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Featured There's no "Fall of Man" in Genesis

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by blü 2, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. DavidFirth

    DavidFirth Well-Known Member

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    Much too vague. It seems as though you're trying to read into the text rather than just reading the text.
     
  2. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    not I......
    and there is nothing vague......

    Christian faith, in particular ,smears a lot of dogma into Genesis

    I have no dogma
     
  3. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Tread gently here, mon brave.

    You're an acknowledged master of not practicing this particular preach.

    Examples on request.
     
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  4. Mrpasserby

    Mrpasserby Do not just Believe 'Become', I am Sufficient.

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    'I think this myth is the source of much of the guilt traditionally associated with Christianity, the idea that it is always our fault. The deity is blameless, when the deity farts it smells of perfume, we cant get anything right though. We are the stuff the deity has wiped of the bottom of his shoe, we should praise it for letting us exist at all.'
    Holly bottom burp!, thanks I needed a laugh. You standing up like that brings hope to a guy like me who has all of the answers, but who was treated like a dog for so long that it became tough to get out of the broom closet (no offense to harry potter). :D
     
  5. Kelly of the Phoenix

    Kelly of the Phoenix Well-Known Member

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    The story of Adam and Eve is essentially a story of a Father mad because a neighbor showed His kids the latest issue of Playboy. :p
     
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  6. djhwoodwerks

    djhwoodwerks Well-Known Member

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    This is true, they didn't live without God. They went to church, so to speak, and taught their sons about God.

    Genesis 4:3-4 (ESV Strong's) In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions.

    "In the course of time", seems to say that they made offerings to the Lord on a regular basis.
     
  7. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    Blu : I like some of your thinking and I like the context of placing your thoughts into a rational and logical context. I think your premises have much in common with early Judeo-Christian textual descriptions than with modern interpretations.

    For example, while I think something profound happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden, I think your suggestion that the typical modern Christian concept of a “fall” (with its implication of original sin that all are punished for) is not necessarily what happened.

    I like your reminder that a just God does not punish the children for the Sins of the parents.


    I like your point that moral understanding and knowledge are not, in and of themselves, “evil”.

    Many of the early texts make specific points you are suggesting. For example, : The early Enochian literature has God telling the prophet Enoch : “I (god) assigned him (adam) to be a king, to reign on the earth, and to have my wisdom. “ (2nd Enoch 30:12)

    This specific principle underlies the Prophet Sedrach’s observation to God that : “It was by your will that Adam was deceived, my master” (The Apocalypse of Sedrach 5:1-7). In these early descriptions, the context of the garden of Eden story is different. In the ancient enochian literature, Adam is not merely partaking of the tree of “knowledge” (a neutral term), but instead, he partook of the “Tree of Wisdom” (1st Enoch 32:3-6) (a positive term).

    When we consider the moral knowledge or wisdom Adam was given by having eaten of the fruit of the tree, Sedrach’s reminder that these things were in accordance with God’s original plan, it affects the historical view point in important ways. When the Prophet Sedrach said to God : “It was by your will that Adam was deceived, my master”; he said this, knowing that God COULD HAVE STOPPED THE FALL OF MAN.

    This Prophet then asks God : “If you loved man, why did you not kill the devil, the artificer of all iniquity? Who can fight against an invisible spirit? He enters the hearts of men like a smoke and teaches them all kinds of sin. He even fights against you, the immortal God, and so what can pitiful man do against him.....” (The Apocalypse of Sedrach 5:1-7)

    In this ancient view, man eventually would have “fallen” or "changed" or chosen "moral knowledge" (or whatever one calls the process that took place after partaking of the fruit). In early Judeo-Christian textual interpretations, the Prophet Sedrach understood that God himself created the very essential precondition for Adam and Eve partaking of the tree of wisdom by expelling a vengeful Lucifer from heaven and then placing the willy lucifer in close proximity to the guileless but inexperienced Adam and Eve. And Sedrach ultimately understood that there was a perfectly legitimate reason for God to have done so.

    This early historical model accepts your premise that there is nothing inherently wrong with the specific desire to have knowledge and wisdom. Ignorance was never a positive virtue.


    Moral knowledge, Moral understanding, and moral wisdom regarding good and evil and their discernment seems to be an essential characteristic of divinity. This historical viewpoint accepts your point that Lucifer’s specific promise to Adam and Eve was not a lie. (i.e. that if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, their eyes should be “opened” and they would then “be as the gods, knowing good and evil” Gen 3:5) Especially since the biblical text confirms that, having eaten of the fruit of the tree, “the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” (Gen 3:22).

    It is partly the ongoing discoveries of ancient contexts that caused later scholars to consider such histories from the view point of the ancients who described their beliefs in multiple ancient texts.


    For example, Gordon and Rendsburg write : "If we examine the story in Genesis objectively, we see that, while many elements go into making up the whole picture, it is not so much an account of the “Fall of Man” but rather of the rise of man halfway to divinity."


    Their logic is that Adam DID obtain one characteristic of divinity (moral knowledge) and, when he obtains immortality, he will have gained another essential characteristic of divinity.

    I like your point that Adam and Eve do not seem to be abandoned by God after becoming morally wise. Even during the period where God explained to Adam and Eve the many consequences of having eating of the tree of wisdom, no strict judgment is given regarding Adam’s character, but rather God gives Adam and Eve an objective description of the changed conditions their choice to gain wisdom entails. The elements of disobedience is present in the story, but only circumstantially. The modern tendency to stress “evil” and overlook the “good” in the text would have seemed unjustified to the ancients.

