Chapter 2: Theological Consequences (10)

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 14:10

IX. My personal view on creation

Written by

    From my point of view, the conclusion that the narratives from the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis are only mythology and not the expression of reality prompts me to reject the theist creationist view on God. The world wasn’t created in seven physical days and not even in seven longer periods of time and we can know that for certain because the stories from the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis aren’t real. It isn’t only that the period of time proposed by the book of Genesis for creation is in total disharmony with the discoveries of the sciences but very importantly the order of creation proposed by the Bible is contradictory and absurd therefore it cannot be upheld.

    In what concerns the theistic evolution view I fully agree that nature became what it is through a process of evolution, starting with the less sophisticated forms of life and reaching a high level of development in human consciousness.  

    God is not the Creator in the sense in which He is presented by the Bible. We don’t know how God is involved in the generation of our universe and of humankind. The Bible doesn’t give us any revelation about the degree in which God is involved with the world. We can know how God is not connected with the origins of the universe and humankind and that is the way in which the Bible says that He created the universe. Any other way of creation can be possible until is proven impossible or improbable. The manner of creation described in the book of Genesis is highly improbable.  

    In the same time, there is a huge problem when one tries to separate metaphysically in any way God and the world. The creationist view maintains that God is a necessary Reality while the world is only a contingent reality. God is also seen in the creationist view as transcendental to His creation and that allows for a degree of separation between God and the world which finally doesn’t leave any place for Him in the entire existence.   

    In order to understand God, we necessarily need to operate with a larger concept than that of the universe. This concept is the concept of existence per se which includes all existing entities from all existing worlds or all existing universes. The cosmos contains a visible part and an invisible one but we know that the invisible part exists from its effects. Our world isn’t all that is because before the Big bang it was another reality which made possible the existence of the singularity which caused our universe.  

- 1 -

    In my view, the existence per se is infinite because absolute nonexistence, no space, no energy, no particles, no laws, cannot be said to exist. Absolute non-existence cannot exist because from absolute nonexistence nothing can emerge hence the so-called “reality” which doesn’t produce anything at all is nothing. The existence of all realities can be perceived from the effects that they produce. Where there aren’t any effects of any kind there we are confronted with nothingness. The existence of our universe is the undeniable proof that it never “was” a state of absolute non-existence. If it “was” our universe couldn’t exist at all because absolute nothingness means absolute nothing, no space and no laws, no matter, no energy, no anything and that cannot produce anything.  

    Absolute nothingness means a state in which nothing at all can be generated hence we can know that such a situation didn’t exist until know from the existence of our universe. In the same time theoretically, we also know that absolute non-existence cannot exist because doesn’t have any attribute which would qualify it for existence. If we define what existence means, we can also know what existence isn’t.  

    Our universe comes from a state of existence which necessarily comes from another kind of existence and so on. The existence per se is an extraordinary and unexplained reality. We don’t know the origins of existence per se and the possibility of an infinite reality opens the mind toward God’s existence. If existence per se is infinite God also can be an infinite Reality and that Reality can be also of infinite complexity. The argument from complexity is an argument for the existence of God. An infinite Reality can be also infinite in complexity not only in spatial extension. This infinite Reality cannot be other than God because this infinite complexity necessarily entails consciousness.  

    Existence in the sense of the continuation of the presence of space is infinite. There isn't any reason to believe that space was generated from absolute nothingness hence either space was generated from something else or it is eternal. Time and space form a unity which depends on the presence of matter in the ways described by Einstein. In the same time, space cannot be other than eternal if it wasn’t generated by anything else, something which can be demonstrated that exists in no space. A thing can exist only if it either directly occupies space or if it depends on something which is in space, for example, an idea depends on a brain.

- 2 -

 

image004

previous-page NEXT-PAGE

   I. Introduction to this chapter

aFrom my point of view, it is impossible that the first 11 chapters from the book of Genesis represent an accurate description of what had happened at the beginning of the existence of our universe and of humankind. There are much too many contradictions in the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis and the stories found there are obviously mythological in their character and not scientific or historic. For me, that doesn’t mean the loss of my faith in God because it isn’t based on the factuality of all stories from the Bible, but it stands on a personal experience with Him. At the same time, the conclusion that the book of Genesis cannot offer a solid base for the understanding of our world carries important consequences.

If one doesn’t believe that the biblical record of the book of Genesis is scientifically accurate what remains from the Christian teachings about salvation? What happens with an authentic Christian faith if one accepts that the universe had come in place through the Big Bang and human beings evolved from other forms of life? If Adam and Eve aren’t historical personages and they didn’t disobey God everything changes in the Christian doctrines.

If Adam and Eve are not real personages but only legendary ones, how did humankind come into existence? The answer would be that humankind has a common origin with all forms of life and up to a point all developed in the same direction through the evolution of species. Human beings took another path under the influence of the internal and possibly external factors and we became what we are today.

 - 438 -

It isn’t impossible that the original evolution of humankind would have been determined by contact with an extra-terrestrial civilization. It is wrong to affirm that human beings have evolved from “monkeys” because they started to evolve from much more primitive forms of life together with the entirety of biological nature. Between human beings and the most evolved primates there are many common points and the genetic resemblances are astonishing, but our unique ancestor is to be found farther in the past. We have evolved together with all nature from the first living organisms on Earth which appeared billions of years ago.

After hundreds of thousands of years of evolution of the first humanoids, God had chosen to reveal Himself to humankind. Who were the human beings to whom God had revealed Himself for the first time? It couldn’t have been Adam and Eve because they didn’t exist in real life, and also it couldn’t have been Noah, another legendary personage. We have to take it that Abraham would have been the first human being to whom God would have revealed His existence directly, if we take the life of Abraham being less mythological and more real than that of his predecessors from the book of Genesis.

After concluding that the narratives of creation from the book of Genesis are too absurd and contradictory to be the representation of real facts, one has two possibilities. One is to consider the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis a series of mythological stories which weren’t inspired by God and which don’t have any relation to reality and any spiritual meanings. The other one is to see the accounts of the creation not being faithful to reality but being full of spiritual meanings and being inspired by God as parables, not as historical facts. In the first case the book of Genesis has to be judged in connection with the universal mythological context at the time in which its narratives have been written, and in the second case one has to figure out how and when God had inspired these parables to humankind and what are their spiritual meanings. The problem of the multiple authorship of the texts still remains and has to be solved together with this analysis.

