The De Novo Creation of Adam and BioLogos


#1

I am very pleased to give credit to BioLogos for beginning the effort of fixing this page. At the current moment, you can see the changes they have made here: https://www.diffchecker.com/3ezd9flT. These edits go a long way towards fixing this post, though there is still much to do. Given that there are many edits being made to this page, THE CRITIQUE BELOW IS OUT OF DATE, and I’ll look forward to them fixing the remaining problems.



The de novo creation of Adam (from the dust) and Eve (from his rib) are fundamental beliefs that drive opposition to evolution. However, we have found that there is nothing in evolutionary science that undermines traditional theology of Adam, including de novo creation and sole-progenitorship. Both these doctrines are consistent with the common ancestry of humans with the great apes.

As I have explained several times, and justified thoroughly,

Entirely consistent with the genetic evidence, it is possible Adam was created out of dust, and Eve out of his rib, less than 10,000 years ago in a divinely created garden where God might dwell with them, the first beings with opportunity to be in a relationship with Him…Adam and Eve, here, are the single-couple progenitors [genealogical, not genetic] of all mankind. Even if this scenario is false or unnecessary, nothing in evolutionary science unsettles this story.
http://peacefulscience.org/genealogical-rapprochement/

As several conservative theologians told me, this “is a game changer” that “changes the paradigm” (quoting a couple of them).

The Importance of De Novo Adam

It is well known, for example, that BB Warfield found it critical to affirm that Adam was created “from the dust”, and Eve “from his rib.” This was also the fundamental reason Williams Jennings Bryan opposed evolution and instigated Scope Trial as a result. He had no problem with the an old earth or evolution among non-humans, but the de novo creation of Adam was where he drew the line.

More importantly, these beliefs are still alive, and are important to many Christians today. Case in point is Tim Keller, who says about his doctrine of creation:

Not only was there an Adam and Eve… it sure seems like the text says that God created Adam and Eve, and didn’t just adapt a human-like being; it says he created him out of the dust of the ground.

Likewise, we see the same pattern in the ID movement, which includes @agauger, and used to include @vjtorley. Stephen C. Meyers (head of the Discovery institute) explains his opposition thusly:

But Stephen Meyer, a Discovery Institute leader of the intelligent design movement, told WORLD BioLogos leaders are using “an unsubstantiated and controversial claim to urge pastors and theologians to jettison a straightforward reading of Genesis about the human race arising from one man and one woman. They think ‘the science’ requires such a reinterpretation, but apart from speculative models that make numerous question-begging assumptions, the science does no such thing.”
https://world.wng.org/2014/11/interpretive_dance

The DI movement recently wrote the tome Theistic Evolution, which explains their opposition to evolution because of their value on the de novo creation of Adam. Wayne Grudem leads the charge on this, convinced that traditional theology is incompatible with common descent.

The Strawman at BioLogos

On this specific point, ID is not making a caricature of BioLogos. Opposing the de novo creation of Adam, along with traditional theology of Adam, is the official policy of BioLogos. Opposition to de novo Adam is the one reason BioLogos, for example, have opposed Tim Keller in the past: http://peacefulscience.org/defense-tim-keller/.

It is also why they oppose “traditional” theology. BioLogos writes in their common questions page, which represents their official position:

In one traditional view, Adam and Eve were created de novo—they were created by God as fully formed humans (Homo sapiens), roughly 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. God made them quickly and completely as fully formed humans with no biological ancestors. In this traditional de novo view, Adam and Eve are “sole progenitors”: all humans who have ever lived are direct descendants of this original pair and no others… the traditional de novo creation of Adam and Eve is not compatible with what scientists have found in God’s creation.
https://biologos.org/common-questions/human-origins/were-adam-and-eve-historical-figures

It is important to follow the switch being done here. BioLogos is arguing that ALL traditional de novo accounts of Adam are incompatible with evolution, because only ONE specific traditional view (a strawman they’ve imagined) is not consistent with the evidence. It is a logical error of thinking one has disproved a whole class of scenarios by disproving one example.

Moreover the “and no others” clause does not actually appear in traditional theology. That is an invention required for this strawman argument to work. Their definition of “traditional” theology is not even found in traditional theology. It’s not even clear what it means either. We all descend from our parents, but they are other people than than Adam and Eve. So even in the traditional account of Adam eve, none of us (except Cain and Abel, etc.) descend from Adam and Eve and “no others.”

