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jeffweeder
Feb 17th 2008, 01:27 AM
What tree was in the middle of the garden?


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.




GEN 3:4
The woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;
3 (javascript:VClk('Ge 3:3')) but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'



:confused :o :B :hmm: :bounce:

divaD
Feb 17th 2008, 01:57 AM
What tree was in the middle of the garden?






:confused :o :B :hmm: :bounce:



That is an excellent question. When I first saw this, I thought, this is too easy. But now I see your point. I for one don't have an answer, at least not yet.

threebigrocks
Feb 17th 2008, 02:23 AM
Genesis 2


8The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.
9Out 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.


They were both in the middle of the garden. And, they were not the only trees there either, every tree that produced fruit. ;)



16The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;
17but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."


But they were not to eat of only one, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

tgallison
Feb 17th 2008, 01:04 PM
Genesis 2


They were both in the middle of the garden. And, they were not the only trees there either, every tree that produced fruit. ;)



But they were not to eat of only one, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Ezekiel 31:8 "The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs and the chesnut trees were not like his branches: nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty."

Isaiah 53:1-2 "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness: and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him."

RogerW
Feb 17th 2008, 03:49 PM
Genesis 2

They were both in the middle of the garden. And, they were not the only trees there either, every tree that produced fruit. ;)

But they were not to eat of only one, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Greetings Three,

This question may lead the discussion away from the OP, so you may not be inclined to offer a response. No problem, I understand.

Have you ever wondered why God created all things perfect only to allow Satan to enter into His perfect creation and spoil it through the introduction of evil? Is it relevant knowing that Adam and Eve had no knowledge of either good or evil?

Many Blessings,
RW

threebigrocks
Feb 17th 2008, 04:03 PM
Ezekiel 31:8 "The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs and the chesnut trees were not like his branches: nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty."

Isaiah 53:1-2 "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness: and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him."

Duh, pleasing to the eye AND good for food. Thanks.

threebigrocks
Feb 17th 2008, 04:06 PM
Greetings Three,

This question may lead the discussion away from the OP, so you may not be inclined to offer a response. No problem, I understand.

Have you ever wondered why God created all things perfect only to allow Satan to enter into His perfect creation and spoil it through the introduction of evil? Is it relevant knowing that Adam and Eve had no knowledge of either good or evil?

Many Blessings,
RW

Well, this will indeed lead the discussion, potentially a verrrrry long way, from from the OP. ;) Good one for discussion, if you want to start another thread though! To summarize my answers to your questions - yes and yes. :D

Athanasius
Feb 17th 2008, 04:17 PM
Greetings Three,

This question may lead the discussion away from the OP, so you may not be inclined to offer a response. No problem, I understand.

Have you ever wondered why God created all things perfect only to allow Satan to enter into His perfect creation and spoil it through the introduction of evil? Is it relevant knowing that Adam and Eve had no knowledge of either good or evil?

Many Blessings,
RW

You don't think Adam and Eve had no knowledge of good and evil? How would you explain, then, their awareness of what 'right' and 'wrong' meant? The tree was a test, it didn't bestow them with any new knowledge other than what the consequences of disobedience are.

I would think anyway--no free choice to be in communion with God if you aren't able to chose to not listen to Him.

threebigrocks
Feb 17th 2008, 04:33 PM
You don't think Adam and Eve had no knowledge of good and evil? How would you explain, then, their awareness of what 'right' and 'wrong' meant? The tree was a test, it didn't bestow them with any new knowledge other than what the consequences of disobedience are.

I would think anyway--no free choice to be in communion with God if you aren't able to chose to not listen to Him.

Romans 7



7What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET."
8But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.
9I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died;
10and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me;
11for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.
12So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. 13Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful.



Genesis 3


6When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.



They had 1 command - do not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 1 law of God. And God did let them choose willfully. Free will existed from the moment the command was given. They knew it was wrong, but the temptation of flesh won out. It gave them something to fight against and to choose God and his righteousness and His will over their own. As soon as they ate, that law pointed out to them their sin like a big neon arrow and they were ashamed. They tried to cover up with self justification and seek their own righteousness because of the flesh winning out over the command of God.
I cannot imagine their guilt and the desire to seek cleanliness and return to that righteousness must have been a heavy thing because they were in the very presence of God.

Athanasius
Feb 17th 2008, 04:43 PM
They had 1 command - do not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 1 law of God. And God did let them choose willfully. Free will existed from the moment the command was given. They knew it was wrong, but the temptation of flesh won out. It gave them something to fight against and to choose God and his righteousness and His will over their own. As soon as they ate, that law pointed out to them their sin like a big neon arrow and they were ashamed. They tried to cover up with self justification and seek their own righteousness because of the flesh winning out over the command of God.
I cannot imagine their guilt and the desire to seek cleanliness and return to that righteousness must have been a heavy thing because they were in the very presence of God.

Excuse my being slow. . . .

Is what your saying then that the one commandment by God constituted the 'law' (at that time) which then allowed Adam and Eve to know what was wrong, keeping them out of 'ignorance' so to speak.

So what is it then, that actually occurred that resulted in the 'opening' of Adam and Eve's eyes to their nakedness, among other things? I understand the act of disobedience (I hope I do, anyway), so is there anything to suggest what exactly went on as to what opened their eyes?

RogerW
Feb 17th 2008, 05:19 PM
You don't think Adam and Eve had no knowledge of good and evil? How would you explain, then, their awareness of what 'right' and 'wrong' meant? The tree was a test, it didn't bestow them with any new knowledge other than what the consequences of disobedience are.

I would think anyway--no free choice to be in communion with God if you aren't able to chose to not listen to Him.

Adam and Eve had no knowledge of good or evil until after they ate of the forbidden tree. I think most of us would agree that knowing evil and the consquences thereof; i.e. judgment of death..."then their eyes were open" But what intrigues me is that Adam and Eve, prior to their fall also had no knowledge of good. It seems we overlook this fact. What did it mean that they had no knowledge of what is good? Could they have ever come to understand the great love God had for them if they had no knowledge of what is good? I have a theory about this, but I was interested in what others thought.

Many Blessings,
RW

Athanasius
Feb 17th 2008, 05:28 PM
Adam and Eve had no knowledge of good or evil until after they ate of the forbidden tree. I think most of us would agree that knowing evil and the consquences thereof; i.e. judgment of death..."then their eyes were open" But what intrigues me is that Adam and Eve, prior to their fall also had no knowledge of good. It seems we overlook this fact. What did it mean that they had no knowledge of what is good? Could they have ever come to understand the great love God had for them if they had no knowledge of what is good? I have a theory about this, but I was interested in what others thought.

Many Blessings,
RW

How would they then have understood the difference between right or wrong? Did they understand that eating the fruit was right, or wrong? Or did God simply say, 'Here's your one rule, don't eat the fruit off this tree', keep them in ignorance and then hope they continued to make the right choice?

Or was that the point?

RogerW
Feb 17th 2008, 07:12 PM
How would they then have understood the difference between right or wrong? Did they understand that eating the fruit was right, or wrong? Or did God simply say, 'Here's your one rule, don't eat the fruit off this tree', keep them in ignorance and then hope they continued to make the right choice?

Or was that the point?

Do we need to know the difference between right and wrong to follow an order? Are we not capable of following an order even if we don't know why we should or should not?

It seems Adam and Eve were surrounded by love and protection and they were oblivious! I mean they were by no means stupid, after all Adam named all the animals God brought to him. So they certainly had intelligence. I'm reminded of the statement by Joseph:

Ge 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Did God allow evil so His people would understand how good He is? Without the presence of evil Adam and Eve did not understand all the good that God had given them.

Just some thoughts to contemplate.

Many Blessings,
RW

tgallison
Feb 17th 2008, 07:31 PM
Duh, pleasing to the eye AND good for food. Thanks.

Dear Duh

We know what kind of fruit the other tree, the tree of life, produces.

John 6:51 "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

And the fruit of this tree, the tender plant, that was not desired, "--is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance--." (Galatians 4:22-23)

And the Word was manifested in the flesh.

We are to eat the word of God.

terrell

threebigrocks
Feb 17th 2008, 09:49 PM
Excuse my being slow. . . .

Is what your saying then that the one commandment by God constituted the 'law' (at that time) which then allowed Adam and Eve to know what was wrong, keeping them out of 'ignorance' so to speak.

So what is it then, that actually occurred that resulted in the 'opening' of Adam and Eve's eyes to their nakedness, among other things? I understand the act of disobedience (I hope I do, anyway), so is there anything to suggest what exactly went on as to what opened their eyes?

Seperate the tree from the whole thing for a moment.

God said not to. They did anyhow. They first realized that they went against God and they, literally, tried to cover it up. Like when you were a kid and did something that you knew was wrong but got carried away and then thought "Oh man, I'm dead when mom and dad find out!"

Now, put the tree back in. Not only did they realize that they sinned against God through their disobedience but they also then recognized what was against God - the knowledge of good and evil. The black and white was then there. Before they ate there was no sin. Afterwards they had the sin to hold up to the righteousness of God. They could see that against God was evil. That contrasted in comparison to what they knew to be good - being without sin and in communion with God. The fruit both physcially and spiritually drew that line for them.

threebigrocks
Feb 17th 2008, 09:59 PM
How would they then have understood the difference between right or wrong? Did they understand that eating the fruit was right, or wrong? Or did God simply say, 'Here's your one rule, don't eat the fruit off this tree', keep them in ignorance and then hope they continued to make the right choice?

