The Fall of Adam and Eve in the Bible and the Quran

The Fall of Adam and Eve in the Bible and the Quran: Analyzing the Epic Story That Started it All

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“Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: ‘I will create a vicegerent on earth.’ They said: ‘Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood, whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?’ He said: ‘I know what ye know not.’”

–          The Holy Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:30

            The story of the fall of Adam and Eve is found in both the Bible and the Quran.[1]  Like most other stories which are found in both holy books, the Biblical and Quranic versions share some similarities, but also differ greatly in key areas.  Whether concerning the details of the actual creation of the first man and woman or their disobedience which led to their downfall, there are minor similarities and major differences in the two versions.  In this article, we will summarize and analyze both stories and attempt to objectively conclude which of the two stories is more worthy of acceptance by the faithful multitudes of Jews, Christians and Muslims.  Through the evidence presented, it is hoped that the reader will rationally conclude that the Biblical version suffers from obvious contradictions, inconsistencies and logical incongruities, which the Quranic version lacks.  

The Fall in the Bible

            The Biblical story of the fall of Adam and Eve is, not surprisingly, found in the opening chapters of the book of Genesis, the first book of the Hebrew Bible.  Specifically, the fall itself is described in Genesis 3, but the events preceding it are also important to consider.  Hence, for the purposes of this article, we will summarize the story from the very beginning: the creation of Adam.

            According to the story, after creating the heavens and the earth as well as plants and animals, God created Adam in His own image and created Eve from Adam’s rib:

“So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh.  Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.”[2]

Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, enjoying the endless bliss and benefits therein.[3]  However, they were soon tempted by a wily adversary, the serpent.  When questioned by the serpent as to what they were forbidden to eat in the Garden, Eve answered:

“…We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”[4]

At this point, the serpent reassured Eve that they would not die but would rather gain special knowledge of good and evil.  Eve was persuaded by the promptings and ate of the forbidden fruit.  More importantly, she also gave some to Adam who also ate.  As an immediate result, they both realized that they were naked and began to cover themselves.  

            When confronted by God, Adam blamed Eve for giving him the fruit, and Eve blamed the serpent.  The serpent was cursed to crawl on its belly for all time and to live in continuous conflict with mankind.  Eve (and hence all women) was then cursed to suffer the pain of childbirth and to be ruled by her husband:

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children.  Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”[5]

On the other hand, Adam (and hence all men) was blamed for listening to his wife and cursed to toil and work in the earth until death.  Finally, to ensure that Adam and Eve and their progeny would not eat from the tree of life and hence become immortal,[6] God banished them from the Garden of Eden and placed cherubim to guard it.[7]  Hence, Adam and Eve were banished from the safety and bliss of the Garden.  

An Analysis of the Fall

            In the summary above, we have seen that Adam and Eve were persuaded by a serpent to eat of the forbidden fruit, causing their banishment from the Garden of Eden.  It must be pointed out from the start that the Garden of Eden was an earthly domain, and not a heavenly one (seen note #3).  However, the exact location of this “Paradise on earth” is of course not known and no evidence of it has ever been found.[8]  Despite this fact, some Christians still insist that the Garden of Eden actually exists somewhere on the earth![9]  

            While enjoying the limitless benefits of the Garden, Adam and Eve eventually became the targets of the cunning serpent.  Christians have assumed that the serpent was the Devil, yet Genesis clearly shows that the serpent was just one of the many wild animals that God had created before the creation of man:

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made.[10]

This is further attested to by the Jewish historian Josephus:

“But while all the living creatures had one language, at that time the serpent, which then lived together with Adam and his wife, shewed an envious disposition, at his supposal of their living happily, and in obedience to the commands of God; […]

He [God] also deprived the serpent of speech, out of indignation at his malicious disposition towards Adam.  Besides this, he inserted poison under his tongue, and made him an enemy to men.”[11]

In fact, the concept of the Devil is not the same in the Tanakh as it is in the New Testament (or even the Quran).  According to Jewish sources, Satan is actually a messenger/agent of God.[12]  As the Jewish Encyclopedia states:

“Yet it is also evident from the prologue that Satan has no power of independent action, but requires the permission of God, which he may not transgress.  He cannot be regarded, therefore, as an opponent of the Deity…”[13]

It must however be pointed out that the serpent in Genesis is still generally associated by some Jewish authorities with Satan, even though it is clear that it was just one of the many animals that God had created!  Still, he is not regarded as an opponent of God but rather His agent, thereby contradicting the Christian concept.

