Google Ads

  • Support This Site


    Use this to buy anything from Amazon.com. It adds nothing to your cost and this site gets a small advertising fee.

  • Google Ads

  • Bible Wheel Book

  • The Love of Knowledge: A Fundamental Contradiction in the Heart of the Bible

    The Bible begins by saying that all the trouble in the world was caused by Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was the only thing God denied them. But then the rest of the entire Bible exhorts people to do everything in their power to gain knowledge of good and evil! It exalts wisdom and knowledge as one of the highest goals every person should strive for.
    Proverbs 1:1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; 4 To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion, 5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,

    Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8 Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones. 9 Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; 11 Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you,

    Proverbs 8:7 "For my mouth will utter truth; And wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8 "All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness; There is nothing crooked or perverted in them. 9 "They are all straightforward to him who understands, And right to those who find knowledge. 10 "Take my instruction, and not silver, And knowledge rather than choicest gold. 11 "For wisdom is better than jewels; And all desirable things can not compare with her. 12 "I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And I find knowledge and discretion.
    And when Solomon became king, he asked God for a blessing:
    1 Kings 3:7 "And now, O LORD my God, Thou hast made Thy servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 "And Thy servant is in the midst of Thy people which Thou hast chosen, a great people who cannot be numbered or counted for multitude. 9 "So give Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Thine?" 10 And it was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing.
    God was pleased that Solomon asked for the ability to discern between good and evil. He answered Solomon's prayer so that Solomon became the wisest king ever to live. Obviously, knowledge of good and evil is one of the highest values. We see this value also exalted in the New Testament:
    Hebrews 5:13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
    This concept reaches its apotheosis in Jesus Christ, the Word of God "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3).

    The story of the fall of Adam and Eve looks very strange in this context:
    Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
    So we have a very strange contradiction at the very inception of the entire Biblical narrative. That which was forbidden and which caused all the problems in the world becomes the very highest of values!

    This is another example of the curious absence of any references to the "mythological chapters" of Genesis in the rest of the Old Testament. The story of Adam and Eve is never mentioned anywhere in the Old Testament outside of the Garden story (Genesis 2-3). Indeed, it seems that the writers of the Old Testament were completely ignorant of the ten chapters of Genesis 2-11. I discussed this in my recent article Where's Adam? The Mystery of the Missing Mythological Chapters of Genesis.
    Comments 42 Comments
    1. luke1978's Avatar
      luke1978 -
      I've said it before and I'll say it again. If only you could see the creation story and fall of man as a spiritual story.

      I was an innocent child once and as I grew up I came to know the difference between good and evil and I also realised I was going to die. With knowledge comes responsibility and it leaves you without excuse for sin.

      However as we are not perfect as human beings God showed his grace by coming in the flesh and paying the penalty for sin which according to the law in the Torah is death.

      Because our conciousness(image) is made like God we have our life to develop a higher level of divine reason and seeking knowledge is one way to do that.

      I consider it a gift to be made in the image of our creator(My father) and everyday I need to aspire to be more like him. Jesus set out many values we can follow to help us achieve this. God(My father) also knew I couldn't do it on my own so by the grace(love) of my father I will be with him in eternity.

      It may sound contradictory that my own father in heaven would give me the death sentence and then pay for it but from a spiritual perspective he was just showing this life will not be the permanent reality.

      So rather then finding contradictions and thinking God is some sort of evil being I will continue to find out what the spiritual meaning of the old testament is.

      I think it's just a case of trusting God. I don't rely on my 5 senses anymore or what the news is reporting or the bad things that happen day in day out around the world.

      It may sound selfish but I just stick on my own individual path and trust God has a divine purpose for me. I am getting refined in the fire at the moment until my father is satisfied and then I will go to paradise.

      If God did not want us to obtain knowledege he could stop it at any moment. I have even said to God if obtaining knowledge is wrong please let me know and I'll be happy to live blissfully in the garden of eden walking around naked!

      I don't think he created us to be robots. So in regards to your post I don't see the contradictions you do but I do acknowledge why you come to that interpretation.
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Hi Luke,

      Thanks for sharing your insights, but I don't quite see how they relate to the point of my post. Did you understand what I was getting at, and why? I'm not looking for contradictions and I'm not trying to make God look good or evil. I'm just talking about the things I see in Scripture. Is it not curious that the mythological chapters of Genesis 2-11 are not referenced anywhere else in the OT, but figure very heavily in the NT? Is it not curious that knowledge of good and evil is blamed for all the trouble in the world when the rest of the Bible exalts such knowledge as one of the highest goods?

