As you’ve already seen, my publisher has put out a list of provocative bullet points on some of the theses of my GHE. These are not quite what you have in mind, and what you suggest may not be the best way into the GAE hypothesis, which I see more as a paradigm for biblical interpretation, but which is in essence simpler than that. I’ll return to your 3 points at the end.
At root, the idea of GAE is that population genetics on a two-parent model gives strong evidence that, if Adam and Eve were historical figures living at or before the most plausible biblical time frame, then they would be almost certain to be universal ancestors of present day mankind, as the churches have always believed.
With that simple fact in place, the theology proceeds according to taste and conviction. I don’t (unlike George) see GAE as “intended for a purpose” - any purpose - but simply as a conclusion from genealogical science.
Historically, before deep time and evolution appeared to spoil the fun, not only were historical A&E assumed by virtually all orthodox theologians, but were deemed necessary to preserve core New Testament doctrines.
My own survey of the theological history suggests that “allegorical Adam” and the rejection of original sin were the direct result of the loss of confidence in biblical history, not equally reputable pre-existing theological options. They have become popular in direct proportion to the belief that A&E can’t be fitted into real history.
That makes GAE’s main contribution the removal of the need to explain away the Eden narrative a-historically, making the rejection of original sin and allegorical A&D compete purely on their theological strengths - which they may find difficulty doing once the key role of the historical Eden event to the biblical metanarrative is once more fully appreciated.
The development of my own ideas follows the track that, if GAE is actually true, then its conclusions about those outside the garden were probably also what the Bible writers took for granted - unlike us, they were not befuddled by controversy over deep time and a genetic mindset. They were not that far removed from the origins of the tradition handed down to them.
I then seek to see how that applies to biblical theology, on which discipline fantastic work has been done in recent decades as the clutter of the old source criticism and evolutionary history of religions theories has been cleared away.
This branch of scholarship, pursued by a bunch of important scholars like John Sailhamer, Greg Beale, and N T wright, plus an increasing number of younger scholars such as Seth Postell and Kevin Chen, sees Messianic teaching as fundamental at the deepest and earliest levels of the Hebrew Bible. What Paul calls “the hope of Israel” was a hope held because of, not in spite of, the Torah, prophets and writings.
And that development addresses Steve Schaffner’s point about NT hermeneutics - it was not at all loose, but following in the theological footsteps of the inspired writers. After all, it was Jesus himself who criticised his religious opponents for not appreciating that the prophets had been writing about him all along. Surely his hermeneutics were in working order, as the promised Messiah?
Returning to GAE, I find that through an interpretive lens that accepts the essential historicity of the Eden account, together with people outside the garden, the Messianic biblical meta-narrative not only comes into sharp focus, but becomes grounded in a salvation history that is also a public history.
On your specific points:
I personally agree with the sequential reading of Genesis 1 & 2 for a rich variety of reasons dealt with in my book. However, it isn’t actually essential to GAE, and Josh specifically makes room for recapitulatory interpretations in his book. Jack Collins, for example, holds a recapitulatory view, and offered to endorse my book.
Totally agree - I think the attempts to suggest either that Paul didn’t base his argument on Adam’s historicity, or that it doesn’t matter that he was wrong, don’t really work in a biblically-based theology.
I would say that it’s the historicity and “specialness” of Adam that makes this important point true, rather than special creation per se. I base this on the fact that the word “create” is only used of A&E in the NT, not in Genesis, and that the range of meaning for the Heb bara (create) is wide enough to include more than de-novo creation from literal dirst and ribs. Isaiah uses it of the creation of Israel, and so some kind of “vocational” understanding of Adam’s creation remains an option.
In this, I find myself more flexible than Josh’s expression of GAE, though I have no theological problem with the special creation of A&E. But once again, Josh’s own book points out that GAE does not entail special creation from dust or ribs - in part, I think their inclusion in his basic presentation is meant to make a bold point on the epistemological limitations of science - nothing in science excludes taking their special creation literally, any more than anything in science can discredit the resurrection of Christ.