            Furthermore, there are also problems regarding the tree of knowledge and what it was capable of doing to humans.  When answering the serpent as to what she could and could not eat in the Garden, Eve claimed that God had warned them not to eat from the tree or even touch it because it would cause them to die:

“The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.””[14]

Yet, the serpent assured her that eating from the tree would not cause death:

““You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.””[15]

So, who had told the truth, God or the serpent?  The answer is clear that it was the serpent, for after eating the fruit, Adam and Eve did not die and instead gained special knowledge of good and evil, as even God admitted later![16]  If we assume, as Christians do, that the serpent was Satan (which is not necessarily true), then there is yet another clear contradiction between the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.  As C. Dennis McKinsey points out:

“In essence, in Gen. 3:22 God is saying the serpent told the truth when he said that man would learn good and evil, and Christians must reconcile this with John 8:44…which says that the Devil is incapable of telling the truth.”[17]

            Moving on, as we saw, God was greatly angered at Adam and Eve’s disobedience.  When questioned as to why he had disobeyed God, Adam blamed Eve, who then blamed the serpent.  It is clear from the text that God also blamed Eve for the whole fiasco and only rebuked Adam for listening to her.  This attitude is clearly evident in the New Testament, as seen in the epistle to Timothy:

“And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.  But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.[18]

Noting the unfairness of this one-sided condemnation of Eve, McKinsey observes:

“…Paul not only assigns women a subordinate role but blames all of them for Eve’s transgression, as if Adam were a poor misguided male led by the wiles of an evil female.”[19]

            It is at this point in the story of the fall, Jewish and Christian theologies go their separate ways.  Christians have maintained that the banishment of Adam and Eve was a catastrophe for mankind, as through their rebelliousness, sin and death entered into the world.  According to Paul:

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned…”[20]

This is the Christian concept of original sin and the basis for the idea of redemption through the alleged death and resurrection of Jesus (peace be upon him).  Perhaps no notion in Christendom has faced more criticism than original sin, and for good reason.  First and foremost, only the New Testament teaches the concept of “original sin”.  The Tanakh does not.  In fact, according to well-known verses from the Hebrew Bible, children cannot be punished for the sins of their fathers:

“Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin.”[21]

This is one of the clearest contradictions between the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, yet Christians regard both as scripture!  As McKinsey has rightfully observed:

“If every man is to be put to death for his own sin, then how can Paul justifiably say all must die for what Adam did and Jesus died for what all do?”[22]

Second, would it not be fair to say that the idea that we are “born” sinful because of something we did not even do is the epitome of unfairness?  Is not each person responsible for his/her own actions?  The actions of one person do not and should not have any bearing on others.[23]  Yet, this is exactly what the notion of “original sin” maintains.[24]

            Moreover, the concept of original sin seems to suggest that sin is a genetic trait, which is of course, absurd.  Sin is just an abstract concept.  It cannot be “passed down” from one generation to another.  Some Christian commentators have even theorized that the deaths of infants due to illness or disease are actually evidence of original sin!  For example, in his commentary on the death of David’s son (who was the result of David’s adulterous relationship with Bathsheba), the Christian commentator Matthew Henry made the following claim:

“The diseases and death of infants that have not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, especially as they are sometimes sadly circumstanced, are sensible proofs of the original sin in which they are conceived.”[25]

Given these logical complications, it should not be difficult to reject the concept of original sin.  The injustice associated with such a belief should be clearly evident for all who are willing to see.

            To continue, as we saw in the summary, after God had banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, the Bible states that to ensure that mankind would never eat from the tree of life (and thus achieve immortality), God placed cherubim to guard the Garden and the tree of life, which was different from the tree of knowledge.  This should raise an obvious question.  Did not God already decree that Adam and his progeny would live mortal lives on earth, as a punishment for disobeying Him (Genesis 3:19)?  If that was the case, then why was God so concerned about Adam or his progeny having access to the tree of life that He saw fit to place powerful guards to deter any would-be trespassers?  If God’s will was that Adam and his progeny would live on earth and die, who or what could change that?  Surely, even if mankind could infiltrate the Garden of Eden (assuming it even exists on earth), it could not alter what God has already decreed, even if the fruit of the tree of life was ripe for the taking.  God’s will is absolute and none may transgress it. 

            In closing, our analysis has shown indisputable proof of the internal and external contradictions and inconsistencies found in the Biblical story of Adam and Eve’s fall from the Garden of Eden.  Let us now consider the Quranic version of this story.

The Quranic Story of the Fall

            The story of the fall is found in many places in the Quran and there are major differences between it and the Biblical account, as previously noted.  According to the Quran, after having created the world, Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) informed His angels of His intention to create Adam (peace be upon him):

“Behold!  Thy Lord said to the angels: “I am about to create man, from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape;”[26]

Among the angels was also a jinn named Iblis (Satan) who had been a devoted servant of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) up to that point.[27]  However, when Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) commanded the angels (as well as Iblis) to prostrate to Adam (peace be upon him) as a sign of his superiority to them, all except Iblis obeyed His command:

“‘When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.’  So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together: Not so Iblis: he refused to be among those who prostrated themselves.”[28]

When questioned as to why he had disobeyed Allah’s command, Iblis’ excuse was one of pride:

“(Iblis) said: ‘I am not one to prostrate myself to man, whom Thou didst create from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape.’”[29]

It was this arrogance that led to Iblis’ banishment from Allah’s presence as well as his eternal doom.   However, Iblis was allowed to go free until the Day of Judgment, and to tempt mankind until then.[30]  Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) also declared that all who would follow Iblis would join him in Hell:

“(Allah) said: ‘Then it is just and fitting- and I say what is just and fitting- That I will certainly fill Hell with thee and those that follow thee, everyone.’”[31]

            With Iblis removed from Allah’s presence, Adam and Huwwa (who had been created from his rib[32]) were allowed to live in Paradise (the Garden), but were told not to eat from one specific tree:

