Sunday, January 22, 2006

Do I Stand Alone on the Garden?

I believe it exists. The Garden of Eden, that is.

I know that there are probably many of you now shaking your heads, thinking, "Poor, naive, brainwashed fool" or some variation.

Perhaps the more sarcastic of you would cajole, "Yes, yes of course it exists. Right down the street from Neverland and across the street from Santa's Workshop. The really green spot near Shangri-la. Now come along with the man in the white coat."

But I'm more difficult to dissuade than that. I'm a combination of one of those fundamentalist types that believes the Bible is largely literal and one of those weirdo types strange enough to be open to fantastic possibilities whether I can explain them or not.

And here in the Realm, Possibility is what we're all about.

But where is it? Well, that's the very reason for this post.

If you'll step with me beyond the folks who see The Bible (or at least this part of it) as a dangerous fairy tale, I'd like to discuss various theories on just that.

Here's what Genesis says:

2:8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

3:23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.


4:16 So Cain went out from the LORD's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

Eden is also mentioned in Isaiah and Ezekiel, but the clues as to location are a little harder for me to glean there. Though Ezekiel's description of the King of Tyre as a guardian cherub (angel) in the Garden of Eden may provide some help.

Some folks, believe that it is/was a spiritual place rather than a physical place, but I think based on the descriptions above about rivers and Cain's living near Eden some time after Adam's expulsion from the Garden that the stronger implication is for a physical place.

Others believe that the Garden once existed as a physical place, but no longer does. However, I think often this is simply a happy place for those smug individuals who can't find the Garden on a map and still want it to be real. Noah's flood seems to be a favorite Garden-ender, but I'm not sure why these folks find a worldwide flood significantly more believable than an existent Eden. Certainly, the verses above give no indication of its destruction (either obliteration from the earth or ceasing to be a garden) but on the contrary seem to imply by its need of a guardian an intent on the part of God for its continued existence at least for a time. But to what purpose?

Some of the other theories I have heard include:

I'm not sure that its exact location is actually knowable by man, but that sure doesn't keep me and many others from being curious about it. If you're one of those folks, what are some of the other theories you've heard? And which seems most likely to you?

Don't leave me standing alone.

After all, God did say in Genesis 2:18 while Adam was still in the Garden, "It is not good for the man to be alone."



29 comments:

Scot said...

What do you make of the tree of life being in the garden of eden, and also said to be in Paradise/New Jerusalem in Revelation?

P&S said...

The link to the theory on the Garden in Israel uses this as part of their argument.

I definitely think that there is some parallelism between the tree of life and Jesus. Not to say that I don't think that there is/was an actual tree.

But I won't deny that there is a lot of symbolism in Revelation. What is the scripture reference?

I have generally adhered to the school of thought that Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden more for their own protection motivated by love. That if they had eaten from the tree of life in their fallen state that they might have had to live in that state eternally then. And obviously they proved that just telling them not to eat from the tree was out of the question.

But I have often wondered why God couldn't get rid of the tree and let Adam and Eve stay. Perhaps it's simply a contradiction of what the tree is (i.e. How do you kill a tree of life?) But it may have as much to do with its parallelism with Christ (in my mind, all the more reason to believe that it still exists) or that God was saving it for a future purpose (New Jerusalem?)

Like I said, this is similar to the logic used to make the case that if it will be in the New Jerusalem then it might stand to reason that Jerusalem was built on the spot where it previously existed.

What do you think?

codepoke said...

Man, I don't have the time to read all this, but I will. In the meantime, I can't leave you out there alone.

Yep.

I can definitely believe that it exists now.

Add another theory to your list:
The something-or-other Rift valley in Africa is the source of almost all of our really dread diseases. It's all that life leaking out of Eden, but horribly damaged by sin.

My first vote is for the Rift as its current location.

But, I won't go looking for it. If it exists, then so does that angel, and I don't think Indiana Jones is going to outsmart him, much less me.

Rich said...

I'm with you on the Jesus / Tree of Life connection, as we've talked about before.

