Life and breath
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.I have asked Christians several times when a baby receives a soul and have yet to receive a firm reply from anyone. I realised recently that the answer is here. It is clear from this verse that having a soul is associated with breath. God breathes, man has a soul. The implication is that a baby has a soul the moment she draws her first breath.
Most Christians will not like that answer, now that we have ultrasound scans and can see the baby in the womb, and those who enjoy bombing abotion clinics will be particularly upset by it; if they can find Biblical support for their position, I am happy to listen.
Those two trees
9 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.Okay, three verses into the narrative, and I have questions. God decided to create these two trees why exactly? What is their purpose? God has no need of them personally, being all-knowing and all-powerful. All they are is a plot device.
Do they still exist today? Is there some hidden corner of the world where the the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil still grow to this day? It seems unlikely that the tree of life would die, but so much of the world has been searched, it is hard to imagine where. Are they visible on Google Maps? Perhaps they were destroyeed in the flood...
Why did God plant them in the middle of the garden where he put Adam. There are half a trillian stars out there, just in our galaxy, and perhaps an infinite number of galaxies. That gives God a lot of scope for putting those trees out of Adam's reach. God is all-present, it makes no difference to him where they are - and any way he is all-knowing and all-powerful, so does not need them any way.
The only reasonably conclusion is that God created and situated the two trees specifically because he wanted them near to Adam. Now, bear in mind he is all-knowing, and knew that Adam would eat the fruit even before he created the trees...
Geography before the Noachian flood
11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;What is curious about these verses is that they refer to the post- flood world. If we believe creationists, the flood laid down the entire geological column; it completely rewrote the surface of the planet. They are particular fond of claiming the Grand Canyon formed in the flood, and yet here are a bunch of rivers that seemingly were unaffected by the flood. More remarkable, the countries of Assyria and Ethiopia somehow survived a flood that destroyed all but eight people.
12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;There is a theory this originally said his baculum, which makes all sorts of sense.
So who was lying again?
3 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.That naughty snake, lying to Eve like that.
Or so we are taught to believe. But the fact is that what the snake says is true. God has said they will die that day, but they do not, and instead the learn about good and evil. The snake speaks the truth.
God, on the other hand... Well, he said they would die that day, and in fact they did not. God was the one who lied to Adam and Eve.
Of course, God is very angry when his lies are discovered...
14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:God curses not just the serpent, but all the serpent's descendants. Clearly this is not Satan, this is just a snake. There is nothing in Genesis that gives the slightest indication that this is Satan (or Satan talking through a snake). That does not stop many Christians (including creationist organisation AiG) promoting this idea though.
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
There are other verses they cite that refer to this, such as this, by Paul:
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.But this has no mention of Satan either, so how can it support the claim that the serpent was Satan? Another is this one:
Ezekiel 28:13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.But as verse 2 of the chapter makes clear, this is addressed to "the prince of Tyrus"; Eden is used as a metaphor and again Satan is not mentioned (see here for more).
Three verses in Revelation are also mentioned:
Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Rev 12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,Note that in Rev 12:9 this is refering to being cast out of heaven, not the Garden of Eden. These may be linking Satan to the Garden of Eden, however:
- This may be because the author is confused (Catholics reject the whole of Revelation for a reason...)
- It is entirely possible the author is using "that old serpent" merely as a derogatory term
- It is clear from the Book of Job that Satan is on good terms with God at that time - despite disagreeing with each other about Job - so the explusion from heaven must be after that.
- Even if Satan is a serpent, there is nothing to indicate he was the specific snake in the Garden of Eden story.
Just-so stories in the BibleBy the way, this is a great example of a Biblical just-so story. Why do snakes not have legs? Because God cursed them all in the Garden of Eden. Two others appear later. Why do women suffer so much in child birth? and Why is life such a struggle? Again, these facts are "explained" by God cursing the respective parties.
The Problem of Evil is a perplexing one for monotheism. The Garden of Eden is the the just-so story that answers it.
The FallGod was very annoyed that Adam had discovered the lie, and so we get the Fall.
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;This is a pivotal event in creationism. This is when carnivores appeared, when viruses and bacteria and parasites begin. Before, they were all living in harmony, the sharks, the tyrannosaurs, the polio and small pox virus, the tuberculosis bacterium, toxoplasmosis parasites.
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Note that the Fall was not a direct effect of eating the fruit, unlike the knowledge of good and evil. The Fall occurred because God willed it to happen to punish Adam and Eve. God caused the sharks and the tyrannosaurs to become carnivores, the polio and small pox virus to become so devastating, the tuberculosis bacterium, toxoplasmosis parasites to become horribly debilitating diseases.
All diseases are exist because God chose to make them so when Adam and Eve annoyed him.