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Is Adam a Sinner or Savior?
Here is a compilation of scriptures taken from the Bible, Apocrypha, Quran and the Baha’i Faith in an attempt to deal with the enigma of Adam & Eve.
A Look At Biblical and Quranic Creation Stories:
Let’s begin this contemplation of the past with quotes from various scriptures concerning the creation of Man. This will help us grapple with the mystery of both Adam and the creation of man. (At times, due to limitations of length in a work of this nature, some scripture will be paraphrased. The reader can access original contents from their respective sources.)
Beginning with Genesis 1:1-8,NIV
”In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said,” Let there be light,” and there was light. Then God saw the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night”. And there was evening and there was morning- the first day. And God said,” Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning- the second day.”
Genesis goes on describing the remaining “five days” of a “seven day” creation story. Day “three” God creates land and seas along with all forms of vegetation in the plant kingdom.
The fourth day: Genesis 1:14-19:NIV “And God said,” Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights- the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning- the fourth day.”
The fourth day is of special interest. It may give us a glimpse at what ancient astrology was all about- not originally worshipping stars and constellations but rather, simply using their positions in the sky as a celestial calendar to chart the seasons (Gen 1:14). Also, the “stars” (Gen 1: 17-18) could also be a metaphor for messengers of God or holy people.
It makes no sense for the stars to be created after the earth or its plant life. It also makes little sense to “set stars in the sky to give light to the earth, to govern the day and night.” If “light and dark” are seen as “good and evil” and “stars” are seen as God’s messengers giving light to the world then Genesis makes perfect sense and even can agree with modern science. (Jesus said he came to bring light to the world.)
The fifth day God creates aquatic animal life and birds. He bids them to be fruitful and multiply. (Notice birds were created before the larger beasts.) These God created on the sixth day at which time God made wild animals and livestock.
It is at this point God creates Man.
Genesis 1:26-27:NIV “Then God said,” let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
There appears to be a second creation story in the bible.
Genesis 2:4-7: describes the creation of Adam specifically while
Genesis 1:26-27: (above) talks of man as a species being created as the final product in a long line of evolutionary creation (generally from the simplest to the more complex).
Genesis 2:4-7: NIV
“This is the account of the heavens and of the earth when they were created. When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens- and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground- the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr), Sura 2 - The Cow) may be a lesson of the allegorical meanings behind the creation stories in Genesis.
164 “Lo! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of night and day, and the ships which run upon the sea with that which is of use to men, and the water which Allah sendeth down from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and (in) the ordinance of the winds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth: are signs (of Allah's Sovereignty) for people who have sense.”
Note: In the above Sura: “heavens and earth” may mean the spiritual and material realms. “Night and day” could refer to darkness of sin and the light of the Word of God. “The ships, which run upon the sea” Likely refers to the ark or ships of God’s Covenant. (See Noah’s Ark and Baha’u’llah’s Tablet of the Holy Mariner.) God is the captain of the ship. The people who are within the ship are sheltered by the Covenant from the storms and trials of life.
The Hidden Words #3: Baha’u’llah: gives a different perspective on creation: “Veiled in My immemorial being and in the ancient eternity of My essence, I knew My love for thee; therefore I created thee, have engraved on thee Mine image and revealed to thee My beauty.”
Now let’s turn to Adam, Who to many represents the first creation of Man.
1. NAME & DATE:
Unknown: Possibly 5500 BCE (before Christ).
Book 1 Chap XXI of the Apocrypha mentions 8 But the merciful God, who looks upon His creatures, looked upon Adam and Eve as they lay dead, and He sent His Word unto them, and raised them. 9 And said to Adam, "O Adam, all this misery which thou hast wrought upon thyself, will not avail against My rule, neither will it alter the covenant of the 5500 years."
2. FAMILY NAME OF PROPHET:
Although there is no knowledge of a specific family name the following makes it clear he was the true forefather even of Abraham. This is a special lineage of prophets of God and in no way suggests he was the first physical man.
Quran Surah 3
33: Lo! Allah preferred Adam and Noah and the Family of Abraham and the Family of 'Imran above (all His) creatures.
34: They were descendants one of another. Allah is Hearer, Knower.
3. HOLY NAME:
God seems to always address Adam as “Adam”.
4. NAME FOR GOD:
5. REVEALED BOOK:
Stories and allegorical texts in the Bible- Genesis, Apocrypha- Books 1 & 2 and the Quran- Suras 2,3, 5, 7, 17, 19, 20 etc.
