The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by owls84, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    So I'm reading a few verses of the Bible tonight and something had me thinking. Even though I have read this a ton I just was thinking a little more on this. Why do you think God will not let the humans use the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil"? I guess the fact that this title is used is important. At first it reminds me of the Church wanting people to remain compliant. Think of all the times groups have questioned the knowledge of good and evil with the Church throughout history and each time the Church persecuted the individuals, etc.

    Just thinking. What are your thoughts?


     
  2. mch4970

    mch4970 Premium Member

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    I read it as a ancient story explaining why we are the way we are. It attempts to explain why we have a Creator, yet are separated from him. Gen 2:16 in particular (as discussed in another thread) simply tells a story to explain man's conception into knowledge; the birth of man as we know ourselves today. To me, it almost sounds as if man started a clock ticking on a time bomb. If the presupposition is made that the story is just a story to explain our current state, then our being asked not to eat of the tree is a demonstration of God's attempt to keep us pure. I don't read anymore out of it than that.

    Follow that with the below.

    So our becoming godlike was due to our sense of good and evil. I do find the use of the word US in verse 22 interesting; remnant of a polytheistic view?
     
  3. jpcoxdaytx

    jpcoxdaytx Registered User

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    I think I agree conceptually, MCH. As for the "us" (plural ending of the Hebrew word for "God" which is a feminine noun, btw), many scholars say that the ancient Hebrews were neither monotheistic nor polytheistic. They were monolatrous. There is ample evidence of this in the "Old Testament" such as "you shall have no other gods before Me" and "among the gods there is none like You." It seems I also recall a verse that refers to the God of Israel as the "Judge of gods and men" but I'll have to revisit old research.

    I don't think monolatry among the ancient Hebrews is particularly surprising given that the God of Israel is one of the gods of the Egyptian pantheon (2 Sam. 7:6). They were used to a society of competing cosmologies.
     
  4. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    An interesting find about acient Hebrews being monlatrous instead of a mono or polytheistic. I would have to agree with the evidence present in the Bible does seem to support such a theory. This could lead to an interesting debate.
     
  5. Jim LoStracco

    Jim LoStracco Registered User

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    I just read this passage and I see it as a bit of a leap to say the Jehova or Yaweh was from the Egyptian pantheon based on that verse. I am not saying that I think you are wrong, but I am curious if you have additional basis for that statement. If so, I would be interested a follow up post with those sources.

    Again, no offense intended

    Milam No. 2
     
  6. jpcoxdaytx

    jpcoxdaytx Registered User

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    Thank you, brother. No offense taken. An honest search for Truth and Light necessarily requires that we be agile.

    I realize my assertion is startling at first face. But, my premise is that the truth of the verse is self evident.

    It appears God is instructing David to build Him a house, because He has not been in a house since the days He brought Israel out of Egypt. Of course, by "house" He means a/the Temple. That begs the question, "Which temple in Egypt was the one abandoned by the God of Israel when He took Israel into the Wilderness." Temples are built for the worship of gods, so which god was our God for whom a temple was built for the purpose of worship?

    There are more erudite comparisons such as the Creation Story in Genesis and the Logos Doctrine of the Gospel of John compared to the Shabaka Stone, etc. But, 2 Samuel 7:6 is the most obvious direct connection that I've seen.

    As a side note, some Egyptologists have labelled a remarkable shift in Egypt's religious evolution that occurred during roughly the same time period as the Exodus of the Bible (18th Dynasty). The religion that became the new paradigm in Egypt during that time is referred to as the "New Solar Theology."

    What is interesting about this is that the Biblical pharoah opposite Moses is "Ramses" which is "Ra-Moses" or "Born of Ra" perhaps indicating an ascendancy of the worship of the Sun God. There is a dispute about the etymology of the name "Moses" with some (including Josephus) leaning toward the Egyptian suffix for "born of" or "disciple of" (hence, "Ra-Moses" or "Thut-Moses"). If true, what was our Moses' full name? Ptah-Moses? Thut-Moses? The New Solar Theology marked a shift from a personal diety (Amun, Atum, Ptah) to whom the individual "could appeal without recourse to a (royal) intermediary" to the worship of a Sun God that was mysterious and beyond the grasp of the common man. In effect, it was the completion of the movement toward deification of the pharoah and the Rule of Man superseding the Rule of Law.
    http://homepages.nyu.edu/~og1/religion/RC13.htm

    Just some thoughts.
     
