Disclaimer: This is a response to this post. I HIGHLY recommend reading the original article. It’s a really good one. I don’t know if I “agree” with it, but I liked reading it nonetheless. Anyways let’s get to it.
Now as a second disclaimer, I am in NO WAY a Biblical expert. But even that is weird. Why make the Bible confusing? Why make it difficult to understand, and why originally write it in a language which would one day be not spoken? Why not write it in a language that would become a lingua franca and stay one? If this book was spiritually authored by a being who is aware of the future, past, and present, why not simply write it either in some super-script, or in multiple languages (himself/itself, not have humans translate it), and why does it need to be tackled by an expert in order for these things to make sense?
The basic premise of the article that this is a response too is that it’s a fascinating approach to the concept of “Original Sin”, the sin committed by Adam and Eve which some believe is the reason for death, and is at least the reason for pain in childbirth from the point of view of a biblical literalist. One of the interesting claims here is that rather than Original Sin being Adam and Eve’s sin, it was Gods. Which intrigues me. Now Barbara (the author of the article) and I are going to down different paths. I am going to use Genesis to discuss why I think it’s possible that the first sinner is God. She takes things down a different path, so be sure to read her article at some point during your day.
Is the first sinner God? Maybe. If lying is a sin.
Lie: a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
I find the idea of God being the true first sinner fascinating. Partially because of the common translation of Genesis 2:16-17. “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 from it you will certainly die.'” (Source). To some this sounds almost like a lie. I can see why Christians would argue that it’s not, but it sure sounds like one. I personally think that given the consequences of actually eating the fruit of the tree, it’s really hard to say that it’s not a lie. In case anyone needs a reminder of the direct consequences of eating the fruit, here’s a list according to Genesis 3.
For the Serpent: Serpents will eat dust, and mankind will despise serpents, man will try to bash the skulls of serpents in, and serpents will lash out at the heels of man. Oh and some curse thing that means serpents can only slither across the ground. I’m curious if the serpent in the Bible didn’t slither as a means of movement, and somehow… walked or something.
For Man: The earth itself is somehow cursed. Thorns and stuff will come up from it. You have to grow crops to eat, and when you die your body will decompose and eventually turn to dust.
For Woman: Childbirth is going to SUCK. Oh and lust. Don’t forget that Adam is “different but equal” just a bit more equal than you.
Oh and the “Tree of Life” got some neat bodyguards. Angel dudes with blazing blades. Because apparently the Tree of Life somehow reverses the inevitable impact the fruit of the tree of knowledge has on the body, or the effect of being outside of the Garden.
I can definitely see why someone might think that God kind of lied here. Especially because the serpent told Eve the truth. The serpent told her that the fruit wouldn’t kill her and it would in a sense make her closer to/more like God. The fruit didn’t kill her, and suddenly she knew the difference between “good” and “evil”. Additionally, even God acknowledged that man “became like them” knowing good and evil, which gives further credence to the words of the Serpent. Also, I’m unsure if they were capable of dying originally, because the fact that God decides to guard the Tree of Life has significance. It’s possible that the fruit of knowledge by itself took away their collective immortality, but if it didn’t then it is possible that in the Garden somehow otherwise consistent laws of nature are suspended.
I definitely understand why people like Barbara feel the way they do. I view the entire situation as fictional, as do many Christians (although they view it as symbolic), and atheists so personally it carries little significance to us either way. But it is a fascinating argument, that the first sin belongs to God. Never really thought of it that way, but this is meant to be further reasoning why that conclusion might be true, and ought to be discussed.
Let’s not forget that Eve kind of lies as well. She says in Genesis 3:13 that the Serpent deceived her. Not really. The serpent says that they will not die, and that they will be like God. Both of these things are at least in the moment, true. She might have felt “deceived” but there’s no real reason for her to. Depending on her intention, and how she feels about the truth of her statement, she could be lying, or just subjectively “wrong” about what she says.
What do you think? I really liked the original article, and I wanted to examine it from what the text says in Genesis. Let me know how you felt reading through Genesis and the possibility of God “lying”.