Jon Garvey Offers Suggestions to Mark Moore?

I think you may be on to something, but also have some “chaff” to shed. I hope to have some exegetes here soon to engage with you on that @anon46279830, though that is not @kkeathley’s area. He is the theologian.

In August though, we might get a chance to see Richard Averbeck…

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As you know I have long wanted qualified theologians to scrutinize the Christ-centered model. If there is chaff, there will be something in the text to show it is chaff. I want to engage and that vigorously.

In the meantime I think there is value in seeing that the “sequential” vs. “recapitulatory” thing is just feeling different parts of the same elephant.

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@jongarvey, would you help @anon46279830 out with a close look at this aspect of his proposal? I think he is ready to listen and separate the wheat from the chaff. I think he could really use your help, to hone in on his his best ideas.

In particular, I think he is on to something here. But I also think he is reading too much in to Genesis 1:26-27. What do you think? Can you give this some thought?

@anon46279830, you can facilitate by BRIEFLY laying out the key propositions you are making. Enumerate them if you can. Do not link to a video. Do not justify them yet.

Is this thread about the great tribulation, or what? :smiley:


Not briefly, but that just gives Jon more room to correct my errors…

  1. In Gen 1 the text is describing things happening in both the supernatural and temporal realms on each day (except 5). Much of what is happening here is a copy or representation of what is happening above.
  2. God announces His intentions for humanity in 1:26, 1:27 is not just three comments about the one thing He did in order to ultimately fulfill His stated intent, it is a list of three things He did to fulfill that intent.
  3. The first part of what He did was in heaven, this is where the anthropomorphic form of God seen in chapter two and the theophanies comes in, and the echo or copy of that was Adam on earth.
  4. Christ is the image of God and we cannot be “in the image of God” outside of relationship with Him. Not even Adam was “in the image” once he broke relationship, just the likeness, and became like the rest of his kind. Thus the “male and female” of the population outside the garden is not said to be in the image of God.
  5. The order in which these three things are seen is relative to the position of the observer, heaven or earth. Since all of earth’s history is compressed into one chapter even events listed together are not what we would see as contemporaneous.
  6. The blessing given to humanity in 1:28 is given to the population outside the garden and sounds nothing like the conversation He had with Adam and Eve in the garden. (removed by suggestion of the host)
  7. 2:1 references this population outside the garden, as well as divine beings such as angels.
  8. By the time God saw that it was very good, Adam and Eve had been formed as well. Things were going as they should both in heaven and on earth and God’s plan was unfolding. The evening of the seventh day is the fall of Adam. The morning of the seventh day, the true Sabbath day of rest, is the Atonement.
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So @jongarvey, help me sift through this. What is the chaff? What is the wheat? Where does he have a point? Where does he have a point to let go? Where does he have a point to rephrase?

I can see a couple red flags…

This is fine as a theological statement, but seems to fail as an exegetical claim about Genesis 1:26-27.

That, I strongly resist. I think it is flat out wrong. At no point is Adam given dominion over humanity, even if this is what he eventually does. A key corrective here is Greggor of Nyssa, He makes the emphatic point that man was not given dominion over other men, but only over the beasts. This becomes his grounding for human rights, his stand against slavery, and a strong justification for natural law.

I’m not willing to give that up with an inference unattested to in Scripture.

Very hard to follow this. Also the “Image of God” is a very fraught and theologically unsettled concept.

This seems to be what you say is the crux of your argument. It appears to be the weakest part of your argument, but I want @jongarvey to press in here. I’ve talked to about 3 exegetes on this (from across the spectrum), they all unequivocally disagree. What are they missing here @jongarvey? Is there a better way to explain this?

This did not make your list, but I think it might be where the real gold is.


I’ll get to this, but night is falling here and I’m playing a gig tomorrow. In any case I’ll need to digest and look at the text. Back in a few hours…

Well don’t get hung up on that one, because the true fulfillment of it is in his Descendant through the Woman, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords- Yeshua Messiah. He was never meant to have this rule outside his relationship with God and I think to insist on it as some kind of right based on his person alone rather than through the relationship is also a grave theological error.

