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Illogic of the Garden of Eden Story (2 of 2)

Let’s look closer at the details of the Garden of Eden story (part 1 is here). As history—or even a coherent story—it doesn’t stand up.

  • Omniscient God isn’t very knowledgeable when he goes into the Garden and doesn’t know where Adam and Eve are (Gen. 3:9). Omnibenevolent God isn’t very benevolent when it comes to delivering their punishment. This is another parallel with the Atra-Hasis epic—those gods didn’t know everything and weren’t always benevolent either. As one commenter noted, “God’s powers can’t be that amazing if you can get them from a fruit tree.”
  • As crimes go, this one was a misdemeanor. Admittedly, God did say to not do something and they did it, but how about just a scolding? This was the first bad act in their lives. Isn’t the trans-generational punishment out of proportion to the crime?
  • Before Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they didn’t know good and evil. Why blame them for doing something wrong when they couldn’t know it was wrong? It’s like punishing a two-year old for a moral infraction. In fact, Adam and Eve might not even have been two years old themselves.
  • If Man understands good and evil today (we possess the knowledge of the Tree), why are we so bad at figuring out good and evil? Okay, let’s assume that selfishness and other base desires muddy the waters. Let’s assume that someone could know the right course of action but choose the easy or pleasurable over the right. Shouldn’t we all at least agree on what’s good? How could post-apple humans be divided on abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia, and capital punishment?
  • Getting wisdom is a bad thing? The Bible makes clear that it’s not: “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!” (Prov. 16:16).
  • Could an omniscient God have been surprised at the result of the Garden of Eden experiment? And if he knew the outcome, why go through the charade? (Or might this all just be mythology … ?)
  • Tertullian said of women, “You are the devil’s gateway; you are the unsealer of that (forbidden) tree; you are the first deserter of the divine law.” But read the story—Adam was with her the whole time. Why give Eve extra blame?
  • Why are their descendants cursed for all time—women with labor pain and men with difficult toil—when the descendants didn’t do anything? We see the same thinking in the second commandment (“I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me”), which probably also came from the J source. It’s nice that things lighten up in later centuries (see Deut. 24:16 or Jer. 31:30), though this doesn’t put God’s unchanging moral law in a good light.

At this point in the Bible, Jesus wasn’t even a twinkle in God’s eye, but it is worth noting that while Jesus provides forgiveness of one’s sins, Christians are still punished for Eve’s sin.

  • This is an aside, but it is curious that Christian Creationists who object to humans evolving from bacteria have no problem with God making Adam from dust (Gen. 2:7). Indeed, the word Adam comes from the Hebrew adamah (dust).
  • The NET Bible comment on Gen. 2:17 (“for when you eat from [the Tree,] you will surely die”) makes clear that this phrase means that death will happen almost immediately, as if the fruit were coated with cyanide. But, of course, the serpent was right, and they don’t die. Indeed, Adam dies at 930 years of age.

Apologists respond that this instead means that they will die eventually, that this introduced physical death and they would no longer be immortal. But the text makes clear that they never were immortal. They were driven from the Garden so they wouldn’t eat from the Tree of Life. That’s what makes you immortal.

Apologists try again: they say that “die” meant spiritual death. First off, that’s not what the text says. Second, the animals were driven from the Garden as well, so there’s no reason to imagine that their death was any different than Man’s. If the animals’ death was physical and not spiritual, what’s to argue that Man’s is any different?

  • Christian theologians tell us that the serpent was Satan in disguise, but (yet again) that’s not what the text tells us. It was a serpent, not Satan, and that’s what Jews today will tell you. And why is the serpent the bad guy? He told the truth! He was a Jewish Prometheus.

I’ll close with comments from Ricky Gervais, who imagined the snake having this to say in response to God’s punishment that he crawl on his belly for the rest of his life.

“But I already.… Oh no! Oh yeah, you’ve done me, yeah. No, we’re even now. I asked for that. Okay, cheers. Oh—how does this work again? Owww—I’m being punished. This is rubbish—I wish I could fly, like normal.”

