Why were Adam and Eve cast out of Eden?

I think the difference in opinion here is that I interpret God to mean spiritual death, I had a similar conversation with @thoughtful…I see the interaction there that Adam and Eve died spiritually in that moment, physically later because of being removed from God’s presence and the tree of life. Again, I am reading Gen 1:1 to Rev 22:21 as one story that is still being acted out (though we know the ending).

I concede to your point that being “like God” is in reference to knowing good and evil, I was thinking in terms of the full authority and sovereignty of God, but the verse is specific and I was wrong. However, the devil still lied in verse 4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. (assuming that you prescribe to interpretation of spiritual rather than physical death, which I see may not be the case for you).

Aww, shucks ***blushing…Gal 2:20, Rom 12:1-2, Gal 1:12, John 10:17-18, Luke 9:62, Matt 10:37-39, 2 Cor 5:17, Mark 4:23-25…the glory is God’s for saving me, but I am also living in a bible college, so that helps.

1 Like

That’s one difference. But of course that isn’t what it says. And that isn’t what God, after the fact, says happened.

Yes, and the only way you can see it as one story is to have a prior faith that it all goes together. You certainly can’t get that from the text itself. To the unbiased eye it appears to be a collection of different stories composed by different people at different times, with no great attempt at consistency.

It’s clearly not the case. If spiritual death (whatever that is) had been meant, that’s presumably what it would have said. And the snake’s identification with Satan is a late interpretation of the tale not contained, in fact contradicted, in the tale itself.


I have not heard any Christians say that God was afraid that Adam and Eve would become immortal and that is why he kicked them out of the garden. Could you give examples?

Well that’s the interpretation my book points too. I thought you read it…

To be consistent with the comment I made to Faizal, I also don’t think it’s very helpful to claim that any reading is the most “straightforward and literal” one. Everybody thinks that their interpretation is the most “straightforward”, otherwise they probably wouldn’t believe it…


We’re obviously not going to see eye to eye on this, I do respect what you are saying and appreciate the argument. You are correct in the above statement, to the extent that without faith my understanding was limited and I did not see the big picture in the totality of the bible. The Holy Spirit authenticates scripture and scripture authenticates what I receive from the Holy Spirit. I don’t expect unbelievers to agree with that because I didn’t before I found God. But now with God, I am confident in my interpretation.

1 Like

From my perspective, it’s actually the faith that’s now limiting your understanding. It creates a strong bias in interpretation. You literally can’t read what the text says.


So, you ask, “why”
I answer, “because of other scripture and the Holy Spirit”
You say, “other scripture doesn’t count” or “Holy Spirit doesn’t count”
I know they both count, and they all work together.
You say I am wrong, but can’t prove it because we see things differently.
I think I am right, but can’t prove it because we see things differently.
Both of us don’t know for sure what the truth is, though we seek to find it in different ways.
We are then at an impasse.
I’ll chew on it and see if anything changes…

I’m not going to take a side in the specifics of your discussion with @Mark10.45, but this seems like a naive statement to me. The Old Testament (a.k.a the Hebrew Bible) certainly has a coherent storyline and a well-defined collection of recurring themes that are developed through the whole collection. This is unsurprising since there was a centuries-long, deliberate process of compilation, editing, and revision both of the individual texts as well as the collections of texts which shaped the whole collection into a coherent grand narrative of the story of Israel.

Are there paradoxes and tensions in the text, that the cynical 21st century Western skeptic would regard as “inconsistencies”? Yes, such as Proverbs 26:4-5:

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

But clearly the original author or compiler of the Proverbs did not intend to literally contradict himself into incoherency in two consecutive lines. It would be the height of chronological folly to assume that people back then didn’t know that A and not-A cannot be true at the same time! Rather, the text is clearly meant to reflect that wisdom is multifaceted, situational, and difficult to express as a single proposition. Sometimes life (and God) does seem to be paradoxical, and the Bible is not meant to necessarily give nice, clear-cut answers in every case, as we see clearly in the story of Job. Thus, to approach the text in a skeptical, abstract, literalistic and legalistic manner which results in many perceived contradictions would be to misread the text in a way that it was never intended to be read.

This process of compilation is also seen in the texts of the New Testament, which have differences in emphasis, perspective, even some outright tensions. But again, there are also a great host of similarities and common themes which make it possible to interpret the whole collection in a coherent manner. Furthermore, the Christian community decided to keep the canonical texts together and rejected as heretical attempts to carve out any “canon within a canon” (as people like Marcion and “red letter Christians” attempted to do), because sometimes the tension is the point. God and his revelation can’t be fully expressed as a series of neatly stated propositions, despite the best intentions of some modern Christian analytic philosophers.


