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Genesis and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil

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Hello. A friendly (I promise) atheist here. I have a bunch of questions which I have heard sermons and read treatises that claim to answer, but I have so far found "official" explanations unconvincing. I will ask one here. Please know I don't offer this rhetorically (as in some anti-Christian "Aha! Gotchya!"), but instead out of a sincere desire to get my head around it.

Why does God appear to lie to Adam in the Garden when he warns him not to eat of fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil or else, "thou will surely die."?

The serpent, mischievous though he is, tells Eve that she WON'T die and, in the end, this proves to be the truth.
 
Loyal
Do you understand the concept of faith? Its how we dont depend on the exact science of the matter to have faith. Not to mention how many scientists love to twist the truth to come to their own pre-drawn conclusions. A good example is how many atheist/evolutionists promoted as "truth" that we humans evolved from apes, and then from fish and then from amoebas, and the original life from somewhere else in the universe. They never address the huge flaws in this faith. There is no explanation for life from no life, and no explanation of what happened before the big bang and why it banged. There is no fossil evidence to suggest the changover forms that led to humans, and they call simple adaptation of life, evolution, simply because it (the lie) helps support their prefered way of seeing things.... any way that it might have happened without God. And then they are too blind to see their own gaping holes in logic, truly a case of the blind trying to lead others into a crevice of falsehood.
 
Member
I can’t speak for all scientists or all atheists, but I promise I have zero faith in evolution. I accept evolution as a fact based upon the available evidence. Like gravity. But I will give up on evolution the instant there is better evidence for a different explanation. Same with gravity. I understand and totally appreciate that the evidence I find so compelling for evolution is not as compelling to you as the story in the Bible.

I accept that you find the stories in the Bible more convincing than certain natural evidence. Okay.

But that means (and please stop me if I’m putting words in your mouth) that you take the Bible at its word, at face value. God made the world in 6 days and made Man and Woman (either at the same time or Man first, then Woman) once, fully formed in His image.

But, in that light, and to get back to the thing I’m curious about, if the Bible is the true account of all that it describes, why does it seem that God told Adam a lie when he said that eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil would kill him?
 
Loyal
I can’t speak for all scientists or all atheists, but I promise I have zero faith in evolution. I accept evolution as a fact based upon the available evidence.
You prove my point. You call it not faith but fact, and its not based upon evidence that draws the conlusion of evolutionists. As I said, the blind leading you, another blind one. Where is all this evidence that "proves" it. I have seen it all, and it does "not" prove it. You choose to believe its true because you want to believe it. Thats why it truly is faith.

I understand and totally appreciate that the evidence I find so compelling for evolution is not as compelling to you as the story in the Bible.
Again you err, the evidence doesnt support your conclusion, you simply refuse to believe the truth because it doesnt fit in with your desires for what you want the truth to be.
But, in that light, and to get back to the thing I’m curious about, if the Bible is the true account of all that it describes, why does it seem that God told Adam a lie when he said that eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil would kill him?
I will not bother putting seeds onto solid rock. Its only those who are willing to be open to the lies they have been taught that will truly listen to the truth. Show me this evidence you have "faith" in, and I will show you its lies.
 
Member
I‘m happy to discuss why I think evolution is a better explanation of earthly biology than the Bible – not because I think I can convince you, but simply because I do like talking about it.

But I don’t know how else to say evolution is absolutely not an article of faith for me. I used to think universal expansion was slowing down. The evidence changed and now a accept that it is actually increasing. And I’ll change my mind again if the evidence (as I come to understand it) leads there. That’s all.

Anyway, if we could trim out the (honestly, unflattering) analogies of being blind and following blindly, you obviously disagree with me and I’m here because I’m interested in how and why. I think (hope) I’m willing to be convinced to change my mind – you could be right and I’m just kidding myself. I may just be stuck in my worldview. I won’t know unless I at least try to consider the alternative.

So, do you have any thoughts on why God seems to by lying to Adam in Genesis (or what’s wrong in my reading of that episode)? If not, that’s fine. If you would rather talk about evolution, that’s groovy, too.
 
Loyal
I‘m happy to discuss why I think evolution is a better explanation of earthly biology than the Bible – not because I think I can convince you, but simply because I do like talking about it.

But I don’t know how else to say evolution is absolutely not an article of faith for me. I used to think universal expansion was slowing down. The evidence changed and now a accept that it is actually increasing. And I’ll change my mind again if the evidence (as I come to understand it) leads there. That’s all.

