If Adam's death was Spiritual why was Jesus's death Physical?

Dear @Boscopup,
I suggest you look into the source of blood sacrifice in the Bible. We know the OT went through two major rewrites after its original penning in the 10th century BCE. The first major rewrite came after spending two generations in the city of the devil - Babylon - where it they learned the pagan blood sacrifice rituals (and were executed if they did not practice them). Read Ezekiel with this in mind.

The original author of the OT shared the spiritual meaning with that of Jesus, looking for mankind to give spiritual sacrifice to the Father - forgiving our enemies and resisting our vices - not killing animals or people to overcome our own sins.
Best Wishes, Shawn

@Shawn_Murphy, I’m not a subscriber to the JEDP Documentary Hypothesis stuff. That’s actually what caused me to ultimately fall into atheism. Not going back there, thank you.


If you an atheist, then why are writing about Jesus?

I returned to Christ a year ago. I’m no longer an atheist.

Edit: Hence why I’m “not going back there.” :slight_smile:

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I’m not certain Adam’s death was spiritual ,
He did in fact die a physical death .
I’ve mentioned this before :
There were 2 trees mentioned , 1 the forbidden tree of knowledge , the other the tree of life …
They were not forbidden to eat of the tree of life , not until they were cast out of the garden .
By the account itself , the garden was a specific location and separated from outside the garden .
It is arguable that death began to take it’s toll the moment they were cut off from the tree of life .

Shawn, since the discussion of blood sacrifice is still continuing, I remain very interested in your thoughts re the question I posted over in the other thread…

I’m almost scared to ask, but what Bible are you reading that doesn’t describe Jesus being offered as a blood sacrifice?

  • This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.(Matt 26:28 NIV)

  • God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—(Rom 3:25 NIV)

  • Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!(Rom 5:9 NIV)

  • In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace(Eph 1:7 NIV)

  • just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.(Eph 5:2 NIV)

  • and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.(Col 1:20 NIV)

  • Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.(Heb 7:27 NIV)

  • Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,(Heb 10:19 NIV)

  • But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.(Heb 9:26 NIV)

  • And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.(Heb 10:10 NIV)

  • For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.(1 Pet 1:18–19 NIV)

  • But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.(1 John 1:7 NIV)

  • He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.(1 John 2:2 NIV)

  • To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,(Rev 1:5 NIV)

  • And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. (Rev 5:9 NIV)

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Dear Daniel,
Sorry for the confusion. When I type quickly I forget some important words. I should have said that Jesus did not say He was a sacrifice. You quoted only one direct quote from Jesus above in Matt 26:28. My bible says that Jesus is referring to the wine as a symbol of His blood, for us to remember how far He was willing to go to spread the Good News. He knew that each of His apostles would face the same fate in spreading His Word. He was reminding them of the physical cost they would have to pay to achieve eternal life.
Best Wishes, Shawn

Yes, he was referring to the wine as a symbol of his blood… his blood that was poured out for the forgiveness of sins… if Jesus was trying to avoid giving the impression that his death was a blood sacrifice that accomplishes forgiveness, we can certainly accuse him of being a most inept communicator.

Finally, just so I understand… in reference to all the other passages I referenced… do you simply reject the rest of the New Testament as erroneous that does describe Jesus as a sacrifice?

In the writings of Paul, it is clear that Paul is writing about spiritual life and death. Jesus is the antithesis of Adam, through one man all have sinned and have death, then through one man all have life in Jesus Christ.

The Old and New Testaments are clear, a blood sacrifice is required for the remission of sin. The purpose of the Law in the Old Testament was to show man could not keep it. Jesus died physically as our sacrifice to fulfill the law that we could not do ourselves. I feel this is completely separate from Adam’s physical death.

The Garden created an environment for man under perfect conditions to show that even under perfect conditions, man will revolt against God (again, Adam is the contrast of Jesus where Jesus was tempted under very difficult conditions for 40 days). Some speculate that Adam and Eve were created immortal and they point to the genealogies in Genesis that emphasize over and over again with each person in the genealogy “…and they died” to demonstrate that the death in the line of Adam was brought about by their sin. Some I respect very much have suggested that Adam and Eve had “glorified” bodies, such as described in the “tranfiguration” and this was lost with their sin, which is why they didn’t know they were naked.