What I need to know is why they disagree? Do they disagree because there is some kind of convention in seminary where we are not allowed to read Christ into the text? Or have I gotten the Hebrew wrong? Or is there another scripture speaking to this issue which shows that I must have this wrong? Or perhaps this interpretation builds on a view of the text and thus asking directly about those issues without laying the groundwork is a guaranteed fail.

Two of those four reasons are good reasons. Maybe @jongarvey Jon will have something after his music and a good nights rest on that side of the pond.

7 posts were split to a new topic: Words of Wisdom on Selling a Crazy Idea

It is not about my hangups. If it isn’t essential, consider rephrasing or dropping it all together. You gotta distill this down to your essential insight, and make a well argued case for it. If this is a distraction, remove it.

OK I did. Really I did not even put it like that in the book. It is more of a basis for federal headship thing.

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And to shorten the process about where I am getting “Christ is the image of God” let me just drop this here for when Jon wakes up…

Mark is taking what you might call the long-range, “prophetic” view on authorial intent, given the premise that the revelation is directly from God. So while discourse analysis would insist, in principle, that we not take the phrasing to mean more than its target audience could have possibly understood, he is comfortable reading a first century statement backwards into the text, claiming that this is, indeed, the fruit of the seedplot which was intended to be eventually understood, “prophetically,” by the ancient text.
The problems from this have begun to be identified, not the least of which is the implication that the Son of God was, IN ANY SENSE, not yet “created” until this sixth day.
Mark will rightly counter that all he’s positing is the pre-incarnate Christ being made manifest in human-appearing form, in heaven, on this “day” --but in my understanding, even this is too late.
It’s not exactly heretical, given his qualifications of his understanding, but does seem to quickly run afoul of Christological conceptions as to when He was made manifest, and how integral He was to every single facet of creation.
Keep contending Mark, because I know you know what this understanding means to you, but keep an open ear and an open heart for any ways in which, either to explain it better, or “tune it up,” or at least understand better why there are legitimate hermeneutical objections to be dealt with. Cheers!

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Well, I see I’m already late to the tribulation. I’m not too comfortable with making thorough critiques of another brother’s position on an open forum - especially when it will be easily to attribute the motive as pushing a position of my own! So I aim to question mainly methodological matters rather than conclusions, since the thread title compels me to say something or be impolite to mein host.

My overarching concern has been mentioned by others, and that is the lack of justification for controversial suggestions. That goes along with Guy’s talk of a “prophetic” view of authorial intent, which is all too common for any of us who take the Holy Spirit’s inspiration seriously. Neither is it entirely unfounded - the apostle John sees Christ in Gen 1, and I would see that as inspired exegesis rather than eisegesis. We, however, are not apostles and must take our lead from the whole Bible.

On the “justification” point:

In Gen 1 the text is describing things happening in both the supernatural and temporal realms on each day (except 5). Much of what is happening here is a copy or representation of what is happening above.

That assertion does not seem to arise obviously from the text, and needs more justification. Remember that “heaven” and “earth” is primarily a physical, not a spiritual, dichotomy. God chooses to presence himself in the heavens, though “they cannot contain him,” but all the created things associated with heaven are the birds and the astronomical lights, not the angels.

I share with Joshua concerns about the particular christological interpretation of 1:26-7. For a start, there appears the same lack of justification to change the historical understanding of the entire church by this:

God announces His intentions for humanity in 1:26, 1:27 is not just three comments about the one thing He did in order to ultimately fulfill His stated intent, it is a list of three things He did to fulfill that intent.
The first part of what He did was in heaven, this is where the anthropomorphic form of God seen in chapter two and the theophanies comes in, and the echo or copy of that was Adam on earth.

Who sez? This leads to the theological concerns about the person of Christ, and here I take my lead from that Johannine prologue, in the light of the other “cosmic Christ” passages such as Col 1. John quite clearly sees Christ as eternally involved in the whole creation as Logos, which at the simplest level implies he is the very word of power by which God speaks everything into being. He is begotten, therefore, and not in any sense created during the first week.

John is also quite clear about his physical involvement with mankind - “he took flesh and dwelt among us,” that is he became human at the Incarnation, and not before. I see insufficient justifcation to (a) assuming a Christ-theophany in the garden (where the text is highly figurative anyway, and the nature of theophanies is never spelled out in Scripture), nor (b) that ch 1 refers to such a theophany as an event in creation.

