) and thus could not be eternal. (i.e. - per witness reasoning).

    I have also heard JWs say that dinosaurs and other ancient forms were deliberately extincted to make way for human society.

    Many witness views are as naive as the priesthood of ancient Egypt when it comes to life sciences.

  • donny

    This must be a tough one.

  • JWoods
    This must be a tough one.

    For the JWs, do you mean? Yes, it poses some pretty intractable questions. I am pretty sure that the literature printed out at one time that Adam, Cain, and Abel knew what life and death was because they had seen animals die; this would suppose that eden animals were not thought to be immortal. I am also pretty sure that I have not ever actually seen it published in the literature that in the new system the animals would be immortal.

  • Chalam

    Hello Donny,

    I dunno about what the WT teach, who's knows anyhow, it might have changed :(

    Anyhow, the unchanging truth about the current mortality of animals can be found here

    Genesis 1:26 (English Standard Version)

    26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

    Genesis 3:17-19 (English Standard Version)

    17 And to Adam he said,

    "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
    and have eaten of the tree
    of which I commanded you,
    'You shall not eat of it,'
    cursed is the ground because of you;
    in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
    18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
    and you shall eat the plants of the field.
    19 By the sweat of your face
    you shall eat bread,
    till you return to the ground,
    for out of it you were taken;
    for you are dust,
    and to dust you shall return."



  • JWoods

    I am confused: What exactly does that say about the immortality of animals, Steven???

    I see nothing there unless you jump to conclusions.

  • snowbird

    "Dominion," JWoods!

    Like, I can do with you whatsoever I please.

    And, it's mortality of animals.



  • JWoods

    But, Sylvia - "dominion" does not address whether they (animals I mean) were immortal in eden prior to original sin, nor if they will be so in the supposed "new earth" - that is all speculation.

    It is obvious with or without Stephen's reference that in today's world man can kill animals and that they are not immortal - the question was what was the rule in the garden and in the new system? (assuming of course that you accept the JW theology on both)

  • snowbird

    I believe the lower animals were never meant to be immortal.

    Perish the thought!

    I also believe that humans were going to be allowed to eat flesh eventually.


  • elderelite

    animals were not mean to be immortal, according JW doctrine. In fact it has been reasoned that the only way adam knew what death was, thus making the threat about the tree of of live understandable, is because he saw animals die.

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