Contradictions in the Bible
I started this study asking a fundamental question: What kind of modifications, if any, happen in the content of a personal Christian faith when one has to admit by the force of evidence that the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis are neither factual nor inspired by God? From my point of view, we now have an answer to this question. Knowing that the first 11 chapters of the Bible are only mythology and not facts, the entire biblical foundation of one’s faith is removed. The first 11 chapters of the Bible are essential for the Jewish and for the Christian faith but also for Islam which recognizes also that all of humankind was created from the first two human beings, Adam and Eve. All three monotheistic religions are affected when one realizes that the story of Adam and Eve is a myth and doesn’t have anything to do with reality.
God didn’t create the universe and mankind in six days and the acknowledgment of this situation casts doubt on all theologies, regardless to what religion one belongs, which are based on this foundation – it invalidates their basis. A theology built on a false foundation cannot be other than misguided in its conclusions.
Spirituality understood as a personal relationship with God doesn’t suffer damages but religions cannot be trusted in what they say about the origins of the universe and of humankind. If there is a relationship between God and human beings and I believe that there is, this isn’t configured as it is described by the three monotheistic religions. God didn’t say the word and the universe didn’t come to be as a consequence of the spoken word. God didn’t form the first man from dust or clay as the potter does with his statuettes.
The implications for this change of supposition are huge and I only started to address them, but the complexity of this discussion is still to be dealt with.
- 520 -
If Adam and Eve are not real personages the faith in God isn’t the same and the relationship between Him and every human being isn’t placed on His authority based on His suzerainty over the world any more, but only on love.
If God is a Creator we don’t have any revelation of how He created the world or if He created it, because the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis cannot be trusted and there aren’t other biblical texts to replace them. The supposition that God created the world is based on nothing and is only an article of faith chosen by the believers. It doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist or that He isn’t all-powerful. We don’t know anything about the creation of the world by a divine Person and we can explain the origin of the cosmos without any divine implication in it.
If God didn’t create humankind from mud, the evolution of the human beings is based on a long story starting many millions or even billions of years ago if one takes in consideration the first forms of life existent on Earth. God didn’t create man but He could have influenced the apparition of life on Earth by generating the right conditions for life. At the same time, we don’t have any proof or any revelation that He influenced in any way the apparition of the world.
God didn’t create man but he can help human beings to better their moral statute and can give to each man and woman a new spiritual nature which is closely linked with a new vision on life. If God is the Consciousness of the entire existence, when He connects our consciousness with His Consciousness, our minds open and at that stage we see the world differently. We can see our fellow human beings with God’s eyes, in a new perspective; we can love the others as ourselves. Having access to the universal Consciousness, our own way of thinking improves greatly and this is a kind of out-of-body experience. It is an out-of-body experience lived “in the body” in the sense that the universal Consciousness dwells in our body in unity with our consciousness. In this way, our consciousness extends out of our body as far as the universal Consciousness allows us to go. This goes farther than a religious faith which doesn’t experience direct contact with God’s infinity but which is based only on religious dogmas and doctrines. Spirituality is based on a personal experience with God, religions are based mainly on the experiences of others which they try to transmit through religious traditions.
- 521 -
The spiritual experience is more like a kind of “out of our biological instincts” experience. All human beings can communicate among themselves through the universal Consciousness in which the individual human consciousness finds a place in harmony with all other individual consciousness. A spiritual connection between human beings happens when the universal Consciousness dwells within the consciousness of those human beings.
The experimentation of the faith in God is an “out of human nature” experience, in line with out-of-body experiences or near-death experiences, in which we become one with the universal Consciousness and we gain a higher awareness of the universe in our minds.
The second chapter shows that it is a characteristic feature of the book of Genesis to present a reversed order of creation. Everything which would have been created by God would have been realised with the effects before the causes, and that gives a clear sign that the author or authors of the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis had in mind certain stories to be written by them. After writing those stories they tried to find justifications for those events. In other words, the causes for the events described by the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis are false, they are pure imagination intended to explain events which were predetermined by the ends followed by the writers. There isn’t a logical determination between causes and effects.
Through the book of Genesis one is asked to believe unbelievable stories. The beginning of all things started with a primeval sea which in mythology is a symbol of the chaos and all was covered by waters until the second day, when the dome of the sky was created. The earth was beneath the waters until the second day, surrounded on all sides and probably a huge pressure was on it. We don’t know exactly how thick the layer of water starting from the earth’s surface was but it was thick enough to cover the space occupied in the present time by the sky. We can imagine it as having a huge thickness. If it had been a thin layer of water, above that water would have been empty space, but this isn’t what the book of Genesis says. The primeval sea would have occupied the entire space of the universe, including the terrestrial atmosphere, because until the second day when the dome of the sky had been set in place there wouldn’t have been any empty space able to separate the waters from above from the waters from the earth.
- 522 -
Even if the waters from above were in continuity with the waters covering the earth, a wind from God swept the surface of the waters. It is a very contradictory image. There wasn’t any sky or the wind swept the surface of the waters, both cannot exist at the same time. In order for the wind to be able to sweep the surface of the waters the earthly atmosphere would have needed to be already in place but according to the book of Genesis it wasn’t. Without the sky, there wasn’t any surface of the waters.
According to the book of Genesis, in spite of the lack of sky, God created light and consequently day and night, even if this light had to travel through water in order to reach Earth. Under water the light travels over 200 metres with great difficulty so any light under water would have been unable to illuminate the earth in order to generate a standard day.
At the same time, taking into consideration that such an alleged light would have had to be fixed, the earth couldn’t have spun around its axis being surrounded by waters and being under their enormous pressure if they filled the entire sky. If this picture of the beginning depicted by the book of Genesis was true, the creation of the first day and night in these conditions would have been impossible. God couldn’t have created heavens, understood as the entire cosmos, on the first day, because there wasn’t any place for them. The dome of the sky was created only on the second day and with the lack of the sky, heavens and light had to be created under the waters of the primeval sea.
If we imagine the earth at the beginning as a lonely sphere covered by water hovering in an infinite space, that is an incorrect image. The Bible doesn’t say that. The correct image is one of a universal sea which covered everything, the earth and the place later occupied by the sky at the same time. The earth was a formless void, it didn’t have any shape and it was covered completely with waters which extended much beyond its limits. In order for the days and nights to exist the existence of the sky would have been absolutely necessary but the dome of the sky wasn’t in place when the Bible says that the first day and night were created.
Another necessary condition for the existence of days and nights would have been the possibility for the earth to spin around its axis. How could earth have spun around its axis if it was formless and under water?
- 523 -
God couldn’t have created days and nights before separating the waters from above from the waters which covered the earth, liberating in this way the earth from the enormous pressure of the waters which remained above the sky. After all, the dome of the sky had the function of generating a proper environment for life on Earth.