And the Son of God died;
it is by all means to be believed, because it is absurd.
And He was buried, and rose again;
the fact is certain, because it is impossible.
— Tertullian

Photo credit: Paul Hocksenar

About Bob Seidensticker
  • Y. A. Warren

    In the history of humanity, we have had much written history. All history is the experience of the teller. Old Testament slaves were obviously naive and frightened; many used this fear to gain control. This has not changed. What has changed in The United States of America is the ability to be an architect of ones’ own destiny, based on one’s beliefs about oneself.

    I believe we can forget about all but the most important enlightenment of that era of human history; humans accepted that they had Divine Energy in themselves. The most important message of the story of Jesus is that humans are to treat all of creation with respect. It is up to those who believe in an Eternal and Universal Sacred Spirit to share this spirit with all.

  • RichardSRussell

    For an amazingly powerful take on the GoE story — which treats it as true (and “God” as real) but wildly misrepresented to us — you must read Harlan Ellison’s “Deathbird”, truly one of the most unforgettable stories ever.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Apologists respond that this instead means that they will die eventually,
    that this introduced physical death and they would no longer be
    immortal. But the text makes clear that they never were immortal. They
    were driven from the Garden so they wouldn’t eat from the Tree of Life. That’s what makes you immortal.

    Aha. But before the incident with the snake and the apple, humans were allowed to eat from the Tree of Life (Gen 2:9, Gen 2:16), so they may very well have immortal before the incident with the talking snake. It is only afterwards that God and his buddies (Elohim) worry about humans becoming like them, and God drives Adam out of the garden and puts cherubim on patrol with flaming swords (Gen 3:22-24).
    Checkmate, atheist!

    • http://avoiceinthewilderness-mcc1789.blogspot.com/ Michael

      Gen 2:9: “Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” It doesn’t say they ate from it.

      Gen 2:16: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat.” Also does not say they ate from it. Given the later passage in which God worries about them eating fruits from the Tree of Life, thus becoming immortal, we can deduce it was not previously eaten from.

      • Reginald Selkirk

        I do not agree with your reasoning at all. They were free to eat from the Tree of Life, so we should assume that they did. God and His buddies were only worried about them eating from the tree of life after they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Being immortal is no threat if you don’t know that you’re doing wrong, apparently.

        • http://avoiceinthewilderness-mcc1789.blogspot.com/ Michael

          The later verse clearly shows God worrying about them eating from it-there would be no reason to assuming they already had.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Robert Price said (I’m guessing he’s relying on Eden-like myths from nearby cultures, but I don’t remember for sure) that the Tree of Life doesn’t give you immortality with one bite. Instead, you need to keep eating it periodically to recharge that immortality. His guess was that that was the zeitgeist from which the Tree of Life story came.

      • Felix

        Certainly in Norse mythology the apples that gave the Gods immortality had to be eaten constantly. There’s a story where the goddess of the apple tree, Idun, gets kidnapped, along with her golden apples, and all the gods start getting older and older. (That story was first written down in the 13th century, so there might have been some cross-contamination from Christianity.) The greek Gods used to eat ambrosia, which had a similar effect. In Chinese mythology, it was peaches that immortals ate. The Hindu gods also got immortality from a nectar, Amrita, which they got from churning a sea of milk in the milky way.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Helpful background, thanks.

  • KarlUdy

    Bob, what you’ve posed here are good questions for digging deeper into the meaning of the passage. But from your tone, you seem to think they are show-stoppers.

    If these questions have been asked and discussed by experts for centuries and not considered show-stoppers, why do you think they are?

    • busterggi

      For most of those centuries the various Christian churches had & used the authority to execute anyone who asked those questions just as Islam still does in some countries,
      That is a big difference

      • KarlUdy

        News to me. Do you mind giving some evidence for this claim?

        • http://avoiceinthewilderness-mcc1789.blogspot.com/ Michael

          I don’t know that they necessarily executed everyone who brought up these criticisms, although coercion of different levels certainly occurred. I haven’t seen many apologists address these specific questions much however.

        • KarlUdy

          Michael, a lot of the issues Bob raises are issues which result from a flat reading of the passage. If you consider these questions raised, then it can help you understand the meaning of the passage better. And this has been the nature of theological debate both on the issues of this passage and others down through the past two millennia.

