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Featured The Tree Of Knowledge Of Good And Bad

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by Earthling, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. RabbiO

    RabbiO הרב יונה בן זכריה

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    I know what Genesis 3:3 reads. Perhaps I was less clear than I could have been.

    Maybe I should have phrased my question thusly - Where in the Torah does G-d say that not only eating of the tree is forbidden, but even touching it is out of bounds?
     
  2. TruePathFinder

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    Why would God warn humans not to evolve beyond a certain limit? That part of the symbolism does not make sense...
     
  3. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    it was not evolution
    what God did in the garden....was not evolution
    it was manipulation

    and the forbidden fruit was only a ploy
    to be sure the spirit of Man would be curious
    even if death was pending
     
  4. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Tail Wagger
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    Clearly an interpretation made without consulting the culture and historical background.

    Genesis is written to contrast against Egyptian morality, using their symbols against. Its the opposite of Egyptian stories which give power of moral choice to gods and to Pharoah. Using the same symbols: tree of life and a serpent, Genesis gives Eve and also Adam the position of Bast in the story. Eve's offspring will do battle with evil using their newfound moral powers. Instead of Bast who rules by the power of the knowledge of magical names, Adam creates the names of all creatures. Thus humankind has all power and wisdom. The price is mortality, pain and tears but is worthwhile. Adam make the correct choice, and it is a picture of the choice to convert, leave slavery and become one's own master. Its not about falling from grace.
     
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  5. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    Nonsense
     
  6. Truthseeker9

    Truthseeker9 Active Member

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    Question. -- What is the truth of the story of Adam, and His eating of the fruit of the tree?
    Answer. -- In the Bible it is written that God put Adam in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and take care of it, and said to Him: "Eat of every tree of the garden except the tree of good and evil, for if You eat of that, You will die."[1] Then it is said that God caused Adam to sleep, and He took one of His ribs and created woman in order that she might be His companion. After that it is said the serpent induced the woman to eat of the tree, saying: "God has forbidden you to eat of the tree in order that your eyes may not be opened, and that you may not know good from evil."[2] Then Eve ate from the tree and gave unto Adam, Who also ate; their eyes were opened, they found themselves naked, and they hid their bodies with leaves. In consequence of this act they received the reproaches of God. God said to Adam: "Hast Thou eaten of the forbidden tree?" Adam answered: "Eve tempted Me, and I did eat." God then reproved Eve; Eve said: "The serpent tempted me, and I did eat." For this the serpent was cursed, and enmity was put between the serpent and Eve, and between their descendants. And God said: "The man is become like unto Us, knowing good and evil, and perhaps He will eat of the tree of life and live forever." So God guarded the tree of life.[3]
    [1 Cf. Gen. 2:16-17.]
    [2 Cf. Gen. 3:5.]
    [3 Cf. Gen. 3:11-15,22.]
    If we take this story in its apparent meaning, according to the interpretation of the masses, it is indeed extraordinary. The intelligence cannot accept it, affirm it, or imagine it; for such arrangements, such details, such speeches and reproaches are far from being those of an intelligent man, how much less of the Divinity -- that Divinity Who has organized this infinite universe in the most perfect form, and its innumerable inhabitants with absolute system, strength and perfection.
    We must reflect a little: if the literal meaning of this story were attributed to a wise man, certainly all would logically deny that this arrangement, this invention, could have emanated from an intelligent being. Therefore, this story of Adam and Eve who ate from the tree, and their expulsion from Paradise, must be thought of simply as a symbol. It contains divine mysteries and universal meanings, and it is capable of marvelous explanations. Only those who are initiated into mysteries, and those who are near the Court of the All-Powerful, are aware of these secrets. Hence these verses of the Bible have numerous meanings.
    We will explain one of them, and we will say: Adam signifies the heavenly spirit of Adam, and Eve His human soul. For in some passages in the Holy Books where women are mentioned, they represent the soul of man. The tree of good and evil signifies the human world; for the spiritual and divine world is purely good and absolutely luminous, but in the human world light and darkness, good and evil, exist as opposite conditions.
    The meaning of the serpent is attachment to the human world. This attachment of the spirit to the human world led the soul and spirit of Adam from the world of freedom to the world of bondage and caused Him to turn from the Kingdom of Unity to the human world. When the soul and spirit of Adam entered the human world, He came out from the paradise of freedom and fell into the world of bondage. From the height of purity and absolute goodness, He entered into the world of good and evil.
    The tree of life is the highest degree of the world of existence: the position of the Word of God, and the supreme Manifestation. Therefore, that position has been preserved; and, at the appearance of the most noble supreme Manifestation, it became apparent and clear. For the position of Adam, with regard to the appearance and manifestation of the divine perfections, was in the embryonic condition; the position of Christ was the condition of maturity and the age of reason; and the rising of the Greatest Luminary [1] was the condition of the perfection of the essence and of the qualities. This is why in the supreme Paradise the tree of life is the expression for the center of absolutely pure sanctity -- that is to say, of the divine supreme Manifestation. From the days of Adam until the days of Christ, They spoke little of eternal life and the heavenly universal perfections. This tree of life was the position of the Reality of Christ; through His manifestation it was planted and adorned with everlasting fruits.
    [1 Bahá'u'lláh.]
    Now consider how far this meaning conforms to the reality. For the spirit and the soul of Adam, when they were attached to the human world, passed from the world of freedom into the world of bondage, and His descendants continued in bondage. This attachment of the soul and spirit to the human world, which is sin, was inherited by the descendants of Adam, and is the serpent which is always in the midst of, and at enmity with, the spirits and the descendants of Adam. That enmity continues and endures. For attachment to the world has become the cause of the bondage of spirits, and this bondage is identical with sin, which has been transmitted from Adam to His posterity. It is because of this attachment that men have been deprived of essential spirituality and exalted position.
    When the sanctified breezes of Christ and the holy light of the Greatest Luminary [1] were spread abroad, the human realities -- that is to say, those who turned toward the Word of God and received the profusion of His bounties -- were saved from this attachment and sin, obtained everlasting life, were delivered from the chains of bondage, and attained to the world of liberty. They were freed from the vices of the human world, and were blessed by the virtues of the Kingdom. This is the meaning of the words of Christ, "I gave My blood for the life of the world"[2] -- that is to say, I have chosen all these troubles, these sufferings, calamities, and even the greatest martyrdom, to attain this object, the remission of sins (that is, the detachment of spirits from the human world, and their attraction to the divine world) in order that souls may arise who will be the very essence of the guidance of mankind, and the manifestations of the perfections of the Supreme Kingdom.
    (Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 121)
     
