God doesn't want Adam and Eve to open their eyes?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
I started to read Bible one month ago and did gain a lot from it. However, there is one point that I can't understand God's will. That is why does God not want Adam and Eve to open their eyes? Does God think obtaining the knowledge of good and evil isn't good for them (or human beings)? Sincere thoughts would be very helpful to me. Thanks! :)
-- Julia Ryan (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 25, 2000
We use the word "knowledge" to refer to an "intellectual grasp" of something. But when Genesis speaks of "the tree of knowledge of good and evil," it is referring to "knowledge" in the sense of "actual experience." [You have probably heard of "carnal knowledge" or "Adam 'knew' his wife Eve"?]
Now God made our first parents to "know/experience" only good. They were "immaculately conceived." God did not want them to experience evil (as the devil had done). But they disobeyed him. Our all miseries are the result. Mankind was not intended by God to be a race of sinners.
Now that the fall has taken place, God does want us to "know" (that is, understand in our minds) what good and evil are, but he doesn't want us to "know" (that is, experience) evil.
I hope that you will continue to enjoy reading the Bible. Please come back with more questions. We can probably answer some of them, though others may be quite tough or open to more than one interpretation. I recommend that, if you can afford $36, you obtain the text and Catholic commentary on the Pentateuch (first five books of the Old Testament) published as part of the Navarre Bible. The entire New Testament has already been covered by the Navarre scholars in a dozen volumes of text and commentary. Eventually, they will have the whole Old Testament finished too. Here is where you can get any or all of the volumes: http://www.canticle.com/books/b1176.htm (The prices are in U.S. dollars. I notice that you are in Taiwan [tw in e-mail address]?)
-- Slave Nolonger (email@example.com), November 25, 2000.
Hi! SN, I'm glad to get your answer. It's really helpful for me to clear my puzzlement. Thanks a lot. :) However, maybe because I'm not an native English speaker,(I'm a Taiwanese) when I read Bible, I would be limited to its "surface meaning", can't think deeper. I think I can understand what you meant by "know" can refers to "experience" and "understand." But today, when I reread Genesis, I noticed this statement made by the serpent:"...God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." I felt a little confused about this. Here, "knowing" means "understanding" or "experiencing?" I thought maybe it can be "understanding" because after they ate, "the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked..." So I did this questionable inference as follows: God forbids them to eat that particular fruit.=eating that is wrong? =eating the fruit that can make them know good and evil is wrong?=So does God think knowing good and evil is wrong? Hmm...That was how my question came from again. Hope you can understand this disorder question. And I'm looking forward to receiving your intelligent answers.
-- Julia Ryan (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 26, 2000.
JR, thank you.
I can appreciate your difficulty. I'm sure that you know that Chinese is difficult for speakers of English, partly because the same sound can mean several different things, depending on the "tone" used. And English is a very difficult language, not because of tones, but because the same word can have one or two or ten or twenty different meanings! Here we have confusion about the word "knowledge," and it seems to be intentional confusion interjected by the devil.
Yesterday, I did not mean to say that the words, "know" and "knowledge," have ONLY the meaning of "experience" in Genesis. God used the word with that intended meaning in 2:17, when he said "... but from the tree of the knowledge [experience] of good and evil, you must not eat, for the day you eat of it, you must die." According to Benedictine Father Heidt, having "knowledge of good and evil" means "to experience personally how blessed (good) it is to obey and how accursed (evil) it is to disobey." In Eden, it was God's will that Adam and Eve experience only the good (obedience).
Now, you quoted the words of the devil, the "father of lies" (3:5) -- "... for God knows [grasps intellectually] that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing [understanding] good and evil." Here, the devil (according to Fr. Heidt) "has perverted the words to mean an intellectual knowledge of all things, in the manner that God knows" them -- in order to make our first parent envious of God.
This is difficult to explain. I'm sorry if I have not helped you.
-- Slave Nolonger (email@example.com), November 26, 2000.
Aftering reading your thorough, much deeper interpretation, now I can understand what you meant. and God's will in this section as well.
Somehow, I feel I am more near God. The feeling is good.
Thank you very much. :)
-- Julia Ryan (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 27, 2000.
You are most welcome, JR. May the Holy Spirit be your guide. He is the primary "author" of the holy Bible.
-- Slave Nolonger (email@example.com), November 27, 2000.
Let us consider the beginning.
Imagine endless empty space that goes on into infinity non-existence no awareness EVIL.
If we consider the old saying life finds away. GOD came into being by his own will to be, the awareness. Born out of the non-existence the EVIL.
Imagine an awareness hovering in endless space or Darkness as HE would see it.
After a time his thoughts become collective and he begins to think. He is aware of himself and begins to wonder if there were another. After searching for countless billions of years, the loneliness consumes him into obsession with finding another. But there is no other but him. He splits into two separate entities (schizoid only for real) that are equal and opposite in nature. Light - that which creates (Life - the future). Darkness(SHE : Spirit that inhabits the Darkness- The past) - Destroys makes desolate. Each has the same goal to end the loneliness only they have diametrically opposite positions on how to go about it. Chaos vs. Order, Light vs. Darkness, Life vs. Death, Existence vs. non-existence or Good vs. Evil. GOD is the awareness of being before the Darkness. We stand between the Darkness and the Light. Our true purpose is to Be. For that is the will of GOD - to be because HE is. Ja'El they said. When GOD comes again if he comes into Darkness the Earth will be cleansed with the fire of GOD (His true form). If GOD comes into the Light he will make the Earth a new with the Tree and the River of Life. All things are possible if we believe. The power of the Holy Spirit is promised to us by Jesus Christ.