Everything had been created in a reversed order according to the book of Genesis. The causes had been placed after the effects and the conditions for events were such that if they had been real they would have made those events impossible. First was created the light under the waters of the primeval sea, after that was created the dome of the sky, and only after that the sun was also created. Following the creation of the dry land the plants had been created but they were set in place before the creation of the celestial bodies, even if it is known that the heavy elements necessary for the existence of plants are produced inside the stars. The daylight would have been created twice, on the first day of the creation and on the fourth day.
No man could know God if he or she uses as a mental image what the Bible says about the creation. Such a story portrays a confused God, with no logic and no respect for His own laws which He had established for nature. The book of Genesis shows us an irrational and absurd way of creating nature. The presence of the stories of creation in Pentateuch is a motif of unbelief for many people. These narratives gather in a syncretic way many sources from different Near-Eastern mythologies but without proper respect for their harmonious integration in the same collection of texts. The stories of the creation from the book of Genesis are a reflection of a now outdated human understanding of how the universe works.
The book of Genesis is the expression of a certain vision about the universe, a static, not evolving universe, in which once the different parts are set in their place, they will stay there forever or at least until God destroys the entire work. This is a false presupposition. The universe is evolving, it isn’t an already finished work.
I reckon that in our days none can see the universe in the same manner as it was seen by the writers of the book of Genesis. It is common knowledge that the universe evolves, even if very slowly, but nevertheless it changes visibly. Stars die and others are created and the distances between them are modifying in the process of the expansion of the universe. God didn’t finish His creation in the sixth day of creation as is wrongfully stated by the Bible.
- 524 -
If the creation wasn’t finished in six days, contrary to what the book of Genesis tells us, the existence of the Sabbath, the rest day on the seventh day, doesn’t make any sense. The rest day is a corollary of a finished work, the Bible says, but the work is not finished yet. God didn’t finish the cosmos during the fourth day; it continues to evolve over the time, hence the existence of the rest day doesn’t make any sense.
The two stories of creation don’t refer to one another and cannot be seen as completing each other. Each of the two stories was written in different time periods and was interested in particular in a different subject. Both stories contain the creation of the earth and heavens, the plants and animals and humankind, but in a different manner. They simply are two different stories with two different emphases which were seen as being similar by the final redactor of the book of Genesis. The first story, from Genesis chapter 1, gives a more general account regarding the creation of mankind in the context of a much broader and confused universal setting. The second story, from Genesis chapter 2, is not based on the first story from Genesis chapter 1. After offering cosmological indications Genesis chapter 2 gives particular attention to the apparition of mankind on Earth. The way of presenting this thematic by Genesis chapter 2 cannot be integrated harmoniously in Genesis chapter 1 because of their incongruous details.
Genesis chapter 1 and chapter 2 try to explain different things not being in harmony with one another. They have in common the creation of plants, animals, and mankind but present their creation very differently, contradicting each other in the manner of their creation and the order of their making.
Beyond this visible contradiction, what is the theological difference between Genesis chapter 1 and Genesis chapter 2? Genesis chapter 1 doesn’t give us any real or truthful information about the creation of the universe but tells us that mankind is the image of God. Contrary to that, Genesis chapter 2 shows man in the same category as animals but with the chance to be summoned by God for a higher destiny. In Genesis chapter 1 God created humankind in His likeness from the beginning but in Genesis chapter 2, mankind was not created in His likeness but became like Him only after eating fruit from the tree of knowledge in spite of His will.
- 525 -
In Genesis chapter 2, human beings would have been deceived by an animal, a snake, but that would have been strange if they really did have dominion over all animals. Equating the snake with Satan needed an important theological turn and it isn’t demonstrated that the snake was really intended from the beginning to be a personification of the devil, and was not only a mythological personage as many others in the Middle-Eastern mythologies.
It is hard to accept that Genesis chapter 2 is a continuation of Genesis chapter 1 because they tell a different story. In day six in Genesis chapter 1, when humans were created they were blessed and ask to multiply on Earth. If Genesis chapter 2 really is a continuation of Genesis chapter 1 we should see no obstacle to the geographical expansion of human beings on Earth, following their multiplication. Nevertheless, the Garden of Eden in Genesis chapter 2 was a geographic delimitation for human beings before the Fall, it was their place to live, designated for them.
The paradise, the Garden of Eden, would have been a special place unlike the rest of the universe. Creating humankind to live in paradise or giving them the entire earth isn’t the same thing and this difference separates once more Genesis chapter 1 from Genesis chapter 2.
Leaving the Garden was a punishment, consequently we can imagine that humankind wouldn’t have left it unless they were forced to do that. There were two different places assigned to human beings in Genesis chapter 1 and chapter 2, the entire earth and the Garden of Eden. Between the Garden of Eden and the outside world would have been a certain kind of boundary which could have been guarded when needed by an angel.
If the stories of creation weren’t only legends and if the fruit trees existed all over the earth, as recorded in chapter 1, there wouldn’t have been any difference between the whole earth and the Garden of Eden. We have the delimitations of the Garden described in Genesis chapter 2. The Garden of Eden would have been a Garden inside another garden but that is nonsensical. About the disappearance of the Garden and the tree of life from the surface of the earth, the Bible doesn’t say any word.
If the more general record is Genesis chapter 1 and the more detailed is Genesis chapter 2, the more general had to anticipate in its message the details given in Genesis chapter 2. The problem is that the two stories don’t harmonise well with each other for many reasons.
- 526 -
One example is that in Genesis chapter 2, vegetation wouldn’t have appeared on Earth before the presence of man but in Genesis chapter 1 all plants would have been created before humankind. Nevertheless, Adam wouldn’t have been able to work all the fields of the earth by himself, hence such a determination for the existence of vegetation in the fields is absurd. To that, must be added the absence of rain which could have been a real cause for the inexistence of any kind of vegetation, cultivated or uncultivated. In Genesis chapter 2 the only place for vegetation was the Garden of Eden, watered by a river and being the home for man.
According to Genesis chapter 2, only if the rain had come to Earth before the Flood and the entire earth had been populated, would the vegetation have covered the whole surface of the planet. The rain didn’t happen on Earth until the Flood, according to the book of Genesis. The defence that the text in Genesis chapter 2, verse 5, refers only to cultivated plants, is weak because the expressions “plant of the field” and “herb of the field” comprise in them the entire vegetation in the fields and usually many plants and herbs grow in the fields uncultivated.
