Must a Genealogical Adam be a Sequential Genesis Reading?

The real breakthrough would be for either of them to even consider the orthodoxy of a sequential reading of the first two chapters, then move forward… who cares about Walton’s other “eccentricities?” I ought to be clear that I came to a sequential view on my own, then went investigating and found Walton in that camp, along with others. Did Jack Collins deal with this at all? He’s made it clear that he doesn’t find incongruence between “the first two pericopes,” that the author took pains to not allow us to choose one over the other, and that “whoever put these chapters together did so in such a way that they display their unity at the literary and linguistic level.” Then, oddly, he thinks he’s thereby made the case that “Genesis 1-2 invites us to read the two pericopes together,” and concludes identicality of subject, without considering the possibilty that chapter one is meant to be understood as the backdrop to the Adam and Eve account, in chapter two, rather than the contemporanous context for it. “Genesis 1:27 (where God ‘created’ man) is parallel to 2:7 (where the Lord God ‘formed’ the man out of the dust of the ground)” --but does “parallel” mean “identical?” Surely not. It is the backdrop of Adam’s story, yes, but not its immediate context. We’re in a totally different pericope, after all.
I’d really enjoy comparing notes with Collins on this, because I don’t use the same overblown rationale that Walton does.
I’m concerned that the two principals at RTB might be hanging their star with Collins, whom I greatly admire myself, without considering these kinds of (and many more) issues. Collins is simply unaware of scriptural points of contact I’ve already found that help make the case. Hoping for those kinds of opportunities! Thanks, @swamidass .

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Collins is very supportive of a Genealogical Adam model, without a sequential reading of Genesis 1 and 2.

Well, then, he’ll have to affirm bestiality as well, and a pretty old Adam if he wants a “sole genetic progenitorship” along with his GA; am I correct?

No, not at all.

There are many conceptions of the Image of God, and in how it might apply to outside the Garden. He would not hold that those outside the Garden are beasts. They are fully biological humans.

But not “imago Dei?” Where does he find those outside the garden mentioned in the text, if at all? I’ve already tried to tell him Genesis 1:26…
So, he’s equating “behaviorally modern” with “imago Dei,” or no? That still makes for a very old Adam, vis-a-vis the Genesis 6 geanealogies.

Seems to me, from his writing, that Collins’ position entails that those outside the garden are… Adam and Eve, in another, parallel, telling. And that leaves other humans outside the garden unmentioned by the text, imaged or not imaged.

OTOH his reasons for maintaining the texts are parallel are the creation of various animals, and so on - even though the order is changed, and there is no mention of the creation of the world, the sky and so on. It seems less than watertight in itself (quite apart from positive theological reasons for taking the accounts sequentially).

He arrives at this from his reading of Jesus’s statement of “in the beginning” God made them male and female. Andrew Loke takes a similar view. I’d just keep in mind that either reading works with a genealogical Adam. Placing the Image of God exclusively on Adam’s descendants, however, does put some limits on what it could mean. I though that was what you were doing @jongarvey, but your recent summary does not do this.

If I say, “The age of Columbus led to the spirit of discovery which characterizes the American continent,” am I thereby claiming that those two things were simultaneous? It’s not a watertight claim on Collin’s part, either. To speak of two things in parallel is not to claim simultaneity. Neither was it when Jesus combined quotes from the first and second chapters, when answering a question about marriage. This is just silliness masquerading as significance.


“Formed from the dust of the ground” works better, in my view, as a situating, parallel “flashback” to what had already occurred in the previous chapter, as it proceeds onto the story of Adam.
Thoughts, @jongarvey , or whomever?

I admit to adjustment of model there, Josh. If one takes Genesis 1 to be about the creation of mankind before Adam, then it is undoubtedly created after God’s image. I had previously had trouble integrating that with “standard” explanations of the image until I came to the idea of Gen 1 as Old Creation, and the rest of the Bible narrative as the threefold stages of transforming the world to the new creation.

In that way Genesis 1 people are fully people of the first creation, whose “imageness” is fine within that order, and that leaves plenty of room for expecting all the linguistic, cultural and spiritual qualities seen in ancient humans of all species.

