Comments on Keathley: What is at Stake?

Ken Keathley is certainly not anywhere current on the latest results from human origins. Why does his opinions matter?

If by “structuralist” you mean “substantive” or “essentialist,” then yes. Scripture as a whole seem to teach that the Divine Image is something humans possess, not merely enjoy or do. I admit that I can’t point to where or how humans possess it.

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@KKeathley IS a really important voice.
However, I personally see so clearly how a sequential reading clears all of this up, and am rather baffled at why it doesn’t seem to even be considered as a viable option by good scholars whom I admire. The weird thing is, their textual counterarguments are all on shaky contextual and lexical grounds!
The rationale Walton uses to promote a sequential view of reading the first two chapters in light of each other can be unpacked from a lot of other things he has to say.
I, personally, came to this view independently of Walton, by studying the Hebrew words and discourse more closely.
Pretty sure @jongarvey is in that same camp, or at least ballpark.
Adam and Eve are specially chosen, specially situated, bear special guilt for what they brought upon the rest of “Imago Dei” humanity, but the Scriptures do not say that God “created” them, specifically. That they were made of dust does not deny their continuity with humanity at that time who were outside the garden, as it doesn’t for Job when he exclaims "‘Remember now, that You have made me as clay; And would You turn me into dust again? Did You not pour me out like milk And curdle me like cheese; Clothe me with skin and flesh, And knit me together with bones and sinews? You have granted me life and lovingkindness; And Your care has preserved my spirit.’ - Job 10:9-12 NASB
Though “formed of dust,” he was also born normally to a human mother.
The “deep sleep” the LORD puts Adam into is for a revelatory dream or vision, not for (or, at least, not JUST for) physical surgery. Read Walton on this particular point.
Colloquial and theological language abounds in these early writings, without detracting from their historicity.


Genesis 1 says “adamites” bear the image of God. Genesis 2 doesnt mention it at all. But Genesis 9 has God confirming with Noah that hereinafter, all murder is punishable by death, because the image of god is invoked on all of Noah’s offspring.

Why would God be unable to make more than one human with the same human legacy in terms of genetics?


In fact, if we relied on GENETIC descent… the influence (genetic) of Adam would be virtually ZERO in ten generations!

The Hebrew name form appears nowhere in Genesis 1. Even Jack Collins says the first reference to the named individual, “Adam,” is in Genesis 2:20. (see pp. 55-56, “Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?”)
Therefore, speaking of any prior or other humanity as “preadamites” is a diminishment of their status as being “Imago Dei” humanity, from Genesis 1:27.
Would you refer to, say, Jimmy Carter as a “preTrumpite?” :o)

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Really? That is interesting. That match’s the septuagint’s switch from anthropos to Adam.

Though @Guy_Coe, give him a little space. I know you are an RTB supporter and really want the GAE to be taken up there. Ken has been very supportive. I want to clarify precisely his objections.

I also expect he will need to give his own take on how to resolve the conundrums. He may not like how I resolve the tensions, and might instead do it in a different way.

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I only want Ken to know that the “difficulties” of a GAaE model are even more “surmountable,” in my view, than those issues which arise from a recapulatory reading. Dr. Keathley knows his stuff, and is not in the least put off by a “contrary” position like this. Indeed, I hope he’ll engage with it. That’s how mutual discovery takes place!

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Why can’t one be both a structuralist and a vocationalist, as long as the reading of the first two pericopes is sequential? Mankind generally, in that reading is made “in God’s image,” with a vocational mandate, which is then subsequently additionally defined and revealed to Adam and Eve, by virtue of their specific and situationally unique vocation? My two cents… :o)

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The term “adamites” is for the readers convenience… without having to press too heavily on the grammar of Adam = Humans.

But next time ill try “humans” aa a test.


When I use “pre-adamites”… i dont think there is a better alternative!

Understood, but it actually muddies the waters, for me. Cheers!

Please check my added note. What do you recommend i use to replace “pre-Adamite”?

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Personally? “Imago Dei humanity.” Thanks for asking… to each his own. :o)

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I agree btw. “Pre-adamite” is disfavored language.

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It was used badly to justify, among other things, racism and slavery… not a good track record, though I know that George has no such thing in mind.

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This stacks the deck to much. “People outside the garden” is best because everyone I think should agree they are persons. This more neutral theologically creating space for people to handle the Image of God in different ways.

Humor me for just a sec: if the creation of “Imago Dei humanity” is further back in time than a more recent story of Adam and Eve, whose story begins at, say, some 15-13 kya (in the Paleolithic), then you can have them be set in the favored Persian Gulf area location for the garden, before it goes underwater at the end of the Younger Dryas, and still be at the early headwaters of the coming neolithic spread of farming and irrigation agriculture, not to mention Mesopotamian culture. And yet, we need not fret about other worldwide isolated populations --for “imago Dei humanity” is never portrayed as either perfect or sinless in either Testament, but Paul instead speaks of those “who did not sin in the likeness of Adam” being, nevertheless, “sinners” once the law is revealed.
Adam’s offspring surely do become geneaologically ancestral to every population in the thousands of years leading up to the New Testament, through intermingling and interbreeding. Makes good sense to me!