If someone concludes that the book of Genesis is a series of parables and not the exact description of historical events, that conclusion will shake considerably the foundation of the Christian

- 439 -

faith such as it had been laid by the official religious institutions which insist on biblical accuracy and factuality. The faith in God is still not restricted but the biblical narratives and the interpretations given to them by the classical theistic views are in doubt.

The Christian official doctrines teach us that Adam and Eve, two real personages and the first human beings created by God, disobeyed Him, and their disobedience was a sin with consequences for all humankind. We all are sinners and need redemption through Christ’s sacrifice in order to be saved. In point of fact, because God didn’t directly create the earth, the light, the sun and the stars, Adam and Eve, or plants and animals on Earth, the original sin is a myth. Not being real, Adam and Eve didn’t disobey God and they committed no sin.

We cannot deny the possibility that the universal Consciousness of existence per se would create things within the reality of existence, but if He created our universe He surely didn’t do it in the way which is described by the book of Genesis. All absurdities and inconsistencies found in the creation stories from the book of Genesis are peremptory arguments which support the affirmation according to which that part of the Bible is not a collection of writings about facts but a compilation of myths.

Without original sin, without human nature being degraded beyond recognition by the sin as the classical theism maintains, without the theory which states that human beings cannot by themselves separate good from evil and without God as a direct Creator of humankind, the entire Christian theology looks very different from what we know it to be.

God didn’t create humankind as it is. He only, at best, had created the right conditions for the apparition of intelligent life somewhere inside the cosmos, on our planet. Nevertheless, life on Earth took its particularities from the way in which it evolved during millions of years and not directly from the way in which it would have been created by God.

There are several possibilities regarding the relationship between God and the world and His quality of Creator, from which one has to choose and which would determine and define one’s religious faith.

 - 440 -

The theist creationist view:

God is the Creator of the entire existence. He created all that is; the universe with the celestial bodies and the earth with all that it contains including humankind. God had created all these either in six literal days (young creationists) or in six historical periods, each much longer than a physical day. God isn’t responsible for the evil in the world and the responsibility for what goes wrong lies with an angel created by Him and who disobeyed Him, and this is Satan. If God had created Satan and he could have destroyed him but He didn’t, He cannot be exonerated of any responsibility for the evil in the world.

The theist evolution view:

God was not directly involved in the origin of life. He created the building blocks and the natural laws but at some point He stepped back and let His creation take over. He let it do what it does and life eventually emerged from non-living material.[1]

Once they are set in place the laws of nature determine the apparition of life from inorganic matter and through evolution the emergence of human beings. This vision doesn’t exclude God’s intervention during human history or miracles. In this view, the revelation from God also has an important function to fulfil.

God is partially responsible for the evil in the world because He initiated the existence of the life on Earth. God didn’t create the universe, the earth, the sun, the life on Earth or the humankind directly. God only created matter and the laws of nature and they were working by the power of their inherent potential. God cannot be responsible entirely for death and suffering on Earth because they are determined by how things are and how they evolve. Death and suffering are the price to pay for the existence of intelligent life in biological form, for the union of spirit and matter and even God has paid this price in the Person of Christ.

God didn’t directly create the carnivorous animals and they emerged on Earth through evolution, consequently killing other animals wouldn’t have been His idea but was unavoidable for the

- 441 -

apparition of an ecosystem which could have supported intelligent life. God also isn’t responsible for the natural disasters because they are part of the natural world which permits the apparition of life on Earth.

The deist view:

In the deist view, similar to the theistic evolution principle God created the building blocks of creation and the laws of physics but He didn’t generate this universe or humankind directly. Once set in place nature works its way and what resulted on our planet is humankind. The difference with the theistic evolution view is that in the deistic vision God’s miracles or revelation are excluded. All we can know about God comes through rationality and through the study of nature. This is a natural religion with no place for the supernatural in the course of the development of natural phenomena. God had intervened only when He set in place the all necessary ingredients for the existence of the universe but after that He completely retracted from His creation.

Christian Deists believe that it is never “God’s will” for anything “bad” to happen to human beings. These bad things may be caused by accident or by human action but are never determined by God. For example, an illness may be caused by an accidental infection or may be caused by a person choosing to ingest unhealthy food or liquids. God does not make a person sick or well by intervening in matters connected to his or her health.[2]  

The panentheistic view:

God is one with the universe but is greater than it. This is similar to the consciousness which is more than the sum of all cells of the brain. The following quotation summarises well what panentheism is:

“Panentheism is essentially a combination of theism (God is the supreme being) and pantheism (God is everything). While pantheism says that God and the universe are coextensive, panentheism claims the God is greater than the universe and that the universe is contained within God. Panentheism holds that God is the “supreme effect” of the universe.

- 442 -

God is everything in the universe, but God also is greater than the universe. Events and changes in the universe affect and change God. As the universe grows and learns, God also increases in knowledge and being.”[3]

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. God is responsible for the evil in the world only in direct proportion with His involvement in its development. God being a complex Reality and not a simple one, He influences the world from the top down and in this way He is a Creator. It is wrong to understand causation only from simple to complex because there is also causation from what is more complex to what is simpler. Consciousness influences matter and energy.

If someone rejects the factuality of the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis he or she cannot hold a theistic creationist view of God any more. The theistic creationist view is inextricably bound with a literal reading of the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis. In the Bible God is the Almighty Creator of the universe, of the heavens, the earth, humankind, the animals and plants. In the book of Genesis God would have created everything directly, not indirectly through evolution, not intermediated by nature. As a matter of fact, the natural world, meaning plants and animals, would have been created after the creation of man in Genesis chapter 2. In this situation, there is no place for a common ancestor for all living beings and God would have created nature randomly in an order which doesn’t have anything to do with our reality such as it is described by modern sciences. The order of creation from Genesis chapter 2 is absurd, hence irrational, and disqualifies completely the value of the texts.

