The story of Adam and Eve


#1

While living in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were not subject to death, and they accordingly lived eternally in the presence of God during which their spirits were one with God whose existence is not subject to time. Death occurred only when Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, as God told them that this would be the consequences if they eat from the cursed tree!
We know that both Adam and Eve died spiritually the moment they ate from the fruit of the tree; meaning their spirits were separated from the spirit of God almighty, and thus spiritual death inflicted on them as a punishment from God. The physical death, which obviously meant the separation of the physical body from the spirit followed thereafter.

Now If time existed in the garden of Eden, did Adam and Eve ever engaged in any sexual performance, notwithstanding that had they engaged in sex, Eve would have brought forth a child in the likeness of the Father and the Mother having eternal life and a spirit in contact with the Spirit with God similar to their condition, because they would have brought forth a child without sin - the sin of which its wages is death as we all know!
Do you think that you can intellectually explain and reason to conceive an answer in any manner you understand this puzzling situation? Every Christian must have thought of this controversial issue! Please answer the question either how the Cotholic faith interprets this situation, or in any manner you understand the the answer to this question should you have your own theory what is meant by this story!

If your answer is NO!, Please explain why Adam and Eve never engaged in sex while in the Garden! If your answer is YES, then please explain why did not Adam and Eve ever had an offspring, since God told them to be fruitful and mutiply!
Inever was able to resolve this dillema in my life.


#2

The sin of Adam and Eve takes place in Chapter 3 of Genesis. This chapter ends with Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden.

The very beginning of the next chapter (Chapter 4) tells of Adam and Eve having relations and giving birth to Cain and later Abel. By every indication, these are Adam and Eve’s first children.

It is pretty clear that Adam and Eve never had children before their sin. So all of us in the human race have inherited original sin from our first parents (with the exception of Mary, who by a special privilege of God’s grace was conceived without original sin).


#3

The instruction to be fruitful and multiply, and to cling to one another and become one body, is in both chapter one and chapter two of Genesis. The fall is in chapter three.


#4

Thank you so much for your answer regarding the time when Adam knew Eve and conceived Cain and Abel after they were both expelled out of the Garden of Eden. You mentioned that Virgin Mary was conceived wihout sin or without knowing a man. Mary’s birth then was, as you mentioned, exactly as the birth of our Lord and Savior, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Please have patient with me; I am struggling to understand this very important condition about Adam Eve, mother of all sinners, and Virgin Mary, Mother of all believers! Where in the Bible can we read about the Holy conception of Virgin Mary? Notwithstanding that the protestant church deny’s the holy conception of our Holy Mother Mary. Furthermore, the protestants also deny that Mary kept her virginity throughout her life, and according to the Bible in the book of Mathew chapter 1 verse 25, we read that Joseph did not know mary until she conceived Jesus. This statement implies that Joseph knew Mary after she conceived Jesus. In addition, all protestants insist that Jesus had four brothers, and that Mary died a normal death and was in need of salvation like any other person in this world. Can you provide references in the Bible that could justify your statement regarding the Holy conception of Virgin Mary.
One more thing: In my previous question, I requested your kind interpretation regarding why Adam and Eve never engaged in any sexual union while they were in God’s presence in the garden, and prior to eating from the tree. Both Adam and Eve could have lived so many years in the garden which can be logically deduced to be any period one can think of. One can say that they lived thousands of years since death never prevailed while they were in the garden. One can olso assume that they lived a very short period of time which kept Adam from knowing Eve. This later assumption can be easily proven to be illogical and stupid deduction, and consequently show complete ignorance about the holy state in which Adam and Eve lived in the garden.
Your enlightment and a wholesome answer could remove any doubt not only from my mind, but from the mind of all the christians of this world!

Do you think that you can offer a satisfying answer that would quech my thirst to understand?
I thank you so very much for taking the time to answering my question!
Please forgive me if you encounter any misspelled word, or gramatical mistakes!

Thank you so much!
:confused:


#5

You mentioned that Virgin Mary was conceived wihout sin or without knowing a man. Mary’s birth then was, as you mentioned, exactly as the birth of our Lord and Savior, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps you misunderstood. Mary was conceived without sin, but she had a human mother and a human father (we call them Saints Anne and Joachim), unlike Jesus, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Where in the Bible can we read about the Holy conception of Virgin Mary?

