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17 Pure Speculation and/or Fringe Questions About Theology – Help Me Out

Here is a list of seventeen questions that either qualify as pure speculation (i.e., there is no way to know) or fringe (i.e., questions that are odd and hardly ever asked). I came up with 17 of them. Please add to the list in the comments. I may start a blog series dealing with each one in the near future.

1. Had Christ not been killed, would he have died?

2. How long were Adam and Eve in Eden until they fell?

3. How did Peter recognize Elijah and Moses on the mount of transfiguration?

4. Why did God put the Tree of Good and Evil in Eden?

5. Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?

6. What was God doing before creation?

7. Could Christ have died another way and secured redemption (e.g., stoning)?

8. Why did Christ say, “It is finished” before he died? Was his physical death not required for the atonement, or did he mean, “It is just about finished”?

9. Did Christ ever get sick?

10. Had Adam and Eve not been booted out of Eden, would they have lived forever, even after the Fall?

11. Why did God put an angel to guard the tree of life? Why not just destroy it?

12. Is there a hierarchy among demons like in the animal world, and do they experience the noetic effects of sin?  Does the left hand in the demon world always know what the right hand is doing?

13. Can a believer be demon-possessed?

14. Will there be sex in heaven?

15. How did Peter recognize Elijah and Moses? (I just like that one so I put it twice)

16. How did Satan show Christ all the nations of the world from the top of a mountain? (Luke 4:5)

17. Does Satan actually think he might win?

 

50 Responses to “17 Pure Speculation and/or Fringe Questions About Theology – Help Me Out”

  1. A few of these are worth considering, like number 8. And we must always have the Federal Headship of Adam -theologically – that helps to answer a few others. But we certainly don’t want to press into a kind of “fundamentalism”, either. I have E.W. Bullinger’s Companion Bible, he likes to get into some of these “speculative” issues & questions. :)

  2. Here’s a couple:

    > What would have happened if Adam and Eve partook of the Tree of Life?
    > Does Satan and demons truly need God’s permission to touch a Christian?

  3. Pandora’s box – In Greek myth, the first mortal woman, who in curiosity opened a box, letting out all human ills into the world. ;) In reality, we can but answer these kind of questions, theologically, somewhat. But often, we cannot.

  4. About question 17.
    Most recently, I have considered that perhaps the Kingdom of Satan if left to flower, might look like StarFleet in the Star Trek speculation universe. Everyone doing right as the best they can figure by their own imagining— (As if Satan is himself doing right in his own imagination)

    (I even enjoy that fiction….)
    Rob.

  5. 10. Had Adam and Eve not been booted out of Eden would they have lived forever even after the Fall?

    Yes. They had conditional immortality based on access to the Tree of Life. As long as they could eat from it (or perhaps just eat from it once), they would have lived forever. That is the reason why they were removed from the Garden of Eden.

    Genesis 3:22: And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

    Here’s a fun question to replace that one: After a worldwide devastating flood that supposedly had the power to reshape the very face of the earth and deposit every known geological layer known to man, how did the four rivers mentioned in Genesis 2:10-14 remain in existence afterward?

  6. 1. Had Christ not been killed would he have died?

    Since He is fully human, I’d have to say yes.

    4. Why did God put the Tree of Good and Evil in the Eden?

    It was His plan to bring glory to His Name by redeeming a fallen humanity.

    6. What was God doing before creation?

    Enjoying fellowship with the three persons of the Godhead (John 17:24),

    7. Could Christ have died another way and secured redemption (i.e. stoning)?

    No. He prayed that if it were possible another way that God would “let this cup pass” but the Father answered this prayer in the negative (Matt 26:36-46).

    8. Why did Christ say “It is finished” before he died? Was his physical death not required for the atonement or was he meaning “It is just about finished”?

    Because He couldn’t talk after He died. Death was required.

    9. Did Christ ever get sick?

    Again, the full humanity of Christ would indicate that He did. Also, since He is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses” (Heb 4:15) I believe it is likely that He got sick.

    11. Why did God put an angel to guard the tree of life? Why not just destroy it?

    He did not destroy it so that it might serve as a symbol of the hope of redemption (Rev 2:7;22:1-3).

    13. Can a believer be demon possessed?

    I believe 1 John 4:4 teaches that it is not possible.

    14. Will there be sex in heaven?

    I’m not sure, but everything in heaven will be better than our experiences on earth so that we won’t miss anything about our current experience.

    17. Does Satan actually think he might win?

    No. Rev 12:12.