The book of Genesis isn’t a book of science or of history and at the best can be understood as a series of parables but with a mixed message. In these parables, the details are presented in an irrational order and for this reason they contradict each other and the spiritual meaning can be the opposite of what is commonly preached. For example, in the story of Adam and Eve the serpent isn’t a malefic personage but a good one who tells the truth, contrary to God who isn’t exact in all His statements. The serpent wanted to bring

- 443 -

knowledge to humankind contrary to God who tried to prevent humankind getting it. The parable of the tree of knowledge isn’t only about human beings’ obedience to God as it is usually presented but is also about the importance of knowledge for humankind and the conflict generated by it. In my view the latter interpretation is much more important than the former but the idea of disobedience to God which in the parable is an act of courage is interpreted as the original sin. Pursuing knowledge even against God’s will is what gives humankind a heroic dimension and its special status, and which differentiates it from animals which couldn’t consciously disobey Him. Nevertheless, even if they didn’t disobey God, animals were also punished through the waters of the Flood and their only chance to survive was the knowledge acquired by humankind in building the ark.

Adam and Eve were in a way less than human when they were created by God because they couldn’t have known the difference between good and evil. The first two human beings became human only when they ate from the tree of knowledge, but this human dimension would have been gained in contradiction to God’s will.

   The courage of humankind was falsely interpreted and perverted by religions in the biggest possible sin and that without keeping a proper balance. The initial meaning of the story of Adam and Eve didn’t condemn in any way human behaviour toward knowledge and saw God as an authoritarian divinity who wanted to keep knowledge only for Him, because if human beings got it they would have become like Him. God’s attitude toward humankind is criticised by the parable because He is described as changing His words told to them, in contrast with the serpent who spoke only the truth. The parabolic messages of the book of Genesis give a particular image about God different than what is preached about Him. If in reality God would have created humankind in His likeness, He wouldn’t have become upset when human beings eating from the tree of knowledge became like Him, knowing the difference between good and evil. It is absurd to create humankind in God’s likeness but, at the same time, stopping them from being like Him, knowing good and evil. This is a contradiction contained by the book of Genesis.

- 444 -

Many parables from the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis don’t make any spiritual sense unless we understand God as a Force hostile to humankind, the existence of whom explains some disasters on Earth. God had created humankind and declared it good and the entire creation would have been qualified as very good, but after a while He regretted His creation and destroyed the majority of the population of the earth together with all animals and almost all plants. He, again, was sorry for the destruction of the earth through the Flood and He promised that another Deluge would not happen. In spite of the mayhem that would have been produced by the Flood, it didn’t solve any problems. The violence of all flesh would have been greater after the Flood than before it, because when the Deluge was gone meat consumption was allowed.

If the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis don’t make any sense neither as a description of real events nor as parables with a high spiritual message; what remains is a pure interest in the way in which they used mythological symbols which can also be found in other mythologies or stories of creation from the ancient world.

The biblical narratives are not as original as is commonly thought because they contain motives widely found in other Near-Eastern mythologies and other religions of the world such as the motives of the serpent, of the tree of life, of the number seven, of the primeval sea, chaos and so on. The biblical accounts used many of these symbols in a relatively new perspective but the latter don’t appear for the first time in the book of Genesis. The internal inconsistencies and the resemblances to other religions show that the narratives from the book of Genesis are not a unique revelation from the heavens and surely not a discovery from the point of view of facts.

The serpent has a mixed symbolism in the biblical accounts. On the one side, it is the symbol of evil, of the devil who is the old serpent, but on the other side Moses had been asked by God to raise a serpent in the desert as a symbol for Jewish salvation. In other words, in Moses’ times the serpent symbolised Jesus because whoever saw him would have been healed.

“In the Gospel of John 3:14–15, Jesus makes direct comparison between the raising up of the Son of Man and the act of Moses in raising up the serpent as a sign, using it as a symbol associatedwith

- 445 -

salvation: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.[4]

In many religions of the world the serpent is an important symbolism of wisdom:

“Because of its herbal knowledge and entheogenic association the snake was often considered one of the wisest animals, being (close to the) divine. Its divine aspect combined with its habitat in the earth between the roots of plants made it an animal with chthonic properties connected to the afterlife and immortality. Asclepius, the god of medicine and healing, carried a staff with one serpent wrapped around it, which has become the symbol of modern medicine.”[5]

Sometimes the symbolism of the serpent is mixed with another mythical symbol which is the tree:

“In many myths the chthonic serpent (sometimes a pair) lives in or is coiled around a Tree of Life situated in a divine garden. In the Genesis story of the Torah and Biblical Old Testament, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is situated in the Garden of Eden together with the tree of life and the Serpent. In Greek mythology Ladon coiled around the tree in the garden of the Hesperides protecting the entheogenic golden apples… Similarly Níðhöggr (Nidhogg Nagar) the dragon of Norse mythology eats from the roots of the Yggdrasil, the World Tree. Under yet another Tree (the Bodhi tree of Enlightenment), the Buddha sat in ecstatic meditation. When a storm arose, the mighty serpent king Mucalinda rose up from his place beneath the earth and enveloped the Buddha in seven coils for seven days, not to break his ecstatic state.”[6]

In connection to Buddha, the symbolism of the serpent and of the tree is completed with the symbol of the number seven found also in

    - 446 -

the book of Genesis. Another reference to the symbolic number seven is the one referred to by Joseph Campbell:

“It has been suggested by Joseph Campbell that the symbol of snakes coiled around a staff is an ancient representation of Kundalini physiology. The staff represents the spinal column with the snake(s) being energy channels. In the case of two coiled snakes they usually cross each other seven times, a possible reference to the seven energy centers called chakras.” [7]

In other Near-Eastern religions such is the Egyptian one, the serpent is also very present:

“In Ancient Egypt, where the earliest written cultural records exist, the serpent appears from the beginning to the end of their mythology. Ra and Atum (“he who completes or perfects”) became the same god, Atum, the “counter-Ra,” was associated with earth animals, including the serpent: Nehebkau (“he who harnesses the souls”) was the two headed serpent deity who guarded the entrance to the underworld. He is often seen as the son of the snake goddess Renenutet.”[8]

In Gnosticism the symbol of the serpent is important but in another sense than in orthodox Christianity:

“The image of the serpent as the embodiment of the wisdom transmitted by Sophia was an emblem used by gnosticism, especially those sects that the more orthodox characterized as “Ophites” (“Serpent People”). The chthonic serpent was one of the earth-animals associated with the cult of Mithras. The Basilisk, the venomous “king of serpents” with the glance that kills, was hatched by a serpent, Pliny the Elder and others thought, from the egg of a cock.”[9]

 - 447 -

The tree of life is a symbol found in the book of Genesis but also in other mythologies all over the world:

“A stylized tree with obvious religious significance already occurs as an art motif in fourth-millennium Mesopotamia, and, by the second millennium B.C., it is found everywhere within the orbit of the ancient Near Eastern oikumene, including Egypt, Greece, and the Indus civilization. The meaning of the motif is not clear, but its over- all composition strikingly recalls the Tree of Life of later Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist art. The question of whether the concept of the Tree of Life actually existed in ancient Mesopotamia has been debated, however, and thus many scholars today prefer the more neutral term “sacred tree” when referring to the Mesopotamian Tree.”[10]

The motif of the tree of life is not original or unique in the Bible and doesn’t particularise this book from any other texts in the ancient world – quite the contrary; it is proof that the book of Genesis belongs to a wider cultural tradition.

The number seven is also an important symbol which is used by the book of Genesis. Number seven recurs throughout religious texts as a special number. The Babylonians divided weeks into seven days. Having this close relationship with the calendar the number seven gained a religious significance over the time.[11]

In her book “A Four Thousand Year History” Patricia Fara writes:

“Seven has always been a very special number. Sanskrit’s most ancient holy book, the Rig Vega, describes seven stars, seven concentric continents, and seven streams of soma, the drink of the gods. According to the Jewish and Christian Old Testament, the world was created in seven days and Noah’s dove returned seven days after the Flood. Similarly, the Egyptians mapped seven paths to heaven, Allah created a seven-layered Islamic heaven and earth, and the newborn Buddha took seven strides.”[12]

 

- 448 -

The book of Genesis isn’t in any way original by using the principle of creation in seven days. The primeval sea and the chaos are another two symbols already referred to in this study which are also used by the book of Genesis. The Bible utilises the same symbolism as other religions and its description of creation is not a unique revelation coming from the sky, in which some unknown facts had been discovered by humankind.

Probably the most striking resemblance between the book of Genesis and almost all religions on Earth is the idea of the sacrifice of animals for religious rituals. Almost all religions of the world use sacrifice as a means to appease gods. The book of Genesis doesn’t make an exception to this norm based on the principle that God hasn’t been happy with humankind. In order to obtain God’s benevolence human beings in the O.T. had to atone for their sins by making offerings to Him.

   In other words, the book of Genesis utilizes the same symbols which were used by the narratives coming from cultures other than Jewish and which didn’t have the pretention to be inspired by God. These symbols reflect a cultural influence and not a divine inspiration.

- 449 -

 

   

 

[1] www.gotquestions.org/theistic-evolution.html

[2] www.christiandeistfellowship.com/christiandeist.htm

[3] www.gotquestions.org/panentheism.html

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpent_(symbolism

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpent_(symbolism

[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpent_(symbolism

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpent_(symbolism

[8] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpent_(symbolism

[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpent_(symbolism

 

[10] The Assyrian Tree of Life: Tracing the Origins of Jewish Monotheism and Greek Philosophy Author(s): Simo Parpola Source: Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 52, No. 3 (Jul., 1993), pp. 161-208 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/545436

[11] www.humanreligions.info/seven.html

[12] www.humanreligions.info/seven.html

previous-page NEXT-PAGE
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 15:19

Theological Consequences

Written by

 

 I. Introduction to this chapter

From my point of view, it is impossible that the first 11 chapters from the book of Genesis represent an accurate description of what had happened at the beginning of the existence of our universe and of humankind. There are much too many contradictions in the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis and the stories found there are obviously mythological in their character and not scientific or historic. For me, that doesn’t mean the loss of my faith in God because it isn’t based on the factuality of all stories from the Bible, but it stands on a personal experience with Him. At the same time, the conclusion that the book of Genesis cannot offer a solid base for the understanding of our world carries important consequences.

If one doesn’t believe that the biblical record of the book of Genesis is scientifically accurate what remains from the Christian teachings about salvation? What happens with an authentic Christian faith if one accepts that the universe had come in place through the Big Bang and human beings evolved from other forms of life? If Adam and Eve aren’t historical personages and they didn’t disobey God everything changes in the Christian doctrines.

If Adam and Eve are not real personages but only legendary ones, how did humankind come into existence? The answer would be that humankind has a common origin with all forms of life and up to a point all developed in the same direction through the evolution of species. Human beings took another path under the influence of the internal and possibly external factors and we became what we are today.

 - 438 -

It isn’t impossible that the original evolution of humankind would have been determined by contact with an extra-terrestrial civilization. It is wrong to affirm that human beings have evolved from “monkeys” because they started to evolve from much more primitive forms of life together with the entirety of biological nature. Between human beings and the most evolved primates there are many common points and the genetic resemblances are astonishing, but our unique ancestor is to be found farther in the past. We have evolved together with all nature from the first living organisms on Earth which appeared billions of years ago.

After hundreds of thousands of years of evolution of the first humanoids, God had chosen to reveal Himself to humankind. Who were the human beings to whom God had revealed Himself for the first time? It couldn’t have been Adam and Eve because they didn’t exist in real life, and also it couldn’t have been Noah, another legendary personage. We have to take it that Abraham would have been the first human being to whom God would have revealed His existence directly, if we take the life of Abraham being less mythological and more real than that of his predecessors from the book of Genesis.

After concluding that the narratives of creation from the book of Genesis are too absurd and contradictory to be the representation of real facts, one has two possibilities. One is to consider the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis a series of mythological stories which weren’t inspired by God and which don’t have any relation to reality and any spiritual meanings. The other one is to see the accounts of the creation not being faithful to reality but being full of spiritual meanings and being inspired by God as parables, not as historical facts. In the first case the book of Genesis has to be judged in connection with the universal mythological context at the time in which its narratives have been written, and in the second case one has to figure out how and when God had inspired these parables to humankind and what are their spiritual meanings. The problem of the multiple authorship of the texts still remains and has to be solved together with this analysis.