It is clear that in Genesis chapter 1, animals were created before humankind and in Genesis chapter 2 they were created after man. The undeniable proof is that in chapter 2 God expressed the will to create animals in the future tense in relation to the creation of man. “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” After this promise “out of the ground the LORD God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air”. The speculation with the tenses of the verb “make”, made by some harmonists, is another desperate attempt to justify the unjustifiable. This despair shows how important those details are for someone who wants to affirm the infallibility of the Bible. The book of Genesis isn’t infallible; it presents two different stories of creation unconnected in a harmonious way but in conflict with each other through many contradictions.
The creation of mankind is described in two different chapters of the first book of the Bible, chapter 1 and chapter 2 of Genesis. In chapter 1, God had created mankind together, male, and female. All animals were created in pairs, male and female, and so were the human beings, says Genesis chapter 1.
- 527 -
This logic was reversed by Genesis chapter 2 in which God initially had created man alone and only after that He started to look for a partner for him. God wouldn’t have created man alone in chapter 2 if He wanted him to multiply. It doesn’t make sense. All animals had been created in pairs and only man was created alone, according to Genesis chapter 2. God knew that animals had to be created in pairs in order to multiply but He didn’t know that humankind had to be created also in a pair in spite that He endowed man with the same reproductive system as that of many animals. It is impossible to see God trying to find a helper partner for man amongst animals.
How would God have ignored that no animal would be a good helper for man? Didn’t God create the human species from a plan? Did He create randomly, not knowing that man and woman should form a pair, like all other living beings? Did God really try to find a helper for man amongst the animals? Of course, He didn’t. The story is a fable but unfortunately if taken literally as many believers do it creates very important theological consequences based on incredible distortions of reality.
In Genesis chapter 2 God had created humankind apparently without knowing what He was doing. The whole story is based on mythological imagination intending to show the dependent situation of woman on man and to explain the presence of evil in the world. It also refers to an alleged cause for sufferings caused by birth and to the so-called motivation for difficulties encountered in the process of agricultural work. In those days, the work of the land was so hard that it was considered to be a punishment from God, but through human knowledge these difficulties diminished very much in time.
“Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh”. Who said this phrase, from Genesis 2; 24? What father and what mother had been involved? No father and no mother had been in existence when man pronounced that phrase. Only God could have been considered a Father for the first pair but no mother was involved. Adam couldn’t have known that humankind would be generated through fathers and mothers so the statement attributed to him about fathers and mothers cannot be but false, because when he allegedly made that declaration he couldn’t have had children with his wife.
- 528 -
The combination of Genesis chapter 1 and chapter 2 with the aim to create one comprehensible story of creation is impossible. The details and the underlining philosophy of the two stories are incompatible with each other. God created a very good world, in Genesis chapter 1, but man is responsible for the evil in the world, according to Genesis chapter 3. That is a bad philosophy. If Genesis chapter 1 opens the understanding for Genesis chapter 2 and chapter 3, then in Genesis chapter 1 the world was not very good because it contained the germ for the Fall of man in it. Only if one sees Genesis chapter 1 and chapter 2 as two different stories of creation can this problem be solved.
The Bible is factually wrong when it says that there was a time when all animals ate only plants. Through this text its human author wanted to introduce the idea of a peaceful paradisiacal world before Adam and Eve sinned. There wouldn’t have been death in God’s creation until Adam and Eve disobeyed Him. God is good and He didn’t like killings; predation, and death came as a consequence of Adam and Eve’s Fall and they are responsible for killing and predation in the animal world as well as in the human reality. To allot all responsibility to humankind’s Fall for the way in which the nature works is nothing but absurdity. The animal world doesn’t function according to rules of morality and such norms belong to humankind as an important attribute, but having no connection with the way in which animals behave. To relate animal behaviour with human morality and with obedience of humankind to God is nonsensical.
The stories of animal creation by God don’t have anything to do with reality. God, through nature, generated life and death from the beginning of life on Earth. The evolution of living nature had started with very small and simple forms of life which died long before the apparition of first humanoids on Earth. Some of those forms of life are imbedded in rocks and their age is much older than that of the first human beings.
There are plenty of animals which don’t feed mainly on green plants and never did. Their biological structure, such as dentition, stomach, intestines, claws, prove that clearly. There is a dilemma which weighs heavily in the balance of the truthfulness of the biblical texts. God either created all animal kinds or species and accordingly He created carnivores also, or He didn’t create all animal kinds or species and many of them were generated by nature through evolution.
- 529 -
Either of these two cases nullifies the reality of the biblical texts referring to the creation of animals.
Creationism doesn’t allow macro-evolution but only variations inside every species. At the same time, carnivorous animals are structured in such a way that they couldn’t have fed mainly on plants before the Flood, as the Bible says; their species are different from herbivore species. The Bible also says that God finished His creation in six days, so all species of animals had to originate from that period because after that nothing else was created. The supposed transformation which implied the change of a herbivorous animal in a carnivore is profound and not only a variation inside one species or another. If God created the carnivores from the beginning and they ate meat from the first day that means that death entered the creation before the creation of humans and of their disobedience. It is not Adam and Eve who attracted the death in God’s creation but the existence of the first predators and other natural causes.
There are many reasons to believe that God didn’t create animals and plants to be immortal. Adam’s disobedience was followed by the prohibition to eat from the tree of life. If they were created immortal Adam and Eve didn’t need to eat from the tree of life in order to gain immortality. If humans were created mortal, animals also were created in the same way. If mortality was not a problem in creation there was no reason for the interdiction of the use of animal meat for food. If animal meat was eaten by other animals from the beginning of their existence on Earth, death didn’t enter into creation as the result of Adam and Eve’s sins. If death was always present in the creation there isn’t any reason to believe that Adam and Eve would have been punished with death by God for disobedience to Him. Death wasn’t a punishment but a natural thing in the creation. If Adam and Eve weren’t punished with death they wouldn’t have been punished at all by God. Their leaving the Garden of Eden and the prohibition of reaching the eternal life weren’t punishments, but the natural consequences of their choice. They preferred to suffer negative consequences and have knowledge rather than live eternally without it. At the same time, no-one can live eternally in heaven if he or she isn’t completely obedient to God. This is the conclusion of the fables of creation from the book of Genesis.
- 530 -
If human beings had voluntarily chosen their historical evolution and died according to their mortal nature, the idea of an original sin is irrational. Choosing freely a path in life couldn’t have been a sin before God because that way was opened to them by Him. Choosing freely in itself is never a sin because there isn’t any sin in freedom per se. Nevertheless, all choices have consequences which aren’t the results of a sin but of a particular decision or another. If human beings decide to go on their own, as allegedly Adam and Eve would have done, they inevitably would be confronted with many problems. If they wanted to live in ignorance and to submit entirely to God, they would have been rewarded with protection and eternal life. If death wasn’t a punishment for the first human beings it also isn’t a retribution for any other individual, but it is only a natural consequence for the choice of refusing to totally obey God. Complete obedience of humankind was rejected in the mythological narrative of Adam and Eve from the book of Genesis.
