Continuing from part 1 where I began my day with a comparison between the JW’s New World Translation, my NOAB and a brief glimpse into the Interlinear Bible, while hunting dictionary meanings of various words used in the first two bibles, I came across a website with some brief but interesting articles. One of them was a full on grumble about the words ‘a little child will lead them’.

Ok, so the authors the author is complaining about, people like me, do misquote .. here’s the actual words:

“Isaiah 11:6-8 The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den”,

but, for heaven’s sake, who cares! I also read the comments .. we all agree that, in this world of unsavoury characters, it might really take a child, in his or her perfect innocence, to lead us all back Home.

All very dramatic, or all very beautiful, particularly if, like me, you see visions, and once ‘met’ God as a small girl child, who was very ancient, very wise and very, very loving (God, not me). But I am not approved of as being prophetic because I’m not doing it in church, although quite truthfully, it’s usually in the churches where I find the Most judgment – as if the words of Jesus ‘judge not lest ye be judged’ have no meaning and never had, although the words ‘you will go to hell if you are not Christian’ do, but Jesus never said them.

You know, this whole adventure actually started with Facebook. There was a message there about an 8 year old girl who had a wish list of 600 kind things to do for people, to honour her grandmother who had died .. then the other Isaiah bits I mentioned, and then that webpage, where a man grumbles because the bible words are taken out of context, where he says that he doesn’t believe that a child can teach an adult anything … I wonder if you have any children, given what I have learned from both of mine, now adults, and some of the youngsters born so wise into the world these days.

So to me, the leadership of a child can often be better than the leadership of an adult with blinkers of a lifetime of opinions firmly welded to their heads. (Just for the record, I am not talking about that author, just about quite a few experiences of people with the blinkers .. it’s their way or I am in trouble, or going to hell, or will have the town set against me? And then they have the nerve to call themselves ‘good Christians’?) If there was a hell, there would be a room reserved for hypocrites .. no, they better reserve a ‘city’.

Let’s go back to Isaiah .. 9:6-7

“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onwards and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this” ….. so we crucified him.

If we ask nicely, maybe next time God will send his/its daughter. Will we be less likely to hang her up on to beams of wood, put nails through her joints, after lashing her bloody and forcing a crown of thorns on her head?  I would certainly hope so.  As for the Lord of everlasting peace .. go and read Revelation .. last I heard he was coming back with a sword in his mouth to condemn anyone who breaks the 12 commandments to hell.  That’s all of us folks!

Happy easter.

What is an Isaiah moment? It’s when the name keeps popping up, in all sorts of unusual places, to the point where you think it’s about time you opened that ‘book’ again, and see what needs, or wants, to be seen. So today, on Good Friday (a Christian oxymoron), I have been having those moments that say ‘come here to look’ .. so I opened the book .. but before I opened the book, I also read an email sent from a pen pal site, but some lovely JW’s in their 80’s, to my husband, who are evangelising the world, one pen pal at a time – which reminded me of my other JW visitors, who have not come back since I refused to argue with them over a quote in Isaiah, that in the NOAB is the opposite of what is written in their accepted version of this very challenging Book. Just for fun, because I have not done an exegesis for a long time, let me quote from both bibles – actually .. let’s compare the whole chapter, one line at a time, because in comparing two bibles I am often dumbfounded at the differences.’

The JW’s bible is called “New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures” .. no offence intended, but its not a good translation .. back to Isaiah –

NOAB: 1 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners;

NWT: 1 The spirit of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah is up me, because Jehovah anointed me to declare good news to the meek. He sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the wide opening of the eyes of the prisoners.

There are no notes of explanation in the NWT, but the NOAB states that the (physical) ‘release’ is from slavery .. nothing about opening eyes, which, can be another form of release, but put in context, that’s not what was being talked about here. And a meek person does not have to be oppressed, nor does an oppressed person automatically become meek .. so who translated that?

NOAB: 2 … to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;

NWT: 2 To proclaim the year of Jehovah’s goodwill and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,

  Meaning of favour: approval, support, or liking for someone or something:

  • overgenerous preferential treatment:
  • an act of kindness beyond what is due or usual:
  • feel or show approval or preference for:
      1. Meaning of goodwill: friendly, helpful, or cooperative feelings or attitude:
  • the established reputation of a business regarded as a quantifiable asset and calculated as part of its value when it is sold.