We can’t, at least not directly. Not everything we believe is contained in the Bible. The Bible itself tells us that it does not contain everything we are to believe:

But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. (John 21:25)

We Catholics know that our faith is based not only on the Bible, but on these three sources:
[LIST]
*]sacred Scripture (the Bible);
*]sacred Tradition (the faith that has been handed on from the apostles):[/LIST]

So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

[LIST]
*]and the Magisterium (the teaching authority of the Church). Christ gave His authority to Peter and his successors, and Christ, who is Truth, will always remain with the Catholic Church:
[/LIST]

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I willl give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven … (Matthew 16:18-19)

Christ gave us a Church to teach and guide us. (Remember, too, that the Church existed before the New Testament was written down. So clearly, our faith can be based on Tradition in addition to the Bible.)

Notwithstanding that the protestant church deny’s the holy conception of our Holy Mother Mary.

Do you remember how in the Old Testament (Exodus) God gave the Israelites detailed instructions on how to construct the Ark of the Covenant, a special, ornate gold box to contain His word in the tablets of the law? If God took such care to prepare a vessel for His written word, how much more care must He have taken to prepare a vessel (Mary) for His living Word (Jesus)? A mother stained by sin would just not do to contain the God of the universe!

Furthermore, the protestants also deny that Mary kept her virginity throughout her life, and according to the Bible in the book of Mathew chapter 1 verse 25, we read that Joseph did not know mary until she conceived Jesus. This statement implies that Joseph knew Mary after she conceived Jesus.

“Until” doesn’t have to mean that it changes afterward. When a mother tells her children, “Behave yourselves until I get home,” does that mean it’s okay for them to be bad when she returns? Besides, Mary is the spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Joseph was a just man. He would not presume to have sexual relations with the spouse of the Holy Spirit.

In addition, all protestants insist that Jesus had four brothers

When they say this, they are referring to Matthew 13:55:

And are not his brethren James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?

The word “brethren” (or “brothers”) was used in the original language to mean different degrees of relationship, for example, cousins. We know that two of these, James and Joseph, were sons of another Mary (“Mary the mother of James and Joseph” mentioned in Matthew 27:56). Also, when dying on the cross, Jesus entrusted His mother to the care of Saint John:

Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. (John 19:27)

If Jesus had brothers, they would have been responsible for her care.

Both Adam and Eve could have lived so many years in the garden … One can say that they lived thousands of years since death never prevailed while they were in the garden. One can olso assume that they lived a very short period of time which kept Adam from knowing Eve. This later assumption can be easily proven to be illogical and stupid deduction, and consequently show complete ignorance about the holy state in which Adam and Eve lived in the garden.

I’m not sure why it would be an illogical and stupid assumption. Besides, I don’t think we need to worry too much about the logistics. We don’t know exactly the timing of things that happened with Adam and Eve. And it’s not too important. The Bible is not an exact history; it teaches spiritual truths. (If you notice, there are two accounts of creation in Genesis, and things happen in different orders in the two stories.) The truth we are meant to learn is that God created our original parents, that they chose to sin, and that their sin affects all of us.

In addition, all protestants insist … that Mary died a normal death and was in need of salvation like any other person in this world.

Yes, absolutely, Mary was in need of salvation like any other person. She says so herself:

My spirit rejoices in God my Savior. (Luke 1:47)

But there is more than one way that God can save us. Let’s say that a person is about to fall into a filthy pit. Someone else is coming along and wants to help. There are two ways the person can be “saved”:
[LIST]
*]The passerby can extend a hand into the pit and help the person out after he has fallen in, and help him get cleaned up.
*]The passerby can warn the person before he ever falls into the pit, preventing the accident in the first place.
[/LIST]
Jesus saves most of us in the first way: He removes our sin after we have already incurred it. He saved Mary in the second way, by preventing her from incurring the guilt of sin in the first place.

I hope this helps!


#6

OK, here’s the reality; we don’t know whether or not Adam and Eve had sexual relations in the Garden of Eden. And it’s not important to us whether they did or not.

However, the Church Fathers discussed what those relations meant in those times, and St. Thomas Aquinas, in the Summa Theologicae also discussed the issue.

Some Fathers have argued that sexual relations arose out of our fallen nature, or that in the Garden, it would have happened out of some different process. But St. Thomas Aquinas argued that the procreative organs in use after the Fall were in use before, but were used without the sin of Lust, for the procreative act would have taken place within the will of God, for the purpose of procreation itself.

Again, we don’t know if this act took place before the Fall, but the dominating opinion from the Church Fathers, wise minds far beyond our own, was that it could have taken place for all the equipment was in place.

It seems that the Fall happened very quickly…so it could be that Adam and Eve fell before they even had time to conceive a child.