Another obvious absurd allegation of the book of Genesis is the implicit negation of the absolute necessity of the ecosystems of the earth. Nature exists inside ecosystems in which plants and animals are intertwined. Predators have a very important role to play in ecosystems and without them the natural balance is gravely affected. If all animals ate plants between creation and the Flood, considering the number of such animals and the large size of some of them, the plant kingdom couldn’t have survived. Without predators, the herbivores would have multiplied in an uncontrollable way and the quantity of vegetation couldn’t have covered the nutritional needs of so many animals.
Even the classification between plants and animals, made by the book of Genesis, is not correct. There are other living beings which are neither plants nor animals. Those living beings, such as bacteria, don’t eat green plants, even if they were created by God. There isn’t such an acknowledgement in the first chapter of the book of Genesis.
The book of Genesis is filled with contradictions and is far from explaining the origins of the world. It is strange that in only two pages of the Bible are contained so many contradictory and absurd messages. The image which is given by the stories of creation from the book of Genesis about God is contrary to the representation which one expects of the Creator of the universe.
- 531 -
God couldn’t inspire such contradictions to human beings because He didn’t want to deceive humankind. There are many stories in the Bible written over centuries, using the same symbols but in a contradictory way. There is a continuation in the use of the symbols as such but these symbols are not utilised in a consistent manner. The continuation in the use of the symbols generates the appearance of continuity in the Bible, but is only a superficial impression. For example, making offerings to God is also a symbol which is used in other religions as well.
There are many religions on the earth practicing some kind of sacrifices to deities or which practised them in the past. Older religions than the Jewish one had practiced animal sacrifices long before Moses’ laws and if we admit that such religions weren’t inspired by God we also have to recognise that animal sacrifices to deities aren’t necessarily the result of divine inspiration. Religion wasn’t invented by Jews and its roots are as old as human civilization.
Why would God have used the same system of symbols comprised in ritual sacrifices of animals if He is totally different from any other deity invented by humankind? It is hard to believe that God would have used a system of symbols which was invented and used by humankind before Moses’ laws and which is deemed to be pagan by Christianity, the sacrifices of animals to appease God’s justice. One can say that God had used a human invention just to make easy the conveyance of His message. The problem is that so many killings of animals generate the image of God being bloodthirsty and this is of course a distortion for He who upholds the highest standard of love.
Abel would also make an animal sacrifice to God. Later, when the Jewish people started to become more mature, less bloody sacrifices were also accepted, for example offerings of cereals, but until then only bloody sacrifices had been admissible and we can see that in the story of Cain and Abel, of Noah, or of Abraham where the objects of sacrifices were all animals. As a matter of fact, animals cannot replace human beings in any way because they don’t possess consciousness and cannot be considered responsible for their deeds or someone else’s actions.
God in the book of Genesis would have sacrificed the first animals on the planet, taking their skins and giving them as garments to mankind.
- 532 -
From this alleged situation many conclude that animal sacrifices could have covered human sin in the past. If Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel are fairy tales this initial sacrifice of the first animals is also a legend.
It is possible that the story of Cain and Abel was inserted in the texts of Pentateuch after the establishment of Moses’ laws in order to relate them with the creation of the world and of humankind, in this way strengthening their legitimacy. In the stories of Noah and the Flood we also have a later insertion because in one of the versions of the stories Noah took more than one pair of animals from each kind. The writer understood that Noah needed more than one pair of clean animals on the ark if they were to be sacrificed to God after the Flood and at the same time if survive on Earth.
The idea that God had high moral standards and He tried to impose them on the Jewish people through the Mosaic Law is contradicted by the book of Genesis where such high moral standards are disregarded. Incest was seen in the Mosaic Law as a very low moral standard and that is entirely understandable. At the same time, the way in which the book of Genesis tells us about the creation and multiplication of humankind, it is not only false but also profoundly immoral and it is criticised severely in the Mosaic Law.
The first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis are in an irreconcilable contradiction with the rest of the Bible from a moral point of view and the construction of an entire theology on its basis cannot be but wrong. An acceptable theology would have to discard the factuality of the book of Genesis and reinterpret it as a metaphor with many possible meanings. The transformation of an alleged factuality of the stories of creation into a religious dogma with moral and social implications is something which doesn’t do any good to so many people with an honest personal faith in God.
The last bastion of the defenders of the biblical story about the multiplication of the human races is the idea that the genetic baggage possessed by Adam and Eve was “perfect” or near perfection, and for this reason any inbreeding couldn’t have been damaging for humankind. Being so good, the genetic package of Adam and Eve didn’t need to suffer modifications. On the other side this is an inept idea. The presence of many races, developed from the same genetic material, is proof that important genetic modifications happened during the time.
- 533 -
That means that the initial genetic material wouldn’t have been “perfect” and it would have needed modifications. All genetic modifications, according to the biblical texts, are a transformation from superior to inferior, from perfect to imperfect. Is the existence of many human races the proof of a diminished value of the genetic material of humankind? It is not such proof but the proponents of this unsuitable idea imply just that.
Immediately after their creation people would have lived up to 900 years but the lifespan diminished, gradually reaching 120 years. If the stories of creation had been real, wouldn’t this reduction of the lifespan be undisputable proof that multiplication through incest was extremely damaging for humankind? The stories of creation aren’t true and much research has proven that the lifespan of humankind has increased, gradually becoming what it is today. If the stories of creation would reflect the real way in which humankind has appeared on Earth, God would be responsible for humankind’s bad state of health, but He is not responsible precisely because humankind’s multiplication wasn’t done by incest but in the ways described by the theory of human evolution. The stories of creation are the biggest accuser of God, charging Him with an immense responsibility which in reality doesn’t belong to Him.
The Bible is contradictory about the issue of incest. It is seen as the only manner of human multiplication but also as a disgrace and an abomination. The two perspectives are incompatible with one another. If incest is a disgrace and an abomination the development of all human races is a disgrace and an abomination also, but allegedly God created humankind in His likeness and therefore He couldn’t have programmed human beings to multiply through incest. God, according to the Bible, has high moral principles which are universal and absolute. God doesn’t change His principles from one day to another and what one day is an instrument of His creation couldn’t be a disgrace another day. God wouldn’t have used incest for the multiplication of humankind and it is impossible to accept that He used a disgraceful method in order to attain this purpose.
When studying the past some researchers noticed that many technological achievements cannot be explained by the common level of human knowledge which would have been acquired by humankind several thousand years ago.
