Periodically throughout my life I read the Bible. By that, I mean, perhaps 3 times, I have read The Book cover to cover. I've come to that place again I suppose, and this time I decided to try it by means of commentary... That of Matthew Henry to be specific. I find it fascinating as a historical and theological resource. I also find it embarrassing.
Theologically speaking, my search goes backwards... not forwards. The new teachings of today are mostly disregarded with little examination. Invariably they are like Frankenstein's monster... unrelated parts thrown together with just enough skill to produce something destructive.
The man who wrote these commentaries was born in 1680. These thoughts are not young... and they are sound. One can tell, by way the way they expose further genius in the Book itself. When reading, one has a little more clarity in the divine inspiration, because honestly, men as a group are not artful enough to weave such a work. Modern theological writings do not impress me the same way. Modern theologians do not know the Bible the way Matthew Henry did.
And since now the prelude is longer than the subject itself... perhaps its time to get on with it. Also... make no mistake... what follows is my own thinking... I claim no inspiration what-so-ever. Decide what you will.
There is a great deal to learn from the events of the Garden. Henry's commentary covers matters precisely. He points out conclusively that while Eve sinned, hers was not the Original Sin that damned Mankind to death. Her curses were listed specifically.
Modern Christians blame Eve, but God was harsher on Adam. Why?
There are those who teach that the instructions about the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil were not given to Eve by God Himself, but by Adam... and that Adam didn't explain the matter correctly.
See... Adam was told not to eat the fruit of that tree, but that he could eat all other fruits and herbs. But when Eve is discussing the matter with the Serpent (and its a good time to point out that the serpent probably didn't look like a snake... because God hadn't cursed it to crawl upon its belly yet) she thinks she's not supposed to touch the fruit or even look at it.
It was this confusion that gave Satan his opening.
He questioned Eve's teaching... and notice also, that he did this when Eve was separated from Adam. His questioning caused insecurity in her. Such that she looked at the tree. Now remember... previously Eve thought looking at the Tree was as bad as touching it which was as bad as eating the fruit. But when she looked, she saw that it looked like the other trees in the Garden. It was beautiful. Nothing bad happened. So she took the next step... lead by Satan of course... and touched and smelled the fruit... and again... nothing happened. Why then should she expect that something bad would happen when she ate the fruit?
And so the house crumbles for lack of teaching.
Do you think this doesn't go on today?
The Church is so hung up on avoiding sin, it actually ends up creating sin. Through confusion, the power of the commands are lost. Minor transgressions... and things that aren't transgressions at all, are called sin, in an attempt to avoid sin... yet it only serves to muddy the waters, and create a path by which people are lead astray.
I am taught that I shouldn't drink alcoholic beverage... .
Yet when I study and learn that the drinking of alcohol is not sin at all... then do I not begin to question everything I am taught?
I am unimpressed with the teaching of the modern Church. It appears to me she makes the same mistake as Adam.