  7. I’m no avid believer, but the Urantia Book provides answers to almost all of those questions. These are them:

    1. Yes.
    2. A few hundred years until they were forced to leave for their misdeeds.
    3. Peter was shocked and mistaken, but not corrected. (We know he’s hasty to speak.)
    4. The Tree of Good and Evil is figurative, representing the seductiveness of mixing good and evil, or choosing an evil way to meet righteous ends.
    5. No direct answer here, but they were children at one point so it’s sort of implied.
    6. God was creating other worlds and universes before the creation of earth – but before that not sure. He exists existentially, while aspects of his creation do not.
    7. Yes he could have died another way.
    8. He said “It is finished” because his mortal career was finally over in his eyes and in the eyes of God.
    9. He did get sick, also injured and bullied occasionally.
    10. Yes they would have lived forever.
    11. The tree of life was spiritually maintained by an angel but physically destroyed when the Garden was abandoned to surrounding people who could not use the tree the way Adam and Eve could.
    12. There’s no real hierarchy of demons, but there are spiritual rebels. Overall, the universe is well-ordered and friendly to mortals. Animals *can* be controlled by “Midwayers.”
    13. There is nothing resembling actual possession since Pentacost, and barely was beforehand. Those only become possessed who sincerely desire to give control to the Rebels.
    14. No sex, but many things akin to it and better.
    15. …
    16. He didn’t literally show Christ all the nations of the world. What happened in the wilderness was not exactly what’s recorded in the gospels.
    17. The spiritual rebels and their leaders are largely dismantled, many repented, but many are still Iniquitous and willing to stake their very existence on their belief that God the Father does not exist and that Christ is an imposter who does not deserve to rule.

    You can e-mail me if any of that interests you! dtatherton@gmail.com

  8. 18. How did Moses know what Cherubim looked like (Ex 25:18)?

    19. How exactly did the LORD bury Moses and where (Deut 34:6)?

  9. 11. Why did God put an angel to guard the tree of life? Why not just destroy it?

    Reminder: Scripture says the angel was put there to guard the “way” to the tree of life?

  10. Were the apostles baptized (the twelve; we know about Paul)? If so, was it just with John’s baptism, or were they later baptized in Christian baptism (like the men in Acts 19)? If they did get baptized in the latter, when? Was it along with the 3,000 on the Day of Pentecost?

  11. 1. Had Christ not been killed would he have died? – Do you mean if no one else would have also murdered him would he have lived, physically, without natural death? While not possessing a sin nature because he possessed the nature of his father, God, he still possessed a human body subject to the curse of sin which includes natural death. Yes, he would have died of old age.
    2. How long were Adam and Eve in Eden until they fell? – until they fell :)
    3. How did Peter recognize Elijah and Moses on the mount of transfiguration? – Spiritual phenomenon of which its mechanics cannot be explained along with a certain frame of reference with respect to cultural identifications of their person to which he no doubt was subject to growing up in a Jewish world.
    4. Why did God put the Tree of Good and Evil in the Eden? – Humans were created in response to the Angelic Conflict previous to human history. Humans and their context included this particular prohibition and temptation, is an assumed response to a charge by Satan about his character and alleged error in finding Satan guilty. Hence, introduce humans into the counter arguments of God in the appeal process of Satan’s case. We are evidence for the prosecution which apparently required this and many other testings (see Job).
    5. Did Adam and Eve have a belly button? – why would they share a belly button? :)
    6. What was God doing before creation?- too general. The creation of humanity or the creation of the universe as we know it now. If you are referring to the creation of humanity as the point of reference, God, previous to that, was dealing with the Angelic Conflict in all of its stages before human history.
    7. Could Christ have died another way and secured redemption (i.e. stoning)? – if God planned it that way he could have but it was not planned or prophesied as such, so no.
    8. Why did Christ say “It is finished” before he died? Was his physical death not required for the atonement or was he meaning “It is just about finished”? – His resurrection was also required so we can understand that Christ was specifically referring to the spiritual element and the vital element of being separated from God the Father to pay the price of our spiritual death.
    9. Did Christ ever get sick? – sick of the Pharisees now and then, yes. The Bible does not record any physical sickness but no doubt it was possible seeing that he had a body subject to the curse of sin in which he lived.
    10. Had Adam and Eve not been booted out of Eden would they have lived forever even after the Fall? – no, they would have waited until after the Winter to live forever. :) You said booted out but did not mention sin. So what if they sinned and did not get booted out? They would have still died. The booting out did not cause their death as you know, their sin did so I would reconstruct the question. But knowing its intent I would say that there is the Tree of Life which was available to Adam which he neglected and God removed. So assuming they did not sin, Adam and Eve still needed to access God’s divine grace and offer of eternal life from the Tree of Life which they would have had to choose. So without choosing to eat from the Tree of Life, they would have eventually experienced physical death since their innocence did not assume eternal physical life.
    11. Why did God put an angel to guard the tree of life? Why not just destroy it? – Because it is God’s sacred source of grace and its purpose clearly is not limited to just the Genesis account.
    12. Is there a hierarchy in demons like in the animal world and do they experience the noetic effects of sin? Does the left hand in the demon world always know what the right hand is doing? – the Bible rather heavily asserts there is an organizational hierarchy with both elect angels and fallen angels with Lucifer as the head of the fallen group (Prince of demons, Satan, indicates a clear hierarchy or intended understanding of one. One cannot be a Prince without having subjects nor a kingdom without hierarchical organization).
    13. Can a believer be demon possessed? – no, he or she can be influenced but not possessed since believers are seal unto the day of redemption by God the Holy Spirit.
    14. Will there be sex in heaven? – yes, male and female :)
    15. How did Peter recognize Elijah and Moses? (I just like that one so I put it twice) – see above
    16. How did Satan show Christ all the nations of the world from the top of a mountain? (Luke 4:5) – clearly Satan has many powers and possibly the power to create physical illusions in which one may visually have projected before them in rapid topical presentation, all the geographic locations of world populations. The passage says he did this, “in a moment of time” so this illusionary property of Satan must be real.
    17. Does Satan actually think he might win? – yes, he believes God is wrong. He rejects God’s answers on everything and this is because he believes God, from the start, has a flaw with his person. Satan is not only arguing the merits of his case in his current appeal (he is not serving his sentence for a reason, it is called “appealing your case” in which God is allowing him freedom to gather evidence in his appeal) but is objecting on the grounds of God’s character. This is the basis of Satan’s appeal and humanity was created to both demonstrate the wrongness of Satan and the rightness of God and end all disputes in the trial of Satan and his acolytes.