          What do you mean by coercion? The wars surrounding the Reformation? Persecution of Anabaptists? Or something else?

        • http://avoiceinthewilderness-mcc1789.blogspot.com/ Michael

          Those would be examples of coercion, yes, but also capital punishment for heresy, after torture, in addition to official censorship by the Church.

        • Greg G.

          Hi Karl

          In Who Wrote the Bible , Friedman writes about those who questioned whether Moses wrote the Pentateuch. Isaac de la Peyrere, a French Calvinist, was arrested and had to become Catholic and recant to the Pope to be released.

          Spinoza had his book on the subject put on the Index and there was an attempt on his life.

          Richard Simon, a Catholic priest, wrote a book to refute Spinoza but allowed that some parts were added by other prophets. He was expelled by his order. All but 6 of his books were burned. John Hampden translated it to English. It is reported that he recanted his agreement with Simon “probably shortly before his release from the tower.”

          That’s just one narrow subject that isn’t even in the Bible.

          Copernicus sat on his data for 30 years and only published when he was on his deathbed. It’s hard to imagine his reluctance was the result of anything but the Church.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          If you consider these questions raised, then it can help you understand the meaning of the passage better.

          I hope that the Bible as just one more ancient book of mythology (and related genres) is one of the options that you consider.

        • busterggi

          I dunno, ask the Manicheans, Gnostics, Arians, Cathars, Templars, supposed witches or hundreds of thousands of others slaughtered by the church

        • KarlUdy

          The Arians are a very bad example for you to use as their ideas were discussed repeatedly in church councils and they were not executed by the church. You would also go a long way to find the church executing gnostics. The Templars were persecuted by the King of France for political reasons – can’t pin that on the church. The inclusion of the killing of witches is a category error. If people were killed as witches it was because they were believed to use magic to curse people, etc – it was not because they were raising theological questions.

          Which leaves two examples which merit further investigation. The Roman Emperor made a decree against Manichaeism, not the church. Im any case, Manichaeism was as different from Christianity as Islam, with their belief that Mani was the final unifying prophet.

          The situation with the Cathars did involve the church more directly, but even if I give that example to you, your claim of the church executing those who expressed theological dissent for most of the centuries of its existence hardly rings true. Yes, there have been examples, but most of those have been during the Medieval times when the church was extremely politicised.

        • Greg G.

          AIUI, people who were accused of witchcraft were made to confess. If they confessed, they were able to be forgiven. If they didn’t, they were tortured until they did or they were killed. The confession required they admit guilt and often they had to name other witches. Many feared that telling a lie would jeopardize their soul, so they were killed as witches for telling the truth that they weren’t witches.

        • KarlUdy

          Again, witches were not executed for their theological interpretations. They were executed because people feared (whether rightly or wrongly) that they really were witches.

        • Reginald Selkirk

          Again, witches were not executed for their theological interpretations.
          They were executed because people feared (whether rightly or wrongly)
          that they really were witches.

          A belief in witchcraft, and the death penalty therefore, are encouraged by Teh Bible. (Exod 22:18) Theology implicated.

        • KarlUdy

          I thought we were talking about people who were executed for theological dissent. Are you really saying that this is the same sort of thing?

        • Greg G.

          Again, witches were not executed for their theological interpretations. They were executed because people feared (whether rightly or wrongly) that they really were witches.

          Whose theological interpretation are you referring to? The executed were often Christians. If you were accused of being a witch and you denied it, you were tortured until you confessed.

          The fear would have been a theological interpretation.

          Galatians 5:19-21
          19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

          The punishment was also theological.