      All the best,

      Richard
    1. sylvius's Avatar
      sylvius -
      You are comparing apples with pears again, I think

      The consumtption of the forbidden fruit caused them a certain eye to close.
      Before eating Adam could look from one end of the universe to the other, i.e. overlook all of history.
      The eye that closed is best compared to the "fourpronged shin" (written on the phylacteries placed on the forehead between the two physical eyes)
      Read about it here http://www.hadafah.com/haot.htm
      Called The Missing Letter; The Lost Letter; The Found Sound; The Wholly Letter; The Holy Letter; The Letter of the World to Come; The 23rd Letter; The letter of Kindness; Shin with Four Heads; and Ot Olam, The Eternal Letter.

      And I do think it is alluded to in the NT -saying "I am the Alpha and the Omega" --

      Omega meaning great O= great eye = great "ayin",
      while Omikron means small O = small eye = small "ayin".

      These two "eyes" also to be found in Ezekiel 47:10,
      מֵעֵין גֶּדִי וְעַד-עֵין עֶגְלַיִם
      from Ein G'di and uno Ein Eglayim =
      from "eye 17" and unto "eye 153" .

      "eye 153" being Omega.

      Alluding to the light of the first day, of which God saw that it was good, ("tov"= 17), but immediately was taken away because of Adam's sin.
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
      You are comparing apples with pears again, I think

      The consumtption of the forbidden fruit caused them a certain eye to close.
      Before eating Adam could look from one end of the universe to the other, i.e. overlook all of history.
      Where did you get this idea? It's not in the Bible. Someone just made it up. Why should anyone believe it? And it doesn't make much sense since if Adam could "overlook all of history" then he most certainly would have seen the consequences of his actions and not let Eve eat the fruit. And if Adam could "overlook all of history" then he would have acquired "the knowledge of good and evil" by seeing the consequence of eating from the tree without actually doing that.

      This also brings up a logical problem with the idea of foresight into the future. If you look into the future and see that a rock is going to fall on your head, you can avoid the falling rock. But that means it never really happened so you didn't really see into the future and we have a direct contradiction. You were only looking at one possible future, not the real one that ultimately come to pass. And since there are an infinity of possible futures, there is no way you could ever see which one is really going to happen. It is simply illogical to assert that Adam could "overlook all of history."

      Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
      The eye that closed is best compared to the "fourpronged shin" (written on the phylacteries placed on the forehead between the two physical eyes)
      Where did you get the idea that there was an "eye that closed"? That's not in the Bible. On the contrary, it says their eyes were opened. I understand of course that someone could have made up the idea that Adam's "spiritual eye" was "open" and that it was "closed" after he ate, but that's just pure invention. Why should anyone believe it?

      Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
      Read about it here http://www.hadafah.com/haot.htm
      Called The Missing Letter; The Lost Letter; The Found Sound; The Wholly Letter; The Holy Letter; The Letter of the World to Come; The 23rd Letter; The letter of Kindness; Shin with Four Heads; and Ot Olam, The Eternal Letter.
      Yes, I'm familiar with that tradition. But I have never seen any reason to think it is "true."

      Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
      And I do think it is alluded to in the NT -saying "I am the Alpha and the Omega" --

      Omega meaning great O= great eye = great "ayin",
      while Omikron means small O = small eye = small "ayin".

      These two "eyes" also to be found in Ezekiel 47:10,
      מֵעֵין גֶּדִי וְעַד-עֵין עֶגְלַיִם
      from Ein G'di and uno Ein Eglayim =
      from "eye 17" and unto "eye 153" .

      "eye 153" being Omega.

