This post originated on my blog at RedLetterLiving, but I think it will get the broader attention here that it deserves.
Anyone who has read many of my words over at RedLetterLiving knows that I don’t have a very positive attitude of much of what is found in the Old Testament. That part of the Bible is about Jewish history and the myths associated with those times. Much of it is very boring. For instance, a whole chapter about this person begat that person begat that person…. I know that many Christians have come to believe through that text that the earth is only 6,000 years old. I was kicked out of a Lutheran church for saying among other things, just not true. 🥴 But that expulsion ended up a good thing that made me grow in my spiritual life. But that is another story.
The Old Testament starts out totally on the wrong foot for me. It seems that God kicked humans out of heaven/Garden of Eden because they wanted to learn. After all they ate from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. At a very early age I came to understand that learning was a bad thing. Knowledge was deadly. I know hundreds of theologians and Pharisees have tried to explain it otherwise but that explanation just didn’t come through to a quizzical seven-year-old in a small Catholic school. Why do we even go to school if knowledge of good things is bad? Ok, enough of the Old Testament myth that influenced my early life.
As far as we know now only humans have the ability to accumulate knowledge. That seems to be a unique gift from God to us. I eventually came to understand that knowledge is a gift from God to help us do his will on this earth. Without that ability we would all have remained in the Paleolithic Era. We would still believe that our soul and conscience resides in a pump in the middle of our chest. I thank God that most of us, despite what the Hebrew Bible proclaimed understood the intrinsic value of knowledge. I know there are still many “adults” who never seemed to understand the knowledge and the sciences it has spurned are gifts from God. They remain anti-science and “God’s wrath” in their mentality. How sad is that”?
Here I am in my eighth decade of life and the quest for knowledge still rules my life. I have so much to learn and not enough time to do it. I am addicted to knowledge of both good and evil. We must have knowledge of the good so that we can celebrate it and learn how to accomplish again. We must have the knowledge of evil so that we can discover the best ways to defeat it.
So, in my mind the OT simply has it wrong. God intended us to have the knowledge of good and evil in order to survive in this world. In order to do his will of loving each other and loving all the knowledge she has given us.
It’s as simple as that….