          Exodus 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

          The killings were performed by the Catholic Church. But even Protestants did it, too. Martin Luther was responsible for four witch burnings. John Calvin said, “The Bible teaches us that there are witches and they must be slain … this law of God is a universal law.” John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, wrote in 1768, “It is true … that the English in general, and indeed most of the men of learning in Europe, have given up all accounts of witches and apparitions as mere old wives’ fables. I am sorry for it, and I willingly take this opportunity of entering my solemn protest against this violent compliment which so many that believe the Bible pay to those who do not believe it. I owe them no such service. I take knowledge that these are at the bottom of the outcry which has been raised, and with such insolence spread through the land, in direct opposition, not only to the Bible, but to the suffrage of the wisest and the best of men in all ages and nations. They well know (whether Christians know it or not) that the giving up of witchcraft is in effect giving up the Bible. With my latest breath I will bear testimony against giving up to infidels one great proof of the invisible world; I mean that of witchcraft and apparitions, confirmed by the testimony of all ages.”

        • KarlUdy

          Although this is all very interesting, I don’t think it helps your point. Was the error that those killed as witches were falsely accused and tried? Or that they were truly killed for holding to a different interpretation of the Bible?

        • Greg G.

          If there was a long winter or someone’s cow died, witchcraft was suspected. If someone was accused of being a witch, they denied it so they were tortured until they confessed to being a witch, having sex with the devil, and/or suckling the devil’s infants. They might be shaved to find any blemish, wart or mole that would be a witch’s tit. After they confessed, they were tortured until they gave up fellow witches, who got the same treatment. The tortures were gruesome. Finally, they got burned at the stake.

          I have never seen an account of a theological discussion with accused witches. But the entire process was theologically driven.

          Some of the following were used on accused witches but I don’t advise looking at them as they give me cold chills:
          Top 10 Gruesome Medieval Torture Devices

          List of methods of torture

        • busterggi

          Pardon me but waging wholesale war on the Arians & Gnostics, etc is the same as execution IMO. As for the Templars, the RCC endorsed the trails – remember they were tried for heresy, a religious crime.

          “If people were killed as witches it was because they were believed to use magic” – really, as if the bible’s whole “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” wasn’t used by the church as the reason to murder these people who may have clung to old pre-Christian practises.

          “Yes, there have been examples, but most of those have been during the Medieval times when the church was extremely politicised.” As I said, this is when the churches had the most power and were the mosrt abusive of it. And from what I see of the Religious Reich in the US they would do the same today IF they could.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The Malleus Maleficarum was a Catholic work, was it not?

        • KarlUdy

          waging wholesale war on the Arians & Gnostics

          When did this happen?

          Witches were not executed for disagreeing with orthodox theology. (How many times do I need to say this before it sinks in?)

          As I said, this is when the churches had the most power and were the mosrt abusive of it.

          As I remember, you said that the church was like this for most of the time. As I see it, it was like this for 2-300 years. 10-15% isn’t most to me.

        • Greg G.

          Witches were not executed for disagreeing with orthodox theology. (How many times do I need to say this before it sinks in?)

          People (mostly women) were executed for being accused of being witches, no matter what their theological beliefs were. They confessed to being witches because they were tortured. It just so happens that the most sensitive body parts are not near vital organs, so they could prolong the agony as long as they wished. They were executed because orthodox theology said there were witches and they must not be allowed to live.

        • KarlUdy

          So are you saying that someone who was a witch was actually arguing that they didn’t believe the Bible’s teaching on witchcraft was different from what was understood by others?

          Or do you think they were falsely accused of something, which if true, would actually deserve to be condemned?

        • Greg G.

          Witch Hunts cites Vicars of Christ by Peter de Rosa as saying that in 1657, the Congregation of the Holy Office of the Roman Catholic Church said that not a single case of the witch-hunt trials had been conducted properly.

          So it isn’t just me saying that people were falsely accused of witchcraft.

          Here’s a letter to his daughter from a man in Germany who was about to be executed for witchcraft (from the link above):

          Many hundred thousand goodnights, dearly beloved daughter Veronica. Innocent I have come to prison, innocent have I been tortured, innocent must I die. For whosoever comes into the witch prison must be a witch or be tortured until he invents something out of his head … I will tell you how it has gone to me … the executioner … put the thumbscrews on me, that blood ran out at the nails and everywhere. So that for four weeks I could not use my hands as you can see from my writing … Thereafter the stripped me, bound my hands behind me, and drew me up in torture. Then I thought heaven and earth were at an end; eight times did they draw me up and let me fall again, so that I suffered a terrible agony. The executioner said, “Sir, I beg you for God’s sake confess something, whether it be true or not, for you cannot endure the torture which you will be put to, and even if you bear it all, yet you will not escape” … [He then explained the confession he gave] Now my dear child you have all my confession, for which I must die. And they are sheer lies and made up things, so help me God. For all this I was forced to say through fear of torture which was threatened beyond what I had endured. For they never leave off with the torture till one confesses something, be he ever so good, he must be a witch. Nobody escapes ….