The argument here is transparently incorrect: it a strawman, it is illogical, and it relies on misrepresentation.

The Change

That is not the whole story though, as the history of this page makes clear.

For several years, as recently as earlier this month, the one version of “traditional” theology they used did not say “and no others” (see here https://web.archive.org/web/20170228045554/https://biologos.org/common-questions/human-origins/were-adam-and-eve-historical-figures)

NOTE: since this post went up, BioLogos reverted again to the definition they have had up for a long time. So the original version, without “and no others” is the one currently being used.

The same logical error is at play; they are making a strawman, arguing that ALL is false because ONE is false.

More importantly, notice also that this definition describes a Genealogical Adam, and is not in conflict with evolutionary science. It turns out that the “traditional” view of Adam, as explained by BioLogos as recently as a few weeks ago, is entirely consistent with the evidence because of genealogical ancestry.

Realizing this glaring problem, they silently removed this definition of a “traditional” view of Adam, replacing it with another one, because it is no-longer not disproven by science as we understand it now. The work we’ve done on a genealogical Adam makes that clear.

Instead of acknowledging this new opportunity for reconciliation between traditional theology and evolutionary science, BioLogos silently changed the language to a new strawman, without acknowledging that some traditional understandings of Adam (like their own understanding of traditional views just 1.5 weeks ago!) are entirely consistent with science. They know that at least one traditional understanding of the de novo creation of Adam (which was their definition till 1.5 weeks ago!) is entirely consistent what we have found in science.

This history makes clear that this is not merely an oversight, but what appears to be intentional misrepresentation of our understanding of evolutionary science that reveals true motivations and values. Knowing that their definition of “traditional” de novo Adam was compatible with science, they just changed it, simply in order to say that traditional theology is in error.

That is the exciting thing about genealogical science. It dramatically shifts our understanding of how evolutionary science interacts with theology. It seems there is nothing in evolutionary science that unsettles traditional theology.

This is good news for the Church, but very inconvenient for anyone who wants war instead of peace.

Why Oppose Traditional Theology?

So, both claims are possible at the same time. As traditional theology holds, we can all descend from a de novo Adam in our recent history. As evolutionary science indicates, we can all share ancestry with the great apes. Both these things can be true at the same time. They are not in conflict.

So why would BioLogos oppose traditional theology and the de novo creation of Adam? Why make this opposition their official position? Why insist on ad hoc strawman arguments?

As it has been explained to me, BioLogos is officially guided by theological and hermeneutical reasons (not science) to oppose the de novo creation of Adam and traditional theology, even though some traditional accounts are 100% consistent with common descent. Therefore, let us stop pretending that their opposition to “traditional” theology has anything to do with evolutionary science. I, for example, affirm evolutionary science and see no problem with “traditional” theology; and this was the reason I was taken off their speakers list, even though I affirm common descent.

BioLogos agrees with me on the science (sort of) but then writes of hermeneutics, they write (also their official position):

consider Genesis 2:7, when God forms Adam from dust and breathes into his nostrils. This could not have happened exactly as described, because we know from other passages in the Bible that God is Spirit with neither hands nor lungs.
https://discourse.biologos.org/t/is-genesis-real-history-new-common-questions-page/38280

There are many reasons not to believe in a historical Adam, or in the de novo creation of Adam. This argument put forward by BioLogos, however, is a genuinely bad argument that relies on ignorance of theophany. Genesis 2:7 appears to be describing a theophany, and theophanies appear to have hands and lungs. As writes @jongarvey:

Neither is such a theophany unique to “poetic” Genesis 1-11, for Abraham and others in the Old Testament also encountered God in human form. …These considerations surely make even the original sentence in the essay an unsafe argument, quite apart from any unwarranted deductions about the creation of Adam.
http://potiphar.jongarvey.co.uk/2018/04/12/is-genesis-real-impossibility/

@jongarvey goes on to make an uncomfortably accurate quote about BioLogo’s continued silence on a Genealogical Adam and universal ancestry.

there is an arbitrary decision by some that nobody in their senses can really believe in a historical Adam, and that therefore to point to possible metaphor in Genesis is to remove the historical Adam by default – a logical error, as I have shown. That such a prejudice may be the case somewhere in the thinking of “official” BioLogos is shown by the continued non-mention, as a viable option, of the significant development of the Genealogical Adam hypothesis in the “Common Questions” section.
http://potiphar.jongarvey.co.uk/2018/04/12/is-genesis-real-impossibility/

Agreeing with @jongarvey here, it is very surprising that all this time since I left they have not mentioned A Genealogical Adam on their blog, nor have they included it as an option on the common questions page on Adam and Eve.

