Is Christianity contingent on belief in a talking snake?

by cobweb 21 Replies latest jw friends

  • cobweb

    This is a question mainly for those who are christian as I myself am not:

    To what extent is Christianity contingent on a belief in the book of Genesis. I know there are some Christians who accept that the creation story is a myth, and maybe the Adam and Eve story too. But that puzzles me. Surely the idea of original sin, that we needed to be redeemed by Jesus Christ are all based on the beginning chapters of Genesis? Disbelieve that and there is no foundation to the value put on Jesus supposed sacrifice as Paul described.

    To me at least, the creation story, Adam and Eve and a talking snake are a bit of a weak fanciful idea to be the foundation of ones sense of personal salvation.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    Is Christianity contingent on belief in a talking snake? - no, I don't think so.

    As you said, some Christians take Genesis literally, others don't.

  • cobweb
    If this is so, what is original sin? Isn't that what Jesus died to free people from?
  • LoveUniHateExams

    Yes, all Christians believe that Christ died for their sins.

    But Christians who don't take Genesis literally have a much vaguer idea of how sin started.

    They no doubt believe that Genesis is a Jewish fable. It's these kind of Christians that accept evolution, I think.

  • cobweb

    But it is not general 'sins' that Jesus was supposed to die for - it was Adam and Eve's original sin that everyone inherited. This was supposed to be a cosmic balancing.

    “So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:18-19)

    I always thought this was the fundamental value of Jesus sacrifice - making up for Adam's sin. The Apostle Paul was quite explicit on that point. I suppose I can see how individial Christians might fudge an argument that this was generic human sin that Jesus was supposed to redeem but that is to ignore a central argument that Paul was making about the meaning of Jesus sacrifice.

    For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression” (1 Tim. 2:13-14)

    For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:21-22)

  • sir82

    For fundamentalists (such as JWs) who accept every account in the Bible as literal history, then yes, it is contingent on belief in a talking snake.

    There are many Christian denominations which recognized the absurdity of doing so centuries ago, and have developed their own theological pretzel twists to get around the dilemma. Some are more coherent than others.

  • prologos

    If "the greatest teacher" , "the greatest man that ever lived", and died, is reported to have personally endorsed, quoted the Adam & Eve account, the flood, how can wt be wrong in following these teachings of Christianity? . Now, if any element of the story can be proven to be untrue, then you not only have a bad story, but an absolutely flawed world view.

  • redvip2000

    if "the greatest teacher" , "the greatest man that ever lived", and died, is reported to have personally endorsed, quoted the Adam & Eve account, the flood, how can wt be wrong in following these teachings of Christianity?

    Exactly. This was one of the things that finally convinced me that christianity itself was also BS. When I left the JWs I first called myself a christian, with no denomination, but as you think about it more, you realize that the entire thing is connected to each other like a house of cards.

    Yes, the flood was not real, and yes Adam and Even were not real, so maybe it's ok to just believe in Jesus and chalk those other things as being a myth, BUT even Jesus describes those things as being real, which means he was as misled as anybody else, which means he is not the son of god. The house of cards falls.

  • blondie

    My husband is always saying:

    "How could 2 perfect people be tricked into talking to a snake. I'm smart enough to know not to do that."

  • steve2

    JWs have the audacity to pooh-pooh all other belief systems outside of Christianity as pagan, far-fetched and of the devil. Yet in all seriousness and without a single blush, they earnestly advocate literal belief in a talking snake that deceived the first woman - and Yahweh evidently did not know it happened and had to walk through the Garden of Eden to find out. And thousands of years later, we are still paying for it - unless we put faith in a "man" being violently murdered to pay a ransom for "our" sins.

    If we heard this story for the very first time - in contrast to being "raised" on it - we would see it for what it is: A tall story developed over hundreds of years by nomadic patriarchal societies trying to make sense of this vast universe.

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