What about the Serpent in the Garden?
This really opens a can of worms..er serpents..er demons..er fallen angels..er something! Something the church has a very difficult time wrapping its collective theological head around! What is required to make Holy Scripture a revelation to His people and not an obfuscation to us, is a coherent doctrine concerning this issue; a doctrine that encompasses all of the issue without conflict; a doctrine that reveals to His people the source and genealogy of Satan without resorting to mystery or inserting a whole cosmos between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 to try to explain where Satan and all the rest of the heavenly host was before he and his followers were cast to earth to make our lives miserable!
If that can be done without violence to the text, indeed comprehending the plan of God, the condition of man, the proof that Jesus Christ really is the second Adam and as such redeemed His people by being one of us yet without sin, would it be worth investigating? If only to see where it might be in error? This journey may take unexpected turns. It may even come into conflict with church tradition. That is not something to be feared!
Tradition is not necessarily truth no matter how much anyone wants it to be! Jesus rubbed the noses of the Pharisees in that fact many times and was hated for it. His people are promised persecution. His own people persecuted Him. It was over a thousand years between Augustine and Luther. Both of whom fought church tradition. Augustine to proclaim doctrine, Luther to regain it. Its been 500 years since the 95 Theses was posted on the chapel door at Wittenberg. Isn’t it time to stir things up a bit?
The question is: What about the serpent in the garden? Church doctrine (that is what they teach about a given topic) is that the serpent was Satan. Either he was indwelling a serpent or something, but the Bible says serpent, but we know it was Satan who tempted Eve in the garden. The serpent was somehow Satan, Satan was somehow the serpent! Is that clear? I don’t think so but I’ve been accused of being overly picky. But is there a better understanding of who the serpent really was? To see if that is possible we have to start at the very beginning with the creation account itself.
So let us begin with asking what day were the angels created on? The creation account tells us what day every living thing, even the creeping things, were made. But wait. They aren’t in there. I have been told on more than one occasion that doesn’t matter. It’s not important that we know that. How important is it that we know what day the creeping things were made? What impact does their creation have on redemptive history? Since Scripture is considered to be primarily about redemptive history, is it not a reasonable assumption that the creation details of the very first vehicle of temptation be included in the creation account? They tell me if God thought we needed to know that, it would be there! So evidently we don’t! Unless it is, and we have been blind to it for millennia!
How could such a thing be so well hidden?
And the disciples came to Him and asked why He taught in parables. And He told them, so that seeing they would not perceive and hearing they would not understand. They have closed their eyes and become dull of hearing and their hearts are calloused. But unto you it is given to understand.
And Paul wrote to Timothy saying Study to show yourself approved, a workman rightly dividing the word of truth!
Why would God’s Son teach so that people would not understand?
Consider this: Jesus Christ is the Word Incarnate. Holy Scripture is the Word on paper. If The Word Incarnate taught in parables, is it too much of a stretch to believe that Holy Scripture does the same? Why else would Paul extol Timothy(and by extension us) to study to show himself approved? He was already greatly used of God in establishing the first century church. So why would he need to continue to study to show himself approved?
Okay, so what about the Serpent?