Of course, we must not forget that

Christ is the image of God…

and Mark is quite correct to note that “Christ is the image” (various NT scriptures) and man is “according to the image.” That’s a rich seam pointed out by mainstream scholars like Gordon Wenham, and explored in detail by others like Philip Edgcumbe-Hughes.

But whilst there may well be a “Christ-shaped hole” in the way image-language is used in Genesis, Christ has not yet been revealed, and Gen 1 clearly makes “in the image” and “after the likeness” a creation-specification for mankind, the text allowing either generic mankind, male and female, or Adam as the prototype from whom woman is derived. Neither phrase is equivalent to God’s actually creating the image, but only man after the image.

In other words, the image is within the Creator himself, not the created, and the NT revelation shows us that that image is specifically in the eternal Son by dint of his being only-begotten. This gives a very rich source for theologising on the nature of mankind in relation to God, but particularly in relation to Christ. It certainly makes our affinity with the Son more than simply our shared humanity because of the Incarnation, and may well cast light on what was going on relationally in the garden, Adam truly being intended to imitate and reflect the God he encountered there, Image impressing image.

But I don’t see how it follows that:

we cannot be “in the image of God” outside of relationship with Him. Not even Adam was “in the image” once he broke relationship, just the likeness, and became like the rest of his kind. Thus the “male and female” of the population outside the garden is not said to be in the image of God.

Whoever mankind is theologically, his being according to the image and likeness is creational, not additive. It is because we are in that image that sin is so heinous, and the solution so difficult. Therefore God would not be satisfied with effacing his own image by total destruction. And that is why the majority of theologians, historically, have spoken of the image being dimmed, or marred, by sin, but not effaced.

Their vocabulary is necessarily vague, because the issues are deeper than we are (the essence of the Godhead, for goodness sake!), but the persisting glory of man is seen, for example, in Psalm 8. Here mankind is in view, but paradoxically does not live up to the glory he is said to possess. Hebrews 2 points to Christ as the resolution of the paradox, but not just because the psalm is “all about Jesus”, but because through Jesus man’s true role is restored.

I see that, despite my intentions, I’ve critiqued the model whilst aiming to question the methodology - it does seem to me that the underlying weakness is excessive eisegesis. I’m reminded of a Messianic Jewish teacher, who when asked in a seminar where he got his counterintuitive interpretation of a particular passage, replied, “It’s right there - between the lines.” The problem is that “between the lines” there is as big a space as human imagination will fill, and reducing that to what may reasonably regarded as true requires not only the spirit-led knowledge of the whole Scriptures of any one person, but that of the whole people of God both before and after Christ.

The Lord, indeed “hath more truth yet to break forth out of His Holy Word,” and for better or worse we have to seek some of it when, as now, “science” has apparently weakened the conclusions of some of our godly forebears. But I think (as my opposition to innovative “evolutionary theology” shows) we need to be asking how those forebears would have dealt with the information we now have, rather than assuming that until now everybody has been getting things wrong. The Church, remember, has always been under the Project Management of the risen Christ!


No particular author(s) of the first pericope in Genesis are identified in the text itself. However, by implication, the LORD Himself must be the author, and at best, Moses or whomever just a scribe, since it narrates things no mere human could have been witness to… UNLESS we take Wiseman’s hypothesis, that these were a series of visions God gave to Moses during the nighttime hours of a week of revelation, which he then shaped into its current form, with help from the Presence in the tent of meeting (there are various interpretations of Wiseman’s proposal regarding his “revelatory day” theory).
But, even given God’s own, ultimately, authorship of the text, perhaps shaped as a hymnic poem to promote oral recitation and memorizing, we can ask the reasonable question of what the text would or could have meant to its original audience, and your “Christ-centered” interpretation simply could not have been one of them. As seedplot for an account which would serve in a long line of progressive revelation, what you’ve found, looking backwards, is only out of sync with the rest of the Scriptures to the degree that you posit something about Jesus as having been newly “created” well after the creating process has begun. Instantiating Him in human form this late in the process is, at least, perplexing rather than illuminating, for me anyway, given your explanation. All the Best!