If someone concludes that the book of Genesis is a series of parables and not the exact description of historical events, that conclusion will shake considerably the foundation of the Christian

- 439 -

 

image004

 

 

#

previous-page NEXT-PAGE
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 14:11

VIII. The problem of eternal hell

Written by

    If one doesn't take the first 11 chapters from the book of Genesis to be literally real he or she is entitled to have doubts about the reality of other parts of the Bible also. One doesn’t need to become Gnostic in order to explain the profound inconsistencies between the O.T. and the N.T. Looking to the O.T. as to a compilation of many exaggerations does the same thing. How can one be sure that the history of the Jewish people as it is depicted by the O.T. is real if the story about the creation of the world isn’t real? None can get such assurance from the Bible and particularly when he or she tries to compare the image of God in the O.T. and in the N.T.

    Many problems arise from this comparison. One of them is the problem of the existence of hell. How can a generous and loving God punish anyone with eternal hell for an action which took place on earth? Every human being on earth leaves under specific conditions and has to fight for his or her survival hence punishing someone for his or her innate instincts of survival out of the context of life on earth is absurd.   

    Any punishment that we get on earth has to consider the human condition and also has to have a limit taking into consideration that human beings are mortal and live under a finite perspective.  

    All things which are done in the finite dimension of the reality have to be judged in that dimension and bad deeds have to be punished accordingly. Punishing a human person with eternal hell for mistakes made in a finite life on earth is preposterous. We are not eternal beings who live eternal lives or at least many human beings don’t believe that we are. Building any doctrine on the premise of human immortality without any proof that we are immortal and accepting as rational the condemnation of human beings to an eternal punishment for their earthly mistakes or even more for their unbelief in God are very dangerous principles. Even if one doesn’t believe in immortality he or she will be punished with hell if eternal life really exists. Why should one be punished for something which doesn’t exist for him or her? This doesn’t make sense. One should be punished only for his or her mistakes which are connected with tangible realities or at least with his or her faith.    

    People make many mistakes sometimes with good intentions and they are mostly punished for them during their life on earth. After suffering the consequences of their wrongdoings on earth human beings would have to pay again a very high price for them being punished for the second time for the same deeds with eternal hell. 

After a life of many problems and sometimes sufferance on earth, many sinners would be deemed unworthy for heavens and doomed to hell according to with the classical theistic view of Christianity.

- 1 -

    This double jeopardy is unacceptable and if God can do what He wants being stronger than humankind this by itself doesn’t make things right. Even a child born in another religion than the Christian one or in an atheist family and who died before attaining full discernment and maturity of thinking would be punished for eternity and that for only 14 or 15 years lived on earth. In the narratives of the O.T., many innocent children have died following divine actions. If all stories from the O.T. are as accurate as the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis it wasn’t God killing those children but human imagination.  

   In any case, children from another religion than the Christian one or born in an atheist family would be considered by many Christian followers to be doomed to hell anyway if those children wouldn’t become adult Christians. It would be the fault of their parents for keeping them far from the Christian baptism. 

   Only Jesus is considered to be the Way of salvation and there isn’t another way for eternity. It isn’t only about the name Jesus but more importantly is about the content of His teachings. Jesus thought humankind a set of principle which must be practiced not only professed theoretically. What would be better for salvation to be a Christian only by the name or to practice Jesus’ teachings without the name Christian attached to the person? Jesus’s teachings are universal and they become effective when someone becomes a loving and spiritual person with or without allegiance to a certain religious institution, religious doctrine or dogma. This universality of Jesus’ teachings makes them valid for anyone who practices them. 

   There are many texts in the Bible which can bring us to the conclusion that hell isn’t a real place in which the sinners would spend their eternity. God has said that He had set in front of the Jewish people the life and the death and that He advised them to choose life.

- 2 -

 

image004

 

 

previous-page NEXT-PAGE
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 14:19

II. The first theological consequence

Written by

  

   One of the most important theological consequences when one rightly rejects the concordance between the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis and reality, is the rejection of the creation in seven days and all consequences that derive from that. If the universe and all that it contains hadn’t been created in seven days the Mosaic Law couldn’t have come from God. We have to observe that God cannot lie, according to the Bible.

 

“19 God is not a human being, that he should lie, or a mortal, that he should change his mind. Has he promised, and will he not do it? Has he spoken, and will he not fulfil it?” (Numbers 23; 19 NRSV)  

 

    If God cannot lie He couldn’t have affirmed in the Decalogue that He created the world in seven days if He didn’t do it in that sequence of time. This is the biblical text in which God affirmed that He created the world in seven days:

 

“8 Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9 For six days you shall labour and do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.” (Exodus 20; 8-11 NRSV)  

 

    If those are the words spoken by God directly and if He didn’t create heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them in six days, then either He lied or He never said those things. As God cannot lie the conclusion is that He never said those words and they are only a human invention. In other words, the Mosaic Law doesn’t have a divine origin but has only a human provenance. If the Decalogue doesn’t have a divine origin then all the other laws of the O.T. also have a human source.  

 

- 1 -

 

    The Almighty God didn’t speak to the Jewish people from Mount Sinai or He didn’t say what the Bible maintains that He said, if He didn’t create the cosmos in six days. In this case, the entire story can either be the product of the imagination of the writer of that text or those words were said by another, lesser being than God, another being who can lie, for example, by the representative of an extra-terrestrial civilization. The context in which the Bible says that God would have addressed the ten commands to the Jewish people is very strange and seems like a contact between extra-terrestrials and human beings.   

 

“16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, as well as a thick cloud on the mountain, and a blast of a trumpet so loud that all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God. They took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the LORD had descended upon it in fire; the smoke went up like the smoke of a kiln, while the whole mountain shook violently. 19 As the blast of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses would speak and God would answer him in thunder.” (Exodus 19; 16-19 NRSV)

 

    Thunder and lighting, a thick cloud and a blast of a trumpet very loud, Mount Sinai being wrapped in smoke and the Lord descending upon it in fire while the whole mountain shook violently describes the scene of an extra-terrestrial ship coming down to the earth rather than a spiritual event. This of course is only a speculation but one thing is certain, the world wasn’t created in six days and the nature that we see on Earth today is the product of millions of years of evolution.  God cannot lie but this is not available for the representative of an extra-terrestrial civilization who can lie if he or she intends to dominate the earth. The indication that people needed to wash their clothes and the interdiction not to touch the edge of the mountain could have meant a precaution that the visitors would have taken in order to be protected from germs.   

