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

by unshackled 106 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • FloridaPerry

    I'll say this for most ex-JW's: they're a bitter, jaded lot. That is, if the people on this forum are a good sample. It's all about taking the word and dividing it by the square root of a knat's ass in order to come up with "the truth". The truth is free, and simple and of the Spirit. There is no spirit in that cult, or any other. JW's can't see the forest for the tree's. It HAS to be HARD. If it isn't, ANYONE who really seeks it can find it. Can't have that.

  • poopsiecakes

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

    Oh wow PSac I gotta whole heartedly disagree with you on this one. I love history. I read history books and I gobble up historical fiction, then compare it to history books. Even when there's documentation from accounts written while events are taking place, there's ALWAYS room for interpretation. Take Henry VIII for example. You'll be hard pressed to find another historical figure with more versions of his life. Many many contemporary sources to choose from. Many many quotes from people who were in the same room with him and lo and behold many many versions of who this man truly was and what his true personality was and what he truly believed. There's ALWAYS an agenda. And don't forget that in our day and age of instant communication and live feed and video recording people STILL get it wrong and people are constantly quoted out of context.

    How anyone can say that accounts written 100 years after the person's death can in any way be accurate is baffling to me. (said with love)

  • keyser soze
    keyser soze
    how little folks know about Christ...

    True. But then again, he hasn't spoken to most of us personally.

  • ProdigalSon

    "Sin" is an invention of a priesthood. Jesus taught karma, that you reap what you sow. It may not happen in a single lifetime. According to Josephus, most of the early church fathers and rabbis, and even the Bible, reincarnation was the common belief at the time. This was evidenced by some disciples asking Jesus why a man was born blind, was it his sin or his parents' sin that caused it. Jesus didn't turn around and refute their belief in this reasoning, he simply said "neither, but that so the will of God can be made manifest".

    So, Jesus died for no one's sin at all. He died because a corrupt priesthood killed him to preserve their own status quo. The TRUE God never asked for this (see Psalms 40:6).

  • Vidiot

    Perry - "Did Jesus believe in evolution?"

    "...and he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female..."

    "Did Jesus Believe the Story of Noah’s Ark?"

    “...as in the days of Noah, so shall also be the coming of the Son of Man be...”.

    I wonder if anyone's considered Mark 4:34 - "...he did not say anything to them without using a parable..."

    unshackled -"Bottom line is evolution is a fact. For those who claim to be christians and accept that fact...how do they continue to call themselves christians? It's a paradox."

    A fairly significant factor in me being more or less an agnostic "post-Christian" these days...

    unshackled -"Guess I was wondering if anyone could present a reconciliation of either: 1) acceptance of evolution and christianity, 2) not believing Genesis is literal and Christianity.

    A while back (when I'd started fading, but was still mentally "in"), I wrote an outline for a seven-volume novel series initially intended to be based on the WT interpretation of Revelation (I still have a sholarly interest in apocalypticism), but full of twists that, in retrospect, would have made Ted Jaracz's head spin around like Linda Blair's.

    As it went on, however, I realized that rather than affirming WT eschatology, it ended up subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) repudiating it. Thing is, volume 7's outline (prequel/origin story) was based on Genesis, with a solid attempt at that very reconciliation. Narratively it actually worked, too. Everybody I know who read it (all non-JWs, of course, stoopid I'm not) thought the whole thing was really clever.

    I had found it interesting that the vast majority of progressive/liberal Christian denominations don't regard Revelation as being prophetic in any way; part of the goal was to interpret Revelation AS prophetic (albeit fictionally, of course), but in a distinctly liberal/progressive manner; to my knowledge, it's never been done before.

    It's called "The Authoritarian Threshold", but my friends nicknamed it the "Anti-Left Behind".

  • PSacramento
    How anyone can say that accounts written 100 years after the person's death can in any way be accurate is baffling to me. (said with love)

    Well, the oldest written history of Alexander we have was written almost 500 years AFTER his death and that was Alexander the great !
    Paul's oldest letter that we have record of was written in 50-60 AD, 20 to 30 tears after Christ died.

    Most of Paul's letters were written between 50 and 80 AD.

    Oral Tradition of those days was the primary source and before people start with the silly "broken telephone" analogy, it didn't work that way, Oral tradition was passed on OUT LOUD where corrections could and would happen when a speaker might "stray" from what was previsouly heard.

  • BurnTheShips
    It seems less and less believers take Genesis literally, particularly the Intelligent Design crowd. So how does one take the Genesis account as allegory, but also truly believe Jesus died to atone for Adam's sins? It doesn't make sense.

    Here is a Catholic perspective. Even if not read literally, the Genesis account still describes certain truths held by Christians, but in an allegorical manner. If seen in this way, it continues to "make sense." The Orthodox descriptions also "make sense."


    God created man in his image and established him in his friendship. A spiritual creature, man can live this friendship only in free submission to God. The prohibition against eating "of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" spells this out: "for in the day that you eat of it, you shall die." 276 The "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" 277 symbolically evokes the insurmountable limits that man, being a creature, must freely recognize and respect with trust. Man is dependent on his Creator and subject to the laws of creation and to the moral norms that govern the use of freedom.

    Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God's command. This is what man's first sin consisted of. 278 All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.

    In that sin man preferred himself to God and by that very act scorned him. He chose himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good. Constituted in a state of holiness, man was destined to be fully "divinized" by God in glory. Seduced by the devil, he wanted to "be like God," but "without God, before God, and not in accordance with God." 279

    Scripture portrays the tragic consequences of this first disobedience. Adam and Eve immediately lose the grace of original holiness. 280 They become afraid of the God of whom they have conceived a distorted image—that of a God jealous of his prerogatives. 281

    Genesis is a myth. But myth does not mean fairy tale.

    Theologically, myth is a story that tells truth, but is not necessarily the truth in and of itself. Parables are similar. There probably wasn't an actual "Good Samaritan," but it has a great didactic purpose.

    Genesis tells us about our creation by God, our relationship with God, the nature of good and evil, that we are stewards of the world, and so on. Did things literally happen as described? I don't think so myself. This does not, however, mean the Genesis account of Adam and Eve in the Garden is false. You just have to understand it for what it is.

    Luke: "Obi-Wan! Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father!"
    Obi-Wan: "Your father was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
    Luke: "A certain point of view?!"
    Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."


  • Meeting Junkie No More
    Meeting Junkie No More
    Simon the Magus, you can see how it was a Jewish Mystic who founded the Catholic Church to carry on the Pharisee tradition

    Prodigal Son: Please tell me more! Can you recommend any books on this topic? - very intriguing

  • ProdigalSon

    Prodigal Son: Please tell me more! Can you recommend any books on this topic? - very intriguing

    I read this a few years back... it's written from the standpoint of a bible believer (of which I am not) but it makes a very solid case....

    Simon Magus by Ernest L. Martin


    Here's an associated article from reformation.org


  • PSacramento

    My perspective on Genesis:

    Writer: So, YHWH, how did we get here?

    God: Well...billions of years ago I started the process of creating the universe as you now know it !

    From nothing I created energy and from energy I...*sees blank look on face*...Yes?

    Writer: What's a "billion" and what is "energy"?

    God: hmmmmm....Once there was nothing and I said let their be light and there was and the universe started in motion and billions *oops* and many,many cells and atoms and...* sees blank look*...what is it now?

    Writer: What's a "universe"?

    God: *Faceplam*

    God: Ok, lets try it this way...

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