Hmm… I can see some similarities here. One includes presents, the other is just emotions .. and both quotes agree that God intends to be vengeful.

NOAB: 3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion – to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.

NWT: 3 To provide for those mourning over Zion, to give them a headdress instead of ashes, the oil of exultation instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a despondent spirit. And they will be called big trees of righteousness, the planting of Jehovah, in order to glorify him.

There’s a difference between mourning ‘in’ Zion, and mourning ‘over’ it. The first infers that the town still exists, the other that it doesn’t. Other differences are similar enough to not be focused on, garland (a wreath of flowers and leaves, worn on the head or hung as a decoration, but not necessarily around a person’s neck) and headdress, oaks and big trees, and a person with a ‘faint’ spirit and one who is despondent.

Meaning of faint: Lacking courage and spirit (cowardly)

Meaning of despondent: in low spirits from loss of hope or courage

But is there a difference between people given a gift by God to ‘display’ his glory, and those given the gifts in order to glorify Him? Is God showing off in the first translation, or asking for praise in the second? Which asks the question .. since humans have egos, does God? An ego can be offended, it can be angry, it can be judgmental, it can be frightened, it can seek justice, or vengeance .. going on the described behaviours of Jehovah, he definitely has an ego. But where is the Love?

NOAB: 4 They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities; the devastations of many generations.

NWT: 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins; they will raise up the desolated places of the past, and they will restore the devastated cities, the places that lay desolate for generation to generation.

Wordy but similar

NOAB: 5 Strangers shall stand feed your flocks, foreigners shall till your land and dress your vines; 6: but you shall be called priests of the Lord, you shall be named minister of our God; you shall enjoy the wealth of the nations, and in their riches you shall glory.

NWT: 5 Strangers will stand and shepherd your flocks, and foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers. 6 As for you, you will be called the priests of Jehovah; they will call you the ministers of our God. You will eat the resources of the nations, and about their glory you will boast.

The explanation for 5 & 6 is that “the Judeans will be to Gentiles as priests to laity. They will enjoy ample support and will receive a double share for double punishment.” Is this karma in action? The book then refers to Isaiah 40:2 where God slammed Jerusalem for its sins, but as compensation he’s now given them an under-class (servants) to do all their work, and tells them they will be able to boast about what they have ‘received’ .. or is it stolen .. from others (NOAB), or has the NWT been mistranslated to say that the Judeans would be happy for others, or is it just another way of saying what the NOAB says? This throws my thoughts back to the passages that say “I don’t like that tribe of people (or even Moses’ people (Numbers 14:11-19)), so I am going to destroy them, or you go and destroy them for me – down to the last man and cattle (Saul)”. Back to ‘does Jehovah have an ego’?

Slightly off topic there, but you can see the difference in the two translations of the same writing.

NOAB: 7 Because their shame was double, and dishonour was proclaimed as their lot, therefore they shall possess a double portion; everlasting joy shall be theirs.

NWT: 7 Instead of shame you will have a double portion, and instead of humiliation they will shout joyfully over their share.

As a direct translation, the NWT is not even close. On other thoughts – Is Jehovah compensating the Judeans for an incredible flash of temper? Why does Jehovah feel the need for ‘double’ compensation? Have the people changed enough to deserve it, or is it just another form of emotional manipulation, pat with one hand and punish with another? It wasn’t some other entity lying to them and destroying their cities and people (shades of Job), it was the same god demanding worship again. No wonder people are confused about God, when they read passages like this.

NOAB: 8 For I the lord love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

NWT: 8 For I, Jehovah, love justice; I hate robbery and unrighteousness. I will faithfully give them their wages, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

If you flip back in your bible a few ‘books’ you’ll find the story of Job, that puts a lie to that whole statement, good translations or not. I have written comments on his ‘book’ before, so just seek them out.

NOAB: 9 Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the people; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people who the Lord has blessed.

NWT: 9 Their offspring will be known among the nations and their descendants among the peoples. All who see them will recognise them, that they are the offspring whom Jehovah has blessed.

Um… complete reversal of the first sentence – says the same thing. Have to wonder how and why someone would choose to do that? And acknowledging and recognising can be two different things.