  12. On number 5, I’ve heard that they did. When God finished making Adam and Eve, he poked each one in the stomach and said, “You’re done. And you’re done.”

  13. 1. Had Christ not been killed would he have died?
    Yes, mortal death would’ve eventually overtaken him – just like all other mortal beings.
    2. How long were Adam and Eve in Eden until they fell?
    About 120 years.
    3. How did Peter recognize Elijah and Moses on the mount of transfiguration?
    He didn’t, he presumed from things that were said.
    4. Why did God put the Tree of Good and Evil in the Eden?
    It’s a metaphor
    5. Did Adam and Eve have a belly button?
    No.
    6. What was God doing before creation?
    Planning? The answer depends on context of the question, i.e.: do we really want to get into theorising about realities that precede time and space?
    7. Could Christ have died another way and secured redemption (i.e. stoning)?
    The redemptive qualities of the death of Jesus is a teaching that has been tacked onto his original teaching of the Religion of the Spirit {see August Sabatier or Ernest Freemont Tittle}. This teaching evolved from the work of Paul and other theologians following on from his work. As a concept, Jesus never did nor ever could have taught such a thing. People received his gospel gladly. They came from miles around to hear it and went away refreshed and inspired by it. They didn’t have to wait for him to die to receive it.
    8. Why did Christ say “It is finished” before he died? Was his physical death not required for the atonement or was he meaning “It is just about finished”?
    His life in the flesh had come to an end. The atonement is a theological fiction. While ‘Atonement’ is a reality, the concept that Jesus died to pat a debt to the Devil is a fiction.
    9. Did Christ ever get sick?
    Prior to taking up his Office, before the achievement of perfection, he no doubt experienced both accidents and ailments like as any human would.
    10. Had Adam and Eve not been booted out of Eden would they have lived forever even after the Fall?
    The ‘Fall’, so called, preceded the arrival of Adam and Eve. The fact of the Serpent in the Garden indicates that the ‘War in Heaven’ predated their arrival. Adam and Eve were sent to a world that was cursed with a Wicked Serpent, a Divine Being that had gone into rebellion. Scripture indicates, indirectly, that humans were here before we received the Adamic Bestowal and that when they arrived they were coming to a world that was still in the throes of sedition against the Government of God- hence the ‘Wicked Tenants’ parable of Jesus, alluding to the unseen spiritual ‘hosts of wickedness’ – those ‘Stars [angels] of Heaven’ that were drawn down by the ‘tail of the Dragon’ – the one’s that held ‘dominion’ over the vineyard {planet} until he came to re-establish the domination of the Father’s will on our troubled world again. We should remember that eternal life is part of the plan, a necessary mechanism whereby the finite manages to transcend time and vanquish space; it is through the mechanism of eternal life that we secure infinite potential, however – folded up within the arms of infinite potential is the potential to experience the Infinite. It don’t matter whether we are homegrown or divine imports, like the Adams, we all get paid the same penny – the finding of God.
    11. Why did God put an angel to guard the tree of life? Why not just destroy it?
    Another metaphor.
    12. Is there a hierarchy in demons like in the animal world and do they experience the noetic effects of sin? Does the left hand in the demon world always know what the right hand is doing?
    ‘Demon’ is a term referring to those beings that fell in on the side of sedition against the government of God. They are beings of the ‘angelic orders’ that went astray during the rebellion. In appearance they are identical to the loyal orders, hence Pauls warning that we should be careful of these beings of light that hide darkness within.
    13. Can a believer be demon possessed?
    No.
    14. Will there be sex in heaven?
    Of a kind.
    15. How did Peter recognize Elijah and Moses? (I just like that one so I put it twice)
    He didn’t. He drew this conclusion from things he’d overheard.
    16. How did Satan show Christ all the nations of the world from the top of a mountain? (Luke 4:5)
    That was a metaphor for ‘Dominion’ and was meant to indicate the sovereignty issues associated with the earlier rebellion.
    17. Does Satan actually think he might win?
    Let us set aside the confusion associated with the term Satan and focus on the fact that rebellion ‘against God’ is rebellion against truth, beauty and goodness – cosmic insanity. ‘Winning’ isn’t viable – ‘winning’ means the flight into untruth, ugliness, and cruelty, ultimately, it is the flight into unreality – annihilation, personality extinction.

