Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Garden Of Eden Myth And The "Messiah"

A comment by Farrell Till from the II Errancy discussion list, 11-29-06:

What we have here is just another spin that NT writers put
on an OT text to make it appear that the Jewish scriptures
pointed to the coming of Jesus. Jewish literature itself,
however, indicated that the Garden of Eden yarn was
intended as nothing more than an explanation of traditional
concerns like why is survival such a struggle, why do
snakes crawl instead of walking on legs, why are people
almost universally afraid of snakes, and why is childbirth
so painful? The answers are in the Garden of Eden myth. God
pronounced curses on all parties involved in the first
"sin." The man was doomed to have to earn his living by
the sweat of his brow tilling land that brings forth thorns
and thistles, the serpent was condemned to crawl on its
belly and eat the dust of the earth, enmity between the
seeds of the serpent and the woman was decreed (the one
would bruise the heel of the seed of the woman; the other
would bruise the head of the seed of the serpent), and
women would bring forth offspring in pain.

See Josephus's Antiquities 1:1,4 (49-51). When humans encounter 
snakes, they risk being bitten [on the heel], so their first inclination is to kill the snake, usually by crushing its head. Christians have distorted a myth, intended to explain puzzling aspects of life, into some mystical prophecy of their Messiah.

As I have previously asked, is there anything sillier than
theological assumptions?


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