6. BASIC TEACHINGS:
The difference between good and evil.
Obedience to God.
The concepts of marriage and adultery (Apocrypha- see below) and the custom of worship (Apocrypha Ch. LXXI- see below).
12: Then God said to Adam and Eve, "Since ye have made this oblation and have offered it to Me, I shall make it My flesh, when I come down upon earth to save you; and I shall cause it to be offered continually upon an altar, for forgiveness and for mercy, unto those who partake of it duly." 13: And God sent a bright fire upon the offering of Adam and Eve, and filled it with brightness, grace, and light; and the Holy Ghost came down upon that oblation.
14: Then God commanded an angel to take fire-tongs, like a spoon, and with it to take an offering and bring it to Adam and Eve. And the angel did so, as God had commanded him, and offered it to them. 15: And the souls of Adam and Eve were brightened, and their hearts were filled with joy and gladness and with the praises of God.
16: And God said to Adam, "This shall be unto you a custom, to do so, when affliction and sorrow come upon you. But your deliverance and your entrance into the garden, shall not be until the days are fulfilled, as agreed between you and Me; were it not so, I would, of My mercy and pity for you, bring you back to My garden and to My favour for the sake of the offering you have just made to My name."
17: Adam rejoiced at these words which he heard from God; and he and Eve worshipped before the altar, to which they bowed, and then went back to the Cave of Treasures. 18: And this took place at the end of the twelfth day after the eightieth day, from the time Adam and Eve came out of the garden.”
7. Name for the Promised One:
Although no specific “name” seems evident, the following passage does promise a time easily interpreted as a time when people shall eat and live forever.
In other words, people will eat of the “bread of life” or knowledge of the Word of God and “live forever”- being made alive in the Spirit.
Apocrypha Book 1 Chap. XXXVIII. "When 5500 years are fulfilled”.
“AFTER these things the Word of God came to Adam, and said unto him,” 2: O Adam, as to the fruit of the Tree of Life, for which thou askest, I will not give it thee now, but when the 5500 years are fulfilled. Then will I give thee of the fruit of the Tree of Life, and thou shalt eat, and live for ever, thou, and Eve, and thy righteous seed.”
Baha’i scripture refers to an “Adamic cycle” which began with the prophet Adam and ended with the proclamation of the Bab. This would be the age old cycle, whose beginning is lost in the mists of time, where God is being a “Father” to an immature mankind. God patiently guides the “child” from infancy through adolescence while at the same time promising a great future in store for all at the “time of the end” (change), or when man grows to maturity and becomes a servant of God.
As Scriptures from the Bible, Apocrypha, Quran and Baha’i texts are studied the fundamental nature of Adam’s true status becomes one of primary concern- is he a “sinner” or “savior”? The main body of this overview will focus on this issue.
8. BIRTH LEGENDS & LIFE:
Our story of Adam’s life begins with
“ The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man,” You are free to eat of any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.
18: The Lord God said,” It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” 19: Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21: So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22: Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23: The man said,” This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’, for she was taken out of man. 24: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
Genesis 3:1-7: Eve is tempted by the serpent to eat from the tree of knowledge.
4:” You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Eve succumbs to temptation and upon eating the fruit finds it desirable for gaining wisdom. She then gives some to her husband. “7: Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
Genesis 3:8-24: To paraphrase: God sees what they have done. He condemns them and drives them out of Eden. After this the narrative shifts to Cain and Abel.
There is apparently no mention of Adam receiving a specific revelation from God as is taught in the Apocrypha, Quran, or Baha’i Writings (see below).
Genesis does say in Chapter 5:1-2:”When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God; He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them “man”.
Question. -- What is the truth of the story of Adam, and His eating of the fruit of the tree? Abdu’l-Baha answers:
“In the Bible it is written that God put Adam in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and take care of it, and said to Him: "Eat of every tree of the garden except the tree of good and evil, for if You eat of that, You will die." Then it is said that God caused Adam to sleep, and He took one of His ribs and created woman in order that she might be His companion. After that it is said the serpent induced the woman to eat of the tree, saying: "God has forbidden you to eat of the tree in order that your eyes may not be opened, and that you may not know good from evil." Then Eve ate from the tree and gave unto Adam, Who also ate; their eyes were opened, they found themselves naked, and they hid their bodies with leaves. In consequence of this act they received the reproaches of God. God said to Adam: "Hast Thou eaten of the forbidden tree?" Adam answered: "Eve tempted me, and I did eat." God then reproved Eve; Eve said: "The serpent tempted me, and I did eat." For this the serpent was cursed, and enmity was put between the serpent and Eve, and between their descendants. And God said: "The man is become like unto Us, knowing good and evil, and perhaps He will eat of the tree of life and live forever. So God guarded the tree of life.”