Anyway, if we could trim out the (honestly, unflattering) analogies of being blind and following blindly, you obviously disagree with me and I’m here because I’m interested in how and why. I think (hope) I’m willing to be convinced to change my mind – you could be right and I’m just kidding myself. I may just be stuck in my worldview. I won’t know unless I at least try to consider the alternative.

So, do you have any thoughts on why God seems to by lying to Adam in Genesis (or what’s wrong in my reading of that episode)? If not, that’s fine. If you would rather talk about evolution, that’s groovy, too.
You may have overlooked my last sentence, due to wanting to promote your own agenda. Show me the truth of your faith first. Not interested in arguing with you about the bible, not even the least little bit, like I said, its faith. You want to see it cut apart and dissected and disproved, you will have to do that with someone else. Please avoid asking me again. I know this is your thread and you can avoid my own question not directly related to your subject, I was mainly telling you it was faith, and then you tried to tell me what my faith was in, making the same kind of assumptions, again not based in fact. I have spoken with many atheists, and they treat the insuing debates the same way politicians treat any subject they speak of. Double talk, implying truths that arent there, avoiding any point they are weak on. Its all about winning a discussion and refuse to debate what they think they will lose in. I dont play those games.
 
Member
Sorry, Brad. I'm not here to "win." I just know there must be a general answer to my initial question about God/Adam. So, I get it. It makes sense if you have faith. Forgive me if I mistook your interest in this discussion. You did say
Show me this evidence you have "faith" in, and I will show you its lies.
I honestly didn't know that was a rhetorical challenge. Anyway, we can leave it at that. And I can't first show you evidence of my faith (in science or anything) because I can't show what I don't have. No hard feelings, I hope.
 
Member

DHC

Hello Kirby.D.P.

Why do you think that God's instruction to Adam, about eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is a lie?
 
Member
Sorry, Brad. I'm not here to "win." I just know there must be a general answer to my initial question about God/Adam. So, I get it. It makes sense if you have faith. Forgive me if I mistook your interest in this discussion. You did say

I honestly didn't know that was a rhetorical challenge. Anyway, we can leave it at that. And I can't first show you evidence of my faith (in science or anything) because I can't show what I don't have. No hard feelings, I hope.
Hi! 'Kirby D.P.'
Ummm, I have a gentle suggestion for you, please. You've likely heard that familiar plea. "Keep it Simple!", ay? Well, it seems to me that simplicity is the best approach concerning the events which occurred in the Garden of Eden.
You would perhaps do better to first obtain answers to the following:
What was the full intent and purpose of God when He placed the first human couple in the Garden of Eden?
Since Adam and Eve were evidently beyond teenage years when the disobedience happened, does this mean to say that thus first human couple had lived throughout their childhood and teenage years in full/complete obedience to God?
Why is the tree named as the 'tree of knowledge of good and evil'? Does this mean to say that the first human couple had no previous knowledge/experience of 'good and evil'?
I sincerely have the opinion that, after you obtain answers to the above questions, you;ll happily be on the road to obtain more insight into the Garden of Eden narrative.
Your question is an excellent one. Ummm, Kirby D.P.', all of us participating at TalkJesus have had to wade through dozens of questions too ... and, yes, many of our more pestering questions required that we wrestle with the answers until they became settled within us. I wish you the very best with your search.
 
Active
Why does God appear to lie to Adam in the Garden when he warns him not to eat of fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil or else, "thou will surely die."?
Hypothetical:

Say you, Kirby D. P. were going to make up a new religion because well.... that is the cool thing to do at the time and place you decided to do it. But... it needed to be a good one.... like really good. One that would cause millions, if not billions, of people to believe into it over the insueing 1,000 + years. Also, say you were a pretty smart dude, educated at the finest school on planet earth (like... perhaps in the schools located in Egypt during the year 1545 BC, or BCE if one really prefers...), and top of your class, perhaps even in line to be the next Pharoah.

So, you start out in the obvious place, by explaining the origin of the Universe, right? Well, perhaps narrowing it down a little.... the origin of Planet Earth at least (no telescopes 'n such at that time yet, that we know of at least) so we can touch on the Universe thing a little, but more so focused on planet Earth. Now, you say.... In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth. Boom, heavens and Earth, just like that. Pretty cataclysmic, wouldn't you say? Good stuff. OK... so moving on.... in the following 6 mornings and evening (keeping it a little ambiguous on purpose you know, so people can't pinhole you or something), everything that currently is, was created, in a certain order.... I mean how is the average Joe going to know what order things were created in.... So those details aren't so important... but, moving on...