More and more are taking notice.

BioLogos and I parted ways because of the large gap in our values exposed by The Genealogical Adam. For theological reasons, not science, it is of defining importance to BioLogos to oppose “traditional” theology of Adam, and therefore to oppose the de novo creation of Adam. Soon, we can hope, they may catch up with the shift in our understanding of the science. Theological agendas, regrettably, may prevent that from taking place any time soon.

The Cost of Peace

I still, however, do have hope for our tiresome Creation War. The good news, still, is that rapprochement is possible.

If BB Warfield and Williams Jennings Bryan knew what we know now about genealogical science, perhaps we would not have faced the last 100 years of conflict. If BioLogos stopped opposing “traditional” theology, perhaps they would be more trusted. Peace, however, is costly. It requires us to lay down our swords.

This will be difficult. Laying down swords is never easy.

For those that oppose evolutionary science, the invitation is to lay down opposition to common descent because it does not conflict with theology. For those that care about affirming common descent, the invitation is to lay down opposition to “traditional” theology of Adam because they do not conflict with evolution.

Some will choose war. The Church, however, is invited into a confident peace. Nothing we care about is threatened by evolutionary science. Jesus is greater.

We should watch how this call to peace is received across the spectrum. I’m encouraged, honestly, by what I have been seeing among ID proponents and theologians that hold to traditional theology. See for example, this post by Dr. Rossiter that begins a series of confessions we should be sure to follow: https://shadowofoz.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/long-hiatus/. It remains an open question, however, if BioLogos will answer the call to peace.

Let us all hope that they lay down their swords eventually. We have no reason to be at war. Instead, let us follow Him, the Prince of Peace, the one greater than all we find in science.


The Tripwire in April 2017
The Tripwire in April 2017
#2

This is a fairly important post, that might actually belong on the main blog. What do you all think?


#3

I agree. This is a post we can all have a fruitful discussion about.


#4

No reason not to have the discussion here! Maybe I will turn it into a main blog post later.


#5

Yes it should be made into a blog post because it documents the sleight-of-hand that the folks at BioLogos are up to. That alone makes it worth doing. Real peace can’t come through ignoring dishonest tactics. That will only permit the gap to widen.

Regarding the subject of peace, I think uniformity of opinion on secondary questions should not be a necessary precondition of peace. I have peaceful fellowship with many where we agree to disagree on early Genesis. This is the path to peace with the people who we can actually have peace- and that won’t be everyone.

One point of order, in the third sentence you use the term “sole-progenitorship” where I think it ought to be “universal-progenitorship”. I think “sole-progenitorship” would be a case where Adam was the only original human ancestor (progenitor) of all humans. Every man’s family tree would begin with Adam. You and I believe that there was a race adam and then at some point a man Adam. So then many if not most people’s family tree would start with someone other than Adam, but it is likely that by now he would be somewhere in every family tree.


#6

BioLogos will hopefully adjust. Unfortunately, these sorts of sleight-of-hand are par for the course in the origins debate. Just about every camp is doing it. The reason it is particularly important to explain in this case is so it is understood why BioLogos does not affirm a Genealogical Adam. It is not that they have a problem with the science. They do not. It is, rather, that they officially oppose traditional theology of Adam. That is why they oppose it.

Peace does not require agreement. I am not asking for uniformity.

In this case, for example, I am not asking for BioLogos and everyone in it to affirm traditional theology. I’d just hope they could be honest about what science does and does not allow.

Sorry, I can’t do that. The term “sole-progenitor” arises in theology and has always included models that have Adam and Eve’s offspring intermixing with other lines. This is likely because of Genesis 6:1 and Numbers 13:33. There is no reason to cede that term, when I am using it consistently with its use in traditional theology.