    Nor does god abandon Adam and Eve after they eat from the tree of wisdom, but instead, the early texts describes that God continues to teach them to care for themselves; to sacrifice the firstfruits of Adam’s flocks and many other things : "And during the first week of the first jubilee Adam and his wife had been in the Garden of Eden for seven years tilling and guarding it. And we gave him work and we were teaching him to do everything which was appropriate for tilling...And he was guarding the garden from the birds and beasts and cattle and gathering its fruit and eating...” (Jubilees (the book of division) 3 15-16)


    Jewish Haggadah relates that “ he (Adam) was in very truth a prophet, and his wisdom a prophetic quality....for mankind owes all crafts to him,...(The Haggadah -The Ideal Man)

    Such early Judeo-Christian texts describe the ancient Christian viewpoint that, after the Fall, God continued to Give Adam, the very knowledge and wisdom Adam sought, not only by the spirit of God, but by visitations of Angels.

    For example, In the Apocalypse of Adam, Adam relates to his son Seth: “... I was sleeping in the thought of my heart, and I saw before me three men whose appearance I could not recognize because they were not from the powers of the God who created me. They surpassed [those powers in their] glory. The men [spoke] , saying to me, ‘Rise up, Adam, from the sleep of death, and hear about the aeon and the seed of that man to whom life has come, the one who came forth from you and from Eve your wife (that is, her progeny).... Then the vigor of our eternal knowledge perished in us, and feebleness pursued us. For this reason the days of our life became few, for I knew that I had become subject to the power of death. “Now then, my son Seth, I will reveal to you what was revealed to me by those men whom I once saw before me. (The Apocalypse of Adam 2:1-6-7, ch 3:1)

    Adam then teaches Seth regarding the future and the evils that will occur among the children of men and the disastrous consequences of evil. He tells Seth about the redeemer. Again, these are the very things that Adam wanted to know and importantly, it is God himself who is seeing that Adam obtains this knowledge and wisdom of which good and evil are a basic part.

    Adam was not only given knowledge by God but Adam says to God regarding God’s son :

    "And behold, your word came to me and the Lord said to me, ‘Because your days are numbered, you have been made to cherish knowledge; ...” (Life of Adam and Eve (Vita) 27:2-3 (“your word” is a euphamism for the pre-mortal messiah)


    To such ancients, the gaining of moral wisdom by partaking of the tree of wisdom was not a terrible mistake. It was part of God’s plan and original intention Thus the filling of Adam with “understanding and knowledge” was celebrated in the dead sea scroll text : “…You have done wonders of old, and awesome deeds long ago. You fashioned Adam, our father, in the image of Your glory; You breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and filled him with understanding and knowledge. You set him to rule over the garden of Eden that you had planted…and to walk about in a glorious land…" (4Q504 - 506)

    Though modern Christian theorists and interpretations may disagree with early Judeo-Christian textual worldview and interpretations, still, I’ve never seen any modern theory regarding Adam that more coherent and sensible than the ancient versions.

    Blu : I liked some of your
    insights and wanted you to know some of your points had wonderful parallels to early Judeo-Christian textual interpretations. However, if we lift the story of Adam and Eve out of the early context of the existence of spirits existing before creation, I do not think it can make the same sense as if it is left inside pre-creation existence of spirits.

    In any case, I hope your spiritual journey is good.



    Clear
    σεακφιω
     
  8. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Yo Clear

    I think our takes on the Garden story are rather different. I see it as very early, a primitive story (as is eg the Tower of Babel) where Yahweh is portrayed as a rather bumbling, fretful god whose primary concern is to defend his own interests against the upstart humans. I don't think it has particular depth of meaning, not least because I don't think it was written in a subtle era. Thus I don't feel any need to gloss or rationalize the events in the story ─ so I'm not really on side with Sedrach's reasonings in your post, though they're interesting of themselves.

    And I notice you refer to the snake as Lucifer. I don't see that in the story at all. He after all didn't tell any fibs, as arguably Yahweh did. Instead he's the unlocker of wisdom; and Eve saw for herself, even in her state of innocence, that it'd be a desirable thing to be wise. What philosopher would argue with her?

    This was interesting ─
    I don't think that was in the author's mind, and the point is not followed through in Genesis, but I see plainly where they're coming from and their reasoning isn't silly.

    I also enjoyed your extracanonical excerpts, but their place is later in the history of Abrahamic theology, of course.

    By the way, your tag σεακφιω eludes me. What does it mean?

    And thank you for your good wishes. Happy trails to you too!
     
  9. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    Hi Blu :

    1) I agree that our takes on the Garden story are different. That was my point as well. The more ancient Garden stories are not the same as yours.

    2) The early Judeo-Christian text historical contexts (and thus their “story”) were different than the story your O.P. criticizes.

    While your O.P. has, in my opinion, some accurate criticisms that I think are correct and I agree that they apply to some modern Christian worldviews, (e.g. the concept that mankind are punished for something Adam did…), the O.P. criticizes a different story and a different context than early Judeo-Christians describe in their commentaries.

    The O.P. describes an “oversimplified” and “primitive” story and then subjects it to criticisms the more complete versions are not subject to.

    For example, you see your own modern version of the story as “a primitive story where Yahweh is portrayed as a rather bumbling, fretful god”. However, your version lacks context which relieve some criticism.

    The story “Romeo and Juliet”, could be simplified as : “two naïve teenagers who fall in love and die”. While the single sentence version is correct, but “primitive” and “oversimplified”, the original and complete Shakespeare version is neither. Greater context makes the difference.

    Examples of lack of information and contextual details of your version

    a) Your version lacks the early Judeo-Christian context of pre-creation existence of spirits.

    b) Your version lacks the description of conditions which led up to creation and Adam being placed in the Garden.

    c) Your version lacks a description of God’s initial plans for creating and inhabiting an earth.

    d) Your version lacks information regarding the nature of Lucifer/Satan/the Devil and why he became an enemy to God and what the nature of his enmity to Adam was before Adam was even placed in the Garden of Eden.