“We said: ‘O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as (where and when) ye will; but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression.’”[33]

It was at this point that Iblis saw his first opportunity to exact vengeance against those whom he blamed for his fall.  Whispering to them, Iblis gave them false information about the fruit of the tree and enticed them to disobey their Lord:

“Then began Satan to whisper suggestions to them, bringing openly before their minds all their shame that was hidden from them (before): he said: ‘Your Lord only forbade you this tree, lest ye should become angels or such beings as live forever.  And he swore to them both, that he was their sincere adviser.”[34]

Having eaten the fruit, they immediately realized their nakedness and clothed themselves.  Angered by their disobedience, Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) declared to Adam and Huwwa that they would henceforth be banished from Paradise and would instead be sent to earth to live out their lives for an appointed term:

“So by deceit he brought about their fall: when they tasted of the tree, their shame became manifest to them, and they began to sew together the leaves of the garden over their bodies. And their Lord called unto them: ‘Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell you that Satan was an avowed enemy unto you?’  They said: ‘Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls: If thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost.’  (Allah) said: ‘Get ye down. With enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood, for a time.’ He said: ‘Therein shall ye live, and therein shall ye die; but from it shall ye be taken out (at last).’”[35]

            Overcome with remorse for having disobeyed their Lord, Adam and Huwwa sought forgiveness.  The Quran reveals that in His mercy, Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) indeed forgave them for their sins and promised to send His guidance upon them and their progeny as they lived out their lives on earth:

“Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.  We said: ‘Get ye down all from here; and if, as is sure, there comes to you Guidance from me, whosoever follows My guidance, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.  But those who reject Faith and belie Our Signs, they shall be companions of the Fire; they shall abide therein.”[36]

Such was Adam and Huwwa’s fall from Paradise, according to the Quran.  Let us now compare this version with that of the Bible.

Comparing the Biblical and Quranic Versions

            Upon comparing the Quranic version to the Biblical one, we can clearly see several major differences.  We can also see that the Quranic version does not suffer from the difficulties of the Biblical story.  

            First, while the Bible claims that the Garden of Eden was on earth, the Quran states that it was actually Paradise itself (the “Garden”).  If the former were true, then we must ask why the Garden of Eden has never been found.  No evidence of its existence has ever been documented.  

            Second, while the Bible claims that a serpent, one of the animals which also lived in the Garden of Eden, was the one responsible for causing Adam and Eve’s fall, the Quran states unequivocally that it was Iblis (Satan) who was responsible.  In addition, while the Quran shows that Iblis lied to Adam and Huwwa about the forbidden tree, the Bible claims that the serpent actually spoke the truth and that God was the one who gave false information to Adam and Eve!  

            Third, while the Bible puts the blame for the fall squarely on the shoulders of Eve (for being the one that was tempted and tempting Adam in turn), the Quran puts the blame on both Adam and Huwwa.  They both listened to Iblis and they both ate of their own free will from the tree.  As for which of them was the first to eat of the fruit, the ahadith show that it was Huwwa:

“Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Had it not been for Bani Isra’il, food would not have become stale, and meal would not have gone bad; and had it not been for Eve, a woman would never have acted unfaithfully toward her husband.”[37]

Commenting on this hadith, Abdul Hamid Siddiqi states:

“Satan in fact offered temptation to both Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit and both fell victim to the snare laid down by him.  Adam was somewhat reluctant, but when Eve, due to her temperament, showed inclination to eat that fruit, Adam too could not resist the temptation, and he also yielded to it like Eve.”[38]

So, the hadith is referring to Eve’s influence on Adam, which was a type of betrayal because he was initially reluctant.  Even so, she did not suggest it to him but was merely the first to show an interest.  As a result, Adam too took Satan’s bait and thus both sinned.  Hence, they were both to blame individually. 

            Fourth, while the Bible (or at least the New Testament) regards the fall as the moment that sin and death entered into the world (thereby requiring the blood sacrifice of Jesus), the Quran rejects such a concept.  Like the Tanakh, the Quran does not acknowledge or teach the concept of original sin.[39]  Instead, the Quran teaches that each individual is responsible for his/her own sins, as shown in the following verses (and many others):

“On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns. […]”[40]

“If any one does evil or wrongs his own soul but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”[41]

In relation to this subject, some people may make the following counter-argument:

If it is true that each individual is responsible for his/her own sins, then why were Adam and Eve’s descendants born on earth and not in Paradise? Was it not because of Adam and Eve’s sin that humanity does not live in Paradise, but on the earth?  Is that not an example of punishing the descendants for something their parents did?

