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Member
Hello. Polite atheist here. A brainteaser just occurred to me upon which I would love some of your opinions. It’s going to sound like a typical pain in the neck atheist “gotcha“ question, and I do apologize. I don’t offer it in that spirit. Rather, as many of you know, I am fascinated with scriptural analysis, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen this detail discussed.



It pertains to the tale of Creation and of the whole drama in the Garden of Eden. Gen 2:16-17 recounts, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die."

This is one of the clearest, most specific and explicit verses in the Bible. Then, the calamitous “incident” occurs (I’ll forego reviewing those famous details) and God is recorded considering, (Gen 3:22-23), “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: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.”

So my question is this. Would they have gotten in trouble if, instead of taking from the tree of knowledge, they had rather taken from the tree of life? God pretty clearly indicates they have not eaten from the tree of life YET. But, in the Garden, it is within their power to do so. Or is eating from the tree of life only a danger once one has eaten already from the tree of knowledge? Is the Bible saying that the combination of wisdom and immortality is what constitutes a God, and prior to their transgression, they might have eaten from the tree of life ‘til the cows come home? Was God’s perfect order (before the Fall) for humans to live eternally, but in eternal ignorance? Or should the tree of life always have been forbidden, and it only occurred to God to prevent eating its fruit once he realized what loose cannons Adam and Eve were? Or is this just an example of inadvertent, inconsistent documentation on the part of the scribes who collated and codified the Bible?

Also, why no mention of the tree of life prior to Gen 3 (i.e., before the big Sin)? Were all human principles each embodied in some physical manifestation one might consume? (I.e., trees of love, mercy, grief, etc.) Is there any scripture to suggest what some other of those incarnate principles were? If so, were they exclusively positive principles? One can argue there COULD have been such victuals representing principles of evil. Obviously, God did not absolutely bar the intrusion of evil into the Garden. He never asks the serpent, “Who the heck let YOU in here?”

Thoughts?
 
Loyal
Only a partial, sketchy answer from me. I'm puzzling over these things too.

The best I can offer is that the first chapters of Genesis presents Adam and Eve as childlike innocents. Their sin is not in aquiring knowledge of good and evil (wisdom), but in the way they went about it. Rather than patiently building up maturity and wisdom in line with God's will, they took a forbidden short cut by snatching the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

I was going to write more, but am unsure of my own thoughts. I'll think and then come back. Good to see you on the forum.
 
Loyal
It has been said that If God Did allow Adam and Eve to eat of the tree of Life -- they would have lived forever -- in their sin. No chance For redemption. As it was, though, God Did choose to destroy the entire world in the flood. Started over with the only righteous people living at that time. Noah and his family.

The idea was that they would obeyed God and not eaten of the tree of the knowledge of both good and evil. They would have retained their innocence forever -- kept on reproducing. The original 'heaven on earth'.

God Did make it impossible for the tree of life to be accessed.
 
Member
It has been said that If God Did allow Adam and Eve to eat of the tree of Life -- they would have lived forever -- in their sin. No chance For redemption. As it was, though, God Did choose to destroy the entire world in the flood. Started over with the only righteous people living at that time. Noah and his family.

The idea was that they would obeyed God and not eaten of the tree of the knowledge of both good and evil. They would have retained their innocence forever -- kept on reproducing. The original 'heaven on earth'.

God Did make it impossible for the tree of life to be accessed.
"God Did make it impossible for the tree of life to be accessed."
...but only had to after they had sinned, ya? Well, not "had to," but had he permitted it, they would have been immortal and immune to redemption. (Without recourse to some major re-jiggering of the system, which would have been possible I suppose, but who is to say why he chose the method he did?)
 
