First thing’s first: I am not a Christian. I just like overthinking things, and cannot wait to find out just how wrong I am.
My thoughts on the passion of Christ are an extension of Youtube channel Big Joel’s thoughts on Adam and Eve. You should watch the whole original video to get his complete argument, but I’ll summarize it here briefly.
Basically, Adam and Eve is not a story about God punishing humans for disobeying him, but rather an explanation for why there is suffering in the world. God tells Adam and Eve: You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die. This sounds more like a threat as a warning, similar to a parent telling their child: You shall not touch the stove, or you shall be burnt.
Additionally, since the fruit is from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, it implies that Adam and Eve didn’t have knowledge of morality before they ate it. How could God punish them for disobeying when they had no way to know that following his commands was a good thing to do?
Big Joel’s answer is that death and suffering are a natural result of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, not a punishment. After all, morality is meaningless unless we live in a world where our actions have severe consequences. There’s no point in knowing what’s good and what’s evil unless those things actually exist.
Big Joel takes this a step further. At the end of the story, God takes special care to make sure Adam and Eve cannot eat from the tree of life, which he implies would make them like gods. God, after all, is a being who probably does not die and does not suffer, yet he also knows of good and evil. So, why can’t they be like him?
Perhaps it is because human beings have an ability God lacks. Because God does not die and he does not suffer, he cannot actually be moral. He can understand good and evil, but they will always be an abstract notion to him with no real meaning. Humans, on the other hand, have the potential to be moral beings, something God can never be.
I like this explanation, because it’s fun and it tracks with a lot of the concepts I’m used to hearing. God in the Torah is a bizarrely cruel and amoral: His actions reflect the attitude…