- 534 -
The “sons of God” could be extra-terrestrials who visited the earth in the past, who taught humankind how to use tools, metals, and other kinds of knowledge. The book of Enoch speaks about this knowledge transfer clearly. This book has been considered to be acceptable by many fathers of the Church. From the beginning of the book of Genesis this transfer of knowledge to humankind wasn’t seen as a good thing by God. Starting with the tree of knowledge, which attracted human punishment, and with the “sons of God” who were chastised for giving knowledge to humankind and for mixing with the “daughters of men” and ending with the suspicions and persecutions against some medieval scientists, human knowledge was considered to be in opposition to religious beliefs. This opposition, which is artificial, is well known in ancient mythologies. For example, in Greek mythology, Prometheus helped people, giving them knowledge.
The Bible follows the same principle according to which God was angry with the “sons of God” and besides other motives, one reason would have been that they increased the knowledge of humankind. God had created humankind in His image and after that He became unhappy that human beings wanted to be like Him, knowing good and evil. He created humankind in His likeness but tried to prevent human beings having the same kind of knowledge as He has. Creation of human beings in God’s likeness without the right to be like Him, knowing good and evil, is nonsense. Without the knowledge of good and evil humankind couldn’t have been like God in any way and this is because human beings couldn’t have been moral beings without such knowledge.
The “sons of God” from chapter 6 of Genesis cannot be angels because angels are spiritual and not material beings and they don’t have human DNA. If they aren’t endowed by God with capacity to procreate and are not divided into two genders, they surely wouldn’t have married the “daughters of man”. When taking human bodies the angels would have also received human DNA and that would have excluded the creation of other kind of beings than normal humans. The “sons of God” would have been material beings very similar to human beings, and having a compatible DNA with them. The possibility of their existence is strengthened by many testimonies about possible extra-terrestrial visits of alien civilizations on Earth in the past and in our days. The episode with the “sons of God” is probably the only text out of the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis that has some relationship with reality, but probably very loose.
- 535 -
Chapter 6 of the book of Genesis presents God as being concerned with His own creation and ready to undo it. An important role in God’s decision to annihilate humankind would have been played by the existence of the “sons of God” who would have contributed essentially to humankind’s attitude of taking distance from God through their knowledge.
Let’s us imagine the door of Noah’s ark opened and in a very long queue tens of thousands of domestic and wild animals waiting quietly to enter into the boat. Elephants or worms, birds and big cats, dinosaurs, hippopotami and so on, all waiting peacefully in the queue to come to the door to go through it and finally to take their place in a cage in one of the three decks of the ark. Only human beings could have been so organised, but not the animals.
Every wild animal without bulling or killing other animals would have taken its place in the queue, waiting for hours or even days to board the ark. Lions, tigers, and many predatory animals would have queued alongside sheep and rabbits all in good harmony. This is an idealistic, not a realistic image, but is the only possible version if Noah’s Flood is fact, not fable. Otherwise, in the real world lions and tigers and other predators would have eaten the pairs of cattle waiting to enter the ark and most species of animals wouldn’t have successfully entered the ark alive.
If the earth was filled with violence and inequity, as the book of Genesis states, and animals also would have been punished for that inequity, we can imagine that carnivorous animals would have already been in action on Earth generating that violence. A climate of violence and inequity, described by the Bible as existent before the Flood and all animals being herbivores and living in peace with one another are two contradictory theses.
As if knowing their places in advance, wild animals would have entered through the door and followed Noah or a member of his family to their cages on the ark similar to pets going after their master. In the case of many carnivorous animals this image induced by the book of Genesis is absurd because it is known that such animals would have attacked human beings. All animals including the wild animals such as dangerous snakes would have waited in peace for the human command in spite of the situation that one snake would have tempted humankind, and between human beings and snakes would have been enmity.
- 536 -
This image is totally unrealistic and is based on the false presumption contained by the book of Genesis that wild animals would have been under human dominion.
Animals would have been gathered to this meeting through unknown means and the polar bears would have needed a few months to come to the boat from the Arctic. Kangaroos would have come from Australia, being transported by a commercial boat; lions from Africa, tigers from Bengali and so on would have travelled in unknown conditions from the places where they lived to the boat. One would say that probably this is an image from a fable because something like that could have never happened in reality. Wild animals cannot behave like pets and cannot travel like human beings.
If God couldn’t have tamed the human nature during a long period of time how could He have domesticated and endowed with high intelligence the animals of the earth, including the less sophisticated ones, to allow them to make the trip to the ark? If even the human beings opposed resistance to God when He wanted to bring them out from Egypt to another land, how could He have convinced wild animals to go to the ark? Animals don’t possess consciousness and their domestication is a long and sometimes very difficult process. There are many problems with the description of the Flood by the book of Genesis.
It is obvious that there are two stories of the Flood and not just one in the book of Genesis. That can bring one to the conclusion that one of these stories has been inspired by God but the other one is the product of human imagination. The problem is to know which has been inspired and which hasn’t. It is impossible that both stories would have been inspired by God because they divert one from another in important ways. Most likely none of these stories has been inspired by God because they both enclose many contradictions and absurdities. Both stories are two versions of the same myth about the universal Flood. These stories create an unfavourable image of God who is represented as an undecided Person, ready to commit mass murder which He afterwards would have regretted.
In reality, God didn’t commit the atrocity presented by the book of Genesis in the stories of the Flood because such a universal Deluge never happened.
- 537 -
The evidence for that is the existence of the natural world as we know it today, but which would have disappeared following a universal Flood if that would have happened under the conditions described by Genesis. The nature would have had to start the process of recreating life on Earth again. All the plants would have been covered by a deep layer of water and the light wouldn’t have been able to reach them beyond 200m. In such a situation, all plants would have died and that catastrophe would have attracted the extinction of all animals and human beings due to a lack of available food. Even the sources of fresh water would have been affected by the mixture with the salted water from the oceans. The regeneration of plants on Earth from dormant seeds, if it happened under those unfavourable conditions, would have taken time which wouldn’t have been available for starving herbivorous animals coming out from the ark, and more likely such dormant seeds would have been eaten by so many hungry birds after the Flood.
About the dynamic of the waters of the Flood, most translations use the expression “high mountains” rather than “high hills”. That is probably the most accurate translation but high signifies the same idea, no matter if one uses the notions of hill or of mountain. All things would have had an important size before the Flood, inanimate or animate things. How could a 200m hill be described as high if the height of a dinosaur could have reached 40m or more at the time? Most likely the high mountains would have had the height we know today because they were formed a long time before the alleged date of the Flood which is 2,304 B.C.
Another issue is the time in which it is said by some biblical literalists that new mountains were created. In only 220 days all the new landforms would have been created anew according to some creationist interpretations, but that is unacceptable from a scientific or even a biblical point of view. Those commentators try to justify the disappearance in a short period of time of the waters of the Flood. The idea that the water remained on Earth but the planet grew somehow bigger by the adjustment of the sea floor and the height of the mountains is ludicrous if we take into consideration what that would have implied.
