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Eve's knowledge is Solomon's wisdom

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What is the "knowledge of good and evil?" What was the "wisdom of Solomon?"

Whatever they are, they are described by the same idiom in Hebrew.

Here is an entry from the blog of Steven L. Cook, The McBurney Professor of Old Testament Language and Literature at the Virginia Theological Seminary.

Misconceptions swirl around the nature of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" in the midst of the Garden of Eden that bore the fruit associated with the fall of humanity. You may be surprised to learn that this tree has nothing to do with the development of conscience or knowing right from wrong. Adam and Eve already knew right from wrong, aware that it would be wrong to disobey God and eat from that tree.

Actually, eating of the tree made one "like God" (Genesis 3:5), gave one powers of intellectual and spiritual penetration and discrimination. This is known from the use of the same Hebrew idiom in texts such as 1 Kings 3:9 and 2 Samuel 14:17.

The gifts of the tree are two-edged. Powers of penetration can help you get to the bottom of a matter, but they can also allow you to subdue and vanquish other human beings for your own selfish purposes. Powers of discrimination can help you sort out every kind of thing, but they can also allow you to treat certain groups unfairly simply on the basis of arbitrary differences. They can also lead to an extreme self-consciousness (cf. Gen 2:25), where you constantly evaluate yourself over against others.

http://biblische.blogspot.com/2006/09/tree-of-knowledge-of-good-and-evil.html

My interest in the subject is two-fold. First, I think that Genesis 3 is one of the best short stories in world literature. It is rich, layered, and dense, the way that our most important dreams are. It is also a radically humanist work, so outrageously impious that to suppress it, it was canonized.

And second, I am repeatedly annoyed at atheists who bash Christians about the manifest injustice of God persecuting the mentally retarded, that is, our First Parents. That is my mother you are talking about. Back off.

Whether this topic will attract discussion or not, I don't know, but if it does, then let it be here on the debate side of the godly boards. And if it doesn't, then at least this post will be a reference target when the subject comes up next time, dispatching the inevitable folk etymology, that the knowledge of good and evil is knowledge. About good and evil.

Nope. Really not. Not even close.

For everyone's convenience, here are the passages (New American Bible) cited in the quoted matter:

1 Kings 3: 7-9

O Lord, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act. I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?"

2 Samuel 14: 17

And the woman [of Tekoa] concluded: "Let the word of my lord the king [David] provide a resting place; indeed, my lord the king is like an angel of God, evaluating good and bad. The Lord your God be with you."

Genesis 2: 25

The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.

Genesis 3: 5

No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.

Thank you for reading. May the Mother of All smile on our undertaking in her name :).

Edited by eight bits

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hmm, thank you :)

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And second, I am repeatedly annoyed at atheists who bash Christians about the manifest injustice of God persecuting the mentally retarded, that is, our First Parents. That is my mother you are talking about. Back off.

you mean the myth of Adam and Eve ?

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Well I didn't see any smoking gun in your post and the story still seems to make more sense in the traditional interpretation.

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Eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge made man like God and yet also caused man to fall?

It does seem like a metaphorical description of what happens before we are born into this world - for everyone, and that Adam and Eve are archetypes used to describe it.

I am imagining the body of the human child created and ready in the womb like a vessel, all its functions and parts in place, just ready to be animated. A clothing of "skin" for what will inhabit it. As soon as the "spirit" partakes of the fruit of the tree - metaphorically speaking, it gets a clothing of skin. So.. it would seem that part of the God... which is already changed so that it feels separate... enters the body of a human being and becomes fully separate from the whole. As it is a human being it is whole again which is Like God, only a lot smaller... like a small version of God. Or indeed a child of God or the son of God... all descriptions of something like God but smaller.

If we were to realise that we are Gods, we could live our lives without guilt. I don't mean broadcast it like... "I'm God, worship me etc etc" and expect people to follow, just the realisation that you are a God, of your own existence.. you make your own decisions... without guilt.

