Friday, August 20, 2010


I have always questioned the Bible's version of the beginning of humankind because it sounded a little more like a fairy tale or myth than actual truth.The bibles version just left me with so many questions and didnot make a lot of sense to me. The other day I read in my friend Euresso's blog the following story and thought I'd share it with now of course with the permission of Euresso who was kind enough to allow me to copy from his blog. In Euresso's words this is not intended to tear apart the biblical version but just to take a different look because the old interpretation leads to too much guilt and an unreasonable quest for perfection. The following is from a book by Harold Kushner titled How Good Do We Have To Be?
"Isn't this a harsh punishment for one small mistake? Pain and death, banishment from Paradise, for breaking one rule? Is God really that strict? And perhaps the most troubling of all, If the forbidden tree was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, does that imply that Adam and his mate had no knowledge of good and evil before they ate of it? If so, how could they have been expected to know that it was wrong to disobey God? And why were they punished if they had no sense of good and evil before they ate it?" How Good Do We Have To Be chapter 2

Rabbi Kushner reinterprets the Genesis story of not one of guilt, sin, and punishment, but instead a story describing our journey of evolution out of our animal life.
"It is the story of the first human being graduating, evolving from the relatively uncomplicated world of animal life to the immensely complicated world of being human and knowing that there is more to life than eating and mating, that there are such things as Good and Evil. They enter a world where they will inevitably make many mistakes, not because they are weak or bad but because the choices they confront will be such difficult ones"......."The story of the Garden of Eden is not a story of the Fall of Man but the emergence of Humankind"

Later I will follow this up with How the story of the Garden of Eden may have ended as told by Mr Kushner.
I sincerely hope that each of you will have a weekend filled with much love joy and inner peace!


Eruesso said...

"The bibles version just left me with so many questions and didnot make a lot of sense to me."

Maybe that's the point. Maybe were meant to breathe our individual creativity into our shared myth. And as we breathe into it out pours a new creation, a new story, a new connection to you, me, connecting the All to All. Of course we can thank Rabbinic Judaism with it's creative reading of scripture and Martin Luther for rescuing the power of interpretation from the church and placing it into the hands of the people. Ron, I highly recommend Kushner's books if you haven't already read them.

captron52 said...

Thanks my friend. I do intend to check out his books. Thanks for stopping by and taking a moment to comment.

Anonymous said...

Gentlemen, I would like to submit that Mr.Kushner's version of the Genesis account is flawed because he does not have the mind of God and does not understand why it happened in the first place. One can debate the subject forever without resolve far as long as man's wisdom is the only source. Would it make a difference if it was an actual event or an allegory that reflects truth without all the details? One must see it from the mind of God and for the reasons it occurred, and that requires in depth research I will not get into unless asked to explain. Thank you.

Eruesso said...

@ Anon

"One must see it from the mind of God and for the reasons it occurred, and that requires in depth research I will not get into unless asked to explain."

Reading the scripture from the mind of God which requires Human in depth research is an illogical conclusion. That's like trying to read a newspaper with broken glasses. Mankind is fallible so any possible interpretation runs the risk of also being fallible. Every Christian sect believes it has the "right lens" to understand scripture but in the end they're all human understanding. Kushner's version is a much humbler approach to reading scripture. There is too much pride in knowing the truth than in simply dwelling in the humility that we may be wrong. And that resonates with my spirituality. And as well with the heart of this blog.

I'm curious Anon, if you don't mind me asking, which church you attend in Smyrna? I recently moved from Smyrna back home to Chattanooga and my family and I used to attend Lighthouse Baptist in Murfreesboro. Great church with an energetic pastor.


Sam Morales

captron52 said...

anom--thanks for stopping by and sharing your opinion but I agree with euresso on this.

Hi Sam thanks for stopping by . I couldn't have said it any better than you did. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said.