Or was that the point?

They were not kept in ignorance, they were given it all. What Adam and Eve had before the fall, walking with God in harmony and love as a friend, is what we hope for now. It was the plan from the beginning and it will be reality when we are judged and deemed son of the living God. He still wishes to walk with us as He did before the fruit was consumed. Adam and Eve didn't realize what they had until they knew seperation from God. They had it and lost it. We live in hopes of the communion that we will have where there is peace and perfection - love, walking with the Father.

Notice that Eve took God's command as it being fact and never gave it a thought - until she was tempted. She took the command as "Yes that is what God said." just as a child would. He said it, don't do it.

God did leave them to obey, it was their free will which chose not to.

jeffweeder
Feb 18th 2008, 02:28 AM
When I first saw this, I thought, this is too easy. But now I see your point. I for one don't have an answer, at least not yet.


Hahaha, i'm not sure of the significance of it either, if any --hmmm.

What is significant is who/what is standing in the middle here;


Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,
2 in the middle of its street.
On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him;
4 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.
5 And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

Im going for a swim in that river....

threebigrocks
Feb 18th 2008, 03:27 AM
Hahaha, i'm not sure of the significance of it either, if any --hmmm.

What is significant is who/what is standing in the middle here;



Im going for a swim in that river....

Well, there's much more to the trees than which one was in the middle. I confess, we derailed it. Slightly. :blush:

jeffweeder
Feb 18th 2008, 03:44 AM
slightly.........:cool:

I dont mind, its all interesting.

Just that 2 trees in the middle made me think that their was some significance to it..you know , one of them hidden pearls that you come across from time to time.

Like the wheat and the tares growing in the same field ..planted by the word of the lord.:kiss:

Athanasius
Feb 18th 2008, 04:14 AM
It seems Adam and Eve were surrounded by love and protection and they were oblivious! I mean they were by no means stupid, after all Adam named all the animals God brought to him. So they certainly had intelligence. I'm reminded of the statement by Joseph:

Just to make clear, I don't actually believe Adam and Eve were kept in ignorance.
Rather, I think Adam and Eve did know good from bad, right from wrong. They knew the difference because God had defined them. What was right and good was the obedience to God. What was wrong and bad was disobedience of God.

They say you don't know what you have until it's gone. I think this is the case for Adam and Eve. They certainly knew their situation, but they didn't fully appreciate it until they were removed from it.

So I agree with TBR. And must apologizing for entirely confusing myself.
It seems my mind fog has gotten the better of me (flu)!

jeffweeder
Feb 18th 2008, 04:38 AM
What did they know that was bad, in such a wonderful enviroment.
God said that they would die if they ate the wrong thing.........how would they know what that meant as nothing was dying?


They say you don't know what you have until it's gone.

How very true is that.........


they didn't fully appreciate it until they were removed from it.

nice post x

jeffcraig
Mar 15th 2017, 01:38 AM
... Have you ever wondered why God created all things perfect only to allow Satan to enter into His perfect creation and spoil it through the introduction of evil? Is it relevant knowing that Adam and Eve had no knowledge of either good or evil?....

YHWH had just recently created EVERYTHING and said it was very good, or good.

Adam and Havah (Eve) knew perfectly, fellowship with YHWH, in the garden, and for them everything they knew was good (perfect even).
They had better health than anyone on earth today,
probably better health than anyone on earth since before the flood.

They didn't need a "haelth care plan" or "haelth insurance" or medicine for anything. (note that at one time, for a time, when they obeyed YHWH, not one of the ISRAELITES needed any medicine for anything - NO HEALTH PROBLEMS ! )

Perhaps (humanly speaking) they were naive' --- when the enemy presented them a choice,
perhaps they had completely NO IDEA what would happen if they listened to the enemy .. .. ...
.
like billions of little children in the last century all around us.... or at least some, if there were any who were raised in the way that they should go.... (yes, a few were)....

Precious few ever get to see children who are raised in the way they should go.
Children who will not even think a bad word,
in their mind the thought of ever hurting someone never occurs to them,
in their mind the thought of ever stealing or lying never occurs to them,
no way they would ever worship or serve an idol nor a demon.

===============================
per the question quoted - why did YHWH allow evil - knowing ahead of time all that would happen (everything , all the time, every life, every second of all time) ....

HE says why in HIS WORD. HE reveals Y'SHUA MESSIAH from HEAVEN to HIS children, and everything pertaining to SALVATION in this life and in the life to come.

(PERFECT! )

LastSeven
Mar 15th 2017, 11:27 PM
First of all, these were obviously not literal trees. The trees in the story were representative of two things. Life and death. And life and death were both figuratively in the middle of the garden as these two concepts were (and still are) central to creation. God gives life, sin gives death.

Without the knowledge of good and evil there is no sin, regardless of what you do. Sin is only sin, if you know that it's sin. This is why God said if you eat from it you will surely die, meaning as soon as you know of sin you will be guilty of it. As long as you don't know about it, you're not guilty. This is exactly what Jesus said in John 9:41

John 9:41
Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains".

This is also how there can be no more death and no more sin on the new earth even though we will still have a free will. Can God guarantee that we'll never decide to do wrong? Certainly not, or he would've made the same guarantee with Adam and Eve. No, free will is integral to the reason He created us in the first place. Without free will there's no true love, but at the same time that leaves open the possibility of doing things we ought not to do.

This is why on the new earth we will no longer have the knowledge of good and evil. We will not know of sin, therefore we won't be guilty of it.

Isaiah 65:17 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+65:17&version=NIV)
“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.

Want2bSaved
Mar 16th 2017, 04:46 AM
LastSeven, you explained that so well!

bluesky22
Mar 17th 2017, 11:26 PM
First of all, these were obviously not literal trees. The trees in the story were representative of two things. Life and death. And life and death were both figuratively in the middle of the garden as these two concepts were (and still are) central to creation. God gives life, sin gives death

Hi LastSeven,

Just curious if you could explain a little more here. Just curious :) Are you saying that the TOL and the TOKGE as described in Genesis where not actual trees in real history? Can you explain what they were ?

Blue

LastSeven
Mar 18th 2017, 07:32 AM
Hi LastSeven,

Just curious if you could explain a little more here. Just curious :) Are you saying that the TOL and the TOKGE as described in Genesis where not actual trees in real history? Can you explain what they were ?

Blue

That's exactly what I'm saying. These were not literal trees and they did not eat a literal fruit. The "trees" are symbols for life and death, and the fruit is a symbol for disobedience. The story is meant to convey a point, not a history lesson. They didn't actually eat a fruit from a tree. The story is told the way it is because it's an easy way to remember the events that took place shortly after creation, and pass the lesson on from generation to generation while preserving the point of the story. The actual events that led to the fall were likely much more complicated.

The point is that mankind was created blameless, but at a certain point fell into sin. The way they fell into sin was by learning the difference between good and evil. How exactly they learned it is not important, although we can be pretty certain Satan led them there. What is important is that as a result, they were now guilty of sin and lost their communion with God, and since God is life, they lost that too.

For example, imagine if you need to explain the point that throughout their lifetimes men and women play many different roles as they grow and move towards death. You might say "All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players". That's symbolism used to make a point, and that's exactly what was done in explaining the fall of man.

bluesky22
Mar 18th 2017, 02:00 PM
That's exactly what I'm saying. These were not literal trees and they did not eat a literal fruit. The "trees" are symbols for life and death, and the fruit is a symbol for disobedience. The story is meant to convey a point, not a history lesson. They didn't actually eat a fruit from a tree. The story is told the way it is because it's an easy way to remember the events that took place shortly after creation, and pass the lesson on from generation to generation while preserving the point of the story. The actual events that led to the fall were likely much more complicated.

Hi LastSeven, what makes you think these were not literal trees or that Adam & Eve ate a literal fruit? Does the text say this is the case? Do you believe that the Garden of Eden was a real place that existed in real history or is it symbolical as well? Indeed, I agree, the tress were largely symbolic on one hand, as, what’s so sinful about simply eating a piece of fruit? But what precludes them from being real trees and real fruit that existed in real history? How do you know the story is told this way as an easy way to remember? Just curious.



The point is that mankind was created blameless, but at a certain point fell into sin. The way they fell into sin was by learning the difference between good and evil. How exactly they learned it is not important, although we can be pretty certain Satan led them there. What is important is that as a result, they were now guilty of sin and lost their communion with God, and since God is life, they lost that too.

I agree, this is the essence of the text. However, why is it not important to know the circumstances of such an event? What purpose would God have in telling us such a series of interconnected detailed events ( i.e the fall, curse etc..) that never actually occurred? How can we know for certain that Satan “led them there”, if the “there” and the “what” are not actual real events or objects?



For example, imagine if you need to explain the point that throughout their lifetimes men and women play many different roles as they grow and move towards death. You might say "All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players". That's symbolism used to make a point, and that's exactly what was done in explaining the fall of man.

Your example in context works and is logical, however, I don’t think it applies in the same sense to the text in Genesis. What is wrong with God merely telling mankind, the plain truth about what happened to our first parents [ and what led to our present condition ] in the Garden? To further clarify, why couldn’t it have happened the exact way it is described? Is it too simple?

