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Understanding Genesis and the Fall

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January 30, 2010 Tags: Adam, the Fall, and Sin

Today's video features Denis Alexander. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of BioLogos. You can read more about what we believe here.

In this video clip, Denis Alexander, Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, discusses the description of the Fall found in Genesis. Alexander suggests that the picture we might have of the story owes more to the imaginative expansion of the narrative as found in Milton’s Paradise Lost than what is actually present in the biblical text itself. He notes that within the actual text the details are spare and do not fully answer all of the questions a reader might have.

But Genesis does have a clear storyline we can follow: humankind was in fellowship with God until humankind disobeyed, eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. In doing so, they tried to put themselves in the place of God. For this, they were cast out of the Garden of Eden.

God warned Adam that on the day that he ate of the tree then he would surely die. Alexander points out that the Hebrew text is pretty clear in this reference, using the word “yom”, though physical death does not occur immediately. In fact, Adam and Eve go on to have a large family and live long lives.

In their moment of disobedience, however, spiritual death comes into being.

Alienation from God comes into being.

This story may be told in figurative language, Alexander comments, but it is a real story. Adam and Eve’s exclusion from the Garden illustrates that as human beings we cannot find our way back to God through our own works, efforts, and strengths. God’s grace is the key.

After watching this clip, consider going back to the N.T. Wright video we posted a couple of weeks ago. If they are correct, how do you think their view would enrich and enliven the first three chapters of Genesis? We would love to see your thoughts, but remember the question is not whether they are right. The question is if they are right, how would that enrich and enliven… ?

Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team.

Denis Alexander is the Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge, to which he was elected a Fellow in 1998. Alexander writes, lectures, and broadcasts widely in the field of science and religion. He is a member of the International Society for Science and Religion.

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p.d. roman - #3649

January 30th 2010

your retelling of the long re- told but fully errant ” morale of the fall” account suggests that Our Creator Father wanted ” obedient children” -

when “FREE LOVING ” children was always The Plan.

ifen after Our Fathers return to the garden to find the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil had been eaten ether adan or eve had stood up and offered to protect the other one by saying

” its all my fault - she/ he had nothing to do with it “-

then LOVE in the human being would have been found and Our Father would NOT have needed to sent to humanity His Own Son to TEACH us all WHAT LOVE REALLY IS and just how spiritually impotent love is for our spiritual maturation-

...  but Gods Son did come so our spiritual growth and development may continue on getting its practitioners into The New Life Yash’wa from Nazareth described as ” Like The Angels “.

... well at least that is what my heart says on the matter-

peace and good and tons o’love


Martin Rizley - #3672

January 30th 2010

Although there is no question that spiritual death resulted from Adam’s sin, it seems clear that the sentence of death that God pronounced on Adam because of sin included physical death, for God said to him “by the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return.”  Clearly, the physical death that awaited Adam was seen as one aspect of the penalty pronounced on him because of sin.  This perspective is shared by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15; when he says in verse 21 and 22, “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive,” it is crystal clear that Paul is contrasting the bodily death that comes as the result of sin with the bodily resurrection that will come to believers through Christ.  So the Bible definitely teaches that the physical death of human beings—their expiration and the dissolution of their physical components—is the result of sin.  Had Adam not sinned, neither he nor his descendants would have died, although they may have been translated to a higher plane of life.

p.d. roman - #3806

February 2nd 2010

to continue talking of humanity still being born in some sort of sin state related to ” adams stain”  is to passing on a former but currently obsolete truth-

yes ONCE humanity was thus born so ether by d n a marker or by accepted faith it was so- 

but one the day GODs’ Son laid down His Life upon a roman cross atop a rubbish heep outside old jerusalems’ walls some 2010 passovers ago-

THE TRUTH became ” all are born sin free and spiritually emancipated.

the so called apostle paul WAS HIMSELF born so sin stained noting that there is no record of his cleansing baptism freeing him from that spritual birth mark -

so he remained that way and in that sin state until he inherited the tome-

as were all that he preached too - unless they followed The True Apostles Teachings of repentance, redemption and spiritual renewal via baptism.

yet even the apostoles time was only a limited one-

naturally ending around 77 a. d or so when the last person that was still caring the sin he or she was born with ether got ” cleaned” or got entombed.

... at least this is what my heart tells me.


peace and good and tons o’love


ps i wounder what has become of the earlier posting i mad to this page?

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