If Genesis isn't taken literally, who's sin did Jesus die for?

by unshackled 106 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • AGuest

    With all of the years I've been posting here (may you all have peace!), I have to say that it never ceases to AMAZE me, given the vast amounts of "knowledge" and "intellect" here (and I don't mean that sarcastically, truly)... how little folks know about Christ... and even more, how little they know about what's in the Bible. Many proffer all kinds of books and quotes by scholars (including self-styled scholars), theologians, researchers, and others... heck, even the dang WTBTS and its GB or previous leaders. Many spent almost their entire lives in a religion that supposedly "studied" the Bible; yet, have so little knowledge and understanding of what's actually IN there. Forgive me, but it is quite curious to me, sometimes. I digress.

    The answer to your question can be found in the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, dear Unshackled (peace to you!). Before you read that, however, please know that while my Lord's death has some correlation with Adam's sin (i.e., by means of it, Adam's sin... sin entered into the world, and then death THROUGH that sin)... that was just a small part. The lion's share has much more to do with the sin... of those like me... Israel... and anyone else who put's faith in him... so as to hear him and be led AWAY from death. Because by means of such faith... in him... in his flesh... and in his blood... OUR sins... which lead to OUR death... can be covered over, even blotted out.

    Now, then, Isaiah:

    "Who has put faith in the thing heard by us? And as for the arm of JaHVeH, to whom has it been revealed? And he will come up like a twig before one, and like a root out of waterless land. No stately form does he have, nor any splendor; andwhen we shall see him, there is not the appearance so that we should desire him.

    "He was despised and was avoided by men,a man meant for pains and for having acquaintance with sickness. Andthere was as if the concealing of one’s face from us. He was despised, andwe held him as of no account. Trulyour sicknesses were what he himself carried; and as for our pains, he bore them. But we ourselves accounted him as plagued, stricken by God and afflicted. But he was being pierced for our transgression; he was being crushed for our errors. The chastisement meant for our peace was upon him, and because of his wounds there has been a healing for us. Like sheep we have all of us wandered about; it was each one to his own way that we have turned; and JaHVeH himself has caused the error of us all to meet up with that one. He was hard pressed, andhe was letting himself be afflicted; yet he would not open his mouth. He was beingbrought just like a sheep to the slaughtering; and like a ewe that before her shearers has become mute, he also would not open his mouth.

    "Because of restraint and of judgment he was taken away; andwho will concern himself even with his generation? Forhe was severed from the land of the living ones. Because of the transgression of my people he had the stroke. And he will make his burial place even with the wicked ones, and with the rich class in his death,despite the fact that he had done no violence and there was no deception in his mouth.

    "But it pleased JaHVeH Himself that he was crushed, that he became sick.If you will set his soul as a guilt offering, he will see his offspring, he will prolong [his] days, and in his hand what is the delight of JaHVeH will succeed. Because of the trouble of his soul he will see, he will be satisfied.By means of his knowledge the righteous one, my servant, will bring a righteous standing to many people; and their errors he himself will bear. For that reason I shall deal him a portion among the many, and it will be with the mighty ones that he will apportion the spoil,due to the fact that he poured out his soul to the very death, andit was with the transgressors that he was counted in; andhe himself carried the very sin of many people, and for the transgressors he proceeded to interpose."

    That really should answer your question, dear one, and it really has never been a mystery... except to those who claim to "know"... like the WTBTS... but really do not.

    As to some of you others (again, peace to you!), c'mon, now: if you're going to ridicule a book, shouldn't you at least have read it? I mean, goodness knows, if someone took issue with, say, what's in the Talmud, Quran, or Darwin's "Evolution of the Species"... but didn't even bother to read them... or enough of them in order to even have a discussion... but still attempted to discuss with you based on, say, what the folks in the WTBTS told them was in there... you would chew them up and spit them out. In a heartbeat. You know it's true.

    Seriously. Oh, and again, peace to you all!

    A slave of Christ,


  • designs

    Everyone knows the Isaiah account. The issues are many and diverse. Science and its challenges to the Bible accounts. Literal and figurative interpretations to the accounts in the Bible. The Authors and the immediate cultural perspectives to the accounts. Historical and Archeological confirmation of the accounts. Internal errors and ommissions in the Biblical accounts. And when a Jew reads the NT and sees the numerous errors and omissions the problems magnify.

    Think of this doozy " I give you a new commandment to love one another', sounds sweet and noble, one small problemo 'Jesus' was quoting from the Jewish Sages who had been teaching this for centuries! Oooopsie got caught. The NT almost gets hysterical with these types of repeated blunders.

    Most of us coming from the Watchtower background recognize this type of bravado which weaves half truths in with fiction and imagination to confuse the uneducated.

    Jewish 'Messiahs', humans claiming to be the Messiah have been appearing for centuries in Judaism. There were several competitors to Jesus. Jesus is more like the Essene model of a Pacifist while the others were militants. In Christianity the followers look to the Second Coming to bring fulfillment to the millions of Jews who believe in a literal Messiah a prayer is said each day: 'I believe (Ani Ma'amin) with complete faith that the Messiah will come, and although he may tarry, yet each day I will wait for his coming'. To the millions of Conservative and Reformed Jews the Messiah is a symbol of justice and peace which they take as their personal mission in this world.

    Jesus was either the biggest, fattest liar and charlatan who ever lived or he was who he said he was. There is NO middle ground here.

