Death and Deception in Genesis 2-3

George Athas gathas at mail.usyd.edu.au
Sat Dec 4 00:10:53 EST 1999


> What is the possibility that Adam and Eve did die that very moment they ate?
> Can it be this death is a spiritual death, a separation from God rather than
> the death we perceive as a separation of body and soul?
>
> Lee Deavers

Lee, it is quite possible. However, it is a theological statement which is probably made
on the basis of information gleaned from other parts of the canon. Nothing wrong with
that. But, in terms of the Gen narrative itself, there is nothing about spiritual death.
The idea of death in these narratives is probably to be understood as the taking away of
the life-breath that God had breathed into man to make him a living being. The death which
ensues in the narrative is that which occurs after a life of hard labour when man returns
to the ground as dust.

Best regards,
George Athas
 Dept of Semitic Studies,
 University of Sydney
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