The serpent in the Garden can’t be secretly Satan

by Doug Mason 17 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    We know that the serpent in the Garden can’t be secretly Satan, because the first time Satan is mentioned by name is in a story chronologically after this one, and in that, he is said to be walking. Remember that the serpent was cursed to crawl on his belly all the rest of his days, but in the book of Job, Satan is still walking around and chatting with God as if they’d never had a falling out. This is when God had to ask Satan where he’s been, because his infallible omniscience obviously didn’t know.

    So if he had to ask that of Satan, who is later described as the Lord of Lies, then why would God believe him? Or didn’t God know any better by then?

    So there is no literary link ever implied between Satan and serpents, other than the common insult of calling him a snake. Jesus referred to the Pharisees as snakes too, and he said they were descended from Satan, but that doesn’t mean they’re descended from snakes—even though John the Baptist said they were.

    Nor does it mean that any of them were in the sacred garden at the alleged time of Adam and Eve. All of this is interpretation that is assumed on tradition but not at all supported in the text. – Aron Ra, Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism, page 94

  • shepherdless

    I remember seeing a documentary ages ago, that made exactly the same point.

  • slimboyfat

    I think the tradition is that Satan possessed a snake and spoke through it, and that God cursed all snakes as a result. There is no tradition that Satan himself was cursed to go on his belly, so pointing to other accounts where Satan walks around doesn’t contradict the curse on snakes.

    So there is no literary link ever implied between Satan and serpents, other than the common insult of calling him a snake.

    I guess you mean to exclude the statement in Revelation 12:

    9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

    Another thing about genesis mythology always intrigued me, regarding whether it might be “true”, is the part of the flood narrative that says their days will be limited to 120 years. Some interpreters have read this to mean that human life span would eventually be limited to 120 years in the post flood world. (Abraham and a few others lived longer immediately following the flood) I always thought that had been disproved because of the French woman who lived for 122 years. But now I read that she may have been a fraud who adopted her mother’s identity in the 1930s.

    If she didn’t live longer than 120 years, then it seems there are no other well documented examples. So maybe it is true that human lifespan is limited to 120 years.

  • Crazyguy2

    In the original stories from Mesopotamia Enki was the god of wisdom and cunning he was also the god of the earth and water. He was also described as being a serpent. Some scholars and archeologists believe he was the serpent in the garden of eden story. Other believe he may have been the god testing Adam and another lesser god also described as a serpent is who talked to Eve.

    In stories about Enki he did have a garden and he also had a man named Adamu which was the care taker of the garden.

  • ZindagiNaMilegiDobaara

    Skepticism, without it we would be Positives and no negatives,therefore zero charge... this gives rise to devil/satan characters likehim.

    I do believe he is just an imaginary entity to put the blame on when someone does something bad religiously speaking. If one does good, has something good happen to him....he is blessed ie god did it. when something untoward/bad happens satan is behind it. So never is any human responsible for his actions, his hardwork or lack thereof...or bad choices made etc.Then why the hell are humans put behind bars for the crimes that satan made them commit by luring or whatever bs is stated. Even god punishes people for sinning!

    Weird reasonings and teachings. I do not believe in all this and feel so much better for it.(Sorry all,I must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed)


  • ZindagiNaMilegiDobaara

    IMHO god was the control freak (as is the gb) and satan wanted freedom for adam and eve. So satan is POMO!


  • WTWizard

    If the snake was in fact possessed, why did joke-hova punish all snakes? And, this is another example of one being doing something "wrong", and the whole lineage from that point down being punished for it. Then, we must forever pay for this "sin"--paying with enslavement to joke-hova under the most miserable conditions imaginable.

    I now believe that this is why many people are scared of snakes (and I am not referring to those that might have had legitimate bad experiences with them). This was put in the bible to create an unjust fear of snakes in mankind--I have seen people terrified of a harmless garter snake, and then go and light a cancer stick (which will make you sicker). Joke-hova put that in the bible because the snake is sacred. There is the Kundalini Serpent, the raising of which advances people and stops them from being lied to. If people are scared of snakes for no good reason, that makes it that much harder.

  • careful

    One way to look at the overall matter is to understand that that at the rough time of the writing of NT books, there was and had been much conjectural thought about the accounts in the OT, especially in Genesis, that are tantalizingly brief and leave lots of questions unanswered. Jews had been running all kinds of ideas into discussion on these topics, and their thoughts are often found in the Apocrypha, the Pseudepigrapha, Josephus, and the philosopher Philo, as well as writings from Qumran/the Dead Sea Scrolls. Sometimes they are even found in classical sources of the Greeks and Romans.

    On the issue of the role of the angels on the one hand and Adam and Eve on the other, there are statements in 1 Enoch (2nd cent. BC and later) that a sinful angel named Gaderel (or Gadeel) "misled Eve" and was responsible for revealing to humans how to make weapons of war (69.6). In the Wisdom of Solomon 2.23-24 (perhaps slightly earlier, 3rd-2nd cent. BC) there is found the statement that God had made humans in his image, "but through the devil's envy death entered into the world." If we accept that many Jews viewed death as the result of Adam and/or Eve's actions, then the connection with the snake in Eden is not far off.

    Therefore, the statement in Rev 12 is not out of place, given what was happening in the Judaism of the time. Viewing it as "secret" is indicative of not understanding the historical issues going on at the time of the NT writings.

    BTW, the fact that 1 Enoch's writer(s) does (do) not agree with the "name" Satan means nothing. Those responsible for that book loved to assign names, even contradictory ones, to all sorts of angels and demons.

  • Acluetofindtheuser
    Another thing about genesis mythology always intrigued me, regarding whether it might be “true”, is

    I find it interesting that the Boa constrictor and the Python both have under developed hind limbs called vestigial organs. The portion of the limb that is visible on the surface of the scales appears to be talon like. Mostly only one talon is present on each side. In some rare cases dual talons are present on each side. The snakes have the ability to move these “claws” around their pivot point whenever certain conditions motive them.

    Here’s an interesting article about the Sonic Hedgehog gene.

    "Sonic hedgehog is a gene that is necessary for limb development, one of several genes named after the hedgehog-like spines that grow from embryos when limb development begins.

    An enhancer controls the activation of the Sonic hedgehog gene, causing it to flicker on and off. In snakes, a mutation in the enhancer keeps the gene from staying in the “on” position, allowing for limbs to grow.

    “In lizards, Sonic hedgehog stays on and acts as the motor, driving limb development all the way down into the fingers and the toes,” explained Cohn.

    In the recent study Cohn and Francesca Leal published in Current Biology, researchers discovered Sonic hedgehog flickered to “on” at certain stages of python development. That’s why pythons sometimes have small claws protruding from their skin: They are beginning to develop limbs.

    What that means is it’s possible for the pythons of today to grow legs—and it doesn’t require an entire evolutionary cycle for them to do so. They just need the right genetic mutation to help along the limbs they already have."

    The Boa and the Python already have the genes to grow legs but they are being inhibited for some unknown reason.

  • notsurewheretogo

    Doug....your whole argument is pretty crap...the serpent is NOT Satan...Satan merely used can see the difference yeah?

    So whilst Satan was described as "walking" later in Job compared to the serpent not walking is irrelevant.

    You do understand imagery, metaphors, allegory etc?

    If a still in finds this thread then jeepers they think that exjw's are thick.

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