  7. Shushersbedamned

    Shushersbedamned Well-Known Member

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    It was a thundering voice from the heavens.
     
  8. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    Sorry it took me a while to get to this. Genesis 3:3
     
  9. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Tail Wagger
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    No, and we have the power to forgive sin. That is what the edenic story is about. You sought to give Eden a meaning opposite to its intent. You said it was about falling, as if Adam had done a great evil by eating fruit. Adam made the correct choice, but you have some pet doctrine you want to protect and cannot allow that.
     
  10. RabbiO

    RabbiO הרב יונה בן זכריה

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    No apology necessary, however see my response to Deejee in post #22.
     
  11. sandy whitelinger

    sandy whitelinger Veteran Member

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    I thought he made a valid and unusual proposition. Disobedience was a fundamental part of the whole equation.
     
  12. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    Berei**** 3:3
     
  13. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    The woman says that God says. That's a problem, isn't it? You are looking for God saying it himself.
     
  14. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    @RabbiO I too am confused by your question. The Genesis account says that God instructed Adam during the time before he created Eve.....since it was Adam's role as head of his wife to convey God's instructions to her, the response she made to the serpent was that they were not to eat of the fruit, nor were they even to touch it, so is there a point to your question? Where else would the woman have received this instruction? Scripture says it......who contradicts it? :shrug:
     
  15. sandy whitelinger

    sandy whitelinger Veteran Member

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    How do you deal with the verses that say that having the knowledge of good and evil was the reason for their expulsion from the garden? I ask this in light of scripture which say the were punished separately for their disobedience. These are two separate issues.
     
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  16. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member

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    The bible specifically says it is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, does it not?
    If a man does not have knowledge of what is good versus what is evil, there is no basis for him to know eating the fruit is evil, since he has no understanding of the concept.
     
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  17. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    You raise a good point. Somewhere on these forums just the other day I posted something about the variations in Hebrew nouns translated as various forms of the word know. They, like us, like most words, are used in various ways. To get to know someone could mean to have sexual intercourse with them, so at Genesis 4:17 some translations, like the KJV here, reads knew whereas the translation I use reads "Afterward Cain had intercourse with his wife and she became pregnant and gave birth to E′noch."

    To know can mean to know by being told, to know by observing, to know by personal acquaintance or experience or to b e experienced or skillful. In the case of the tree of what is good and what is bad the knowledge is varied in that 1. God had told Adam that it would be bad, or evil to disobey him and disrespect the tree by touching it or eating the fruit. God knew this, but, interestingly, not in the sense that God had personally experienced or had devolved a personal acquaintance of what it was like to be evil or bad. In this sense God wasn't withholding some form of good knowledge from man, in fact the contrary, he was trying to protect man until man had matured on an intellectual level to decide for himself what was good and what was bad. That's why later God said, of another tree, the tree of life, that man had become like "us," knowing good and bad, as in deciding for themselves. (Genesis 3:22) See the angels had developed this maturity and knew for themselves that they needed their creator's guidance and protection. It's just like a parent with a child. The angels had been around longer, were more mature. Man hadn't gotten there yet.

    This is why God took a day of rest, a long period of time in which man would mature and develop as the angels had. That is why thousands of years later King David, then the apostle Paul said that the day of God's rest continued and man wasn't allowed into it which is why we get sick and die. If you think we are destructive now, living only about 80 years, imagine if we could live forever. God won't allow that until we get over our temporary stumbling block of sin. (Genesis 2:2-3 / Psalms 95:7-11 / (Hebrews 3:18-19 / Hebrews 4:3 / Romans 10:3)

    Adam wrongly decided that he would decide for himself what was good and what was bad.
     
  18. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member

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    Point me to the place that God said it would be bad or disrespectful (which is only a type of "bad", so redundant), and demonstrate how Adam would have known what that meant without the knowledge of what good and evil (bad) actually was.
    I only remember that Adam was told not to eat of it because he would die, etc. Adam would have no knowledge of what that meant, or that it was "bad".
     
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  19. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    I'm not sure what you mean. Punished separately? I can tell you that Eve was deceived and Adam wasn't. Eve was tempted by being deceived by Satan using the serpent as a puppet, whereas Adam deliberately chose to disobey God due to his fear of losing Eve since she sinned. (1 Timothy 2:13-14)
     
  20. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    As my post pointed out, Adam knew because he was told it would be bad. He would have known because he was around long enough to see animals die. By the way, in Hebrew the text literally says, in dying you will surely die. In other words Adam would begin to die, which he wouldn't if he hadn't ate of the fruit. So he knew it was bad. Adam obviously knew this because he ate of the fruit knowing it would result in Eve's death.
     
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