However, Jesus told us -- as sinners, just as Adam and Eve were -- to eat of Him. Putting aside the question of the Eucharist/Real Presence issue, if Jesus told us to eat from Him, and the Tree of Life is somehow wrapped up in Jesus, why would it have been bad for Adam and/or Eve to have eaten from it? Especially if you believe, and I pretty much do, that Jesus was Savior from the foundation of the world. Would it have been a lack of faith on Adam and Eve's part? I'm not sure.

However, going with this line of thought, although I do think there's some connection, my feeling is that there's definitely some separation there, too.

Which means I agree with you. Does that mean I'm right?

Regarding the Eden theories, my take is: it's here, and we'll never find it. Where? Between the Tigris and the Euphrates, of course. And it's still a garden, and we'll still never see it.

But I like that people think it might be in Florida!!! Not the panhandle, though, maybe closer to where the Dolphins play. And I've been to Missouri. It's not in Missouri. The "it's been secreted away by oppressive governments" is a gem, too.

Rich said...

And, also, you hit the bullseye with yet another post "on theme." I keep missing. But not for a lack of trying ;)

Anyway, you get a free cheapo comment for that (this one).

Keep it up!!!

codepoke said...

About the connection between the Tree of Life in Genesis and the Revelation:

Yes, I believe they are the same Tree, but that the Tree has changed over the thousands of years. The Tree now has branches and fruit, because it is the church.

Everything found in Eden is found in the Revelation, but built up to perfection. The gold has been harvested from the rivers, and now is used to build the city. Sardonyx is there, and the bdellium is now pearl. This works because the spiritual is the reality, but the physical was there too.

Eden was a physical/spiritual picture of spiritual reality. All that wealth (both physical and spiritual) was there to be built into a beautiful kingdom of God. The fall crushed the physical side of that picture, but the spiritual continues and the church is the highest expression of Eden on earth today.

I like the thought that the flood swamped Eden. It makes strong sense. I believe that one day we will be charged with restoring the earth. I would love to be there when they dig the Tree of Life up, and find it still thriving, its millenia of groaning for redemption over, and it having become a perfect picture of the church. It will be found with leaves, fruit, and roots all intact.

P&S said...

Rich,

Your comments have given me a lot of pause for thought. Bear with me as I work through your questions and ask some of my own.

Putting aside the question of the Eucharist/Real Presence issue, if Jesus told us to eat from Him, and the Tree of Life is somehow wrapped up in Jesus, why would it have been bad for Adam and/or Eve to have eaten from it? Especially if you believe, and I pretty much do, that Jesus was Savior from the foundation of the world. Would it have been a lack of faith on Adam and Eve's part?

Perhaps, I confused you with my viewpoint in my comment above. Here's what I think I know:

I don't think it would have been disobedience to eat from the tree of life. Quite the contrary. Here's the discussion on the two trees in Genesis 2:

9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

In my mind, God clearly opens up "any tree in the garden" except one, and it ain't the tree of life it's the tree of TKOGAE. So, to me the tree of life is included in the "any tree in the garden" camp.

And when they eat from the tree of TKOGAE here's what God says in Chapter 3:

11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" (emphasis is mine)

Again, it seems to me that only one tree was forbidden, and again it wasn't the tree of life. Perhaps, Adam ate from the tree of life on a regular basis. However, based on God's comments after the sins and the associated punishments are identified:

22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.

It sounds more like Adam and Eve hadn't eaten from it or they would already have been eternal. However, it still doesn't say that it would have been wrong for them to do so.

This much seems pretty straightforward to me, but then that's where the speculation starts coming in.

Why did God say that "he must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever"?

My guess was that while death was a direct result of sin (and was finally defeated through the resurrection of Christ) that in Adam's case it was still the loving alternative to an eternal sin-filled (read:ruined) life.

And why would they not have already eaten from it? I don't even have any good speculation for that one, just rectal extractions.
It didn't have fruit on it until the end? It wasn't as enticing to look at? They just hadn't gotten around to it?

None of those possibilities is really palatable to me.

And the question of why the serpent didn't entice them to eat from the two trees in rapid succession also crops in. Good questions, but at this moment, I haven't the foggiest.

So, all that said, if you mean by "bad for Adam and/or Eve" sinful, I can't see that it was.