  14. I am simply amazed that some went into this whole idea to answer each of these, crazy! The Bible or Holy Scripture is about an Old and New Covenant, and a Salvation History within the Doctrine of God: God In Christ (Incarnation, etc.) and the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. :)

  15. “Hello I’m:” Elijah

  16. 2. How long were Adam and Eve in Eden until they fell?

    Since Adam was created at 0900 (45th Meridian time) on 23 October,[Julian Calendar???] 4004 B.C., there must be a way to figure that out. But the guy who could do it is dead–Lightfoot.

    5. Did Adam and Eve have a belly button?

    Did Adam have tits?

    6. What was God doing before creation?

    Running preliminary tests of His Big Bang Theory.

    14. Will there be sex in heaven?

    Only for Mormons.

  17. I love how people just go ahead and answer each of these – like they know ah ah!

    Anyway : 6. What was God doing before creation?

    Isn’t God supposed to be transcendant, hence outside of “time”?
    Wouldn’t the question imply that “time” is some eternal concept existing outside of God?

    How could we even use the term “before”?
    I thought that the very concept of “time” was part of the creative order.

    Not to mention: even in our material world, time is not a constant…

  18. In Gen 4:14, who are all the people that Cain is afraid will kill him? And in 4:17, when Cain is building a city, who is he building it for?

  19. Well, I guess since everyone else is speculating, I figured I’d join in the fun as well… All speculation, some I’m just having fun… I really don’t know, but I’m ready to give an answer…

    1. Had Christ not been killed would he have died?
    Yes, as someone pointed out, he was fully human.

    2. How long were Adam and Eve in Eden until they fell?
    117 years

    3. How did Peter recognize Elijah and Moses on the mount of transfiguration?
    He just assumed that’s who it was based on Jewish prophecy. See Acts 3:18-22, Mal 4:5-6

    4. Why did God put the Tree of Good and Evil in the Eden?
    Well, it was called the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil in the bible, but it was actually the Tree of Life that they needed to live eternally, but since they mixed the Good plan of God with the Evil plan of the devil, they were kept from the tree.

    5. Did Adam and Eve have a belly button?
    No.

    6. What was God doing before creation?
    Chillin’

    7. Could Christ have died another way and secured redemption (i.e. stoning)?
    Well, being King of Kings and Lord of Lords, he could secure salvation anyway he pleased.

    8. Why did Christ say “It is finished” before he died? Was his physical death not required for the atonement or was he meaning “It is just about finished”?
    No, he had finished what he came to do, when he spoke those words.

    9. Did Christ ever get sick?
    Though it could hardly be said that Jesus was ever seriously ill, he did have some of the minor ailments of childhood this [his ninth] year [in the flesh], along with his brothers and baby sister.

    10. Had Adam and Eve not been booted out of Eden would they have lived forever even after the Fall?
    No, the “fall” dictated that they had to be separated from the Tree of Life.

    11. Why did God put an angel to guard the tree of life? Why not just destroy it?

    Because the tree was important, but later it was destroyed in a fire by the Nodites who thought that they could eat from it as well and live, but it did them no good since they weren’t like Adam and Eve.

    12. Is there a hierarchy in demons like in the animal world and do they experience the noetic effects of sin?  Yes.

    Does the left hand in the demon world always know what the right hand is doing? No

    13. Can a believer be demon possessed?
    Not any more since Pentecost. Long after the day of Pentecost the Apostle John, who was the last to write of Jesus’ doings, avoided all reference to these so-called acts of “casting out devils,” and this he did in view of the fact that such cases of demon possession never occurred after Pentecost.

    14. Will there be sex in heaven? Well, there is sex on other planets, but once you leave this world, while you’ll be able to experience genuine affection, sex and reproduction is over.