          The tortureres and executioners charged the victims for the ropes used to bind them and the wood used to burn them.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      If these questions have been asked and discussed by experts for
      centuries and not considered show-stoppers, why do you think they are?

      Most of those “experts” were dedicated to the proposition that there was some truth behind Genesis. Their effort went into trying to square the circle and make all the ends fit together, not into asking whether the whole thing should be discarded.
      This is the same sort of thinking that contributed to the concept of the trinity. “The Bible says X, but it also says Y. How can we rearrange our doctrine so that X and Y can both still be considered true?”

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        Karl: I think Reginald’s comment is on target. The experts start with the presupposition that their religion is correct.

        • KarlUdy

          We all bring our presuppositions to the table.

          I find it strangely amusing that were Reginald’s analysis applied to scientific theories. Is light a wave or a particle? How can we rearrange our science so that it fits both?Of course, we don’t just throw discard the whole concept of light, and for exactly the same reason we don’t discard the whole concept here either.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “Is light a wave or a particle? Or maybe … maybe we’re totally off base here. Guys, let’s keep in mind that we may have to discard large pieces of what we thought were established science.”

          Science will (eventually) discard what needs to be discarded. I wish other disciplines were as ruthless.

        • Reginald Selkirk

          Of course, we don’t just throw discard the whole concept of light, and
          for exactly the same reason we don’t discard the whole concept here
          either.

          No, it’s not for “exactly the same reason.” The reason we don’t discard light as a wave, or light as a particle, is that there is solid experimental evidence for each; not because we lack to courage to admit our sacred writings are deeply flawed.

    • Zach

      Most of those experts didn’t have the benefit of modern science which shows conclusively that the story of Eden is wrong. It’s not just the timescale that’s wrong, it’s also the sequence of events thats wrong. Not all plants evolved before animals, for example. Water didn’t exist before the stars. If you have no other way of understanding the world than the Eden story then of course you try to patch it up as best you can. But once you understand the scientific evidence for the way things actually happened, the holes in the garden of Eden story suddenly gape wide open in comparison. There have also been advances in bible scholarship, which tell us for instance that ‘the creation story’ is actually two creation stories, brought together when two different tribes became one.

      • KarlUdy

        Zach, the story of Eden was “wrong” only if it was trying to give a scientific understanding of the origin of the universe. The idea that it provides a chronological account of creation is a misreading that theologians as far back as Augustine pointed out.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And yet millions of evangelicals in the U.S. haven’t gotten the memo.

          What is your view of the value of the Garden of Eden story to Christians today?

        • KarlUdy

          It tells us who God is, who we are and how we relate to God.

  • Greg G.

    If the serpent was really Satan, why punish serpents? That would be like imprisoning Obama because someone wore a Halloween mask with his likeness in a bank robbery.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      The Great Mongoose in the Sky.

  • FullertonXJ

    “Getting wisdom is a bad thing? The Bible makes clear that it’s not”

    The Christian God has made it clear that he wants his followers thinking like children (Matt 18:3) and that he prefers the foolish over the wise. (1 Cor 1:27)

    If your mind is functioning at anything close to optimal capacity, Christianity isn’t for you.

  • SparklingMoon-

    Illogic of the Garden of Eden Story
    ———————————————————————
    The described story in the first pages of the Old Testament seems illogic in the mirror of human made explanations otherwise it holds a treasure of knowledge. The big problem with the Bible is always that it is a mixture of God’s revelation and human words. These human words and some explanations of its verses had made these description of Bible against the prevailed laws of God in nature had made people confused about these books.Second the translation of a revelation can never provide the same meanings or purposes as its originol words.