This all makes much more sense to me if you take Genesis 1 and 2 as sequential narratives. There was death outside the Garden long before the Garden was created and the Garden creation was a local event (there is no text that indicates otherwise)

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Here are a couple:
Mark 10:45 , Matthew 20:28
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
John 1:29
“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” - the lamb without blemish refers to the Passover Sacrifice
John 15:13
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

Matthew 18:20
“See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”

I tried just to keep with Jesus words (+ 1 by John the Baptist), the epistles and the Old Testament has many, many more references.

In Revelation, Jesus is portrayed as the slain lamb, who is the only one who is “worthy”.

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Dear Daniel,
I reject the concept that Jesus was sacrificed for all human sins. He could have accomplished His victory over Death without being executed for teaching God’s Word. But based on how the world had rejected the Word and executed its prophets in the past, this outcome was expected.

Blood sacrifice was so much a part of Jewish life that it tainted the apostles’ writings. They too did not fully understand Jesus’ mission and His victory over Satan. Jesus mission was as a victorious King, not a sacrificial lamb. But Christianly has lost this perspective.
Best Wishes, Shawn

Again, proving Jesus to be a rather inept teacher. Three years with these people and he could not convince them that his mission ought not be understood as a blood sacrifice.

Perhaps this is because his own language (“this is my blood… poured out for the forgiveness of sins”) was also so similarly tainted.

Apparently, it never had that perspective, the very earliest writings of the apostles never even having grasped it, tainted as they were by such corrupt false religion. Again, it is unfortunate Jesus had been such a poor teacher and not taught them better about such a critical and important perspective.

Jesus’s main task wasn’t to teach, He promised to send His Spirit of Truth to continue His teaching. (John 14:17 15:26 16:13) The first appearance of this Spirit of Truth was in Origen of Alexandria, who spent over 50 years explaining the Word. He reconciled the new teachings with both Judaism and Platonism (Contra Celsus and Stromata). He was the most prolific Christian Scholar ever to live. This enlightened version of Christianity was destroyed by Justinian in 543 AD.

So Paul, Peter, James, John … none of them had any purchase on this Spirit of Truth? Origin was the first? Really? I’m trying to be a bystander in this fascinating discussion between you and Daniel; but he’s actually using scriptures and “cleaning your clock”, Shawn! Appealing to post-biblical figures for argument while your interlocutor has successfully produced a laundry list of Scriptures that you mostly ignore is no way to show your case compelling. Which could be very unfortunate if there is an important grain of truth amongst all the detritus. I don’t bandy about the word “apokatastasis” since I don’t know what all you and others have packed into that concept, and it does nothing for us here to know that it may have been Origen’s pet project since we’re a tad more concerned how the early apostles and prophets thought about these things. But this question of sacrifice and how it works (or doesn’t work as the case may be) is indeed an important one - important enough to settle in scriptures as they have been given us.

I think @Daniel_Fisher is doing an excellent job laying out and defending the traditional view, and I thank you for that, Daniel. It’s a privilege for some (like me) to lazily watch and learn from the sidelines since I am ever in the process of learning from scriptures and from the Spirit about all this myself. And I thank Shawn for being the provocateur for it thus far, though I fear, Shawn, that you have already ventured so far afield in your defense, that many here who refuse to follow you off the main paths into the thickets bid you farewell as your figure disappears over radical horizons.

There is grain to be gleaned among all the chaff, I think. But there are dangers to avoid too. I’m still weighing in the balance here what is worth pursuing. [worth pursuing for myself anyway. I will continue to follow, sometimes with morbid fascination, wherever it is you continue to go with it all. So I’m certainly not trying to shut anything down. Just maybe some hopeful redirection. Carry on!]


You’ve really talked a lot of Origen–and I think it would be worth digging in to more. Maybe it needs another thread. “Onscript” just published the first in a two part series with an interview with an Orthodox priest about Origen. I didn’t know that a lot of what he wrote was corrupted by opponents. It looks like I may learn something. I appreciate, too, what both @Daniel_Fisher and @Shawn_Murphy have posted. (Onscript tends to be mainstream and evangelical, though tolerant, so maybe it will be a good starting point for further discussion and responses)

(I just realized that the interviewee’s name is Father Behr–reminds me of “Little Men”!)