Sorry for the delay in responding. Yesterday was a busy day.

I don’t claim any. I assume the translations are accurate. If they are not, please feel free to share the scholarship that would affect my conclusions.

That’s why I’ve tried to stick to the text as close as possible. I don’t see any other feasible interpretation of the story, taken on its own terms. But if you can see how that interpretation reflects my being a Canadian psychiatrist, point it out.

And I am just talking about the text. “Revelation” has nothing

The text says otherwise.

The text also nothing about “the devil”. Just a very clever serpent.

Please support that with text from the story itself, not the subsequent centuries of theological extrapolations.

I don’t think I misread anything, and as told neither did Eve or Adam. God purposely gave misleading information.

Genesis 3:22 contradicts this. This is God talking to himself.

That’s a real stretch.

No, they did not die. They lived a long a fruitful life thereafter. And God himself says “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.”

You’re really ignoring the text to make it say what you’re taught it says.

To be clear: I am saying God was fearful Adam and Eve would eat of the Tree of Life and become immortal, therefore more like God. God did not want this, so he kicked them out of the Garden. It had nothing to do with sin or punishment.

I do not recall that being your interpretation. Am I wrong?

Which is bascially a bald admission that the text, as it stands on its own, does not say what you claim.

Thanks for playing…


This is not a contradictory verse at all, but quite deep in its meaning, and requires some additional scripture and the holy spirit to unpack. I will if someone is interested. Seems like not at the moment.


I answered your three questions in a post above to @John_Harshman as well as the other challenges you have in subsequent posts. I don’t expect to persuade you or John.

I have stated many times that a non-believer trying to understand one text alone will not understand. I’ll even call it a bold assertion, if a person does not have faith and is looking to refute scripture, that person will never find the truth in it. A person with faith, that solicits the help of the Holy Spirit and comes humbly looking for truth will find it (eventually).

Matthew 7:6-11 - (Jesus speaking) 6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

This whole idea of “everyone has their own interpretation” is standard boilerplate from creationists, though I can’t recall of you are one of those. Regardless, it is no more valid in this context than it is there.

If I were to interpret your statement above as “John Harshman and I are in perfect agreement,” there is no way that would be correct. It doesn’t matter how hard I try to “interpret” what you wrote, I would be simply wrong if I tried to make such a claim.

Same thing with the words of Genesis.

1 Like

I’m just pointing out that we are at an impasse, I don’t claim to be right nor John wrong, just stating my position. I also don’t claim to be creationist nor evolutionist, I think there are good and bad in both, I think the truth is somewhere at the intersection of the two.

No, there is no reason whatsoever to believe that. The only way that could be possible is if they were secretly eating from it, and God didn’t know.

22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

1 Like

I don’t really see how I am trying to “refute scripture” by simply understanding what its words mean. That’s like saying I am trying to refute Hamlet by saying (Spoiler alert!) most the major characters die by the end.


Denying that Jesus is Lord, the Son of God and God in the flesh, who was raised by God the Father on the third day and is the key to eternal life is in itself refuting scripture. That is the entire point of all scripture. Being a self-declared non-believer is in essence refuting scripture. Again, I won’t try to convince you, you be you, but your stance is that scripture is false because you don’t believe in Jesus as Lord and savior.

Not believing = scripture is false. The stance is to refute.
Believing = scripture is true. The stance is to defend.

1 Like

Well, it would be refuting the parts of scripture that say that, absolutely. But I would not deny that those parts of scripture that say those things, say those things, even though I do not believe those claims to be true.

The scripture I am discussing here, however, says nothing remotely resembling any of that. Jesus is not mentioned at all, unsurprisingly.

Jesus is the seed of the woman in the text.

Genesis 3

And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”

Jesus wore a crown of thorns on his head as King when he was crucified.

“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall [f]bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.”

I would also argue that the animal skin God covered them with, symbolizes a sacrifice covering their sin

Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.

And then barring them from the tree of life kept them from taking hold of the symbol because God needed to bring Jesus into the world as Savior for the reality, and giving the Holy Spirit means the Spirit lives in us, and can give us a new birth as God’s spiritual children and bring us into the life of God. None of that would be possible if the tree was available then. It must wait.

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Once you are a Christian, you learn to see Jesus in all of Scripture.

Oddly enough, the Jews do not. It’s as if you’re adding a layer of meaning that wasn’t there until later and still isn’t there for some of the people who own the story at least as much as you do.


I would add that this is not because of brainwashing…it is because Jesus is the Word.
John 1:1, Phil 2:16, 1 John 1:1-4, Heb 4:12, Luke 4:4, John 8:47-48, John 3:15-21, James 1:18, Genesis 15:3-5…I could go on…

1 Like