Allegorical Meaning of Genesis 2 & 3?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Ed B, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Ed B

    Ed B
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    Can an allegorical interpretation of Genesis 2 and 3 live happily alongside the literal interpretation without any contradiction? I tend to believe it does and I see the simple truth of the allegory as faith affirming in its own way. Must Genesis 2 & 3 only be seen as literal with no allegorical or metaphorical meaning to be considered orthodox with the Baptist family?

    In short, the allegorical meaning points to sexual awakening of male and female children as they reach adolescence and puberty (notice the girl is awakened first); and the growing self-awareness and rebelliousness of youth toward the parents who have up to now provided protective care and a paradise of sorts. With sexual awareness comes eventual separation from the carefree state as they are aware of their “nakedness”, knowing good from evil and are pushed out of the nest to make their own way in the world. The parallels seem obvious to me.

    I saw this sort of thing lived out with both of my daughters. My youngest daughter would run through the house naked as a jay-bird as late as 10 (she was a very late bloomer) without a thought. We would tell her to get dressed and so on, but she was oblivious. Then one day as I pushed the bathroom door open while walking in – it was not fully closed – I nearly had my nose broken when the same girl slammed the door shut with great vigor. She suddenly knew she was naked and it happened all of a sudden.

    Is there any reason why this ancillary interpretation cannot live side by side without conflict with a very literalist interpretation? I know some liberals hold to this as the single interpretation but I don't see why it can't be both.
     
  2. Iconoclast

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    EdB
    God did not give it for any such purpose.The Apostles and Jesus spoke in terms of the literal record of Genesis......so why would we seek to add to the word...in the sense of fanciful and subjective ideas. This would seem to invite others with less than pure motives from offering very profane ideas.

    for example i had a RC tell me the ark of the covenant represented the Virgin Mary????
     
  3. HankD

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    Yes IMO it can be both (as there seems to be a connection in this case) as long as the literal is not sacrificed in the fire of skepticism which ultimately denies the literal by giving it less than primary sigificance.

    This is the problem with all error. Discernment between the literal and the symbolic (allegory, metaphor, etc...).

    HankD
     
  4. 12strings

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    I think there is a line between two ways of looking at things "Allegorically."

    1. (not bad) If you say the things you just say in the way of saying: This OT passage has some parallels with this other "THING" that I'm comparing it to, and I can use it to illustrate or compare to this other thing...even though there is no real indication in the passage that it is pointing to that, other than a human mind noticed some similarities.

    2. (can be bad) I see something that can be compared with something else...then say "This IS definitely what the passage is pointing to..."
    As in "Rahab let down the spies on a RED cord. Jesus blood was RED. So...Rahab's cord represents Jesus' blood." This approach basically says anything I can think of to say about the passage must be true.
     
  5. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    I think inAWPinks writings he often went out on a limb....;

    really:confused::confused:

    or here......

     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    To allegorize Adam, Eve, Creation, Eden, etc is contrary to NT revelation.

    Liberal theologians seek to allegorize everything (treat as story, not truth). Fundamentalist theologians seek to "typify" everything, seeing deep hidden meanings in the length of cords and numbers of stakes in the Tabernacle.

    Both are extreme and extra-biblical.
     
  7. Yeshua1

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    IF was not a literal/historical fact pf Adam/Eve, satan, the fall of man etc...

    Then jesus was wrong, Paul had wrong revelation, and the very nature of the fact of sin and salvation called in question!
     
  8. Scarlett O.

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    Wow, everyone has given such great responses. :applause: All I can say is that I agree.

    Ed B, what's different in the case of your daughter slamming the door in your face and Adam and Eve is that the reason that Adam and Eve discovered that they were naked was because of their sin. Their eyes were opened to good and evil.

    Your daughter's sudden discovery that her body was not for public display even at home amongst family members did not stem from her sinning, but stems from a natural, acceptable, and GOOD progression of maturity. We want our children to come to the conclusion that their bodies are private things. We want their eyes to be opened to that understanding.

    What Adam and Eve did to get to that knowledge was sinful, rebellious, and the result is that hell is going to be overflowing the immortal souls.

    Their discovery of nakedness was one of their shame of sin being exposed. Whatever kept them from understanding that before (and that's another thread) was gone. And their relationship with God, each other, and the world was forever altered for the worse.

    Your daughter's discovery of her nakedness had nothing to do with her feeling any shame over herself. And her relationship with God, other people, her family, and the world has not changed merely because she wants privacy in the bathroom.

    I don't really see the allegory. But I'm not denying that you do nor telling you that you are wrong.
     
  9. Ed B

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    Sorry for getting back to this so late. Have been very busy.

    I have read the responses and after some thought and I am thinking that the thought of a parallel allegorical interpretation was the wrong way to look at this. Kind of like getting order of the chicken and the egg wrong when we already know the answer. I see a reflection of the Fall of Adam and Eve in the way children, who are born into a fallen state, begin to question their parents and rebel against them, become sexually aware, and gain a more clear knowledge of their own sin. The idea that we inherit this “lifecycle” as one small consequence of the Fall, and that it is a reflection of the symptoms that Adam and Eve experienced as a consequence of their sin, seems logical and consistent to me.

    Thanks for the thoughtful repsonses.
     
  10. Ed B

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    Hello Scarlett O

    Thanks for the great response. Of course I gree with this. The Genisis account is far richer and more important than any simple reflection that I think I might see in the human maturation process.

    I have always appreciated seeing echos of Biblical truth in nature. I saw this as an example.

    All the best

    Ed B
     

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