    It is partly these lapses and gaps in historical context that makes your version seem “primitive” to you while the early Judeo-Christian versions and their interpretations were much more profound and more full of details and context than your version.


    3) Blu said : “I don't feel any need to gloss or rationalize the events in the story…”.
    Without more and better historical detail and supporting history, the one is unable to rationalize (make rational) these events in ways that those who possessed greater detail and context were able to do so.


    4) Blu said : “And I notice you refer to the snake as Lucifer. I don't see that in the story at all. He after all didn't tell any fibs, as arguably Yahweh did. Instead he's the unlocker of wisdom

    While you do not “see” Lucifer in the story, the ancient did. That is the point. Your story and theirs are not the same story.

    I agree with you that Lucifers actions resulted in Adam and Eve gaining moral light and knowledge, AND I agree with you that Eve was correct that moral knowledge and wisdom were good things, NOT evil things. I think these are wonderful insights you discovered.


    5) Blu said : “I also enjoyed your extracanonical excerpts, but their place is later in the history of Abrahamic theology, of course.”

    Actually, their historical descriptions ARE their versions of the Garden Story. The early Judeo-Christian commentaries demonstrate the version of the story that was accepted and believed in by the early Judeo-Christians.

    So, while your modern and personal version and criticisms have insightful application to some specific points of modern Christian worldview (e.g. Adam was “bad” and we are all “sinful” because of him, etc.) the criticisms lack specific application to earlier Christian interpretations.

    I don't want you to think I am criticizing just to argue. I like your rational thinking and some of your conclusions. My point is simply that the O.P. lacks important historical context and itself presents a “primitive” version, which it then criticizes, but much of it doesn’t apply to the more ancient and more complete ancient versions of the story.

    6) Blu said : “By the way, your tag σεακφιω eludes me. What does it mean?
    It is a set of greek letters, that represent german numbers that allow me to keep track of my English posts. Thus, the one below is different. It is a strange method of indexing.

    Blu, I like your logic and hope my points did not come across as overly critical. Good journey to you Blu.


    Clear
    σεδρτζω
     
    #69 Clear, Aug 2, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
  10. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    My concern is with the story as it's wielded in the present day, which means what the KJV or its successors say. 'Original sin', 'death entering the world', 'the Fall', 'disobedience', are all based on that text rather than the ones you mention.

    I'm glad you did, of course. It's always agreeable to have one's horizon expanded.

    Thanks.

    (And thanks for your clarification of the Greek ─ I was sorely puzzled.)
     
  11. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    Blu said "My concern is with the story as it's wielded in the present day, which means what the KJV or its successors say. 'Original sin', 'death entering the world', 'the Fall', 'disobedience', are all based on that text rather than the ones you mention."

    Historically, the origin and evolution of these interpretations and worldviews you are discussing did NOT come from the KJV or its successors.

    For example, Augustine lived in the mid-forth century (c. 384 a.d.). This is a time of the great Uncials, before the time of textual standardization. This is long before the KJV (c.1611 a.d.) existed and thus the doctrine is not based on the KJV text.

    Origen (approx. 190 a.d.) explained that there were multiple important doctrines that were still unformed in the years after the death of the apostles. Without revelation provided by Prophets and apostles, the early ekklesia was left to make its way as best as it could and influential theologians arose to create doctrines during the post apostle, post prophet period.

    For example, Augustine seems to have been most influential in the development of this doctrine. I cannot tell what the source of his theory was (since Irenaeus and others may have influenced him). For example, in Augustines’ book on marriage and concupiscence he makes popular the doctrine that “We Were All One in Adam When He Sinned.” (bk II, ch 15)

    While I agree that Augustines logic is lapses since he correctly points out (as you did), that “there cannot be sin without the will.”, and then Augustine simply attributes to Adam the will to want to disobey God without considering any other motive.

    While neither “the KJV or it’s successors” were the source of the story nor do they fully represent this story, I still think you are insightful and correct that Augustines own logic on this specific point of “shared sin” for Adams transgression is faulty and your logic that individuals are only responsible for their own moral choices is correct.


    ENLARGENING HISTORICAL DATA ENHANCES OUR MODERN MODELS

    While your interest is in relatively “modern” theories, rather than the most ancient Christian worldviews, the historical worldviews inform the modern theories since we are, after all, discussing ancient history. Even linguistics is helpful.

    For example, you mentioned “16: Yahweh says to Adam, Eat any fruit…” (Blu in the Opening Post). The word for “says” is often rendered “commanded”, but the Jewish LXX (of 300 b.c.) uses the word εντετειλατο which can be “commanded”, but it is also the word used when one is given “charge” or “responsibility” for making a decision. For example, the juristic usage discussed by Mitteis and Wenger in their linguistic books on early papyri is to “invest one with legal powers”. That is, one is given responsibility to make a choice. Thus, one recent translation renders the sentence : God “instructed” Adam, instead of “commanded”. In this case, Adam is simply being given a choice and consequences are being described. This supports your point and is, I think, very plausible historically.

    Considering early Historical Judeo-Christian interpretations may also give you insights on your theory. For example, you mentioned first that Eve was not there when Adam was told not to eat the fruit. You then say that “3. Eve quotes Yahweh to the snake.”.(Blu in the Opening Post).

    The early Rabbinic sources tell us that Eve was NOT quoting Yahweh (since she was not there when the instruction was given and that is NOT what Yahweh said), but instead, Eve was quoting Adam (who was paraphrasing what Yaweh had said). Eve said to the serpent “God said, do not eat from it, nor touch it, that you do not die.” The rabbinics tell us that Adam inappropriately added the prohibition against touching the fruit (a prohibition Yaweh had NOT given adam).