I notice the British seem to be more polite and dignified than Americans, especially those who come on strong like I tend to. I want to assure you that I have asked for it brother. From even professional theologians and exegetes. And I would much prefer your gentle prods come first before I face a less genteel inquisition. As it says in Proverbs, it will be iron sharpening iron.

I am actually quite relieved that this is your overarching concern. When Joshua said that he had run some of these ideas by three experts and they all disagreed, I listed four reasons I thought that they might disagree…

I think what you’re saying qualifies under that last category. And if I were standing in your shoes I would likely be saying the same at this point. The most frustrating aspect of my attempts to convey the Christ-centered model is that it does rely on going back and seeing the text from a perspective that is different from the traditional one, and then building on that view. Its like trying to teach someone algebra when they one day happen to have a question about the material in chapter seven. Then a week later another one from chapter nine, and yet a week later from chapter five. The answers make little sense to them because the way to do it is to start from the beginning and build the concepts one on the other so that it can be seen that it is an integrated whole.

In short, I took about 200 pages of a 350 page book to justify the conclusions I have been trying to persuade people of on this site. It is really hard to to that without seeing those pages. Like Algebra, for most of us it has to “click” once enough groundwork is laid and until it does trying to hammer it in piecemeal is a recipe for frustration. I know this is true but I don’t know what to do about it. So I keep hammering the pieces.

Col. 1:15- “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”

Of course the cults wrench this verse out of context. They say “see, it says He was born, it says He was of creation”. I consider that what I am doing is refuting their claims, not supporting them. The Son is not created, the Logos is not created. The Heavenly Man is a fusion of uncreated God and created humanity (perhaps the predestined church which is the body of Christ in the heavenlies). I truly mean this to be a synthesis whereby He can be both the Word of God by which everything which exists is brought into being and “the firstborn of all creation”. It is for another book (on the Trinity) but I am with you and the mass of scriptures which describe His bringing everything into being. This view reconciles certain Trinity paradoxes as well. I just couldn’t put all that into one book.

Now I am very glad you are threshing me on these things because they are the sort of issues which I would consider serious and nullifying. That is, the model assumes a “high view” of scripture, so if the model is contradicted by other scripture then it must be wrong. Fortunately I agree with your first two sentences completely. I don’t think your third sentence logically follows from your first two so long as 1) we understand that the LOGOS is never created, rather the human part of the Heavenly Man, latter to assume a natural body as Christ, which is created, and 2) this does not occur until after everything has already been spoken into existence. It must come on the end of the sixth day and not before the final “and God said” of the creation week. You are a Calvinist, right? If it helps, see the human part as the predestined church, the bride who becomes as one flesh with the Groom. WE are the body of Christ.

Three points on that. 1) The text of John 1 does not say “and not before”. In particular it does’t say “not before” in a place that is not “among us”- I.E. in heaven. 2) And Revelation makes reference to the Lamb slain “before the foundation of the world”, which I consider the events from 1:3 to 2:3 the foundation being laid. 3) But mostly, I am not claiming He was incarnated with a body like ours, which is what John is talking about. I am claiming He has one like the one He had after the resurrection, and now that He is “sitting at the right hand of God.” This passage from 1 Cor. 15 (ESV) should make it clear that not all flesh is the same flesh…

35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”;[e] the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall[f] also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Given this passage and others like it which indicate Christ was reality in heaven from the beginning I can’t see that John 1 is disqualifying unless one does just what I am being accused of - reading more into the text than what is actually there.

Now regarding my claim that “the text is describing things happening in both the supernatural and temporal realms on each day (except 5)” You that this view requires more justification. And it does. Here again I am at a disadvantage because I take about four chapters in the book showing how the text makes sense when viewed this way so that by the time I get to 1:27 we are simply treating it much like we treated statements in the other creation days instead of it looking like an oddity coming out of nowhere.

This is yet another paradox of scripture which is explained by the Christ centered model.

I know that I keep saying that the church has early Genesis all wrong, but in this and several other instances what is more accurate is that the church has lost the understanding which it once had. For instance, the church once knew what I have been vainly trying to show people here- men are not born automatically in the image of God. Compare what you wrote to the last verse from the original 1739 version of the hymn “Hark the Harold Angels Sing”…

Adam’s Likeness, LORD, efface,
Stamp thy Image in its Place,
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in thy Love.
Let us Thee, tho’ lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the Inner Man:
O! to All Thyself impart,
Form’d in each Believing Heart.

