Adam & Eve / The Fall

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Shawn
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by Shawn » 15 Jan 2014, 15:50

That's no fun, Ray ;)

I actually was thinking it might be sex, but that would imply sex is inherently dirty and I don't believe that to be true.

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JohnLocke
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by JohnLocke » 16 Jan 2014, 08:27

Well, to be fair, some biblical scholars do believe that the J writer in Genesis did intend for Adam & Eve's "knowledge" to be sexual awareness. That is how they become as "one of the gods," who themselves were sexual beings. It was an explanation for why humans pair off and wear clothes, but animals don't. Now, whether this was the author's intent or not, it's up to us to decide which explanation rings the most true to us, which becomes much easier if we interpret these stories as myths.

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On Own Now
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by On Own Now » 16 Jan 2014, 09:32

JohnLocke wrote:Well, to be fair, some biblical scholars do believe that the J writer in Genesis did intend for Adam & Eve's "knowledge" to be sexual awareness. That is how they become as "one of the gods," who themselves were sexual beings. It was an explanation for why humans pair off and wear clothes, but animals don't. Now, whether this was the author's intent or not, it's up to us to decide which explanation rings the most true to us, which becomes much easier if we interpret these stories as myths.
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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by Curt Sunshine » 16 Jan 2014, 21:13

The following is excerpted from a comment in a thread at another site about evolution, with my own insertions in parentheses and italics. I thought it was worth sharing:
Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. [Does the plural pronoun stem from the creation of a single man and a single woman? Or does it refer to a much larger creation of human kind.] (Notice the use of "man" to cover both male and female. Obviously, that usage is figurative - or, at least, more expansive that literal.)

Gen 2:7 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. [We know that humans are mostly water, not dust and that humans have very little dust in the rest. Carbohydrates, protein, bone, but no dust. This is figurative characterization. When we return to the dust of the earth, we leave behind calcified bone. That's about it.] (This description obviously is figurative, and the rib story has been accepted as figurative by church leaders as conservative as Bruce R. McConkie.)

8 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. [Eve comes along a bit later!] (This shifts back to singular reference - and it's important to notice that this is a shift and the exception so far.)

Gen 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man [here a reference to mankind, not just one man], in the likeness of God made he him; (This shifts back to a comprehensive meaning.)

2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their [plural possessive pronoun] name Adam, in the day when they were created. [“Their name,” i.e. the male and female he created are called Adam. It would appear that the name Adam is more than just the name of the husband of Eve and father of Cain and Able, but is also used to refer to a larger grouping of God’s creation, i.e. human kind.] “Male and female” imply multiple creatures. Otherwise we would expect to read “A man and a woman” created he, and blessed the couple.


This isn't any kind of proof of anything, but it's very easy to make a case for a symbolic, figurative, mythological interpretation of the story.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Forgotten_Charity
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by Forgotten_Charity » 17 Jan 2014, 11:01

JohnLocke wrote:Well, to be fair, some biblical scholars do believe that the J writer in Genesis did intend for Adam & Eve's "knowledge" to be sexual awareness. That is how they become as "one of the gods," who themselves were sexual beings. It was an explanation for why humans pair off and wear clothes, but animals don't. Now, whether this was the author's intent or not, it's up to us to decide which explanation rings the most true to us, which becomes much easier if we interpret these stories as myths.
It becomes very symbolic the more we learn about the first modern humans 10s of thousands of years ago who didn't yet have a concept of clothing or marriage or even a concept of a afterlife. Gradually through time we developed these concepts. Although if we look at dolphins and orcas closely they have an even deeper concept of family then we do with very strong emotional and sexual binds developed between them.
Do hermit crabs and the like count as cloths?! Lol. :-)
Sorry, I have been studying dolphins and whales for over 20 years scuba diving. Very interesting to see other species that do have very strong family and errhm... Sexual bonds. The more you know!:-)

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Haven
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by Haven » 19 Jan 2014, 21:18

I recently read in National Geographic that all human DNA can be traced to one woman in Africa, who they named Eve. I think it's amazing they've been able to trace us to one woman. How cool is this! A little ironic though since the church was so racist against blacks and Eve could have very well been black :D

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Forgotten_Charity
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by Forgotten_Charity » 20 Jan 2014, 08:32

Haven wrote:I recently read in National Geographic that all human DNA can be traced to one woman in Africa, who they named Eve. I think it's amazing they've been able to trace us to one woman. How cool is this! A little ironic though since the church was so racist against blacks and Eve could have very well been black :D
That's anthropology 101. The oldest discovered human skeletons are by far from the Ethiopia area and surrounding countries.
Africans have the highest DNA diversity as a result. So yes most likely the first humans (Adam and eve, however you define them)were African.