Regards,

Blue

LastSeven
Mar 18th 2017, 05:25 PM
Obviously the text doesn't tell us that the trees are symbolic, but it becomes obvious when you put on your critical thinking cap. You're exactly right when you say there's nothing sinful about eating a piece of fruit and that alone makes it's pretty obvious that we're reading symbolism.

However, even in the symbolism we are told all the details that matter, which is that the knowledge of good and evil makes us guilty of sin. How exactly we got that knowledge isn't made clear but we are told that Satan (the serpent) encouraged them, and that's important for us to know as well. Just as we aren't told exactly how Noah managed to gather, transport, lathe, bend and fasten the huge pieces of lumber required to build the ark but we are told that Noah obeyed and was saved. In both cases we are told the important parts.

I believe we aren't told all the details of what transpired because the symbolism makes it easier to understand the point of the story. Sin separates us from God.

Was the garden real? Probably not, at least not the way it was described. It was probably real in the sense that creation was perfect and beautiful, a literal paradise on earth, but it doesn't make sense for the garden to have been a small plot of land because God had intended for man to inhabit the entire earth. It also probably doesn't make sense for a literal flaming sword to flash back and forth to guard the entrance because that would imply that God intended to preserve the place and that it would remain distinct from the rest of the earth and we would've found it by now.

My guess is that the entire earth was the garden and the reason it was paradise on earth was because God lived here and God is life. When God left, death and decay filled the void, and the flaming sword guarding the entrance is symbolic for the difference between life and death, just as the doubled edged sword in Jesus' mouth is symbolic for the truth that both saves and destroys. In any case, these details also don't really matter. The point of the story remains the same.

Athanasius
Mar 18th 2017, 05:36 PM
Another necro thread... Did you mean to imply that bluesky22 wasn't critically thinking?

*Popcorn*

LastSeven
Mar 18th 2017, 05:46 PM
Anybody who thinks eating a literal fruit caused the fall from grace isn't critically thinking.

Athanasius
Mar 18th 2017, 05:56 PM
Anybody who thinks eating a literal fruit caused the fall from grace isn't critically thinking.

Oh, you did mean to... how boring, and sloppy. Let's start from the beginning, then: what is uncritical about the belief in a literal tree qua object lesson?

LastSeven
Mar 18th 2017, 06:03 PM
Oh, you did mean to... how boring, and sloppy. Let's start from the beginning, then: what is uncritical about the belief in a literal tree qua object lesson?

I've explained it already. It's absurd to think eating a fruit would be the reason for the fall, much less that God would purposely plant that tree in the middle of the garden as a "test" or "temptation". Absolutely absurd, and if you believe it then you really don't understand the nature of God and creation at all.

If you're offended by that then get over it. Political correctness is not going to dissuade me from telling the truth.

Stew Ward's Hip
Mar 18th 2017, 06:08 PM
I've explained it already. It's absurd to think eating a fruit would be the reason for the fall, much less that God would purposely plant that tree in the middle of the garden as a "test" or "temptation". Absolutely absurd, and if you believe it then you really don't understand the nature of God and creation at all.

If you're offended by that then get over it. Political correctness is not going to dissuade me from telling the truth.

Pray tell why I should accept your opinion as truth at face value?

Enlighten us, Mr. Miagi.

Daniel567
Mar 18th 2017, 06:18 PM
That's exactly what I'm saying. These were not literal trees and they did not eat a literal fruit. The "trees" are symbols for life and death, and the fruit is a symbol for disobedience. The story is meant to convey a point, not a history lesson. They didn't actually eat a fruit from a tree.
There is no valid reason to assume that those trees were anything but real, literal, physical trees (and one of them was definitely not an apple tree, as widely misunderstood).

Whatever the fruit might have been on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it was a fruit that was eaten and led to very grave consequences. You could call that fruit a symbol of disobedience, but that was still a real fruit. And we know from Revelation that the tree of life is also a real, literal tree which is in the midst of the Paradise of God, and will have eternal significance in the future.

Everything described in the first three chapters of Genesis must be taken strictly as literal and historical (just like the rest of Genesis), otherwise we would be unable to fathom Gospel truth.

LastSeven
Mar 18th 2017, 06:18 PM
Pray tell why I should accept your opinion as truth at face value?

Enlighten us, Mr. Miagi.

You don't have to do anything you don't want to.

Athanasius
Mar 18th 2017, 06:18 PM
I've explained it already. It's absurd to think eating a fruit would be the reason for the fall, much less that God would purposely plant that tree in the middle of the garden as a "test" or "temptation". Absolutely absurd, and if you believe it then you really don't understand the nature of God and creation at all.

If you're offended by that then get over it. Political correctness is not going to dissuade me from telling the truth.

If you're going to claim that the view is uncritical, then I'd expect a critical explanation as to why, not assertions that it's absurd, obvious, and that if we disagree with you then we 'don't understand the nature of God and creation at all'. You acknowledge that the garden 'was probably real in the sense that creation was perfect and beautiful', and further that 'Satan (the serpent) encouraged them [to sin]'; so, on the basis of (1) environment, (2) encouragement/temptation, and (3) tempter, why is it uncritical to believe that in a 'perfect and beautiful' creation, a tree was used as an object lesson? If you are thinking critically, then I'm sure you can come up with a few good reasons why the belief in a literal tree is the result of uncritical acceptance of a commonly conveyed narrative.

This has nothing to do with 'political correctness', or imagined offense. You made a claim (and no, you didn't explain, you told), and now I'm asking you to expand on it. I'm certain you'll enjoy the exercise as a means of clarifying your own thinking, and position. You might even come up with a way of expressing yourself that doesn't involve denigrating those who disagree with you as believers in the absurd who don't understand God. I mean, you are looking for an exchange predicated on the principles of critical thinking, are you not?

LastSeven
Mar 18th 2017, 06:20 PM
And we know from Revelation that the tree of life is also a real, literal tree which is in the midst of the Paradise of God, and will have eternal significance in the future.
If you think the tree of life is a literal tree from which we will eat then you must also believe that Jesus is not the only way to eternal life. All we have to do is steal a piece of fruit, right?

LastSeven
Mar 18th 2017, 06:28 PM
If you're going to claim that the view is uncritical, then I'd expect a critical explanation as to why, not assertions that it's absurd, obvious, and that if we disagree with you then we 'don't understand the nature of God and creation at all'. You acknowledge that the garden 'was probably real in the sense that creation was perfect and beautiful', and further that 'Satan (the serpent) encouraged them [to sin]'; so, on the basis of (1) environment, (2) encouragement/temptation, and (3) tempter, why is it uncritical to believe that in a 'perfect and beautiful' creation, a tree was used as an object lesson? If you are thinking critically, then I'm sure you can come up with a few good reasons why the belief in a literal tree is the result of uncritical acceptance of a commonly conveyed narrative.

This has nothing to do with 'political correctness', or imagined offense. You made a claim (and no, you didn't explain, you told), and now I'm asking you to expand on it. I'm certain you'll enjoy the exercise as a means of clarifying your own thinking, and position. You might even come up with a way of expressing yourself that doesn't involve denigrating those who disagree with you as believers in the absurd who don't understand God. I mean, you are looking for an exchange predicated on the principles of critical thinking, are you not?
You're obviously not looking for an open minded discussion on the possibility (unlike bluesky). You're just looking to prove me wrong. Well, good luck with that.

I've already explained my position. It's up to you if you want to consider it or reject it. I really don't care, but feel free to explain your own position.

Athanasius
Mar 18th 2017, 06:37 PM
You're obviously not looking for an open minded discussion on the possibility (unlike bluesky). You're just looking to prove me wrong. Well, good luck with that.

I've already explained my position. It's up to you if you want to consider it or reject it. I really don't care, but feel free to explain your own position.

I'm trying to prove you wrong? Who said I agreed with bluesky22? You implied that anyone who disagrees with you is thinking uncritically, and that's the claim I'm pressing you on; it's a sloppy claim, and one you shouldn't have made. One that, it seems, you're not having much luck backing up (you've made a claim, reinforced it, then cried political correctness when pressed). There are plenty of critical thinkers who believe disparately different things, but it's no reflection on their ability to think critically that they believe in those different things. bluesky22 is perfectly able to think critically, and find a view compelling that you find absurd, and it's unfair to him - and anyone else - to reduce his belief to an operational defect. In other words, the appeal to thinking critically isn't conducive to discussion. This latest claim that I'm not looking for an 'open minded discussion' is ironic in light of that, given the weak implication that those who think critically de facto agree with you, and those that don't are de facto uncritical thinkers.

I quite enjoy critical thinking, and am quite open to discussing your claim that those who disagree with you aren't thinking critically. I'm sure, as a critical thinker yourself, you've thought through the claim, so let's hear your reasons (or, you know, revise it?).

LastSeven
Mar 18th 2017, 06:49 PM
I'm trying to prove you wrong? Who said I agreed with bluesky22? You implied that anyone who disagrees with you is thinking uncritically, and that's the claim I'm pressing you on; it's a sloppy claim, and one you shouldn't have made. One that, it seems, you're not having much luck backing up (you've made a claim, reinforced it, then cried political correctness when pressed). There are plenty of critical thinkers who believe disparately different things, but it's no reflection on their ability to think critically that they believe in those different things. bluesky22 is perfectly able to think critically, and find a view compelling that you find absurd, and it's unfair to him - and anyone else - to reduce his belief to an operational defect. In other words, the appeal to thinking critically isn't conducive to discussion. This latest claim that I'm not looking for an 'open minded discussion' is ironic in light of that, given the weak implication that those who think critically de facto agree with you, and those that don't are de facto uncritical thinkers.