    15. How did Peter recognize Elijah and Moses? (I just like that one so I put it twice)
    He just assumed that’s who it was based on Jewish prophecy. See Acts 3:18-22, Mal 4:5-6

    16. How did Satan show Christ all the nations of the world from the top of a mountain? (Luke 4:5)
    Rome was mistress of the Western world. The Son of Man, now in isolation and achieving these momentous decisions, with the hosts of heaven at his command, represented the last chance of the Jews to attain world dominion; but this earthborn Jew, who possessed such tremendous wisdom and power, declined to use his universe endowments either for the aggrandizement of himself or for the enthronement of his people. He saw, as it were, “the kingdoms of this world,” and he possessed the power to take them, but decided not to.

    17. Does Satan actually think he might win? Well, Lucifer doesn’t want anything to do with Jesus and God, because what he wanted and still wants is liberty to do his own thing. He’s not expecting to win anything at this point.

  20. Alex Guggenheim January 25, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Questions may be asked but how dare they be answered or even attempted to be so by one person? LOL

    I am sure some of your bully tactics work with others to keep them from their desired participation but frankly you sound like junior high schoolers afraid that someone might know something you don’t.

    Right or wrong though one may be, attempting to create an atmosphere of fear via intimidating those who would fully invest themselves by mocking their efforts might explain your own theological lacking but more importantly it is wrong.

    If you believe someone to be wrong then interact with the material and don’t have a fit someone dared respond. Just because you feel you do not have answers does not mean others feel they lack them. I saw no where even implied one could not respond to them all I only see a 1000 chara ter limit.

  21. I guess this was written torward my comments. Indeed I took much of this as almost bait, and kind of a “fundamentalist” exercise. “Pure speculation”, “or fringe”? Please, I think CMP was just out for a bit of “fun”.. I mean who would take this serious? As I mentioned, there were only a few righteous questions, but still typical of “fringe” questions, and mere “speculation”.

    At least that’s how I took it?

  22. I agree but even MP said he considered writing about them and yes, he did request additional ones so maybe this was what others had in view in their objections to comprehensive responses. But maybe a few are more answerable than you consider.

    I would have rather have been a bit more temperate in my response though I would not have changed its essence so forgive the overreach that may be present.

  23. Maybe the better question for #10 is, If Adam & Eve had not sinned, could they have ever died? If a sinless Adam had fallen out of the top of a tree onto his head, could he have died? If a sinless Adam had gotten swept under water in a raging river, could he have drowned?

  24. Here are a couple to add to your list…..

    Did death exist prior to the fall?

    Did time exist prior to creation?

  25. Someone had asked this question but I don’t see it here any more. I’ll repeat it.

    “In Gen 4:14, who are all the people that Cain is afraid will kill him? And in 4:17, when Cain is building a city, who is he building it for?”

  26. Alex: Indeed, as you can see I don’t like “fundamentalism”! Sorry too if I shot from the hip? I am an old philosophy teacher as well as a theolog, and wish people would “think” and “reason”, as well as question. The Holy Scripture is not meant to answer all the mysteries of human life, especially in a broken and fallen world, but to lead us to God In Christ!

    *But as one raised and early educated as a Roman Catholic, I do like scholasticism, and now a certain Reformed Scholaticism. :)

  27. I like Reformed Scholasticism myself, when it serves the Word of God but I will confess, being formerly inclined toward it but via exegesis moving away from it, I believe it, as a system, steals answers from God’s children where it cannot bear considerations outside of its proprietary system and the environments it fosters at times. But thanks for the response. But now I am moving away from the topic and not serving it very well so enough on my end on that.

    Here is a question to add, though.

    Can one properly find an argument in the Scriptures as to why created life can or cannot exist on other planets? Obviously I have already answer it but it might be something to add.

  28. @Alex: Just to finish up, we know what Luther thought of “Scholasticism”, that “whore”, but strangely he also could not seem to think, at least somewhat, outside of Augustinianism. And indeed whether we like it or not, St. Paul was influenced by his Judeo-Hellenism, and certainly Roman Citizenship! (Gal. 4: 4-7)…Adoption is a “Roman” idea.

  29. Re Peter recognizing the prophets…methinks they had just come from a heaven potluck and still had their nametags on…

  30. #4 is a very central question. It’s not difficult; God was not trying to trip up Adam and Eve. It wasn’t a metaphor, either. It was very real creation. James Jordan gives the best explanations I’ve ever read. He deals with it in many locations but here is one paper where he addresses it.

    http://www.biblicalhorizons.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Rebellion-Tyranny-and-Dominion-in-the-Book-of-Genesis.pdf

  31. There is sex in Muslim heaven. And a variety of sex partners apparently.

  32. Darren asks… “In Gen 4:14, who are all the people that Cain is afraid will kill him? And in 4:17, when Cain is building a city, who is he building it for?”

    This is one of those verses where I insist there has to be more to the story because we’re missing some vital information to make sense of this. I know many in the Seven Day Adventist church claim that Adam and Eve had lots of kids and so these other people were really his brothers and sisters and their families, but that makes no sense whatsoever.