If you mean, better that they didn't, then I can't see evidence of this until after the fall. And as for the why? I give you my speculation.

I'm not clear on what you meant by "a lack of faith".

Also back to the Garden itself, why is it that you think it's there, but we'll never find it or see it? Since you found the oppressive governments theory "a gem", and think it's physically between the rivers, does this mean you subscribe more to the invisible theory?

That may be true, but I can't think of other instances where God has made physical, earthly things invisible. So, I can't think that precedent leads you to that conclusion. What did?

Lastly, I certainly think Jesus was Lord from the foundations of the earth, but the Old Testament prophecies seem pretty clear in looking forward to a Messiah or Savior of Israel and the world. And I'm not sure whether Jesus was actually Savior until he had physically come to earth as a man and followed through with death, burial, and resurrection. It seems that if you call him Savior before that, it lessens the importance of actually doing what he did.

My rambling thoughts, anyway.

Rich said...

When I said, why would it have been bad for Adam and/or Eve to have eaten from it? I guess I thought you'd understand that I meant after they had eaten from the Tree of Life.

In the same way, when my sons disobey me by talking back, I take away their video games. There was never anything wrong with their playing of video games and there still really isn't anything wrong with playing them now, but they'd be doomed if they actually did play them (until their punishment was over) because now they're not allowed to, which in a sense makes them "bad" (if they were to do it under this condition). Maybe it's a bit of a bad analogy because it does make the games wrong to play, but I'm meaning it only from the standpoint that they'd be doomed if they played them now.

My bad on the miscommunication. I never thought it was sinful to eat from the Tree of Life. Just bad to eat from it after what they'd done.

Regarding the issue of faith that you didn't understand, going back to the Tree of Life, my point was with how close a symbol to Christ the Tree really was. If, let's say, the Tree was Christ, and I've heard higher theological minds than mine voice that thought over the Web before, then why not eat of the Tree? Christ said He was the Bread of Life and to eat of Him. As sinners, we do eat of His flesh and drink of His blood (whether literally or figuratively). However, FAITH is a huge part of that, because without faith, we are not looked upon as righteous. So our faith is a big component in whether we sit at the Lord's Supper, whether we eat of Christ, etc. Adam and Eve had not displayed such faith at that time. In fact, they were only just beginning to understand the consequences of their sin. Ergo, perhaps that lack of faith was why they couldn't eat from the Tree of Life.

Anyway, don't fret, because I'm mixing myself up now. It's by grace that we're saved - not faith nor works. Faith is just the vehicle and works the product. Hopefully, I'm not mixing that up, heretic that I am. But faith is our part, so maybe Adam and Eve would have had to have faith to eat of the Tree. I don't know. I've confused myself now.

But sometimes my confusion is clear to you. Hopefully, you've fished out what was unclear to you.

As for the other, the Garden of Eden -- the "oppressive government theory" is a gem because it's a lark. I find it humorous. As far as it still being here, the Bible never says anything about it being taken away. What it does say is that there's a cherubim with a flaming sword that flashes every direction around the Garden, protecting entrance to the Tree of Life.

Now, I'm one who thinks this part of Genesis is written in some sort of poetic fashion. Still, if you take it at face value, nothing moves other than God at this point. He appoints a cherubim to the Garden. The sword turning in every direction makes that place unable to be seen by sinful man. I guess I sort of believe, had it been His mission to show us that there was a Garden, Jesus, as the spotless, sinless lamb, could have walked right into the Garden. Yeah, the disciples wouldn't have been able to do the same thing, but they could have watched Him disappear (to their eyes it would have been into thin air). I'm not even saying it's invisible. I'm just saying sinful eyes can't see it (and sinful feet ain't treading into it). Not anymore than we can see the wind (although there's poetic language in the Bible that indicates God does see it, He being the Creator of it and all).

If you're looking for precedence for the first act of God other than Creation that He reveals in His Word, well, that's a little hard to find. So is the precedence for a second or third or fourth Flood. But it sure reads like He did the first one. Is there precedence for other people marked like Cain?

