There are two authors to all of Sacred Scripture. The true author and the principle author. God is the principle author of Sacred Scripture. What God intended when writing the Bible is the spiritual meaning, or “that which is deduced from the realities and events, specified in the sacred text”1 There are three types of spiritual meanings: Allegorical, moral, and anagogical. The allegorical type, like the passage I choose to analyze, “shows how people and events can be recognized by their significance in Christ.” The moral type teach us a lesson, and the anagogical type have events with an eternal meaning.
The true author of The Bible, those who did the literal act of writing it, is man. What man intended when writing the Bible is the literal meaning. The literal meaning is that which follows “the rules of sound interpretation.”1
In this passage the serpent, or the devil, is the antagonist. He is in the literal sense being made to crawl on his belly forever, and eat dust as punishment for his sin of tempting Adam and Eve (Gn 3:14). God also tells him he will “but enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gn. 3:15). The literal interpretation of this, what the human author meant, is that humans will be above snakes. Humans can st...
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...ll be hard work for him and he will have to do it his whole life. The greatest of their punishments is that “to dust you shall return” (Gn 3:19). The literal meaning of this being that man will eventually become dust again. The spiritual meaning is that man can now die, which was not a part of God’s original plan for man, but was a consequence of Adam and Eve’s sin.
The passage ends with Adam giving Eve her name “because she was the mother of all living things” (Gn. 3:20) Since Adam and Eve were the first humans they are literally the parents of all humans, and they have passed on their original sin to all their descendants, with the exception of Mary and Jesus Christ.
In the passage as a whole God is trying to teach us why humanity is flawed, why there is death and pain, and why we must work so hard to live. He is also giving us the hope of Satan being crushed.
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