[1 Cf. Gen. 2:16-17.]
[2 Cf. Gen. 3:5.]
[3 Cf. Gen. 3:11-15,22.]
“If we take this story in its apparent meaning, according to the interpretation of the masses, it is indeed extraordinary. The intelligence cannot accept it, affirm it, or imagine it; for such arrangements, such details, such speeches and reproaches are far from being those of an intelligent man, how much less of the Divinity -- that Divinity Who has organized this infinite universe in the most perfect form, and its innumerable inhabitants with absolute system, strength and perfection.
We must reflect a little: if the literal meaning of this story were attributed to a wise man, certainly all would logically deny that this arrangement, this invention, could have emanated from an intelligent being. Therefore, this story of Adam and Eve who ate from the tree, and their expulsion from Paradise, must be thought of simply as a symbol. It contains divine mysteries and universal meanings, and it is capable of marvelous explanations. Only those who are initiated into mysteries, and those who are near the Court of the All-Powerful, are aware of these secrets. Hence these verses of the Bible have numerous meanings.
We will explain one of them, and we will say: Adam signifies the heavenly spirit of Adam, and Eve His human soul. For in some passages in the Holy Books where women are mentioned, they represent the soul of man. The tree of good and evil signifies the human world; for the spiritual and divine world is purely good and absolutely luminous, but in the human world light and darkness, good and evil, exist as opposite conditions.
The meaning of the serpent is attachment to the human world. This attachment of the spirit to the human world led the soul and spirit of Adam from the world of freedom to the world of bondage and caused Him to turn from the Kingdom of Unity to the human world. When the soul and spirit of Adam entered the human world, He came out from the paradise of freedom and fell into the world of bondage. From the height of purity and absolute goodness, He entered into the world of good and evil.
The tree of life is the highest degree of the world of existence: the position of the Word of God, and the supreme Manifestation. Therefore, that position has been preserved; and, at the appearance of the most noble supreme Manifestation, it became apparent and clear. For the position of Adam, with regard to the appearance and manifestation of the divine perfections, was in the embryonic condition; the position of Christ was the condition of maturity and the age of reason; and the rising of the Greatest Luminary  was the condition of the perfection of the essence and of the qualities. This is why in the supreme Paradise the tree of life is the expression for the center of absolutely pure sanctity -- that is to say, of the divine supreme Manifestation. From the days of Adam until the days of Christ, They spoke little of eternal life and the heavenly universal perfections. This tree of life was the position of the Reality of Christ; through His manifestation it was planted and adorned with everlasting fruits.”
(Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 122-123)
19: And (unto man): O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden and eat from whence ye will, but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrongdoers.
20: Then Satan whispered to them that he might manifest unto them that which was hidden from them of their shame, and he said: Your Lord forbade you from this tree only lest ye should become angels or become of the immortals. 21: And he swore unto them (saying): Lo! I am a sincere adviser unto you. 22: Thus did he lead them on with guile. And when they tasted of the tree their shame was manifest to them and they began to hide (by heaping) on themselves some of the leaves of the Garden.
And their Lord called them, (saying): Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you: Lo! Satan is an open enemy to you? 23: They said: Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If thou forgive us not and have not mercy on us, surely we are of the lost! 24: He said: Go down (from hence), one of you a foe unto the other. There will be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a while. 25: He said: There shall ye live, and there shall ye die, and thence shall ye be brought forth.
26: O Children of Adam! We have revealed unto you raiment to conceal your shame, and splendid vesture, but the raiment of restraint from evil, that is best. This is of the revelations of Allah, that they may remember.
Abdu’l-Baha adds this:
“Remember how Adam and the others once dwelt together in Eden. No sooner, however, did a quarrel break out between Adam and Satan than they were, one and all, banished from the Garden, and this was meant as a warning to the human race, a means of telling humankind that dissension -- even with the Devil -- is the way to bitter loss. This is why, in our illumined age, God teacheth that conflicts and disputes are not allowable, not even with Satan himself. “
(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 275)
Here is a different interpretation of meanings, places and stories revolving around the Adam mystic; including the Genesis Creation story, Tree of Knowledge, Garden of Eden and others.