But theor representative, Adam, is chosen for a new order of relatedness to God. (Again the parallel is useful, if incompatible with @anon46279830, that a non-Christian is in the image of God, but something new happens at conversion).

That actually works quite well with Jack Collins’ own interpretetation of the image.

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Perhaps not “silliness”, but certainly over-interpretation. “Beginning” can refer to the literary beginning - Jesus, for example, is quoting from the front-end of both Genesis and Torah. It can refer to the beginning of the Adam saga, taking the creation (as Collins actually does) as the preamble to the drama.

And of course, a minimalist view is that Jesus refers to the beginning of marriage, and might scarcely be alluding to the creation at all.

I wrote at length on this recently, if you remember.

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That seesm quite plausible, and it’s a kind of “mediating” position between parallel and sequential views of the passages. Thus Adam was made from the dust of the ground because everybody is. Gen 1 doesn’t use that imagery, but as has been pointed out here, it’s present elsewhere in the Bible.

Another angle on this. Let’s assume Adam was created especially from dust, and so his offspring by metonymy. Eccles 3:20 says the animals, too, are created from dust and return to it. In both cases the theological message is perishability and, perhaps, humble orgins.

But in that case, what was Genesis 1 man made of? Something less perishable and humble than Adam and the Ants? Surely not - and that makes Adam’s origins the same as all men, giving him solidarity with any predecessors, not distinction from them.

Ergo, it is quite plausibly a way of simply stating that he was one of them. "God formed Adam from the dust of the ground (so he was physically no different from the animals).

The question then is whether to take the inbreathing by God, as the classical theologians did, as the supernatural endowment given to Adam and his line, distinguishing him from other creatures.

A variation on this is Richard Middleton’s comparison with the Mesopotamian mïs pî or pït pî ritual. Middleton doesn’t deal with Adam as other than a generic human, seeing this in terms of conferring “the image” - but if instead one simply follows the Gen 2 text, there is no clear link to the image in ch1.

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Yes, agreed. The in-breathing could also be referring to God’s “creating man in His image” in the prior chapter, with both elements serving as part of a situating preamble to the rest of the story. As such, it would suggest that, whatever else the “imago Dei” was about, it was “pneumatically animating.”
I’ve also considered the possibility that Adam was born to a woman who died in childbirth, and that the Malak YHWH literally revives him in this manner… I positively love that thought, but it may be purely a creative imagination on my part.
The salient point is that we are free to see Adam as in physical and spiritual continuity with “imago Dei” humanity in a sequential reading, OR to posit some spiritual novelty to Adam, who is distinguished mainly by God’s choice to place him in the garden, and walk with him in person.
My favored timeframe is 15-13kya, personally.
Thanks for being a mediating voice of reason in contrast to this particularly stubborn advocacy of mine. These proposals really don’t let any “theological bogeyman” in the door; this is mosaic monogenism, and it deserves serious consideration, rather than just guilt by association.

I once again point out that all of these paradoxes have already been resolved in “Early Genesis, the Revealed Cosmology”. And except for nine pages, it does so in a way which integrates extremely well with GA. Sure, explore other ideas too. We should always keep exploring. But you guys are hashing and rehashing the same ideas while I am over here raising my hand saying “I have the answer right here.” If you are searching to get closer and closer to the truth I urge you to investigate the Christ-centered framework for early Genesis. If you just enjoy the process of searching then I urge you to continue to not investigate it, because once you do the search may well be over, except for the details which we should continue to hone and refine.

Genesis 1:1-2:4 is all of history from the first word God ever spoke into creation until and beyond the end of time (the evening of the seventh day was the fall of Adam, the morning of the seventh day was the Atonement and it is unending). Genesis 2 is a story within that story- the beginning of God’s plan to redeem His creation. So they are not sequential, but they are not the same account either. One is like “The rise and fall of the Roman Empire” and the other is like “The life and times of Julius Caesar.”

So Genesis 1:27 is in three parts and the account in Genesis 2 gives details on that middle part.