That is why no one has seen GOD because he became separate from himself. The two have to be united into their new form. They want to come and live us,their children and the Angles of Light and Darkness. We are the key to setting them Free from the loneliness forever. Revelation chap 17 Behold the Beast that was (EVIL or non-existence reined in the beginning there was no awareness) and is not (Evil- the tendency towards non-existence cannot exist in pure form) and yet is (If we lose our sense of awareness the EVIL will return and nothing will exist)
The River of Life is man's final salvation. The fruit of Tree of Life is for the Fallen Angles Consummation, Turn from Darkness back to the awareness of GOD. The Leaves are for the Healing of the Nations. The sword of Power blocks our way to it and blinds us from The one who was (The True GOD, the past) The one who is (Man the children of GOD, the present) The one who will be (Christ - the son of man, the future). We will become like the others and they will become like us. The evolution.
The way is through Awareness - GOD's will to be. Understanding is Knowing the Truth Understanding is Accepting the Truth The Truth leads to Understanding which leads to Awareness which strengthens our will to Be.
The Truth is put before us but, they do everything they can to keep us from Understanding it.
We have to show them that we are not children anymore. That we have learned to Understand the Truth. And the Truth shall set us all Free. They are counting on us and we can't let them down. But it is ultimately up to them to change - Free will.
Mystery? Who are you? Man who stands between the Darkness and the Light. What do you want? Freedom Why are you here? To bring order to chaos. Where are you going? The Future
The End of Time - The New Beginning
-- Darian Borne (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 01, 2000.
If you wish to converse with Mr. Borne, please go to the thread he started (and to which I responded). It is called, "I'm looking for intelligent opinions not blind lashings Thank you."
He posted the same message to start that thread.
-- Slave Nolonger (email@example.com), December 02, 2000.
Hi! SN, I come with one more question about this again. You said evil perverted the words to mean an intellectual knowledge of all things in order to make our first parent envious of God. So in fact, evil lied to Adam and Eve? After eating the fruit, they can't understand good and evil actually?
Then, what on earth are the effects of eating the fruit?
Thanks a lot. Julia Ryan
-- Julia Ryan (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 02, 2000.
Let's see what you are asking ... "So in fact, evil lied to Adam and Eve?"
You can refer to the head of the fallen angels as "the evil one" or "satan" or "the devil." He lied to Eve, tempting her to be envious of God's knowledge. Adam then followed Eve's example.
"After eating the fruit, they can't understand good and evil actually?"
Yes, at that point, having "known" (experienced) evil -- by acting contrary to God's will (which was commanded) -- Adam and Eve for the first time do "know" (understand) what evil is (the disobedience to his will).
I'm sorry if I misled you before!
-- Slave Nolonger (email@example.com), December 02, 2000.
Thanks again, SN. :)
I'm sorry I have to bother you again...
With the beliefs that after eating the fruit, Adam and Eve for the first time know (understand) what evil is (the disobedience to God's will) and that Adam and Eve's knowledge about good and evil is only "limited" to this level (much less than God's full knowledge), I went on reading today. However, God's words confused me. He said,"Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil." Uh...What did God mean?
And one more "minor" question. Can I say the reason why God wants Adam and Eve only to experience good is "God loves them", just like parents want children to do the right things?
-- Julia Ryan (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 03, 2000.
What did God mean by saying, "Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil"?
Uh-oh! I'm sorry to see that you are reading a "King James Version" or KJV [sometime called "Authorized Version"] of the Bible. This is a very old translation (from before 1650), so it will cause anyone some difficulties. It will cause you, for whom English is a second language, even more problems.
You see, the KJV, though it is much revered as having beautiful language, also has much archaic and inaccurate language.
~~~~~ Since this book has words that are obsolete (no longer used) and uses common words but with meanings that are now obsolete, even a native speaker of English, such as myself, will struggle with it, will be unable to understand certain passages, and will misinterpret certain passages. I would imagine that the struggle must be even greater for you, dear JR.
~~~~~ The further problems are that the translation was done in the 1600s, before more ancient and accurate copies of scripture were discovered. Thus it contains copyists' errors. Finally, it contains translators' errors. [I don't claim all these problems from my own knowledge, but because I have read about this.]
~~~~~ Perhaps the worst problem with the KJV is that many editions lack seven Old Testament books. Check for the books of Judith and Tobit, for example, in your bible. If they are missing, you have an incomplete bible. (If you are lucky, you will find the seven books in a section falsely labeled "apochrypha.")
JR, I strongly recommend that you obtain a good Catholic version of the Bible. If an English translation is hard to find on Taiwan, perhaps you can have one shipped inexpensively from Singapore or the Philippines. I recommend the Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition (RSV-CE). If you cannot find one, watch for the New American Bible or the Jerusalem Bible.
I wish to quote Genesis 3:22 (your passage) from the RSV-CE. Perhaps it will be clearer to you. "Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil."
We can either think of this as the Persons of the Trinity speaking among themselves -- or of God speaking to the holy angels. [The Jewish people believe that there is only one Person in God, so it is interesting to see passages in Genesis which hint at the Trinity -- for example, this one and "Let us make man in our image."] And so, in the passage, God speaks of the fact that "man" now understands that both good and evil exist -- and realizes how bad evil is -- just as God and the good angels had already observed this in the rebellion of the bad angels.
Then, JR, you asked ... "Can I say the reason why God wants Adam and Eve only to experience good is 'God loves them,' just like parents want children to do the right things?" Yes, I think that you are right. God is infinitely good and perfect. He made our first parents to be good and perfect too. He did not make flawed human beings, but sinless ones. He wanted them to live in the Garden forever. It would not make sense for a perfectly good God to create sinless humans and then desire them to learn about (and become attracted to) evil.
-- Slave Nolonger (email@example.com), December 03, 2000.