    Thus, in these early rabbinic commentaries, THIS was a “lie” or mistake and was the first sin in the Garden. The Talmudic version of this story tells us the Serpent pushed eve so that she touched the tree and realized that she did not die and that prohibition was untrue. In this rabbinic version, Eves realization that one “prohibition” (against touching) was false formed a foothold of doubt upon which the serpent then used to criticize the other prohibition (against eating). This is also is one of the reasons underlying the importance of the prohibition from adding to or taking away from the word of the Lord.

    There are other historical details lost to this version that create room for speculations.

    For example, you said that “Adam says, It was HER fault,(Blu in the Opening Post).” whereas the description doesn’t actually tell us that he is assigning fault, merely describing that he received the fruit from Eve. If the first instruction Adam received was to have offspring and “replenish” (“fill”) the earth, then Eve, having taken of the fruit would have been cast out of the Garden. Adam is then faced with a choice. He may Eat of the fruit and stay with Eve and have offspring and “obey” the first “commandment” (to have offspring) or he may NOT eat of the fruit and be separated from Eve and be unable to obey the first commandment to have offspring.

    Given these conflicting choices, did Adam simply want to be disobedient and partake of the fruit (as per Augustine), or did he want to “obey” but felt his best choice given his two choices, was to stay with Eve and obey the first “commandment” he was given? Talmudic sources tell us the Serpent had already been rebuffed by Adam before turning to Eve.

    My point is not to say you are right or wrong, but to offer reasons why the earlier Judeo-Christian versions are helpful in creating rational and logical models of what actually happened.


    Good luck coming to your own understanding Blu. Hope your journey is good.


    Clear
    σισισιω
     
    #71 Clear, Aug 3, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  12. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    there should have been a poll on this thread.....
     
  13. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    A north poll or a south poll?

    But truth isn't democratic, after all.
     
  14. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    of course not.....truth cares not your politics
    (but tell that to a politician!!!)

    and in the garden.....they all told the truth
    the problem we have with Genesis.....no one really wants the truth

    too easy to nod your head and wave your hand
     
  15. Kelly of the Phoenix

    Kelly of the Phoenix Well-Known Member

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    Not the original authors. People came up with that idea later, just as people say the serpent deceived Eve, when it was the only one being completely honest. You continue to reference "Judeo-Christians", but this would imply a much later cohort than, say, "Canaanite-Hebrews", the ones who were more likely to be the ones coming up with the actual story.
     
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  16. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    D'accord. But as I said, for certain present-day Christians, that's exactly what it does.

    Thanks again for your input.
     
  17. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    POST ONE OF FIVE

    Blu said : “ I notice you refer to the snake as Lucifer. I don't see that in the story at all.” (post #68)

    Clear replied : “While you do not “see” Lucifer in the story, the ancient did. That is the point. Your story and theirs are not the same story.” (post #69)

    Kelly of the Phoenix replied : “Not the original authors.


    Hi Kelly,

    Regarding "original authors"
    No one knows what the “original” version said nor who the “original” authors and editors were among the differing versions. When I referred to the “ancients”, I spoke in context of the O.P. and meant, of course, the ancient Judeo-Christians, and their textual versions and their textual interpretations.


    1) EARLY RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS SPREAD OUT AND EXIST IN MULTIPLE VERSIONS ACROSS GEOGRAPHICAL SPACE AND IN VARIOUS PERIODS OF TIME

    As mankind populated and spread out, the original stories Adam told his children would have spread with them (though in differing and evolving forms).

    For example, creation council histories (i.e. where the Lord God councils with all other spirits regarding the creation of the earth and his purposes of creation, etc.) exist among multiple cultures in multiple forms.

    Such stories from Adam and prophets living among other peoples had to exist in sufficient clarity so as to allow others from other lands to understand certain portions of base religion.. For example, the “wise men” who came “from the east" (where the sun rises - “da kamen Weise aus dem Morgenland” (Land of the Morning) in Luther’s translation). The “wise men” had to have heard some version in sufficient clarity to be able to come west in their search for a predicted savior. Thus the tradition and belief of the redeemer had to exist in sufficient clarity for people in other countries in the east to know of a redeemer; to expect specific signs of his coming (e.g. the star over bethlehem); and they knew enough to recognize the infant Jesus as the redeemer that was promised to Adam.

    In short, certain traditions and stories have been spread by many methods and in many forms and in various degrees of clarity to many other peoples beside the jewish prophets.



    2) EARLY JUDEO-CHRISTIAN-MUSLIM TEXTUAL TRADITIONS DESCRIBE LUCIFERS ORIGIN AND ROLE IN THE GARDEN

    While the “fall” of Adam may refer to the process by which Adam became mortal, the “fall of Lucifer” is the process by which Lucifer became an enemy to God and others and became cast out of heaven. The story of Lucifers fall and Adams role in Lucifers fall is one of few textual tradition that is agreed upon by early Jewish, Christian, and Islamic textual histories.

    Though there are many modern theories regarding how Lucifer, an archangel with some authority became Satan, an enemy to all righteousness, there is a great deal of early literature regarding what the early Christians, Jews, and Muslims themselves believed regarding the Origin and motives of Lucifer (a name I am using to indicate the being who became “satan”, the “devil” etc.)

    I think it is an important historical context to keep in mind that Lucifer’s “fall” did not happen suddenly nor in a contextual vacuum. That is, the “good” Archangel Lucifer did didn't simply wake up in a bad mood and decide to be “evil” one morning. But instead, Lucifers fall was more logical and it occurred in the context of several frustrating controversies, (some more important than others). The most famous controversy in the ancient texts occurred during the honoring of Adam which itself takes place in the greater context of God the Fathers Plan. To best understand this cascade of events in context of Early Judeo-Christian texts, I think one should start with God’s original plan and consider events from there forward.