    In the very first pages of the Old testament there is a description of two evolutions. First evolution of this universe that was started by God by nothingness (of physical) but only through His spiritual attributes. In this description of evolution God had first created other objects of universe step by step and then in the seventh stage of His creation had created first life of human beings in this world and all objects of this universe had taken part in the creation of human beings. The purpose of all other objects of this universe was to help human beings to come into existence and later for their survival.(As we know that the whole Universe is taking part directly or indirectly for human survival and sustenance)

    The second evolution that is described in the first pages of Old Testament is about seven thousand years of human progress that takes place on earth and that repeats it self after an intervals. What is described in these first pages does not mean that there happaned originally something between God or Adam or it was a physical scene. These description of Adam and Eva and serpent or
    snake or tree are metaphorical descriptions to stop human beings from
    some particular deeds or interferance in the system of God’s creation.

    • SparklingMoon-

      IIllogic of the Garden of Eden Story
      ——————————————————————-
      In the Quran and other religious books there are, two different characters who are given the name of Adam.The very first life that came into existence on earth,millions years ago without mother and father.This very first life is given the name of Adam:”Surely, the case of Jesus with Allah is like the case of Adam.He created him out of dust, then He said to him, ‘Be!,’and he was.” (Quran3:60) This verse of the Quran explains about this very first life (Adam ) of the earth that also had to pass through a long process of gradual creation,to reach to its final stage, as jesus (or any child)had to pass through a gradual process of its creation,to turn in to a live being.

      The second person who is called Adam and also a vicegerent of God on earth is the character who had received the first revelation among his people,about six thousands years ago from our time and had laid the foundation of our present civilization after having divine guidance of God on earth.
      .
      According to the descriptions of religious books, God has created the world in seven days and a day in the estimation of God is equivalent to 1000 years of human beings:‘Verily a day with thy lord is a thousand years of yours reckoning“ (Quran22: 48) Muslims Christian and Jews scholars are agreed that county from the time of Adam (of present generation) to the present millennium is the seventh.

      This gradual process of human progress of his rationality and wordily civilization, from the time of Prophet Adam to our time,in six thousands years, is near to reach to its perfection.We are in the beginning of seventh millennium on earth and it brings a great change for the inhabitants of earth.This human progress turns the atmosphere of earth into a worldly paradise. The rapid progress in the field of genetics will make a revolution on earth.There will be heaps of food without a hard toil of man and genetical human birth will relieve women from pains of giving
      birth,genetics technology will treat all diseases. people will start to live to gather and will become one as they were at the time of Prophet Adam.

      This paradise will be in the possession of Adams and Evas ( human beings) to live freely in it and enjoy this earthly Paradise but they had to resist from a tree. This forbidden tree is to interfere and change the creation of human beings . As it is warned by God in the Quran that this interference and change in His Creation would not be forgiven.All previous generations that had passed on earth,before the Adam of our current generation, after having a progress, had interfered in the system of His human creation to make their physical lives eternal and persistent on the earth therefore had been punished by God in a way they they had destroyed themselves their progress and had lost their paradise on earth by their own hands. The result of their destruction is told by God in the book of the Bible in following words:

      ”To the woman he said, ‘I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children..To Adam he said, ‘Because you
      listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded
      you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ ‘Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.(Genesis3:16-17)

      This interference in the system of creation of God is called a sin( in religious books) that would affect our next generation also. They have to face the result of this sin as have to start their journey of progress again from zero.

      • Trevor

        Even if a day of God’s is a 1000 years to human beings, that’s still not long enough. Modern science says the universe is 13.77 billion years old. Not 7000. 13.77 billion. So the story of Eden is still wrong. The Qu’ran is nothing but bad bible fanfiction. Mohammed was probably ill, maybe he suffered from epilepsy, psychosis orschizophrenia . Either that or he was a conman who heard the old testament being recited and decided to replace all the references to ‘Jews’ with ‘arabs’. He was also a pedophile, a womaniser, and a murderous thug who had anyone who disagreed with him killed.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The Qu’ran is nothing but bad bible fanfiction.