Loyal
Well -- He after all, was / is still God. He knew what would happen and had prepared for it. After all, He's made our redemption possible -- so that Has been some major re-jiggering of the system. :)
 
Member
Well -- He after all, was / is still God. He knew what would happen and had prepared for it. After all, He's made our redemption possible -- so that Has been some major re-jiggering of the system. :)
That opens a whole can of worms I'm not particularly looking to crack. But if you are, I'm game. If everything unfolded with his foreknowledge, then he deliberately made Adam and Eve bound to sin. True omnipotence implies, when mankind grew to intolerable wickedness even after Adam and Eve's sub-optimal performance in, and ejection from, the Garden, he COULD have chosen to simply uncreate all life, sparing non-human creatures all the suffering they clearly in no way deserved, rather than destroying the world in violence and misery. Meaning he valued and desired the Sin, the Fall, the Flood, everything, on the basis of their own intrinsic merits. He COLD have simply gone back to the drawing board than simply created man and woman, not necessarily "perfect," but utterly lacking the capacity for sin as a component of their nature. I think, if I believed, I would suppose God was experimenting, that he created Man with the capacity and the opportunity for good over evil and he willfully chose to ignore the outcome of that experiment until it came to pass of its own accord, with human free will in full, non-predetermined effect. If he is omnipotent (able to create without constraints of any sort) AND omniscient (creating with the full knowledge of the flawed nature of creation AT THE SAME TIME he was creating it) then we truly are just puppets on a stage and in no way responsible for any of our sin or good.
 
Loyal
You opened up this thread by saying you're an atheist.

In the Big picture -- God is the creator of this entire world. Why did He create everything? Because He chose to.

Are we puppets? No.

Well -- I took a break for a while -- as an atheist you don't believe in God. So -- since 'we' and this entire world Are here, how did we and everything Get here?

Okay -- God's word tells us that in Romans 3:23 -- for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. -- so -- would you say that you have sinned? What have you done that is sinful?

Just the start of some questions and answers. :)
 
Loyal
I know there is no accepted text to speak to the matter clearly and concisely. If you want to hear theories, they can be put forward, although many of my brethern would hear nothing thats not pinned down from an accepted authoritative source.
 
Member
You opened up this thread by saying you're an atheist.

In the Big picture -- God is the creator of this entire world. Why did He create everything? Because He chose to.

Are we puppets? No.

Well -- I took a break for a while -- as an atheist you don't believe in God. So -- since 'we' and this entire world Are here, how did we and everything Get here?

Okay -- God's word tells us that in Romans 3:23 -- for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. -- so -- would you say that you have sinned? What have you done that is sinful?

Just the start of some questions and answers. :)
I don’t think I have ever “sinned” in the technical sense that one can only sin if there is a God who proscribes sinning. I have wronged in ways that, to me, are more numerous and humbling to recount. To the extent I am aware of them, I make it my duty to remedy them. I doubt very much there are many people as aware of how flawed they are as I am. But, that’s an arrogance that may indicate just how flawed I am.

There’s a kind of poetic justice there, from a Christian perspective, I think. I am mortal and flawed and I KNOW I am flawed. I.e., I have clearly eaten from the tree of knowledge and not from the tree of life. And somehow God offers me a cure from that condition through Christ.

Of course, this presupposes any such person MUST wish to be cured.
 
Loyal
And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:
Remember part of the temptation by the serpent was when he said....

Gen 3:4 But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die,
Gen 3:5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity. (AMP)

Adam and Eve both knew what evil was, but they never experienced it in their lives until after they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good, and evil.

The knowledge of evil was given unto them by God when he said to them....

Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and blessing and calamity you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. (AMP)

The tree that Adam and Eve were not to eat of was just like any other tree in the garden. There was no poison in its fruit that would kill them! What would "kill" them would be in their "disobedience" which is sin!
 
Loyal
Was God’s perfect order (before the Fall) for humans to live eternally, but in eternal ignorance?
A person does not need to kill themselves before they discover that it is not a good thing. Knowing about evil is not the same thing as experiencing evil. Anyone can know (not being ignorant) about evil without experiencing it.
 
Loyal
Obviously, God did not absolutely bar the intrusion of evil into the Garden. He never asks the serpent, “Who the heck let YOU in here?”
Gen 2:15 And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it. (AMP)
Gen 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden;

Adam was given a "job" and that job was to guard and protect the garden from intruders. Whose fault was it to allow the serpent into the garden?
 