    It is contextually important to understand that, to this ancient christian theology :

    1) The spirits of angels, men and God existed prior to mortality

    2) God the Father’s plan entailed moral advancement of the spirits of men

    3) The Honoring of Adam was logical in view of his role in God’s plan for mankind

    4) Lucifer’s “rebellion” was more than a refusal to “honor Adam”.

    5) Lucifer’s “punishment” relates to his rebellion against the plan AND God himself

    6) Lucifer’s current “dominion” plays a “role” in God’s ultimate plan


    Without considering conditions PRIOR to Lucifer’s rebellion, then the rebellion cannot be understood as the ancient Christians (who wrote the texts) understood it. Without considering the nature of the rebellion, then Lucifer’s punishment and his current dominion cannot be understood as the ancient Christians understood and taught such doctrines.



    A) GOD THE FATHER CREATED A PLAN FOR MAN, (WHICH LUCIFER ULTIMATELY REBELS AGAINST)

    Long before the creation of this world, God was in the midst of spirits. Early textual testimonies describe innumerable spirits existing in “heaven” before creation and, they describe what God intended to do with these innumerable spirits.

    Regarding his vision of pre-creation heaven, Enoch records : "No one could come near unto him [God the Father] from among those that surrounded the tens of millions (that stood) before him". (1 En 14:23). Enoch continues : Quote: "I saw a hundred thousand times a hundred thousand, ten million times ten million, an innumerable and uncountable (multitude) who stand before the glory of the Lord of the Spirits". (1 Enoch 40:1-2)"

    Quote: “At the time that the Holy One, be blessed, was about to create the world, he decided to fashion all the souls which would in due course be dealt out to the children of men, .... Scrutinizing each, he saw that among them some would fall into evil ways in the world. Each one in it’s due time the Holy One, be blessed, bade come to him, and then said: “Go now, descend into this that this place, into this and this body.” (The Zohar - The Destiny of the Soul)

    God was in the midst of spirits of all the spirits who ever lived or will live on this earth according to such early texts.



    B) BECAUSE GOD WAS INTELLIGENT AND POSSESSED POWER AND CHARITY, HE DEVISED A PLAN SO AS TO ALLOW OTHER SPIRITS TO ADVANCE

    The ancient Jewish doctrine that God had instituted a divine plan is interwoven into multiple texts : "Before all things came to be, he [God] has ordered all their designs" (Dead Sea Scrolls 4Q255-264) Quote: “....I (the Father), in the midst of the light (glory), moved around in the invisible things, like one of them, as the sun moves around from east to west and from west to east. But the sun has rest; yet I did not find rest, because everything was not yet created. And I thought up the idea of establishing a foundation, to create a visible creation." (2nd Enoch 24:4)

    The Prophet Enoch describes the earliest stages of this plan before it was known among the heavenly host : "for not even to my angels have I explained my secrets, nor related to them their origin, nor my endless and inconceivable creation which I conceived." (2nd Enoch 24:3) In these descriptions of his Plan, God the Father seems to take great care in both the planning of and in ensuring the deep involvement of the Heavenly Hosts (for whose benefit the plan existed).

    Though these texts tell us that all the spirits of men existed before the creation of the earth, the spirits were in no way equals (just as we are not equal now). Among them were the more intelligent and gifted; i.e. those who were more full of grace and truth than others. In addition to Lucifer, God the Father and Adam, all other key players are all present in this pre-mortal realm. In Enoch’s vision, he also see’s the pre-mortal Jesus with the Father. Upon seeing the two together, Enoch asks who this individual (Jesus) is and what role he has in the Father's Plan : Quote: "
    At that place, I saw the Beginning of days [i.e. the Father] And his head was white like wool, and there was with him another individual, whose face was like that of a human being. His countenance was full of grace like that of one among the holy angels. And I asked the one – from among the angels –who was going with me,..."Who is this and from where could he be, and for what reason does he go with him who precedes time?" And he answered me and said to me, "This is the Son of Man, to whom belongs righteousness, and with whom righteousness dwells...the Lord of the spirits has chosen him, and he is destined to be victorious before the Lord of the spirits in eternal uprightness...." (1 Enoch 46:1-4)

    It is in this context that the Apostolic Father Ignatius taught that among those spirits was "Jesus...who before the ages was with the father..” (Ignatius :6:1). The ancient records show the Father and Jesus, from early on, possessed a great similarity and unity. Jesus was given greater authority and administrated much of the Father’s plan from early on (God’s "right hand" was one of the Pre-Creation Jesus’ appellations).

    The Apostolic Father Diogenes relates this ancient doctrine : "And when he revealed it (his plan) through his beloved Child and made known the things prepared from the beginning, he gave us to share in his benefits and to see and understand things which none of [us] ever would have expected.. So then, having already planned everything in his mind together with his child... (Diog 301:8-11)
     
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  18. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    POST TWO OF FIVE

    C) DESPITE CONCERNS, THE PLAN WAS GENERALLY, RECEIVED JOYOUSLY

    Ancient pre-creation histories describe that the Father’s plan, revealed to these spirits before the foundations of the earth were laid was generally joyously received.


    God’s question to Job was not merely rhetorical, but was a contextual reminder to Job of an actual occurrence. Quote: "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7)

    The advancement entailed by God's plan was something the spirits wanted : Enoch says that he saw : Quote: "
    ...the fountain of righteousness, ...surrounded completely by numerous fountains of wisdom. All the thirsty ones drink (of the water) and become filled with wisdom. (Then) their dwelling places become with the holy, righteous, and elect ones.

    Who among them would not have wanted to drink from that same wisdom and take their place with others who were holy, righteous and elect?