I quite enjoy critical thinking, and am quite open to discussing your claim that those who disagree with you aren't thinking critically. I'm sure, as a critical thinker yourself, you've thought through the claim, so let's hear your reasons (or, you know, revise it?).

I didn't say you agreed with bluesky. I said you're not looking for an open minded discussion, unlike bluesky, who has shown that he/she is.

I also think you're taking this critical thinking comment far too personally. I stand by my comment, but as I said, if it bothers you get over it. I'm not overly concerned with hurt feelings.

BrianW
Mar 18th 2017, 07:03 PM
You must spread some reputation around before giving it to Athanasius again.

LastSeven
Mar 18th 2017, 07:16 PM
You must spread some reputation around before giving it to Athanasius again.

Are you suggesting that what's considered acceptable behaviour is not the same for everyone but rather based on one's reputation? I just want to make sure I understand what you're saying. Please explain.

bluesky22
Mar 18th 2017, 07:19 PM
Obviously the text doesn't tell us that the trees are symbolic, but it becomes obvious when you put on your critical thinking cap. You're exactly right when you say there's nothing sinful about eating a piece of fruit and that alone makes it's pretty obvious that we're reading symbolism.

Hi LastSeven,

I agree with you that the trees where highly symbolic, however, that does not negate the possibility that they were very real as well. (The Ark was symbolic to as "type" of Jesus but was a real vessel)

God gave one simple command, to test if they would obey him or not. He could have made it much harder of a test, but the beauty of it is (imo) that it was so simple. This act of disobedience revealed their hearts and attitude towards His authority. Very symbolic, yes, but it very well could have a literal event as well ( which I believe it was ). Sin enter the world via one man, right? ( Roman 5:12) What was this sin? Genesis tells us plainly. I don't think we should complicate it unnecessarily. I agree its an amazing and mysterious event, but this should not lead us to not trust Gods Word just because it sounds odd to us today. imo.


However, even in the symbolism we are told all the details that matter, which is that the knowledge of good and evil makes us guilty of sin. How exactly we got that knowledge isn't made clear

But yet it is made clear! By disobeying, we were made aware of our rebellion. By doing what we told not to, this opened our eyes. ( no doubt a supernatural element at work here to )

Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.…


Just as we aren't told exactly how Noah managed to gather, transport, lathe, bend and fasten the huge pieces of lumber required to build the ark but we are told that Noah obeyed and was saved. In both cases we are told the important parts.

The animals where brought to Noah, he did not gather them. "And of every living thing of all flesh, . . . two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive" (Genesis 6:19-20). True, I agree we are not told the exact details of the construction, but these details are not necessary to still see the event as a real historical event.



I believe we aren't told all the details of what transpired because the symbolism makes it easier to understand the point of the story.

This is possible, however, its also possible that it happened exactly the way its laid out in Scripture.


Was the garden real? Probably not, at least not the way it was described.

Why not? Is it that hard to conceive? I don't seem to think so, although I agree it is amazing. We even have details as to where it was located, with real rivers still in existence today, why bother with this information if it where not a literal place at some point in our past? Food for thought anyways...

"The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden. . . . Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon. . . . The name of the second river is Gihon. . . . The name of the third river is Hiddekel [Tigris]. . . . The fourth river is the Euphrates. Genesis 2:8-14



It was probably real in the sense that creation was perfect and beautiful, a literal paradise on earth, but it doesn't make sense for the garden to have been a small plot of land because God had intended for man to inhabit the entire earth. It also probably doesn't make sense for a literal flaming sword to flash back and forth to guard the entrance because that would imply that God intended to preserve the place and that it would remain distinct from the rest of the earth and we would've found it by now.

My guess is that the entire earth was the garden and the reason it was paradise on earth was because God lived here and God is life. When God left, death and decay filled the void, and the flaming sword guarding the entrance is symbolic for the difference between life and death, just as the doubled edged sword in Jesus' mouth is symbolic for the truth that both saves and destroys. In any case, these details also don't really matter. The point of the story remains the same.

I think you raise some good issues and points here. I don't think we would ever find Eden today, imo, as the deluge would have wiped it out for good.


I thought this was good ( from https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/adam-and-eve/exiles-from-eden/

Driven from Paradise

“Lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever. . . . He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden” (Genesis 3:22–24).

Their new-found knowledge of good and evil was nothing like Adam and Eve expected.

Living forever under the domination of sin would be unbearable. So God mercifully set a limit on our earthly lives. He barred us from paradise on earth that we might seek it in heaven. He ensured we would remain perpetually unsatisfied apart from Him.

Genesis 3:23–24 says that God drove Adam and Eve out of the garden and set a cherubim guard with a flaming sword to keep them out. Later in the tabernacle and temple, sculptures of cherubim would hover over the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant, where blood was sprinkled to atone for sin. These cherubim were a perpetual reminder that the only way to restored fellowship with God is the blood-sprinkled way.

No one makes it back to Eden just because he wants to get there. The way is barred, and paradise is nowhere to be found. The tree of life grows in the garden city of God, the New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:1–2).

Those who enter that city must be registered in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Eternal life is theirs only if they come to God through Jesus Christ. As He Himself declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). We walk among a race of exiles from Eden, strangers to paradise. God calls on each of us to explain where they can find the gate to eternal life—through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Peace Brother!:)

Athanasius
Mar 18th 2017, 07:27 PM
I didn't say you agreed with bluesky. I said you're not looking for an open minded discussion, unlike bluesky, who has shown that he/she is.

I also think you're taking this critical thinking comment far too personally. I stand by my comment, but as I said, if it bothers you get over it. I'm not overly concerned with hurt feelings.

You're making quite a strong claim, specifically: 'anybody who thinks eating a literal fruit caused the fall from grace isn't critically thinking... and if you believe it then you really don't understand the nature of God and creation at all.' You don't think - see what I did there? - someone might want to take you to task over that claim? You are, after all, basically begging for someone who thinks they think critically to think critically about your lack of critical thought, and now that you have it, all you can say is that you stand by your comment, and you're not overly concerned with hurt feelings? Look at you, all Stoic and cute <3

But in all seriousness, you've made a very strong claim, and I don't think you thought it through (least of all, critically), or are prepared to stand by it (i.e. defend it), in spite of your appeal. This, of course, raises the question: you seem to think you've thought critically about your view, but have you really? I'm not seeing anything to suggest as much.


Are you suggesting that what's considered acceptable behaviour is not the same for everyone but rather based on one's reputation? I just want to make sure I understand what you're saying. Please explain.

It means he liked my post, and one of the ways of saying so is to give the post a positive rep, but he can't as it's too soon since the last time he did (the little star icon to the bottom left of the post area). I'm like, all the rage.

Want2bSaved
Mar 18th 2017, 08:03 PM
I feel like christians are very sensitive. Why argue over real fruit/ tree vs symbolic fruit/tree. It could be either and really "noone" knows for sure. why is that important? Was it an apple Eve ate or a pear? Last Seven, you make some good points about why having the knowledge of good and evil now makes them guilty of sin and I feel you are very knowledgable, however, you have no proof that they aren't literal trees so why not be open to other opinions? That part of it doesn't even seem important to me.

LastSeven
Mar 18th 2017, 08:07 PM
Why not? Is it that hard to conceive? I don't think so. We even have details as to where it was located, with real rivers still in existence today, why bother with this information if it where not a literal place at some point in our past? Food for thought anyways...

"The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden. . . . Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon. . . . The name of the second river is Gihon. . . . The name of the third river is Hiddekel [Tigris]. . . . The fourth river is the Euphrates. Genesis 2:8-14


Yup. It's definitely possible that the garden was just a relatively small plot of land on the face of the earth, and the details regarding the rivers would support that notion. Either way, whether the garden was small or global makes no difference in understanding the point of the story, nor does it negate the symbolism in other parts of the story.



I thought this was good ( from https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/adam-and-eve/exiles-from-eden/

No one makes it back to Eden just because he wants to get there. The way is barred, and paradise is nowhere to be found. The tree of life grows in the garden city of God, the New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:1–2).

Those who enter that city must be registered in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Eternal life is theirs only if they come to God through Jesus Christ. As He Himself declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). We walk among a race of exiles from Eden, strangers to paradise. God calls on each of us to explain where they can find the gate to eternal life—through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. [/I]

Peace Brother!:)
More evidence that the tree of life is symbolic, as we know that Jesus is the life and all who believe in him will have everlasting life. If the tree of life were literal, then that would imply that we don't need Jesus, only this tree. It would also imply that eating from the tree would be required to live forever and so we could still die if we fail to eat from the tree. This obviously contradicts scripture in more ways than one.

LastSeven
Mar 18th 2017, 08:10 PM
I feel like christians are very sensitive. Why argue over real fruit/ tree vs symbolic fruit/tree. It could be either and really "noone" knows for sure. why is that important? Was it an apple Eve ate or a pear? Last Seven, you make some good points about why having the knowledge of good and evil now makes them guilty of sin and I feel you are very knowledgable, however, you have no proof that they aren't literal trees so why not be open to other opinions? That part of it doesn't even seem important to me.

I guess it may not be so important, until you claim that eating fruit from a literal "tree of life" will give you salvation from death. That would of course by akin to the rejection of Christ.