The only way a contradiction with science arises is if we insert “genetic” into its meaning. But “genetic” (pertaining to DNA) can not be possibly found in traditional theology because we recently discovered DNA. Instead, traditional theology has usually held that “Adam and Eve were our first parents”. If they are the first of our theological kind (e.g. the first are Fallen), then they still remain our “first parents.”

This all may sound odd, but it is just because our current discourse is shaped strongly by anti-evolution-ism, and we are accustomed to reading “genetic” into everything. Traditional theology and traditional interpretations of Scripture, however, have used the term “sole-progenitor” as I am here.


#7

Sole
adjective
1.
being the only one; only:
the sole living relative.
2.
being the only one of the kind; unique; unsurpassed; matchless:
the sole brilliance of the gem.
3.
belonging or pertaining to one individual or group to the exclusion of all others; exclusive:
the sole right to the estate.
4.
functioning automatically or with independent power:
the sole authority.
5.
Chiefly Law. unmarried; not married.
6.
without company or companions; lonely:
the sole splendor of her life.
7.
Archaic. alone.

So which of those definitions applies to Adam as regards to “progenitorship” of the entire human race?


#8

Almost all those definitions. Think about what I’ve written carefully, including what I’ve written elsewhere. I’ve explained this to you several times. After you sit on it for a bit, I’ll explain.


#9

Joshua, this isn’t a disagreement, but a point I often find worth making in these conversations: the fallenness of Adam (and Eve of course, bless her) is only a secondary fruit of descent from him. It is where whatever it was that was new about Adam - what we may consider, under a genealogical model, to be “created” in him - went wrong.

Our focus should also be on what God intended for Adam and, perhaps, created in him de novo. Not only is this positive aspect important because it explains from what heights we have fallen (we are no longer just a smart biological type, but spiritual beings in some new way), but arguably it explains just why our Fall was so catastrophic: “pre-adamic” humans, I suggest, could never have produced the more-than-animal evil of a Pol Pot or a Marquis de Sade.

I may be wrong, but I think such considerations probably apply to all these kinds of models - if the de novo creation of Adam matters at all (to the point of making it a sticking point when the de novo creation of species generally is not) it is because biology could not make Adam what he was even before he sinned.


#10

I would agree with that point, which is why I am open ended in what we inherited from him, writing “e.g.” I see this, broadly, in a similar way as you. I’d say that God intended to bless all people by Adam, bringing them into the Garden with a new world order, the rise of a good civilization. The Fall is a twisting of this original purpose, where the Garden is taken away, and the whole world is brought into an evil civilization.

I would, of course, agree that some of this is transmitted by “cultural pollution,” as culture is transmitted socially. However, I think that it makes sense to think some of this is transmitted genealogically too, perhaps in the form of existential contingency.

The only reason I explain this as “some theological status (e.g. the Fall)” is because I’m trying to be as theologically neutral as possible. I want to encourage a large range of theological options. This is not about settling on a single answer too early, and I expect, for example, there will always differences between you guys (@Guy_Coe, @Revealed_Cosmology and @jongarvey) too. That is part of what makes it fun.


#11

All right maybe I am coming at this from the wrong end of things. Rather than objecting to “sole” in “sole progenitorship” I suppose the real issue is that you are using that phrase without limiting qualifiers to distinguish it from what the rest of the earth, even theologians really, think of when they hear the term.

You are separating both genetic and genealogical bodily descent from another variable which you have called “theological” descent. The traditional theology you reference considers Adam the “sole-progenitor” in all three senses, with the last being the least defined and as Jon points out, secondary to the other senses of the word.

If you are referencing the progenitorship of a particular aspect of man’s nature, our “falleness”, rather than our humanity as a whole or the normal meaning of the word then specifying that could clear up confusion or charges of slight-of-hand or even racism. For example “sole-progenitorship of fallen human nature” would be more clear and more accurate than just saying “sole-progenitorship” because you mean that term in a more narrow sense than the term normally conveys without some limiting modifiers such as I have suggested.

After all Josh, you call your model “Genealogical Adam”. Is it really fair to expect people to think you are talking about anything but genealogy when you say “sole-progenitor”? Not unless you take the trouble to say so. The “gen” in progenitor is from the same root as genealogy. But you don’t mean to say that Adam is the sole ancestor of our genealogy as a whole, only the whole of this trait of fallenness or something like it.

