Lack of Divine Foresight

What do they believe? What do you think? Talk about religion as it exists today.
Mask
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Re: Lack of Divine Foresight

Post by Mask »

A couple of thoughts on the OP that I hope are helpful. Bear with me!

We do not know what the final editing sequence of the OT texts was. This means we cannot track dependence and influence between them. Indeed, it is crucial to pick up on the sense of narrative in the way things were read. Genesis 1 and 2 are written as the start of a project, with a definite climax in mind.

Just as a child can have a family likeness in which the grandchild reminds you of a grandparent, so the grandparent will remind you of the grandchild. Indeed, you might see things in the grandparent which you hadn't noticed before.

What has any of this got to do with the OP???

Genesis 2,3 sees the Jahwist author(s), writing most likely around the time of the Babylonian captivity, answering the question “Why are we in exile from Israel?” with “Because we sinned against God”. Similarly, “Why are we in exile from Eden?” gets answered with “Because we sinned against God”. The accounts are to some extent interdependent and related.

The question of _why_ we are allowed to sin has been notably avoided throughout the Bible. The Bible ends up written as an interdependent narrative- 'this is what happened'; with the NT writers later happily seeing Jesus as the climax to the narrative.
Mask
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Re: Lack of Divine Foresight

Post by Mask »

A couple of thoughts on the OP that I hope are helpful. Bear with me!

We do not know what the final editing sequence of the OT texts was. This means we cannot track dependence and influence between them. Indeed, it is crucial to pick up on the sense of narrative in the way things were read. Genesis 1 and 2 are written as the start of a project, with a definite goal in mind.

Just as a child can have a family likeness in which the grandchild reminds you of a grandparent, so the grandparent will remind you of the grandchild. Indeed, you might see things in the grandparent which you hadn't noticed before.

What has any of this got to do with the OP???

Genesis 2,3, in which the Jahwist author(s) writing most likely around the time of the Babylonian captivity would have been answering the question “Why are we in exile from Israel?” with “Because we sinned against God”. Similarly, “Why are we in exile from Eden?” is answered with “Because we sinned against God”.

The question of why we are allowed to sin has been notably avoided throughout the Bible. It is written as an interdependent narrative- 'this is what happened'; with the NT writers eagerly seeing Jesus as the climax to the narrative.
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Peter Kirby
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Re: Lack of Divine Foresight

Post by Peter Kirby »

Mask wrote: Sun Oct 24, 2021 8:14 am A couple of thoughts on the OP that I hope are helpful. Bear with me!

We do not know what the final editing sequence of the OT texts was. This means we cannot track dependence and influence between them. Indeed, it is crucial to pick up on the sense of narrative in the way things were read. Genesis 1 and 2 are written as the start of a project, with a definite climax in mind.

Just as a child can have a family likeness in which the grandchild reminds you of a grandparent, so the grandparent will remind you of the grandchild. Indeed, you might see things in the grandparent which you hadn't noticed before.

What has any of this got to do with the OP???

Genesis 2,3 sees the Jahwist author(s), writing most likely around the time of the Babylonian captivity, answering the question “Why are we in exile from Israel?” with “Because we sinned against God”. Similarly, “Why are we in exile from Eden?” gets answered with “Because we sinned against God”. The accounts are to some extent interdependent and related.

The question of _why_ we are allowed to sin has been notably avoided throughout the Bible. The Bible ends up written as an interdependent narrative- 'this is what happened'; with the NT writers later happily seeing Jesus as the climax to the narrative.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Lack of Divine Foresight

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Genesis 2,3, in which the Jahwist author(s) writing most likely around the time of the Babylonian captivity would have been answering the question “Why are we in exile from Israel?” with “Because we sinned against God”. Similarly, “Why are we in exile from Eden?” is answered with “Because we sinned against God”.
This is more of the approach that I was looking for. By this analogy, Pardes = the land around Gerizim as the Samaritans have it.
"The Place where Abraham offered Isaac, according to the tradition of the Samaritans, is a little rock-sunk trench at the southeast corner of the plateau, on the summit of Gerizim. It resembles the trough used for the Passover feast, and measures about 8 feet by 5 feet. A semicircular flight of seven steps (traditionally called the Seven Steps of Adam out of Paradise) leads down in this direction from the west". --- The Palestine Exploration Fund report of 1872 and 1875 provided a description of the altar (SWP Vol 2 p 188).
In other words, the cult of Israel was celebrated at the very place Adam 'descended.' The Samaritans still hold that the visible mountain only shows the bottom 'base' of the original mountain which reached to heaven itself. The Marcionites seem to have held that Jesus came down from this mountain top to Gerizim (cf Ephrem Against Marcion where various statements about Moses's association with the mountain of this descent).

But still even if this is true, how does one justify God's role in the narrative? On the one hand God - if he is God - must have known that Adam would sin.
Vinnie
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Re: Lack of Divine Foresight

Post by Vinnie »

I'd say Adam and Eve's expulsion from the garden represents Israel during the Exile. Parts of the story probably stem from a time when God was viewed in a more primitive fashion. The Bible reflects the background knowledge of the time it was written.
Mask
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Re: Lack of Divine Foresight

Post by Mask »

Agree with the Adam/Israel link.

To the authors of the final version of Genesis 3, their approach would have been that represented in, say, Isaiah 40 (whole chapter), or Job. God says, “This may all seem rather unpleasant and unfair, but work with the idea that I know things you don't and understand things you can't. I have a plan, I will solve the problems.”

The problems were not just that of exile from Eden, but that Israel's attempts to be faithful to God had repeatedly failed and they in turn were in exile from Israel.

The NT writers built on that foundation, but added the belief that God's plan had been revealed, and Jesus had solved the problems, both ending the exile of Israel and the problems of sin and death.

That then leads to your question of why there was a problem in the first place. Neither group was much interested in that, because they trusted God and His solution. A Biblical approach doesn't reveal answers, because no-one is asking the question.

Given that Eden/Adam/Eve are symbolical, one needs to rewrite your question to deal with concepts rather than realities. Perhaps sin + repentance > perfect control. For example, God in Time Bandits says “I think it has something to do with free will”. The writer of 'Adam lay ybounden' works a similar theme:

Just beautiful

Perhaps allowing the apple to be taken allows a new level of glory?
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Thomas R
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Re: Lack of Divine Foresight

Post by Thomas R »

Secret Alias wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 9:52 am How do we account for God not knowing that Adam and Eve would sin in the Garden? Either he didn't know or he wanted them to sin. Otherwise couldn't he have come up with a plan which prevented the Fall? Hard to get around the libertine reading of Genesis i.e. sinning was necessary. Or do we accept the Pentateuch was badly written where the authors ignored the consequences of their narrative.
The simple explanation is that the author of the text did not expect God to be omnipotent as you do.
Mask
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Re: Lack of Divine Foresight

Post by Mask »

Surely the final set of authors believed God was omnipotent?

They were trying to tell a story- or rather two versions of the same story. Their line was 'God has a plan'. Allowing humanity/Israel to choose the bad option was an essential part of that story.

Paul talks a lot about it in Romans 5.
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