The huge tectonic movements at the same time as Noah’s trip together with animals on the ark would have endangered in the highest degree the samples of human and animals from the ark.
- 538 -
The rising mountains would have generated important tsunamis and earthquakes which would have overturned the ark, probably killing most animals. The creation of all volcanic mountains in the same period of time would have generated a volcanic winter with disastrous consequences for the remaining life on the planet.
In the mantle of the earth there is lava, which some proponents of the literal interpretation of the book of Genesis equate with the expression “the fountains of the deep”. The same people advance the opinion that lava would have determined the rise in the level of the sea floor. Magma temperatures range from 700-1300 degrees Celsius, which is about 1200-2400 degrees Fahrenheit. Let us imagine the temperature of the sea water after the combination of magma and the salt water of the seas.
A layer of magma of a temperature between 700-1300 degrees Celsius plus another layer of approximate 2,500 metres depth of salt water mixing together would have given a temperature of the total compound much higher than the boiling point of the waters of the sea. Under those conditions all animals in the sea would have boiled, generating an immense soup.
Because the plants from the dry land would have been gone under a deep layer of water following the Flood, the animals would have followed next on the path of life annihilation and at the end no human beings would have remained on Earth. Anyone can make an experiment, keeping a plant under salted water and in complete darkness for more than 300 days to see what happens. At more than 200m deep the light didn’t get through water except in a very small quantity and photosynthesis couldn’t have happened, consequently any plant using photosynthesis as a feeding mechanism would have died during the Flood.
Another reason to reject the truthfulness of the story of the Flood is the rationale for such a global Deluge. Nothing has really changed after the Flood in respect to human nature. After the alleged Flood humankind has been as sinful and as violent as would have been before it and still is today. The Flood would have been a useless disaster and if it had been a punishment from God it wouldn’t have had any practical effect.
If God was sorry for creating humankind, trying to remediate the situation in the way described by the book of Genesis was an inefficient attempt.
- 539 -
Humankind remained the same after the Flood as before it. In spite of killing so many people through the Flood, after it, numerous disastrous wars and pitiless autocratic political regimes have inflicted incredible suffering on human beings all over the world.
Even the Nephilim, the giants of old, wouldn’t have been destroyed by the Flood because they are mentioned by the Bible as living on Earth after it also. What would generations have learned from the experience of the Flood, living after it? Regarding the problem of sin, they didn’t learn anything. The stories of the Flood are mythology with no correspondence in reality. These stories undermine greatly the credibility of the Bible as a factual description of reality.
The Nephilim, the giants of old, were still extant after the Flood even if Noah and his family weren’t related to them. We don’t know how they would have appeared after the Flood if the “sons of God” didn’t come back to Earth. If they came back and multiplied with the “daughters of man” this is another reason to affirm that the Flood was useless and it would have generated countless deaths with no good reason. If the Deluge is only a myth it isn’t any wonder that the Nephilim, if they really existed, would have survived after that imaginary event.
Either God had a torturous plan for humankind in which human beings had to be destroyed by waters and reborn from one family, or He didn’t have any plan and when He saw that what He created was wrong He tried to erase from the face of the earth almost all human beings.
The plan for the creation of humankind, as exposed by the book of Genesis, is senseless. First God had created mankind with certain characteristics which determined them to disobey Him. After that He destroyed human beings and animals because they were evil and this in spite of His declaration that His creation of humankind was good. When choosing to know good and evil against blind obedience to God humankind became agents of evil even if their choice wasn’t between good and evil, but between knowledge and ignorance. The human beings were made in the likeness of God but they were punished when they wanted to be like Him, knowing the difference between good and evil as He does. The majority of humankind would have been destroyed by the Flood because all flesh was corrupt and violent, but after the Deluge God allowed the consumption of meat which would have made the world even more violent.
- 540 -
God regretted the creation of man but also He regretted the event of the Flood, and promised that would not happen again. The entire story is senseless and its conclusions cannot be other than unfavourable to God’s image.
What guarantees could God have had that Noah’s descendants would also be righteous? Righteousness is not transmissible like a gene and some sons were morally better than their fathers and others worse than them. To choose one righteous man and to expect that from him new and better generations of humankind would appear, would have been an illusion.
The story of the Babel Tower is by any standards mythology with no connections with reality except a possible hint about the sons of God, extra-terrestrial beings that are mentioned also in Genesis chapter 6; 1-4, and the apparition of new technologies in construction to allow the building of an impressive tower, such a pyramid, or similar to that. The ziggurats were also a kind of tower and a relationship can probably be made between the existence all over the world of such “towers” and the possible visiting of some extra-terrestrial beings on Earth.
The story of the Babel Tower is one of the most manifestly mythological narratives in the Bible and follows a consecrated pattern; it uses a legend in order to explain the existence of many languages on Earth. The story is so obviously a fairy tale that if taken as fact gives a negative impression about deity. The image of God had been intended to be one of absolute power but confronted with the descriptions offered by the story of the Babel Tower, His portrayal diminishes greatly.
If one reaches the conclusion that the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis are fables, not facts, many theological consequences arise. First of all, human nature is what it should be, not something degraded and sinful. When Christ took on human nature, He demonstrated that any person can live in this nature and do good things, living without sin. The only change for a person to live without sin is that he or she be guided by the Holy Spirit directly. This presupposes a profound spiritual regeneration known as the new birth. Born again people don’t need to follow a certain religious dogma but they live according to superior moral standards.
- 541 -
There is an important difference between spirituality and religion. All religions imprison spirituality within a body of doctrines and dogmas but an authentic spirituality liberates the human spirits from the rigid bodies of religion. An out-of-body experience can be out of bodies of religion. The bodies of religion can be perceived by the human spirits as the biological human body for which the religious constraints were built. All religious rules address the human comportment in the biological body but I found here an inconsistency as far as the biological bodies die at a certain moment in time. Religious rules die when the human bodies die because the surviving human consciousness without the biological bodies follows other rules. All religions address the way in which human beings should behave when they are still in biological bodies but spirituality is the art of knowing how to live eternally when we are still in the material bodies.
In the afterlife, we will not wear the same biological bodies therefore many religious rules don’t make any sense when they are compared with the spiritual life happening after death. Both religious rules and religious institutions lose any impact on the life after death and entering in the Kingdom of God in this life means to live a full spiritual life liberated from any artificial constraints imposed by religions.
Spirituality doesn’t deny religions but it goes beyond them, putting all human beings in direct contact with the supreme Consciousness of all existence. When we allow the supreme Consciousness to dwell in us, our consciousness and God become a unity which offers to every human being who enters into this process incredible spiritual powers.