The “Sons of God” are more conventionally and plausibly explained by the model in which Adam was not the sole progenitor (genetically and genealogically) of the human race and refers to other humans not from Adam’s clan as explained in this video.
https://youtu.be/wc7BLlnSEbo

At any rate conventional theology has them perishing in the flood, and surviving into the time of the Book of Numbers only by some such thing as more fallen angels appearing in the earth afterward or in the case of one Jewish fable clinging to the hull of the ark. Then the Israelites finished them off when they conquered Canaan, leaving Adam once again the sole progenitor of the human race. Even in these models he was originally the sole progenitor of the human race with these other non-human entities forcing their way onto his family tree for a season.

So yes the term is used in conventional theology to describe scenarios where some non-Adamic lines get grafted into his family tree later, but they are not human in these instances, Adam was still the original sole progenitor of the human line, and those other lines were ended by God’s judgement. It is just not the same thing you are describing and so using the same terms without modifiers is inviting confusion. All IMHO of course.

Overall I am glad you are keeping the theology “loose” because lots of things about Genesis need a re-think and only a few things are essential.


#12

What I find fascinating here is that @swamidass , whom most seem to want to paint with the standard TE brush, actually admits that the science doesn’t rule out the “de novo” creation of Adam. I agree whole-heartedly with this understatement.
For me, the description “from the dust of the ground” is not remarkable, as it would seem to rule out any “ex nihilo” creation of Adam, and imply a process of common descent, as it is also used rhetorically and similarly for the creation of other creatures on prior days; “let the earth (the dust of the ground, not the planet) bring forth…”.
In Genesis 2, when used with regards to Adam’s placement in the garden, I see it as reminding the reader that Adam, though a descendant of those human beings “created in the image of God” in Genesis 1 is, despite God’s singular attention to him, still creaturely, and even “kin” to the animals he is called to “rule over” as a steward of God’s good creation.
Here is where we must seize upon a solid analogy to distinguish what a “de novo” creation might consist of, while demonstrating that it is NOT thereby a rejection of otherwise normal processes of birth, viz., “common descent,” --and here is where we should examine exactly what may have happened at the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
“Common descent” is always present in a line of physical (“genealogical”) ancestry. But it cannot necessarily, by itself, explain all that is present in the succeeding offspring.
Jesus was male. Even if the very rare phenomenon of “parthenogenesis” is invoked with regards to his birth, he could only have been female.
Something extra, if incredibly subtle to even an astute observer, had to have happened which cannot be accounted for by “common descent” or “random genetic mutation” alone.
Without resorting to any “magical poof” theory of Jesus’ origins as an developing zygote, we are forced to imagine an inexplicably succesful reordering of Mary’s sex chromosomal contribution to an unfertilized egg.
The disappearance of an entire leg of an X-chromosome, and its possible genetic reordering, which nevertheless results in a viable zygote leading gestationally to a successful offspring of a different gender, is unprecedented, in my understanding.
It is certainly “de novo” without being “ex nihilo” or some sort of magical “poof” of Jesus into fully grown human existence.
That’s precisely why I take exception to any such notion with regards to Adam either. “Specially created,” yes --but not “poofed” into adult existence.
Steve Meyer would simply say that the new “infusion” (specified subtraction?) of genetic ordering information neccessary to explain such a singularity is evidence of a “designing intelligence.”
Despite the understated description and agnostic overtones of those terms, I find myself agreeing with the general sentiment.
“God breathed” is another apt, but more biblical, metaphor for what we are examining here.
Your thoughts, @swamidass , @Revealed_Cosmology , @jongarvey , @vjtorley ?
Glad you’re back and right back in the saddle, Joshua!