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Thank you all for writing. Howdy, Aemeth :).

you mean the myth of Adam and Eve ?

I meant this particular telling of the myth, Lieutenant.

the story still seems to make more sense in the traditional interpretation.

I am unsure how a later telling could be called traditional when it revamps an earlier written version still in print. Perhaps you meant familiar or favorite, Number One.

What Seven does in her post is what I think of as interpretation. She speaks as a reader of the story, rather than as an editor or "story doctor." I think this story has lots of tenable interpretations, as great myths ought to when they are told well.

But there is another activity, which others have called "interpretation," that seeks to substitute a new telling of the story and replace the version being "interpreted." For this kind of "interpretation," it doesn't matter so much what the text says, nor how the author understood the words he or she wrote.

For example, there is no textual support in Genesis for the Christian Satan to appear in the pre-Christian Garden. The familiar-to-us story with latter-day Satan instead of the timeless Serpent is a version of the myth, but it isn't the story as written in Genesis. There's a real humdinger retelling in somethng called the Book of Urantia (searchable). That, too, is a version of the myth, but it isn't the story as written in Genesis.

Obviously speaking personally, I think the Genesis story makes perfect sense as written. So, for me, other versions could at best make different sense, not more sense.

Both the Christian and Urantian retellings manifestly make different sense. Maybe, for you, one of those retellings makes more sense as well. Fair enough. There's no arguing tastes, as the saying goes.

But, so what? The Genesis story says what it says, supposed warts and all, not what some new improved version says instead.

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What is the "knowledge of good and evil?" What was the "wisdom of Solomon?"

Whatever they are, they are described by the same idiom in Hebrew.

Here is an entry from the blog of Steven L. Cook, The McBurney Professor of Old Testament Language and Literature at the Virginia Theological Seminary.

Misconceptions swirl around the nature of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" in the midst of the Garden of Eden that bore the fruit associated with the fall of humanity. You may be surprised to learn that this tree has nothing to do with the development of conscience or knowing right from wrong. Adam and Eve already knew right from wrong, aware that it would be wrong to disobey God and eat from that tree.

Actually, eating of the tree made one "like God" (Genesis 3:5), gave one powers of intellectual and spiritual penetration and discrimination. This is known from the use of the same Hebrew idiom in texts such as 1 Kings 3:9 and 2 Samuel 14:17.

The gifts of the tree are two-edged. Powers of penetration can help you get to the bottom of a matter, but they can also allow you to subdue and vanquish other human beings for your own selfish purposes. Powers of discrimination can help you sort out every kind of thing, but they can also allow you to treat certain groups unfairly simply on the basis of arbitrary differences. They can also lead to an extreme self-consciousness (cf. Gen 2:25), where you constantly evaluate yourself over against others.

http://biblische.blogspot.com/2006/09/tree-of-knowledge-of-good-and-evil.html

My interest in the subject is two-fold. First, I think that Genesis 3 is one of the best short stories in world literature. It is rich, layered, and dense, the way that our most important dreams are. It is also a radically humanist work, so outrageously impious that to suppress it, it was canonized.

And second, I am repeatedly annoyed at atheists who bash Christians about the manifest injustice of God persecuting the mentally retarded, that is, our First Parents. That is my mother you are talking about. Back off.

Whether this topic will attract discussion or not, I don't know, but if it does, then let it be here on the debate side of the godly boards. And if it doesn't, then at least this post will be a reference target when the subject comes up next time, dispatching the inevitable folk etymology, that the knowledge of good and evil is knowledge. About good and evil.

Nope. Really not. Not even close.

For everyone's convenience, here are the passages (New American Bible) cited in the quoted matter:

1 Kings 3: 7-9

O Lord, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act. I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?"