NOAB: 10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

NWT: 10 I will greatly exult in Jehovah. My whole being will rejoice in my God. For he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; He has wrapped me with the robe of righteousness, just like a bridegroom who wears a turban like that of a priest. And like a bride who adorns herself with her ornaments.

Again the reversal of the words exult and rejoice in the first sentence. And there’s a huge difference between a garland (which could be anything) and a ‘turban like a priest’. And so I pull out a third bible “The interlinear Bible” in Hebrew, Greek and English to enquire …

INT: 10 I will greatly rejoice in Jehovah. My soul shall be joyful in my God. For he clothed me with garments of salvation; he put on me the robe of righteousness, even as a bridegroom is adorned with his ornament, and as the bridge wears her jewels. (No turbans, no garland either).

And then rises the thought that – if Salvation only comes through Jesus Christ, and Christ is still 800 or so years away, how can Jehovah have clothed this man in the garments of salvation? The man would long be dead, gone to bones and then dust before Jesus stepped it the scene. There’s nothing about waiting the second coming of the Lord, to provide resurrection for these people.

And then to finish the chapter …

NOAB: 11 For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.

NWT: 11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts and as the garden makes what is sown in it sprout, so will the Sovereign Lord Jehovah cause righteousness and praise to sprout before all the nations.

Praise of what? Don’t get me started, it’s all downhill.

There will be a part 2 ….

God created all of us in ‘his’ likeness. If we remove the sexism, assuming there is only one God, then God is both male and female. For simplification I’ll keep calling God ‘he’ ..

If God created all of us in his likeness, then some part of him is black, white, yellow, red and gay. Gay people use a rainbow flag .. I think that’s appropriate, because gay people are found in every culture in the world. Some cultures accept them and appreciate the difference, others condemn them and expect to see them in hell .. because people who ‘judge/condemn’ are breaking God’s commandments, so why do they think they will be going to heaven? Heck no, walk a mile in my shoes before you decide whether my beliefs are worse than yours .. at least I’m accepting of the differences, and I don’t see demons in every cupboard, or under every bed. Or in bed, for that matter .. and no, I am not gay.

Here’s a question for the genetics buffs .. why are there more people born homosexual or lesbian these days, or are they simply not pretending, or hiding, as much anymore? Is the devil suddenly in charge of human procreation that this would be happening? I don’t think so – so why has God decided that we need more of these people that are both male and female in their bodies .. without the external signs, because people are born hermaphrodites too? And while you dip frantically into the bible and start quoting Sodom and Gomorrah at me, better look in the mirror and thank God you were not born one of the hidden ‘under classes’, where persecution is a way of life and where you can’t feel you can be yourself in case someone finds out and hurts you. And yes, that is still happening all around the world.

I think perhaps the lesson humanity is being given is one of tolerance and kindness, of seeing past differences to the commonalities, the importance things, like ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ and ‘love one another’. That ‘love’ is not physical, but spiritual, unconditional love, that God gives to ALL of his creations .. or they would not continue to exist.

Jesus was not specific in condemning gay people, regardless of the attempts by people to define fornication as homosexual and lesbian behaviour. Perhaps, being the ‘son of God’ he could see past the small and unimportant issues, look into the loving hearts of every individual .. no matter which way they expressed their true natures? After all, as I have just written .. God created all things, God is in all things, and all things return to God .. even the judgmental people.

BE of a loving heart ….

Ok, so I am playing with words .. but here’s a thought … who is ‘us’?

In my translation of the Bible (New Oxford Annotated Bible Fourth Edition) the ‘Lord’ said, “Come, let US go down and confusion their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech”.  This throws me back to the conversation at the creation of humanity ‘Let US make humankind in OUR image, according to OUR likeness..’.  Now I know humanity uses the ‘royal plural’ in speech these days, and it has to come from somewhere, but if God made humanity in its image, then God is both male and female, or a hermaphrodite, being a little of each.  That would explain one form of the ‘us’.  

Which raises the thought that if humanity was speaking with one language, easily understanding each other, joyfully worshipping God, why would Jehovah want to disrupt this perfection .. or weren’t humanity supposed to achieve this before Jesus came, to show God in all its glory?  And which God are we talking about anyway, since there is no Love and good in all that confusion .. or is there?