 

“12 You shall set limits for the people all around, saying, “Be careful not to go up the mountain or to touch the edge of it. Any who touch the mountain shall be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch them, but they shall be stoned or shot with arrows;* whether animal or human being, they shall not live.” When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they may go up on the mountain.’ (Exodus 19; 12-13 NRSV)  

 

    At the same time, the obligation to kill anyone who would have touched the mountain without touching them with the hand is also strange and could have signified an attempt to prevent a possible transmission of foreign germs that could have become disastrous for the human beings. Touching the human beings or animals already infested could have determined a rapid transmission of those pathogenic agents.  In the O.T. God has a material side that indicates toward technologies which are more advanced than the ones existent at the present time on Earth. We can see that in the book of Ezekiel also. If the God of the O.T. is an extra-terrestrial civilization he cannot be what the book of Genesis tells us about Him. Such a civilization couldn’t have created our universe if it dwells in it.

 

 

- 2 -

 

image004

 

 

previous-page NEXT-PAGE
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 14:13

VII. The image of God in the Bible

Written by

    If Adam and Eve aren’t real personages but legendary ones none can be condemned eternally to suffer a punishment in hell because he or she doesn’t believe the factuality of the stories of creation from the Bible. It is unacceptable for someone to be punished for rejecting the alleged facticity of a lie. From the point of view of historical facts, a myth isn’t the truth and everyone has the right to know through science how things really were.

    The classical theism maintains that we should believe that Adam and Eve were historical personages and we should also believe all religious consequences of this assertion. We should believe that Adam and Eve had disobeyed God’s command and for this reason, they would have been punished with death. We can believe in the cross for its moral value based on the sacrificial love even if we don’t believe in the need to be redeemed for the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sins.  

    We are sometimes told that if we don’t believe what organized religion considers the truth we can be damned forever. This doesn’t seem to be right and the reason is that we shouldn’t be forced to believe that a legend is a true story. Nobody should be forced to believe a doctrine or dogma based on a literal interpretation of the creation myths from the book of Genesis.  

    Regarding the texts of the O.T., we are facing two possibilities. Either we consider many of the stories from the O.T. the results of human imagination in which God is depicted in a misleading way, or the O.T is the authentic image of God. In the O.T. God is presented other than the way in which He was described by Jesus. One finds in the narratives of the N.T. that Jesus revealed the Father as being the personification of unconditional love, but according to some texts of the O.T., He did many things which don’t express such love.  

    If the real image of God is the one which can be found in the N.T. and if God is perfect and He loves even His enemies as Jesus has said, then in the O.T. we cannot find Him. God in the O.T. hates His enemies and seeks their destruction. The story with Joshua and Jericho is relevant to this issue.   

“21 Then they devoted to destruction by the edge of the sword all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys.” (Joshua 6; 21 NRSV)   

    Another example is the story which maintains that Saul had been sent to destroy an entire nation, even the animals, and that couldn’t have been an action commanded by God who loves His enemies. 

- 1 -

    In the times of the O.T. God didn’t practice genocide only once with the occasion of the Flood, but several times. The excuse found by some religious devotees is that all those nations had been constituted of sinners. We shouldn’t forget that all the so called sinners were people like anyone else in that age. God didn’t announce His Law amongst those people and He didn’t perform miracles in their midst so He couldn’t have had any pretension for purity from them.   

“21 ‘Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” (Mathew 11; 21 NRSV)   

    God didn’t perform those miracles in Tyre and Sidon, therefore, He didn’t have any basis to expect repentance from them. In spite of that, Tyre was a target for God and it suffered numerous disastrous events.  

“The oracle concerning Tyre. Wail, O ships of Tarshish, for your fortress is destroyed.* When they came in from Cyprus they learned of it.” (Isaiah 23; 1 NRSV)    

    Some devotees would say that only the Jewish people had been chosen by God and had a covenant with Him, and all the other nations of the world didn’t.  Even if the Jewish people had a covenant with God they were nevertheless disobedient to Him many times, probably not much less than other human beings. The whole story is based on the presumption of the existence in reality of Adam and Eve who, being disobedient to God, have given Him the right to judge and condemn everyone, including any nation. God could have decided to destroy a certain nation on the basis that the alleged first human beings would have sinned and through them all human beings were sinners. According to the Bible the price for sin is death. (Romans 6; 23) 

    If we admit the real existence of Adam and Eve there are strong theological consequences and one of them is that all human beings deserve to die in God’s eyes. If they deserve to die there is only one more step toward the admission of eternal hell.  

    If God didn’t create Adam and Eve He isn’t responsible for the human condition but He can, if He wants to, grant eternal life to anyone He wills.

 

- 2 -

 

 image004

 

previous-page NEXT-PAGE

 

 

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 14:16

III. The problem of the original sin

Written by

    In short, the original sin means that all human beings are sinners because Adam and Eve had disobeyed God and had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We have inherited a fallen nature from Adam and Eve which prevents us from living pure lives. The opinions are divided about how deprived our nature is. From total depravation to only a partial deprivation, all Christian theologians except Pelagius agreed that we need the grace of God in order to be saved from eternal death. In the history of Christianity, the opinions differed. Augustine of Hippo was one of the first theologians dealing with original sin:

“In Augustine’s view (termed “Realism”), all of the humanity was really present in Adam when he sinned, and therefore all have sinned. Original sin, according to Augustine, consists of the guilt of Adam which all humans inherit. As sinners, humans are utterly depraved in nature, lack the freedom to do good, and cannot respond to the will of God without divine grace.”278  

For John Cassian, who was another important theologian, man needs God because he isn’t able to reach salvation in his nature:  

“Cassian did not accept the idea of total depravity, on which Martin Luther was to insist. He taught that human nature is fallen or depraved, but not totally. Augustine Casiday states that, at the same time, Cassian “baldly asserts that God’s grace, not human free will, is responsible for ‘everything which pertains to salvation’ – even faith.”279   

