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I often hear that man was created perfect.

Yet Genesis 3:7 says that "they knew that they were naked." Additionally, Genesis 2:25 says they were "naked yet not ashamed."

Also, Genesis 2:18 says that the man was "alone," and God said that this was "not good."

Finally, there were times in Genesis 3 when God was not present and the man was separated from him as God had to appear in the garden.

I don't understand how one can conclude that man was created perfect when he was "naked," "alone," and separated from God at times. It seems as though man was initially created incomplete at best.

What is the Biblical basis for man being created perfect, or for man not being created perfect?

Thanks for your scripture-based thoughts on this.

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    What leads you to believe (1) that humans were created perfect, (2) nakedness indicates lack of perfection, (3) humans were ever fundamentally separated from God? (I don't see for example how you can reconcile the hypothesis that man was "separated from God" with Psalm 139 - "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.") – Matt Gutting Aug 19 '15 at 17:40
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On Nakedness and Shame

In Gen. 2:25, it states "and the two of them were naked" (וַיִּֽהְיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם עֲרוּמִּים), but it does not say that Adam and Eve knew they were naked (cp. Gen. 3:11). The statement that they were naked is merely an objective fact.

Because they did not know they were naked, "they were not ashamed" (וְלֹא יִתְבֹּשָׁשׁוּ) (ibid). Yet, in Gen. 3:7, once "they knew that they were naked" (וַיֵּדְעוּ כִּי עֵירֻמִּם הֵם), after partaking of the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:6), which causes their eyes to be opened (Gen. 3:7a), then they were ashamed and afraid (Gen. 3:10). Consequently, they made themselves girdles or aprons from fig leaves to cover their nakedness (Gen. 3:7b).

On Man being Alone

In Gen. 1:31, the ultimate verse of the first chapter in which humanity is created (cp. Gen. 1:26-27), both male and female of the species, "God saw everything that He made, and behold, it was very good."

Ergo, humanity created as both male and female was "very good," but when humanity existed as only male (i.e., as Adam by himself), it was "not good that he be alone" (cp. Gen. 2:18). Hence, God created Eve to be a helper for him, and this union of male and female, husband and wife, was then "very good."

Gen. 2 contains an expansion of Gen. 1, including an elaboration of the creation of humanity.

To note, while man being alone was not good, this does not mean that man himself was not good. Adam, the first man, was the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27), and if God is good, then man must have also been good (this pertains to man before his fall). The Lord Jesus Christ came to restore man to that original image of perfection and goodness.

  • I like what you wrote. thanks for the very specific answers that directly link to scripture. Good point on the "objective fact" about them being naked. – kickedout Aug 22 '15 at 18:35
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Considering when he was first created he was literally without sin, having not actually lived before, he would have been perfect for a time there. Also as far a his physical nature was concerned, it was perfect because he had a perfect genetic structure hand made by God and without blemish.
Genesis 2:7 - "Then YHWH, God, formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."

Also he had complete access to the tree of life at the beginning which no-one who has sinned is ever allowed to go near. Adam also had a free will, if he so wanted to spoil that perfection he was completely able to do so and God told him just how one could do such a thing as a warning: Genesis 2:17 - "but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die."

Of course death is the result of sin - Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of Sin is death". Adam was without sin for a time there and therefore perfect in God's sight originally - until that time (the fall Genesis 3:6).

So yes Adam was created as a perfect being according to the Bible and was originally not even subject to death - which means he was actually 'immortal' originally.

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Adam and Eve would have obviously known they were Naked - they did have EYES remember. But the first two people had just been created in their original state and so they were naked. Genesis 2:25 - "Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame."

When a child comes out of the womb, they are obviously naked. Does a child feel ashamed of being naked in front of their parents? Job 1:21 - "He said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away."

No, in fact a person is naked a lot of the time in front of their parents at a young age with no shame whatsoever - it is not that they are UNAWARE altogether that they are naked, it is just there is no shame of it.

God personally joined the first two people together and made them husband and wife - in the very first ceremony of marriage performed by God himself; a special union between specifically a man and a woman which is sanctified by God. (gen. 2:18, 2:24 - That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.)

When the first two people sinned it was not that they became aware that they were naked as such - it was that they became ashamed of their nakedness for the first time. Genesis 3:7 - At that moment their eyes were opened and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. (NIV) Most translation render the verse - 'they KNEW they were naked". In the dictionary, the word 'knew' is described 'to be cognizant or aware of'. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/knew?s=t

A husband and wife need not be ashamed of each other when they are naked and also a new-born is not ashamed of being naked in front of their parents. The opposite however is not the same - it is considered a disgrace for a man be seen naked in front to his mature children as we learn in Genesis from Noah and Ham's Incident: Genesis 9:22 - "Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. (23) they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked."

So was God naked in the garden TOO? NO he was not! We are told God wears clothes; specifically a white robe - whiter that the whitest wool: Daniel 7:9 - "As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool." Mark 9:3 - His clothing was dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. (Also Rev. 1:14).

God also wears sandals! Yes, God himself (YHWH) walked around his garden in sandals. Psalm 60:8 - "Moab is my washbasin, on Edom I toss my sandals..." (also psalm 108:9).

Clearly it is not appropriate for a persons parents to expose their nudity to their children in their mature years. Adam and Eve would not have remained naked forever, it was simply because they were man and wife and they were the only two living people in the world so there was no-one to be ashamed in front of. Once Adam and Eve had their first son, they would obviously have made clothes for themselves.

It is SIN which causes shame - not nakedness itself. Revelation 3:18 - "I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed."

It was only their shame which made them want to cover themselves up in front of God, because shame was something they had not experienced before.

Isaiah 47:3 - "Your nakedness will be uncovered, Your shame also will be exposed; I will take vengeance and will not spare a man."

Nakedness need only shame a person who is of sin in front of God or an adult in front of their mature children or in front of other mature people and their children. A husband and wife by themselves need not be ashamed at their nakedness in front of God, nor an unmarried person by themselves...

  • I could be wrong, but I suspect the nakedness was spiritual nakedness (no righteousness of their own) vs. physical nakedness of the body. I believe they didn't get an actual physical, natural body until Genesis 3:21 when God gave them "coats of skin". – kickedout Aug 22 '15 at 18:37
  • Formed from dust, I'm sure they had physical bodies. The nakedness they were ashamed of was no doubt spiritual, although the physical was an example for them. – disciple Aug 24 '15 at 9:34

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