PS - A 'spiritual' death is no more supportable than the assertion you make above. It is clear that the deity's prediction failed while the serpent's came to pass. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to figure out why the story reads this way and share your newfound knowledge in this forum. Yes?
What specifically is deficient about my assertion above?
I did not say that your assertion is deficient.
I did say that your assertion is "unsupportable." IMO
I suppose everyone sees things a little differently. Yes, God says that he "became like us to know good and evil", but was expelled from the garden before he could eat of the "tree of life."
Which shows that the LORD God didn't really expect Adam to die that day. And, it suggests that Adam could have avoided God's punishment, simply by eating something special.
I think Adam and Eve received a tiny bit of knowledge of evil for giving up eternal life in the warm embrace of a loving God.
I don't understand what you are trying to say.
Elsewhere in the Bible satan is known as the deceiver and the adversary. Is that because he was so truthful?
Elsewhere in the Bible the serpent is an icon of wisdom and salvation.
Romans, chapters, 5 and 6 specifically address spiritual death. The exact term, "spiritual death" may not be used, but the concept is there.
In these chapters, Paul likens baptism to the death and resurrection of Christ and says, Christ died for us. Was the death of Christ a 'spiritual death'? Paul also talks about 'death to sin.' I understand how that might be considered a spiritual death, but: Did Adam 'die to sin.'?
quote:"Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned ..." Romans 5:17 KJV
Is this talking about 'spiritual death'? I don't think so. Were all those sinless people 'spiritually dead'? That doesn't seem reasonable either.
In these two chapters, Paul cites Adam as the one who brought death into the world. Does that mean 'spiritual death'? I don't think so. I think it means exactly what it says. Paul makes it clear that he is comparing baptism to death and resurrection by way of analogy. Dying to the old man of sin and being reborn to a new life in Christ. I see nothing in these two chapters which gives us license to reinterpret Genesis.
Outside the context of Paul's obviously poetic discourse, what reason do we have to rewrite the scripture? Because we don't like what it says? Because we don't understand what it says? Because it's different from what we've been told? Because its not what we already believe?
Are these reasons good enough excuse to tweak the "word of God"?
I understand the concept of spiritual death. I just don't believe that is what we are dealing with in the Garden of Eden story.
I read a review about an author who proposed in a recent book that this entire creation's purpose was to eliminate evil. I haven't had a chance to read that one yet but it sounds interesting.
That idea was presented to me at seminary, thiry five years ago. But, once again: Shouldn't a Real God get what he wants? Shouldn't he be able to see the end from the beginning? Would he purposely choose to fail?
Had he truly loved people and honored his word of prophecy, there could have been a New Adam the very next day ... the day after "the day in which" Adam ate the fruit. But it doesn't happen that way, does it? Instead, Adam lives to a ripe old age and humanity becomes like gods; just as the serpent predicted.
In response, The LORD God curses the ground (3:17) and later brings a flood to wipe out every living thing, because:
quote:"... the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (6:5)
Then, after the flood, the LORD God apparently changes his mind. He seems to have learned something. He says,
quote:"I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth;" (8:21)
HELLO!!! Like he didn't know that before he decided to kill off all the "evil" Bunnies and Bambie's and unborn Babies. Like he didn't have a clue about human nature.
If this LORD God is Omniscient, then how can he be learning?
Believe it or not X; there is a distinction, discoverable in scripture, between the creator (Spirit) God and the LORD (King) God. Why do you suppose the political adjective (LORD) was required in the first place? Understanding this difference explains a lot of sticky problems. For example: "Moses saw God." versus "No man has ever seen God."
The LORD God's attempt to eliminate evil has failed repeatedly hasn't it? The man creature goes wrong, so he throws it out the Garden. It multiplies, so he tries to drown it. It gets organized so he kills Jesus. (Yeah, that'll show 'em.)
What's next? Well, the fundies tell us he's going to set fire to the place; roast a few weanies.
In the example I shared above, the deity thought his Great Flood would put an end to evil. It didn't. He notice that, commented on the fact and changed his plan for future punishments.
There are other stories in scripture which depict this god as one not having a clue.
Churches have successfully edited the Bible in the past, deleting verses, chapters, and entire books from "God's Word." Would you like to see this story on the cutting room floor alongside the so-called 'apocrypha'?
You really haven't addressed the issue I put forward.
... even the plan to "change His mind." As we have seen in Jonah's account of Nineveh.
The Jonah story isn't about God changing his mind. It's about Ninevah changing its fate by cooperating with God.
In the Flood story, God changes his plan because his plan has failed. He has learned something (good for him) and from now on he'll do things differently (he says). How about you comment on this?
I don't want to change any scripture, even the parts that I don't understand yet.
If you ignore it, then you won't need to change it.
99.9% of God's word is completely understandable
Less than 90% of what the Apostles called "Bible" is still considered "holy" by the Christian community. The rest has been purged from your Bible (highy likely if you are Protestant). That culling was done by men. One might call them Holy Men. One might say their edit was 'inspired.' But no one can demonstrate that God or any of the Apostles approved their hatchet job.
and the few portions that are difficult for me to understand don't present any unsurmountable difficulties.
Then please surmount the difficult point I raised.
I don't know that the animals sinned, sin had an effect on all creation, and the verse says all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. It doesn't talk about consciousness, morality, or salvation of animals.
The script seems to define the contextual meaning of 'flesh.'
quote:My spirit shall not abide in man for ever, for he is flesh ..." 6:3 RSV
Look up the word (flesh) in your Strong's Concordance. Notice that the primitive root means "Fresh." I don't yet know what to make of that, but I find it interesting that this word is also translated 'messenger,' 'preach,' 'good,' and 'tidings'.