    All these ideas start from the book of Genesis in which Adam and Eve were disobedient to God. Those theologians maintain that there is something wrong with human nature, something which cannot be fixed by human effort alone but only by God’s intervention. This is a conception which has persisted through the Reformation:  

“Martin Luther (1483–1546) asserted that humans inherit Adamic guilt and are in a state of sin from the moment of conception. The second article in Lutheranism’s Augsburg Confession presents its doctrine of original sin in summary form: It is also taught among us that since the fall of Adam all men who are born according to the course of nature are conceived and born in sin. That is, all men are full of evil lust and inclinations from their mothers’ wombs and are unable by nature to have true fear of God and true faith in God. Moreover, this inborn sickness and hereditary sin is truly sin and condemns to the eternal wrath of God all those who are not born again through Baptism and the Holy Spirit.”280    

- 1 -

    All human beings regardless of what religious faith they profess or in lack of any religious faith, are condemned to eternal hell because according to the book of Genesis all are the offspring of Adam and Eve, who disobeyed God by eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. As a matter of fact, humankind isn’t the conveyor of Adam and Eve’s sins because these are mythological, not real personages. Something would be wrong if Buddhists or Hindus would have to suffer a punishment for something in which they don’t believe and which is only a mythological narrative.  

There aren’t any reasons to believe that the followers of other religions than Christianity would have to suffer any punishments from God for their beliefs as far as Adam and Eve are only legendary personages. No one inherited any sins from people who never existed on Earth as real human beings.  

John Calvin also referred to the original sin:  

“Original sin, therefore, seems to be a hereditary depravity and corruption of our nature, diffused into all parts of the soul, which first makes us liable to God’s wrath, then also brings forth in us those works which Scripture calls “works of the flesh” (Gal 5:19). And that is properly what Paul often calls sin. The works that come forth from it – such as adulteries, fornications, thefts, hatreds, murders, carousings – he accordingly calls “fruits of sin” (Gal 5:19–21), although they are also commonly called “sins” in Scripture, and even by Paul himself.”281

________________________________________

278https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_sin  

279https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_sin

280 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_sin 

281 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_sin 

- 2 -

 

image004

 

 

previous-page NEXT-PAGE
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 14:15

IV. The problem of evil in the world

Written by

  

    Evil didn’t enter into the world at a certain time; evil as much as good is inscribed in the nature of existence per se. Humankind has learned to discern between good and evil during its history and the process isn’t finished. Many things seemed to be good for many people but they proved, in the end, to be evil. The knowledge of good and evil didn’t come to human beings suddenly after they ate from a tree, and the entire human history is the evidence for that the myth of a tree of the knowledge of good and evil is generated by an authentic human concern. What is good and what is evil for humankind in a long-term perspective? Humankind had tried many possibilities in politics and economics only to discover what is good and what is evil for them, and sometimes paid a high price for this knowledge. The myth according to which by eating from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil one could have gained this discernment and become wise is an absurdity. The entire human experience aspires to find good and to identify evil. One persuasive proof that the story with the tree of knowledge is only a legend is the fact that humankind didn’t receive, from the moment of eating its fruit, the ability to discern between good and evil.

 

    If Adam and Eve had really become wise by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so many historical errors of humankind would have been avoided, but this isn’t the case. Humankind never had this incredible experience of eating from such a tree and consequently didn’t become able to miraculously discern good from evil. If they had such an experience they would have known the difference between good and evil, but all the subsequent human history shows that the opposite is right.

 

    The world history is the proof that humankind never ate from the tree of the knowledge and never knew the difference between good and evil before experiencing it in practical situations in their lives. If humankind had discerned from the beginning of its civilization the difference between good and evil, it wouldn’t have had so many experiences which could have endangered its own existence. They would have behaved much more wisely, being able to always separate the good from the evil.

 

    As a matter of fact, so many wars and social experiences prove that humankind didn’t miraculously receive the ability to discern between good and evil and that the conclusions were drawn post factum. This isn’t about the evil nature of one political leader or another; this is about human nature in general which has displayed along the course of history an incredible penchant for evil.

   

    This has nothing to do with Adam and Eve but with the fight for existence.

 

- 1 -

 

    Gulags, concentration camps, religious fanaticism, mass murders, ethnic cleansing, racism and so on could have been avoided if Adam and Eve had been real personages and if they had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Knowing, in reality, the difference between good and evil would have permitted the avoidance of many evils in the world.

 

    The evil in the world cannot be explained by a so-called Fall of Adam and Eve because no-one can prove that in this world human nature was ever better than it is today. A so-called worsening of human nature in time cannot be identified in the human history. The ancient civilizations were as brutal as the modern ones and human nature was always the same. If real, Adam and Eve would have had a flawed nature and the proof is their disobedience to God. They yielded to an exterior temptation hence they had a sinful nature from the beginning of their existence. If human beings hadn’t had a sinful nature from the beginning of their creation they would have rejected the temptation of the serpent, but the inclination toward disobedience was innate in them. Placing all responsibility on the serpent for the temptation of human beings is one of the most absurd doctrines proposed by commentators, and even the texts of the Bible contradict such a possibility. According to the book of Genesis, human beings would have been punished for their disobedience, therefore, they would have been responsible for their Fall.

 

    If God is good why does He accept so much evil in the world? Either He accepts the evil and therefore He is not that good, or He doesn’t accept it but He cannot do anything against it, consequently He doesn’t have so much power as is usually thought. If God accepted the evil deliberately He wouldn’t be as generous and merciful as He is said to be. In the first case God’s character is put in question and in the second case, His power is in doubt. Which is the truth about the relation between God and evil? Does He accept human suffering or He cannot do anything against it? The explanation given by the book of Genesis is that the fault for the existence of evil in the world belongs to the serpent and to humankind and that God doesn’t have any fault because He is perfect. This interpretation exonerates God from any responsibility; He is good but humankind didn’t understand Him.

 

 

 

- 2 -

 

image004

 

 

 

previous-page NEXT-PAGE
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 14:14

VI. Death, immortality, and redemption

Written by

   

    As I noticed before, humankind hadn’t been created immortal but mortal, according to the book of Genesis. We can know that from the biblical declaration according to which God would have created the tree of life necessary for acquiring eternal life. Why would God have created the tree of life if human beings were created immortal from the beginning? There wouldn’t have been any reason for that. If human beings had been created mortal the animals were also mortal and of course, the plants were mortal by definition if they were the food of the animals and man.