I would recommend that you spend time with the Summa, which can be found online:

www.newadvent.org/summa

or more specifically:

newadvent.org/summa/1098.htm


#7

So to ask an obviously illogical and stupid question, how do we know that Adam & Eve didn’t live a short time in the Garden prior to the fall?


#8

Your questions seem to concern matters of speculation that don’t have any direct bearing on the moral life either you or I are meant to follow. Nevertheless, in order to flesh out question’s of God’s justice, it may be prudent to examine such things, if only to be able to answer one who might use such questions to justify one’s rejection of faith.

As to the length of time both Adam and Eve stayed in paradise after the creation of Eve, we can’t know. It could have been years or it could have been minutes. Since you have declined to post your argument about why this time should have been longer, I will assume that both you and I agree on the ultimate irrelevance of the question.

Related to this question is the one about Adam and Eve’s observance of the command to “be fruitful” and your apparent assumption that the only way to observe this command is to “multiply”. Thankfully, the Church herself does not hold such a restricted view about what it means to be fruitful as she recognizes good fruit in those spiritual disciplines that even the celibate are encouraged to foster.

The good fruit to be had in any sexual union isn’t limited only towards the crude binary question of whether any offspring had been conceived. In the case of Adam and Eve, the hypothetical nature of whatever sexual relations they may have had, free from all taint of lust or need to possess, would have been for each an ennobling act of self-donation and a union that mirrored the community of persons in the Blessed Trinity. Such a union, even in the absence of offspring, bears fruit of enormous significance.

As to the question of why it is there were no offspring, I wonder why it is that this question poses very much of a problem for you or anyone else. In the character of the serpent from the Genesis account we have represented an awesome, supernatural intellect bent on the destruction of God’s creation. Doesn’t it make sense for such a being, in order to accomplish his diabolical ends, to time his attack at some point before the production of human offspring in order to make his corruption as complete as possible?

In all this, it can be seen that neither the fruitful nature of Adam and Eve’s union nor the absence of offspring before the Fall ought to be a stumbling block for those who mean to take their faith seriously.


#9

To Other Eric,

You have almost shut me up and very politely convinced me to stop questioning the hidden and unknown facts that remain unveiled in the Story of Adam and Eve. Indeed you have postulated an outstanding reply and eloquently covered almost all the hidden queries that the mind would question when confronted to understand how God created Adam and Eve! Some of the Catholics don’t even believe in the story of Adam and Eve, and they refer to the whole account of the story as allegorical, and insist that there was no Adam or Eve created by God. Some believers in Catholicism once told me that even the Pope believes that the story is allegorical. My argument to those was that if Christ was a person who came to redeem Adam and all humanity who carried his sin, then Adam and Eve must have also been persons.

Although you have made very wise interpretations of the story, which induced in my little mind a very powerful force to accept your answers which are very convincing, nevertheless, you left out few gaps that require explanations. I must be very careful how I refer to these gaps that you have left out. It is apparent that you are a man of high esteem and very knowledgeable; who am I to be an opponent to you and to your super reasoning! What am I but a modest man who seeks to understand some of the things that puzzled my tiny mind that the Lord God has gracefully given to me during the journey of my life!

You have completely ignored the fact that there was no death inflicted upon Adam and Eve while both were in the Garden of God! You have also ignored the fact that Adam never knew that he was naked while in the Garden. The only instance that Adam discovered his nudity is when he ate from the tree. This renders your postulate regarding the nobility of Adam and Eve in their bodily union doubtful, except if you mean the nobility of their spiritual union. Furthermore you disregarded that their unity with God’s Spirit makes Adam eternal in his existence. This provides logical assumptions that both Adam and Eve lived so many years before their fall. Why? Because of their connection with the spirit of God who is eternal and is not subject to time! Thousand of years for an eternal being means a mere instance! But when someone argues that they did not have a chance to copulate because of the short period of time they lived in the Garden, then I laugh about the simplicity of that assumption!

I am truly thankful to your answer. I was really overwhelmed by your theorization you have used to explain it to me. I am very grateful to you because you have enlightened me and made me view the situation in a different prospect. I truly have never been given such strong reasoning and highly intellectual explanation to this question!

Once more, I truly thank you for the time you have taken to answer my question!

God bless you abundantly!


#10

The questions concerning the nature of our first parents and their experiences before sin are not simple. Looking back across the centuries and in our sinful state, there are some things that require a healthy dose of deep reflection in order to avoid going off the rails.

Let us begin with the question of the nature of Adam’s being, relationship to God and experience of time. There is nothing in the Genesis account that can lead us to believe that Adam was anything other than a finite being. Nor is there anything there that would suggest that Adam existed with God outside of time. In fact, in placing Adam and his wife on Earth, outside the heavenly realm that God inhabits, there is more to suggest that Adam and his body did not transcend time and space as does God.

