Thursday, September 16, 2010

Deserts and Gardens

In the garden, Adam was tempted by the Devil, and that garden withered and died from Adam's sin and turned into a desert.

Many centuries later, the Last Adam appeared and went into that wilderness to be tempted by the Devil in order that by His obedience the desert might become a garden again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that the desert becomes a garden, although the desert sometimes leads into a garden. In terms of mythic typology, I think the garden gets a bad reputation. The "desert" often referred to in the Gospels speaks more to an "uninhabited place" than it does sand and cacti.

And Jesus seems to give some preference to uninhabited places. In the first few chapters of Mark we find Jesus going to solitary places a host of times (it's a strange misconception many Christians have that Jesus only spent time alone when He was tempted by Satan- that just doesn't hold up). In Mark, we find Jesus going off to uninhabited places again and again- three times in the first chapter alone.

I'd recommend Malbon's "Narrative Space and Mythic Meaning in Mark" as a brilliant, strongly typological book that at very least complicates simplistic readings of garden/desert in Scripture as being like heaven/hell or order/chaos.