#13

Good distinctions and advice, @Revealed_Cosmology ! Following up on my immediately prior post, what we might say, looking retrojectively, is that Jesus’ virgin birth “set a precedent” for us to begin understanding Adam’s own origin as abrupt, in some sense, i.e. “de novo,” while not also being “ex nihilo.” He did not “poof into mature existence” from nothing preceding him.
Most theologians mistakenly refer to a “creation” of Adam, when the Hebrew verb “bara” is entirely absent as regards his origin in chapter two.
While I can accept the phrase “specially created” when referring to the aspects of Adam’s origin and heritage which may have made him singularly unique, the first of a kind, I do not agree that that entails any rejection of common descent.
To put it more plainly, I find it biblically orthodox to hold that Adam, just as did Jesus, had both a human mother who gave birth to him, and a belly button.
My guess is that Adam was orphaned at an early age, and did not know, during most of his developmental years, of the existence of the other human beings already upon the earth, from whom he descended, who had already been “created in God’s image, male and female” in chapter one.
Raised by the “Malak YHWH” (sp.?) Himself, in the garden, Adam was the first to be given a “Thou shalt not…” and thus the first full-blown human sinner upon his transgression of the Lord’s command.
This is precisely what Romans is referring to, and what makes him our “universal forebear.”


#14

@Guy_Coe

There is indeed a kind of equivalence (not to put it more strongly) between the creation of Eve especially, and also of Adam, as described in Genesis and the Incarnation of the Lord. It extends at least as far as discrediting the “scientifically impossible” crowd by challenging the assumption that creation is science.

Jesus, being born of Mary, we may assume to have received his physical substance from her, in the way common to all mankind. Yet as you point out, he couldn’t have received his Y-chromosome from her, except by miraculous genetics, and I would argue that he had a genotype that not simply a duplicate of hers. What it was, of course, is speculation, but speculating how it was is probably best not attempted through knowledge of genetic manipulation.

Likewise Eve, created from Adam’s body, must be supposed to have been given a new genome, rather than cloning his and doubling his X chromosome. This is a creative transformation, not a manufacturing process. And likewise, of course, however Adam was derived from “the dust of the ground” (whether directly or metaphorically through human ancestry), it was not by clever chemistry or biology, or if it was it was so fundamental as to be better described as “creation”.


#15

It is worth noting the approach thst John Walton takes with regard to Eve’s origin. He maintains that the text does not require us to suppose a miraculous conception for Eve, i.e., a kind of origin for her that bypasses normal birth to a human mother.
Instead, he points to an interpretation of the “deep sleep” of Adam as referring to a state of his receiving a revelatory vision while sleeping, in which the Lord makes for him a corresponding being from his own substance who is his companion and complementary equal in every way. It is after that revelation that the text says the Lord brought Eve to him.
Walton takes the “rib” to be a poor translation choice, opting instead for a metaphorically stronger notion of an “architectural” understanding, and not just a bone. This is why Adam’s exclamation is “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” upon his first sight of her. How did he know this, if not by prior revelation?
Her actual physical origin may have been more “normal,” as the, perhaps, female child of a human mother who was migrating with her kinship group near the area of the garden when Eve became physically separated from them.
The Lord “brought her to Adam,” who was unaware of the existence of other “imago Dei” human beings in the land up to this point. That she was older than a toddler is implied by her immediate apprehension of the language of Adam’s speech, which had been taught him by the Lord Himself, the “Malak YHWH.”
Walton’s own treatment of this material is in “The Lost World of Adam and Eve,” to which I have added further speculative nuance above, in a scenario which honors the revelation of the text as a telescoped retrojective presentation of this very kind of scenario. I am open to other possible orthodox scenarios, as well.


#16

Well thank you on the distinctions.

Regarding Adam, it is too long an explanation to cite this morning here but I think he was both created (the middle part of the triplet in 1:27) and formed in chapter two. “Yatsar” is the word used in chapter two, not bara as you point out. It is not “ex-nilo” but rather something changing form- dust to man.

There are some ancient stories from India which claimed Adam had a mother and father, but I don’t see where the text, in two or elsewhere, allows for that. Adam returns to the dust from which he came.

Adam is supposed to be a copy of the heavenly man in Genesis 1 and 2, thus he is both created (as man) and formed (simply changing form form pre-exiting substance as did the second Person of the trinity). So that does not fit with Adam having a mother, and his “father” was Yahweh-Elohim even as the 2nd Person of the Trinity has a “Father” in the first Person of the Trinity.

Christ, the second Adam, was born of a woman. But that had to do with the promise of a Seed in which the Heavenly Man would assume a nature like ours in order to crush the serpent’s head. Being born of a woman was a part of His coming down from His heavenly position. It was a “loophole” in that He could be of the line of Adam even though Adam was not directly His sire, but rather came through Eve who was taken out of Adam. It sort of wrecks the picture if the first Adam was also born of a woman.

