Monday, July 31, 2017

Who was the first sinner in the Bible?


If you know anything at all about the Bible, even if it's only something from the first few chapters of Genesis, you probably have a pretty good idea about the identity of the first sinner. Of course, defining "sinner" might be part of the challenge.

Whom would you name? Adam? Eve? Cain? Someone else?

Well, you might be wrong. So you might want to read this brief article.

You might also enjoy the additional links within and at the end of the article. 

Now, let the discussions begin. What do you think?




15 comments:

  1. According to Milton, it was Lucifer or Satan.

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    1. Fred, the origins of Satan are fascinating. Perhaps I will explore those soon. Many people assume the Bible says many things when it says little or nothing. Satan is such a subject. Milton knew the Bible but was a product of his culture and era, and the latter figured significantly in his ironic representation of Satan. Thanks for mentioning both Milton and Satan. I'm eager to explore more.

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    2. Fred, consider this:
      http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/bible-interpretation/how-the-serpent-became-satan/

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    3. R.T.--I have to keep checking myself about I "know" about Satan. I've certainly been heavily influenced by Milton's PL.

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    4. R.T., Interesting article.

      One of the books on my search list is The Origin of Satan, by Elaine Pagels. I had read another work by her, The Gnostic Gospels, and found it both scholarly and readable.

      If you are going to do some posting on Satan, I think I will move Pagels' book on Satan up on my list.

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    5. R.T., That reminds me, there's another writer on religious historical topics whom you might take a glance at: Karen Armstrong. I've read several of her books so far and will sometime read more.

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    6. Fred, yes, more about Satan and by Pagels and Armstrong might be in my future. Thanks for the great Rx.

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    7. R.T., both have excellent works on a variety of religious topics from a historical POV.

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  2. Well, actually, both Adam and Eve disobeyed the Lord's command, though Eve did so first. Cain was the first murderer, not the first sinner.

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    1. Frank, the linked article presents an interesting argument, don't you think?

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  3. Side note: Cain goes wrong well before he slays Abel--for some reason (not spelled out) his sacrifice to God is insufficient. He does not make the correct sacrifice of the best first fruits in some way, is found deficient, and is made angry. Instead of correcting his sacrifice, he makes a barbaric, improper version of sacrifice by killing his own brother. So at the very beginning of the Bible is imperfect sacrifice. You could say that the arc of the Bible is toward one perfect, proper sacrifice.

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    1. Marly, that is very interesting. So it all leads to the sacrifice of God's son, with the sacrifice of Adam's son as antecedent. That's a remarkable narrative arc.

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  4. Cain's offering was grains, while Abel offered a blood sacrifice which was more pleasing to God. I see it as a mythic account of the struggle between the nomad herders and the farmer villagers. See US history for the conflict between the cattlemen and the sodbusters (farmers).

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    1. Fred, the theme of nomads v. villagers never occurred to me. I wonder about the ancient contexts for that tension.

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    2. R.T., That's my own weird take on the Cain and Abel story. I've never read anywhere that anybody has considered that interpretation, or if they had, they immediately discarded it.

      The early Hebrews were nomad herders as far as I can remember. That would fit with God's preference for Abel's blood sacrifice of an animal. It suggests that God looked with more favor on the herder way of life.

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