    Honestly I believe that Adam and Eve weren’t the first and only people on the earth, as science is bearing out now…
    http://www.thetech.org/genetics/news.php?id=136

    There’s an article on the web that tries to explain this from a biblical perspective here:
    http://charm1123.hubpages.com/hub/Adam-and-Eve-were-not-the-first-human-beings-that-God-Created

  33. To go along with your questions 3 & 15, I’ve always wondered if there was a relationship between Moses & Elijah being on the mount of transfiguration and Moses & Elijah having had mountain top experiences where they saw God.
    Maybe I’ve just watched too many Star Trek episodes with temporal anomalies…

  34. Wow, a lot of these questions just assume Adam and Eve (creation story “P”) are real. Never have, never will. But if you need to know about the Tree of Life – she was a fertility goddess in Mesopotamia (divine fertility, without work, see?) then, when Adam and Eve fall that divine fertility is lost and they have earthly fertility – working the mean thistle filled land and pain in childbirth (as well as death in childbirth in those times).

    That Tree of Life, in ancient Mesopotamian myth was in the middle of the garden, because the middle of the god’s garden was good – from her flowed all the rivers that gave life – to crops, animals and families. the very centre was the throne of the head Mesopotamian god (usually the throne was a mountain) and she stood beside him. Farther away from god’s garden things got worse and worse, until the rivers met the deeps (evil seas, mythological sources of chaos and evil, very prevalent in the psalmist imagery also.

    Oh, and someone asked if there was death before Adam and Eve? Yes, scientifically, of course, but also literarily – the serpent (evil) is already in the garden pre-sin/fall. Serpent represents chaos and decay in the ancient understanding.

  35. Here’s my currently working theory on the GoE which addresses some of the questions listed – Note I moved from a more orthodox position (over time) after discovering the platonic/hellenistic influences of Paul and John at odds with classical hebrew culture, theological positions and Christ’s own words as per the other Gospels. The statements below I try to support from a wholistic perspective of Judaism + Christianity (taking into account said biases above, avoiding ‘progressive revelation’ as an excuse for altering the well definied original meaning, and trying not to take physical implications purely from metaphoric text).

    a. Adam and Eve needed to eat of the Tree of Life to maintain their immortality.

    b. God’s plan was always for Adam and Eve to leave their state of naivity and eat of the Tree of Knowledge at his command. (e.g: I’ve told my 10 yr old son he’s never to try to start the car. While I said ‘never’ – I do intend that one day (under my guidance) that he will be allowed to start the car. This is how I believe the commandment to not eat of the fruit should be understood). The argument for the prohibition is strong on two accounts – (briefly) – one – why put this special tree there at all if it was usless + would cause us to fail and – two – God wants us to grow as beings – and knowledge of good and evil is certainly part of that growth.

    c. God’s plan was always that Adam and Eve were to leave the garden and work for their food. God’s plan was that Adam and Eve were going to be clothed (even the angels and God wear clothes it appears…). God’s plan was always that they would ‘populate the earth’ – not just the garden. And how is everybody going to not sin continually walking around naked anyway?? ;)

    d. Death existed prior to A&E’s sin (by animals eating animals – and potentially accidents – no reason to believe that A&E were immune – particularly to accidents). This alleviates the problem of trying to describe how carnivores/sharkes/mosquitos etc survived before sin or were created post fall etc. However this also has interesting implications on who God is clearly (and it took me a while to come round to this). However – it is in greater agreement of a God who brings judgement on nations where the ‘innocent’ (e.g. children) and ‘guitly’ are punished alike when the invading army comes through and ‘chastens’ said nation.

    e. The wages of sin – in this instance was purely the removal of access to the tree of life. No big ‘spiritual’ death. No loss of relationship (see how God takes great care of them immediately after the fall) (See how God is still interacting with his children calling out ‘Where are you’ like a parent does to a child – His love is still manifest even though A&E commited this error. There is nothing dead about this relationship – about their spirituality (they’re still talking directly with God – look at Cain even! He’s not even sentenced to death as per the 10 commandments themselves would have specified!), they never hear about Jesus, as far as we’re told – they don’t even atone for their sin… But – they do take the punishment on the chin – and after you’ve been punished – is not the sin ‘dealth with’ – i.e. you are no longer held accountable for it??)

    f. The ‘serpent’ was only a talking beast. Read the text – beast of the field with no references to being controlled by a higher power. Only John in Revelation draws the long bow down through the milllenia to claim that this beast was ‘Satan the Being’ as opposed to what the hewbrews saw as a intelligent creature (try talking parrot – yes – some animals can ‘talk’ – but this beast also had intellect). It’s worth noting of course that Satan isn’t a being’s name – it’s a role – representing an adversary, particularly either militarily or like a prosecutor in the courts of law. And to support this further – note how the punishment is a purely physical punishment for this beast. And no direct mention to or punishment for any agent controlling the creature. So the beast was acting of it’s own accord – and it’s punishment (I suspect) was probably like it lost it’s wings and now could only walk/crawl. Perhaps it was like that flying snake seen on doctor’s eblems. What a fantastic punishment for such a creature with understanding – to loose the power of flight! Humans dream of flight! – to have it and then loose it due some folly…