2 Samuel 14: 17

And the woman [of Tekoa] concluded: "Let the word of my lord the king [David] provide a resting place; indeed, my lord the king is like an angel of God, evaluating good and bad. The Lord your God be with you."

Genesis 2: 25

The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.

Genesis 3: 5

No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.

Thank you for reading. May the Mother of All smile on our undertaking in her name :).

"gave one powers of intellectual and spiritual penetration and discrimination."

I call this, a power of moral sense. Knowledge of good and evil.

All laws are permission and indeed compulsion to discriminate negatively against a certain sub section of society.

If Eve had not eaten then the curse of the book, The Time Machine, would have been our future.

We, like the men of that day, could and would let a person drown without knowing that it is good to not let another person drown.

Is this what you would give up. Your own sense of discernment of right and wrong. Good and evil.

If you have any faith in a God at all then to think that He blew His first attempt at creating the reality He wanted is rather funny.

The God I know gets it done right the first time.

The Christian way of seeing God is to see Him screwing up heaven with evil.

Strike one.

They then see God screwing up man's beginning in Eden.

Strike two.

They then see God cleaning house in Noah's day with Genocide and starting over.

Strike three.

They now wait for His return at end time to clean house yet again.

Strike four.

Strike four?

God plays by His own rules I guess.

You and I both know that this view must be false.

God gets things right the first time and every time.

This is why He has not and will not return. His perfect systems are here today the same way that they were here in the beginning. It is just to us to see it. I do. Even with sin and evil and woes, all is perfect and humming along exactly as God wants it to. I call it perfection in evolution.

Regards

DL

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Thank you so much for joining me here. I do hope that we get to discuss your answers to the questions which I asked over on the light side. But first, your post here.

The idiom knowledge of good and evil refers to preternatural or otherwise extraordinary abilities of "intellectual and spiritual penetration and discrimination," not the bare essentials of intellectual and moral deliberation. As the OP-quoted author points out, the idiom is not "knowing right from wrong," which the Woman plainly does while she decides whether to eat or not.

And, as the author may have thought was unnecessary to point out, it is not something without which we would be the intellectual equal of cattle, which is your repeated claim elsewhere.

It is obvious that Solomon already had a respectable intelligence and moral sense when he asked God for this boon, and God praises his wisdom in asking. So, Solomon hasn't got the boon yet, but he's quite far ahead of any cattle, and pretty much at the head of the human class, too.

Thus, this extra boost must be something special - and something not inherited by Solomon from the First Parents, nor by Solomon's children from him. And none of Solomon's contemporaries has it, despite common descent from Adam and Eve.

All laws are permission and indeed compulsion to discriminate negatively against a certain sub section of society.

I do not see how a typical statute against littering the roadway from a motor vehicle discriminates neagtively against a certain subsection of society. Could you help me to see what you see in this?

If you have any faith in a God at all then to think that He blew His first attempt at creating the reality He wanted is rather funny.

I don't think that that is a typical Jewish nor a typical Christian view of Genesis 2 and 3. Both groups speak very highly of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

When you talk about God coming back, do you mean the Christ? If so, then the usual Christian view is that Adam and the Woman screwed up, not God. The human screw-up is what required divine intervention to repair, not a "do over" of some misstep by God.

Is there a text you are working from that gives some foundation to your interpretations? Something or someone I could read?

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From the non-debate side:

I do not need textual anything to know that a man without a moral sense is not quite a man.

Neither are those that read a bible literally.

That is idol worship.

You begin your logic with man giving birth to a woman. Not to shake you up but I can tell you that birth is woman's work. Not man's.

1 Corinthians 13:11

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Logic begins by putting away miracles.

Regards

DL

You do not need textual support for your view that "A man without a moral sense is not quite a man." What you need textual support for is that your wise observation has anything to do with Genesis 2 and 3.

There is no man in that story who lacks moral sense. Similarly, your observations about the division of reproductive function between the sexes are spot on. But there is nothing in the story about a man giving birth to a woman. God fashioned the Woman from Adam's rib, which he took while Adam slept (at 2: 21-22).