58: These are they unto whom Allah showed favour from among the prophets, of the seed of Adam and of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Noah, and of the seed of Abraham and Israel, and from among those whom We guided and chose. When the revelations of the Beneficent were recited unto them, they fell down, adoring and weeping.
59: Now there hath succeeded them a later generation whom have ruined worship and have followed lusts. But they will meet deception. 60: Save him who shall repent and believe and do right. Such will enter the Garden, and they will not be wronged in aught - 61: Gardens of Eden, which the Beneficent hath promised to His slaves in the unseen. Lo! His promise is ever sure of fulfillment – 62: They hear therein no idle talk, but only Peace; and therein they have food for morn and evening.63: Such is the Garden, which We cause the devout among Our bondmen to inherit.
64: We (angels) come not down save by commandment of thy Lord. Unto Him belongeth all that is before us and all that is behind us and all that is between those two, and thy Lord was never forgetful - 65: Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them! Therefore, worship thou Him and be thou steadfast in His service. Knowest thou one that can be named along with Him?
66: And man saith: When I am dead, shall I forsooth be brought forth alive?
(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr)
Next Abdu'l-Baha addresses another popular Bible question about Adam:
Question. -- In verse 22 of chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians it is written: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." What is the meaning of these words?
Answer. – “Know that there are two natures in man: the physical nature and the spiritual nature. The physical nature is inherited from Adam, and the spiritual nature is inherited from the Reality of the Word of God, which is the spirituality of Christ. The physical nature is born of Adam, but the spiritual nature is born from the bounty of the Holy Spirit. The first is the source of all imperfection; the second is the source of all perfection.
The Christ sacrificed Himself so that men might be freed from the imperfections of the physical nature and might become possessed of the virtues of the spiritual nature. This spiritual nature, which came into existence through the bounty of the Divine Reality, is the union of all perfections and appears through the breath of the Holy Spirit. It is the divine perfections; it is light, spirituality, guidance, exaltation, high aspiration, justice, love, grace, kindness to all, philanthropy, and the essence of life. It is the reflection of the splendor of the Sun of Reality.
The Christ is the central point of the Holy Spirit: He is born of the Holy Spirit; He is raised up by the Holy Spirit; He is the descendant of the Holy Spirit -- that is to say, that the Reality of Christ does not descend from Adam; no, it is born of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, this verse in Corinthians, "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive," means, according to this terminology, that Adam is the father of man -- that is to say, He is the cause of the physical life of mankind; His was the physical fatherhood. He is a living soul, but He is not the giver of spiritual life, whereas Christ is the cause of the spiritual life of man, and with regard to the spirit, His was the spiritual fatherhood. Adam is a living soul; Christ is a quickening spirit. (Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 118)
A focus on the “Garden of Eden”.
If we read Genesis it clearly states,” Gen. 2:8 “now the Lord God had planted a Garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.” Gen2: 15, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Note: Adam was to work the garden and take care of it aiding the fruits to grow.
This is part of the enigma of Adam. God does not seem to unconditionally condemn him, for he is clothed as befits his new knowledge, yet, God sends him back from where he had previously been before God placed him in the Garden of Eden. Gen.3: 23,” So the Lord God banished him from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.” Thus Genesis makes it clear God put Adam in the Garden of Eden but did not create him there and, as a result of his disobedience, God sent Adam back to the original place, or, perhaps, state of being?
Might the “Garden of Eden” be a metaphor for paradise, heaven, or the condition of being near to God?
In the Quran Sura 19:59-63 says,” ( this bears repeating)
59: Now there hath succeeded them a later generation whom have ruined worship and have followed lusts. But they will meet deception.
60: Save him who shall repent and believe and do right. Such will enter the Garden, and they will not be wronged in aught -
61: Gardens of Eden, which the Beneficent hath promised to His slaves in the unseen. Lo! His promise is ever sure of fulfillment -
62: They hear therein no idle talk, but only Peace; and therein they have food for morn and evening.
63: Such is the Garden, which We cause the devout among Our bondmen to inherit.