LastSeven
Mar 18th 2017, 08:17 PM
You're making quite a strong claim, specifically: 'anybody who thinks eating a literal fruit caused the fall from grace isn't critically thinking... and if you believe it then you really don't understand the nature of God and creation at all.' You don't think - see what I did there? - someone might want to take you to task over that claim? You are, after all, basically begging for someone who thinks they think critically to think critically about your lack of critical thought, and now that you have it, all you can say is that you stand by your comment, and you're not overly concerned with hurt feelings? Look at you, all Stoic and cute <3

But in all seriousness, you've made a very strong claim, and I don't think you thought it through (least of all, critically), or are prepared to stand by it (i.e. defend it), in spite of your appeal. This, of course, raises the question: you seem to think you've thought critically about your view, but have you really? I'm not seeing anything to suggest as much.

Considering that Jesus is the life and the only way to salvation, it hardly seems like critical thinking to suggest that eating literal fruit from a literal tree can give you the same eternal life.


It means he liked my post, and one of the ways of saying so is to give the post a positive rep, but he can't as it's too soon since the last time he did (the little star icon to the bottom left of the post area). I'm like, all the rage.
My mistake.

Athanasius
Mar 18th 2017, 08:23 PM
Considering that Jesus is the life and the only way to salvation, it hardly seems like critical thinking to suggest that eating literal fruit from a literal tree can give you the same eternal life.

Is eternal life in Christ the same as living forever in Genesis 3?

CadyandZoe
Mar 18th 2017, 08:37 PM
I feel like christians are very sensitive. Why argue over real fruit/ tree vs symbolic fruit/tree. It could be either and really "noone" knows for sure. why is that important? Was it an apple Eve ate or a pear? Last Seven, you make some good points about why having the knowledge of good and evil now makes them guilty of sin and I feel you are very knowledgable, however, you have no proof that they aren't literal trees so why not be open to other opinions? That part of it doesn't even seem important to me.

It's important for two reasons. First, there exists a small but influential group of Bible scholars who believe that the accounts of events as recorded in the Bible are myths, legends, or just plain crap made up by some bored Hebrews. Second, the Bible purports to be a true and reliable record of God's will for mankind and therefore, if one is to find the truth in the Bible, one must seek the meaning intended by the author.

So, if the author of Genesis says that God created Adam and placed him in a garden, giving him permission to eat from any tree, then that is exactly what happened since we have no literary basis to think otherwise. A scholar's incredulity is not a reason to think that the record of Adam and Eve is symbolic, mythical, legendary or whatever.

If the author employed allegory to make his point, then I have no problem with that. But he didn't. And anyone who suggests that the story is allegorical must show from the text that the author was using allegory.

CadyandZoe
Mar 18th 2017, 08:47 PM
Hi LastSeven,

I agree with you that the trees where highly symbolic, however, that does not negate the possibility that they were very real as well. (The Ark was symbolic to as "type" of Jesus but was a real vessel) The Trees were not symbolic. The trees were given names, which designated their purpose. Don't confuse names with symbology. The tree itself didn't represent anything. There is nothing emblematic, or representative, or metaphorical about the tree. God simply said "don't eat from THAT tree." The tree itself was unremarkable and was probably just like any other tree in the garden. In fact, Eve said it was good to eat, suggesting that she had already eaten from another tree just like it.

The tree was named "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil", not because the tree itself signaled that idea, but because God's prohibition raised the issue of good and evil. The ACT of eating from the tree was meaningful and significant and signaled an inner state of rebellion against God. The actual tree itself meant nothing.

LastSeven
Mar 19th 2017, 02:35 PM
Is eternal life in Christ the same as living forever in Genesis 3?
Absolutely. Aside from the fact that we will be resurrected in spiritual bodies, unlike Adam and Eve, Life has always come only from one source, which is God, and the way to that life has also always been the same, and that is through the acceptance of the word of God, which is Christ. In this way, even before Christ was born, accepting the word of God was salvation from eternal death. Choosing which tree to eat from has never been the way to salvation.

Do you think Adam and Eve will be resurrected to eternal life?

bluesky22
Mar 19th 2017, 02:42 PM
The Trees were not symbolic. The trees were given names, which designated their purpose. Don't confuse names with symbology. The tree itself didn't represent anything. There is nothing emblematic, or representative, or metaphorical about the tree. God simply said "don't eat from THAT tree." The tree itself was unremarkable and was probably just like any other tree in the garden. In fact, Eve said it was good to eat, suggesting that she had already eaten from another tree just like it.

The tree was named "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil", not because the tree itself signaled that idea, but because God's prohibition raised the issue of good and evil. The ACT of eating from the tree was meaningful and significant and signaled an inner state of rebellion against God. The actual tree itself meant nothing.

Hi Cadyandzoe,

Did you not just say here here the trees are symbolic yet real ? Yet you say in your first sentence "they are not symbolic" ? Just clarifying. :)

bluesky22
Mar 19th 2017, 02:44 PM
It's important for two reasons. First, there exists a small but influential group of Bible scholars who believe that the accounts of events as recorded in the Bible are myths, legends, or just plain crap made up by some bored Hebrews. Second, the Bible purports to be a true and reliable record of God's will for mankind and therefore, if one is to find the truth in the Bible, one must seek the meaning intended by the author.

So, if the author of Genesis says that God created Adam and placed him in a garden, giving him permission to eat from any tree, then that is exactly what happened since we have no literary basis to think otherwise. A scholar's incredulity is not a reason to think that the record of Adam and Eve is symbolic, mythical, legendary or whatever.

If the author employed allegory to make his point, then I have no problem with that. But he didn't. And anyone who suggests that the story is allegorical must show from the text that the author was using allegory.


Agree. ...........

CadyandZoe
Mar 19th 2017, 03:03 PM
Absolutely. Aside from the fact that we will be resurrected in spiritual bodies, unlike Adam and Eve, Life has always come only from one source, which is God, and the way to that life has also always been the same, and that is through the acceptance of the word of God, which is Christ. In this way, even before Christ was born, accepting the word of God was salvation from eternal death. Choosing which tree to eat from has never been the way to salvation.

Do you think Adam and Eve will be resurrected to eternal life?

Your missing the point, I think. Your claim is that the trees were not real or actual trees. Your argument here, seems to be that since eternal life comes through acceptance of the world of God, which is not a material reality but a spiritual reality, therefore there really is no actual "tree of life." As you say, "Choosing which tree to eat from has never been the way to salvation." I take issue with that statement because for Adam and Eve the two trees establish the material context and venue in which the couple demonstrated their spiritual quality. Because God declared them so, the two trees represented a clear choice: two viable alternatives. Should A&E trust God, or do they suspect the intent of God toward them and decide to define morality for themselves. For Adam and Eve, choosing the right tree WAS the way to salvation, not because the trees themselves were mystically or metaphysically unique, but because of the meaning God placed on the two trees.

The same thing could be said of the cross. Many men had died on the cross prior to the death of Jesus. The cross itself has no intrinsic ability to save. But because God appointed the death of Christ to have some extrinsic meaning i.e. a demonstration of God's view of sin and what we deserve for our sin; then agreement with God is the basis for our salvation. All of this is to say that because two beams set at right angles has no intrinsic ability to save anyone doesn't mean that the cross of Christ wasn't a literal cross, consisting of two wooden beams set at right angles. Likewise, the fact that the trees located in the garden of Eden were representational doesn't mean they were not literal, physical trees.

LastSeven
Mar 19th 2017, 03:44 PM
Your missing the point, I think. Your claim is that the trees were not real or actual trees. Your argument here, seems to be that since eternal life comes through acceptance of the world of God, which is not a material reality but a spiritual reality, therefore there really is no actual "tree of life." As you say, "Choosing which tree to eat from has never been the way to salvation." I take issue with that statement because for Adam and Eve the two trees establish the material context and venue in which the couple demonstrated their spiritual quality. Because God declared them so, the two trees represented a clear choice: two viable alternatives. Should A&E trust God, or do they suspect the intent of God toward them and decide to define morality for themselves. For Adam and Eve, choosing the right tree WAS the way to salvation, not because the trees themselves were mystically or metaphysically unique, but because of the meaning God placed on the two trees.

The same thing could be said of the cross. Many men had died on the cross prior to the death of Jesus. The cross itself has no intrinsic ability to save. But because God appointed the death of Christ to have some extrinsic meaning i.e. a demonstration of God's view of sin and what we deserve for our sin; then agreement with God is the basis for our salvation. All of this is to say that because two beams set at right angles has no intrinsic ability to save anyone doesn't mean that the cross of Christ wasn't a literal cross, consisting of two wooden beams set at right angles. Likewise, the fact that the trees located in the garden of Eden were representational doesn't mean they were not literal, physical trees.

Do you believe there will be a literal "tree of life" on the new earth from which we must eat in order to have eternal life?

CadyandZoe
Mar 19th 2017, 03:50 PM
Hi Cadyandzoe,

Did you not just say here here the trees are symbolic yet real ? Yet you say in your first sentence "they are not symbolic" ? Just clarifying. :)

The proposal on the table is the conclusion that since the trees of the garden were symbolic, they weren't real trees. We are having a literary discussion and the question on the table is, "Is the account recorded in Genesis 3 allegorical or does the account speak factually about real people and real places?" The implied supposition, I think, is that the Biblical record need not be an account of actual people, places, and events in order to function as a moral lesson. I am reacting to the proposal that since the moral lesson we learn from Genesis 3 does not depend on the presence of actual trees in an actual garden, we have no basis for confidence that such people and places actually existed. The comment was made "obviously the trees are symbolic" (which itself employs the figurative use of sight.) But I see nothing in the account where the author suggests or hints that he has employed trees to represent something else in the world.

