Re: [asa] Suffering/Predation in the natural order

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Mon Jul 14 2008 - 20:46:07 EDT

Something stronger can be said than "No detail is given as to how he got that way." We're not told that he (the serpent) was that way (i.e., fallen). The only background on the serpent that Genesis gives us is that he "was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made." To the extent that Gen.3 can be read as a story of a fall, it could be seen as much the fall of the serpent as of the man & woman.

It's true that later - i.e., Rev.12 - the serpent is identified with Satan, whose fall there seems to be a consequence of the birth/death/resurrection/ascension of the Messiah (all combined in a few words) rather than as a primordial event. But to be clear: I do not mean to say that there are no biblical verses at all that hint at an angelic fall. But they are just that, hints. The mistake is to try to combine them into a thoroughly worked out "doctrine of the fall of Satan." (For that matter much the same can be said of all the elaborate angelologies of scholasticism, both Roman & Protestant.)


----- Original Message -----
From: "David Campbell" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2008 4:24 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Suffering/Predation in the natural order

>> Isaiah 14:12-15 is a Canaanite myth used used to speak of the fall of Babylonian &
>> similarly Ezekiel 28:11-19 is a mythic description of primordial man used to
>> prophesy the fall of the prince of Tyre. The biblical writers themselves
>> demythologized these stories & used them to speak of historical events, & it
>> has been a mistake for Christians to remythologize them as accounts of a
>> prehistorical fall of Satan.
> True, almost all of the detailed speculation about Satan's fall relies
> on misuse of those passages. However, the account of the fall of man
> in Gen. 3 assumes that the serpent (later identified with Satan) is
> already fallen. No detail is given as to how he got that way nor
> whether the event can be fit chronologically into any particular
> place, so little can be ruled in or out.
> --
> Dr. David Campbell
> 425 Scientific Collections
> University of Alabama
> "I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Mon Jul 14 20:49:37 2008

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