Monday, May 04, 2009

Skins for Adam and Eve

On the Church_Of_Christ Yahoo! Group, billysh226 wrote:
In the first place Adam wasn't born,he was created.Adam became corrupt when he died spiritually by his disobedience. That's why God made the first blood sacrafice and clothed them with animal skins{Gen.3:21} [errors in original].
Whereas I certainly do not dispute this claim that God killed [an] animal[s] and clothed Adam and Eve with animal skins, for that seems to me to make the best sense of the passage, it's good to realize that's not what the text says.

The text does not mention the killing of animals at all. Nor does it say that the skins came from animals.

If I had to offer any other hypothesis than the one billysh226 makes above, and which most of us have believed all our lives, I would suggest that perhaps before the Fall, Adam and Eve were dressed in light, much like Jesus and Elijah and Moses were dressed in light on the Mount of Transfiguration.

Being so clothed, they were not ashamed.

However, when they sinned, their light went out, and they were ashamed of what they had become. In this hypothesis, they were not ashamed because they now associated nudity with sin; they were ashamed because they no longer fully bore the image of God, Who is Light.

It would be kind of like you as a teenager being told by Mom and Dad to not get a tattoo, and then getting drunk one night and coming home covered in tattoos. You could not hide the evidence that you had broken your parents' trust. (Not a great analogy, I know, but it's the first thought that comes to mind.)

Adam and Eve could not hide the evidence that they had broken God's one rule, and now things had changed drastically, just as He had warned them they would. If it was merely a matter of becoming aware of their nudity, they might have tried to bluff their way through by pretending all was the same as before, which would have been possible if their external appearance had not changed.

But they couldn't bluff their way if their external appearance had changed. But perhaps they could cover themselves with leaves and such, and hide the fact that underneath the leaves their lights had dimmed.

God then prepared human skin to wrap around our bodies, to fulfill the job that the light formerly did.

There are flaws with this hypothesis, and so I really don't fully subscribe to it. But I do find the idea interesting. Perhaps the glow of an expectant mother is a very dim remnant of that original light. Perhaps the encouragement to be light-bearers, etc, are based on cultural reminders of once being dressed in light. Perhaps the angels of light are more reminiscent of what we looked like originally, and what we'll be like in the resurrection. Perhaps Moses' face glowed after meeting with God as a result of his cellular matrix being slightly recharged with the natural state of our bodies.

But regardless of whether this idea has merit, or some other idea might have merit, the main point I started off with, and with which I want to finish, is that the actual text says nothing about the death of an animal, or of the skins provided to Adam and Eve being from animals. That's a meaning that we've inserted into the text rather than taking out of the text.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a Kaballistic teaching. Our teacher read to us out of a book that before the fall, Adam and Eve were creatures of light and that their skin was more like the material that makes up our fingernails.

Chyntt said...

Interesting. Thanks for that info!

Anonymous said...

This is a link to some jewish commentaries relating to your blog "Skins For Adam And Eve" entry. I thought you might be interested. http://www.yashanet.com/studies/judaism101/sidebars/ohr.htm