It is not a question of reading the Bible literally. Personally, I think that this is a figurative story. So do many others, some of whom worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

However, in order to understand what any story means, you need to consider what the story says.

There is some irony here, in that you and I apparently agree that the story describes an ascent at least as much as a fall. But I arrive at that view by respecting what the story says, and not by rewriting it to suit my wishes about what it might have said instead of what it actually says.

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From the non-debate side:

You do not need textual support for your view that "A man without a moral sense is not quite a man." What you need textual support for is that your wise observation has anything to do with Genesis 2 and 3.

There is no man in that story who lacks moral sense. Similarly, your observations about the division of reproductive function between the sexes are spot on. But there is nothing in the story about a man giving birth to a woman. God fashioned the Woman from Adam's rib, which he took while Adam slept (at 2: 21-22).

It is not a question of reading the Bible literally. Personally, I think that this is a figurative story. So do many others, some of whom worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

However, in order to understand what any story means, you need to consider what the story says.

There is some irony here, in that you and I apparently agree that the story describes an ascent at least as much as a fall. But I arrive at that view by respecting what the story says, and not by rewriting it to suit my wishes about what it might have said instead of what it actually says.

If fall UP or fall DOWN is to be chosen, then we must judge if the knowledge of good and evil is what gives us our moral sense, or not.

If it does then it is a fall UP. If not, and blind obedience is what God wants, then it is a fall DOWN.

The talking snake is the key. Who is it and was it the first to sin?

Regards

DL

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If fall UP or fall DOWN is to be chosen...

I don't fully understand your phrase "fall UP," and how that differs from "ascend."

It seems clear that a person can ascend from an ordinary humanity, including an ordinary moral sense, to attain something extraordinary. Solomon explains this as his goal when he asks for knowledge of good and evil. He doesn't aspire just to be a good citizen, he wants to be a good king.

The talking snake is the key. Who is it and was it the first to sin?

In my opinion, from his behavior, the Genesis Serpent is readily identified as a wisdom teacher. That would be a comfortable role for the archetypal Serpent to play. "Sin" wouldn't apply to his actions, in this interpretation.

Many Christians offer New Testament material, and even later writings, to identify him as their Satan, or as an animal possesed by their Satan. In which case, then yes, their Satan is the first to sin, having already done so before his appearance in the Garden.

Gnostics do the same favor for God that Christians do for Serpent. On the telling of some Gnostics, the character God is a secondary god, and Serpent is a representative or servant of the Top God. So, no, Serpent does not sin in this interpretation.

What identification do you like?

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I don't fully understand your phrase "fall UP," and how that differs from "ascend."

It seems clear that a person can ascend from an ordinary humanity, including an ordinary moral sense, to attain something extraordinary. Solomon explains this as his goal when he asks for knowledge of good and evil. He doesn't aspire just to be a good citizen, he wants to be a good king.

In my opinion, from his behavior, the Genesis Serpent is readily identified as a wisdom teacher. That would be a comfortable role for the archetypal Serpent to play. "Sin" wouldn't apply to his actions, in this interpretation.

Many Christians offer New Testament material, and even later writings, to identify him as their Satan, or as an animal possesed by their Satan. In which case, then yes, their Satan is the first to sin, having already done so before his appearance in the Garden.

Gnostics do the same favor for God that Christians do for Serpent. On the telling of some Gnostics, the character God is a secondary god, and Serpent is a representative or servant of the Top God. So, no, Serpent does not sin in this interpretation.

What identification do you like?

I read Genesis as a story of the right of passage that all children go through.

They loose innocence for the greater goal of a moral sense.

The snake is society drawing him/her out of the home/garden.

To believe that there is a real talking snake or garden of Eden would be to not understand Genesis at all.

It is a story for all people. Not just A @ E.