The story of Adam and Eve is a myth on which many theologies can be built. These theologies which take a myth as fact cannot tell us, regardless of how much they will try, the real story of humankind. Based on this myth, a body of dogmas and doctrines was constructed and unfortunately in this religious body the human spirituality dies slowly. We can see the signs of this death all around us. A new revival necessarily means a new spirituality having another basis than the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis.
- 542 -
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 depravation, 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 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.”
For John Cassian, who was another important theologian, man needs God because he isn’t able to reach salvation in his nature:
- 453 -
“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.”
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.”
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.
- 454 -
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.
If all religions are based on mythological narratives there isn’t one religion superior to another which can make better promises for salvation.
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.”
If the book of Genesis isn’t an accurate description of what happened at the beginning of human history and Adam and Eve are not real but fictitious personages, there isn’t such a thing as the original sin. If the human races evolved during a long period of time from other less evolved biological beings, human nature isn’t the result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God but it is the product of natural evolution. As a matter of fact, human nature is similar to that of many animals but amended by culture and education. If there isn’t such thing as the original sin human beings are able to better themselves and to rise to a higher spiritual standard through their efforts. At the same time the Kingdom of God is a spiritual realm in which one can be received by God if one accepts His offer of eternal life.
According to the Bible death had entered into the world because Adam and Even didn’t obey God’s commandment not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
- 455 -
“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.” (Romans 5; 12-14 NRSV)
If Adam and Eve never disobeyed God because they never existed they also weren’t punished by God with death for their alleged disobedience. Death didn’t come into creation based on a human attitude but it was always in the natural world, life and death being intertwined.
If God punishes all sin with death we need Jesus to redeem us from death because He suffered the punishment in our place, but we aren’t guilty of an original sin. Everyone answers before God for his or her misconduct but not for what the mythological personages Adam and Eve would have done.
Adam and Eve were punished by God with death and we also are deemed to deserve death for our disobedience which is sin. This is the logic of the Bible. What if Adam and Eve weren’t punished for their disobedience with death considering that they couldn’t have disobeyed Him because they weren’t real? If Adam and Eve are only imaginary personages the image of how God would have dealt with human beings is very different than what the Bible says.
Nevertheless, if the Decalogue includes the principle of the creation in six days, which is fiction, it is problematic to know the laws according to which our misbehaviour can be deemed sin. The Decalogue doesn’t express the truth; the world wasn’t created in six days hence the ten commands are not inspired by God. Those commands have, nevertheless, a great moral value, being the expression of necessary conditions for life in any society. They are not unique, for example, researchers have discovered a collection of laws which was authored previous to the Mosaic Law and which is known as the Code of Hammurabi. Some provisions in the Code of Hammurabi originating from Babylon are very similar with the prescriptions found in the Mosaic Law. (see also: gotquestions.org/Moses-Hammurabi-code.html)
- 456 -
At the same time, there is a universal justice and according to it all human beings have to respect others’ rights.
In the O.T. there were degrees of guilt measuring human behaviour but even so almost always a ransom of blood had to be paid.
“22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Hebrew 9; 22 NRSV)
The punishment for any kind of sin is death, of the animal in the O.T. and of Jesus who died in our place in the N.T. There isn’t any sin which doesn’t deserve to be punished by death according to the Bible and this correction would have started with the mythological personages Adam and Eve and their alleged sins.
“A matter of the will more than of the hand, sin is an act of rebellion, revolution, and anarchy against God’s righteous government. As such it is an affront to the holiness of God. The measure of God’s wrath against sin is the measure of His holiness. And the measure of the penalty—death—is the measure of the enormity of the offence.”
Are there different degrees of sin? It is true that some sins were seen as being graver than others in the O.T. but at the same time all sins are punished by death by God if the sinner is not redeemed. The problem is that it is impossible to atone for sins through his or her good deeds and everyone needs Christ as an expiatory sacrifice in order to atone for sins. How could I redeem my original sin inherited from Adam and Eve if it was such a sin? No matter what I do, I cannot redeem the original sin and only Christ can do that for me. If the doctrine of original sin was right, every person needs Christ’s redemptive sacrifice for him or her, no matter how moral his or her life is, but the doctrine is false if we take in consideration the fictitious character of Adam and Eve. We need Christ for our personal spiritual improvement, not for what Adam and Eve would have done.
- 457 -
The problem is extremely important because it doesn’t matter how pure in character someone would be, due to Adam and Eve’s sins he or she cannot be saved by God if he or she doesn’t become a Christian believer. Why necessarily a Christian? The answer is that only Christ can save someone from the original sin made by Adam and Eve, according to the Bible. The story of Adam and Eve prevents Christians admitting that other religious people have an equal claim to salvation as they have. Without Christ who is the second Adam none can be forgiven of the original sin. This is an incorrect doctrine based on the fictitious story of Adam and Eve.
Some sins are worse than others but all sins are punished by eternal death if they aren’t redeemed. The following quotation explains this principle:
“In regard to eternal consequences, big sins and little sins are the same. In the eyes of a Holy God, even the smallest sin is worthy of an infinite and eternal punishment. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is talking about physical and spiritual death. Isaiah 59:2 says, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”
Death had entered into the world through Adam and Eve, according to the book of Genesis. If death didn’t enter into the world through Adam and Eve because they aren’t real personages, that means that death isn’t a punishment from God but a natural thing. Even if death isn’t a punishment for human sin but a natural thing, we still need the power of God to liberate us from death. There is a condition for that, and that is the spiritual regeneration. Redemption without regeneration doesn’t bring anyone into heaven. Jesus’ death on the cross and the new birth in Christ are two doctrines which complement each other.
We aren’t forgiven for our sins unless our sins are paid for by Jesus, and in order not to sin again we need to be born again. A sin for which someone is punished isn’t a forgiven but a chastised sin. The human sins aren’t just forgiven by a forgiving God if Jesus died on the cross for them; all our sins are punished in Him.
- 458 -
It doesn’t matter who was punished for our sins, if Jesus took our sins on Himself this means that sins cannot just be forgiven. God doesn’t forgive sins, He only expiates them through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
If our sins would be forgiven by God no punishment would be attached to them and Christ wouldn’t have needed to die for them. God never forgives anything unless someone is punished for the mistake. This is the lesson of the Bible; God’s justice requires punishment in order to be fulfilled. God is motivated by justice and whoever doesn’t accept Jesus as his or her Saviour, he or she is punished with eternal death.
