Story Three: Recent Sole-Genealogical Progenitor Adam


(Jeremy Christian) #105

This leads to a more philosophical idea/objection, but one worth pursuing I feel.

Wisdom cannot just be given. Wisdom must be earned through experience. Like this idea that God created some animals for Adam to name, though He had already populated the planet with animals.

Even to exist as an animal, to come walking out of the brush, it has to have the wisdom of experience gained in being an animal. Growing up, learning dexterity and balance and how to traverse this physical word.

Life is experience. As it’s shown in the bible. We can’t just be told and become wise. We have to learn. We have to fail and succeed and learn the difference.

(Kenneth Turner) #106

I think it’s unlikely v. 1 is a separate creative act prior to the 6 Days. I think it’s most likely a subordinate clauses to v.3 (with .v. 2 as a parenthetical comment describing initial conditions prior to creation). Second option would be to take v. 1 as a title/summary of the 6 Days. I don’t read modern science out of or into the text.

(Kenneth Turner) #107

I[quote=“Jeremy_Christian, post:102, topic:986”]

but it’s driven by a desire to show more consistency in the order of events between Gen 1 and Gen 2.

If your goal is to translate the meaning of the text, why would you ever desire to put your own stress points on it in any way?

To be fair, we all have to adjudicate between various angles in the search for meaning. Exegesis doesn’t operate in a vacuum or independent of other factors, such as indicators of how texts ought to work together. It’s just that each interpreter puts different levels of weight on the various angles. Those who think Gen 1 and Gen 2 should convey a similar picture (and they have logical reasons for this) will give this more weight than the normal use of a Hebrew verb form (as long as it’s not totally out of the question). I just happen to not feel this weight, so it’s easier for me to side with the normal Hebrew grammar and syntax.

(Jeremy Christian) #108

I tend to side with St. Augustine on this point.

(paraphrased quotes)
“Biblical passages must be informed by the current state of demonstrable knowledge.”

“If at any time the book of nature and the book of scripture appear to conflict, it is human interpretation that is flawed.”

Scientifically gathered data is passages in the book of nature. They should always be consistent with what is said in scripture. It is always and only the human element that is flawed.

(Jeremy Christian) #109

I understand in many situations a call will have to be made one way or another how exactly to interpret something. But if you’re the expert interpreting, and others are going to be reading your interpretation and looking to understand by it’s wording, then any weight or accent should only be conveyed if for certain implicit in the text.

Like the translations of the flood. Though you and I, with the “I” in that scenario being a complete layman simpleton, agree there are multiple passages that conflict with a global flood, these texts were translated in a global perspective anyway. And just look at the confusion it’s caused. Belief systems and worldviews are shaped by it.

How many theologians over how many centuries had to have missed that one for that to happen?

(Jeremy Christian) #110

Not having any expertise in the subject, but just keying in on the nouns of each statement …

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

3 Then God said

1 Earth is created(exists) > 2a Description of the Earth including the mention that there’s a DEEP > 2b God’s location on this Earth and in approximation to this DEEP > 3 Then God said “Let there be light” …

I don’t know Hebrew well enough to know how common or uncommon this style of storytelling is, but this seems to me to be directly deliberate in it’s setup leading to the account of the events of creation.

Not to mention His very first statement from the setting so directly setup, “let there be light”, specifically addresses the state of His location on the Earth in that setup, the darkness.

(Jeremy Christian) #111

Good, so I’m not the only one.

You’ve piqued my interest. I’ll be diving in directly.

(Guy Coe) #112

Many interpreters advocate that the sudden appearance of light at God’s mere spoken command is supposed to set the stage for us to understand the Hebrew 'bara (“create”) as a “poof,” without stopping to take note that light, by its very nature, “poofs” away the dark.
In other instances when God issues this kind of verbal commant, the response is not immediate in time, and God is said to have needed to do more than just speak --viz., “separating the light from the darkness,” or “causing an expanse in the midst of the waters by separating…” etc.
This fact is often lost on those who prefer to think of God “poofing” large physical objects or creation itself into mature existence, but this is by no means the implication of the verb 'bara --which, when reserved for God as Agent, refers only to the qualitative newness of the thing, not how long it took to make, or by what means, other than God’s expressed intention.

(Guy Coe) #113

Look up the biblical phrase “ezer kenegdo” (“suitable helper” --sic.) and see what else it’s used to describe.

(Jeremy Christian) #114

On my initial traipsing around of the phrase there seems to be a lot made of how it stresses eve, not as a “helper” of Adam, but as his equal. But I thought it was made clear that only after the fall did she become subordinant, or under his “rule”.

Which, in the evidence of human history, does line up with a distinct change in human culture as humans became less egalitarian and more male-dominant. Which I don’t take to be a curse so much as a natural result of free will.

(Guy Coe) #115

Nope. It’s the result of the fall. You probably may not have met enough “Alaskan brides,” my friend! ; )

(Jeremy Christian) #116

I am certainly not the Lord of my household.

(Kenneth Turner) #117

I’m not sure your point is the same as Augustine’s, at least here. He wasn’t reading Gen 1 “scientifically” at all as far as i recall. He thought creation actually took place in an instance and the account of 6 days was due to our finitude and inability to comprehend what was real.

(Kenneth Turner) #118

It’s too complicated to get into here, but check the various English translations and you’ll realize it’s not so straightforward (e.g., NJPS, NRSV, NAB for quite different understandings from what is more popular). The Hebrew syntax of v. 2 makes it quite unlikely that v. 2 is the result of v. 1. It (v. 2) is background, i.e., the state of affairs before the creation of v. 1 and the 6 Days of vv. 3ff (whether or not v. 1 is subordinate to v. 3 or if v. 1 is an independent sentence serving as a title/summary of the 6 days of vv. 3ff.).

(Jeremy Christian) #119

Well, considering Augustine lived during the 4-5 century AD, their copy of the “book of nature” wasn’t nearly as detailed. But the statement seems to be pretty direct. our level of demonstrable knowledge is much higher than it was then.

But given Genesis claims to be an account of the creator of everything, and given that it chose to give all these specific detail, it should not contradict what we find to be true. Seems logical.

(George) #120


So what is your starting point? That Genesis must be true… and non-matching science is jettisoned?

Or is it more HOW is Genesis true… jettisoning the interpretations that dont match science?

(Jeremy Christian) #121

I don’t jettison anything. Science wise, the story changes all the time as more detail fills in. But as far as reconstructing the geological history of the Earth, it would seem we have much of the broad strokes, at least.

I didn’t really have a plan. Just an assumption it would flesh out. Turns out, there was no need to jettison anything so it didn’t come up.

(George) #122


I jettisoned birds created before land animals…not you?

(Jeremy Christian) #123

Well, out of the three, in my view, v1 is the least important. The key details come in v2. It gives us all we need to know. The state of the Earth at the beginning of this account, and God’s POV. The rest is described from there and does so remarkably well, keying in on all the more significant beats, for example …

  1. Water
  2. Light
  3. water + light (+algae) = oxygenated atmosphere

(Jeremy Christian) #124

Actually no. Not chronologically like that, of course, but it gets the Sauropsid/Synapsid branch right. Birds are Sauropsids (fish/reptiles/birds(everything but mammals basically)) and came late in the evolution of Sauropsid branches. So yes, by the time Sauropsids became birds (after dinosaurs), there were the beginnings of synapsids. It took some time to get there.

These events didn’t happen in single days. They happened in overlapping waves. As one continued on, the next started, and so on.