Regards

DL

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I read Genesis as a story of the right of passage that all children go through.

Yes, I agree. That is a fine reading of the story. There is also an in-as-many words statement of this theme almost at the very end of chapter 2 (at verse 24), which is otherwise an odd intrusion of the author's world into the story being told:

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.

And what do you know? That's what happens in chapter 3.

There are other readings, too. This is a symbolic narrative, after all, a myth, not a fable. But that's a good reading. Let's stay with it for a bit.

They loose innocence for the greater goal of a moral sense. The snake is society drawing him/her out of the home/garden.

We lose a lot of things when we grow up, and gain a lot of other things.

The story isn't just about the human characters' problem in bridging the gap between themselves and God (that is, acquiring this "knowledge of good and evil"), but God's problem with that, too.

God's problem, like many a human Daddy's problem, is that those who were once dependent and inferior have now become peers. The new situation will take some adjustment, and God is not psychologically supple.

I am not sure Serpent maps back one-to-one to anybody or anything in particular. If God is Daddy, then there is ample room for Serpent to be Mommy. Serpent can do supple.

To believe that there is a real talking snake or garden of Eden would be to not understand Genesis at all. It is a story for all people. Not just A @ E.

Quite so. But not everyone will do as well as Adam and Eve did.

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Yes, I agree. That is a fine reading of the story. There is also an in-as-many words statement of this theme almost at the very end of chapter 2 (at verse 24), which is otherwise an odd intrusion of the author's world into the story being told:

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.

And what do you know? That's what happens in chapter 3.

There are other readings, too. This is a symbolic narrative, after all, a myth, not a fable. But that's a good reading. Let's stay with it for a bit.

We lose a lot of things when we grow up, and gain a lot of other things.

The story isn't just about the human characters' problem in bridging the gap between themselves and God (that is, acquiring this "knowledge of good and evil"), but God's problem with that, too.

God's problem, like many a human Daddy's problem, is that those who were once dependent and inferior have now become peers. The new situation will take some adjustment, and God is not psychologically supple.

I am not sure Serpent maps back one-to-one to anybody or anything in particular. If God is Daddy, then there is ample room for Serpent to be Mommy. Serpent can do supple.

Quite so. But not everyone will do as well as Adam and Eve did.

I do not agree.

All end in heaven if God's will is supreme.

2 Peter 3:9 KJ

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

None perish. No hell required.

Regards

DL

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I do not agree. All end in heaven if God's will is supreme.

Well, we neither agree nor disagree. I wasn't saying anything about Adam and Eve's final destination. I don't know anything about that. It's not in Genesis.

For whatever it is worth, however, the Eastern Orthodox version of the myth ends with Adam and Eve becoming saints of the Church.

I suppose it might be nice if all did end up in heaven. But if I were you, and believed what you do about the Garden story, then I would be concerned that entering Heaven would be like returning to the Garden... with that "bright as a cow" stuff you write about, all over again.

Heaven does sound like a step backwards. Hey, that's just me. Being an everlasting full-time ego masseur for God doesn't appeal very much. For that matter, I wonder that it would appeal to God. But it takes all kinds.

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According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve obtained free will after eating forbidden fruit from "The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil". (This is illustrated in the bible when Adam and Eve suddenly realized they were naked , sewed aprons out of fig leaves and hid from "god". This also illustrates the stigma of guilt that religion places on the body by calling the flesh sinful.)

Consequently, that means that prior to eating the fruit, Adam and Eve didn't have free will. And since religious people say that without free will, you are only a "robotic puppet" or "an animal programmed with instincts", Adam and Eve were only acting like "robotic puppets"or "animals programmed with instincts" when they picked the fruit and ate it. Therefore, why would "god" punish them and the rest of humanity for something they had no control over?

Some religious people compare Adam and Eve to disobedient children, and "god" as a strict parent who punished "his/her" children, (including all of humanity), by banishing Adam and Eve from the garden and eliminating their immortality.