God created (the) Man in His own image {That is Christ and the Church in heaven, the two are one flesh}
In the image of God created He him (that is the echo of that event on earth, Yahweh forming the man Adam. Chapter two is a smaller “reshaping” within the creation which involves only animals relevant to an agricultural and pastoralist culture and the ancestors of Messiah. )

Male and female created He them (this is both a reference to the two are one flesh of the first two but also a reference to the human race generally with no mention of their being “in the Image”. This lack is not because they are something less than Adam but because Christ is the Image of God, the ONLY image of God and it is impossible to be “in the image” absent living and active relationship with Him, which Adam had in the garden. Not even Adam claimed to be “in the image” once relationship was broken, just the likeness (Gen 5:1).

So both the population outside the garden and Adam and Eve inside the garden are referenced in Gen. 1:27. The goal is The Man in heaven. Christ and the church was always the goal, from the beginning. Men and women were what He started with. And Adam and Eve were the initiation of His plan to take humanity from where they started to where He wanted them to choose to be.

@Revealed_Cosmology…what are you going to do with Genesis 9 where God says all of humanity bears the image of god?

That’s not what it says. I am going to look very closely at the text and see what it actually says and believe that.

First of all, it says “ha-adam”, not “adam”. That is He made THE man in His own Image. It was something he DID in the beginning and it is His intent that this be so for us now. For that reason the human life is sacred. Not because of what we are now, but because of what we were made in the beginning and what we will be again in Christ.

One must take the scripture (Genesis 9:6) which says that “God made man in His own image” in light of this larger picture. He did, but that does not mean that men currently born into the world are in the image of God. It is what is in heaven where His will is done and what can happen on earth when God’s intent is fulfilled in our lives.

When we are born in this world, we are not born in the “image” of God. All men are born in the likeness of God, but not the image. We have an earthly image. This is why it is written (John 3:7) “you must be born again.” If you were born in the image of God the first time, you would not need to be born again a second time. When we are born again, we have a heavenly image, and through faith and the renewal of our minds by the Holy Spirit we become conformed to that new image which we have. Here are some scriptures which support this declaration, starting in Romans chapter eight:
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of hi
s Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
And further in Colossians the third chapter…
9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

And then from 1st Corinthians the fifteenth chapter:
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such as they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such as they also that are heavenly 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
And also in 2nd Corinthians the third chapter:
“18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

From these four passages, and from others besides, it should be clear that man is not automatically born “in the image of God”. All men are made “according to the likeness” of God, but this is not the same thing as being created “in the image” of God. Only those in relationship with Him are in His image. Hitler was not created “in His image”, nor was Jack the Ripper, or any other number of notorious monsters in human form. They were according to the likeness of God in the sense that they had the potential for connectedness and moral awareness. They used that god-like capacity to ungodly ends.

We are not made in His image when we are born. An image is an exact representation. We are according to His likeness, but our natural image is more similar to that of Adam after the fall. We who believe are being conformed to God’s image by the renewal of the Holy Spirit. This is what the scripture teaches.

To that you may say “Aha but Adam was made in the image of God.” Well, he started that way. Then the fall happened. By the end of things not even Adam considered himself to be in the image of God, only the likeness. See Genesis 5:1 which is the towledah for “the generations” or account of Adam. He says that God made man “after the likeness” of God, but never mentions “image”. We will explore that passage in more detail later.

When we are born again, and Christ said we must be born again, we are re-born in His image. As we walk with Him in faith we are conformed to that new image which He has given us. This is a view consistent with Romans 8:29 and the rest of these verses.

And So, there is all the more reason to accept a plain reading:

Gen 9:5-6 “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; … at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”

This one point is more crucial than any chronological comsideration.

ha-adam can mean “of man” or “the man”. So its “of man” after “sheddeth” and “the man” at the end.

The “plain reading” is that God is referring back to Genesis 1:27 when talking about man and the image of God.


OR… that all of humanity are image bearers.

Gen.1 says it. And further, since Noah descends from Adam, it means Genesis 2 is about Image Bearers too (No matter how you interpret Genesis 1 versus Genesis 2).

If you disregard all the scriptures I posted above about our bearing the image, and the seven or eight I can think of which say that CHRIST is the image of God.

You are looking at the “Image of God” as an intrinsic to humanity. I am looking at the CAPACITY to bear the image of God as intrinsic to humanity.