Humankind learns best through trial and error.  Given a perfect circumstances we are quite determined to find something wrong with it, throw in our own thoughts and opinions, and build a tower that leans like Pisa .. we don’t need any help from God to screw up, we have it down to an art form.  By Jehovah and friends stepping in and confusing the language, they would first have caused arguments, perhaps even wars, but after a time some people would have tried to learn each other’s languages, just as we do today.  Even sign language, or hand gestures can almost create a conversation, with some work.  Was that the plan?  To try and make humanity less perfect .. after all everyone was descended from Noah and his wife and daughter’s-in-law .. I wonder how those three felt after losing their parents in the flood, but that’s a side thought .. was Noah perfect, or just good at boat building?  

Reading on .. No, he definitely wasn’t perfect, he cursed his grandson Canaan for the boy’s father (Ham) seeing him naked.  My notes talk about incestuous behaviours, but to be ‘naked’ has another meaning.  It means to be truly visible in all your imperfections, to have nothing hidden .. so if Noah was not a good man, Ham saw this and ‘knew’ Noah differently from his brothers.  Can we compare this with being supposed not to look into the face of God, because we will die .. but why should we, if God is only about Love, then why would God’s ‘nakedness’ destroy us?  Why are we not allowed to be curious about God?  There was no written language at that time, only the stories passed from teacher to pupil, and parents to children, and those stories talked of the history, the mystery and the facts about God .. but not just the God of the Israelites, because that was before their time also, but Gods from other communities around them .. and yet, all those other communities came from the same source, so where did the different ‘gods’ come from, if not from human imagination?  I would think that the real God would truly want humanity to find It again among the muddle .. so confusing the language, to me, seems purposefully destructive.  Why did humanity need to be so severely punished in a time when they were scattering across the world anyway .. or was it because they were ‘not’ scattering?  No, that’s not true either, if you read your bible .. confusion on confusion .. and this book is translated direct from the ancient languages.

Gotta love it ..

Bless you all.

Who is God?

.. or even ‘what is God’?

I remember a discussion, well, almost a discussion, with an interesting young male Christian who, when asked not to use the Bible as a source of reference for ‘who is God’ gave up the argument straight away, because the Bible is the only source, or ‘Word’, we have of who or what God is – and the views are conflicting.

And then there is Faith. One daily religious message I get describes faith as a ‘gift from God’. It goes on to say that ‘Faith allows us to perceive the truth’, but I have to question quite a bit of this statement given that other religious people have ‘faith’ in their God, so is their truth different to mine, if I choose to believe in Jesus’ God rather than Job’s, or theirs?

That’s one of the conflicts. Jesus’ God taught ‘love one another’, Job’s taught ‘fear me or I will punish the most innocent among you’. Which would you prefer to follow, given a choice? Allah preaches peace, but some of ‘his’ followers preach Jihad? Whose truth is that?

The daily religious ‘thought’ then says faith ‘persuades our emotions to embrace the truth and then moves our will to act upon it’. Persuades .. does faith nag? Persuasion can be a very quiet and gentle voice, or it can be a nagging irritation .. think of a tired two year old who demands something she or he wants, regardless of what the parent wants. In the end we give in, because there is no other way to stop the noise. Which raises the question ‘does God nag’? And since our emotions are connected to our ego (the inner child who often lives in fear), which demands immediate obedience, particularly when we are unhappy, how does it help us in the search for truth? Do we search only through desperation, or, as sometimes happens .. revelation? Is that why ‘born again Christians’ (and Muslims .. I’ve been nagged by them too ‘the one true religion’) have so much zeal that they sometimes forget good manners and start nagging me to ‘convert’ .. only I don’t have to, I’m already Christian. Why do I have to be ‘born again’, or even baptised again? And which ‘faith’ do I choose .. there are so many that call themselves Christian these days.

In the beginning there was one language in the world, and that one language inspired humanity to reach towards God, or did it? Perhaps it inspired only arrogance? The people even built a tower to try and reach God’s resting place (Genesis 11:1-9) – though I don’t see how that works, given that God is a spiritual being, and heaven is not in the sky around the planet. Down came ‘the Lord’, saw they were gathered as one people (the way he created them to be, given that God created all things) and then decided to punish them for their aspirations by taking away the common language and scattering humanity across the earth. They stopped building the tower for a while.