I'm not saying I'm right or even close to it. This is one I'm willing to concede to anyone. I'm just taking what I read and processing, and this, for me, is what comes out. Thanks for listening to this long-winded comment.

codepoke said...

Almost out of time this lunch period (about 5 minutes ago) so I will be brief.

I believe eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was bad, in and of itself, because God never meant for man to live by morality. Post to that effect here.

Eating of the Tree of Life after eating of the TOTKOGAE would have been bad because it was a physical manifestation of a spiritual reality. Adam would have had physical eternal life, but spiritual eternal death would have wrestled with the spiritual eternal Life, and no good could have come of that. Once sin had entered into Adam, just taking Life in was not good enough. Blood had to be shed.

Scot said...

Here's my two cents...
The garden still exists between the Tigris and Euphrates, but it exists in a spiritual realm not seen by us. If we had vision into the spiritual realm (like Namaan and his donkey did) we would see it today. When they ate of the tree, they begin to see things, including their own nakedness, differently. They no longer walked and talked with God in the garden that they could see, but now saw things with fleshly eyes.
I don't have a whole lot of basis for this, so don't press me too hard, but I welcome anyone who agrees.8-)

Rich said...

codepoke,

Thanks for linking your discussion. Both the post and comments are very, very good. Food for thought for we less enlightened minds.

Scot/Ken,

Although it may sound different by the haphazard way I wrote my litle piece in the comments above, I don't think my opinion is much different that Scot's.

I am truly chaff blowing in the wind.

All,

Are you noticing how Ken's using the Socratic Method to try to get the comments on this post up so he overtakes the whole Most Popular list? He's a shrewd and wily man. Beware of him.

Scot said...

I suppose it's a requirement now to actually read prior comments. I now realize that you did have a very similar idea in your eighth paragraph. Maybe my subconscience read it the first time, and I convinced myself it was my own thought.

P&S said...

Rich,

Am I really that wily or do you think its just barely possible that you've developed some type of Pavlovian response to my blogging and you can't help but post or comment multiple times on top of whatever I post?

I'm still a little confused on what your opinion on the trees or the Garden are exactly, but it helps I think if I replace "tree of life" in the first paragraph with "tree of TKOGAE" but that might put you in disagreement with someone else. It also helps that you say you're confused to. Maybe it's just a topic you're still feeling your way through. Though it seems you may be developing a conclusion based on many factors outside the text in question and then working backwards into the text. I'm not sure what method that is, but it's not the way my brain thinks.

I'm also intrigued by how often people have agreed with each other, when it doesn't sound that way to me at all.

Like you, I'm not convinced that I've got it all right, but that's certainly no excuse for agreeing with others, who probably have it equally wrong.

The purpose of this post (and subsequent comments) or any of my others is to stimulate a conversation on a topic that I find interesting not to debate the subject in my style with a goal of winning anyone over.

I strive to present the facts as I know them. Often that isn't enough to fill a gnat's nostril, and certainly not enough to base any airtight argument on. So, I hope I didn't come across heavy-handed. But I'm still not sure you answered what you have based your opinions about the trees and the Garden on. And dog-gone-it, I think I speak for all Possibilians, we want to know.

Masked Man:"You're that smart?"
Vizzini:"Let me put it this way. Have you ever heard of Plato? Aristotle? Socrates?"
Masked Man:"Yes."
Vizzini:"Morons."

Rich said...

I'm not doing it. I'm not giving you any more comment padding. At this point, I'm starting to believe my answers were totally straightforward, and you're just trying to drum up comments. You are a shrewd and wily little man, and I think that's becoming evident to anyone reading -- which is probably just me, so yeah, it's evident.

First things first now that I'm writing. Don't start substituting one of the trees for the other. That's definitely not what I meant, and it's certainly not what I said. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was just that as far as I know. A tree. A tree that God told Adam not to eat of its fruit. The Tree of Life, I tend to think, is another tree. Just that. A tree. However, there's obviously more to it than that. The only thing we know that we can eat of and have eternal life is Christ. Ah, but then it's the same with the Tree. So is there some symbolism going on? Was the Tree Christ Himself (I don't think so, but I do think it has some relationship to Him other than just Creator-Tree). I don't know what that relationship is.