In other words, the argument is that the descendants of Adam and Huwwa (all human beings) are unfairly and unjustly forced to suffer for the sins of our ancestors.  We are forced to live and die on earth, instead of enjoying the good life in Paradise all because of our famous ancestors.  Yet, this argument is very easily refuted.  The answer to these questions is simple: God had willed from the start that mankind was to live on earth, after which every person would be judged according to his/her faith and deeds.   According to a well-known hadith, Adam and Musa (Moses) had an argument with each other:

“Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: There was [an] argument between Adam and Moses, and Adam came the better of Moses. Moses said to him: You are the same Adam who misled people, and caused them to get out of Paradise. Adam said: You are the same (Moses) whom Allah endowed the knowledge of everything and selected him amongst the people as His Messenger. He said: Yes. Adam then again said: Even then you blame me for an affair which had been ordained for me before I was created.”[42]

Commenting on this hadith, Abdul Hamid Siddiqi has stated:

“This means that Adam was sent from heaven to the earth according to a preconceived Plan of Allah and it was not something accidental.”[43]

Further proof is shown in the Quran itself, which mentions when Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) informed the angels of the imminent creation of Adam and intended to place him on earth:

“Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I will create a vicegerent on earth.” They said: “Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood, whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?” He said: “I know what ye know not.””[44]

So, no matter what would have happened, we were destined to be on earth.  Even if Adam and Huwwa had not sinned, they would still have been placed on earth eventually.  The important point is that we are not blamed for their sins and are not held responsible for them.  Everyone is born with a clean slate.  Adam and Huwwa were responsible for their own sins and we are responsible for ours.

Conclusion            

            In this article, we have studied the Biblical and Quranic versions of the fall of Adam and Eve.  Upon comparison of the two versions, major differences can be readily observed.  More importantly, while the Biblical version suffers from indisputable contradictions and irrationalities, the Quranic version lacks any such difficulties.  Having considered the evidence, faithful Jews and Christians should ask the obvious question: which version makes more sense and is more worthy of acceptance?  The answer should also be obvious, as the details mentioned above clearly demonstrate.

            And Allah knows best!


[1] Eve is known as “Huwwa” in Arabic.

[2] Genesis 2:21-22 (New International Version).  On a related note, the creation story as found in the Bible has been the subject of fierce debates between believers and skeptics.  It will be the topic of a future article, inshaAllah, but is outside the scope of the present article.

[3] Genesis 2:8 states that God had planted a garden in Eden.  This garden was on earth and had four rivers flowing out of it: Pishon, Gihon, Tigris and Euphrates.  Josephus associates the Pishon with the Ganges river in India and the Gihon with the Nile (Antiquities of the Jews, 1:1).

[4] Genesis 3:2-3.

[5] Genesis 3:16.

[6] The “tree of life” is different from the “tree of knowledge” as Genesis 2:9 states: “In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

[7] According to Strong’s Concordance, cherubim were angelic beings (http://biblehub.com/strongs/hebrew/3742.htm).

[8] As we will see later, the Biblical claim that the Garden of Eden was on earth is contradicted by the Quran, and for good reason.

[9] http://carm.org/garden-of-eden

[10] Genesis 3:1.

[11] Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 1:1.  As we will see, the Quran clearly identifies Satan as the one who tempted Adam and Eve, and not an animal like the serpent.

[12] http://www.jewishanswers.org/ask-the-rabbi-2566/the-jewish-view-of-satan/?p=2566

[13] http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13219-satan

[14] Genesis 3:2-3.

[15] Genesis 3:4-5.

[16] Genesis 3:22 states:

“And the LORD God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.’”

[17] C. Dennis McKinsey, The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy (New York: Prometheus Books, 1995), p. 358. 

John 8:44 is well-known for making the statement that Satan is the “father of lies”:

“…He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

[18] 1 Timothy 2:14-15.  As we will see later, this is in stark contrast to the Quran, which is more balanced in the blame put on Adam and Eve.

[19] McKinsey, op. cit., p. 205.

[20] Romans 5:12.

[21] Deuteronomy 24:16.  Also, see Ezekiel 18.

[22] McKinsey, op. cit., p. 386.

[23] This is the Quranic position regarding sin, as we will see.

[24] In the opinion of the author, it is one of the most unjust theological ideas ever suggested by the mind of man.

[25] http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/matthew-henry/2Sam.12.15-2Sam.12.25

[26] Surah Al-Hijr, 15:28 (Yusuf Ali Translation).

[27] The jinn are a separate creation from angels and humans and had been created before humans.  See Surah Al-Hijr, 15:27.

[28] Surah Al-Hijr, 15:29-31.

[29] Surah Al-Hijr, 15:33.

[30] Surah Al-Hijr, 15:34-43.

[31] Surah Sad, 38:85.

[32] Sahih Muslim, Book 8, Number 3467.

[33] Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:35.  Also see Surah Al-Araf, 7:19.  Notice that Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) simply warned them that eating from the tree would lead to some “harm”.  This is a far cry from the false threat of death, as found in the Genesis account.

[34] Surah Al-Araf, 7:20-21.  Note the clear statement that Iblis tempted both Adam and Huwwa, as opposed to the Genesis account, which claims that Eve was the one who was tempted and in turn tempted Adam herself.

[35] Surah Al-Araf, 7:22-25.  This verse illustrates clearly that the “Garden” was not on earth.  Instead, it was literally Paradise.

[36] Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:37-39.  Contrast this with Paul’s claim that through their actions, sin entered into the world.  Hence all have sinned even before they are born.

[37] Sahih Muslim, Book 8, Number 3472.

[38] Sahih Muslim, Volume 2, fn. 1928, p. 753.

[39] For an excellent discussion on this topic, see Suzanne Haneef, The History of the Prophets of Islam: Derived from the Quran, Ahadith and Commentaries (Chicago: Kazi Publications, Inc., 2002), Volume 1, pp. 45-47.

