Is Original Sin a Catch-22?

I was thinking about sin this morning with my coffee only because it’s so sinfully dark and delicious. I’m reading a book titled, Did God Kill Jesus by Tony Jones. I’m not going to give you a book review or anything like that. But the thoughts about Original Sin came to mind from reading a few chapters this morning.

What is Original Sin?

The doctrine of original sin says that everyone is a sinner coming into this world. When you’re born, you’re a sinner. That is our inherited default. Adam and Eve were responsible for the original sin when they disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Take a look at this short, 2-minute video clip.

The Second Creation Story

The second creation story in Genesis is where we learn about Adam and Eve. Starting in Genesis 2:7, we see that God formed man from the dust from the ground, breathed into his nostrils, and became a living being. Then he planted the Garden of Eden, where the infamous Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was located, along with other trees.

The Garden of Eden

God created the rivers to flow through his sacred garden. Then God put the man in the garden to till it and maintain it. At this time, God told the man he could freely eat from any tree except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. All the trees must have been labeled or something.

God Created Woman

God then decided that the man needed a woman. But, before he created the woman, he made the man give names to all the living animals in the world. That must have taken a few years to give names to billions of animals. Did he have to write the names down?

God says that a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife. That’s kind of a weird statement since this man didn’t have a father and a mother. Then God put the man to sleep, took out one of his ribs, and created a woman. And when did the wedding take place? Oh well. I’m just a bit dense, I guess.

The first man and woman were created, naked and not ashamed of their nakedness. I guess I wouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed in front of many animals, either, since there weren’t any other humans around yet.

The Talking Serpent

The talking serpent and the woman with no name were discussing the forbidden fruit from the one tree in the garden. The woman said, “Yeah, God told us that we can’t even touch the fruit from that tree, or we’ll die!” The serpent said, “You won’t die! God knows that you will learn the difference between good and evil.”

The Invention of Clothes

The woman, still unaware of the difference between good and evil, took a wild-ass guess and determined on her own that the fruit on that forbidden tree sure looked good. She took a bite and gave her man a piece of fruit, and he also ate it. After taking a bite, their eyes were opened, and they realized that they were naked in front of all those animals. The animals must have been snickering or something. The first set of clothes was invented from fig leaves.

God Catches Them

Next thing you know, they heard God walking in the garden, so they hid because they didn’t want to show off their new threads. God called out to the man because he couldn’t find him. The man said, “Hey God, we’re naked, so we didn’t want to embarrass you.” God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat the fruit from the forbidden tree?”

The man ratted out the woman. The woman confessed that the serpent made her do it. She just realized that it must have been evil to eat from a tree God had forbidden. “Oh, I get it now! I didn’t understand until I took the first bite!” yelled the woman! “That doesn’t matter! You’re in big trouble, young lady!” exclaimed God.

Punishment Time

God punished the snake by making it crawl on his belly. He didn’t have any legs and wasn’t sure how to get around. The snake was right, by the way. The man and woman did not die from eating the forbidden fruit.

God punished the woman by giving her excruciating labor pains in childbirth. And the man was punished by having to till the soil forever. At this point, the man decided to name his wife Eve. He was good at picking names by now.

God Makes Clothes

God made the man and woman some new threads because he didn’t like the fig leaf statement. He must have been into fashion somewhat—just my guess.

God said to the other gods, “The humans have become like one of us, knowing good and evil! I’d better kick them out of the garden before they decide to eat from the Tree of Life!”

God Banishes Adam

God threw Adam out and placed cherubim with flaming swords to guard the way to the Tree of Life. We can only assume that Eve went with Adam; otherwise, the human population wouldn’t exist.

My Thoughts On Original Sin

I’ve always loved the Adam and Eve story. God gives man and woman a moral choice knowing they can’t make the right choice. Eve, tempted by the serpent, made the incorrect decision. God punishes them anyway and expels them from the garden.