I’m confused. Why did God decide to do this? The passage says that the Lord then stated “… and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them”. Since humanity was created to create, what is the issue here?

And so I slip down into the notes and find: ‘this theme revisits the “preservation of the divine-human boundary”. God did not want us to live forever (Genesis 3:22-24), nor to bear half-divine children (6:1-4). Not sure what that has to do with stopping people building towers, but perhaps Jehovah didn’t want humanity to gain knowledge that would show its true nature, given its pleasure in disrupting our lives? And was the tower literal, or figurative .. the search for the knowledge of what God actually is, or who it is .. confusing conversations, comparisons, and creativity would definitely stop people finding out who God really is. Such a pity at a time when we truly need it most.

The tower of Babel, or the outcome of its building, still affects the world today. When will we once again find a common language, one based on Love not hatred, one based on Faith and not fear, one based on one Truth .. not my truth, or your truth, but OUR truth. Until that time we are still roaming the world, lost, alone and frightened .. and yet the voice of God is now within us .. so who created the boundary .. who scattered the people? Who is the Lord Jehovah, if God teaches Love? And who took the barrier away .. I think the Christians know the answer to that particular question, or think they do.

God bless you.

Sometimes the most interesting part of my bible is the writer’s commentary at the bottom of each page.  Their interpretation of the text makes me sit back and wonder .. wonder where they got that idea from?  The story of Cain and Abel is a classic example.  Who were they?  Two of the sons of Adam and Eve, the third was Seth, but we’ll get to him later.

Cain was first born, said by Eve to have been ‘produced with the help of the Lord’ 4:1.  His name ‘derives from the Hebrew word for ‘create’, ‘qanah’. (NOAB 17)  Then came Abel.  According to the commentary his name means ‘vanity’ (or emptiness), taken from a similar translation in Ecclesiastes, believed to be written down from oral traditions around the same time period.  “His name anticipates his destiny” the commentator adds, but why?

Cain was a tiller of the ground, while Abel kept sheep.  At harvest time both brought offerings from what they had produced.  The Lord looked upon the offerings, found favour in Abel’s ‘fat portions’ but not in Cain’s ‘fruits of the soil’.  We are not told why?   When Cain is angry over this the Lord says “if you do well, will you not be accepted?” Which raises the question of how many potatoes equals a side of lamb?  Why were the fruits of the field not as good as blood offerings, when God assigned the men their roles, and they are all God’s creations anyway?  Was Cain destined to fail because he was only a tiller?  Is this the class system appearing very early on?  It continues, “And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; (so those who do not ‘achieve’ well in society are sinning?) .. its desire is for you, but you must master it”.  Does this mean that Cain was without sin (no, original sin means that everyone carries the blame for what Adam and Eve did .. so that can’t be right) before he chose to bring vegetables before God? 

 And if you do not do well .. will your vanity (translated from hebel – means ephemeral, like breath or fog, or ‘nothing at all’) .. will your ‘nothing at all’ lead you into sin?  No, that can’t be right.  It was Abel who was supposed to be ‘vanity’ .. oh well, he did end up as nothing at all, except ‘blood screaming to God from the soil’, but it was Cain’s anger that lead him into sin.

Oh yes, sin definitely had its hand in the mix, because Cain then slew Abel (fulfilling his destiny – God’s plan was for Cain to kill Abel?) and lied to God about doing it.  God knew this, and told Cain that, as punishment, he would no longer till the ground, and that he must wander the earth for the rest of his life.  Cain complains that this punishment is more than he can bear, and anyone who meets him may kill him.  Would there be some justice in that?  No, because the Lord then chooses to place a special mark on Cain to sanctify him as one of His own, a mark that means anyone who kills him will suffer a ‘sevenfold vengeance’, thus keeping the murderer of God’s favourite safe?  I am only a little confused .. or am I?  I have to wonder what Jehovah was thinking.

The laws of the land these days say that a murderer, when caught and proved guilty, is locked up .. or in certain countries, is executed .. the bible advocates that ‘an eye for an eye’, and yet Jehovah sanctifies Cain and lets him continue free and protected from the harm of others.  His only punishment is that he can no longer grow vegetables and fruit.  Was that God taking away his ability to create .. not so, because he later had at least one child, so the sin of the murderer passed down through the generations.  And we hear nothing more of Abel, who had been God’s favourite. 

