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All about sin. What is it, how does it work, what does it do—whatever your questions are

Re: If Adam and Eve didn't exist, why does original sin?

Postby Stabby » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:10 pm

> "Factual" and "literal" are two different categories. "Literal" means that if the Bible says "the trees of the field clap their hands," then trees literally have hands and they actually clap them. "Factual" relates to what actually happened.

You don't seem to know what the word literal means. Don't worry, I'll help.

Literal
adjective 1. in accordance with, involving, or being the primary or strict meaning of the word or words; not figurative or metaphorical: the literal meaning of a word. 2. following the words of the original very closely and exactly: a literal translation of Goethe. 3. true to fact; not exaggerated; actual or factual: a literal description of conditions. 4. being actually such, without exaggeration or inaccuracy: the literal extermination of a city. 5. (of persons) tending to construe words in the strict sense or in an unimaginative way; matter-of-fact; prosaic. 6. of or relating to the letters of the alphabet. 7. of the nature of letters.

Oh, wait, sorry did you see that?

3. true to fact; not exaggerated; actual or factual: a literal description of conditions.

> 2 Kings 2:24
When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number. And it doesn't say any of them are killed

It says tore up. Mauled in some versions, and it says all 42 of them. Or don't you believe what the bible says? I don't think people survived bad gashes back then let alone attacks from bears. Look, you can try and wrap it up in a nice bow of excuses like, "things were different back then", or, "the context makes it less evil". In one paragraph you are calling to take the bible factually (your word) and in the next you are saying it doesn't really mean 42 people were attacked by bears because God sent them. You might try a little harder to be consistent.

> people live and die based on the belief that they are born into sin. ... That's right, and we are. It's not a metaphor.

You have yet to show me any proof of this. In fact you have, if anything, come up with more things you must prove before you can prove this point. You are digging a hole and hurting yourself in confusion.

> I guess that priest was wrong (or you misunderstood him). We all pay for our own sins.

That priest was wrong, and so are you. But that doesn't change the fact that millions of people are taught this before middle school and live and die for this belief. Just because your brand of belief doesn't believe Adam and Eve are the cause for original sin does not mean that is the same for everyone else which is really my audience in the first place.

> It depends what you mean by "literally." Adam and Eve were historical persons; this is no metaphor. But A&E were probably not the first hominids, but taken out from among others (Gn. 2.15). "Literally" is just an inadequate term.

No, it's not. I am done being nice, you condescending ass. Look up at that definition I posted for you. You are cherry picking from the bible and choosing what is true, which according to you, you have no right to do. You don't get to decide that A&E were not actually the first two humans. If you believe the bible is factual, then you believe this as well.

> Hopefully my explanation has helped you to see how misguided this statement is. I haven't spoken in big circles at all. And I just can't go with describing the Bible as "literally true." It's an inadequate term for the complexity and depth of the Bible.

Again you are talking down to me as a way of making a point. The only thing you are proving here is that your argument is not strong enough to stand on it's own merits and you must rely on re-defining words and talking in circles to feel like you are winning. You are talking in circles, it's painfully obvious and very annoying.

> Glad to hear this. Maybe they were reading what I said rather than inserting their own assumptions and then finding fault with what I said based on insertions that didn't originate with me. : )

Since I added that, people have downvoted you. Seems it was only a matter of time. You need to check your ego and learn to have an actual debate. Maybe check to see what words mean before trying to sound smart.
Stabby
 

Re: If Adam and Eve didn't exist, why does original sin?

Postby jimwalton » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:32 pm

> You don't seem to know what the word literal means. Don't worry, I'll help. ... > Literal

Thank you for the definition. It bears out my point because the first and principal definition is involving the strict meaning of the words, and not figurative or metaphorical. That is how most people who take the Bible literally understand the term and understand the Bible. That's why I like to avoid the term because it's not only inadequate but it's also inaccurate. There are a lot of metaphors and figurative language in the Bible, as well as other literary techniques.

By the time you get to #3 ("factual") you found some justification for your decision, and that's part of what makes the term confusing to use. Because it can be understood in too many different ways, we should avoid the use of it, because it mostly creates miscommunication and misunderstanding. There are better terms to use.

> It says tore up. Mauled in some versions, and it says all 42 of them.

Yep, but is it literal? "42" occurs again in the number of victims killed by Jehu in 2 Kings 10.14, so we have to ask: Was it a figure expressing a large number (which is common in the story-telling of that era)? Also, In *b. Sota* 47a, the tally of the sacrifices of Balak, king of Moab, is given as 42. We use numbers figuratively all the time: "There were 100 people there!" "I've told you 100 times." Since there is evidence that "42" may have been such a number, we shouldn't be too quick to hold that a bear killed 42 kids in one attack. As I said, "First of all, you know how bears attack. You've seen it on youtube. They're not fast like leopards. Let's be realistic—if two bears attack 10 kids, the 10 kids are going to run in 10 different directions; 42 kids are going to run in 42 different directions. Two bears are only going to get two kids. The rest are going to be GONE with the wind."

