What if Adam knew his wife, before the sin?

by Nambo 21 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Knowsnothing

    OGD, how do you reconcile the message of salvation preached by Jesus, the fall from perfection of Adam and Eve, and the coming of sin and death into the world?

    Can the bible "work" as you propose?

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    The Adam and Eve story is not a story of how sin came about...

    So how do you get rid of Romans 5 out of your ' critical analysis' , OldGenerationDude?


    Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ

    12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, (X) and death through sin, (Y) and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned (Z) —

    13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. (AA) 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, (AB) who is a pattern of the one to come. (AC)

    15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, (AD) how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, (AE) overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death (AF) reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life (AG) through the one man, Jesus Christ!

  • OldGenerationDude

    Hi there. Thanks for the questions.

    First of all, I didn't "propose" higher criticism. I was just offering what that form of teaching offers. The exegesis I offer isn’t my own invention, neither am I claiming it represents my current belief.

    When we come out of the Watchtower we don't realize how much our thinking has been altered by the Governing Body, not to mention what we don't get exposed to, like the mainstream explanation. That is what I offered.

    However, in answer to the questions, I found the following (remember I didn't come up with it, I'm just offering what I have researched--and it doesn't necessarily reflect my personal convictions either):

    Tootried2care: The critical approach doesn't deny the historical basis to the story. It merely teaches that the Genesis account isn't a news report. The story is written to teach the lessons learned from history, i.e., "What can we learn from the choices our first parents made?"

    It's like an illustration I've used before: school children in the United States often learn American history via the legendary tales, not the dry historical facts. "Paul Revere's Ride" by Longfellow is a legend, but it is taught as history. Why? Because Longfellow's poem tells Americans not just what Paul Revere did, but what his ride meant for the Americans, saving what history means for them, and how this one act changed the course of history. The actual historical details are a little different. One doesn't learn the legendary side of this event if they are British or live in Russia. Instead the just learn the dry facts because Paul Revere's ride doesn't mean the same thing to others as it does to Americans. Americans keep the meaning of Revere's ride alive by this tradition, but it is practically meaningless outside of the U.S.

    The same goes for the Adam and Eve account. The critical approach doesn't deny that Eve was deceived by Satan the Devil, it merely states that the Genesis account is communicating religious "truths" through a simplified narrative, a "legend" similar to Longfellow's poem. Early Christian theologian Gregory Nazianzen wrote that the trees in the story were symbols for the type of choices Adam and Eve faced. And even the account writes details in the narrative which is meant to tell the reader that symbolism instead of literalism is being used (note the rivers mentioned running through the Garden of Eden alongside the Euphrates at Ge 2:10-14, a paradox and geological impossibility for a historical account).

    And as for the other questions, just because the story of Adam and Eve is told in allegorical symbols doesn't mean it isn't based on a historical event. Again, Nazianzen wrote the events were real, but merely simplified into symbols. And this approach isn't saying there wasn't a Fall, it is just saying that the account of Adam and Eve is not presented in Genesis as telling us exactly what was entailed in the Fall like a news report would, but merely impressing upon the reader that that the Fall happened due to concupiscence.

    Again, just because Longfellow's account of Paul Revere is written in the form of a legendary poem doesn't mean that Paul Revere wasn't a real person or that the events described didn't happen. But it's a poem, not a news report or historical account. The same thing about the Adam and Eve story: it's not that the events described didn't happen, but the events as written in Genesis are in the form of mythos, allegory, or parable, not a news report or historical account.

  • tootired2care

    OGD - That makes sense, take a complex sequence of events that took place and roll them up in a simple allegory.That is an interesting possiblity i'd not considered before.

    In either case one cannot escape the absolute axiom that the bible teaches through this and other accounts that God will not accept any of his creation that chooses to not do things exactly as he wants. As an intelligent self aware creature, I will never accept this kind of tyranny from a human or heavenly dictator.

  • OldGenerationDude

    And remember folks, I didn't come up with this. Since I didn't make it up and since it is basic mainstream theology (and you have no need to fear the Watcthower punishing you for doing so) you are free to do the reasearch on your own with no one bothering you. Just because you study the critical approach and find it makes sense doesn't mean you suddenly become a "born-again Bible believer" of some sort (note tootired2care's response). Many who teach critical theory are not associated with any religion at all but are historians or literary academics.

    Also, one last note: I do know that this same school of thought actually teaches against the view that tootired2care claims to be an axiom. That "axiom" is a central dogma of Fundamentalism literalist theological thought. The mainstream view is that God is not trying to force people to do what he wants. Instead God is trying to demonstrate that we are more like God than we realize and that we naturally reflect God's best qualities in our dealings whether or not we believe in God. (Romans 2:13-16) Being obedient to God is not like living up to a code of laws but it is actually our sharing in God's own rule over creation.