Second, we must be careful when we attempt to visualize what it was Adam and Eve experienced in their nudity. The Genesis account affirms that they were “naked and unashamed”. It isn’t necessarily the implied ignorance of their nudity that should be guiding our analysis but the state of being “unashamed”. In other words, it means Adam and Eve were able to look upon each other and each other’s bodies and recognize in the other a being created for his or her own sake and without the compulsion to lust or with the need to possess. Their union would thus be an ennobling act of self-giving in both its corporeal and spiritual dimensions.

That Adam and Eve’s discovery of their own nudity occurs after Original Sin has been committed and in their rush to hide and clothe themselves points more concretely to the introduction of shame than it does the relief of ignorance. In other words, our first parents lost the ability to look on the other’s body and see the person and instead began to see only an object. Shame, then becomes a defensive mechanism meant to preserve one’s own intuitive realization of his inherent human dignity.

In this, then, we cannot necessarily infer the absence of sexual intimacy based on the notion that the realization of nudity evoked shame in our first parents. We need to acknowledge first the difficulty in recognizing what that first experience was when, being on this side of Original Sin, our vision has been darkened and avoid all taint of suggesting that the sexual act is, in itself, evil.

Lastly, the threat of death that Adam was warned of should he eat from the Tree of Knowledge should not be thought of purely in terms of the death of the body. In succumbing to sin, both Adam and Eve succumb to a spiritual death; an estrangement from God. This death could further be said to be a submission to decay in which the body eventually goes back to the dust from which it was formed.

What went on in the Garden, how long our first parents were there, and their meeting of the serpent are all deep questions that I encourage you to explore in greater depth. Happily, the late Pope John Paul II reflected deeply and profoundly on just these questions in his Theology of the Body, from where I plagiarize many of my arguments here. I suggest that you look into purchasing a few books on the subject. You might begin with this one.


#11

Dear Other Eric,

All glory to God the Father, and to Christ Jesus our Savior and redeemer!

Thank you for your remarkable reasoning which concluded this issue that has puzzled me all my life!

One day I will look at you in the eyes, and then we will both give praise and glory to Him who saved our souls from eternal damnation!

How blessed are those who keep close to you and share your company!

Please forgive me if I unintentionally offended your very kind self!

God Bless!


#12

A Catholic who claimed Adam and Eve did not exist is in error. Pius XII, in Humani Generis, declared it as dogma that Adam and Eve did exist as real people. It is necessary for belief.

(The same encyclical also declared “The Church does not forbid that…research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter.” This means that theistic evolution is an acceptable belief for a Catholic.)

Lots of Catholics say lots of things… do not take it all at face value. (It’s actually kinda funny how the non-Catholic world always seems to assume that all Catholics know their faith inside-out - not quite.)


#13

Thank you for your post,

I dare to say that almost every protestant church I attend to describes the Catholic Church as an apostate church and most likely that the Pope is the anti-Christ. I dont understand what happened to our Lord’s promise when He assured us that He would build His church and the gates of Hell could not conquer or prevail againt it(I am not qouting directly from the Bible). If the Catholic or even the Orthodox Church have false teachings, then Hell must have surely prevailed against the Church.

I agree with you that not every thing said against the Catholic Church is true. I think the Catholic Church should be honered and respected.

Try to check this site if you have time!

mazinsweiss.com

God Bless you!


#14

Which Pope is the antichrist - all of them? :slight_smile: That’s one thing I’ve wondered about - these folks all seem to think THIS POPE is the ultimate bad-guy - not the last one or the next one. :slight_smile:

It’s good you can see just how silly this is. It’s like this, I’ve concluded: the only way the Catholic Church, the True Church founded by Christ, can be demonized is to completely misrepresent her. Thus the famous quote from Archbishop Fulten - not 100 people hate the true Catholic Church - millions hate what they think it is (to paraphrase).

This is why all the silly lies and caricatures are told and re-told. Generations, millions, have no idea what the Church is, and furthermore don’t want to know, because they think they do know and it’s all bad!

Many of the converts I’ve known or read (such as my wife, and Steve Ray, for two) speak of the growing astonishment they experience when learning the real teachings and real history of the Church. And then, often, there is some anger at being lied to for so long. Because, while most may not know the truth, some do, and/or do everything they can to make sure they don’t know.

I agree with you that not every thing said against the Catholic Church is true. I think the Catholic Church should be honered and respected.

Are you going to join us? :slight_smile:


#15

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