Since this is a literary discussion, our proof's or rebuttals need to arise from the literary structure of the story itself. Do we have any literary clues that the author of the story was using allegory? The only aspect of the story that seems allegorical is a talking serpent. And the use of talking beasts of the field is present in allegorical stories. In this view, a possible interpretation is that Eve was alone in the garden at the moment she was tempted, experiencing an inner struggle. It's possible that the author of Genesis 3 employed a serpent to speak for one side of Eve's inner struggle, personifying her desire for wisdom and her incredulity.

On the other hand, if the daemon is within one's plausibility structure, it's possible that a daemon seemed to speak through a serpent, which Eve would interpret as the serpent speaking. But again, from a literary point of view, the author makes no mention of a daemon. We would need additional information from elsewhere to draw that conclusion.

What I'm saying is this, I have a literary basis to conclude that the author of Genesis 3 might have employed a serpent allegorically in the story, but I have no literary basis to conclude that the trees, the garden, or Adam and Eve weren't real actual people and places. Other than a talking serpent, nothing else seems allegorical. In an actual allegorical story, most if not all of the characters and items in the story are symbolic of something else. In this case, when we say that something is "symbolic" what we mean is "this particular item in the allegory represents another item in reality". So then, during a literary discussion of the account in Genesis 3, if someone were to say that the trees were symbolic, what they mean is "actual trees didn't exist. The mention of trees or a particular tree is indicative of something else entirely."

My point was to say that the use or presence of the trees was according to normal, usual function, i.e. eating the fruit and therefore they are not suggestive of a figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another. Other than a talking snake, the rest of the story reads like an account of an everyday event.

Athanasius
Mar 19th 2017, 05:45 PM
Absolutely. Aside from the fact that we will be resurrected in spiritual bodies, unlike Adam and Eve, Life has always come only from one source, which is God, and the way to that life has also always been the same, and that is through the acceptance of the word of God, which is Christ. In this way, even before Christ was born, accepting the word of God was salvation from eternal death. Choosing which tree to eat from has never been the way to salvation.

I'm not sure you can say 'absolutely' while respecting your hermeneutical framework. Here's what Jesus says of eternal life in John 17.3, 'Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you [the Father] have sent.' If this is eternal life, then how does this correspond to living forever in Genesis 3 (וחי לעלם), where Adam and Eve wouldn't have had this knowledge? The contrast in Genesis 3 seems to me to be between death, and life, as it relates to God's earlier warning. Adam and Eve sinned, and were now subject to death, but could have eaten from the tree to nullify this consequence of the curse. This wouldn't, however, have brought them back into relationship with God, let alone allow them to know 'the only true God'. If 'live forever' is symbolic like every other element in the narrative, then it's symbolic, not a literal image of eternal life in Christ.

So, it seems to me that there's living forever, and then there's living forever with Christ, and what we read in Genesis 3 is the former, and distinct from the latter.


Do you think Adam and Eve will be resurrected to eternal life?

If they had faith.


Do you believe there will be a literal "tree of life" on the new earth from which we must eat in order to have eternal life?

He affirmed above that the trees were just trees; objects fit to frame a lesson, nothing more.

CadyandZoe
Mar 19th 2017, 06:04 PM
Do you believe there will be a literal "tree of life" on the new earth from which we must eat in order to have eternal life?

Again we are having a literary discussion and in this case the literature is the book of Revelation. What kind of genre is the book? What do we expect or anticipate from that genre? Except for the first two chapters of Genesis and perhaps chapter 10, the entire rest of the book is historical narrative. By contrast, however, the book of Revelation is highly allegorical and symbolic and is classified as "apocalyptic" literature. For this reason I must confess a bit of apprehension with regard to literal interpretations of certain elements in the book. That is, I won't be surprised or disappointed either way.

It doesn't follow, however, that since the tree of life is mentioned in a book filled with symbolism that the tree itself is intended to be symbolic or that the tree in Genesis 3 must also be symbolic. I resist jumping to these kinds of conclusions.

LastSeven
Mar 19th 2017, 06:45 PM
I'm not sure you can say 'absolutely' while respecting your hermeneutical framework. Here's what Jesus says of eternal life in John 17.3, 'Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you [the Father] have sent.' If this is eternal life, then how does this correspond to living forever in Genesis 3 (וחי לעלם), where Adam and Eve wouldn't have had this knowledge?

How can you say they wouldn't have had this knowledge if God literally lived in their midst? Do you really think they wouldn't have known God, and his word?


The contrast in Genesis 3 seems to me to be between death, and life, as it relates to God's earlier warning. Adam and Eve sinned, and were now subject to death, but could have eaten from the tree to nullify this consequence of the curse. This wouldn't, however, have brought them back into relationship with God, let alone allow them to know 'the only true God'.

Let me just make sure I'm understanding you here. Are you saying that even after they sinned they could've eaten from the tree of life and gotten their eternal life back?


If 'live forever' is symbolic like every other element in the narrative, then it's symbolic, not a literal image of eternal life in Christ.

Who said living forever was symbolic?


So, it seems to me that there's living forever, and then there's living forever with Christ, and what we read in Genesis 3 is the former, and distinct from the latter.

Sounds like you're saying, theoretically, people could've rejected God and still had eternal life as long as they ate the right fruit. Cause you're basically saying that the "living forever" of Genesis 3 was eternal life without Christ. Is that what you're saying?


If they had faith.

Then you agree that no magic fruit (nor any special tree) was ever necessary for eternal life.


He affirmed above that the trees were just trees; objects fit to frame a lesson, nothing more.
Your answers are a bit ambiguous, so let's see if we can clarify. Is the tree of life of Revelation 22 literally a tree? And if so, will we need to eat from it in order to have eternal life? If no, then why is it there?

Athanasius
Mar 19th 2017, 06:59 PM
How can you say they wouldn't have had this knowledge if God literally lived in their midst? Do you really think they wouldn't have known God, and his word?

They were getting kicked out of the garden, so God wouldn't have 'literally lived in their midst' (though I'm not sure why you're taking this literally if the rest of the account is symbolic).


Let me just make sure I'm understanding you here. Are you saying that even after they sinned they could've eaten from the tree of life and gotten their eternal life back?

I don't believe Adam and Eve were created with eternal life, or immortality, so 'no', because of how you phrased the question. I think that for the purpose of the narrative it's presented as if they could have undone the curse of death, but I also don't think there's such a tree that could do such a thing, so it's only a narrative device.


Who said living forever was symbolic?

You did. Or are you suggesting that only some elements are symbolic, while the rest are literal (this seems a risky claim in light of your 'critical thinking' comments earlier)?


Sounds like you're saying, theoretically, people could've rejected God and still had eternal life as long as they ate the right fruit. Cause you're basically saying that the "living forever" of Genesis 3 was eternal life without Christ. Is that what you're saying?

I'm saying that 'living forever' isn't 'eternal life', and as the narrative presents it, they could have 'lived forever'.


Then you agree that no magic fruit (nor any special tree) was ever necessary for eternal life.

I never claimed otherwise.


Your answers are a bit ambiguous, so let's see if we can clarify. Is the tree of life of Revelation 22 literally a tree? And if so, will we need to eat from it in order to have eternal life? If no, then why is it there?

I'm not following the suggestion. What does John's use of the ToL in Revelation have to do with how we understand 'Moses' use in Genesis? Obviously, Jesus is identified with the ToL in Revelation, but Moses would have known of no such person, so he wouldn't have been making the same equation.

LastSeven
Mar 19th 2017, 07:27 PM
You did. Or are you suggesting that only some elements are symbolic, while the rest are literal (this seems a risky claim in light of your 'critical thinking' comments earlier)?

I never said living forever was symbolic, and if you think it's "risky" to claim some things are symbolic while others are not, in light of my critical thinking comment earlier (which is clearly still bothering you) then I would suggest you don't know what critical thinking really is.



I'm saying that 'living forever' isn't 'eternal life', and as the narrative presents it, they could have 'lived forever'.

"Living forever is not eternal life". Right. I've heard some doozies but this one's right up there. Remember, critical thinking. (couldn't resist ;))



I'm not following the suggestion. What does John's use of the ToL in Revelation have to do with how we understand 'Moses' use in Genesis? Obviously, Jesus is identified with the ToL in Revelation, but Moses would have known of no such person, so he wouldn't have been making the same equation.

First of all, Moses did know Jesus if not by name, as did all those who believed in the word of God.

1 Corinthians 10
For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

Secondly, if the tree of life is clearly symbolic in Revelation, recognizing that eternal life is not granted by the eating of a fruit, then it stands to reason that the tree of life in Genesis is equally symbolic. As are all the symbolic references to a tree of life in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 15:4
A soothing tongue is a tree of life, But perversion in it crushes the spirit.

Proverbs 11:30
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls.

Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

Athanasius
Mar 19th 2017, 07:34 PM
I never said living forever was symbolic, and if you think it's "risky" to claim some things are symbolic while others are not, in light of my critical thinking comment earlier (which is clearly still bothering you) then I would suggest you don't know what critical thinking really is.