(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr)
If indeed the Garden of Eden is a term for paradise it seems God did punish Adam by removing him back by placing him in a location more remote from the nearness of God. Yet the Quran adds (see below) that after being banished from the Garden Adam receives Revelation from a merciful relenting God.
9. MANNER OF REVELATION:
,” 35 And We said: O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and eat ye freely (of the fruits) thereof where ye will; but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrongdoers.
36 But Satan caused them to deflect there from and expelled them from the (happy) state in which they were; and We said: Fall down, one of you a foe unto the other! There shall be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a time.
37 Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the relenting, the Merciful.”
(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr)
Apocrypha Adam & Eve Book 1 chap 2: 1-5 and Chap 3: 1-2 Adam and Eve faint upon leaving the Garden. God sends His word to encourage them. “BUT when our father Adam, and Eve, went out of the garden, they trod the ground on their feet, not knowing where they were treading.
2 And when they came to the opening of the gate of the garden, and saw the broad earth spread before them, covered with stones large and small, and with sand, they feared and trembled, and fell on their faces, from the fear that came upon them; and they were as dead. 3Because--whereas they had hitherto been in the garden-land, beautifully planted with all manner of trees--they now saw themselves, in a strange land, which they knew not, and had never seen.
4 And because at that time they were filled with the grace of a bright nature, and they had not hearts turned towards earthly things. 5 Therefore had God pity on them; and when He saw them fallen before the gate of the garden, He sent His Word unto father Adam and Eve, and raised them from their fallen state.”
Chapter 3 Concerning the promise of the great five days and a half: “GOD said to Adam, "I have ordained on this earth days and years, and thou and thy seed shall dwell and walk in it, until the days and years are fulfilled; when I shall send the Word that created thee, and against which thou hast transgressed, the Word that made thee come out of the garden and that raised thee when thou wast fallen. 2 Yea, the Word that will again save thee when the five days and a half are fulfilled." (This is explained to be 5500 years and possibly refers to Christ.)
Note the above phrases: “ He sent his Word unto father Adam and Eve and raised them from their fallen state…The Word…that raised thee when thou hast fallen… that will again save thee,”
Also in the Apocrypha: Chapter 4 Adam sees the Devil in his true colors. “THEN God ordered Satan to show himself to Adam in plainly, in his own hideous form. 2 But when Adam saw him, he feared, and trembled at the sight of him. 3 And God said to Adam, "Look at this devil, and at his hideous look, and know that he it is who made thee fall from brightness into darkness, from peace and rest to toil and misery. 4 And look, O Adam, at him, who said of himself that he is God! Can God be black? Would God take the form of a woman? Is there any one stronger than God? And can He be overpowered? 5 "See, then, O Adam, and behold him bound in thy presence, in the air, unable to flee away! Therefore, I say unto thee, be not afraid of him; henceforth take care, and beware of him, in whatever he may do to thee."
6 Then God drove Satan away from before Adam, whom He strengthened, and whose heart He comforted, saying to him, "Go down to the Cave of Treasures, and separate not thyself from Eve; I will quell in you all animal lust." 7 From that hour it left Adam and Eve, and they enjoyed rest by the commandment of God. But God did not the like to any one of Adam's seed; but only to Adam and Eve.
8 Then Adam worshipped before the Lord, for having delivered him, and for having layed his passions. And he came down from above the cave, and dwelt with Eve as aforetime. 9 This ended the forty days of his separation from Eve. (Note: the number “forty”. This is a common number in Holy Scripture. It signifies “trial” in some form.)
In the underlined above it is evident Adam and Eve had a special relationship with God.There are many unmistakable additional references in the Quran and Baha’i texts that Adam was a holy man from God. (Sura 2:30-31) Not only was he acceptable but he received direct revelation from God as well. (Sura 2:32) thus Adam’s true station is not one for being the “first sinner” but rather, of being the first revealer of God’s will for the people.
Abdu'l-Baha confirms: “It is said in the Old Testament, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Observe that it is said that Adam came into existence from the Spirit of life. Moreover, the expression which John uses in regard to the disciples proves that they also are from the Heavenly Father. Hence it is evident that the holy reality, meaning the real existence of every great man, comes from God and owes its being to the breath of the Holy Spirit.” [1 Gen. 2:7.]
(Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 89)
Why then is the Biblical Adam seen as the primal sinner who brings sin upon the shoulders of all people?
