Physical death is part of a normal process, not the result of sin

I don’t doubt the nobility of the endeavour to which you are party.

But as you know I’m a very simple minded man and can not engage in that, don’t have the ability to juggle the abstractions, spin all the plates, as with Lacanian analysis. Metaphysics is bad enough.

I can only do theology built on nature. Sin, its wages; living death, doom, hell, saviour, king, sermon, Easter Sunday, the cross etc, etc all the metaphors in Miekhie’s post, aren’t natural. None of them. ‘He paid … our sin … in full … with His life … thru His suffering … on the cross … and His death’. Lectio divina of that creates more and more meaning. And more is… less: ‘the eternal death that we deserved’, ‘He suffered for what we should have suffered, that is eternal death in hell’, ‘we who are redeemed are free from that condemnation’. Damnationist horror. It occludes… natural theology. The integration of nature and creed.

And yet … Here you are! Engaging! Even if it is just to show how disengaged you are.

I’m disengaged from the nightmares we dream up. I refuse to pervert, gaslight, debase, traduce Love.

I’m doing some work on a translation resource that looks at figurative language in the Psalms. We just finished the entry on plant imagery. One of the images for Israel is a transplanted vine. God created a protected space, a vineyard in the Promised land for this vine to flourish and bear fruit. Exile is pictured as God allowing the walls of the vineyard to be destroyed and his people to be uprooted, cast aside, left to wither. I wonder if the original audience made connections between the Israel as a walled vineyard image and the protected garden of Eden and between the uprooting of exile and the casting out of Adam and Eve from the Garden.


If I understand you correctly you are saying that atonement theorys are metaphorical. That would be an interesting interpretation of what actually happened at the cross. Not saying you are wrong but I think you would receive some serious argument (disagreement) from many theologians and denominations. Language is often bent to say what we want it to say, as evidenced by the existence of this website that contrasts the Biblical literalists and physical science.
By the way, I agree with you that a metaphorical understanding of atonement theories is much more helpful than rigidly stating one way and no other. I personally find the Moral Influence theory most satisfying because it makes God look good. But I’m also perfectly content to wait until I get to the other side and have God explain how this all works.

This is already discussed quite thoroughly in the other thread.

Metaphorical doesn’t mean not historical. (I am such a broken record on this, sorry people.)

Atonement theories all use metaphors to explain something extremely abstract and outside everyday human experience. The only way we could possibly grasp the atonement is through metaphorical reasoning. That’s all I am saying. No metaphor has perfect one to one correspondences. There are aspects of the ransom metaphor and the paid debt metaphor that are helpful to understanding the atonement.

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The death of God - posited as proved by His resurrection - is the ultimate propaganda of the deed. And the only evidence for God. There is nothing metaphoric about it. Metaphors for it aren’t it as history, as a posited reality. Unlike jewels on a black velvet blanket comporting with the reality of a clear, moonless sky at night. No atonement theory comports with God’s constrained act of excession.

When Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they did not die. But God said that they will die. So, what kind of death that God was refering to?

  • physical death - Adam and Eve lived for a long time.
    In 1 cor 15:50 … paul said “I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,‘“. My argument is that since Adam and Eve was of flesh and blood (mortal), they need to somehow be transformed to the resurrected body of Christ even if they did not sin at Eden. The natural process of flesh and blood is to get old and thru the process of physical death, they would be transformed to the like of the resurrected body of Christ. So, I look at the physical death as the transformation process to the eternal.

  • how about spiritual death. Basically, bible never said anything about spiritual death. It is more of a theological construct.

  • How about eternal death? This is the only definition of death that matter because Jesus died to redeem us from this eternal death.

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Not sure why it is problematic. The only reason why Jesus is alive and well after paying for our sin is because He Is God. Even hell could not contain Him. All the more so, the only reason to prove that Jesus is God is because only He could conquer that eternal damnation. Only He can pay for the sin of multitudes.

Sorry,I missed that thread, thanks for the heads up.

Yes, that seems to be another way the Bible is developing these metaphors before the New Testament, and the NT takes it further in an already established direction.

While I came across the death–exile connection through Seth Postell’s Adam as Israel, I just noticed today that @KJTurner has a 2021 book [edit: it was originally published in 2011] on this that is steeply discounted for the Kindle version until the end of April: The Death of Deaths in the Death of Israel: Deuteronomy’s Theology of Exile.

From the blurb:

In short, exile represents the death of Israel. In losing her land, Israel apparently also loses her identity, history, and covenant relationship with Yahweh. Restoration from exile, then, is a resurrection from death to life. Since exile is a recurring theme in Deuteronomy, the theology of the book must be considered in light of its vision of exile and restoration.

I’m looking forward to the read!


Nice, thanks for the heads-up.

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Early-mid first millennium BCE Jewish allegory writers were not God.

Thanks for the plug. It’s reduced to a chapter in this book I co-edited. Might be easier and cheaper to access.

I’m afraid that link is not functioning, sorry.

The Bible speaks of two kinds of death. Jesus speaks of it in Luke 9:60 when He says, “Let the dead bury their own dead.” You also see this in the OT when Israel is described as full of dead dry bones. And even though the phrase “spiritual death” is not used in the Bible, Paul does speak of both a “physical body” and a “spiritual body.” So it is perfectly natural to give the name “spiritual death” to the other kind of death spoken of in the OT and by Jesus. That the term “spiritual death” isn’t found in the Bible is a lame excuse when it is pointed out that the most central belief of Christianity in the doctrine of the Trinity isn’t in the Bible either. The Bible does not attribute merit to simply parroting the Bible without any investment of reason and thought.

The Bible never said anything about eternal death. This is your theological construct.

Revelation does speak of the “second death”. But equating this with eternal death fails to account for the other passages above, where living people are described as being dead. Spiritual death explains both, for when the spiritually dead are also physically dead, then this fits the description of the second death. And it explains the need for resurrection without having to believe in zombies rising from graves.

Hopefully this works. It’s called For Our Good Always: Studies on the Message and Influence of Deuteronomy in Honor of Daniel I. Block


Yep, that works, thanks. A bit pricey still, and not available in digital form.

Perhaps you can be so kind to enligthen me with clear biblical passages that talk about a living sinful people who are spiritually dead.

“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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