Meaning that you begin predicating your claim on ever more specific criteria. You go from the trees are symbolic, to the trees are symbolic, this, but that isn't. I'm also suggesting that your understanding of the trees as symbol is inconsistent with how you would understand the rest of the text.


"Living forever is not eternal life". Right. I've heard some doozies but this one's right up there. Remember, critical thinking. (couldn't resist ;))

You're free to reply to my use of John, and the distinction I outlined is valid. If you disagree, feel free to do so.


First of all, Moses did know Jesus if not by name, as did all those who believed in the word of God.

1 Corinthians 10
For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

No, that's Paul explaining to the Corinthian church that the rock was Christ. As far as Moses was concerned, he had abused the God who had been revealed to him, and at that time revelation did not include Jesus.


Secondly, if the tree of life is clearly symbolic in Revelation, recognizing that eternal life is not granted by the eating of a fruit, then it stands to reason that the tree of life in Genesis is equally symbolic. As are all the symbolic references to a tree of life in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 15:4
A soothing tongue is a tree of life, But perversion in it crushes the spirit.

Proverbs 11:30
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls.

Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

No, because Genesis isn't Revelation. You need to make your argument from Genesis.

LastSeven
Mar 19th 2017, 07:42 PM
You're free to reply to my use of John, and the distinction I outlined is valid. If you disagree, feel free to do so.

I actually already did address that point.

You said: Here's what Jesus says of eternal life in John 17.3, 'Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you [the Father] have sent.' If this is eternal life, then how does this correspond to living forever in Genesis 3 (וחי לעלם), where Adam and Eve wouldn't have had this knowledge?

As I said, Adam and Eve knew God because he lived with them in the garden, and they knew Jesus because Jesus is the word of God. The eternal life they were offered from the start is the same eternal life that we've been offered in Christ. Adam and Eve most certainly had this knowledge.

LastSeven
Mar 19th 2017, 07:44 PM
No, because Genesis isn't Revelation. You need to make your argument from Genesis.
Oh, so common sense and logic count for nothing now? Reading and understanding the scriptures as a whole doesn't apply here? That seems rather convenient for you.

Athanasius
Mar 19th 2017, 07:45 PM
I actually already did address that point.

You said: Here's what Jesus says of eternal life in John 17.3, 'Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you [the Father] have sent.' If this is eternal life, then how does this correspond to living forever in Genesis 3 (וחי לעלם), where Adam and Eve wouldn't have had this knowledge?

As I said, Adam and Eve knew God because he lived with them in the garden, and they knew Jesus because Jesus is the word of God. The eternal life they were offered from the start is the same eternal life that we've been offered in Christ. Adam and Eve most certainly had this knowledge.

We have no reason to think that they did, especially in light of their rebellion. We also don't read that they were offered eternal life. Their relationship with God was a default state, and the one instance we read of them having the option to choose God, they didn't.


Oh, so common sense and logic count for nothing now? Reading and understanding the scriptures as a whole doesn't apply here? That seems rather convenient for you.

If you want to read 'the whole of Scripture' then that's fine, but Genesis is clearly a different genre than Revelation, or Proverbs. If what these other books are saying about Genesis is taught in Genesis, then I would expect to see these things in Genesis as well. If I don't, then what we're seeing is commentary on Genesis, and since that commentary can be adjusted for certain use-cases, it's no guarantee that what's being said is what's being taught in Genesis. All your examples from Proverbs are simile, so they are referencing the Genesis narrative without actually commenting on it.

Also, why the irrelevant comments (the mentions of political correctness, offense, common sense, logic, and so on)? The only person here who has set themselves against everyone else is you, when you claimed that ''anybody who thinks eating a literal fruit caused the fall from grace isn't critically thinking... and if you believe it then you really don't understand the nature of God and creation at all.' A comment you have since said you stand by, but then seem to whine about when challenged.

LastSeven
Mar 19th 2017, 08:14 PM
We have no reason to think that they did, especially in light of their rebellion. We also don't read that they were offered eternal life. Their relationship with God was a default state, and the one instance we read of them having the option to choose God, they didn't.

If you want to read 'the whole of Scripture' then that's fine, but Genesis is clearly a different genre than Revelation, or Proverbs. If what these other books are saying about Genesis is taught in Genesis, then I would expect to see these things in Genesis as well. If I don't, then what we're seeing is commentary on Genesis, and since that commentary can be adjusted for certain use-cases, it's no guarantee that what's being said is what's being taught in Genesis. All your examples from Proverbs are simile, so they are referencing the Genesis narrative without actually commenting on it.

Also, why the irrelevant comments (the mentions of political correctness, offense, common sense, logic, and so on)? The only person here who has set themselves against everyone else is you, when you claimed that ''anybody who thinks eating a literal fruit caused the fall from grace isn't critically thinking... and if you believe it then you really don't understand the nature of God and creation at all.' A comment you have since said you stand by, but then seem to whine about when challenged.

What's your best argument for believing in literal trees? Or actually, maybe just list all your arguments at once.

Athanasius
Mar 19th 2017, 08:17 PM
What's your best argument for believing in literal trees? Or actually, maybe just list all your arguments at once.

I believe God created a garden, and gardens have trees in them.

bluesky22
Mar 19th 2017, 08:22 PM
The proposal on the table is the conclusion that since the trees of the garden were symbolic, they weren't real trees. We are having a literary discussion and the question on the table is, "Is the account recorded in Genesis 3 allegorical or does the account speak factually about real people and real places?" The implied supposition, I think, is that the Biblical record need not be an account of actual people, places, and events in order to function as a moral lesson. I am reacting to the proposal that since the moral lesson we learn from Genesis 3 does not depend on the presence of actual trees in an actual garden, we have no basis for confidence that such people and places actually existed. The comment was made "obviously the trees are symbolic" (which itself employs the figurative use of sight.) But I see nothing in the account where the author suggests or hints that he has employed trees to represent something else in the world.

Since this is a literary discussion, our proof's or rebuttals need to arise from the literary structure of the story itself. Do we have any literary clues that the author of the story was using allegory? The only aspect of the story that seems allegorical is a talking serpent. And the use of talking beasts of the field is present in allegorical stories. In this view, a possible interpretation is that Eve was alone in the garden at the moment she was tempted, experiencing an inner struggle. It's possible that the author of Genesis 3 employed a serpent to speak for one side of Eve's inner struggle, personifying her desire for wisdom and her incredulity.

On the other hand, if the daemon is within one's plausibility structure, it's possible that a daemon seemed to speak through a serpent, which Eve would interpret as the serpent speaking. But again, from a literary point of view, the author makes no mention of a daemon. We would need additional information from elsewhere to draw that conclusion.

What I'm saying is this, I have a literary basis to conclude that the author of Genesis 3 might have employed a serpent allegorically in the story, but I have no literary basis to conclude that the trees, the garden, or Adam and Eve weren't real actual people and places. Other than a talking serpent, nothing else seems allegorical. In an actual allegorical story, most if not all of the characters and items in the story are symbolic of something else. In this case, when we say that something is "symbolic" what we mean is "this particular item in the allegory represents another item in reality". So then, during a literary discussion of the account in Genesis 3, if someone were to say that the trees were symbolic, what they mean is "actual trees didn't exist. The mention of trees or a particular tree is indicative of something else entirely."

My point was to say that the use or presence of the trees was according to normal, usual function, i.e. eating the fruit and therefore they are not suggestive of a figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another. Other than a talking snake, the rest of the story reads like an account of an everyday event.

I agree. Thanks for explaining:). I to believe the trees where real actual trees with real fruit in a real Garden. I think I may have confused you with my answer with using the word symbolic. I don't think the tree had any inherent danger/death within it. It's power was because God said don't eat from it. In this way I meant it was "symbolic", perhaps this is the wrong word. The tree was a test, and very real. Regards:)


POST EDIT: I thought this was good > https://answersingenesis.org/genesis/garden-of-eden/the-tree-of-life/

SNIP >>> ‘Did the Tree of Life mentioned in the book of Genesis, have power to impart immortality to mortal man, as might be deduced from Genesis 3:22 (https://biblia.com/bible/nkjv/Gen%203.22)?
The Tree of Life stood in the centre of the Garden of Eden which elsewhere is called ‘The Garden of the LORD’.1 (https://answersingenesis.org/genesis/garden-of-eden/the-tree-of-life/#fn_1) It was a real tree, to be sure, but let me suggest that it was also symbolic of the fact that God was, and is, the source of eternal life and blessing. Adam and Eve were to have their life centred in Him, even as the Tree was in the centre of His Garden.

read more at above link...

LastSeven
Mar 20th 2017, 01:28 AM
I believe God created a garden, and gardens have trees in them.

As I suspected. You have no reason to believe they're literal other than you don't see why they should be symbolic.

Well, here are four good reasons why you should consider the possibility that they are symbolic.

1. God is the source of life, not a fruit.
2. Other references to a tree of life in scripture are clearly symbolic.
3. The name "the knowledge of good and evil" literally tells us what the tree represents.
4. "Testing" Adam and Eve with a temptation and a command to resist is not in God's character.

Athanasius
Mar 20th 2017, 01:48 AM
As I suspected. You have no reason to believe they're literal other than you don't see why they should be symbolic.

Well, here are four good reasons why you should consider the possibility that they are symbolic.

1. God is the source of life, not a fruit.
2. Other references to a tree of life in scripture are clearly symbolic.
3. The name "the knowledge of good and evil" literally tells us what the tree represents.
4. "Testing" Adam and Eve with a temptation and a command to resist is not in God's character.

