Adam and Eve were immortal before the Fall
But the tree existed before they ate the fruit which as I understand caused humans to not only be kicked out of paradise and to have to work the land and have pain during child birth... but also death.
If you read the pertinent section of Genesis closely, you will see that it does not state anywhere that Adam and/or Eve were immortal. It doesn't even imply it. To the shock of absolutely no one here at WWGHA, this has led to all kinds of disagreement (among believers and nonbelievers alike) about whether they were immortal at first, and if so, whether the tree had anything to do with it.
For all we know, maybe they were already eating from the tree of life...do we know they were not? Maybe it's like the sort of potion which keeps you alive and youthful indefinitely as long as you keep taking it. With their banishment from Eden, thus no access to the tree of life, they would continue on to age & die?
Makes as much sense as anything else.
Yes, it does, and that's the view that some people do take -- I think our own Graybeard is one of them, IIRC.
Indeed, that is my take on Genesis (I don’t know why I haven’t seen this thread before!) Genesis is a really interesting folk-tale, not least because it is written by several authors trying to get their stories straight, but because it explains the Yahwist death cult. I say that as the entire premise of the Bible is “Bad life here- good life after death in Paradise.”
Firstly, you have to see that the threat “Then you will surely die.
” Could not mean, “You will drop dead here and now.” – the authors, peasants as they were, were not stupid and would not kill off the hero and heroine before they populated the world. Thus, “Then you will surely die.” presents us with the logical conclusion of the immortality of Adam and Eve.
The Tree of Life was no good to them - they were already immortal, but the Tree of Life is introduced only after the Fall of Man - the story-teller throws this in as we are required to find again the Tree of Life (or a good substitute) to return to Paradise and immortality.
The World needed populating and the story-teller had to have Adam and Eve doing it, so he had them live 900 years – his estimate of how long it would take them and their descendants to populate a city or two. And, if you read, how all the different jobs came to be.
So, Genesis explains the coming of death to the World – We started in Paradise as immortals and now the story-teller has explained why we don’t live in Paradise and why we are not immortal.
The Bible then goes on – not always directly, often taking side roads – to promise some everlasting paradise if only we are good. Along comes Jesus and gives us an easier and more certain way of getting to Heaven and being immortal again.
On to the original sin – was it eating the fruit? No, probably not. See what the story-teller does…
THE ORIGINAL sin occurred before the eating of the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge – this is sin caused ALL woe upon the Earth and it is a sin that can only be committed by a MAN!
This sin stands directly behind blasphemy as the worst in the World; it is the vile sin of “listening to your wife or any other woman - ever.”Ge:3:17: And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
The story-teller has God put the very worst sin first. Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife,
He does this for a reason. And the reason is "emphasis." Adam got it wrong Big Time! He listened to a woman!
Eve’s sin was the second sin in the world - eating of the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.