The Flood "Removed" not "Killed" Everyone?


(Kenneth Turner) #1

This is one of many pieces of evidence IMO that argues against a global/universal flood biblically. The implied author writes as if the implied (post-flood) audience had awareness of the professions described here. It shows continuity between pre-flood and post-flood cultures.


Jeremy Christian's Take on Free Will
(Jeremy Christian) #2

Right. That’s what makes me curious. One of many. Yet the global flood interpretation remained? It’s strange to me.

Another thought I just had. Not sure if this is the right place for random thoughts given the topic-based format of the site, so I won’t go on and on about it, but …

Gen6:7 - So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created

Tell me if this makes sense Hebrew-wise. It doesn’t say “kill”, it says “wipe”. In a regional flood scenario the single most significant thing you accomplish by flooding a valley and putting a man and his family on a boat (and not just out of range), is you isolate that man and his family. “Wipe from the face of the Earth” could just mean that. Right? Clear from the land?


(Kenneth Turner) #3

I’m not sure I understand what you’re asking. The verb choice is not much different than “kill” other than it focuses more on removal from the earth. Reasonable local flood interpretations (assuming one accepts biblical authority) include: (1) taking the universal language (all, every, the earth) as hyperbole (as done by Longman and Walton); (2) understand “earth” to be “land” (i.e., a limited region); (3) taking “earth” as the known world from the author’s perspective; or (4) taking “earth” to be the world that the author cares about (though he technically knows of other peoples beyond this scope). Of course, one could understand the Bible to be teaching a universal (i.e., global) flood, but consider it mistaken due to modern scientific and historical knowledge.


Five Views on Inerrancy
(Jeremy Christian) #4

Yeah, the limited region take seems perfectly reasonable from what I’ve seen. Not to mention the writer’s ability to report on the status of the whole planet seems difficult. Assuming the intended audience would have any idea what they’re talking about.

Removal sounds right. It seems to me this may actually not have been a mass killing. People just had to move to higher ground. Doing so with a man and his family on a boat leaves them totally isolated, which I believe was the goal. It’s a common practice in breeding.

Interesting. Just wondering if that can grammatically work like I was thinking it might. Thanks for the input.


(Kenneth Turner) #5

You’ve raised a view for me to think about. My dissertation was on Deuteronomy’s theology of exile. One of the things I noted was that the terms for exile are not the normal ones, but death/annihilation terms (e.g., Deut 4:25; 28:63). While I make theological implications of this (i.e., exile = death), it also helps interpret the use of death language elsewehere, e.g., the so-called genocide texts in Joshua (i.e., the kill-them-all texts could be fulfilled by removing the Canaanites from the land and not necessarily literally killing them).


Does God Adequately Avail Himself to Man?
(Jeremy Christian) #6

Love the title, by the way.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #7

@Jeremy_Christian I’m impressed. That is an interesting take, which is plausible enough to catch the attention of a Hebrew prof. Good job. Curious to see how it cooks.

Contrast that with the run around you are getting on “free will”…maybe some of your points are more plausible than others.


(Jeremy Christian) #8

I have faith you and others will come around on the rest of it. It tends to gain ground the longer it marinates, in my experience.

I have faith.

Also, it might be worth pointing out, it’s the free will part that implicated this part.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #9

One step forward, two steps back. @Jeremy_Christian, please consider the possibility you are wrong?


(Jeremy Christian) #10

I always do.


(Jeremy Christian) #11

Do me a favor and make a point to read this in the near future. It goes quick. I think you’ll like it…

“…many modern scientists [assume] that human behavior can only be explained in physical terms, and ignore the fact that the human mind or psyche is to some degree an independent entity, which can change or develop along its own lines, without necessarily altering physical structure.” - Steve Taylor, The Fall: The Insanity of the Ego in Human History and the Dawning of a New Era


(Jeremy Christian) #12

Hey Kenneth,

I have another Hebrew question to bother you with…

Genesis 3:20 - Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

This word translated as “living”, חַי Strong’s 2416

… when it’s used in this manner, what is meant by “living”? Clearly it’s not talking about everything that’s alive, but is speaking specifically of humans. It’s often sited as a contradiction to the idea that humans existed before Adam/Eve. But I get the feeling it doesn’t exactly mean what it sounds like to our modern ears/eyes.

Just curious what your thoughts are on this.


(Kenneth Turner) #13

I’m sorry I’ve been AWOL. I just saw this after commenting on another thread. There’s nothing special/mysterious about the Hebrew here. The issue has to be settled by context(s) not lexicography. And it depends on where you put the emphasis. Some see a negative angle, emphasizing Adam’s naming of Eve (thus declaring his authority over her) and his reductionistic view of her as “mother” (as if that’s all she’s good for). Others see a positive angle, emphasizing her connection to the “living” despite the curse of death. This positive angle could focus on “life” in its normal (biological, genealogical) sense and/or an extended spiritual/covenantal sense (e.g., @jongarvey).