          :-)

        • Reginald Selkirk

          I understand that you’re joking, but it’s not entirely true. The Bible draws from Jewish sects, heretical Christian sects, pre-Islamic Arabian paganism, and Zoroastrianism. Its unoriginality extends beyond the Bible.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I think you meant “Koran” instead of that first “Bible.”

          Good point.

        • SparklingMoon-

          Even if a day of God’s is a 1000 years to human beings, that’s still not long enough. Modern science says the universe is 13.77 billion years old. Not 7000.
          ___________________________________________
          In the first pages of Old Testament there are two descriptions about two different evolutions: evolution of this universe and evolution of human progress on earth.
          The creation of this universe step by step in seven stages is described In the very first chapter of Old Testament and this creation may be had taken time more or less than 13.77 billion years of our solar system.

          Second desription is in next chepters about human progress and evolution on earth that completes in seven thousand years of our solar system and it repeats itself after an interval again and again.Human beings make progress and reach to a height according to their human capacities and then destruct this progress after breaking some laws of God. This present time, we are passing through, is the beginning of seventh thousand .

          Some scholers in their explanations of these verses of Old Testament mixed these both evolutions and describe them as a one evolution and make a confusion as their explanations are against the prevailed laws of nature.

        • SparklingMoon-

          The Qu’ran is nothing but bad bible fanfiction
          ________________________________________
          To think that the Holy Quran is made up of such well known accounts,tales, books or gospels, is the height of ignorance. Is there anything wrong with a book of God being in agreement with some past accounts? (of His Revelation) Many truths of the Vedas,( religious book of Hinduism) which were not even known at the time, are to be found in the Holy Quran, but can we conclude from this that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) had studied the Vedas? The Gospels that have now become availabl —thanks to the printing press— were not known to anyone in Arabia, and the people of that land were simply unlettered. If there happened to be an odd Christian among them, he was not likely to know much about his own religion.

          It is therefore despicable to think that the Holy Prophet (of Islam) plagiarized from these books.The Holy Prophet( of Islam) was unlettered and could not even read Arabic, let alone Greek or Hebrew. If the Holy Quran contained material copied from other sources, the Christians of Arabia,, would at once have cried out that it has been taken from their own accounts.

          It forcefully asserts that its prophecies and narratives are from the realm of the unseen, it contains prophecies about the future down to the Last Day, and that it is a miracle in respect of its eloquence and beauty of expression.The Holy Quran claimed that it was a unique and miraculous book, and it challenged anyone who considered it to be the word of man to come forward and prove it, but no opponent took up the challenge.

          Just consider, can a person dare to give such a challenge to the whole world, while being a plagiarist and having cooked the whole thing up on his own, and knowing full well that this knowledge has not come to him from the unseen, rather he has stolen it from such and such books, and to think that no one should be able to accept his challenge and expose him!( Fountain of Christianity
          byMirza Ghulam Ahmad of India P-11-13)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Maybe the Koran, along with the Bible, are just mythologies and legends from prescientific people. They’re pretty unbelievable; why believe them?

        • SparklingMoon-

          Maybe the Koran, along with the Bible, are just mythologies and legends from prescientific people.
          —————————————————————
          Other religious books were not legends in their beginning as they had also fulfilled their purpose of revelation to improve the moral and spiritual condition of the people of their times and had brought people back to their God. Second, after the advent of Islam, all other religious systems and their Scriptures, which were intended only for specific periods and specific peoples, became abrogated and divinely inspired Reformers ceased to appear among them and they turned gradually into human mythologies and legends. With the revelation of the Quran,God promises: ”Verily, We Ourselves have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian, (Al-Hijr, 15:10)
          This verse of the Quran promises that its text has been safe-guarded in its original form by a divine plan for all times to come and God consoles the followers of previous revelations by saying: ”Whatever Sign We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than that or the like thereof.” (Quran 2 :107) and explains the reason of their abrogation by pointing out that they were revealed to fulfill the needs of a specific time or for a particular race:”We gave unto Moses the Scripture,and We appointed it a guidance for the children of Israel, “(17:2)

