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Posted by Gregory Koukl on September 26, 2011 at 03:00 AM in :Greg Koukl, Theology, Video | Permalink
Could you make these videos louder?
September 26, 2011 at 08:19 AM
Greg is exactly right here.
Notice that the tree is not the tree that makes you know good from evil. The tree is the tree that makes you know good and evil.
A lot of interpreters argue that there was something intrinsically special about the fruit of this tree that made it morally poisonous to us. I don't think that's right. The fruit of the tree was perfectly good fruit. There was not a thing wrong with it. The serpent, for example, could have laid up there all day and nibbled on the fruit with no harm.
Indeed, in Genesis 1, God gives all fruit trees to Man for food and makes no restriction regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What I think you have to conclude from this is that every type of tree was given to man. What was forbidden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, was one particular tree. That's how you harmonize Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 on this point.
This leads to the possibility (actually, the almost certain likelihood) that there were other trees of the same type as the forbidden tree. Man was perfectly free to eat from these other trees. It might even be that the forbidden tree was of the same type as the Tree of Life. In any event, the fruit from this type of tree was totally good.
So that's why the tree gave an experience of good: the fruit was good. It was just as the Woman saw when she took the fruit. It was good for food.
The reason it gave an experience of evil is not the magical qualities of its fruit, but precisely the fact that God forbade the eating of it. In the Garden, it was the only opportunity Man had to disobey God's commands.
September 26, 2011 at 10:11 AM
...an interesting aspect is looking at different translations. In german for instance, you won't find the word knowledge (which would be "Kenntnis") but a word that we would translate as "recognition, realization, cognisance, insight or even perception, the word "Erkenntnis".
A word by word translation of the hebrew:
Evil Good Are Tree
The xylon (tree) the eidenai(to know) know goodness and evil
Tree of wisdom, good and bad
....so ...looking at these different translations, I believe it shows that we are not talking about, that Adam and Eve didn't know the difference between right and wrong. I do not ever want to get the wisdom of first hand experience or insight of certain things that I "know" are wrong. I can live jus fine without witnessing murder, rape, torture and other things ..... I'd rather take my fathers advice and stay away ....how many bad things have we experienced where we wish we would have listened to his advice to stay away? ....I know it's quite a few for me ...
September 26, 2011 at 02:59 PM
In Genesis 3:22, after God curses everybody for the fruit incident, it says, "Then the LORD God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil.'" So whatever sense Adam and Eve came to "know" good and evil because of eating the fruit, God already knew good and evil in that same sense. In what sense did God experience good and evil before the fall? I guess you could say he had some experiential familiarity with it because of the fall of the angels. After all, if the snake was the devil, then he was clearly already in rebellion. But God couldn't have experienced good and evil in the sense of committed a morals crime if God is perfectly good.
Since God is perfectly moral, we can't say that Adam and Eve came to know good and evil in the sense of having the experience of doing wrong. I get the impression from reading the whole passage that it did involve some kind of cognitive awareness. After all, it was because of eating the fruit that they came to the realization that they were naked, and they were embarrassed about it.
September 26, 2011 at 03:31 PM
I'm not convinced that Genesis 3 doesn't also describe the fall of Satan. It is true that sin was in Satan before Eve took the apple (or whatever it was). But then, sin was also in Eve before she took the apple. Once she had formed the intention of doing so, she was lost. And Adam, in his stony silence, was also lost long before his wife ate.
God clearly does experience good and evil (otherwise He wouldn't be omniscient). But unlike us, God can have the experience of an evil act without doing evil. God is in perfect sympathy with all of His creatures. He knows what they know, He experiences what they experience.
Perhaps, in time, it played out like this:
1) God created both Satan and Man good.
2) Satan fell and thereby experienced evil. His fall was, perhaps, first manifested in his temptation of the woman.
3) God, being in perfect sympathy with Satan, experienced evil too.