    Anyway – CMP – to address your actual blog question – here’s my question to add to the list to which a satisfactory answer escapes me;

    Where/how in Judaism does the theology of ‘Satan the Being’ (i.e the greek ‘Devil/Diablos’ – a slightly different twist of the word Satan) develop prior to the new testament considering that ‘Satan’ in the old testament was (by authorial intent) considered as a role that could be fulfilled by Angels or Humans (or Peter ;) ). It seems clear that a Satan could be sent by God (ref David and the census / Job) with specific commands – but there is no implication that that being was evil in and of itself. But in the NT – the ‘Devil’ is no longer a dutiful angel… And asumming the ‘Lucifer text’ was understood by the Hebrews was metaphoric of kings etc (because they didn’t have access to a King James at the time ;) , where and how did this ‘change’ / new concept occur?

  36. Here’s one: Since Jesus is fully human and was raised bodily from the dead, he should have a physical body right now. If so, where is it?

  37. One of my favorite Christological questions that I have never heard a real answer to:

    If the Godhead does not change ontologically as Mal 3:6 and Heb 13:8 states…
    And God is a Spirit (John 4:24), and Christ did not have a human body prior to the incarnation (Heb 10:5; Rom 8:3)
    THEN
    How can the Godhead now have one member with a physical body that did not exist prior to the incarnation?

  38. @Darren and @Terri

    Who was Cain afraid would kill him and who lived in the city?

    Think about these verses (with minor comment) and see if you can draw a conclusion like I did:

    Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.— The prohibition to not eat from the true was not the only command God gave Adam and Eve…He commanded them to be FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY… Did they sin and disobey this command prior to the fall?

    Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. How did Eve know what conception and children were? How can God multiply 0 conceptions without getting zero? You must multiply more than one.

    Genesis 3:20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. If Eve did was not a mother , why call here a mother? If Eve was a mother of ALL the living how can there be ALL if there are none?

  39. Question 8.
    It is finished..tetelestai.

    What is “IT” that Christ said was finished?

    “IT” was NOT the payment for sin… The wages of sin is death and Christ died for us. Death is the payment for sin.

    “IT” is not the provision of our salvation… Christ was raised again for our JUSTIFICATION. Christ resurrection is the corner stone of our regeneration and justification.

    “IT”, I believe refers to Christ bearing our sin, being made sin for us and the iniquity of us all was laid on him. The bearing of our sin in his own body on the tree was necessary to fulfill the substitutionary vicarious atonement prophesied in Isaiah 53 and fulfilled in 2 COr 5:19,-21.

    Christ fulfilled his obligation as the lamb of God on the cross. Christ fulfilled his role as our high priest AFTER THE RESURRECTION by taking his blood and placing it on the mercy seat (Heb 9).

    There was much to be done by Christ AFTER he said “IT” is finished.

  40. @Elizabeth: Christ Jesus is still Incarnate, but now a Glorified Incarnation, at and on the Throne of God! So, He is in fact visible, but in the Glory of heaven! (1 Tim. 2:5 / Heb. 9:15 ; 24)

  41. Greg M
    “Here’s a fun question to replace that one: After a worldwide devastating flood that supposedly had the power to reshape the very face of the earth and deposit every known geological layer known to man, how did the four rivers mentioned in Genesis 2:10-14 remain in existence afterward?”

    And why do we find a “New South Wales” in Australia when we know that Wales is in Britain? Or for that matter an England in the USA when we know it’s a country to the west of France? People after the flood named the rivers in memory of the rivers before the flood.

    2. How long were Adam and Eve in Eden until they fell?

    Adam and Eve were commanded to be fruitful and multiply, yet they were without child at the point they were cast out of the garden. Given that we can reasonably expect that they would have been “practicing” obediently it’s unlikely that Eve had had too many fertile periods. One month, maybe two.

    4. Why did God put the Tree of Good and Evil in the Eden?

    C S Lewis, Perelandra. The tree of the “knowledge” of Good and Evil was a test of obedience. There may have been nothing particularly magical about the tree itself, it was the obedience to God’s singular command that was the issue.

  42. 7. Could Christ have died another way and secured redemption (i.e. stoning)?

    Would stoning have provided the appropriate status degradation ritual to produce sufficient shame of the God-man to cover the insult done to God’s honour by sin? No. Crucifixion did.

    8. Why did Christ say “It is finished” before he died? Was his physical death not required for the atonement or was he meaning “It is just about finished”?