But there is a huge difference between a human parent and "god" as a parent. Here's an example:

When I was a toddler, my mother said I loved to reach up and play with the knobs on the stove.

No matter how many times she spanked my hand and told me to stop, I disobeyed her because I didn't know any better. Until one day, she burned my hand on purpose to teach me a lesson. Some people may question my mother's tactic, but she probably prevented me from seriously injuring myself or burning the house down.

Some religious people would say that my mother's disciplinary action was the same as "god's".

However, the differences between a stove and "The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" are obvious:

1.) The stove in our kitchen was a necessary appliance. If my mother could've put the stove in a safer place, she would have; but that was impossible. Whereas the tree had no other purpose but to tempt Adam and Eve. "God" could have easily chosen not to put the tree in the garden.

2.) If it were possible, my mother would have put me under 24 hour surveillance and NEVER allowed me to touch the stove. But even the best parents will tell you it is humanly impossible to keep a toddler out of mischief. Whereas, again, "god" could have easily chosen not to put the tree in the garden in the first place.

3.) My mother didn't know I was playing with the stove until she caught me in the act. Whereas "god" supposedly had foreknowledge of Adam and Eve's actions before they were created.

And as I explained previously, if "god" really has divine foreknowledge of everything, it is NOT because "god' just happens to have passive psychic abilities. It would be because "god" is the "creator of all things" and everything happens according to "god's divine plan".

In conclusion, there is absolutely no justification for "god" to punish Adam and Eve (and all of humanity) for something they had no control over.

Religion is similar to raising children because they both have a system of punishments and rewards to control behavior.

Before children reach the age of reason (usually 7 or 8, as taught in psychology), they really don't understand right from wrong. Most parents use threats of corporal punishment, and promises of gifts and privileges, to keep their kids in line.

For example, kids are told not to steal candy from the store or they will get spanked. They don't understand that it is wrong because it belongs to someone else. All they know is that they want some candy. ( It's the same selfish behavior when kids fight for toys that aren't theirs.) But the fear of getting spanked deters a kid from stealing.

Conversely, kids are told that if they are good, they'll get lots of presents for Christmas. And just like Santa Claus, religious people believe that "god knows when you've been sleeping, and he knows when you're awake.....and he knows when you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake (or BURN IN HELL FOR ETERNITY !!)

But mature adults (as well as young people past the age of reason), shouldn't need silly concepts to control their behavior. A logical system of morality can be formed on 1 common-sense principle:

1.) Treat people how you want to be treated.

Of course, official laws are much more detailed, but they should be based on an intelligent consensus of the people, not ancient superstitions of "lakes of fire" and "pie in the sky".

Peace

T.I.G

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Misconceptions swirl around the nature of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" in the midst of the Garden of Eden that bore the fruit associated with the fall of humanity. You may be surprised to learn that this tree has nothing to do with the development of conscience or knowing right from wrong. Adam and Eve already knew right from wrong, aware that it would be wrong to disobey God and eat from that tree.

Actually, eating of the tree made one "like God" (Genesis 3:5), gave one powers of intellectual and spiritual penetration and discrimination. This is known from the use of the same Hebrew idiom in texts such as 1 Kings 3:9 and 2 Samuel 14:17.

The gifts of the tree are two-edged. Powers of penetration can help you get to the bottom of a matter, but they can also allow you to subdue and vanquish other human beings for your own selfish purposes. Powers of discrimination can help you sort out every kind of thing, but they can also allow you to treat certain groups unfairly simply on the basis of arbitrary differences. They can also lead to an extreme self-consciousness (cf. Gen 2:25), where you constantly evaluate yourself over against others.

Thats always been pretty much my understanding of this story. It is the only one which makes logical and contextual sense. Also, many of the other layers and interpretations are known to have been added /reinterpreted in later years. For example the concept that sex had anything to do with the temptation, or that eve bore any particular responsibility.