      Alluding to the light of the first day, of which God saw that it was good, ("tov"= 17), but immediately was taken away because of Adam's sin.
      Yes, the Greek omicron corresponds to the Hebrew ayin so I can see how you could come to that conclusion. And the gematria of G'di is 17 and Ein Eglayim is 153 which is the 17th triangular number. So there is a basis for some interesting speculations here, especially since Ezekiel 47:10 speaks of fishermen with their nets which links nicely to the 153 fish caught in a net in John's Gospel:
      Ezekiel 47:10 And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.
      John 21:11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
      But what does this all mean? I don't know ...
    1. sylvius's Avatar
      sylvius -
      Adam did eat deliberately, knowing the consequences.
      Since Eve did eat first he could have refused to eat too when Eve gave it to him.
      Genesis 3:6, "and she took of its fruit, and she ate, and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate." ("also"- she first gave all the cattle and the beasts, only the phoenix refused)

      It is said that Adam offered 70 years of his life for the sake of King David, (= for the sake of the Messiah, or as you wish, for the sake of Jesus Christ, to come), for he had seen that David was destined to die right after his birth. Adam could have lived a thousand years = eternal. But as consequence of his eating he only lived 930 years.

      153 we've seen as 153rd word in the Torah "tov", Genesis 1:12,
      "And God saw that it was good that Adam did eat the forbidden fruit"
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
      Adam did eat deliberately, knowing the consequences.
      Since Eve did eat first he could have refused to eat too when Eve gave it to him.
      Genesis 3:6, "and she took of its fruit, and she ate, and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate." ("also"- she first gave all the cattle and the beasts, only the phoenix refused)
      Yes, the story seems to imply that Adam ate deliberately but there is no evidence that he knew the consequences. Remember, he didn't have the knowledge of good and evil, so he didn't know it was wrong to eat even though God told him not to. That's one of the more obvious logical problems with the myth. But this isn't relevant to the point I made. My point was that if Adam could see the future he would have seen that Eve was going to eat and he could have prevented her and thereby could have avoided all the suffering that came from her act.

      Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
      It is said that Adam offered 70 years of his life for the sake of King David, (= for the sake of the Messiah, or as you wish, for the sake of Jesus Christ, to come), for he had seen that David was destined to die right after his birth. Adam could have lived a thousand years = eternal. But as consequence of his eating he only lived 930 years.
      Again, "it is said" by whom? Anyone can say anything. Why believe something merely because it is "said"? And your math is all messed up. Eternity minus 70 years is still eternity. You cannot say "a thousand years = eternity" and "a thousand years - 70 years" = 930 years. That's logically incoherent.

      Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
      153 we've seen as 153rd word in the Torah "tov", Genesis 1:12,
      "And God saw that it was good that Adam did eat the forbidden fruit"
      Yes, the 153rd word of the Torah is "tov" but the quote you gave is found nowhere in the Torah. It's just another invention by some storyteller. The Torah never says that "God saw that it was good that Adam did eat the forbidden fruit."
    1. sylvius's Avatar
      sylvius -
      The Torah is called "black fire on white fire"
      The black being the ink and the white the parchment.
      The "four-pronged shin" being in fact the white space that surrounds the black letters.

      The letters form the body of the word.
      If you imagine God as the word you even might see the letters, the black fire, as the original matter, and the "four-pronged shin" as antimatter.
    1. sylvius's Avatar
      sylvius -
      There might be another kind of "logic" than the logic you adhere to.
      (Joseph got the name "Tsafnat Paneach" because of solving a problem where all logic fell short)
    1. sylvius's Avatar
      sylvius -
      Wasn't Jesus the original Adam?
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
      There might be another kind of "logic" than the logic you adhere to.
      (Joseph got the name "Tsafnat Paneach" because of solving a problem where all logic fell short)
      Yes, it looks like they are using a different kind of logic - the logic of poetry and myth. And that's fine until you try to mix that kind of logic with real logic like mathematics when you say Eternity - 70 years = 1000 years - 70 years = 930 years. That's not any kind of logic at all. That is simply meaningless.
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
      Wasn't Jesus the original Adam?
      The Bible says that Jesus was the "last Adam" not the "original Adam" (1 Cor 15:45).
    1. sylvius's Avatar
      sylvius -
      But "the last Adam" turned out to be "the original Adam", as resurrected one (= eternal one) being present already on the first day, while "the first Adam" only was created on the sixth.

      In fact there is no more than "day one" , with duration of thousand years.
      just that the light is obscured, due to the fact that the third eye did close.
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
      But "the last Adam" turned out to be "the original Adam", as resureected one (= eternal one) being present already on the first day, while "the first Adam" only was created on the sixth.
      That doesn't make sense to me because the "original Adam" sinned whereas the "last Adam" did not. You need to understand how the Biblical writers used typology. They never identified Christ with Adam. On the contrary, they contrasted Christ with Adam. For example:

      1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

      Romans 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one [Adam]; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

      Etc.