    Instead of having to go up a mountain to God to get a set of laws that only bring death if we don't live up to them, this theology teaches that God became a human being to show us that we don't have to go through that to be like God. We are naturally made that way, or so this school of thought teaches.

    This doesn't necessarily change the conclusions anyone makes, but the point is that a lot of what we sometimes think is applicable to the Bible or religion in general after leaving the Watchtower is just JW-muck. There should be no fear of unlearning and abandoning what we were told was true as Witnesses and at least opening ourselves to being really educated (not just personally reading up on things) on all sorts of subjects. The point of what I'm stressing is that we shouldn't adopt a certain view based on what we were taught by the Governing Body. If the Bible doesn't teach that God will not accept his creation if they do not bend to his will, and that is the reason we reject the Bible, then we're rejecting the Bible on account of something the Governing Body teaches, not on mainstream theology.

    As the book Wisdom states (a book rejected by JWs):"God didn't make death. God takes no delight in the ruin of anything that lives. God created everything so that it might exist."--Wisdom 1:13, 14, Common English Bible.

  • tootired2care

    The other thing that you need to factor into mainstream theology, is that much of it was interpreted a certain way to unite the masses, a political scheme if you will. Case in point, if you read up on Constantine The Great and the Council of Nicea, you can see how they twisted things to get Pagan's and Christians under one unbrella.

    For me, someone who does not trust much in this world, I will lean towards taking the viewpoint of the bible texts in context (compared with other bible texts), to draw my conclusions about God, over the interpretation of those whose agenda was to control people similair to the what the WTS does today with all their silly pharisiac rules.

  • OldGenerationDude

    Mainstream theology goes back to pre-Christian times, before there was a canonization of even the Tanakh. I'm Jewish, and I can tell you that neither Constantine nor a desire to appease any Gentile or to act like other religious systems was ever at the heart of their exegetical system which laid the foundation for academic critical analysis of Biblical texts.

    I'm not against atheists or those who may have some type of spiritual belief but reject the inspirational claims regarding the Bible. In fact I applaud the use of the rational mind and education over beliefs wherein the emotion is allowed to take over. I don't think it is just for the society to not blink an eye if I publicly display a menorah but allows others to go all up in arms when an atheist wishes to do something like place their views or even question the beliefs of others on a billboard. What’s wrong with someone asking another person to apply sound reason and academic principles? I will always side with free speech and freedom of conscience and don’t believe I have to share the exact conclusions of my neighbor to defend what I know is right.

    But I've never seen the "Constantine" argument backed up by any critical analysis or academia (it falls under opinion, not fact). Therefore I personally side with the critical approach when it comes to religious study and which makes clear that the authors, editors, and interpolators of the writings of Scripture had little to no idea nor intention to create a self-defining text. The idea that the any Biblical texts can be read and interpreted independent of the religious traditions that formed them, as if the texts themselves offered up greater insight when all but the texts themselves were ignored, sounds more like wishful thinking or even attributing some sort of mystical power to them beyond even the claims of most theists.

    While I respect your opinion, I think the context has to be widened in the way academics and scholars have been doing so via critical theory. After all, the "scribes" who produced and copied these texts were themselves the very religionists you condemn, and I don't think one can read any text independent of the views of their human authors, regardless if one believes they contain divine revelation or not.

  • Nambo

    Interesting stuff OGD, though it would take me a lot of working out to see if it harmonises with the rest of the Bible and the Ransom sacrifice.

    Even if it isnt quite literal, but an analogy, would my initial musings still be valid?, for I have a further idea.

    As has been pointed out, God surely must have known what was going to happen, so he could have destroyed Satan first and prevented all this?, he surely prevented reproduction in order to ovoid the complications I mentioned, so how about this:-

    The Issue of soverignty or whatever, had allready been raised in the Spirit Realm before the material creation.

    The material creation, namely, us, was formed for the express purpose of demonstrating the issues Satan had raised?

    Not saying the scripture that says something about us being on a stage acting out a play in front of the Angels, supports this, anybody else rememeber this scripture better than I?, I would say its probably from Acts but that would probably be a pun.

  • designs

    Let's not forget Lilith.

  • MrFreeze

    " Perhaps they did not have flesh with which to procreate WITH, until they were given long garments of skin and placed outside the garden of eden?"

    Tec, if they didn't have flesh, how/why did they eat the fruit?

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