And what about Original Sin? In God’s eyes, Adam and Eve disobeyed his command not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. But isn’t that a Catch-22? How would they know the difference between what is good (obeying God’s command) or evil (disobeying God’s command) until they had the knowledge? And they wouldn’t have the knowledge until the fruit was touched or eaten.

More Coffee, Please!

I don’t claim to be a Bible Scholar. I enjoy reading the Bible while having coffee in the morning. It’s time for another forbidden cup!

Notes In My Head

Do you read only one version of the Bible? I used to until I started noticing the differences over the years. For example, when is the first time the man is called “Adam” in the book of Genesis? In the KJV it appears in 2:19; the NIV 2:20; the NRSV 4:25. You can view all these versions and more at BibleGateway.com. Happy reading!

7 thoughts on “Is Original Sin a Catch-22?

  1. I don’t think it’s a Catch 22. To them, you must do what God says…that is “good.” How do they know it’s good…God says it’s good. If you disobey God, that is “evil.” How do they know it’s evil…God tells them it is. You don’t have to eat the fruit to know that. The sin was disobeying God, and that’s evil.
    1st question) You say the 2nd creation story is where we learn about Adam/Eve. Doesn’t the first creation story talk about Adam and Eve, too? 2nd) God created Eve from Adam’s rib, but that’s according to just the 2nd story, not the 1st creation story, right?

    1. God does not say it’s good. He tells them not to eat from that tree or they will die. They did not have the capacity to know the difference between good or evil. If they did, there wouldn’t be such a thing as the Tree for the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Only when they eat the fruit will they realize that eating the fruit was a bad thing. How would they know if disobeying God was an evil thing? Maybe it was good! How did they know that the serpent was good or evil? Why would God’s animal tell a lie? The first creation story does not talk about Adam and Eve – read Chapter 1. In the second creation story Eve was made from Adam’s rib.

  2. What a story! This god wants to keep them stupid for some reason. Apparently they knew a lot of things, though. Eve understands what the serpent is saying. She tells the serpent that she must not eat from the tree in the middle of the garden, nor even touch it, because she will die. She knows what a fruit is, what a tree is, what middle means, where the garden ends, what eat and touch mean, and she knows that she will not live anymore if she touches or eats that fruit. How can she have all of that knowledge? Adam knows every animal on earth, he named them, so he knows billions of names. He named the grasshopper after a plant, so he knew the names of plants. There’s another trillion names. Some plants are named by what they do, so he knew the function of the plants. He knew lots of things!! Where did they get this knowledge? If they know all of that, then why couldn’t they know what good and evil mean? We don’t know the answer to that! No one does, no matter what they say. If he knew all of this, then I think he knew what good and evil was, too. Anyway, I’m not going to argue about what he did or didn’t know…we can’t prove it. There are so many contradictions in this collections of books!
    Thanks for your posts, Vic. I enjoy reading them and having the opportunity to question them!

  3. In Genesis 1, verse 27:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Aren’t they Adam and Eve? If you ask any christian who they were, they would say Adam and Eve. He simply hasn’t named them here, but he does mention them in chapter 1.

    1. That’s why they call it 2 different creation stories. The first one never calls them Adam and Eve. And they were created in the image of God which means God is both male and female, in the rabbinic tradition. Does that mean that humans are both male and female? That’s a biology question!

      1. Biologically speaking a human individual will either have testes or it will have ovaries, not both. So, if an individual has testes, regardless of what other features (breasts, etc) it has, then it’s a male human. If it has ovaries and not testes, remember it cannot have both, then it is a female human, regardless of other features it may have (penis, etc). Those are the facts. Someone can create a story and say that a person is both male and female, but that would be just a story…not reality.
        I heard on the news yesterday where a person calls herself a man, but she became pregnant. A “man’ cannot become pregnant, but a person who calls himself a man can become pregnant. You can call yourself anything you wish; that doesn’t mean that you are actually that entity. She is obviously not a man, even though she calls herself one.

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