Can God form a man from a pile of dust? Of course. Jesus said “God can turn these stones into children of Abraham.” What is the reason to doubt that is what happened here?


#17

The view you put forth here, @Revealed_Cosmology , is only true if you hold that Genesis 1:26-27ff. is the general “overview” of the more specific account of Adam’s origin in chapter two. I see this as an unwarranted conflation of two very different events, which are actually separated in time by a large margin.
The creation of mankind in “Our image, according to Our likeness,” happened in chapter one, at what I would estimate to be at least 50 kya. The events surrounding Adam occurred, again in my rough estimation, some 15-13 kya.
There were “imago Dei” human beings wandering the earth, obeying God’s creation mandate for humankind, long before the account of Adam and Eve took place.
Could God have formed Adam whole-cloth from a “dust cloud?” Of course.
But then, why didn’t He do the same at the incarnation of Jesus?
No; I see no biblical warrant for the claim that Adam was magically “swirled” from dust into mature human existence. Josh makes the point well that, if you do affirm that, then you have to account for why God would include a “false history” of common descent in his genome.
The English translation may lend itself to such a possible interpretation, but the Hebrew original clearly steers away from it, in my view.
The events outlined in Genesis 2:5 and ff. are clealy well subsequent to those in Genesis 1:1-2:3. They ought not to be conflated in time. Adam was NOT the first “imago Dei” human being.


#18

Well it takes going through the text day by day to see it, but there is another option. 1:27 is actually three events which occur over what we would call a large amount of time, but from the reference point of creation (whose narrative this is) it is not. Chapter two is a “telescoping” of one of those three events. The rest of day six in chapter one is as you say, God’s blessing on the race adam (human) which occurred before the formation of the man Adam.

Christ is the image of God. 1 John 3:2 says “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” Adam had that, but he lost it. The rest of mankind didn’t have it, though they had the same potential as Adam. The plan to “make man in our own image” is referencing Christ and the church. It’s a process. He created men and women. His goal was Christ and the Church and Adam was the start of the plan to take humanity from where they started to where He wanted them to be (in His Image, and Christ is His image).

I think you are right on the timing. Agree completely,

2:7 says He formed the man from dust. But if He did the same for Jesus then it would not fulfill God’s word to Eve about her seed. Christ would not have been from Adam (indirectly through Eve taken from his side). God had proclaimed that Adam would be the tool through which His plan to “make (a process) man in His own image” would be accomplished. If He created Christ out of a dust cloud then it would not be in accordance with His original plan, and God never needs a back-up plan.

I’d say 2:7 forward. But 1:27 is both history and prophecy. It is speaking of things which occurred in heaven that we have not seen here yet, and things here that happened long ago. Chapter one is like “the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire” and chapter two is like “The Life of Julius Caesar”. The first starts long before the second, but has the second within it.

I don’t expect this to make much sense here because a few piecemeal blog posts cannot put it together like a 350 page book can, and that is about what it takes, mostly to peel back misinformation and common theology which is not in the bible. We here understand that Adam was not the first human being to walk the earth, and that helps, but it takes a lot more than that to unpack it. When you do, you find out its Christianity all along. Right there in early Genesis.


#19

To make my point about chapter one speaking of a much longer amount of time and chapter two telescoping on one key event within that time span, notice that the “Seventh Day” in Genesis never had an evening or a morning on earth. It was reality in heaven, but it did not happen on earth until after the cross. This is what the writer of Hebrews taught, Moses saw coming, and Jesus implied…see video for details.


#20

We may just have to agree to disagree on this one. The “recapitulatory” view you’re espousing is not “harmful” in any theological sense, as far as I can tell. But I have a problem with it as an interpretive conclusion – specifically, as regards the notion that the fall took place prior to the conclusion of chapter one.
Certainly, we are in the seventh day right now.
But, before the close of chapter one, it says that God assessed the creation as “very good.” Either God was not paying attention, or the fall hadn’t happened yet.
I really can’t ignore that problem.
Since the vast bulk of the events in the rest of Scripture deal with the “not good” – in fact, downright evil --aftermath of the fall, I cannot picture God as that inept a theologian, so to speak.
The fall happened AFTER the commencement of the seventh day, just as the text presents it.
Hope that clarifies my position and rationale. Cheers!