Historical Jesus

Thanks for all your thoughts…My own personal views as to whether the account in Genesis 3 refers to several people or to a couple --are rather agnostic. I could accept the view that there was “a couple” created de novo in a location (now forgotten or submerged beneath the sea) in a world inhabited by various hominids or the like…Have not settled that one. But I was, at least originally, referring to another blogger’s remarks that “it clearly has been one of the biggest misunderstandings of Genesis to believe that God said:
If you eat from that tree I am going to kill you.
The price for sin is not set by God but by our own sinful nature, that what got us into trouble to start with, as suffering death is the logical consequence of identifying as a self in our material body.”

Whether or not Genesis has anything to do (ultimately) with child development (aka human development) is not something I find likely. For too many millennia it has been “the fortunate few” who survived to adulthood, and development mentally and morally certainly occurred but that really is not the point of the biblical text, at any rate. This account involves human beings making a choice, and this choice was/is an act of disobedience (whether by two people or a few) that separated us from God and, ultimately, led to Jesus (voluntarily) taking the penalty for our sin/transgression/bad behavior (however you want to call it) so that we (if we turn to Him for forgiveness) do not have to suffer the eternal consequences of our behavior.

The viewpoint expressed by the other blogger seems to be tinged by gnostic thinking in some sense. That sort of theology was debated/refuted by some of the New Testament writers (and I think also the Judaism of that same general era). if you say you have no sin you lie" …rather a long subject and, as you would say, not part of the OP.

At any rate…I have written elsewhere on that. Thanks (however) for the additional info on Piaget. And yes, teenagers do question the validity of rules …at least, Western teenagers do!!

I agree. It was a warning of consequences, not a test of obedience.

Yes, I agree again. If you want to trace the historical record, the separation from God follows on the heels of moral awareness. A “historical fall” is followed by the invention of magic and idolatry in the archaeological record. Paul sketches the process in Rom. 1:18-25.

Haha. Good point. But moral maturity and questioning of rules is not limited to Western teenagers. Even teenagers in “shame” cultures reach moral maturity and confront the question of the validity of rules. Otherwise, a child born in a non-Western culture would never question a rule and violate the standards of their culture, thereby never committing sin. Whatever formula we apply to the first humans should also apply to a person of another culture who “never heard” the gospel, however far back in history that should go. Unless everyone without exception experiences a “fall” from grace, the gospel is unnecessary for everyone.

could it not have been both?

Here is 1.45 of Justin Martyr’s first apology:

Notice the citation to Psalm 110, followed by the phrase “his apostles going forth from Jeruslame preached everywhere”. In Mark 16:19-20, Psalm 110 is first cited and then we get “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere” (i.e. virtually identical). In other words, it is clear enough that Justin Martyr was using the Longer Ending here, ditto therefore the rest of the comments I made.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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