Now here is where I feel like a jerk of an American because you did tip your hat there, but the verse actually says “in our own image” and “according to our own likeness”. Now I have an entire chapter where it discusses what the differences are in these two phrases. So once again I am vulnerable to accusations of undocumented claims when in truth the documentation is just inconveniently voluminous due to the layers of misunderstanding that first have to be peeled away before we can see the scripture for what it is- a guide to Christ.

This is why I need you, I am calling on you, and more besides, to thresh this view of early Genesis. Test this spirit. If my imagination between the lines has led me into error I can hope that what is in the lines, once pointed out by my brethren, will plainly reveal it to be so- or perhaps confirm it on closer inspection.

On early Genesis they mostly adopted the views of the Rabbis. Naturally if the text is really pointing to Christ from the beginning that is going to lead to some misunderstandings. One of the exciting things about the Christ Centered Model is what it says about chapters 6-11, not just chapters one and two. Because just when secular people thought they had the God of the Bible dead and buried beneath the alter of Science here comes a view of the text which not only is uncontradicted by the science but actually has a modest amount of predictive power as well. I think Patrick posted a link to a study on the origin of the Canaanites which I was pleased to see fit very well with what I wrote in the book. There was another recent example here which escapes me.

As for the true church, the invisible Kingdom of God, I agree. Regarding institutional religion run by ecclesiastical bureaucracies, well, let’s not pin all that mess on Him!

I appreciate what you said about the Wiseman hypothesis since a modified version of it is what I think is going on there. But if we go by the Wiseman hypothesis then the first account is coming from creation itself, and I think the text implies that Adam was the recorder of that account, the bridge from 2:4-2:6, and his own account. That Adam is not from 40K + back like RTB thinks gives more credence to this idea.

Now I would like you to consider that you may be moving the goal posts here. The original idea was that we should honor authorial intent. That is, the author knew what he was trying to say. Now it seems like you are shackling the author by limiting his (its) intended meaning to what an audience at the time would think it meant, when we don’t even know for sure what time that was! The author is not limited by the understanding of his audience. Of course creation could put hidden mysteries into the text.

Look, it has been mentioned that we are not apostles and so we ought not take great liberties with the text. I agree. Here in Gal. 4 verses 21-onward is an example of the kind of thing I don’t believe I ought to do…without any supporting or interconnecting scripture Paul just lays out an allegory that he seems to pull from thin air. That is not what I am doing from my point of view, though it may seem that way to you guys because you have not seen my interconnecting and supporting scripture, at least not in full because it took 200 pages to lay it out.

To all, @swamidass and @jongarvey What I think I am doing is more like what Jesus did in Matthew 22:31-32. Obviously I am not Him either, but what He did there was not spin an allegory from thin air so much as take a small detail in the text that people did not notice before and connect it to what then must be true about a larger issue regarding the cosmology of God. All of them are alive to Him, and thus He is their God in the present tense.

So for example when I point out that the text in 1:27 says “the” and that according to the basic rules of Hebrew it can mean either “the man” or “the men” to designate a set of men but not humanity or Mankind with that definite article attached to it- and it is unlikely to be “the men” since the pronoun in the next segment is singular, it is saying something about the cosmology. Especially since “adam” is used without the article in the previous verse to mean “humanity”. Now maybe I have that wrong and if so I am sure some Hebrew scholar will be in here to correct me in time, but my point is that I am not doing what Paul did in Galatians. I am making a connected synthesis of scriptures by drawing on details that are in the text, not creating something new by inserting allegories into the text which are not mentioned elsewhere.

Tablet theory is hardly a “fringe” proposal, it’s just a virtually unconsidered and neglected one. It has more going for it from within the text, evidentially, than does almost any explication of the documentary hypothesis. You’ll get there, eventually, @swamidass , as soon as you quit counting heads and focus on the anthropological evidence instead. My two cents!

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Um, did you read what I suggested?

I’m not opposed to tablet theory. I’m encouraging him to beat that drum.