Then, right as things were going along smoothly in the fabrication of my story, I get to this point where things get really good. God has created the first man. And, to top it off, he creates the first woman by putting this man to sleep, doing surgery on him, removing a rib, and incubating a new human from his rib. Have to add a little spice to keep people interested right? Now... God says (this was before the first woman was made out of Adam's rib).... Adam... you have free reign over this garden I made for you.... Just don't ever.... and I mean ever! eat from this tree that I put right here in the garden with you.... Ever! You are warned. If you do.... you will surely die that day. Warned you...

Jumping ahead a scosche or two... Adam, and the woman, Eve, both eat the fruit that God told Adam not to eat, and that if he did eat it, he would die. And they don't die. Not for another 900+ years according to the account of their lives in the same book we are currently reading.

So. Now... if you were the guy writing this, trying to make up a religion that would sway multitudes of people, to cause them to give their lives up for this cause. Would you introduce the main character here, namely God, and have him give a promise, and then have it not come to pass right there at the beginning of your book? I mean... I'm just saying. Smart guy, starts off by writing something that is blatantly contradictory, and then behold! Millions of people just go.... meh.... sounds good enough, I'll buy it! That seems a bit.... absurd. To me. But that's just me. Others may not agree.

Perhaps.... and this is just a thought, let me know what you think, but... perhaps there is something more to this death that God promises in Genesis chapter 2 than Adam's heart stopping? Just a thought. Perhaps, even if you think Moses was making this stuff up as he went, that even he was smart enough to realize it's a little dumb to have your main character, who happens to be omnipotent, give a promise that fails to come to pass right there in the first 3 chapters of your humongous book. I mean, if the storyline just flat out contradicts itself (not even any outside source or something, but contradicts its own statement from less than 1 chapter earlier) right from the get go... who is going to believe this stuff? Just saying...

Let me know what you think,

:thumbsup:

Travis
 
Member
Why does God appear to lie to Adam in the Garden when he warns him not to eat of fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil or else, "thou will surely die."?
Since the Bible was written to enrich man that he may be perfect, as his heavenly Father is perfect, one might suggest that it was that given to teach man discernment in righteousness.

However, where in the scriptures does it say that God told Eve she could not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil since it is written in Genesis 2:18-20

18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

So did the LORD God make man before he formed ever beast of the the field, the fowl of the air?

The serpent, mischievous though he is, tells Eve that she WON'T die and, in the end, this proves to be the truth.
In Genesis 5:2 it is written that the male and female were named Adam in the day they were made. So what was the name of the female? Yet if one would examine Genesis 3, they would find that it is only after the tree of knowledge of good an evil that Adam calls his wife by the name Eve. [Gen 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve;because she was the mother of all living."] So was she the mother of Adam? No? do the scriptures misrepresent the truth when it says because she was the mother of all living?
 
Member
Why does God appear to lie to Adam in the Garden when he warns him not to eat of fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil or else, "thou will surely die."?

The serpent, mischievous though he is, tells Eve that she WON'T die and, in the end, this proves to be the truth.
The death that took place initially for Adam was a spiritual death resulting in a separation
from God. In the end, Adam and Eve DID die physically as a result.
 
Member
The death that took place initially for Adam was a spiritual death resulting in a separation
from God.
Are you suggesting that Adam spiritually died?
While it is an astute observation that the spirit can perish, because as written in 1 Tim 6:16 it is the Holy Ghost who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light of the eternal One which no man can approach unto; However, in James 2:26, if Adam died spiritually, or his spirit died then the flesh would have died also since the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

In Ecclesiatics 6:6, it is written regarding man in the flesh, "Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?" Since a day with the LORD is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day with the LORD, the question regarding the the promise made in Genesis 2:17, wherein it is written, "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Thus in Gen 5:5, And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died. And that would have been the second death as referenced in Rev 2:11
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcome shall not be hurt of the second death. And what is that one must overcome in order not to be hurt of the second death, I would suggest one consider overcoming the book of knowledge of good and evil.
 
Active
Why does God appear to lie to Adam in the Garden when he warns him not to eat of fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil or else, "thou will surely die."?
Well any good scientist should know a little about relativity.
How is time relative to the one who created it?
Look at a video game.
How is the time in a computer game relative to the creator or player of the game and the created entities in that game?

