Richard H. from Canada contacted us after reading Philip Bell’s book review article, The ‘problem’ of evil and the supremacy of Scripture, with questions relating to the type of death that is biblically permissible prior to the Fall of Man into sin. His message is printed in full followed by Philip Bell’s response.
I read with great joy daily articles from Creation. I hold strongly with a six day creation and death coming from the sin of Adam. I agree with Rom. 5 that tells that there was no human death before Adam sinned. But there are several biblical observations that I never encountered in Creation discussion.
Genesis is quite clear with the fact that eternal human life was dependent on eating the fruit. Adam and Eve, according to Genesis, were dependent on eating the tree of life to live eternally. The scripture is really clear, it was a real tree with real fruit with a real effect: conserving the life given by God. God, after the Fall, said :
Genesis 3:22 (ASV) And Jehovah 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 …
The text is quite clear. The eternal life was dependent on being able to go in the garden, taking the fruit of the tree of life, and living eternally. Being driven out from the garden guarded by angels, and not being able to take from the fruit of the tree of life meant death. That was the sentence, and from there on … death for any human being.
If my exegesis is good, it means that death was there in latent form in Adam & Eve, and it was only by his faithful obedience allowing him to take the tree of life, that this life would be permanent. It seems clearly to indicate that eternal life for Adam & Eve was not an “autonomous eternal life”….
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