[40] Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:286.

[41] Surah An-Nisa, 4:110.

[42] Sahih Muslim, Book 33, Number 6410.

[43] Sahih Muslim, Volume 4, fn. 2897, p. 1396.

[44] Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:30.

25 thoughts on “The Fall of Adam and Eve in the Bible and the Quran

  1. CHILDREN AND ORIGINAL SIN? BY STEVE FINNELL

    Some theologians believe that all men are born with the guilt of Adam's sin. They believe all men are guilty of original sin and therefore are totally depraved at birth. They believe infants need to be forgiven for Adam's sin.

    1. There no mention of original sin in Scripture.
    2. There no Scripture that speaks of baptizing infants to wash away the guilt of Adam's sin.
    3. There is no Biblical reference of any infant nor of any adult being guilty of inherited sin.

    JESUS AND CHILDREN

    Matthew 18:2-3 And Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.(NKJV)

    Was Jesus saying you have to be totally depraved like theses little children to enter the kingdom of heaven?

    Jesus was not baptizing infants and little children for the forgiveness of original sin.

    John the Baptists was baptizing adults for the forgiveness of sins, after they repented. Infants and little children have no sin for which they need to repent. Even adults cannot repent for the sin of Adam and Eve.

    There were no denominational churches baptizing infants and little children while Jesus walked the earth, yet Jesus said become as little children to enter the kingdom of heaven.

    Original sin inherited from Adam is a doctrine invented by men.

    Men are guilty of the sin they themselves commit.

    Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (NKJV)

    Men are sinners because they sin, not because Adam sinned.

    James 2:9-11 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by law as transgressors……(NKJV)

    When men transgress God's law they are guilty of sin. What law do infants break by being born? Infants are not transgressors of God's law. Infants are not sinners nor are they guilty of Adam's transgression.

    1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. (NKJV)

    Sin is committed. Sin is not inherited.

    James 1:14-15 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (NKJV)

    Are infants tempted in their mothers womb and sin before they are born? Of course not. Sin is committed by those capable of understanding right from wrong. Sin is committed by those who understand they are sinning against God.

    John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.(NKJV)

    Jesus did not say children are a slave to sin because they are guilty of original sin.

    Jesus did not say you need to be baptized as infants so original sin can be washed away.

    If men spend eternity in hell it will be because of unrepentant, unforgiven sins they have committed.

    Not one person will go to hell because of the sin Adam committed.

    The doctrine of original sin and the total depravity of man is man-made doctrine.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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  2. Hello Steve. Welcome to the blog and thank you for your comments. I am unable to write a full response to your article at this time, but I would just like to make a couple of points. You claim that there is nothing in the Bible that mentions original sin. For the most part, you are right. It is certainly a man-made doctrine. But your claim is not entirely correct, for as I mentioned in my article, Paul clearly stated in Romans 5:12 that sin entered the world through Adam:

    “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned…”

    This is a very clear reference to original sin. And according to Paul, it is because of original sin that God allegedly came in human form to die for our sins. He also says that if we do not accept God's sacrifice, then we have no chance at attaining salvation because we are still tainted by original sin.

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  3. Adam (peace be upon him) was a human being. He was capable of making mistakes, like we all are. It was not a deliberate act of disobedience. A prophet can make mistakes. That doesn't make him any less of a prophet.

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  4. see we christain dont need ur approval we know jesus is son of god n thtz enough coz we seen many miracles in churches in jesus name many cancer patients healed n many peoples say tht their problems had solved in jesus name…….v dnt care what quran says abt jesus n bible…..

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  5. You are the one who is confused, buddy. As I said, a prophet is still a human being. They can still make mistakes. That is what Adam did. He made a mistake, and he was repentant. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) is merciful. He forgave Adam. Alhamdulillah! All praise is due to Allah!

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  6. LOL! The fact that you have not even attempted to respond to the actual article itself (which highlights the holes in the Biblical story), but instead have resorted to hostile comments shows that you are incapable of having a rational discussion. The articles on this blog are written for people with brains. They are written for people who can think critically and discuss rationally. You are incapable of that. I could care less what you believe. You can believe whatever you want. It doesn't make it true. Hindus believe that their “god” has existed in many forms, whether that of a monkey or an elephant. It doesn't mean their beliefs are true.

    Your so-called “miracles in churches” are just tricks by liars to deceive the feeble-minded. You are clearly a feeble-minded person. Ask yourself: if these people really are capable of “healing” cancer patients, then why aren't they in hospitals helping the sick get better? What better way is there to prove that they are bona fide “healers”? If you think about this rationally, you will realize that they are simply frauds who prey on the gullible. See the following 😉

    http://collectivelyconscious.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/you-dont-see-faith-healers-working-in-hospitals-for-the-same-reason-you-dont-see.jpg

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  7. i say i dnt care wht u says n quran says abt us…. bcoz earlier i was a “kattar hindu” ……i realize n feel d power of christ..in my lyf n i see many miracles in my lyf .den. i aceeept d christ in my lyf….there r many testimonies people r giving abt jesus not for muhhamad

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  8. And I said that I don't care what you believe. You are simple-minded fool who gets impressed by magic tricks. It doesn't surprise me that you don't answer my questions and instead try to change the subject! How funny! You won't answer my questions because you know you don't have an answer. So, like a coward, you try to change topics.