Adam and eve first made clothes because, for the first time, they understood the condition of their nakedness with knowledge, and becuase they now had the ability to do so. A spiritual person in the garden neither needed clothes nor perceived any need for them.

God clearly said eating of the tree will make man as god. It also prevented the ongoing spiritual connection which existed between adam and eve and god. Once people have material knowledge they also have, inherently, a knowledge of the good and evil potential in that knowledge. This gives them both great potential power and great capacity for both good and evil.It also makes them aware of that power and how it separates one from god/integration with the universe

God so feared the outcome of this knowledge in humans at that stage of spiritual develpment that he also removed the source of immortality fro them (the tree of life) to reduce the potential dangers and damage which humans could create.

Or so the story of genesis goes.

The story does not suggest to me that adam and eve gained free will

They had that all the time.

They did gain contextual understanding and realisation of what having free will truly entails. We all have free wil no matter how limited our knowledge and understandings, but greater knowledge and understanding will change how we see and apply that free will in the choices which we make.

EG if we know jumping off a cliff will kill us, we are more likely to exercise an informed free will choice not to jump. Of course we retain the option to jump if we want to. If we dont know that jumping will harm us, we still make a choice based on free will, but it is not an informed choice.

Thankfully, an innate fear of heights will prevent most people from jumping, even if they lack experiential knowledge of the danger. Humans are evolved (or designed) to be cautious of the unknown.

Edited by Mr Walker

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There's no question that among St Paul's contributions to Christianity is an enduring sense of carnal shame. There's really nothing in the original Eden story, however, that depicts the humans as ever being ashamed of their bodies.

The only mention of shame in the Garden is to say that Adam and the newly-made Woman were not ashamed. And why would a married couple, alone in the great outdoors, be ashamed to be naked together? Whether before or after a gnosh with destiny?

They don't clothe themselves after eating the fruit, but rather they gird their loins. Not really the same thing, and with a different set of connotations than "getting dressed." Bet your bottom dollar that St Paul noticed that the Woman continued to bare her breasts.

The only emotion reported in connection with all of this exposed skin is fear. Which makes some sense as the puny humans confront the livid God whose fruit they swiped. A loincloth makes one mighty poor suit of armor.

The end of nakedness, as the humans reckon nakedness, does not occur until just before they are expelled, when God makes them each a suit of animal-skin clothing (3: 21). It is a beautiful detail, and it has nothing to do with carnal shame.

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There's no question that among St Paul's contributions to Christianity is an enduring sense of carnal shame. There's really nothing in the original Eden story, however, that depicts the humans as ever being ashamed of their bodies.

The only mention of shame in the Garden is to say that Adam and the newly-made Woman were not ashamed. And why would a married couple, alone in the great outdoors, be ashamed to be naked together? Whether before or after a gnosh with destiny?

They don't clothe themselves after eating the fruit, but rather they gird their loins. Not really the same thing, and with a different set of connotations than "getting dressed." Bet your bottom dollar that St Paul noticed that the Woman continued to bare her breasts.

The only emotion reported in connection with all of this exposed skin is fear. Which makes some sense as the puny humans confront the livid God whose fruit they swiped. A loincloth makes one mighty poor suit of armor.

The end of nakedness, as the humans reckon nakedness, does not occur until just before they are expelled, when God makes them each a suit of animal-skin clothing (3: 21). It is a beautiful detail, and it has nothing to do with carnal shame.

My bible (hich i havent got withme at the moment) i think makes reference to them making loin cloths from leaves(the first known use of "technology" by humans) but otherwise i agree. They were ashamed of their nakedness only because they were aware of it, and the differernt connotations of nakedness for the first time. I guess when they were one with god they felt no need for clothing, (as a family member may not, in the presence of family, or a person looking at them selves in a mirror) but as they became aware of their seperation, they needed to clothe themselves because they now felt a separate identity.