To place the emphasis on “all” and then relate that to the creation debate (e.g., biological sole progenitorship or perhaps even Genealogical Adam) is possible. I’m not convinced, however, the text is meant or able to carry that kind of load. Even if one were to assume that the author(s) would’ve assumed this, the question is whether that is part of the intended teaching point of the text.


(Jeremy Christian) #14

I appreciate it and am happy for your response whenever it’s convenient for you.

Approaching the issue by context is something I’m much more comfortable with. Tell me if you think this is totally off-base.

Eve’s curse. Pains in child labor. This I think most times is thought to mean that she wouldn’t have experienced pain in childbirth otherwise. I tend to see it as meaning she’ll begin bearing children. Their curse of death made procreation and the perpetuation of life necessary.

The goal at this point became breeding Jesus. The last Adam that the first Adam made necessary.


(Kenneth Turner) #15

The text says her pain will increase, not exist for the first time. But I think the bigger false assumption–due to our translations–is that it’s speaking specifically about the birthing process. But I agree with those who take the word/concept to mean less about child-bearing and more about child-rearing as a whole, i.e., the whole thing about raising kids.

Whatever view is correct, it’s an intentional anachronism (one of many in the text) since it speaks more to the original audience of the text than the characters in the story. This makes your angle plausible. Though procreation seems clearly part of the original plan, the perpetuation and necessity aspect is heightened by the Fall.

I wouldn’t limit the “goal” to breeding Jesus, but I’m fine with a second-level Christological reading.


(Jeremy Christian) #16

The idea of Jesus being the goal has to do with God’s actions throughout the old testament. His interactions with the line that eventually brought Jesus about seem deliberate in this task.

Just as breeding in general, you usually breed from those you identify the desired characteristics in. First Noah, who found favor in God’s eyes, then later, after confirming his will did not override God’s, He promised to breed from Abraham. Then, in the wilderness, the rules given lay out specifics that keep the line isolated from others.

These chronicles of God interacting with humanity appear to be a God creating in an environment not under His control.


(Jeremy Christian) #17

I find this particularly interesting.

In my twisted view that I’ve been bandying about in these threads Adam and Eve are the first of God’s creation with free will. A lot has come into question about what I mean by that. I’ll attempt to explain.

I mean exactly what the Adam/Eve story directly illustrates. God put Adam/Eve in an environment where only one rule existed. A rule commanded by the creator of the universe and everything in it. Yet they had the freedom of choice to choose for themselves whether or not to obey that rule. A free will in this context is exactly that. I will that is independent of God and His will.

God’s will in this view is one and the same as natural law. According to the scientific/deterministic view, there can be no free will. Which is true. We’re made up of natural elements that behaviorally adhere to natural law. There is no willful volition in their behavior. There’s only the system and what the system does.

This is what I believe is the significance of Adam and Eve. The difference between them and all who came before. This freedom of will to do as we choose. The Earth and this universe the perfect environment to bring a capability like this into existence. This, I believe, is the purpose behind all of it. The meaning of life.

In my view free will ignited a behavior change that can be seen in human history as being the catalyst that created modern humanity. It’s at the root of everything. This, I believe, is what the story of early Genesis is describing.

I say all of that to say this. “Living” in this view is living in the active sense. Not just staying alive, but choosing how to live and what to do. Actively participating in life. Without free will we’d be passive observers. Living with the consequences of choices we didn’t, couldn’t physically make.

This is what I see as being the difference between pre-Adamite humans and those who came after. Not that pre-Adamites aren’t capable. This one couple could not have propagated something like this genetically. These traits would have been diluted in the mix until it disappeared. Just the behavior of these “new” humans influencing the world around them. Making others change in response.


(George) #18

@Jeremy_Christian,

Genesis 1 says the pre-Adamites were bearers of God’s image. Who is the most significant Bible researcher who agrees that the image of God has nothing to do with Free Will?


(Jeremy Christian) #19

Doesn’t that fit? Free will, at least in this context, is the capability to behave outside of God’s will. So for pre-Adamites to not have free will would mean they would indeed be the image of God in that their behavior is consistent with God’s will.

What significant Bible researcher claims for certain to even know what the “image of God” is? As far as I’ve seen there doesn’t seem to be any consensus.


(George) #20

@Jeremy_Christian

So… your proposal is: “Humans without Freewill can be legitimately described as bearing the Image of God” ?

No, I don’t think anyone other than you would say that is a fit. The usual interpretation is that the “image of God” means that the persons in questions are different from the animals… because they POSSESS freewill !