Next thing -- who isn't just feeling their way though the topic? If you tell me someone has a hard and fast, reliable line on where the Garden of Eden is, I'll stop feeling. Other than that, it's all we can do. We may have come to some likely error-filled conclusion, but throw in a variable or two and those conclusions are going to change as well.

And saying I'm coming to my conclusion of "where is the Garden of Eden" on factors outside the text... uh, no. I'm taking what the text says in verses 22 and 23, and processing what those verses say into something that at least makes sense to me. The other stuff (like that I mentioned about Jesus walking into the Garden) is conjecture, but it's based on what I thought the Bible is saying in verse 23 and trying to help illustrate that something's been done there that hasn't been done anywhere else, and whether you can see the Garden or not would probably be based on sin or not having sinned. You can throw all that out for the question at hand. I just thought it was interesting to think about.

Next, Scot isn't "winning me over." I think I pretty well understand the point of your post and your desire to stimulate conversation. It's an interesting question, and it's done just that. However, what he's stating sounds a lot like what I was trying to articulate. I understood that what I wrote probably sounded like unclear mishmash, and what Scot is saying really does sound close to what I'm trying to et across. (Perhaps this comment does sounds like mishmash as well.) But if it makes you feel better, just go back to what I wrote about a chrerubim - the same angelic creature that the Bible speaks of when talking about the four winds - holding guard with its sword around the Garden to protect the Tree of Life. The Garden, I believe, is still there. It's not there for us, but it's there all the same. Sort of a paradox. Obviously, if you're trying to logically figure out how God could create a miracle to guard the Garden so that we couldn't see it/get into it/etc. yet not move it one iota, you're going to have a hard time. Buuuuuuut... that's what I think has happened. I don't think there has to be precedence for what God did there. I think that's the way the story reads (to me) in Genesis. And I think it's something we'll have a hard time fathoming, but here at The Realm we're all about fathoming the unfathomable.

And once more, let me state that I'm probably wrong. Since I am in flux on just how to read Genesis, especially the first part, it does affect what I think about these things. However, when you ask a question like this, I answer it by going with the line of thought that the story is 100% literal, not poetic in the sense that it's describing something else.

Sorry to sound so surly, but it's 2:49 a.m. and I recently commented (again) over at Thinklings (on the post on art) in response to another couple comments that rubbed me slightly the wrong way. No real discord, just bothered me, and I responded. I'm still coming down from the adrenaline rush of writing what I wrote (I don't know why I get all fired up inside just to write a mostly-friendly but disagreeing response, but I do). My bad if I took that out here.

But I'm even sorrier that I'm alloting you yet another comment-padding response. Thanks for The Princess Bride, though, that's always refreshing.

Scot said...

Does God mix metaphors as often as you guys do? I understand that Jesus is the Light of the world, the Bread of Life, etc. These are different ways to explain aspects of his character. One of those metaphors he used was that He is the vine and we are the branches. He could have just as easily said, "I am the tree, you are the branches" to be consistent with him being the tree of life (if that were true). But, he didn't. So you are either saying that God/Jesus mixes metaphors with two very similar situations (trees/vines) or this proves that he is not the tree of life, but part of the Godhead that created life and its tree. I contend that we mix metaphors like a pig with carpel tunel syndrome on a typewriter (I don't understand that one either), but God does not. Therefore, Jesus is not the tree of life. I guess we could be part of the vine growing on the tree of life...but, that would be taking things a little too far.

P&S said...

Rich: I see what you're doing--using the Platonic method to get me to be your friend. You shrewd devil. You had me at "I'm not doing it."

If I understand you correctly, what you're saying is that because the Garden can't be seen, but exists in the error-filled conclusion of the four winds, then it stands to reason that you would agree with Scot and me without either of us winning you over despite, or maybe because of, the symbolism that is found in the poetic but literal beginning of Genesis. However, you could be completely wrong if your speculation about Jesus walking in the Garden were to be found true.

Why, didn't you just say so in the first place?

Scot: Your point is as clear as the bell on your face. I'm sorry that I've beaten a dead knot on a log. I guess I'll never learn to stop while I'm a day late and a dollar short.