Numbers are always tricky things in other cultures. Indonesians identify ages based on how much experience or wisdom the person was accorded by the community. One person at age 35 might be introduced as being fifty. The number identified his status as a wise person who should be listened to and heeded. It had nothing to do with his actual age. A woman who might be 40 two years later is 50, as a measure of her status and respect in the community. The numbers have rhetorical value, not quantification value.

Numbers mean different things in different cultures are are often used more in culturally rhetorical ways than as rigid (literal) quantifications. This should warn us about being overconfident as we try to understand the numbers in the Bible.

> Just because your brand of belief doesn't believe Adam and Eve are the cause for original sin

Oh, I believe Adam and Eve are the cause of original sin. Absolutely. Romans 5.12-21 says so. The text affirms unequivocally that sin entered the world through Adam and that death came through sin. The text does not comment on how or when sin came to all and all sinned. While it teaches us the idea of original sin, it doesn't work out all the details. Adam and Jesus are both treated as archetypes—representing humanity: one, sinful humanity, and the other, the one who redeemed humanity from their sin.

The main point pertaining to the discussion is that the Bible says that Adam & Eve were the first two humans that mattered in the salvation story, not necessarily that they were the first two humans.
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Re: If Adam and Eve didn't exist, why does original sin?

Postby Turnkey » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:07 pm

It seems like you started with the answer and built an explaination.

Look here:

> The Bible speaks of two hominids named Adam & Eve.

It does not say "hominids". Man and woman is what the bible refers to his creations, one made of dirt and the other from adams rib.

> These obviously weren't their names, because these names are Hebrew, and Hebrew wasn't a language until about 1,000 BC.

Yet, the bible clearly says this is their names. God called Adam by his name.

> But for convenience we'll call them Adam and Eve.

No, for the sake of your bias, you want to try to intertwine whatever science you can with holy scripture.

> Genesis 2.15 says God took them and put them in the Garden to "work it" (to care for sacred space as priests).

And so on and so on...the creative explaination to justify your predetermined beliefs go.
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Re: If Adam and Eve didn't exist, why does original sin?

Postby jimwalton » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:09 pm

> It does not say "hominids". Man and woman is what the bible refers to his creations, one made of dirt and the other from adams rib.

You're right that it doesn't say "hominids." The first time we hear about them the term is "Adam" (Gen. 1.26). It has plural modifiers and can be replaced by plural pronouns when the context calls for it. When in the plural it means "humanity," referring most often to a corporate group (humankind, see Gn. 5.2). It's a category, not a personal name. So all of what Genesis 1 says about humans is about humanity as a whole, not about two individuals.

In Genesis 2.5 we see this category name again. It's a clue that humanity is going to be the pivot point of this story. Whenever this takes place, and how humanity came to be we are not told. But then in 2.7 we are told that God "formed" this "adam" (humanity). "Formed" isn't necessarily a sculpting word, though it can be. It can means lots of different things.

- Zech. 12.1: The Lord "forms" the human spirit within a person.
- 2 Ki. 19.25; Isa. 37.26; cf. Isa. 22.11; 46.11; Jer. 18.11. God spekas of events that are taking place as having been formed ("planned") long ago.
- Ps. 33.15. When God forms the heart, the text is not talking about the blood pumping in our bodies.
- Ps. 74.17. God formed summer and winter. It's certainly not sculpting.
- Ps. 94.20. A corrupt government forms misery for the people.
- Israel is formed by God (Isa. 43.1; 44.2, 21, 24, et al.) as a people, and therefore it is not a material act.

Etc.

So we have to interpret what the Bible means. Since the "adam" is a category, not a personal name, we're talking about all humanity, not an individual. We are told in other Scriptures that "dust" is a symbol of mortality (Gn. 3.19; Ps. 103.14). It is a statement about human nature: we are mortal. In "Adam" we are all created mortal.

> the rib

First of all, the deep sleep is a visionary experience, not anesthesia. (They knew nothing of anesthesia and would not have written about it.) Second, it's the category of "humanity" again, not an individual. Third, "rib" is not used anatomically anywhere else in the OT, so we have good reason to doubt that translation here. The word was *tsela*, and most often refers to a side of a building or room, a wing of a building, or a side part of a building. The point of the text is that the woman was in every way the equal of man, not inferior or under his authority or a lesser being. That is confirmed in the verse that says, "Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh." The point is that men and women were equally in the image of God (Gn. 1.26-27), equally given the charge to rule over the earth (Gn. 1.27-28), and equally standing before God as his people.

> Yet, the bible clearly says this is their names. God called Adam by his name.

