My free will has been covered above pretty extensively, but to put it simply, a free will is a will apart from God’s will. Humans with free will are creators (like God) in that we create things/ideas/inventions/etc and add to this universe things that are not “of God”, but that are “of us”.
No, none of the precursors of homo sapiens had free will. Homo sapiens didn’t even have free will until Adam was created around 5500BC. It can be seen most distinctly if you pan out and look at the overall progression of human history.
The tell-tale sign of free will is civilization, writing, inventions, all the things that came about first in southern Mesopotamia in a few short centuries after not having existed anywhere in the world throughout the tens of thousands of years of Homo Sapiens existence.
From that point forward humanity has been transforming the world unlike any other species ever has.
It first began in the Ubaid period of southern Mesopotamia, then the flood about 4000BC, then Babel, then came the Uruk culture in Mesopotamia, Egypt along the Nile, the Indus Valley to the west, and up into Europe and beyond.
I have. I’ve combed the original Hebrew in every way I know how. What’s most telling is what’s being described. One chapter before it describes how 10 generations of Adam’s family all lived for centuries. Then here, in the very next chapter, it says humans are “mortal” and only live 120 years.
It’s clearly making a distinction between two different groups. One, the “sons of God” (Adam’s family), two, the “daughters of humans” (naturally evolved humans). This mixing with “mortal” humans who only live 120 years is why the descendants of Adam’s lifespans sharply decline each generation from that point forward.
What’s the specific question? I read several of the most recent posts, and there’d be a lot to jump into (e.g., meaning of “know,” “regret,” “placing,” “soul,” “sons of God,” meaning of “his days shall be 120 years,” etc.).
Specifically, Gen 6:2 speaks of “sons of ha-'elohim” and “daughters of ha-'adam” (ha- being the article).
I was just trying to point out that the word “human” doesn’t appear in Genesis. What was translated there to human is actually the word Adam. So it is a bit strange to say that Adams descendants were the sons of Elohim, but not the daughters of Adam.
Doesn’t @Alice_Linsley have a perfectly reasonable explanation of who the writers of Genesis were referring to as Adam and Eve? The first couple of the priestly group/linage? Not the first couple of humanity or even the first couple of the region. Just the first couple of a line of priests that go through Noah, Abraham, David, Mary and Jesus. What’s wrong with this?
I apologize for the radio silence. I hit a post quota for a newbie on this site that I didn’t know existed and it made me wait a day before I could respond. I don’t know if there’s another post limit so I’m going to combine multiple responses in a single post to conserve.
Yes, you’re right. There was not a Hebrew word meaning “human” 5000+ years ago. Just as there were no words to describe a flood on a global scale back then. “All the Earth” meant “all the land”. All the animals on the Earth didn’t mean the whole planet.
There’s a couple of things that I think once understood will hopefully clear some things up.
First, who are the “sons of God”? In Luke 3, Jesus is referred to as a “son of God” by the Hebrews of his time because of his lineage…
Luke 3:23-38 - Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melki… the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Kenan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
So the “sons of God” are Adam and all of his descendants according to the Hebrews of Jesus’ time. Genesis 5 just explained that they live for centuries. Genesis 6 then makes a distinction between these “sons of God” and another group that it describes as “mortal” and specifies only live 120 years.
In Genesis 1 it says God created humans male and female in “our image”. This, of course, causes a lot of confusion. But this, I think clears this up, though I totally expect some objections.
Creation is not God speaking. The only being in existence in the story who could describe the creation of the universe is God. Genesis depicts God walking and talking with Adam/Eve/Cain/Abel/Enoch. The patriarchs, for a time, had direct access to God. The ones telling the story of creation, or retelling, are the patriarchs. When it says humans were created in “our image”, this is not God’s image. They were created in the image of Adam and his family. God is likely not a biological being.
This is why it says God “regretted” putting these humans on Earth in Gen6. The free willed “sons of God” began breeding with humans because they looked like them. Immediately after it says humans became “wicked”. Wickedness is only possible with free will. It also says “nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them”. Another tell-tale sign of free will. This is the reason given that caused God to decide to disperse them and confuse their languages. And just as it describes, all of those cultures they were dispersed into (naturally evolved humans settled along river banks), enjoyed many sudden advancements in technological capability. And though each of those cultures had very different languages, effectively “confusing” their language, all of these cultures in a very short amount of time developed writing.
Rather than keying in on specific words and translations, I find it often helps to step out and look at the overall arc being described to better define what’s what. Trying to key in and define specific words is often a trap that rarely gets you anywhere.
Not accurate. The approximate dates are roughly 3300 – c. 1300 BCE, depending on which source you believe. Sumer’s Ubaid culture started 2000 years before that, roughly 5500BC with the establishment of Eridu. The Sumerian’s were the first to do a really impressive list of things.
This can sometimes cause some confusion primarily when the culture in question is on a river bank, which is often. Confusing because there’s often a human occupation along that river that far predates the culture being discussed.
The second phase of Sumerian culture (Uruk period), Egypt, and the Indus Valley all came around at roughly the same time, immediately following the 5.9 kiloyear event (3900BC/ aka Babel). Which lines up incredibly well with the story being described. And all of them spoke of god-like beings that lived among them in their ancient past.
I agree. That should tell you something. Why speak in the context of these being two different groups?
Here’s that rabbit hole …
The man (Gen6:1)
The man (Gen6:2)
A Man (Gen6:3)
The man (Gen1:27- creation of humans)
The same word is translated as “Adam” throughout that Genesis 2/3.
Please do jump. You’ve got my interest on every count.
There’s plenty wrong with this. The first and most obvious, why start with them? What’s the significance about these two that sets them apart from the rest of the population or any ancestors who presumably came before?
We need to be careful of using the Greek/NT use of terms to interpret Hebrew/OT use. Also, there’s a potential difference between using the singular and plural. This might sound trivial, but it isn’t IMO. All other uses of the plural in ANE texts (the OT and others) refer to supernatural beings, i.e., members of the divine council.
I don’t see the logical consequence (i.e., what do you mean by “so”?).
Sorry, but this doesn’t fit the text of Gen 1:26-27 – “Then (a singular) Elohim said, ‘Let us…’. So (a singular) Elohim created 'adam in his image.”
Image has nothing to do with biology.
You’re wrong about Gen 6:3–it also has the definite article. Furthermore, we must not assume that the definite artlcle works the same way as English in each instance.
@Jeremy_Christian, I appreciate that you are trying to put together a model, but I’m concerned you weren’t working with the whole deck of cards. How rigid are your views in all this? Are you willing to adjust?
Unlike Greek, the Hebrew definite article is quite close to English usage…but not exact (though Hebrew lacks an indefinite article for “a, an,” and tends to not use the article in poetry). So by pressing “the” in a translation might give a wrong force/nuance than intended. this is why, e.g., translations generally do not render it as “the human(s)” in Gen 1:27; 6:1, 3 ('adam can be singular [“human being”] or corporate/collective [“humanity, human beings”]). The lack of the article in Gen 1:26 (yet present in v. 27) does not mean that the two verses are speaking of two different referents; the natural reading is to take them as the same referent. In fact, the article in v. 27 simply alerts the reader that the 'adam he is speaking of is the one just mentioned in the previous verse.