The next interesting part of this story is that Cain went away from the land around Eden and ‘settled in the land of Nod’, to the east .. and he took his wife .. which is where things once again get a little confusing.  First up .. what happened to him having to wander the land for the rest of his life?  And then, you see, Adam and Eve had three sons:  Cain, Abel and Seth.  Cain killed Abel, so there were only two sons, one father and one mother in all the world, according to the bible, so where did Cain’s wife, and then Seth’s come from?  That is, of course, if you believe the second version of Adam’s creation.

There’s no answer to that.

God created Adam; we will ignore Lilith for the purpose of this discussion.  We know God created Adam, because he did it twice.  I have to wonder what was wrong with the first version.  That being said, I looked up Genesis and it reads “Let ‘us’ make humankind in our image, according to our likeness …” 1:26 and then in 1:27 “so God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”  The next question that arises is who is ‘us’; who was God talking to in an inclusive manner, which then suggests that it took more than God to create humanity. 

Then there’s the question of ‘male and female’- if God created humanity in its image, there is either more than one God, or God is both male and female.  So what is all the screaming about people worshipping the Goddess?  Surely they are the same energy, having been part of our Creation?  Or is that part of the problem with having a jealous God?  And that was just chapter 1.

Chapter 2 of Genesis says the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground 2:7, but not woman; she came later, when Adam (first man) was lonely.  First God created the animals, then, when Adam was still not satisfied, God put him to sleep, and took one of his ribs (he must have had a spare, because males still have the balance of ribs in their bodies today)and created him a mate/partner.  Interestingly enough, Adam was banned from eating from the tree of knowledge ‘before’ the woman (Eve) was created. 2:16-17

On a side note, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil could not have had seeds in its fruit because God gave all the trees with seeds to humanity for its consumption, but that’s completely off topic.

Moving on to Chapter 3 we have more of the ‘us’ stuff.  Who is God talking to in 3:22 which says “Then the Lord God said, “see, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil,; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” .. so God sent him, and Eve, from the garden.  He ‘drove out the man’ 3:24 and set a cherubim to watch the gate, so that he (they) could never return.  Just to protect us from immortality?

Is God learning from us, or are we learning from God?  He was very angry when he found that Adam had chosen to eat the fruit that Eve had given him, but why have it in the garden if it could create such harm?  Did he consider humanity was not intelligent enough to avoid eating something life changing, so warned Adam away from the tree?  And why put the innocent newly-created human into this garden, which had no animals or birds or fish within it to feed from? 2:15  I guess Adam was vegetarian, or perhaps, as an innocent, he simply didn’t eat?  No, that can’t be right; otherwise Eve would not have considered eating the fruit.  Did Adam only start eating meat once his innocence was gone?  Before that he had dominion over the animals etc 1:26, he was to protect them, not eat them.

Then there is the question of God’s omnipotence.. he didn’t know that Adam had eaten the fruit 3:11 when they hid from him in the garden?  I was always taught that God knows everything I do.  And why curse them so severely because they now knew good and evil?  How did that make them better people?  As to the serpent, surely God knew that it too was in the garden, and the sort of mischief it might get up to? 

What is original sin – disobedience to God?

The first sin was to disobey God, or was it to listen to any voice but His?  Did God decide to take away humanity’s innocence by letting the serpent be in the garden, so that Eve could actually want to go and take the forbidden fruit?  Are we to blame the devil for Eve’s choice to give it to Adam, or does it all come back to God again, for allowing the ‘serpent’ to sneak into the garden in the first place – given that God is omnipresent and omnipotent, and would have known exactly what the serpent was up to.   Here was the first test, which led to so many others.  Here was humanity’s first failure.  God tests His creations, just look at Job?  So the advice ‘do not pick the fruit from the tree’ was a test humanity was meant to fail – how else could God learn about Himself, unless through His own creations.  Can you think of another reason for creating them? 

And where is the sin?  Considering all the factors, didn’t Adam and Eve simply act in the way God wanted them to, so that we could become the ‘learning and growing’ beings we are today?  Or did God actually want humanity to remain within his private zoo?  I can’t see that myself, even the animals evolve ..

Love & Peace, Ama