    The Zohar relates mortality to a moral education received by coming to mortality :
    Quote: “...why do they [the spirits of mankind] descend to this world only to be taken thence [back to heaven] at some future time? “This may be explained by way of a simile: A king has a son whom he sends to a village to be educated until he shall have been initiated into the ways of the palace. When the king is informed that his son is now come to maturity, the king, out of his love, sends the matron his mother to bring him back into the palace, and there the king rejoices with him every day..... “ (The zohar - A seal upon your heart)


    D) GOD’S PLAN CONTINUED TO PROGRESS

    God’s plan moved forward and preparations were made over a great deal of time including a physical creation in preparation for mortality.

    Though multiple creation accounts exist, the earlier Christian accounts make it clear both that God created the Planets and Stars (often translated “orbs” or “circles”) out of “lessor”, or more chaotic material, and, importantly, he commissioned the Pre-creation Jesus (Often called “the word” or his “right hand”) to administrate over this material creation of an earth which will then be populated with embodied spirits for their education and testing.

    Thus the early Synagogal prayer reflects this doctrine : “We give thanks to you, O God and Father of Jesus our Savior...O Master Almighty, the God of the universe, you created the world and what is in it through him,... (Hellenistic Synagogal Prayers - thanksgiving following Communion (aposCon 7.26. 1-3)


    Or prayer #3 “ Blessed are you, O Lord, King of the ages, who through Christ made everything, and through him in the beginning ordered that which was unprepared” (i.e. chaotic matter) (aposCon 7.34.1-8)

    or prayer #4 that addresses God the Father : “For you are the Father of wisdom, the Creator, as cause, of the creative workmanship through a Mediator....” #4 (aposCon 7.35.1-10);

    The Jewish Geninza 4Q texts are clear that, despite delegation of important roles, the plan IS the Father’s plan and that he “determined all your works before you created them, together with the host of your spirits and the assembly of your holy ones… - all your designs for the end of time..” God counsels with those whose involvement he wants, but it remains God the Father's plan : “Moreover the Holy One, blessed be he, does nothing in his world without first taking counsel with them; then he acts, as it is written” (3Enoch :4 283).


    This early Jewish teaching that the physical creation was accomplished for the purpose of advancing mankind is the same tradition as the early Christians held.

    Hermas, found in the 4th century New Testament taught : Quote: "...don’t you understand how great and mighty and marvelous God’s glory is, because he created the world for the sake of man, and subjected all his creation to man..” (Her 47:2-4).

    The physical creation of the earliest ancient accounts was accomplished by taking “lessor” or more chaotic matter, and organizing it into a “higher” or more organized and purposeful form such as the organized earth had.

    And thus, in company with the Pre-Mortal spirit of Jesus (called "the word” or “the right hand” in some accounts), the Father accomplished creation. Quote:

    I said, “O Lord, you spoke at the beginning of creation, and said on the first day, ‘Let heaven and earth be made, ‘ and your word accomplished the work...Again, on the second day, you created the spirit of the firmament and commanded him to divide and separate the waters...On the third day you commanded the waters to be gather together...For your word went forth, and at once the work was done. “ (4th Enoch 3:38-42).


    Even at this early, less sophisticated stage of existence, spirits were able to exercise their agency.

    The Prophet Baruch reminds us of the innate ability of the spirit of men to advance in knowledge consistent with God’s plan. He says : Quote:

    For the nature of men is always changeable. For as we were once, we are no longer, and as we are now, we shall not remain in the future. For if an end of all things had not been prepared, their beginning would have been senseless. (2 Baruch 21:16-17)


    Thus the spirits of men were able to exercise choice to take part in this plan despite difficulties they will experience in mortality (as Job was reminded), just as they are allowed moral choice in this life.

    Given the grandeur and the pure intent and profound implications of God’s plan for mankind, it may start to make some sense of what it meant for Lucifer, not only to refuse to take part in the plan, but to openly rebel against the plan, and ultimately rebel against God the Father himself.


    E) THE HONOR DUE ADAM WAS PERFECTLY LOGICAL IN VIEW OF ADAM'S IMPORTANT ROLE IN GOD THE FATHER'S PLAN

    It ought to be perfectly clear that as milestones were reached in the moving forward of God’s Plan for the spirits of mankind, the inauguration of mortality was an incredibly important phase that all spirits had long been anticipating.


    Thus, the spirit who was going to inaugurate Gods plan on earth was going to be honored for his role in bringing to pass this great plan for the ultimate happiness of mankind. The history of the “honoring of Adam” was not simply an arbitrary and spontaneous “office party” thrown at a whim, but it was a recognition of the culmination of organization and creation over a great deal of time and the inauguration of the opening phase of mortality of all mankind… Lucifer however, refuses to honor Adam.
     
    #78 Clear, Aug 4, 2017
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  19. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    POST THREE OF FIVE

    F) LUCIFER’S REFUSAL TO HONOR ADAM WAS AN ORTHODOX TEACHING IN EARLY CHRISTIAN RELIGION

    Regarding my reference to Lucifer’s refusal to honor Adam. It is important for readers to understand that this early doctrine was described in many texts over a great deal of time and space.