But what I'd really like to know is what you think the Garden's role is in the future, perhaps in a New Jerusalem as you brought up. If it still exists in any dimension.

codepoke:

I agree with you about not messing around with angels. What do you make of the Ezekiel passages which referenced the Garden's guardian angel and the King of Tyre?

Betsy and Wanda:
Sorry to leave you guys out of this post, so far. I promise to try to make my next one more interesting to the Ladies of the Realm.

BTW, for the record, I agreed with Scot more than any of you and before he even commented on this post. However, I think it may have been a combination of his logic and sideways smiley faces that "won me over".

And I really am sorry to have belittled the point.

Inigo:"Who are you?"
Masked Man:"No one of consequence."
Inigo:"I must know."
Masked Man:"Get used to disappointment."

codepoke said...

Research required, but I bet that Eden is a Gods-eye description of Israel. I still believe that Eden is the church to be, and the New Jerusalem is Eden built up to its fulness. Israel is the church in transition from Eden to New Jerusalem.

If the King of Tyre was placed by God to befriend Israel, but being lifted up by pride betrayed them, it would explain the entire prophecy of Ez 28.

Rich said...

I see what you're doing--using the Platonic method to get me to be your friend.

Well, I can assure you that the nature of my relationship with anyone who writes, reads, comments, or lurks on this blog is strictly platonic.

That second paragraph is big of you, and the third isn't much better.

As for making the next post more interesting for Betsy and Wanda, your next post was a one-box cartoon. Don't go making promises your post-up skill can't cash.

Lastly, thanks for making the point that you agree with Scot, when like a post of yours ago, you berated me for actually agreeing with someone. Somehow, after reading that comment, your whole spiel seemed like this post was just to generate a discussion and not to be agreeing with anyone. No matter, it's nice to know you do agree with someone and that you actually do have a stake in your own rheorical ramblings.

Well, my last paragraph wasn't the "lastly" I thought it was. I did want to point out that this post has eclipsed all others for the time being as most commented on.

You've done well, grasshopper.

P&S said...

codepoke:

Interesting idea linking Eden-Israel-New Jerusalem. I might add the Church in between Israel and New Jerusalem (or maybe that's what you were saying after I reread your comment again). And I mean Church the way I think you define it on your site-- The community of believers, not a religious denomination or a building.

Definitely, would require more research. But I'm a research kinda guy.

P&S said...

Rich: Not so fast my fat little friend. For all we know Wanda and Betsy do find the cartoon more interesting/entertaining than this post.

Also, when you called me grasshopper, I got a visual of you with a full-on fu-manchu striking me with a stick and shouting, "Again" just like the beer commercial.

Not a pretty sight.

DugALug said...

Rich is fat? Wow! No Ken... I am fat. Don't quote Corso/Herbstreit (sp?): they are poo-poo heads.

Now back to my tattered train of thought.

I hope I don't sound too out there, but it is was I am. To me, Eden's garden was mankind: perfect until eating from the tree of knowledge. Sin had its grips around us, leaving the imperfect garden of mankind. Satan told one truth in the Garden: We now have knowledge of good and evil. And Eden was lost by our sin. Death was brought about by sin, and unlike what the snake said, we will surely die becuase of it.

Eden is gone for now, but remember, it is Christ who is returning for His glorious bride (once again Mankind).

Take a step back for a moment. Biblically speeking, God tells us to marry someone who is 'equally yolked' with us. It is therefore possible to assume that Christ's bride will be equally yolked with Him. I take that to mean 'perfect, spotless and without blame'.

Mankind is tainted with the stain of sin. We are far from perfect. Only through what Christ has done for us can that stain be removed.

Eden returns (Mankind less sin)through Christ's redemptive power, and then, and only then, will it be restored.

I hope this makes sense.

-Doug

P&S said...

I hear you, but does this mean that you believe that Eden itself is then a metaphor or to quote the great White Goodman from Dodgeball:

"It's a metaphor… But that actually happened, though."

DugALug said...

Ken,

I don't believe that Eden was a metaphor, quite the contrary. The problem is that I believe that sin didn't just bring down man and mankind.

