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The beginning of the covenant; Faith vs. Faithlessness

Genesis 2:17 - an alternative theory

Postby Regnus Numis » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:59 pm

I have an alternative interpretation of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Is it possible that God planted the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden not to test Adam and Eve's obedience, but to present Adam and Eve with a legitimate choice between blissful ignorance or becoming closer to God? After all, if the Fall of Man never occurred, then mankind never would've known God's character, including His righteous anger or compassionate mercy. Perhaps God wanted to give Adam and Eve a chance to decide which future they preferred: To keep their innocence or attain spiritual maturity. It's like how Morpheus offered Neo a choice between the red pill and blue pill in The Matrix. The Tree of Knowledge was the red pill and the Tree of Life was the blue pill. The Fall of Man was simply God granting mankind's wish for knowledge of good and evil, to develop into God's likeness. What do you think?

Of course, this interpretation still suffers from the fact that Adam and Eve's descendants never had a choice in the matter.
Regnus Numis
 

Re: Genesis 2:17 - an alternative theory

Postby jimwalton » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:10 pm

> but to present Adam and Eve with a legitimate choice between blissful ignorance or becoming closer to God?

Ah, here's a real problem in your proposal. The choices aren't between blissful ignorance or becoming closer to God, but between whether man would choose for himself what was in his bests interests and what is not, or to orient himself to the wisdom of God. The man was never "ignorant." "Good and evil" was a legal idiom for deciding a case, determining the legitimacy of a claim. Their decision was whether to submit to God's claim on their lives or whether to stake their own claim. It has nothing to do with ignorance.

> After all, if the Fall of Man never occurred, then mankind never would've known God's character, including His righteous anger or compassionate mercy.

The text suggests differently. It suggests that God had an intimate personal relationship with the humans, revealing himself to them and communicating to them. compassionately and with wisdom.

> Perhaps God wanted to give Adam and Eve a chance to decide which future they preferred: To keep their innocence or attain spiritual maturity.

This wasn't the choice at all. Your use of "innocence" is misleading—the text says nothing about such a thing.

> It's like how Morpheus offered Neo a choice between the red pill and blue pill in The Matrix. The Tree of Knowledge was the red pill and the Tree of Life was the blue pill.

This is a poor analogy. The two trees were separate matters, not necessarily in competing worldviews or realities.

> What do you think?

Hmm. You have figured out I don't like it. I've disagreed with every part of your interpretation. It's not what the text is about.

> this interpretation still suffers from the fact that Adam and Eve's descendants never had a choice in the matter.

This is only partially true. We can't help it that they ran away from their master and so we grew up in the wild not knowing him. But it's also true that we always have a choice in the matter, because God in continually inviting all of us to return to relationship with him, and so we all have always had a choice in the matter. Even now, you can come to God and be found in him, become part of his family and live in relationship with him. Even tonight.
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