    For examples: Sedrach relates : Quote: “You commanded your angels to worship [honor] Adam, but he who was first among the angels disobeyed your order and did not worship him: and so you banished him because he transgressed your commandment and did not come forth (to worship) the creation of your hands." (The Apocalypse of Sedrach 5:1-7)


    The Christian text “Life of Adam and Eve” relates the same incident : Speaking to Adam, the Devil said : Quote: “ ...because of you I am expelled and deprived of my glory which I had in the heavens in the midst of angels, and because of you I was cast out onto the earth.” 2 Adam answered, “What have I done to you, and what is my blame with you? Ch 13 “The devil replied,...It is because of you that I have been thrown out of there. 2 When .......Michael brought you and made (us) worship you in the sight of God, and the Lord God said, ‘Behold Adam! I have made you in our image and likeness.’ Ch 14 3 And I answered, ‘I do not worship Adam.’ ...’Why do you compel me? I will not worship one inferior and subsequent to me. I am prior to him in creation; before he was made, I was already made. He ought to worship me.’ 15 1 When they heard this, other angels who were under me refused to worship him. (Life of Adam and Eve (Vita) 12: 1-2, 13:13, 14:2-3; 15:1-3; 16:1-3)


    The early Christian Text “Cave of Treasures” relates :Quote: “And when the prince of the lower order of angels saw what great majesty had been given unto Adam, he was jealous of him from that day, and he did not wish to worship him. And he said unto his hosts, "Ye shall not worship him, and ye shall not praise him with the angels. It is meet that ye should worship me, because I am fire and spirit; and not that I should worship a thing of dust, which hath been fashioned of fine dust."


    Jewish (syncretic) Enoch relates, in the context of this Lucifer’s rebellion : Quote: “ the devil understood how I wished to create another world, so that everything could be subjected to Adam on the earth, to rule and reign over it. ....And he became aware of his condemnation and of the sin which he sinned previously. 6 And that is why he thought up the scheme against Adam. (2nd Enoch 31:2-8, 32:1)

    Jewish Haggadah (having Talmudic origins) also relates : Quote: “The extraordinary qualities with which Adam was blessed, physical and spiritual as well, aroused the envy of the angels ...After Adam had been endowed with a soul, God invited all the angels to come and pay him reverence and homage. Satan, the greatest of the angels in heaven,....refused to pay heed to the behest of God, saying, “You created us angels from the splendor of the Shekinah, and now you command us to cast ourselves down before the creature which you fashioned out of the dust of the ground!” God answered, “Yet this dust of the ground has more wisdom and understanding than you.”... (The Haggadah -The Fall of Satan)

    The text then relates the "battle of wits" between Lucifers spirit and Adam's spirit where Lucifer is bested and loses "face".

    Christian Bartholomew also confirms the story as Lucifer says : Quote: “And when I came from the ends of the world, Michael said to me: ‘Worship the image of God which he has made in his own likeness.’ But I said: ‘I am fire of fire. I was the first angel to be formed, and shall I worship clay and matter?” And Michael said to me: ‘Worship, lest god be angry with you.’ I answered: ‘God will not be angry with me, but I will set up my throne over against his throne, and shall be as he is [Isa. 14:14f]. ‘ then god was angry with me and cast me down,...” (The Gospel of Bartholomew Ch IV)


    This doctrinal history concerning this controversy is not simply Jewish and Christian in it’s nature, but it’s also confirmed by the Sixth Century Muslim text, the Holy Quran : Quote: "..And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "I am going to create a man (Adam) from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud. So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him." So, the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together. Except Iblis (Satan), - he refused to be among the prostrators. (Sura 15:28-31)


    In Sura 20 : “ And (remember) when We said to the angels: "Prostrate yourselves to Adam." They prostrated (all) except Iblis (Satan), who refused. (Sura 20:116)

    In Sura 38 : “ (Remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "Truly, I am going to create man from clay". So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him." So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them: Except Iblis (Satan) he was proud and was one of the disbelievers. (Sura 38:71-74)

    In Sura 7 : Quote: “And surely, We created you (your father Adam) and then gave you shape (the noble shape of a human being), then We told the angels, "Prostrate to Adam", and they prostrated, except Iblis (Satan), he refused to be of those who prostrate. (Allah) said: "What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you?" Iblis said: "I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay." (Sura 7:11-12)


    In Sura 18 :Quote: “And (remember) when We said to the angels; "Prostrate to Adam." So they prostrated except Iblis (Satan). He was one of the jinns; he disobeyed the Command of his Lord.... (Sura 18:50)

    The point in repeating this doctrine from so many different ancient sources and versions is to show that this specific controversy and it’s relation to the doctrine of the “Origin” of Satan, is VERY ancient, the doctrine is VERY widespread among a large group of ancient literature, and the doctrine is VERY “orthodox” to the ancient Christians and other religious groups as well.




    G) THE NATURE OF LUCIFER’S REFELLION IN THE CONTEXT OF GOD THE FATHER’S PLAN.


    The nature of Lucifer’s punishment indicates the seriousness of what he did : When Enoch tells the fallen angel Azaz’el that “There will not be peace unto you; a grave judgment has come upon you. They will put you in bonds because you have taught injustice (1st Enoch 13:1-3), Enoch is not speaking of mere “naughtiness” or mere “disagreement” with God’s plan. Such fallen angels were told “judgment is passed upon you. 5 From now on you will not be able to ascend into heaven unto all eternity, (1st Enoch 14:3-5) because their rebellion had much greater ramifications than simple disagreement with God.

    The jewish Haggadah describes the “wary reluctance” some souls experienced to leave a pre-mortal “heaven” to be born into mortality. Speaking this sort of “reluctance” the Zohar describes how God, tells a spirit to “Go now, descend into this and that place, into this and this body.” Yet often enough the soul would reply: “Lord of the world, I am content to remain in this realm, , and have no wish to depart to some other, where I shall be in thralldom, and become stained.” Whereupon the Holy One, be blessed, would reply: “Your destiny is, and has been from the day of thy forming, to go into that world.” (The Zohar - The Destiny of the Soul)

    Such “unconfidence” is not “rebellion” and such souls are given encouragement and still sent into mortality through birth according to God’s plan. However, just as “reluctance” is not “rebellion”, Lucifer’s “rebellion” was not merely “reluctance”. Lucifer’s rebellion was described as a willful and confident full fledged disagreement which evolved into a plan for an asaultive counter “coup” having a DIFFERENT administration under a DIFFERENT King and DIFFERENT goals to the ultimate effect of nullifying God’s initial plan. In the context of controversies such as Lucifer’s “last straw” over Adam, one can better understand the sparks that made up the fires of the Rebellion or “war in heaven” itself.