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To hastily add to my own post above, I don’t mean to overly discount the important work of early church leaders like Origen (Thanks, Randy, for a link in that regard too.) The drum I’m pounding on, though, is that such early church leaders are valued precisely for the ways they may help us to see into Scriptures more clearly. And that is, indeed, a valuable service - especially if they inspire us to be not just hearers of the word only, but doers.

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Dear Randy,
Thanks for the podcast from John Behr. I think you can gather from this short talk that the works of Origen are very deep and thoughtful, not for the faint of heart. I will have to read John’s translation of First Principles (De Principiis), because I am unaware that an original Greek copy survived the Anathematisms. I really appreciate the color that John adds about Jerome and Rufinus. This helps others understand the difficulty of determining what are truly the works of Origen and what are the dogma adjusted transcriptions of his work.
Best Wishes, Shawn


I would also observe that Shawn’s perspective seems to be a “no true Scotsman” fallacy on steroids…

—“No apostle of Christ believes he was a blood sacrifice.”
—“What about Matthew, Mark, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, John, the author of Hebrews…?”
—“Well, no apostle taught by the Spirit of Truth believes it.”

Not to mention there seems some significant special pleading involved…

—“How do we know Origen to be the first person in Christian history that received this Spirit of Truth, and other previous apostles and church fathers didn’t?”
—“Because he’s the first one that agrees with me?”

—“Which parts of the OT were corrupted by pagan influence?”
—“All those parts I disagree with?”

As for the Pentateuch having been rewritten with novel, pagan atonement theology during/after the exile, corrupted by Babylonian influence, I have a hard time conceiving of what the original book of Leviticus would have looked like absent anything about blood sacrifice. Kind of like claiming the original book of Job had nothing to do with suffering or the original form of Joshua had nothing to do with warfare.

To @Shawn_Murphy’s credit, I appreciate him acknowledging that blood sacrifice / atonement for sin is a theme that is in the Bible, both Old and New Testament, but that Scripture is simply in error. There is something about this argument that I can appreciate far more than those who claim that evangelicals like me only find blood sacrifice in the Scripture by forcing it into the text, and a fair reading of the Scripture would never find anything that could be remotely construed as Christ being a blood sacrifice to atone for sin. If anyone “discovers” such a concept in Scripture, it is surely because of some Freudian need to believe in a God of vengeance demanding blood; there is certainly no justification for such an idea from the text itself!

So to Shawn’s credit, I appreciate at least that he recognizes that this theme is in fact actually found in the Bible, both Old and New Testament, even if he thinks its presence there erroneous.


Dear Daniel,
Thank you for the note. I would lake to make a few clarifications. First, I was very deliberate to say that Jesus was not sacrificed for all human sin - it takes God’s Grace, Jesus’ act of redemption and our acts to achieve eternal life. We have to love our enemies and become perfect, in addition to God’s Grace. Before Jesus’ act of Redemption, no amount of acts led to eternal life.

Secondly, Origen was not the first coming of the Spirit of Truth, but the first who fulfilled the task of explaining the Word in every detail, which he did in his “sweet wisdom”. The sheer volume of his work was miraculous.
Best Wishes, Shawn

Mr Murphy,

I think that you were addressing @Daniel_Fisher. I did not write the note above.
I think that it’s appropriate to learn more about Origen. @Daniel_Fisher, did you listen to the podcast by Onscript? I got bogged down in the details in the end–somewhat to do with the interpretation, I think. I enjoyed the humorous analogy of how Fr Behr would place the Church Fathers on a football team (Irenaeus on defense, etc). It’s a bit disturbing to me that even then, they had so much disagreement.

I do come back to the commonality that we all rely on God for ultimate grace and forgiveness. That’s a failure I find when I look at atheism–we just can’t find the same resolution–though perhaps there is more to be said from their point of view. In Sunday School right now, we’re using Eric Metaxas’ video on “Mere Christianity” and the moral law–very interesting. We just had Alister McGrath’s portion, and then are going on to Jerry Root and, I think, Philip Yancey. It would be a good thread. I see that there are problems with our understanding of the moral law as a proof for God, but as McGrath said, it’s more of a clue of how things would work if we God exists.
God bless.