    Answer my question: If your so-called “healers” are performing miracles, then why don't they go to hospitals to “heal” all the sick people?

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  9. All of these issues have been dealt with by others in detail. The Prophet's marriage to Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) was not unusual in 7th century Arabia. In fact, it was unusual anywhere in the world at the time. How old do you think Mary (peace be upon her) was when she married Joseph? The answer might surprise you!

    Regarding the 72 virgins, read the following article:

    http://www.letmeturnthetables.com/2011/12/72-virgins-does-allah-swt-give-sexual.html

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    1. arjun

      Greetings in the name Of Our Creator JESUS… dear brother im from INDIA. Here so many muslims believd in christ n accepted as GOD N SAVIOUR. So u plz accpet him. not quran Jesus only Bible Jesus. 09652358956

      Like

      1. Jesus is not the Creator. You are committing idolatry just like Hindus. Jesus prayed to God, so he is God’s servant.

        Millions of people worldwide are leaving Christianity. The number of people who leave Islam is very small by contrast.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. John 8:37  I know that ye are *Abraham's seed*; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
    38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
    39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
    40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
    41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
    42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
    43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
    John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

    Jesus was talking about Abraham and not Satan vide John 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed

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    1. mr.heathcliff

      the question is an interesting one, if adam had three persons from the trinity to play with and had fellowship with them, what requirement of eve? And why text says god used to pop around if he was always around?

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  11. Pingback: Islam, Jack Chick and the Battle for Souls – “Allah Had No Son” – The Quran and Bible Blog

  12. Pingback: Islam, Jack Chick and the Battle for Souls – “Camel’s in the Tent” – The Quran and Bible Blog

  13. mr.heathcliff

    “The Bible story is all about the presence of God. We see it from Genesis to Revelation. The covenant was about His presence; the Temple was about His presence; Jesus was about His presence; the Holy Spirit is about His presence, as is the Church. And in Revelation 22.3-5, the biggest deal is that God will be forever present.

    The greatest loss for Adam & Eve was not Paradise, it was access to God’s presence.”

    I don’t see much in Genesis 2-3 which suggests that losing God’s presence — or having ever been in his presence to begin with — was an intended theme/claim at all. Really, there are 3 or 4 things that we might take as evidence against this.

    For one, from Genesis 2:8 and other texts, we don’t get the impression that the garden was really God’s “home base.” It didn’t even exist before the creation of Adam: “the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed.”

    Second, if Adam had originally been in God’s presence, and this was presumably sufficient for his happiness and well-being, etc., why does Genesis 2:18 characterize Adam as being “alone” and lacking?

    Genesis 3:8 might also reinforce 2:8, etc., giving the impression that the garden is something that God only visited, not resided in. It quite literally uses the phrase “presence of the Lord God,” too; though also note the anthropomorphism in 3:7. Hermann Gunkel makes reference to an Egyptian story from the Turin papyrus — plates 31-77 or so, on obtaining the secret name of Re — which may be of some relevance here. Also, on Gen. 3:8, even Leon Kass writes that “[t]his is the first explicit mention that any human being really attended to or even noticed the divine presence.”

    Further, the punishments that God ordains are all just standard aspects of life: labor pains and agricultural toil and so on. I don’t see how these have anything to do with God or God’s presence.

    Finally, God’s expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden seems like it was just a practical measure, and had nothing to do with losing the privilege of being in God’s presence. Again, like the other punishments, this was just an etiology to explain why humans aren’t immortal. (Immortality may have been something the gods possess, by their very nature; but it’s the tree that represented the potential for humans attaining/usurping this.)

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  14. mr.heathcliff

    “Genesis 1-2 is a temple text”

    Right away, we should be cautious about meshing the two chapters together as “one” text. The chapters are infamously understood to have been at some degree of independence from one another (and indeed in tension) at several points.

    In any case, one of the reasons Genesis 1 is ascribed to the “Priestly” source is precisely because of some of the lexical and conceptual connections with the temple cult, etc. But in terms of standard scholarly analysis, Genesis 2:4 typically marks the beginning of a separate source. Most notably, the seven-day structure doesn’t appear at all here.

    “The terms used in Gn. 2.15 (“work” and “care for”) are priestly terms, not agricultural ones.”

    Whoa, okay, I don’t know where you’re getting your information from, but that’s a straight-up misrepresentation. עָבַד and שָׁמַר are both very common verbs in the Hebrew Bible. The latter word is so general that I’ve not sure if we can say anything about it at all, other than it denotes keeping. (That it’s a reference to the priestly cult in particular is probably no more plausible than Gunkel’s suggestion that the mandate of 2:15 was to guard the garden specifically from demonic incursion.)

    Together with the former word, though, Genesis 2:15 almost certainly just suggests maintenance (which, again, is super general) and/or, more specifically, cultivation. The latter is certainly the sense we get from עָבַד’s use in Genesis 2:5; 3:23; 4:2, 12, too; and we find the exact same phrase from Genesis 2:5; 3:23, etc. in 1 Chronicles 27:26 as well.