Eternal means "no beginning and no end,always was and always will be".
Jesus said John 3:13 .And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
This statement makes no sense unless you know about the double slit experiment.

"Now" is an eternal word because it is always now so it has no beginning and no end,it always is.
Anything that has and end is not eternal and not "now".
So from an eternal standpoint he died in God's day,the"now".

The writer of the bible seems to have a knowledge of quantum science.
I have discovered most contradictions (seeming) in the bible are actually defining something we simply may not have yet considered.
 
Member
All very interesting. First, I haven't seen anything in the OT to suggest Adam suffered any physical death from eating the fruit. And even the NT evidence is vague. Certainly it never explicitly says "Adam had a spiritual death the day he ate."

Also, both God and Moses (as chronicler) are assiduously consistent that a day really means a 24-hr, sunrise-to-sunrise day, "...and it was evening and it was morning, one day." Even Adam's age at his death is not counted in "God days/years." Any audience prior to any apologetics would have understood Adam lived 130 years and did not die the day he ate the fruit.

If I WERE writing Genesis as a literary creation myth, this is the kind of foreshadowing I might insert that would pay off further down the line with someone who steps out from behind the curtain and says, "Remember how I said I'd kill you if you did so-and-so, but I didn't? That was all part of a test to see if I had made you correctly in my image, with free will and independence. And you passed!" Is there some version of that understanding of it which doesn't completely fly in the face of original Adamic sin?
 
Active
Also, both God and Moses (as chronicler) are assiduously consistent that a day really means a 24-hr, sunrise-to-sunrise day, "...and it was evening and it was morning, one day.
I'm not sure where you get that idea.
An evening and a morning is not consistent with what we call a day.
The wisdom of God is foolishness to men and the wisdom of men is foolish to God.
Just as the wisdom of physics is foolishness to the wisdom of quantum science and the wisdom of quantum science is foolish unto physics.

Even Adam's age at his death is not counted in "God days/years.
I'm not sure what you mean because you say that God and Moses are subject to 24 hour days.
So are you saying that there are God days and man days and Adam's are counted in "man" days?
If so that would be because eternity "is" so the moment I stop living in "now" and start believing in an end or a beginning I am stuck in time and space so from an eternal standpoint I am eternally dead.
It was the opening of the eyes that caused them to focus on being naked.

How would you interpret this verse.
Jesus said John 3:13 .And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
 
Active
If I WERE writing Genesis as a literary creation myth, this is the kind of foreshadowing I might insert that would pay off further down the line with someone who steps out from behind the curtain and says, "Remember how I said I'd kill you if you did so-and-so, but I didn't? That was all part of a test to see if I had made you correctly in my image, with free will and independence. And you passed!" Is there some version of that understanding of it which doesn't completely fly in the face of original Adamic sin?
In a hundred years we will probably have computer AI that will be nearly living,the characters in a game would not understand your world at all because you can go back and forth in time and you know every possible outcome of every possible choice.You could create parallel universe at any point where you have a "saved" game.
How would you explain to these characters the reason for their existence?
Imagine this game 200 years from now and a thousand years from now.
How do you know you do not exist on such a server right now"?
Seen any glitches in the matrix lately?
 
Member
RE: The day/night issue. It had been suggested earlier in the thread that when Gnenesis menions "evening then morning," that these don't necessarily mean a day as we know it. But G1,5 says "evening then morning, one day." It was also suggested earlier that Adam's death could have happened the "day" he ate the fruit if one understands a day for God might be a thousand days to a man. I am just trying to stick to the internal consistency of Genesis. God says Adam's die the day he ate the fruit and he didn't and I wonder how Christians think about that.

As for John 3:13, I forget the context but had assumed that it was a reference that Jesus is the only being of flesh of have descended directly from heaven. Though, now, in the context of this conversation, I have no idea what "even the Son of man which is in heaven." is referring to.

I don't get much out of solipsist analogies like The Matrix because they are inherently untestable and unfalsifiable. However, if I did create a computer universe, my explanation to its residents fort he nature of their existence is drastically different, in form and content, from the Bible.
 
Member
Eternal means "no beginning and no end,always was and always will be".
.
In addition to having no beginning nor end of existence since it always was, is and will always be,
the 'Eternal' can not change nature or form, for to change would be the end of one and the beginning of another.
 
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