Loyal
@ Curtis -- Adam and Eve had been living in Innocence until they both at the fruit that they had been told to Not eat by God. As soon as they ate the fruit , their eyes were opened and their innocence ended -- they saw that they were naked and went to cover themselves.

Your Genesis 3:5 in the amp version adds the last phrase "and blessings and calamities." it's not in the NKJV.

Your AMP version is adding that same phrase to vs 17, also.

The instructions given to Adam first and then to Eve -- they could eat of anything in that garden Except for that one tree. of the knowledge of both good and evil.

Eve thought the idea of being like God with all of that knowledge would be really neat. Thing is that Eve and Adam would never be like God -- no matter what they did or didn't do.

Satan, the serpant fooled Eve and Adam followed after her in disobedience.

They both gained knowledge that God never intended them to have. IF they had obeyed God and Not eaten that fruit , they would have remained innocent the rest of their lives -- which would have been Forever.

Adam and Eve would have continued to live in Innocence Not Ignorance. And continued to have children and their children would have continued to have children Forever.

The effect of Adam and Eve's eating that fruit is that Now everyone would be born with the propensity For / To sin. Everyone living since then through to Now and in the future Will sin in some way. If it's only in what we think about.

If we manage to go a week without some sort of sin and go and acknowledge that, we are guilty of Pride. The 'little white lie' Does affect another person And the person who tells that 'little white lie'.

And, yes, God has all-knowledge so He knew the serpent would be in the garden enticing both of them. He was showing them and us that we choose to believe satan instead of God. God had created a beautiful world for them and they 'blew it'. But God -- in His mercy / love provided a way of forgiveness for them.

Genesis 2:15 "then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. / cultivate it. " after they had disobeyed God, there was punishment -- vs 17 they could no longer eat that particular fruit and the earth was cursed. That brought on the world of thorns, weeds.

vs 22 and 23 "...... therefore, the Lord God sen him out of the garden of Eden -- vs 24 So He drove out the man, and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life."

God had previously brought all the animals to Adam for him to name them. Satan, the serpent was already there.

Part of the curse was for the serpent to be crawling on it's belly and eat dust forever.

The 'fault' was that Eve didn't obey God's one rule for her. To Not eat the fruit of just that one tree. Everything else was there for them to enjoy.

do 'we' do the same thing? we read / hear God's Word but don't really believe it's true for 'us' -- we listen to satan , the serpent instead. And look where it got Them and where it get Us. :)
 
Loyal
They both gained knowledge that God never intended them to have.
Sue, both Adam and Eve had "knowledge" of evil because God told them what it was.

Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
Gen 2:17 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.

Is death evil? Does a man need to die first before he discovers death is evil?
 
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Loyal
"then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. / cultivate it
The word, "keep", means "to guard"

"Keep"

šāmar
: A verb meaning to watch, to keep, to preserve, to guard, to be careful, to watch over, to watch carefully over, to be on one's guard. The verb means to watch, to guard.
 
Loyal
Adam and Eve were created by God. They didn't even what death meant. The point being that even when 'we' don't understand God's Word To us -- we still need to obey it.

The idea was Also , that they could eat of Everything Else. But they chose to eat something they were warned to Not eat.

It's like seeing a sign on a park bench -- lots of other benches in the park. But that particular one has a sign saying 'wet paint' -- what's the first one headed to just to touch the paint to see if it's Really wet. Well -- it Was Really wet and Now 'we' have the red stain on our hands to show what we were doing that we should not have done.
 
Loyal
The word, "keep", means "to guard"

"Keep"

šāmar
: A verb meaning to watch, to keep, to preserve, to guard, to be careful, to watch over, to watch carefully over, to be on one's guard. The verb means to watch, to guard.

And it Also means to watch over , to keep a garden = to cultivate it. have you ever had a veggie garden. The seed is planted and is watered and weeded as needed. yes, to be on guard watching for Weeds to start growing.
 
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