It must be remembered that these accounts, these oral traditions, were finally written down hundreds, if not thousands of years after their time. If indeed, in the ancient past, Adam was a prophet of God and spoke the Word of God; the same Word spoken by later prophets such as Abraham, Moses and Jesus; history teaches us that: Even though the original founders of great Faiths unite their disciples in the light of their teachings and often are seen as a positive influence on civilizing morals, arts, sciences and the like; over time decay, doctrine and the dimming of the divine light sets in. Followers of Adam would certainly have lost the true meanings as extolled by Adam and be counted among those who were lost. They would indeed be “sinning” in Adam for by rigidly adhering to age old memorized rituals they would be “separating” themselves from God’s continuing Will and Purpose. It is evident that by the time these traditions were recorded the Faith of Adam would have been seen only as a decadent shell of what it had been. Those who believed in Abraham- just as those of Abraham did not recognize Moses would have seen Adamic followers only as unbelievers; those who believed in Moses failed to recognize Jesus, etc.
A Baha’i viewpoint on the subject:
“From the days of Adam until today, the religions of God have been made manifest, one following the other, and each one of them fulfilled its due function, revived mankind, and provided education and enlightenment. They freed the people from the darkness of the world of nature and ushered them into the brightness of the Kingdom. As each succeeding Faith and Law became revealed it remained for some centuries a richly fruitful tree and to it was committed the happiness of humankind. However, as the centuries rolled by, it aged, it flourished no more and put forth no fruit, wherefore was it then made young again.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 51)
Sura 2:37-42 addresses the people of Israel to remember the Covenant of God, to be accepting of Revelations (plural) and not confuse truth with falsehood. (Verse 37 is repeated for context.)
37 Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the relenting, the Merciful.
38 We said: Go down, all of you, from hence; but verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance; and whoso followeth My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. 39 But they who disbelieve, and deny Our revelations, such are rightful Peoples of the Fire. They will abide therein.
40 O Children of Israel! Remember My favour wherewith I favoured you, and fulfill your (part of the) covenant; I shall fulfill My (part of the) covenant, and fear Me.
41 And believe in that which I reveal, confirming that which ye possess already (of the Scripture), and be not first to disbelieve therein, and part not with My revelations for a trifling price, and keep your duty unto Me. 42 Confound not truth with falsehood, nor knowingly conceal the truth.”
(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr),
Hence it is evident from several Christian, Moslem and Baha’i scriptures that the spirit of man is created in the image of God. But Adam sinned by disobeying God. Yet, in doing so he realized knowledge only Man possesses; good and evil, right from wrong, morality etc.
The story of Adam encapsulates the primal duality of the nature of Man. Man is created in the image of God. God is Spirit; therefore, Man’s true nature is spirit. But man’s lower nature is imperfect and becomes a veil between himself and God.
God gave man free will. It is woven into the animal fabric of man’s existence that he will not understand and be led away from the Light of God. Yet, we were created to know and to worship God, thus we need to strive to attain the unattainable.
Scriptures of many world faiths make clear the importance of letting go of habit and tradition. We must be ever open and receptive to God’s Word.
Below are words of wisdom concerning the nature and stature of Adam and the nature and status of Mankind as found in the Baha’i Writings.
“From the time of the creation of Adam to this day there have been two pathways in the world of humanity; one the natural or materialistic, the other the religious or spiritual. The pathway of nature is the pathway of the animal realm. The animal acts in accordance with the requirements of nature, follows its own instincts and desires. Whatever its impulses and proclivities may be it has the liberty to gratify them; yet it is a captive of nature. It cannot deviate in the least degree from the road nature has established. It is utterly minus spiritual susceptibilities, ignorant of divine religion and without knowledge of the kingdom of God.”
6” As for Cain, when the mourning for his brother was ended, he took his sister Luluwa and married her, without leave from his father and mother; for they could not keep him from her, by reason of their heavy heart. 7 He then went down to the bottom of the mountain, away from the garden, near to the place where he had killed his brother. 8 And in that place were many fruit trees and forest trees. His sister bare him children, who in their turn began to multiply by degrees until they filled that place.”
Abdu'l-Baha makes a controversial point clear:
“During the time of the Abrahamic prophethood it was considered allowable because of a certain exigency that a man should marry his aunt, even as Sarah was the sister of Abraham's mother. During the cycle of Adam it was lawful and expedient for a man to marry his own sister, even as Abel, Cain and Seth the sons of Adam married their sisters. But in the law of the Pentateuch revealed by Moses these marriages were forbidden and their custom and sanction abrogated. Other laws formerly valid were annulled during the time of Moses.