In order to live forever one needs to rise to very high moral standards and be able to live without sin as Jesus did. The obedience to God is considered to be the most important Christian value and that message comes directly from the book of Genesis. The O.T. and the N.T. are both focused primarily on this value. The following biblical text underlines the importance of obedience to God:
“22 And Samuel said, ‘Has the LORD as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obedience to the voice of the LORD? Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is no less a sin than divination, and stubbornness is like iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king.’ “(1 Samuel 15; 22-23 NRSV)
People cannot be blamed if they don’t believe in the narratives of creation from the book of Genesis and their lack of trust in them cannot be considered sin because those stories are unbelievable. Nevertheless, people who believe in God in spite of the inconsistencies contained by the book of Genesis on the basis of their personal experience with Him, and I am one of them, have to consider the requirements of God for their salvation such as they are expressed in the life and teachings of Jesus.
The unbelievers and the sinners will not die because they are unbelievers and sinners, but they will die because all human beings are mortal by nature.
- 459 -
The exception to the rule of human mortality will be made only in connection with people who freely choose to believe in God in spite of the incongruence specific to the book of Genesis, or of other texts of the Bible, and that on the basis of their personal experience with God, and on what they can find still reliable in the Bible.
If humankind had come from evolution and not through Adam and Eve we can say that God didn’t create human beings directly. God could have created them indirectly by influencing the way in which nature has evolved but they could also have appeared through the natural evolution of nature without His influence. There is an innate impulse in nature to transform lower forms of existence into more complicated forms and this natural dynamic cannot be denied.
God could have assured the necessary conditions for the development of biological life and of human beings but we don’t have any reason to believe that without His intervention the life on Earth wouldn’t have existed as we know it. If there is life in the cosmos only where God created it then the Bible doesn’t help us to know if there are other planets hosting life in the universe. Probably, biological life and even intelligent life appears where it finds the necessary conditions for its existence with or without an act of God.
The book of Genesis doesn’t say how life really would have appeared on our planet but only presents a mythological description which is contradictory and against the data of sciences. For example, the creation of plants on Earth before the creation of stars, as the book of Genesis states, is one of the most obvious absurdities that someone can hear. We all are created from matter created in the stars, plants included; hence plants couldn’t have existed on the third day of creation, before the creation of stars. It is without doubt that plants couldn’t have been created before the creation of stars and before the apparition of supernova which produced the elements found in those plants.
The stories of creation from the book of Genesis aren’t revelations coming from God because they cannot explain credibly how the universe and life on Earth came into existence. In order to find answers to fundamental questions related to the origin of the universe and humankind we have to study nature because the study of the Bible doesn’t help us in this regard. The study of nature doesn’t directly point toward God’s existence because nature contains in it all necessary ingredients for the existence of life, but also doesn’t exclude the existence of a higher Reality.
- 460 -
The so-called theory of fine tuning is a rational one. Such a theory maintains that there are too many coincidences allowing life to develop on Earth. The gathering of so many conditions at the same time cannot be coincidental; it must by a Designer who set everything in place for life to appear on Earth. As a matter of fact, we don’t know how many universes are in place in the entire cosmos and what the probability for life to happen is. The theory of intelligent design contains an interesting possibility but there are also arguments against it.
Human nature cannot be diminished in any way and humankind was met by God in the human nature. In the so-called depravity and corruption of human nature humankind invented so many religions and by this we can see that human beings have an innate spiritual dimension, hence human nature is open to spirituality. How could human beings aspire to spirituality by itself in every corner of the earth if human nature is really corrupted? The Buddhist monks don’t see themselves as being born again from God but, nevertheless, they sometimes reach high levels of spirituality. The basis of our spirituality is in our nature and to condemn human nature using as an argument the alleged original sin of two fictitious personages, is also absurd. Neither Martin Luther nor John Calvin inherited a corrupt nature from Adam and Eve because the alleged two first human beings never existed on Earth.
Human nature is linked with human biology and in order to detach it more from biological bonds and see existence in another perspective, we need God’s nature which isn’t determined by biological causality, being spiritual. According to the Christian teachings we can be born again from God in this way receiving a full spiritual nature. A similar detachment from human nature is also taught by Buddhism but the new birth cannot be found in its teachings as such.
God is Spirit and therefore He communicates with us in our inner spirits, giving us personal revelations. (John 4; 24) God the Father speaks to human beings from inside their consciousness rather than in an exterior way. None has seen God and He is love. (1 John 4; 12)
Did the prophets see God or not? They declared that they saw the glory of God. Take, for example, what Ezekiel saw in connection with God.
- 461 -
The images that people have seen in the O.T. when they believed they saw the glory of God aren’t specific to a spiritual Reality but to a technological one, hence cannot be God the Father. God as an external reality to humankind, as an extra-terrestrial civilization and God as the spiritual “substance” of our souls, the spiritual “field” to whom every human being can be connected if he or she wishes, are two very different realities.
If Jesus died on the cross He didn’t do it because human beings need to be forgiven for the original sin because there isn’t such a thing. A redemptory mission of Jesus on behalf of humankind isn’t excluded but only for personal sins of every individual believer. For any human being, in order to understand sin a new consciousness of good and evil is needed, and that is given to us by Christ.
The inclination to sin of the human nature, the so-called concupiscence has nothing to do with Adam and Eve because the latter don’t have anything to do with reality. The inclination to sin is nothing else but natural instincts which allow human beings to survive in our world. We live in a competitive world and many adaptations are needed which permit the realisations of the ends of nature. We have strong instincts of survival and our nature isn’t based on idealistic principles. We can, nevertheless, deny our innate instincts and believe in superior principles, and even consider them more important than life but that doesn’t have anything to do with the reality of Adam and Eve. We can believe in Adam and Eve even if they never existed but our belief doesn’t make them more real.
If Adam and Eve are missing from the picture there isn’t anything left to condemn human nature and to make human beings feel guilty. This is the reason why so many religious people need Adam and Eve. Without them we have no reason to feel ashamed that we are human beings and that our nature isn’t perfect. This attitude of human dignity shadows the need for religions and particularly for religious institutions. We are what we should be based on our natural evolution and the reasons for the aspiration to be better can be found in our culture and in our beliefs. There isn’t any guilt in what we are and there isn’t any fault in our nature, which is the source of our improvement. Christ wasn’t ashamed to be a human being and if He was an improved human being it is because Father dwelt in Him. God wants to live in every one of us because we are the temples of the Holy Spirit.
- 462 -
Moreover, if Adam and Eve didn’t exist, Christ couldn’t have come to Earth, taking the human nature of Adam before the Fall, a non-sinful nature. When Christ came to Earth He necessarily was a human being like us, having a sinful nature but He had the power not to sin and to resist all temptations. All inclinations toward sin were in Christ as they are in us. The presence of the Father dwelling in Christ was the motive for which Jesus didn’t sin while He lived on Earth. This presence is offered to us also and any human being in whom the Father is present can be a sinless person.
- 463 -
|  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_sin