  7. Jim LoStracco

    Jim LoStracco Registered User

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    I had not considered the perspective that you describe. It is interesting.

    I suppose that none of us will truly know the answers until we reach the other side.

    Thank you Bro. Cox for the time you put into your answer to me. It was nicely articulated.
     
  8. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Fascinating how this book could spur so many thoughts or views just how something is worded. Many see it for its literal translation but it’s the symbolic or hidden meaning that fascinates me.

    That is some great insight.
     
  9. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    "It appears God is instructing David to build Him a house, because He has not been in a house since the days He brought Israel out of Egypt. Of course, by "house" He means a/the Temple. That begs the question, "Which temple in Egypt was the one abandoned by the God of Israel when He took Israel into the Wilderness." Temples are built for the worship of gods, so which god was our God for whom a temple was built for the purpose of worship?"
    What if God was not refering to a building? What if he was refering to a body i.e. Man? perhaps God is instructing David to make himself the temple, because during the "lost" time man had let himself go "wild" in the wilderness straying away from God.

    As far as the Tree of Knowledge is concerned: God being all knowing and all seeing; would he know that placing that particular tree in the garden eventually man would partake? What if it was planned all along and God saying: "you will surely die" refers to the knowledge of death and the limits of ones abilities over a lifetime. Animals have no appearent sense of this thus making them animals. Eating the apple made man self aware, thus learning the knowledge that goes with that...mortality. But it alos seperates us into individuals that have to find their own path to God, where animals are just part of God.
     
  10. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    IMHO It is not that God did not want us to eat from the tree of knowledge and evil it is that HE knew that if we did then we would become aware of death. A plant is not aware of death nor does it fear its death because it is taken care of by God. This is the state we where in when God spoke those words then when we ate the "fruit" and conscious life was born seperate from God, death became something we where aware of. God knew in his infinite wisdom that his children had everlasting life but that in our new conscious state we would no longer be aware of this fact and fear could reak havoc on our minds so he tried to protect us from that as any good Father would do.

    ---------- Post added at 04:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:59 PM ----------

    Well I guess I should have read your post closer brother James because I just resaid what you said!
     
  11. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    The tree as a symbol of knowlege or connection to this present condition predates Judaism. That being said, the teaching, in this regard, was not Egyptian. It was likely Sumarian.

    That being said, the very mystically inclined writers of this story were translating a message of the perennial philosophy and initiation. When one is not prepared to commune with God, the it "drive them mad and into the streets."
     
  12. Jim LoStracco

    Jim LoStracco Registered User

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    It appears God is instructing David to build Him a house, because He has not been in a house since the days He brought Israel out of Egypt. Of course, by "house" He means a/the Temple. That begs the question, "Which temple in Egypt was the one abandoned by the God of Israel when He took Israel into the Wilderness." Temples are built for the worship of gods, so which god was our God for whom a temple was built for the purpose of worship?


    As I have thought about this over the last couple of days it occurred to me that Joseph was taken to Egypt as a follower of Jehovah. He was made an adviser to the Pharoah. Thereafter following a famine his family (clan) came to Egypt. Presumably at that time there were a great many hebrews attempting to escape that famine. They would bring their religious beliefs with them (Jehovah) As they were a lower class, if they built a temple for worship it would not have been necessarily made of wood. Perhaps it might have been made of Cedar as mentioned in 2 Samuel, the passage to which you refer. In that event God might have been referring to a literal temple in his description just as you argue, but without the necessary logical result that Jehovah was an Egyptian god.

    The logical syllogism is as follows:

    Jehovah had a temple (a house of worship) in Egypt
    Temples in Egypt house only Egyptian Gods
    Therefore
    Jehovah is an Egyptian God

    The fallacy in the syllogism is that if there was any instance of any other god having a house of worship in Egypt which was not part of the Egyptian pantheon then the syllogism fails.

    We know that during the reign of Akenaten the Pharoah worshipped the god Aten to the distress of the people and priests. We know that temples were built accordingly. Without going into the whole Akenaten/Moses issue, I would say that this, at the very least shows a certain degree of fluidity to religious ideas outside of the Ra/Osiris pantheon which would render the argument that Jehovah was an Egyptian god, based on 2 Samuel, a faulty syllogistic argument.

    As I stated earlier Brother Cox, I offer my comments purely for our mutual edification in our mutual and lifelong search for life.

    Fraternally Yours,
     

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