What value do books like Susanna have? What message of spiritual import is imparted?
From the introduction of The Book of Susanna as found in the GOOD NEWS BIBLE, American Bible Society, Thomas Nelson Inc. Publishers, 1979.
quote:The Book of Susanna is a story that was added to The Book of Daniel, evidently when th latter was translated into Greek. The book tells how the beautiful and virtuous Susanna, falsely charged with adultery, is cleared by the wisdom and courage of Daniel.
The early church accepted Susanna as inspired; on a par with Daniel [parts of which have also been removed], or Jonah; both of which are rather tall tales.
Even so, - What right does anyone have to modify the Bible? I'm just asking. Personally, I'd get rid of a lot more of it. But ... If it is "The Word of God" then what gives ordinary men the right to tweak it?
what a muddled and confusing way to start off a book.
Yes it might seem so, but in recent times we have discovered the roots of Hebrew culture in the formerly lost cities of Mesopotamia.
The serpent in the tree is iconic of Mesopotamian religious culture; specifically: the Sumerian tale of Nanna's coming of age. But then, the serpent is a popular theme in ancient religions everywhere. The following webpages may be helpful to get one started in this line of inquiry.
Did a little research and ... it seems that not only are animals called flesh, but God even made a covenant with them! Perhaps they do have souls.
Good work. Perhaps the animals have a covenant scripture squirreled away somewhere? Word of the Great Predator? At any rate, the Flood Covenant provides little comfort to those (human and otherwise) who drown in floods.
My feeling is that God has the power to influence the selection of which writings are selected as scripture.
"Influenced by God" to override decisions made by the Apostles?
And why did those influenced men include the apostolic writings in their canon while excluding writings which the apostles had endorsed?
Warring factions of Christianity have alternately accepted and rejected the 'apocrypha.' In my opinion: Arguments made against the validity of these books may also be made against many books of the canon.
One good source of information is the site quoted below. While I do not necessarily endorse this man's conclusions, he does provide a lot of background information on the subject. The history of Christian treatment of these scriptures seems to show an arbitrary rejection of any script which displeases the ruling party.
c. 90 A.D. Jewish rabbis fix the Old testament canon at the Council of Jamnia in Palestine, leaving out the books that only appeared in the Septuagint (Note: Some scholars dispute whether this Council ever actually took place) c. 382 A.D. St. Jerome begins his translation of the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate). Jerome views that only Hebrew texts are authoritative, but grumpily includes the Apocrypha anyway 1534 Martin Luther places the Apocrypha in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments c. 1536 Menno Simon, leader of the Anabaptist movement, accepts the Apocrypha as canonical 1546 Roman Catholic Council of Trent approves the inclusion of the Apocrypha in the canon 1629 The Apocrypha is omitted from the King James Version 1646 Westminster Confession places the Apocrypha on the same level as “other human writings” 1827 British and American Bible Societies decide to omit the Apocrypha from their Bible editions
Arguments for and against inclusion of these books may be taken separately or as a whole. In either case, they are debatable and have been debated for thousands of years.
If you are looking to get out of the box, then I will do what I can to help you break free of the ignorance and superstition which characterize the box.
If, on the other hand, you are seeking ways to confirm your faith in the men who prepared the Bible for your consumption, then you may send your generous donation to His Holeyness - doctrbill, c/o this forum. And,
I don't know that they cited any of those writings in their letters. Where can I find that they [the apostles] considered them inspired?
According to the Greek New Testament, a text prepared for use by translators and scholarly pastors: All New Testament writers quote from the 'Apocrypha.' See a partial list of apocryphal scriptures from which Paul quotes. This page also includes an alternative perspective on what Paul meant when he said, "all scripture is inspired by God ..."
*GREEK NEW TESTAMENT, American Bible Society, British and Foreign Bible Society, National Bible Society of Scotland, Netherlands Bible Society, Wurttemberg Bible Society, 1966, Maurice Jacobs, Inc. Philadelphia, U.S.A.
The "evidence" does not appear convincing so far. I've just checked a few of the supposed quotes by Paul and it seems that he could have got them from other sources.
If you can't trust those who actually created the Greek Testament (Bible Society scholars) then why should you believe those who merely interpret it?
One qualification for "scripture" is that there is some value to the text relating to God's stated intentions.
The only qualification for 'scripture' is that it be something written. What you are talking about is how church authorities determine what should be included in the canon of scripture. Everything written is scripture.
At any rate: The book of Esther doesn't mention 'God,' much less his 'intentions.'
The Maccabees were written during the silent years when no prophets were forthcoming.
What silence? There are four books of the Maccabees, the book of Daniel, and others coming from this period. And who decides who's a prophet? Are you saying that Daniel wasn't a prophet? And while we're on the subject of Daniel ... why have portions of that book been deleted from the canon?
They are valuable as history and very important to the Jews, with incredible stories of perseverance and heroism,
... and answers to prayers ... and miraculous deliverances, ... and fulfillments of prophecy.
You haven't actually read them, have you?
but with no communication from God.
Answered prayer is not 'communication from God'? If you make communication from God a pivotal issue then you must throw out the Book of Esther.
Is there reference to the other writers of the NT quoting the disputed writings?
The Bible seems to read as a remakably complete and cohesive work,
Things are not always what they seem. After forty years of Bible study I am convinced that the Bible is neither complete nor cohesive.
... not contradicting each other.
That is debatable, of course, and has been debated here on numerous occasions. I don't care to participate in another such exercise.