    “Humanity was not the slave of the gods (as in other contemporaneous cultures), but instead in the Bible priests and priestesses, to engage with God in relationship, to manage sacred space, and to do what was necessary to maintain God’s presence among the people”

    It shouldn’t escape notice that עָבַד in Gen. 2:15 is literally the verb for “serve” or to be a slave. Now, the exact background of Adam maintaining God’s garden is unclear. It’s worth noting, though, that in some of the closest ancient Near Eastern parallels to this, the creation of humans is not just for temple service, but for a broader development of culture, and indeed agriculture. If Genesis 2:15 is a kind of de-mythologized version of this, it’s de-mythologized it so much that it’s hard to tell what exactly the purpose of this was at all. But I still think that, going by what we have, it’s very hard to say that this maintenance was even intended to be in service to God at all.

    To add to that, the perspective of Genesis 2-3 itself is that Adam and Eve are clearly alone in the garden, so they can’t at this juncture “maintain God’s presence among the people” or anything like that.

    To sum up, it’s probably safest to say that the mandate in Gen. 2:15 wasn’t for any particular greater purpose at all. If anything, the impetus behind this tradition was probably just naively literal: that if humans were going to live in a garden, they’d probably need to do some upkeep. It may simply preempt the idea — having already been hinted at in Gen. 2:5, and to be developed in 3:19 and 3:23 — that agriculture is a standard part of human existence; though it may also suggest easier labor, which was soon to become more difficult. (See also Genesis 4:2, 12 here. In terms of major commentators, Hamilton and [mostly] Westermann don’t really draw any broader conclusions from Genesis 2:15, either.)

    So to sum up what you said in response to what I wrote about Genesis 2:8, at some point it seems you agree that God doesn’t reside primarily in the garden proper, but rather that the garden is adjacent to God’s real home/sanctuary, in Eden. But at other points you seemed to suggest that the garden is the locus of God’s presence, though.

    Honestly, you still seem to be so wrapped up in seeing the narrative through a lens of (quite specific) symbolism that you’re actually failing to read the narrative as it is — missing the trees for the forest in a sense. But we should always make sure the finer details of narratives help us construct and confirm the larger contextual lens through which we might see the narrative, before just insisting that it simply must be seen through such a lens, details be damned.

    As for specifics in your response about Genesis 2:8:

    I’m open to — though not sold on — the idea that God might have been thought to live in Eden somehow; though I’m still not sold on his presence being concentrated in the garden. Again, as I suggested, I’m more inclined toward the view that God “visits” the garden, so to speak. More on that later; but for now, here are a few major commentators on Genesis 2:8:

    Westermann writes

    The garden God planted to provide for his people has nothing to do with a garden of God (or of the gods) or with what is popularly called paradise. As Vriezen has remarked there can be no question of a garden of God because this garden was planted by God only after the creation of human beings and is meant for them alone.

    Hamilton notes the presence at various places in the Hebrew Bible of the phrases/concepts of the “garden of Yahweh” (Gen. 13:10; Isa. 51:3) and “garden of God” (Ezek. 28:13; 31:9); but he also suggests

    The writer of Gen. 2 does not use any such phrase, perhaps to refrain from giving the impression that this garden is where God lives. He is its planter, but not its occupant.

    Finally, Gunkel proposes that a pre-written stage, oases — “outward-sprouting wildernesses in the midst of infertile land” — were believed by Israelites to be areas where the spirit of God lived, but that “[b]ecause of an aversion to the mythological, this concept is no longer explicitly stated in [Genesis] 2, but it is still assumed in 3:8, where God strolls in the garden.”

    Adam is placed in the garden which God plants; but nothing in Genesis 2 indicates that this was done specifically so that he could be “brought into God’s presence” or anything.

    And on that note, interestingly, in his essay “The Story Of Paradise In The Light Of Mesopotamian Culture And Literature,” A. Van Der Kooij takes a closer look at the neglected detail (Gen. 2:8, 15) of God’s taking Adam and placing him in the Garden — “in the east” — within its broader ANE context. He compares this to the translation of Utnapishtim in Gilgamesh, Ziusudra in Sumerian sources, and even makes the connection to the Greek blessed/fortunate isles. But one thing to note here is that it’s not at all clear that these privileged persons were brought (in)to the home/presence of the gods. Rather, these were special locations for humans to reside on their own.

    (Also interestingly, with reference to Stordalen’s Echoes of Eden and Dietrich’s “Das biblische Paradies und der babylonische Tempelgarte,” Van Der Kooij discusses three different types of gardens that were potentially the closest background for the garden of Eden: royal gardens, cultic/Temple gardens, and “mythic” gardens, like the Jewel Garden in Gilgamesh.)

    I’m already running out of space, so to cut it short, I think many scholars would agree that there’s little evidence — and in fact some negative evidence — to suggest that “[t]he garden next to Eden was not where humans lived, but . . . the place of reception of the humans into fellowship with God in God’s own dwelling place,” as you said. Certainly the existence of (horti)culture and the motif of nourishment suggests a longer stay for Adam and Eve in the garden.