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nibbler
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by nibbler » 20 Jan 2014, 12:02

JohnLocke wrote:Well, to be fair, some biblical scholars do believe that the J writer in Genesis did intend for Adam & Eve's "knowledge" to be sexual awareness. That is how they become as "one of the gods," who themselves were sexual beings. It was an explanation for why humans pair off and wear clothes, but animals don't.
How would J rationalize the fact that the entire animal kingdom has sexual awareness yet doesn't feel the need to wear clothes? Well some dogs wear clothes but cats appear to hate it vehemently... at least my cat does. She hates sock on the head time.

Lately I've viewed the forbidden fruit as the knowledge itself. Give someone two apparently conflicting commandments and sit back and watch as their minds expand to justify choosing one commandment over the other. If there's only one commandment there's no reason to think, to work things out. If there are multiple commandments, especially conflicting commandments, one can then do things like prioritize, evaluate, risk, speculate, think, etc. Conflicting ideas provide the medium through which knowledge can be gained.

The good news is that it's entirely figurative... I can apply it to anything in subsequent readings. I've even looked at it from the angle of my FC as me eating the forbidden fruit.

Going back to J and sexual awareness. Another interesting thing to go along with that... don't women hit puberty before men?
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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by Curt Sunshine » 20 Jan 2014, 13:26

I like that, nibbler, as one view from which good meaning can be taken.

Just something to consider: According to Mormon theology, what were our choices in the pre-existence?

1) Stay in the presence of God (in a state of no toil or physical pain but no growth) as individuals. (I'm not sure this was an option, actually, given the overall story.)

2) Leave God's presence.

What were the possibilities if we left God's presence?

1) Pain, suffering, toil and trouble - with a promise of universal salvation (and, at the very least, varying degrees of redemption) and the possibility of great growth.

2) No pain, no suffering, no toil and no trouble - with the promise of salvation but with no significant growth.

What were the two commands in the Garden narrative?

1) Stay with each other, as a couple, no matter what.

2) Don't do what it would take to leave God's presence.

It appears to me that the garden is a rephrasing of the War in Heaven - where people had to choose whether to stay in an "innocent" state and avoid pain and suffering (Lucifer's plan) or "fall" from God's presence, suffer pain and experience eternal growth (Father's plan). Satan lost the first battle, so he kept it going when humans were created here on Earth - by trying, once again, to insert himself between those humans and God and becoming "the God of this earth". The central battle of existence, therefore, is which plan we will accept each day: pain, suffering and growth or ease and no growth.

I think pretty much everyone here has chosen pain, suffering and growth - even if you thought or think you don't want it.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Shawn
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Re: Adam & Eve / The Fall

Post by Shawn » 28 Jan 2014, 16:05

This is making less less sense. Maybe I have never studied the creation accounts close enough. From what I gather, this was the order of events:

-Day 1: Light and darkness separated
-Day 2: The firmament and waters
-Day 3: Dry land and water; grass, herbs, trees
-Day 4: Lights in the firmament
-Day 5: Creatures of the water and air
-Day 6: Creatures of the land; man (male and female) created and God said to them, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth"
-Day 7: God rests
-Apparently, plants were not yet in the earth and herbs had not yet grown, for it had not yet rained; then a mist went up (which made clouds and enabled rain, I suppose)
-Man was formed (only Adam, I think) and became a living soul
-A garden was planted in Eden
-The man was placed in the garden
-Adam was commanded not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; he was told he would die if he did
-God said he would make a companion for Adam, but apparently didn't act at that time
-Adam gave names to the animals
-God made a woman and brought her to Adam
-It is said they were naked and not ashamed
-The serpent confronted Eve; Eve told the serpent they were commanded not to eat or touch the fruit of the tree; the serpent said eating the fruit would not cause death and would open the eyes and give knowledge of good and evil
-Eve ate the fruit and then Adam did likewise
-Their eyes were opened and they knew they were naked
-They heard the voice of God and hid themselves
-Adam told God they hid because they were naked; God asked who told them so and whether they had eaten the fruit; Adam said the woman gave him the fruit and he ate it; Eve said the serpent beguiled her and she ate the fruit
-The serpent was cursed; God placed enmity between him and the woman, and between his seed and her seed (her seed will bruise his head and be bruised at the heel)
-The woman is told she will bring forth chidren in sorrow, her desire shall be to her husband, and he shall rule over her
-Adam was told the ground is cursed for his sake because he hearkened to his wife; he was told he would return to the dust
-Adam called his wife Eve
-God made clothes for them
-Since the man had become like the Gods, knowing good and evil, he was driven from the garden; Cherubims and a flaming sword were placed to keep the way of the tree of life

I understand things are not necessarily in chronological order and I don't know what interpolations there may be. Despite such possible factors, consider:

-It appears Adam and Eve were told to multiply before they had bodies and were placed in the garden. Is that important?
-The narrative gives an account of God commanding only Adam regarding the fruit; Eve was not present. Eve did know about it, though, and she related it to the serpent. Did Adam tell her about the commandment or did God tell her at some point? Does this matter?
-It says Adam was sent forth from the garden, but it doesn't say the same about Eve. Did she go with Adam by choice, or was she not mentioned because she was a woman and it's assumed she would have to stay with the man? (It's probably the latter. )

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