    So Harsh Perry. Did ya parrot bite you? Good to see you back on the forum. I find you rather entertaining.

    Perhaps Jesus was a well meaning fellow who acted above his pay-grade and paid a terrible price for upsetting the Roman hierarchy. He was a sincere but perhaps misguided dreamer, who should have stuck to his day job.

    There is always room for middle ground. Modern Christianity exists on a bed of shifting middle ground. Spiritual matters are not cast in stone, so I have no problem with that.

    Inflexibility is a sign of weakness not strength. Most religion and mythology is based on legends and tales, that though told as literal, are intended to be imbued with deeper spiritual meaning

  • cantleave

    Why spend so much time analysing mythology?

  • Curtains


    Why spend so much time analysing mythology?

    mythology is a great medium for making and breaking with traditional ways of seeing and believing. The myths themselves are unstable and have the power to disturb our thinking. If the Genises account of Adam is taken like this and in a non literal way then we can ask ourselves what assumptions are at work, what events from real life are being inferred and are there some themes and experiences that remain the same through time. Themes of male and female, purity and impurity, human and animal interaction, a hard life v an edenic one.

    edit: however there comes a time when one must leave the armchair and do something active - and that is what I'm going to do now - bye bye.

  • ProdigalSon

    In this day and age of computers and all their functions....search engines, the web, concordances, etc., the Bible simply cannot stand up to the slightest scrutiny. Take the Old Testament for example. It says in some places that God visits iniquity upon future generations, and in other places it says that sons cannot be held accountable for the sins of their fathers. And then there's the geneologies....I think the Christians would be far better off not even bringing up the subject. You have two different geneologies in Matthew and Luke, and one of them leads up to Joseph, who HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!!!! Plus, according to the OT, Jesus was DISQUALIFIED because of his geneology!

    Shall I go on?

    Ok, a little more.

    Humans were walking this planet at least 75,000 years ago. That it an indisputable fact. That in itself makes the Bible a joke.

    It took the Catholic Church many many councils and hundreds of years to piece together a New Testament that would complement the Messiah prophecies of the OT... and its full of contradictions. The OT never even mentions a "virgin birth", only a "maiden", and it had NOTHING TO DO WITH JESUS! But, there are PLENTY of virgin births in the MYTHS.

    These BS doctrines that we swallowed up, most of them weren't even FORMULATED until HUNDREDS OF YEARS after Jesus.

    Nazareth wasn't even a real town!

    I mean, where do we stop and say, if one link in the chain is busted (let alone MANY), the chain ain't gonna work?

    The bottom line? Jesus came to expose the God of the Pharisees, Jehovah, as an underboss god who thought he was the Most High. It's like an imposter, a scumbag, standing in for your father, and you're trying to clear your father's name. On top of that, Jesus was exposing the fact that the Pharisees were taking the Keys of Knowledge (Gnosis) and hiding them. Jesus was a SERIOUS THREAT TO THEIR WORLD!!! He was bringing the true teaching that leads to ascension. That's why they killed him. Then, they had to kill all his TRUE followers and burn all their writings. If you look into Simon the Magus, you can see how it was a Jewish Mystic who founded the Catholic Church to carry on the Pharisee tradition. Out of THAT we get more Pharisee BS like the JW cult.


  • sir82
    Jesus was either the biggest, fattest liar and charlatan who ever lived or he was who he said he was. There is NO middle ground here.

    Of course there is. There is an ocean of middle ground.

    The 800 pound assumption you make is that the Bible verses quoted accurately represent what Jesus said.

    The gospels were written 40-80 years after Jesus last spoke on earth, in an era where most people were illiterate and the line between legend and fact was not only highly blurred, but also considered pretty irrelevant.

    What evidence is there that the gospel writers accurately quoted Jesus 2 or 3 generations after he had spoken?

    What evidence is there that the gospel accounts were untampered with until the ealiest extant complete manuscripts, copied centuries after the originals were composed?

    I.e., the middle ground is, "perhaps the gospel writers attributed to Jesus things that he really didn't say but that fit their (the writers') agenda".

    Or maybe another middle ground position is, "the gospel writers accurately quoted him, but copyists in the 1st or 2nd or 3rd or 4th centuries changed the words to fit their agenda".

    Or maybe another middle ground position is, "Jesus wasn't a liar, he just spoke in symbolic terms his audience would understand".

    Or here's another one: "He was a good but fully human Jewish rabbi, who later was conflated into a universal Messiah by his followers. As such, that good fully human rabbi didn't lie, he merely stated what he really believed, in accord with the understanding of all Jews of his time."

    And so on. See? Oceans of middle ground.

  • PSacramento

    Do I take the Genesis account literally?


    Does that mean Adam never existed? Nope.

    Do I believe in the evolutionary process? Yes.

    So why do I believe that Christ died for me?

    Now THAT is a good question !!

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    What evidence is there that the gospel writers accurately quoted Jesus 2 or 3 generations after he had spoken?

    Just for clarification, sir82, were those generations overlapping?

  • PSacramento
    What evidence is there that the gospel writers accurately quoted Jesus 2 or 3 generations after he had spoken?

    As much as for any other historical figure, perhaps even more so.

    Historically speaking, what is written about someone less than 100 years after their death is quite excellent in terms of historical accuracy.

    Paul wrote only 20-30 years after Jesus's death.

    Now, the copies we have are about 300 years after Jesus died, but even that is, in a historical context, quite excellent.

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