The Fall of Adam in Christian Perception 1

A Comparative Analysis on, “The Original Sin”

By: Hanif Mohammad

We will begin this analysis in the same manner as we did for our Jewish brothers by establishing the Christian perspective of God. This task may prove to time consuming. The Christians like the Jews say that they are Monotheistic. But, unlike the Jews the Christians don’t have a single universally accepted concept of what God is. The majority of Christians are Trinitarians.(1) They believe that God exists in a Godhead (2) consisting of God the Father, the Creator of all, God the Son, Jesus Christ (p.b.u.h), and God the Holy Ghost, the promised Comforter. There is another group of Christians called Binitarians; (3) they reject the Trinitarian view of God. Their claim is that God exist in a dual godhead namely God the Father, and God the Son.

They say that while Jesus (p.b.u.h.) was alive he had no divinity. They say, after his resurrection he became apart of the God head as a dual God. It is also their belief that The Holy Ghost is apart of God the Father not an individual entity. The third group is the Unitarians.(4) Their belief is that God is one not two, or three in a godhead. Their belief is the closest to true Monotheism. However there is another group that believes that there is only Jesus.

They exert that Jesus is the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Each of these groups rejects the other’s views. These views are also rejected by the Jews and Muslims with the only exception being that of the Unitarians. The Unitarians say that Jesus never claimed divinity, nor did he teach Trinity or Binitarianism. At the core of all these believe that God is the Creator, He is Love, He is Kind, and He is Merciful, Omniscient, and Omnipotent. The questions that arise here are, is He just, all Knowing and or Forgiving? We will examine these questions according to Christian’s view of the events of the Garden of Eden. 

Seeing that the Christian and Jews follow the same scripture, some of the verses used to analyze the Jewish perspective will now be analyzed to bring forward the Christian perspective. Where the Chumash was used to analyze the Torah the King James Scofield Study Bible 3rd edition (5) will be used to analyze the Bible. One of the differences that will be realized is where the Jews view a situation as metaphorical the Christians may view it as literal. A good example of this can be found in the following verse:

 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.(6)

 Here she says, “they heard the sound of the LORD God walking” We established earlier that our Jewish brothers believe any physical mention of God is only to be taken metaphorically, however the majority of our Christian brothers believe that God literally walked through the Garden denoting God has a physical body. This is one the main reasons that Most Christians don’t have a problem with saying God came to earth as a man. Now that we have that out of the way we will begin this discourse. The first verse that we will discuss will be the same one that began the Jewish discourse.

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”(7)

 According to the Scofield commentators, Man was created in innocence, placed in a perfect environment, subjected to a simple test, and warned of the consequences of disobedience. He was not compelled to sin but was tempted by Satan; he chose to disobey God.(8) This is very interesting. According to the commentary Adam freely chose to disobey God. Nowhere is it mentioned that mankind made the same decision on their on. However Adams eating of the tree was the cause according to Christianity that made man become inherit sinners.

Continuing with the commentary, “the seeds of death were planted” with the eating of this fruit, this again implies that men were made to live forever. We will use the same verse in this instance to refute this claimed that was used in the Jewish discourse. The verse (9) that Adam must be expelled from the garden lest he “put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.

Why would there be a need for a tree of life if in mans creation it was determined that he would live forever. The commentators have said, “There was, evidently some virtue in the fruit of this tree which would prolong physical life indefinitely.” There would be no need to prolong a life that was eternal to begin with. The other verse that was examined was: “from dust you were made and to dust you will return”.(10)

 The commentators say that this is a physical death,(11) but the Bible itself gives no distinction on the type of death that was being discussed. Adam was made from dust as a needy being. In the Garden of Eden time did exist and we must ask the question again was man the only creation destine to live forever or did his sin cause all to die? This “original sin ideology” seems to be a fallacy when it comes to death because God is the only living that will not die. Keeping with the format we must discuss the serpent and its role according to our Christian brothers. The same verses will be used to discuss the Christians beliefs on the matter.

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" 2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' “4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."(12)

Continue in the next article: ( The Fall of Adam in Christian Perception 2 )

NOTES:

_______________________________________________________________________________

1. Trinity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity

2. Godhead- Webster Meridian- divine nature or essence of God.

3. Binitarian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binitarianism

4. Unitarian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitarianism

5. King James Scofield Study Bible 3rd edition Oxford University Press Inc. New York, NY 2002…on web 1917 edition http://www.studylight.org/com/srn/

6. Gen. 3:8

7. Gen 2:16-17

8. Scofield page 5

9. Gen. 3:22

10. Gen. 3:19

11. Scofield page 8

12. Gen 3:1-5