Former evangelical Christian here, long story.
So a favorite argument of Christian creationists (especially young earthers) is that evolution cannot have been God’s method of creation because, in the Edenic age before sin, nothing died. They justify this with a particularly literal reading of Romans 5:12, and God having called the creation “very good” at the close of the six days. Granted human death resulting from sin is a foundational tenet of Christian thought, but creationists take it further to say that all death everywhere happened because Eve ate the fruit. This is where they get the ridiculous idea that T-Rex was somehow vegan in the Garden, among others.
But given that the Tanakh is Jewish before it’s Christian, what’s the opinion of Jewish theology on this? I feel like human death resulting from sin is obvious in Genesis 3 and elsewhere. But then you have the depictions of the Messianic Kingdom where the wolf lays down with the lamb, the baby puts their hand in the viper’s nest, and “they will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain”. If that vision is implied to be of a creation that restores God’s original design for it, does that also imply that there was no death of any kind in the Garden?
I’m asking for the viewpoints of traditional and modern Jewish theology to be clear, I don’t care if you believe there was a Garden with the trees or not.
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