You were talking about common sense above, and what is more 'common sense' than a garden that has trees? Gardens have trees, so that is a good reason to suspect that the two trees in question existed. Do you disagree that the garden of Eden had trees in it? Obviously you don't, since the text mentions trees other than these two.

The issue at hand isn't whether the trees existed: obviously they did. The issue is whether the trees were anything more than normal trees, and the their fruit anything more than normal fruit. What you're missing is that your proposed symbolic interpretation doesn't require that the trees themselves didn't exist, but that their function wasn't literally to grant immortality, or moral knowledge, respectively-- this is what would be symbolic first, and foremost.

To your four points:

1. CadyandZoe, and I, have said as much
2. Yes, but this doesn't mean that Genesis uses the trees symbolically, or that because they are used symbolically, two actual trees weren't in view
3. Yes? You aren't saying anything new here
4. Why is this inconsistent? God tested Abraham with a command to murder his son, so I'd hardly consider "don't eat this fruit" to be all that problematic.

None of these four points requires that the two trees named weren't actual trees, even if just used as objects (as CadyandZoe, and I, have suggested).

bluesky22
Mar 20th 2017, 02:33 AM
As I suspected. You have no reason to believe they're literal other than you don't see why they should be symbolic.

Well, here are four good reasons why you should consider the possibility that they are symbolic.

1. God is the source of life, not a fruit.
2. Other references to a tree of life in scripture are clearly symbolic.
3. The name "the knowledge of good and evil" literally tells us what the tree represents.

Yes, but the tree(s) could still be literal. God uses literal objects to convey spiritual truths.


4. "Testing" Adam and Eve with a temptation and a command to resist is not in God's character.

Are you sure about this ?

https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/God-Testing-People

jeffweeder
Mar 20th 2017, 03:53 AM
I am not sure why some of my threads are being resurrected, but its about time this one took off.

What about the leaves of the tree that they sewed together to cover themselves? Real tree leaves or did they manufacture some symbolic covering of some kind ?

Leaves off the tree of life perhaps, in a silly attempt to cover their shame?

Brother Mark
Mar 20th 2017, 04:21 AM
Yup. It's definitely possible that the garden was just a relatively small plot of land on the face of the earth, and the details regarding the rivers would support that notion. Either way, whether the garden was small or global makes no difference in understanding the point of the story, nor does it negate the symbolism in other parts of the story.

If the whole world was already a garden, why was Adam commanded to subdue the rest of the world? Would seem to me that God was sending him out into the world to make the rest of it like Eden.

I am not sure I would define symbolism as you have defined it. Sounds like you think the creation story is more of a parable than symbolism. The old testament Ark was a symbol, and so was the old testament temple. They were symbolic of something in heaven. The earthly represented the heavenly. Both are real. The temple here was very, very real. But it represented the "real" temple in heaven. We see this laid out for us in Hebrews.

Heb 8:4-5
4 Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; 5 who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, "SEE," He says, "THAT YOU MAKE all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN."
NASU

and

The veil represented Jesus flesh. But there was still a very real veil in the temple.

Heb 10:19-20

19 Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,
NASB

The holy of holies here on earth, was very real. But it was a copy of what was in heaven.

Heb 9:23-24

23 Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us
NASB

We see this pattern throughout the OT.

So in this way, I agree with you that the Tree of Life is a symbol of Christ Jesus. However, I believe it was a real tree and a copy of the heavenly Tree. Just as we had a real temple that was a copy of the heavenly Temple. We have a real holy of holies that was a copy of the heavenly Holy of Holies and so on.

Ditto with the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It was a real tree. But I believe that still today, we can choose whether to eat from the Tree of Life or the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Real trees that were symbolic of a deeper truth, but real nonetheless.

Grace to you,

Mark

Want2bSaved
Mar 20th 2017, 03:04 PM
LastSeven, If Adam and Eve couldn't eat from the tree of life and live forever "after" having sinned then why did God want to guard against them eating from the TOL after they already sinned? I always thought it was because He didn't want to punish them with an eternity in a fallen state.

LastSeven
Mar 20th 2017, 03:50 PM
Are you sure about this ?

https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/God-Testing-People

I meant tempting people into death. God wants all to have eternal life, so he's not going to purposely tempt you into death.

1 Timothy 2:4
who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Brother Mark
Mar 20th 2017, 04:13 PM
I meant tempting people into death. God wants all to have eternal life, so he's not going to purposely tempt you into death.

1 Timothy 2:4
who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

He doesn't temp. But He does test. And during the test, the devil will be there to tempt.

LastSeven
Mar 20th 2017, 04:29 PM
LastSeven, If Adam and Eve couldn't eat from the tree of life and live forever "after" having sinned then why did God want to guard against them eating from the TOL after they already sinned? I always thought it was because He didn't want to punish them with an eternity in a fallen state.

I think you may have mistyped because your question doesn't make sense, but if you're asking what I think you're asking then it's because it's not as simple as eating a piece of fruit. It's all about balance.

See there are two sides to every transaction, and sin is just one side of a transaction. The other side is atonement. Every debit has a credit, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, every force has an opposing force, and every sin requires atonement. This concept can be seen in every detail of creation, and in its simplest term it's called balance. [insert your Star Wars reference here]. This is the nature of God.

Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22) and this is because the blood is the life of the creature, which is the opposing force to sin which is the death of the creature. So the lifeblood must be shed in order to complete the transaction. Once that transaction is complete, balance is restored.

So simply eating the correct fruit again is not going to complete the transaction.

LastSeven
Mar 20th 2017, 04:47 PM
If the whole world was already a garden, why was Adam commanded to subdue the rest of the world? Would seem to me that God was sending him out into the world to make the rest of it like Eden.

I am not sure I would define symbolism as you have defined it. Sounds like you think the creation story is more of a parable than symbolism. The old testament Ark was a symbol, and so was the old testament temple. They were symbolic of something in heaven. The earthly represented the heavenly. Both are real. The temple here was very, very real. But it represented the "real" temple in heaven. We see this laid out for us in Hebrews.

Heb 8:4-5
4 Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; 5 who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, "SEE," He says, "THAT YOU MAKE all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN."
NASU

and

The veil represented Jesus flesh. But there was still a very real veil in the temple.

Heb 10:19-20

19 Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,
NASB

The holy of holies here on earth, was very real. But it was a copy of what was in heaven.

Heb 9:23-24

23 Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us
NASB

We see this pattern throughout the OT.

So in this way, I agree with you that the Tree of Life is a symbol of Christ Jesus. However, I believe it was a real tree and a copy of the heavenly Tree. Just as we had a real temple that was a copy of the heavenly Temple. We have a real holy of holies that was a copy of the heavenly Holy of Holies and so on.

Ditto with the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It was a real tree. But I believe that still today, we can choose whether to eat from the Tree of Life or the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Real trees that were symbolic of a deeper truth, but real nonetheless.

Grace to you,

Mark

You're talking about real physical symbols of spiritual truths, but the trees can only be literary symbols because symbols don't cause real effects, and we know there was a very real effect when Adam and Eve "ate" the fruit.

Athanasius
Mar 20th 2017, 04:48 PM
You're talking about real physical symbols of spiritual truths, but the trees can only be literary symbols because symbols don't cause real effects, and we know there was a very real effect when Adam and Eve "ate" the fruit.

Hence an internal realization on their part, so your dichotomy doesn't hold true necessarily.

Brother Mark
Mar 20th 2017, 04:57 PM
You're talking about real physical symbols of spiritual truths, but the trees can only be literary symbols because symbols don't cause real effects, and we know there was a very real effect when Adam and Eve "ate" the fruit.

Here's the problem I have with your approach to symbolism....

When Namaan dunked himself 7 times in the Jordan, should we take the Jordan river as a symbol? We all know that dunking oneself 7 times doesn't bring about healing. But Namaan wasn't healed until he dunked himself in the Jordan. Will that happen to me if I go there and dunk in the Jordan 7 times? Does dunking in the Jordan have some power? (and so on.) We could say the same thing about the Jordan that you are saying about the fruit tree.... logic dictates that dunking in the Jordan has no effect... except that it was done in obedience to God's command and that makes all the difference in the world. Same with rebelling against God's command.

It doesn't hold up across scripture. I can give example after example of this kind of thing. Israel was told to eat the Lamb and put its blood over the door and they would be spared. Was it the blood of the lamb that saved them? Or did it symbolize the blood of The Lamb and thus the blood of The Lamb was what really saved them? Of course it was the latter. But if they did not put the blood of the lamb over the door, they would have died.

There are far too many such examples in scripture where a real object, represents or symbolizes something else. Thing is, God still used the real object and was serious about it. All who didn't put that lamb's blood over their door died that night in Egypt, even though that lamb's blood was a symbol. In the same way Namaan was healed "by" dunking in the Jordan, and Israel was saved "by" putting the blood of the animal lamb on their door posts, so Adam and Eve were "condemned" when they ate the fruit.

Want2bSaved
Mar 20th 2017, 05:37 PM
LastSeven,
My question didn't come across the way I wanted. When I read this:

[QUOTE=LastSeven;3375684]
Let me just make sure I'm understanding you here. Are you saying that even after they sinned they could've eaten from the tree of life and gotten their eternal life back[/QUOTE

It sounded to me like you don't think it was possible to get their eternal life back by eating from the TOL (once they had already sinned) so I just want to know why God had to guard it.
Thanks