How much did they know about God? Did they believed in the trinity?
I don’t think we can know this. They did not experience the Beatific Vision, however, which will only be experienced in heaven, and which constitutes the fullest, most direct or immediate knowledge we can have of God.
God revealed all He wanted to reveal through one word, His Word, Jesus. Prior to Christ coming to earth, God revealed in part, Jesus revealed God wholly. Adam and Eve knew exactly what God wanted them to, but prior to Jesus, that knowledge was limited.
Why do people want to know what God didn’t even reveal in the Bible
Actually, the Bible reveals that the writers of Genesis believed in many gods. Adam was created in “OUR” image the Bible says. That fact gets looked over because of what we were taught or hidden with other teachings that come out of thin air. One example is that God was talking to the Angels or He was talking in the royal third person. Really? The Bible doesn’t say that the angels were created in Gods image, only that man was. Referring to Himself in the third person? Funny how He doesn’t do that in the rest of the Bible. There are more examples showing that the writers believed in many god but pay attention to this. Why is Abraham credited with bringing the knowledge that there is only one God? And my question is whether Abraham believed that YHWH was just the SUPREME god among many (the only one deserving of worship) or that He is alone and no other gods exist. The Bible documents that there was an evolution in belief. So maybe Adam and Eve believed in many gods like all the primordial peoples did.
It probably wasn’t until the exile until the Jewish people completely rejected the existence of deities of other nations.
However, regarding Genesis, you overlooked one simple explanation for the “we”: the Trinitarian nature of God.
No, I did not overlook that. That is another teaching that hides that the writers of Genesis believed in many Gods. We know in hindsight, thanks to Jesus, that there is a Trinity. Prior to the Incarnation, nobody knew. We now attempt to rewrite history with the knowledge that we have. But the Bible was written by people before the Incarnation and they only wrote with the knowledge that they had.
The bible documents that the Hebrews evolved like every other culture in the world. Every culture started believing in many gods. The Bible documents that the Hebrews did to. Then Abraham comes around and says that there is only one. But what exactly did he mean? I believe that it wasn’t until Isaiah’s time that the Hebrews believed that there was only ONE god. It took that long for them to become fully monotheistic.
Aquinas teaches that we can know OF God by reason alone. But we can’t know ABOUT God unless he reveals this to us.
The Church calls these things “mysteries.” In English, a mystery is something you don’t know about, so the word can be confusing. In Church-speak, mysteries are things revealed by God.
There’s no reason to suspect God revealed his Trinitarian nature to Adam and Eve.
Adam & Eve were created in a state of original justice and had a personal relationship with God (see, e.g., Genesis 3:8). They had brilliant intellects, not darkened by sin or dominated by passions, and according to some theologians, they also had infused knowledge. It is inconceivable that they were polytheists.
St. Thomas Aquinas writes that Adam
knew God with a more perfect knowledge than we do now. …] in him the lower powers were subjected to the higher, and the higher nature was made so as not to be impeded by the lower. Wherefore the first man was not impeded by exterior things from a clear and steady contemplation of the intelligible effects which he perceived by the radiation of the first truth, whether by a natural or by a gratuitous knowledge. Hence Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. xi, 33) that, “perhaps God used to speak to the first man as He speaks to the angels; by shedding on his mind a ray of the unchangeable truth, yet without bestowing on him the experience of which the angels are capable in the participation of the Divine Essence.” Therefore, through these intelligible effects of God, man knew God then more clearly than we know Him now.
Whether they had an explicit knowledge of God’s triunity, who can say?
Okay first off we have found archeological proof that the ancient Hebrews were polytheistic. There is little doubt of this. The myth/story of the Garden is more of how the ancient Jewish people believed to have entered the world and to explain why thing are the way they are. Why does that scaly thing slide across the ground and bite at me, enter the serpent of the garden. Why does my wife scream in pain when giving birth and probably die soon after enter a “curse”.
Thank You!! The Book of Genesis is not literal. It is telling a story to help people understand something in their life. Everything in the story has some metaphorical meaning. It is obviously saying that life use to be awesome in the past.
Here are some ways that the Book of Genesis documents the evolution of the Hebrew culture following the same growth that other peoples followed.
Paleontology – Animals existed before people
Book of Genesis – God created animals before people
Archaeology – First humans were hunters and gathers. The middle-east was full of game and vegetation (fruits, wheats, etc.) basically a “paradise.”
Book of Genesis – Adam and Eve were in a garden eating whatever they wanted
Archaeology – Humans learned to domesticate animals and crops and left the hunter gatherer life style
Book of Genesis – Cain and Abel domesticated animals and crops. (They were no longer in the “paradise” living as hunters and gatherers).
Archaeology – Evidence found in middle-east that farmers and ranchers fought over land. Each needed it to either plant crops or to feed their live-stock.
Book of Genesis – Cain and Abel fought
Archaeology – Farming won out as it could sustain larger populations than simply relying on livestock. But there was a sort of truce as both farming and raising livestock were combined with farming being the most dominant form of feeding the population.
Book of Genesis – Cain the farmer killed Abel the rancher (shepard).
Archaeology – Farming lifestyle is much harder than hunter gather lifestyle it require hard work and longer hours. Hunters and gatherers had a lot more free time.
Book of Genesis – After leaving the “paradise” and the hunter gatherer life style having to farm or raise lifestock, people were then forced to life from the sweat of their brow.
Hell yes life was better when we didn’t have to work!!! It truly was a “paradise.”
Thank you for putting thing in a great point of view.
The symbolism of the serpent can be traced to the Babylonian representations of the serpent. In this culture, like in many cultures, the serpent represents wisdom or knowledge. Maybe the serpent represents the knowledge that the first humans acquired that made them leave the hunter gatherer life style which then made their lives harder?
Maybe. Got some good stuff to ponder here. I am sure you may agree but the ret con of the serpent being Satan is incorrect. Ha-Satan was an angel that worked for YWHW that punished Job but in no way influenced the Garden myth.
Oh yeah, I’ve read about the serpent not being Satan and that Satan was an agent of God in the old Hebrew traditions. I think Jews still view him as an angel that doesn’t follow his own will but God’s will.
You just kicked the Book of Genesis in its proverbial…A_ _ ! :mad:
He what? All I see is a non literal point of view of Genesis.
The Book of Genesis can never be taken literal. I can’t even get past chapter 1 to realize that someone cut and paste two different creation stories together. That also means the stories came from two different traditions (Two different authors).
The two Book of Genesis authors wanted to teach something about life I imagine. The creation story can fit nicely as a metaphor for growing up. The garden is childhood - carefree, no worries, all you do is play. A paradise. The expulsion from the garden is adulthood - hard times, worry, etc. and you can never return to being a child (re enter the garden). Heck Adam and Eve then had to work to make a living after they were kicked out of the garden. The moral of the story is that you need to get a job when you grow up!!
Of course; that was a consequence of the fall. As stated above, Adam & Eve were created in a state far superior to ours and probably had infused knowledge. After the fall their intellects were darkened, and over time many of their progeny distanced themselves further from God; consequently people began to fashion idols in the image of animals, etc. This was a punishment. St. Paul makes this quite clear in his letter to the Romans, ch. 1.
As to the authorship of Genesis, we may admit several authors and sources, provided that we acknowledge Moses as the principal human author and, as it were, the editor (see the response of the Pontifical Biblical Commission from 1906).