Wednesday, 18 October 2017 14:14

VI. Death, immortality, and redemption

Written by Gabriel Baicu
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    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)   

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     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.

  

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