Sin ruined things for the entire Earth. Recall that in Genesis Adam 'fellowshipped' with the animals. Adam had a job as the caretaker of Eden. Therefore when Adam and Eve's fell, Adam also lost his job, in fact God went on to say that Adam would be at odds with the earth. Eden could be anywhere, and everywhere. Without a caretake, the earth and its inhabitants were left to fend for themselves. All mammalian animals, not just man, have painful birthing processes. All animals die, like man. Sin attacked the whole planet, rendering Eden, and all else imperfect.

Interestingly enough, the name 'Adam' means 'red', or more accurately 'crimson'. Some believe that this was a reference to royalty. In Egypt, Pharo's wore red crowns, hence the tie-in. I think God wanted to also associate the color crimson with blood, showing that Adam as father of man... hence the 'son of man' references by Jesus and Isaiah.

The name 'Eve', or more accurately 'Khavah' means 'naked and swolen'. I like this because this means that Adam looked at God's created mate and his first words to her were 'I'll name you 'Naked and Chubby', and I love you that way. You are perfect'

There is a little issue with this (it is kind of a chicken and egg sort of thing). Did 'Eve' originally mean this, because the Bible says that After eating the fruit they realized that they were naked. The name 'Eve' implies that Adam was already aware of this fact. Also swolen, may also imply pregnant, it is hard to say there.

While we are on Genisis, I want to also add a little more of my wacky theology. Please don't put to much weight in this, but it is something to think about. I am not trying to shake anyones beliefs.

I don't believe that Adam and Eve were the first man and woman on the Earth. I believe that they were the first man and woman with souls. Remember that God formed Adam and breathed life into him. 'Breath' is the same word that we use for Holy Spirit. Remember the vision of the valley of the dry bones coming to life? It is the same word. Adam and Eve were 'with breath', or I think, 'with the Holy Spirit'.

This would help explain the scripture of why the daughter's of men slept the Son's of God reference in Chapter 6 of Genesis. This would also add a little weight to a couple issues later in the Bible like where Goliath came from, as well as issues of genetic makeup and pigmentation.

I can go on, but this is some food for thought.

-Doug

DugALug said...

Here is a little more food for thought:

http://www.stevequayle.com/Giants/index2.html

This guy's sight is fascinating.

-Doug

Rich said...

Yo, Doug. I wonder if you ever got a chance to look at Ken's post: Giants in History, found in our January archives or at:

http://pearceandstory.blogspot.com/2006_01_01_pearceandstory_archive.html

The guy's sight you reference fits right along with the theme of that post.

Another one you might way to check out is:

http://www.mysteriousworld.com/Archives/

I've linked the archives. Look at Spring 2003 for Giants in the Earth Part I, then Summer 2003 for Part II, Autumn 2003 for Part III, and then take off the archives part of the web address and on the home page, once loaded, you'll find Part IV.

It's some interesting reading to say the least.

DugALug said...

Rich,

Wow my stuff would have fit right in that post as well as this website.

This Steve Quayle guy is really pretty neat. He shows up on a lot of History Channel programs concerning history.

No doubt all of this is really interesting reading.

As far as your giant's post, I still hold that the sons of God/daughters of man reference is in fact about souled and souless man. In fact the scripture (In Gen 6) goes on to say something like God cannot dwell in flesh forever. Once again, a reference to the soul.

-Doug

Rich said...

Doug,

We really have to quit padding this posts' comments. Ken's head is liable to swell to sizes so large that he won't be able to walk out doors for getting his ears caught on the frames.

I still can't believe his Garden of Eden post got 25+ comments and still counting. Especially in that it was a real post, and not some gimmick game like I made up with the "Rain" theme. It still grinds at me. Sheesh.

I'll look over Steve Quayle's site with a keener eye when I get a chance. I like the differing views on Sons of God (yours, codepoke's, mine). It makes for thoughtful conversation and even more thought-provoking research.

DugALug said...

Rich,

Best part about stuff like this is that it there is no way to prove who's right. So we can talk all the smack we want.

-Doug

DugALug said...

Rich, Ken

Here's another article in todays headlines on this subject.

http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20060207075509990054&ncid=NWS00010000000001

-Doug