What makes sense to me is a actual physical resurrection. Even if Jesus has no wounds they would have still believed because they saw it happen.
Also to be clear I don’t have a answer for this entire subject. I’ve made a few posts asking questions similar to this that mostly went unnoticed. But now this is the subject I’m studying so I’m roughly 3 years I will probably have an actual opinion backed by theology and Jewish world views and word studies and how to make it systematic.
When I first found Biologos this topic was near the top of my “worry” list. Now that I’ve read blogs, dozens of threads and anything I could find on the matter… I still don’t know what I believe. My relief came when, I suddenly realized, reading it as actual history was only not needed… but doesn’t really make sense.
I’m comfortable with not knowing and that is a modern day miracle for me.
Personally I do not subscribe to the “fall of man” theology. I choose to view the Adam & Eve story as God giving his creation (Humanity) the gift of choice, and when exercising that gift they choose their will over the will of God.
Like Sealkin and SkovandOfMitaze I believe Adam and Eve were historical people, not the sole genetic progenitors of the human species or the first homo sapiens but the first human beings because being human requires both a biological inheritance and a memetic inheritance. So the defining moment and place of this story in evolutionary history is the beginning of the latter when God spoke to Adam and Eve.
Of course, I do not believe in talking animals, magical fruit, or golems of dust and bone made by magic. The names of those two trees shout symbolism louder than anything else in the Bible, and I take these other things to be symbolic also. Some of the symbolism is explained in other parts of the Bible. The snake is shown to be an angel cast out of heaven to become the devil and Satan (adversary). The tree of life is described in many ways which I think can be summed up as a relationship with God. The symbolism of the other tree is more difficult but most cannot believe that God did not want us to have knowledge of good and evil… so much so that one person has even suggested that God was using reverse psychology to get them to eat that fruit. LOL So I believe this fruit represents something which gave them the superficial god-like authority to say what is good and evil rather than any actual knowledge, wisdom, or understanding. It is one thing to try to be like God by learning from His character, love, and wisdom and quite another to take His place in authority over others.
As for the Garden of Eden? That describes the Earth or at least many places on the Earth. So I do not believe this ejection refers to a change of location. And since I am looking for a meaning to this story compatible with the scientific understanding of the universe, I certainly do not believe this story is in any way about the introduction of physical death into the world. There is no life without death. There is no eating without death. And there is no commandment without death. And did they die on the day that they ate the fruit? They did not. Was the snake honest and God a liar? Or was it a different kind of death that God was speaking of, like when Jesus said in Luke 9:60, “Let the dead bury their own dead.” I certainly do not believe in a transformation of the universe because of the events in this story - that seems quite unreasonable to me. There is nothing wrong with the universe or the Earth. I do not believe it. The problem is in us, only in the behavior of human beings. Change that and you have the kingdom of God on the Earth.
So what is the explanation of the beginning of evil in the world? It is not evil stuff escaping from a box or the eating of a magical fruit but the beginning of self-destructive habits (called sin) and the severing of our relationship with God (barred from the tree of life). Bad habits like blaming others for our own mistakes and taking upon ourselves the authority of God is an explanation of the beginning of evil which has a bit more substance than the usual fable like Pandora.
It has to depend on what you mean by the word “physical” whether this makes any sense at all.
Physical in the sense of bodily yes. Physical in the sense of natural (laws of nature) no.
That is what Paul taught in 1 Cor 15, introducing the phrase “spiritual body” to show that it is physical in the sense of bodily but not physical in the sense of natural or of the Earth. For most people I guess it is the first of these definitions which they jump to but for a physicist like myself, it is the second of these definition which we think of automatically.
Not according to Thomas. And they didn’t see it happen. They saw Jesus die. And then they saw someone who looked like Jesus, whom a few didn’t even recognize, and apparently looking like Jesus wasn’t enough for Thomas.
Yet it’s been enough for every other human that believes.
It is not one of the reason I believe…
Not for my belief in God and a spiritual aspect to existence…
And not for my belief in Christianity specifically.
To be frank, it was one of the last theological problems with Christianity which I considered. Why was there so much obsession with the resurrection. It never seemed so important to me. I came to the conclusion that the point was that life is not the end. There is a life after death and it is as rich and full as what what we have now if not more so. That is indeed an important part of Christianity and theologies which try do do away with this are cutting something essential out of Christianity. This IS listed in my reasons for belief in Christianity (number 3).
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