Creation story as a metaphor makes sense in relation to evolution except I can’t explain significance of God forbidding the knowledge of good and evil. why would knowledge be represented as forbidden in this story of our origin? At some point we evolved beyond instinct and into knowledge, but why is that represented as “death” and not something the Creator would want us to grow into?
Please forgive my initial seemingly arrogant comment. But this is of deep concern to me, that a vast number of people seem to not understand the fall account. It is of deep concern, because if you don’t understand the fall, you will have no idea what you are being saved from.
You have to read very carefully. The account does not demonize knowledge but ‘eating of it’ knowledge. ‘Eating of it’ is idiomatic language for ‘believing in fully’. It is not believing in but, COMPLETELY believing in. When you eat something, it becomes part of you. Also you live from what you eat. You cannot live without what you eat. All these elements are in the ‘eat of’ idiom. Now lets say it again with the correct language. ‘Do not [believe fully in, so that you live from] the knowledge of good and evil, for in that day you will surely die.
The correct meaning is God’s warning to not take the same path that Satan took, which was to no longer have God as his source of life, but look to his (Satan’s) own greatness as the source of who he is.
I too believe that the whole account of the fall is idiomatic, but it might just be the most powerful and detailed idiom ever constructed with multiple layers and concepts.
The tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, is I believe the concept of what Satan invented in his rebellion, and construction of a new way of living from his own greatness. A tree idiom is used elsewhere, when is says; that he saw his greatness in the beauty of his branches instead of the ever flowing spring that his roots were in.
The fall of mankind was to; 1. believe the lie that God had lied to them. 2. transfer from the source of life (believing in God) to the reliance on their own intellect (knowledge of good through evil).
The same battle rages quietly in religion and humans today. Religion is all about living from the tree of knowledge.
What greater source of knowledge can you get than the bible itself (ironically made from TREE pulp). If you read and learn the bible as if owning those words and calculating their meaning is what makes you holy. Contrast this with the much rarer state which is to allow the bible to point to meaning that is confirmed by that intuitive place within. AKA God in you.
The same battle within a human. Do you rely on your intellect as your source of life, or do you rely on the ‘be still and know that I am God’ place of intuition (In-Tuition)?
So why and how did Jesus save us? The only requirement for salvation is “to believe that God Raised him (Jesus) from the dead”.
So simple. How can that be?
Well because the fall came from the lie about God holding out. Then when God came in the cool of the day in his usual cheerful mood, and said; “where are you”? Adam and Eve had hidden from God because they felt ‘naked’ (naked=uncomfortable in their natural state. Natural state= in union with God by believing in his goodness). Then the new Satanic way of using their own intellect, born from the fear of God came to the rescue as Eve blames the ‘serpent’ and Adam blames Eve and God.
Fear and hiding was evidence that they now saw God as the one with the problem, the one that would be angry. Their vision was destroyed along with their belief.
For you see, ‘BELIEF’ is the most powerful force in the Uni-Verse.
It brought the fall and now it brings salvation in the belief that a Man Jesus, with all death and sin, including yours and mine, can die. But Despite carrying your sin and your death, the father raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand. Thus God has made the final judgement on Sin and Death. This means that the death you will die, has already been raised. What a Good God! This is why, to be saved you must believe that ‘God raised Jesus from the dead’. I could say so much more but this is part of my book which is in progress so I need to get back to work! 🙂
That’s a great question Lance, and to be honest, I’m not sure.
One of the things to keep in mind when evaluating Biblical metaphor is that there was a lot of “pop culture” involved.
By that, I mean that these metaphors were full of references to popular myths of the time, idioms, context-specific comparisons and interpretations, and all of the same things that we have in our stories today.
In other words, the symbolism isn’t going to always be perfect or directly applicable, and it will rarely be free of bias.
All that to say, there might not be any definite or applicable meaning there. But at some point, someone will probably tell you a meaning that makes sense to you and provides meaning to you, but it may have nothing to do with the actual meaning that was intended in that story 4,000 years ago.
You might find some interesting thoughts on this from William Paul Young – http://wmpaulyoung.com/