They are first called by name in Genesis 3.20, after the fall (original sin). He bears the name "Adam", meaning "human," and she is "Eve" (this is the first use of the term) meaning "life." It's more a title than a name. If these are not historical names (Hebrew wasn't invented until the time of King David), they must be assigned names, intended to convey a particular meaning. The names are larger than the historical characters; they represent something beyond themselves.

> No, for the sake of your bias, you want to try to intertwine whatever science you can with holy scripture.

Oh, no bias at all, as explained above.

And, of course I believe that science and Scripture do intertwine. As Galileo said, God has spoken two words: science and Scripture, and "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them" (Galileo). There is deep concord between science and theistic belief.
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Re: If Adam and Eve didn't exist, why does original sin?

Postby Saiyan God » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:06 pm

> Naturalism postulates that new species can arise from genetic mutation, and the fossil record possibly bears this out.

Do you mean they can arise overnight? That a single mutation can be enough to create an entire species? A group of fertile specimens that wouldn't be able to produce fertile offspring with their own parents? I would certainly like to read about that if you have any sources.

> The breath of life would happen at the point when evolution had progressed to the point where homo sapiens were advanced enough in reason, conscience, and a moral awareness to be morally culpable and spiritually capable.

So did it happen overnight, as in a child was born with a soul that had soulless parents? Or did the soul appear slowly over many generations?

> You are taking a stand in contrast to current scientific understanding, which specifies that species do evolve through speciation changes.

On a span of thousands of generations with enough environmental pressure. Not from one generation to another.
Saiyan God
 

Re: If Adam and Eve didn't exist, why does original sin?

Postby jimwalton » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:07 pm

> Do you mean they can arise overnight?

No, not at all. Science tells us they arose over huge lengths of time. Well, let me back up on that a bit. Science can tell us very little about them, but they assume they arose over huge lengths of time. Factually, most of the missing links are still missing. There are relatively few examples in existence, though the fossil record is quite well known and established. From the few examples that may be possibly indicating speciation differentiation, scientists suggest by extrapolation that this is the way in happened in every case, though we don't have evidence of the forms.

For instance, the chimp genome is a 95-99% match with the human genome, depending on what factors are included. But that doesn't mean a chimp changed to a human in one generation. Wouldn't THAT shock a mama chimp!

> That a single mutation can be enough to create an entire species?

No. Many millions of mutations would be required to bring about a new species, but it would all be gradual changes. The problem is that evidence of these gradual changes is completely lacking in most species.

> So did it happen overnight, as in a child was born with a soul that had soulless parents? Or did the soul appear slowly over many generations?

Good question. The suggestion of the biblical record (Gn. 2.7) is that it was immediate. It was a specific and definite act by God.
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Re: If Adam and Eve didn't exist, why does original sin?

Postby Stabby » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:50 pm

Are you even sure you have a point anymore? You have made it clear that you decide what is true in the bible and that you somehow believe in Adam and Eve. Again, you have to prove all that nonsense to even touch on my original point. After that you would have to justify how sacrificing an innocent person pays for the "crimes" of not just other people but all other people for the rest of time. Again, we are talking about human sacrifice here.

This is a despicable belief system that gets people hooked into believing then has them scrambling to come up with explanations to justify believing something so horrible. If you have to twist the truth just to make something sound better than it really is, it may not be worth believing.
Stabby
 

Re: If Adam and Eve didn't exist, why does original sin?

Postby jimwalton » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:04 pm

Of course I have a point. Science is true, evolution is true, and the Bible is true. They all tell the same story, with different emphases. Science tells us how it happened; the Bible tells us why it happened. Science tells us how life came to be, the Bible tells us what life is all about. At a particular era in time, hominids became what we would call human. God chose two of them out as representatives of the species, and showed that they were now capable of moral thought and spiritual relationships. He invested them with souls and implemented a plan so that they could live in relationship with Him.

Your original point was, "If Adam and Eve never existed, then why does original sin?" I have shown that there's every reason to believe they actually existed (the Bible is concordant with science), even though they were likely not the first hominids. It doesn't matter, since the Bible doesn't claim they were necessarily that. And since there is a possibility that A&E were historical beings, then it is also just as possible that original sin is a sensible reality, given A&E and the historicity of their sin.

> After that you would have to justify how sacrificing an innocent person pays for the "crimes" of not just other people but all other people for the rest of time. Again, we are talking about human sacrifice here.

This is a question you never raised.

> This is a despicable belief system that gets people hooked into believing then has them scrambling to come up with explanations to justify believing something so horrible.

It's no scramble, but you are betraying your bias here ("despicable belief system"..."something so horrible"..."twist the truth"). Nothing "horrible" has entered our discussion. You wondered, if they weren't real, how is sin real. I showed you. It's pretty straight forward. They easily could have been real (both scientifically and biblically) and therefore sin could be real (both biblically and in what we see in the world).


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