      And more importantly, Adam was created whereas Christ was not (according to traditional Christian theology, anyway). You seem to agree with this point since you say that Christ was the "eternal one" whereas Adam was created.

      Quote Originally Posted by sylvius View Post
      In fact there is no more than "day one" , with duration of thousand years.
      just that the light is obscured, due to the fact that the third eye did close.
      Sounds pretty speculative to me!
    1. sylvius's Avatar
      sylvius -
      Besides last Adam he is also called son of Adam.

      It is worth to consider what Rashi said:
      http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_...showrashi/true
      And God created man in his imag
      In the form that was made for him, for everything [else] was created with a command, whereas he [man] was created with the hands (of God), as it is written (Ps. 139:5): “and You placed Your hand upon me.” Man was made with a seal, like a coin, which is made by means of a die, which is called coin in Old French. And so Scripture states (Job 38:14): “The seal changes like clay.” - [from Letters of Rabbi Akiva , second version; Mid. Ps. 139:5; Sanh. 38a]
      A notion that also underlies NT,
      Mark 12: 15-17, (...)bring me a penny, that I may see it
      And they brought it. And he saith unto them Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's.
      And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's
      .
      The seal with which man was made in must be the seal of God:


      Note also Rashi's next comment:
      in the image of God He created him: It explains to you that the image that was prepared for him was the image of the likeness of his Creator. — [from B.B. 58a]
      "the image of the likeness of his Creator" צלם דיוקן יצורו הוא "tselem d'yukan yotsro hu".

      "d'yukan" = portrait
      from "diyuk" = precision , exactness.

      Like two drops of water ...

      I cannot see my own face except for in the face of another.
    1. sylvius's Avatar
      sylvius -
      The light of the first day is called "or ganuz" , the hidden light, even with gematria 273, like of "rega" = indivisible moment of time.
      It is there, but hidden, as sparks in everything, even in the rocks, like a treasure hidden in the field.
    1. sylvius's Avatar
      sylvius -
      That the first Adam and the last Adam are one and the same might be also clear from Genesis 2:7, where "vayyitzer" is written with two letters "yud",

      Rashi:
      וַיִּיצֶר, with two “yuds,” hints at] two creations, a creation for this world and a creation for the [time of the] resurrection of the dead, but in connection with the animals, which do not stand in judgment, two“yuds” are not written in [the word וַיִּצֶר describing their creation. — [from Tan. Tazria 1]
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Hey there sylvius,

      Thanks for sharing your insights, but I don't quite see how they relate to the point of my post. Did you understand what I was getting at, and why? Do you have anything to say about it?

      All the best,

      Richard
    1. Mike's Avatar
      Mike -
      Yes, it's quite a contradiction. In Genesis God says eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge and die, but later on he seems to indicate it's the lack of knowledge that leads to death: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou has rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee." Hosea 4:6 I don't know if this helps resolve the contradiction, but, one could argue that the warning in the Garden of Eden came while Adam was awake, while everything else came while Adam was sleeping/dreaming. I say that because right before creating Eve from Adam's rib, God caused him to "fall into a deep sleep" (Genesis 2:21). Technically speaking, God never causes him to wake up again. Or, at least, it's never explicitely mentioned. So, maybe everything that has happened in the Bible and throughout humanity since that moment has all been part of Adam's dream. Does that resolve the contradction? Is there any reason why it might be ok to look for knowledge while dreaming, but not while awake?
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
      Yes, it's quite a contradiction. In Genesis God says eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge and die, but later on he seems to indicate it's the lack of knowledge that leads to death: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou has rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee." Hosea 4:6 I don't know if this helps resolve the contradiction, but, one could argue that the warning in the Garden of Eden came while Adam was awake, while everything else came while Adam was sleeping/dreaming. I say that because right before creating Eve from Adam's rib, God caused him to "fall into a deep sleep" (Genesis 2:21). Technically speaking, God never causes him to wake up again. Or, at least, it's never explicitely mentioned. So, maybe everything that has happened in the Bible and throughout humanity since that moment has all been part of Adam's dream. Does that resolve the contradction? Is there any reason why it might be ok to look for knowledge while dreaming, but not while awake?
      I think that's a very cool way to look a things. It reminds me of the essential theme of Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. Have you read it? Here's a brief description:
      Finnegans Wake is a novel written using the dream form as a device to tell the universal story of Everyman, Humprey Chimpden Earwicker, his wife Anna Livia Plurabelle and their children, twins Shem and Shaun and sister Isabel.
      "Everyman" is Adam. Joyce begins his representation of the everlasting story with this sentence fragment:
      riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.
      The book ends with the first half of that sentence. Note the initials of "Howth Castle and Environs" - HCE - are the same as the name of the central character. It is a "recurring dream book" where everything cycles and recirculates, forever returning to the origin, continuously transforming and enriching its own limitless self-reference. A linguistic fractal. The Bible displays a similar circular pattern in both theme and structure (the Bible Wheel). Joyce began his story with Finnegan's death after a fall from a ladder. He "wakes" (resurrects) at his "wake" when someone splashes whiskey (literally "water of life") on him. The book is the most amazing amalgamation of symbols from every system of thought, religion, philosophy, science, language, myth ... pretty much "everything under the sun."