    I won’t really say anything about Genesis 2:18, for one because I didn’t put a whole lot of weight on that particular objection to begin with, but also because I don’t think your response really contributed to your larger argument either. Again though, in Gen. 2:18ff., it looks like Adam was simply being prepared for mundane aspects of human life here, and not for entry into God’s presence or anything like that.

    As for 3:8,

    “This is an anthropomorphism. God doesn’t actually (physically) WALK anywhere.”

    was a strange response — to an argument I didn’t make. Not only did I myself mention the “anthropomorphism in 3:7” (I meant 3:8), but my argument here was over whether God resided in the garden permanently or (visited) occasionally, not about whether God was corporeal or not.

    I agree that the “wind/breeze of the day” is a bit unusual — although not as much as some make it out to be — though this still seems to suggest that God had a particular time of day when he’d stroll through the garden. This may not only be similar to, say, a king simply visiting a garden adjoining the palace, but could also suggest that (being in) God’s presence wasn’t really as profound as it may seem.

    As for

    “The expulsion from the Garden, however, does have everything to do with God’s presence. The Fall is defined by the fact that Adam and Eve acquired wisdom illegitimately and tried to take God’s role for themselves rather than eventually joining God in his role as they were taught wisdom…”

    , I’m very quickly running out of space, so I’ll try to respond as succinctly as possible.

    Adam and Eve’s acquisition of wisdom wasn’t some usurping of or assault on divine prerogatives, but again just rote etiology — here portrayed as a kind of underdog acquisition; but again, etiologically, an acquisition of what humans have always had (which also diminishes the ethical coloring of its “sinfulness,” etc.). It’s undeniably parallel to the Babel narrative in this regard, as I’ve discussed at length here.

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  15. mr.heathcliff

    I think the evidence suggests that in both Gen. 3 and 11, God is somewhat of the antagonist, or at best a sort inscrutable figure — one always at a distance from humans, despite their creation in his image (whatever that was supposed to mean exactly). In this regard, then, it’s counter-intuitive that in Gen. 3, this was all about the “reception of the humans into fellowship with God” or anything.

    I think you’re overlooking how much the last verses of Genesis 3 are exclusively about immortality — and also what they imply about Adam and Eve’s acquisition of knowledge. It’s not that God felt that Adam and Eve had forfeited their right to the divine presence. It’s that, having already become semi-godlike in attaining knowledge, they were now dangerously close to becoming even more godlike in their acquisition of immortality. Again, like in Genesis 11, the threat was more practical than ethical.

    But from the perspective of an ancient Israelite who had it in mind to craft a narrative like Genesis 2-3, there had always been a divide between human nature and divine nature, from the dawn of time. So the ultimate outcome of Genesis 2-3 was already decided in advance, before they even set pen to papyrus at all: humans were wise like the gods, but (unlike the gods) mortal.

    Consequently, how exactly the Genesis narrative arrived at this state of affairs was ultimately arbitrary. But it was a state of affairs that was never intended to be reversed; thus “he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life” — not to prohibit them from “the resting place for the deity’s invisible presence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stewjo004

      @ tony

      It is an interesting premise, the who “fall of man” in the Biblical text really doesn’t have anything to do with being “out of God’s presence” so I would have to research it more but some good points raised. Also, man the Jews made up a lot of crap.

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  16. mr.heathcliff

    if john was jew , how come he did not understand the literary stuff in his own language?

    quote:
    A common translation of Psalm 22:18 reads “they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots” (ESV). But actually, contrary to what the conjunction “and” may imply in this, it’s not really describing two different actions at all here. Instead, these two things are in fact one and the same, simply repeated poetically. We can see this reflected in many English translations, which remove the conjunction:

    “They divide my clothes among themselves, casting lots for my garments” (NJPS)

    [“dividing my clothes” and “casting lots” is the same thing, the same action “dividing my clothes” is being repeated as “casting lots”]

    ; “They are dividing up my clothes among themselves; they are rolling dice for my garments” (NET); “They divide my clothing among themselves; they cast lots for my clothing!” (ISV).
    Some translations are even more unambiguous about this, collapsing the two clauses into one: “They gamble for my clothes and divide them among themselves” (GNT); “They took my clothes and gambled for them” (CEV).
    Also worth noting, though, is that in the original Hebrew of Psalm 22:18, the first word “my garments” is plural (בְגָדַי), while the parallel word to this in the second part is actually singular לְבוּשׁ — which is either a kind of collective singular “clothing,” or sometimes a true singular “tunic” or “robe.” This is reflected in the Septuagint, too, using plural (τὰ) ἱμάτια and then singular ἱματισμός.
    Again, I mention all of this because of what the gospel of John has here in its unique version of the crucifixion narrative:
    23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments [τὰ ἱμάτια] — dividing [actually just ἐποίησαν] them into four parts, one for each soldier — and the tunic [χιτών]. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. 24 So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill what the scripture says, “They divided my garments among themselves, and for my clothing/tunic/robe they cast lots.” (John 19:23-24)
    Instead of understanding just one single act of his garments being divided up by casting lots, then, it actually takes Psalm 22:18 hyper-literally, (mis)interpreting it such that there were two acts: quite literally dividing his garments evenly (“into four parts”), but then casting lots for a singular tunic.

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