For example, it was lawful in Abraham's cycle to eat the flesh of the camel, but during the time of Jacob this was prohibited. Such changes and transformations in the teaching of religion are applicable to the ordinary conditions of life but they are not important…
Time changes conditions, and laws change to suit conditions.
We must remember that these changing laws are not the essentials; they are the accidentals of religion. The essential ordinances established by a Manifestation of God are spiritual; they concern moralities, the ethical development of man and faith in God. They are ideal and necessarily permanent expressions of the one foundation and not amenable to change or transformation. Therefore the fundamental basis of the revealed religion of God is immutable, unchanging throughout the centuries, not subject to the varying conditions of the human world.”
(Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 274)
“In these days there must needs be a mighty power of accord instilled into the nations. The principles of the oneness of the world of humanity must be proclaimed, understood and put into practice, so that all the nations and religions may again remember the long-forgotten fact - that they are all the progeny of primordial humanity, Adam, and the denizens of one land. Are they not breathing one air? Is not the same sun shining upon all? Are they not the sheep of one flock? Is not God the universal shepherd? Is he not kind unto all?”
(Abdu'l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 177)
Many “primitive” tribes to this day prefer to identify themselves by their own traditional names. North American ‘Innuit’ and ‘Anishinabe’ are two examples of names for native peoples ancestrally thought to be the only “true people”. Keith Parker in his book ”Seven Cherokee Myths” states,” The Cherokee call themselves the Ani’Yun’wiya’, or Principal People, or Real People. Parker states,” Many tribes use some form of “Principal” or “The” to refer to themselves in their own language,” This then may reference perceptions from the distant past when people were few in number and contact, along with knowledge of other clans and tribes, was limited. Strangers from other tribes were commonly seen as “from a different world” or were oftentimes feared as “demons” or “devil-spirits” from a different realm as perhaps, when strangers emerged from caves or came from behind a knoll or seen emerging from a lake.
Verse 9 about the “strangers being a satanic illusion” is not literally true. Adam simply perceived it this way.
In Book 1 Chap LXXI: 13-14 & Chap. LXXII: 1-9 of Adam and Eve in the Apocrypha we find these illuminating passages:
13 Then Adam and Eve went to the river of water, and sat on the bank, as people do when they enjoy themselves. 14 But Satan was jealous of them; and would destroy them.
At this point we have come “full circle”. Genesis 1:1-31 through Genesis 2:1-3 seem to be a separate creation story from what begins in Gen 2:4. In Gen1: 26’ it says,”Let us make Man in our own image, in our likeness, and let them [plural] rule”….
The remainder of Genesis 2 is more concerned with the specific creation of Adam. However, verse 4 still begins with,” This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.” This sure sounds like another beginning of a separate account to me.
10. ROLE AS CIVILIZING AGENT:
Possibly lived in lower Mesopotamia near the Persian Gulf. NIV Bible Study notes. Scriptures suggest he may have helped develop language (Gen 2:19-20), a star based calendar (Gen 1:14), the making of clothing and the development of agriculture. Gen 1:25 differentiates between wild animals and livestock. The Apocrypha 1:LXVIII speaks of corn).
Here is an account where an angel of God teaches Adam how to make clothing from skins.
This search for material related to Adam & Eve has reinforced an ever-increasing awareness of the need to look at, compare and piece together writings found in different Scriptures and authoritative writings.
Genesis mentions little of the multiple accounts of Satan’s many devious attempts to lure Adam and his sons away from the Will of God. Nor does the Bible even mention Eve’s anguish and her offer to sacrifice her life to atone for luring Adam to eat of the apple. (All of this is found in detail in the Apocrypha.)
In addition, ample evidence of Adam being something more than a “primal sinner” is only found in the Apocrypha, which the early church decreed should not be a part of the Bible, along with Quranic and Baha’i elucidations on the matter. When all these writings are compared there seems to be strong evidence Adam, indeed, was nothing less than a Messenger of God for his people.
Chapter 3:59 in The Holy Quran sums it up nicely, saying,” Lo! the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then He said unto him: Be! and he is.
(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr), Sura 3 - The Family Of Imran)
Home Site: http://onenessbecomesus.com
Reference links: : http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/fbe/index.htm#section_000