    Because it’s hard to say it after you’re dead? As in answer to 7, it was the shame of the cross that counted. In theory Jesus may have been able to leave the cross at that point, but the vindication of his honour by God through the resurrection removed any doubt that (as Paul put it) the curse he bore was ours.

    10. Had Adam and Eve not been booted out of Eden would they have lived forever even after the Fall?

    God himself said that if they had subsequently eaten from the tree of life then they would have.

    16. How did Satan show Christ all the nations of the world from the top of a mountain?

    A vision, and from a high place because he could.

    17. Does Satan actually think he might win?

    Partial preterism says that Satan has been bound since the beginning of the Church age (which began with the fall of Jerusalem) so no, he knows he has lost.

  43. Terri

    “In Gen 4:14, who are all the people that Cain is afraid will kill him? And in 4:17, when Cain is building a city, who is he building it for?”

    His brothers, sisters and parents. (who else is going to care that he killed a blood relative?) His wife and their children, and “city” is a misnomer, “aw-yar” can mean something as small as an encampment. Think a village, starting with a couple of houses and then growing over time as their family increased.

  44. Alex

    “Can one properly find an argument in the Scriptures as to why created life can or cannot exist on other planets?”

    If all creation groans waiting for the sons of God to be revealed (and if we accept the premise that “all” means “all”) and that as a result of the sin of one man, it would be unfair for Xllati from planet Omicron 7 to be experiencing judgement from sin when he/she/it did nothing to deserve it. Also Jesus came as the kinsman redeemer of men, in the form/nature of a man, so his sacrifice is only sufficient to redeem man.

    You could make a case that non-intelligent life could exist on other planets (because while subject to the curse non-morally culpable beings like animals do not need salvation) but beings like ourselves? I don’t think it’s likely.

  45. In the conception of Jesus Christ, was Mary’s egg used? Or did the Holy Spirit create a complete fetus in Mary’s womb? Did Jesus have Mary’s DNA?

  46. Here’s another one:

    If miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit were only given by the laying on of the apostles hands (as described in Acts 8), then how does Paul receive these miraculous gifts from Ananias (Acts 9) who was not an apostle?

  47. Here’s one I always contemplate because of the implications to redemption and theodicy:

    If God created a human that had free will but chose to sin (Adam), could he have created a human that had free will but chose not to sin?

  48. Sorry if someone else already came up with this one but there were too many comments to read.

    Did Adam have a scar on the side that God took the “rib” from?

    I can just see it now. After 900 years of marriage Eve ticks him off just one more time and Adam points to the scar and says, “WOMAN!” and walks away.

    Actually there could be some debate on the issue especially from Young Earthers. If everything was perfect before the Fall then wouldn’t a scar mar that? Or wouldn’t a scar in the side be a foreshadowing of the scar in Jesus’ side?

    And when we solve this one we can move on to “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?”

  49. William Kilgore July 26, 2013 at 2:44 am

    1. Had Christ not been killed, would he have died?

    No – cf. Arthur Custance, Two Men Called Adam

    2. How long were Adam and Eve in Eden until they fell?

    About 3 years – Jesus life and ministry a parallel

    3. How did Peter recognize Elijah and Moses on the mount of transfiguration?

    NO IDEA!

    4. Why did God put the Tree of Good and Evil in Eden?

    Man redeemed would be higher than man as created – part of the plan.

    5. Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?

    Probably, just as trees had tree rings and the light from stars was already visible, etc.

    6. What was God doing before creation?

    Experiencing Himself in community (cf. Jn. 17).

    7. Could Christ have died another way and secured redemption (e.g., stoning)?

    Yes, but only if God willed it.

    8. Why did Christ say, “It is finished” before he died? Was his physical death not required for the atonement, or did he mean, “It is just about finished”?

    You could ask the same question given that the resurrection is also essential …

    9. Did Christ ever get sick?

    No – again, cf. Custance

    10. Had Adam and Eve not been booted out of Eden, would they have lived forever, even after the Fall?

    According to scripture, that possibility existed – they would have had access to the Tree of Life

    11. Why did God put an angel to guard the tree of life? Why not just destroy it?

    Good question!

    12. Is there a hierarchy among demons like in the animal world, and do they experience the noetic effects of sin? Does the left hand in the demon world always know what the right hand is doing?

    Good question!

    13. Can a believer be demon-possessed?

    Demons can affect believers in various ways. Our concept of ‘possession’ is a category mistake, I think.

    14. Will there be sex in heaven?

    Jesus suggested no.

  50. William Kilgore July 26, 2013 at 2:45 am

    15. How did Peter recognize Elijah and Moses? (I just like that one so I put it twice)

    And, twice: NO IDEA.

    16. How did Satan show Christ all the nations of the world from the top of a mountain? (Luke 4:5)

    I’m convinced that the temptation may have symbolic aspects.

    17. Does Satan actually think he might win?

    According to Rev. 12, no … he ‘knows his time is short’.

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