    If that is so, the assertion advanced by the apostle Paul that death had entered into the world as a consequence of humankind’s disobedience to God is wrong. This is enough reason for the rejection of all theology of classical theism. Death didn’t enter into the world because the man didn’t listen to God but He generated mortal human beings. Those human beings could have acceded to eternal life only by eating from the tree of life. After Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God, the tree of life has been guarded by the cherubim in order to prevent the human beings from eating from it and living forever.   

“22 Then the LORD God said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever’— 23, therefore, the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.” (Genesis 3; 22-23 NRSV)

    Even after their disobedience to God, humankind would have been able to become immortal if only they were allowed to eat from the tree of life, and this is the reason why the tree of life was guarded. The idea that humankind had been created immortal but would have died following its disobedience to God isn’t biblical, it is an invention which justifies a false theology:  

“12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned— 13 sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. 14 Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many.” (Romans 5; 12-15 NRSV)   

- 1 -

     Death, contrary to what Apostle Paul says in the epistle to Romans, would have been in the world before Adam and Eve’s alleged disobedience to God and doesn’t have anything to do with that myth. This assertion questions the principle of grace or free gift of salvation. Human salvation is based on the idea of a free gift which compensates Adam’s alleged sin which would have been transmitted to all human beings. If it looks rather unjust that so many people have to suffer for the alleged Adam’s sin even if they didn’t sin in the same way, this injustice is compensated by the free gift of salvation. Those who are condemned for Adam’s sin are forgiven if they believe in Jesus and in this way the injustice of the transmission of the consequences of Adam’s sin is eradicated. 

    Because Adam is only a mythological personage the free gift of salvation doesn’t compensate anything because none can be punished for Adam’s sin. The salvation isn’t a free gift somehow owed by God to humankind but it is a possibility of a human being to improve himself or herself through a personal relation with God and through new birth. If Adam and Eve are a legend, personal faith in God doesn’t have anything to do with the narratives promoting that story. This, of course, has huge theological consequences regarding what we mean by grace of God.  

The assertion from the epistles to the Romans which says: 

     “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin…” is false. Even if sin would have come into the world through one man, death didn’t come through sin but had emerged before the apparition of human beings on Earth. According to the book of Genesis, plants were created on the third day and animals on the sixth day before the creation of humankind, hence plants and animals died before the apparition of humankind on Earth. From the scientific point of view, fossils of dead animals which were discovered are millions of years old, hence they are dated before the emergence of first human beings on our planet.  

      There are insects which live only a few hours, such as some species of mayflies. These types of insects, being created by God, would have died before the creation of humankind and their Fall. Other insects or worms would have died in accidental deaths, being swallowed or crushed by dinosaurs or by other animals. In the waters, large animals such as whales would have swallowed a huge amount of small fish, killing them before the creation of humankind and its disobedience to God.

  

- 2 -

 

image004

 

 

  

previous-page NEXT-PAGE
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 14:15

V. Eve and the state of women in society

Written by

  “21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman,* for out of Man* this one was taken.’ (Genesis 2; 21-23 NRSV)  

    This biblical text generates much confusion in theology. There are different opinions about the status of the women in the Christian churches based on the Apostle’s Paul epistles. Some of these epistles are considered to be authored by Paul but others are seen as inauthentic, using only Paul’s name. For example, Paul says in Romans that:   

“10 For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.” (Romans 10; 10 NRSV)  

    On the other side, 1 Timothy requires for women to give birth to children as a condition of their salvation.   

- 1 -

“11Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. 12 I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.” (1Timothy 2; 15 NRSV)  

    All assertions are wrong in the quoted text. According to the book of Genesis, chapter 1, man and woman were created simultaneously on the sixth day of creation. At the same time, Adam and Eve were both deceived because they didn’t know the difference between good and evil before eating from the tree, according to the same book, chapter 2.  

    In order to reach salvation, a woman must bear children, but that principle is on a collision course with Paul’s doctrine of salvation which, according to him, comes through faith and faith alone. In point of fact, is very hard to accept such an inconsistency in Paul’s epistles. In 1 Timothy chapter 2 women are directed to give birth to children in order to be saved. Moreover, these children must be faithful if their mothers aspire to be saved. Conditioning the salvation of a woman by the faith of her children is contrary to the principle of individual responsibility and salvation through individual faith. A mother cannot be totally responsible for her children who are independent persons and have their free choice of faith.  In another epistle, Paul recommended to the virgins not to marry, and it is hard to reconcile the two texts:   

“25 Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that, in view of the impending* crisis, it is well for you to remain as you are. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife.” (1 Corinthians 7; 25-27 NRSV)  

    A woman will be saved through childbearing, but a virgin is better if she remains as she is. Is the virgin not of the same gender as a woman? If women truly can be saved only through childbearing, all women must be married, including virgins.  Apostle Paul himself overcame, in some of his undisputed epistles, the differences between male and female, in matters of faith.    

“28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3; 28-29 NRSV)  

    If there isn’t any difference between male and female, why are the females conditioned for their salvation by the birth of children, but the fathers are not? Paul continuously attached a decisive importance to faith for salvation and this conditionality on deeds, on childbearing, doesn’t seem to be Paul’s at all. It is very important to notice that the alleged facticity of the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis reflected on the way women were seen in the Judeo Christian traditions, hence in the societies in which these religious traditions were and still are influential. Many inequities against women during millennia have to be explained by the story of Adam and Eve in which Eve is seen as second in importance to man.

 

- 2 -

 

image004

 

 

previous-page NEXT-PAGE

Content of God's False Mirror

coperta

buy-on-amazon

Content of Contradictions in the Bible Authenticated

Contradictions-in-the-Bible-cover-book

buy-on-amazon

Philosophical Articles

Search

Theological Articles

Visitors Counter

059932
Today
Yesterday
This Week
Last Week
This Month
Last Month
All days
50
1877
6638
46321
15321
28335
59932

Your IP: 54.91.38.173
2017-12-14 04:18

sitemap