          The universality of this final Law for all mankind, requires the abrogation of previous teachings, related to a particular time or race. The God of Old Testament addressed to Israel: ”Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever.” (I Chronicles 16:36) Jesus also claimed himself as a Prophet for Children of Israel:”I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”(Matthew-15:24) Vedas, a religious scripture of Hindus,was reserved only for the people of high cast:”If a Sudra happens to hear the Vedas then it is the king’s duty to drop molten lead and wax into his ears ; if a Sudra were to recite the Vedic Mantras the king should cut off his tongue and if he try to read the Vedas, the king should cut his body.” ( Gotama Smrti:12)The God of the Quran is not merely a God of Israel or Arabs or the Muslims but a universal God who calls all mankind to its universal message of guidance through the Prophet of Islam:“O Mankind! Truly I am a Messenger to you all from Allah to Whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. There is no God but He. He gives life and He causes death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Prophet, the immaculate one, who believes in Allah and His words, and follow him that you may be rightly guided.”(Quran7:159)

          It is not only the text of the Quran that has been preserved intact by God. He has provided for the preservation of its spirit also. This has been done by raising divinely inspired Reformers among the Muslims from time to time. These Reformers, known in Islamic terminology as Mujaddids, receive revelations from God and interpret and explain the true meaning of the Quranic text. Such Reformers appeared among the followers of other religions also, but that was only for so long as such Scriptures served as guides for their followers.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      The challenge you’ve chosen is: Take my religious beliefs as a given and rearrange the facts of reality to support that as well as possible.

      OK–nice job, given that presupposition. However, many of us in the world don’t have that presupposition, and your argument is no argument at all. It’s a rationalization.

      My suggestion: for once, actually make an apologetic. Here, I’ll get you started: “God exists because …”

    • Kim

      No, not everything in the universe is for human survival and sustenance. There are billions and billions of stars out there in the universe. We don’t need them to live. Even if we could build a rocketship to take us to the nearest star, it would take millons and millions of years. A few of the stars are useful for navigation, but most of them have no use at all to us. Then there’s stuff like dark matter, which we can barely even measure, and we only became aware of a few decades ago. There are animals living in the deepest oceans which hardly ever interact with us. Bacteria in antaractic lakes which evolved in isolation from us. Then there are the thousands of plants that are inedible or downright poisonous, and all the creatures that we can’t tame or farm or eat. Great expanses of desert in the middle of the planet which we can travel through, but not live in. The continent of Antarctica, covered in ice, useless to us. 70% of the surface of the earth is salt water, which we can’t breathe. There are fishes in some of the ocean, but a lot of the ocean is barren; there’s much more sea water than we would ever want or need. To say it’s all for us is preposterous arrogance.

      • SparklingMoon-

        There are billions and billions of stars out there in the universe. We don’t need them to live.
        __________________________________________________
        God Almighty has created not only earth but skies also for human beings. Everything on earth has a duty to fulfil and directly or indirectly are in servise of human beings.There is a long continue hidden system that is working not only on earth but also in the whole universe for human beings. We as human beings can see sun or some other planet and recognise them as our helpers on earth for human sustenance but these planet are helped by some other planets for their sustenance and there is a long continue procedure that helps and ends to God Almighty

        In the Holy Qur’an, God makes it clear at a number of places that whatever has been created in the heavens and the earth is for its part dependent on man and has been created for his sake. His is the highest and loftiest station of all creation. He is the liegelord whom all creation is ordained to subserve. Says the HolyQur’an: 14: 34-35. That is, “And We put the Sun and the Moon at your service. They are always on the move and in their phases and states, they never stand still.” For instance, the Sun in spring is quite different from the Sun in autumn. Sometimes these bodies display peculiar kinds of characteristics and at times their exact opposites. The Holy Qur’an adds: “Days and nights have been subjected to serve you. You have been provided with all that your nature demanded and given all that you needed. You would never be able to count God’s bounties, even if you tried.(14: 39) (Elucidation Of Objectives by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian India-P—40-41)

  • Eric Sotnak

    I still can’t get past the idea of magic fruit and a talking snake.

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