4) Satan tells Eve that if she eats from the tree, she will be like God, experiencing both good and evil. Satan promises Eve a property that God would not have had but for Satan's own wickedness.
5) Adam and Eve eat from the tree and fall. Thereby also experiencing good and evil.
6) God, in perfect sympathy with Adam and Eve, again experiences evil.
And just to throw in something confusing, but still, I think, true. God is in such perfect sympathy, at least with Adam and Eve, knowing their evil from both the side of the victim and the side of the sinner, because He bore the pain and guilt of all mankind's sin in the person of Christ.
I don't know why or how God is in sympathy with Satan, but He's bound to be because of His omniscience.
September 26, 2011 at 04:31 PM
Interesting comments posted here. I've always thought of this in this way: Adam and Eve already knew "good"--everything God had given to them was good. It seems that Satan's words to Eve piqued her interest in knowing "evil", especially because Satan miscontrued the words of God and likely made Eve able to rationalize her decision and doubt the specifics of God's command.
September 26, 2011 at 09:15 PM
Very good observations in some of these comments. One thing I would add is that the type of knowledge of good and evil "gained" by eating the fruit of the tree was an understanding of the paradox of sin. For example, as long as there was no sin in the world, God's prescriptive will and decretive will carried the same meaning for us.
With sin, darkness is now necessary in order to light our path. For example, fellowship among men outside of faith in God equates to the tower of Babel. Only through God can we have a reversal of this particular curse. So the path of God is lighted and all else is in darkness. It's interesting that before the fall God created a distinction between light and dark so that we might understand this after the fall.
So sin brought paradox the resolution of which is only revealed in the righteousness of God. This could only be understood by Adam and Eve when they disobeyed.
Jim Pemberton |
September 28, 2011 at 07:40 AM
It was an obedience issue because God has told him not to eat of the fruit. All Adam had to do is trust God and his word.
October 01, 2011 at 11:59 AM
"If Adam was created without the "knowledge of good and evil" how did he know that it was wrong to eat from the fruit of that tree?"
The answer is in Gen.2:7. God told him not to eat it. Man was to live, not according to the knowledge of good and evil, but the will of God. As a consequence of their sin in the garden, we have been severed from the life of God; fellowship with God has been cut off, and now humanity is left to its own devices. If you look at the world today, you have a humanity that has this knowledge of what is good and what is evil--and lives according to it-- but has no knowledge of God. So in essence, what has happened here-- by Adam and Eve choosing to eat of the forbidden fruit and therefore, sinning against God--is that man has chosen independence from God. Now man makes his decisions independent of God, and because he is severed from God, he is powerless to overcome sin. This knowledge of good and evil does nothing for us except encourage us to do more evil.
October 08, 2011 at 11:07 PM
Just to add to that last sentence I wrote, Paul explains it perfectly in Romans 7:18-19: "For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish.
Anyway, the solution is simple. We were in Adam, that means I can trace my family tree back to him. Being in Adam means I have inherited, not just his genetic make up, but also his sinful nature. The question now is how do I get out of Adam? I got in by natural birth I can only get out by death, but what kind of death? As a believer, my old me that was in Adam has been crucified(put to death) with Christ, and now, by virtue of new birth--spiritual regeneration through the Spirit--I am in Christ; therefore, I have a new past and a new future(no longer in Adam but in Christ). In Romans 6 it states, I have died with Christ and have risen with him. That is my new past. What happened to Christ on that day has happened to me because I am in Him. I can now rejoice in the fact that I am new creation in Christ(2Cor.5:17) and live as a man freed from sin and alive to God. I can now live in union with God; knowing the fulness of His life and living according to His will--dependence upon Him. In other words, what we lost in Adam we have gained back in Christ a hundredfold.
Going back to the verse I wrote at the very beginning, Paul concludes that chapter by stating what a wretched man he was, and that the only solution to his dilemma is Christ. In other words, he rejoices in the fact that Christ has set him free.
October 09, 2011 at 12:01 AM
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