Tne bible does not explain their reasonings explicitly, but again, by inference and connotation, one can eliminate certain meanings and see the likelihood of others.

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Greetings, Mr Walker

They were ashamed of their nakedness...

Not even with hedges will I give you this.

The pertinent passage is Genesis 3: 7-10.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. When they heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the garden at the breezy time of the day, the man and his wife hid themselves from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. The Lord God then called to the man and asked him, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself."

There is no mention of shame about their bodies. I agree that their loincloths were made of leaves. Still, what they made were loincloths. No other clothing is mentioned, and Adam describes himself to God as still naked when God appears.

That is, the loincloth is not functioning as adequte body covering. And, as I mentioned in my post, "girding one's loins" has different connotations from "getting dressed." This is a figurative narrative. Connotations count.

There is no reason from the text to assume that the author intended the only mention of shame to have anything to do with the later human or the divine clothing incidents. The context of the shame mention is the timeless character of conjugal relations. Genesis 2: 23-25

[T]he man said: "This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called 'woman,' for out of 'her man' this one has been taken." That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body. The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.

So, whether the first newlyweds in Eden, or today's newlyweds who leave father and mother, a man clings to his wife, the two of them become one body, they are both naked, yet they feel no shame.

This is not an artless intrusion of an observation about the author's world into the midst of his or her past-tense story. It sings an eternal situation: that a man and a woman may become one flesh, naked and unashamed. Much will change in the next chapter. This much will not change.

And, of course, by way of this "stepping out of time," the author elegantly establishes the necessary story point that Adam and the Woman are naked. If not established here, it would complicate telling both the girding of their loins, and especially the beautiful gem of 3: 21, where God clothes them for their journey into the larger world.

I would agree that there is a sub-motif about the many uses of clothing: as social covering, as a badge of status, and as protection. But spouse was unashamed in the sight of spouse at all times during the story, the text supporting no exception. On the contrary, the root text plainly alludes to a general "conjugal exception" to carnal shame, which obviously survived the gnosh of destiny, since it persists to this very day.

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Well, we neither agree nor disagree. I wasn't saying anything about Adam and Eve's final destination. I don't know anything about that. It's not in Genesis.

For whatever it is worth, however, the Eastern Orthodox version of the myth ends with Adam and Eve becoming saints of the Church.

I suppose it might be nice if all did end up in heaven. But if I were you, and believed what you do about the Garden story, then I would be concerned that entering Heaven would be like returning to the Garden... with that "bright as a cow" stuff you write about, all over again.

Heaven does sound like a step backwards. Hey, that's just me. Being an everlasting full-time ego masseur for God doesn't appeal very much. For that matter, I wonder that it would appeal to God. But it takes all kinds.

In heaven, you are only as bright as a cow if you do not know good and evil. We all will.

As scripture shows, even heaven is not without evil thoughts. Satan was born there. Archetypal Satan that is.

Do you agree though that without the knowledge of good and evil we would be as bright as cows?

Regards

DL

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Mr Walker

You are right, they had free will otherwise they could not have exercised it to eat.

Free will is taken. It cannot be given. That is the nature of freedom of choice.

Regards

DL

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Do you agree though that without the knowledge of good and evil we would be as bright as cows?

No. I am in agreement instead with the blog entry quoted in the OP.

I lack the quality whose name is the idiom which translates as knowledge of good and evil. While I bow to nobody in my respect for the intelligence of cows, I am brighter than many cows.

It is Solomon whom I am less bright than, not Bossie.

Solomon knew about good, and he knew about evil all his adult life. He lacked knowledge of good and evil all the same for part of his adult life, but later on, he received it as a gift.

Idioms don't mean what they "sound like." I know you have a body made of flesh. I don't have carnal knowledge of you. Carnal knowledge and knowledge of good and evil are idioms.

What are prairie oysters? Hint: they ain't shellfish.

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