    In reference to a different, earlier controversy regarding the knowledge, that IF man, having free will, was sent to earth, then mankind would certainly commit moral atrocities. This was known long before the fall of Adam, and in fact, long before Adam was placed into the Garden. 3rd Enoch relates one of the fallen angels complaints against God the Father and his plan : Quote: "Then three of the ministering angels, Uzzah, Azzah, and Aza’el, came and laid charges against me in the heavenly height. They said before the Holy One, blessed be he, ‘Lord of the Universe, did not the primeval ones give you good advice when they said, Do not create man!’ The Holy One, blessed be he, replied, ‘I have made and will sustain him; I will carry and deliver him.’ (3rd Enoch 4:6)

    Such references hint of the other controversies and together, they offer a coherent history regarding such related controversies and their relationship to Lucifers Fall.
     
    #79 Clear, Aug 4, 2017
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  20. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    POST FOUR OF FIVE

    Regarding the current Controversy with Adam :


    Jewish Haggadah relates that : Quote “The extraordinary qualities with which Adam was blessed, physical and spiritual as well, aroused the envy of the angels......You created us angels from the splendor of the Shekinah, and now you command us to cast ourselves down before the creature which you fashioned out of the dust of the ground!” God answered, “Yet this dust of the ground has more wisdom and understanding than you.”... (The Haggadah -The Fall of Satan)

    This Jewish Haggadic summary illuminates the growing anger in an envious Lucifer. This haggadic text goes on to relate a subsequent battle of wits between the spirits of Lucifer and Adam which leaves Lucifer publicly upstaged and discontented and frustrated.

    Much like the one-sided debates we sometimes see on this public forum when a poster loses face. How would an envious, upstaged and angry Lucifer be expected to react? Especially given that “the devil understood how I wished to create another world, so that everything could be subjected to Adam on the earth, to rule and reign over it.” 2nd Enoch 31:2-8, 32:1;

    As the earth was created and it’s preparations finished and the time arrived for God’s plan to be inaugurated, the mood among the hosts of heaven becomes one of anticipation and excitement. It is under these circumstance that the body for Adam is created and joined to his spirit and God commanded that Adam was to be honored for his role in inaugurating God’s plan upon the earth. Michael calls all the angels to honor Adam for what he is about to do. A seemingly “fed up” Lucifer arrives to the occasion with a bad attitude.

    It is in such a context that later, the fallen Lucifer later explained to the fallen Adam : Quote .. Michael brought you and made (us) worship you in the sight of God, and the Lord God said, ‘Behold Adam! I have made you in our image and likeness.’ And I answered, ‘I do not worship Adam.’ ...’Why do you compel me? I will not worship one inferior and subsequent to me. I am prior to him in creation; before he was made, I was already made. He ought to worship me.’ .... When they heard this, other angels who were under me refused to worship him. And Michael asserted, ‘Worship the image of God. But if now you will not worship, the Lord God will be wrathful with you.’ And I said, ‘If he be wrathful with me, I will set my throne above the stars of heaven and will be like the Most High.” (Life of Adam and Eve (Vita) 12: 1-2, 13:13, 14:2-3; 15:1-3)


    As I’ve pointed out, there are many, many confirming versions of this same story. In these early christian texts, the anger and frustration of Lucifer does not remain a private gripe, but becomes an open rebellion. Quote ”... one from the order of the archangels deviated, together with the division that was under his authority. He thought up the impossible idea, that he might place his throne higher than the clouds which are above the earth, and that he might become equal to my power. 5 And I hurled him out from the height, together with his angels.” (2nd Enoch 29:3-5)

    The Book of John the evangelist confirms Satan’s presumption in similar language “He set his seat above the clouds of heaven”. Bartholemew records this occurrence in almost the same words as the other versions : “I will set my throne over against his throne” (bar 4:55) ;

    It is for carrying out the actual plan and organized attempt to “set up [his] throne above the stars of heaven and ..be like the Most Highthat Lucifer was punished. (“Stars” was a euphamism for the greatest angels). Speaking of Lucifer and the angels who allied with him the ancient psalm read : Quote “Now as they were warring with each other, they made bold to attack the land of Light, considering themselves capable of conquering it. Yet they know not that what they thought will recoil upon their own heads. But there was a host of angels in the Land of Light which possessed the power to issue forth and overcome the enemy of the Father, whom it pleased that through the Word that he would send, he should subdue the rebels who desired to raise themselves above what was more exalted than they.... (The Coptic Psalm-book - Let us worship the spirit of the paraclete) Psalm 223 (allberry 9-11) p 328; )

    This attempted “coup” would have divided heaven and created a rival Kingship over a rival group in heaven. It was an attempt to set up a rival administration with it’s own rival plan for man. This was no mere show of minor “disloyalty”. Also, one should note the doctrine that the father delegated the successful battle which overcame Lucifer “through the Word” (who was his son). The earthly Devil had undergone multiple prior perceived offenses as the pre-mortal Lucifer. AND, his memories of pre-mortal happenings were not “veiled” from him, as Adams were. Certain battle lines were drawn long, long ago.

    It is in this larger set of contexts that it was said : Quote “And the Rebel meditating these things Fol. 5b, col. 2 would not render obedience to God, and of his own free will he asserted his independence and separated himself from God. But he was - swept away out of heaven and fell, and the fall of himself and of all his company from heaven took place ...because he turned aside from the right way, ... he lost the apparel of his glory. And behold, from that time until the present day, he and all his hosts have been stripped of their apparel, (Cave of Treasures, chapt on “The Revolt of Satan”)
     
    #80 Clear, Aug 4, 2017
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