      Your approach is much more intriguing than a "resolution" of the contradiction which tries to explain the Bible in terms of literal scientific "left-brained" categories. It returns us to the probable "original intent" of the Bible as a "right-brained" holistic mystical book and offers a way to appreciate its true value as a representation of the Dream that is the Life of Everyman. And in as much as both Finnegans Wake and the Bible represent the history of the world, we understand Joyce's comment that "history is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."

      Of course, if we wake from this mystical view and attempt to understand the Bible in traditional logical categories all the problems and contradictions remain. Perhaps this is a sign to the logical mind that such an approach is simply wrong. It can never encompass reality. Left-brain rationality is well-represented by rational numbers. They can approximate any real number to an arbitrary precision but they can never represent them exactly. It is the right brain that presents a view of the "whole" to consciousness. The left-brain analyses the whole in terms of finite pieces and compares them, like taking ratios of finite integers. If the left-brain analysis is mistaken for reality, there will always be discrepancies and contradictions. Only the holistic right-brain view can see reality as a whole.

      As you can see, I have given some thought to Finnegans Wake. This is because that book played a central role in the highly synchronistic events and symbolic dreams that ultimately led to my discovery of the Bible Wheel back in 1995. I describe what happened in my post called Looking for Dumbo. The connection is deep. Joyce was the Prince of Punsters. Puns are a kind of "doubling" of the meaning of words - an overlapping of meanings associated with a single set of phonemes. They play a central role in the Hebrew Bible because that language, being written only in consonants, is particularly rich in puns which are the basis of many Rabbinic interpretations. That the Prince of Punsters would be born on the second day of second month in Dublin, Ireland is a notable synchronicity. Your comments have caused these old ideas to wake once again. Thanks!
    1. duxrow's Avatar
      duxrow -
      Originally Posted by Mike

      Yes, it's quite a contradiction. In Genesis God says eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge and die, but later on he seems to indicate it's the lack of knowledge that leads to death: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou has rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee." Hosea 4:6 I don't know if this helps resolve the contradiction, but, one could argue that the warning in the Garden of Eden came while Adam was awake, while everything else came while Adam was sleeping/dreaming. I say that because right before creating Eve from Adam's rib, God caused him to "fall into a deep sleep" (Genesis 2:21). Technically speaking, God never causes him to wake up again. Or, at least, it's never explicitely mentioned. So, maybe everything that has happened in the Bible and throughout humanity since that moment has all been part of Adam's dream. Does that resolve the contradction? Is there any reason why it might be ok to look for knowledge while dreaming, but not while awake?

      Could be the instruction was meant strictly for Adam -- not for Eve.

      Adam is name for both male and female, but Adam comes first, and Eve wasn't there when the instruction was given to 'the man'.

      When 'the man' saw Eve, was that when he first thought of disobeying God? Just thinking.. and remembering the biz about fornication hadn't yet been proclaimed, or had it?

      The Old Covenant was first, followed by the "fruitful Covenant" symbolized by Leah. That Old Covenant wasn't fruitful (didn't recognize the way the Son copied the Father's actions), but it WAS necessary for us in the New Testament to understand the way of the Holy Ghostwriter.
    Comments Leave Comment

    Click here to log in

    Please enter the six letters or digits that appear in the image opposite.