What if Adam was just a character in an Ancient Creation Story?


(Greg) #101

Solomon was in sin this way and it all led to a massive mid life crisis- confession recorded in Ecclesiates. That besides the point of this poem. The principles found in Song of Songs about sexual love between a husband and wife as approved by God seem to point to…drumroll…love and sexual love betw husband and wife. God places value on the human body which evolutionism will drift ones mind toward the opposite towards devaluing. And for Christians, the body is a temple where the Spirit takes residence after conversion by faith as a guarantee deposit promising a better life to come!

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #102

@Greg Better get with the times, it is about 3000 years from the Solomon view of the morals, ethics, and values of human sexuality. Today each person’s sexuality is part of their human rights and freedom of expression and frankly none of your business.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #103

@Greg Better get with the times, it is about 3000 years from the Solomon view of the moral, ethics, and values of human sexuality. Today each person’s sexuality is part of their human rights and freedom of expression and frankly none of your business.

(Retired Professor & Minister.) #104

I assume that you understand that the Torah Law clearly denounced (and forewarned Solomon long before he was born) Solomon’s sinful lifestyle. God told him that he was in the wrong and that the Kingdom would be divided as a result.

As to Solomon’s views, I don’t see how his sexual ethics are all that different from similar ethics found in the world today. (I can think of various sports celebrities, for example, who have made quite comparable numerical boasts. The difference in Solomon’s case was that he financially supported and protected all of the women involved—for life.)

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #105

Yes, it good to be a King. :sunglasses:

(Greg) #106

And unfortunately for Solomon, his kingship warped into a self-righteousness well deserving of the SNL churchlady badge.If Ecclesiastes is true, seems he was on a pathway of trading this badge it for Something better. It is amazing how by God’s grace, wisdom was still being spoken through this broken man. That is pretty much the storyline throughout Scripture and the history of the chuch.



The allegorical interpretation of Song of Songs was nearly universal among the Church Fathers.

If you look at Jarislav Pelikan or John Behr’s summary of the Nicene era, same goes for a lot of the old testament. Christ’s divinity was argued for ON THE BASIS OF non-literal interpretations of several OT passages, some of which were clearly not the original author’s intent.

In fact, a lot of scholars would argue that if ISRAEL did not interpret Song of Songs as a love song between God and Israel, it never would have made it in the canon. I love Tremper Longman’s work but his literalistic commentary on Song of Songs could not be more wrong-headed. He DENIES an allegorical meaning altogether. This is VERY untraditional.


Also, I don’t look back fondly to times when my Evangelical youth pastor told us every week how great his sex life was with his wife while we went through Song of Songs. Haha!

(Greg) #109

Well i agree w you here. Leave it to man to make stupid on the application of teaching of Scripture. And I agree that we can find patterns in OT Scripture that point to Jesus in pretty much every book. For me, i will be careful not to over spiritualize the content of the OT, calling much of it allegorical symbolizm and not historical realities and real life depictions. For me, the Song of Solomon painting a picture of real truth of humanity and love is MORE honoring of the gospel where Jesus was a real man with real flesh and real blood who really died on a cross where His heart stopped to save real flesh and blood people from their sins of body and mind in order to offer them eternal life where they will gain real glorified physical bodies pure from sin. Also for me, to call the Song of Solomon allegory is to license mysticizing other passages meant as history and perhaps even the gospel itself which was literally true of heretical groups in the 1st century church who suggested that Jesus was not literally killed via crucifixtion. Disagreement on the Songs of Solomon is not a biggie for me…tying it to the wonder if the same license can allowed about the historical first couple is where i would wholeheartedly disagree. Thanks.



Going way back in our conversation, you said men before Adam were not capable of being guilty of sin.

What made all those who were far far out of the God of Israel’s vicinity capable of sin then? Or, of course, those who have never heard the gospel? Was it because they share a genealogical connection to Adam? But why would that make them culpable?

(Jon Garvey) #111

That’s more a general theological question on ancestral sin than a distinctive of Genealogical Adam. Pick Augustinian or Irenaean models, or emphasise death rather than sin, and the doctrine is there.

But what I said about those outside the garden is based on Rom 5: “Where there is no law, sin is not imputed.” Command establishes relationship (I got that from Westermann), and disobedience mars it.

Federal headship is an important model, also from Rom 5 and 1 Cor 15, but though some Reformed folks have been happy to invoke that for the universality of sin apart from the progenitorship of Adam, it does really require a basis in reality. We are in Adam through birth - we are in Christ through new birth.

On the GA model, one (Orthodox friendly!) thought is that Adam and his line were granted the right to eternal life, and lost it. Those outside never had it, and in all likelihood never missed it. That would make it a matter of the loss of both a privilege and a hope.

Josh has some original thoughts on original sin in the GA model: maybe he’ll share them here. Meanwhile, I’m still working on mine.

(Ashwin S) #112

Thats not the only way of reading the text. The emphasis is that death is proof of/result of Sin (atleast in human beings).

12 Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death resulted from sin, therefore everyone dies, because everyone has sinned.

Everyone dies, because everyone has sinned. Paul’s main point being that death ruled over everyone from Adam to Moses (even though there was no known law or covenant relationship between God and these people).

If the same logic is applied to those before Adam, then, death means sin…
Perhaps a non traditional understanding that sin leads to death because the relationship with God is broken and thus eternal life is not accessible.
In which case, original sin will just be the condition of a broken relationship with God passed on from generation to generation until Jesus restores it.
Edit: And the reason those before Adam die would be the same as for those after him. No access to eternal life through a relationship with God.

(Greg) #113

Interesting. Sorry to interject as all that i do is shotgun reading of items on this and other sites. I think Scripture would disagree w this statement. According to Ro 1:18-21 our creation and existence establishes relationship, and according to Ro 2:15, law of conscience (we were created in Gods image) defines sinfulness as well as breaking of revealed law. That seems to be the “orthodox” position. If this is unrelatable to your discussion, then ignore me and enjoy your Saturday!

(Ashwin S) #114

Actually, I don’t know if there is an orthodox position.
However one understanding we get is as below-

Adam was immortal in the garden. Upon sinning, he was judged and death became a part of humanity.

I see several biblical problems with such a reading starting from Jesus deaths nd ressurection.
My understanding from the Bible is as below-

Adam had a body similar to ours. It was an earthly body and hence perishable (i.e capable of dying). The ressurection will give us a body that is imperishable. In 1cor 15, Paul seems to be teaching that this is the state of things right from the time of Adams creation.
1 cor15: 46 The spiritual does not come first, but the physical does, and then comes the spiritual.
47 The first man came from the dust of the earth; the second man came from heaven.
48 Those who are made of the dust are like the man from the dust; those who are heavenly are like the man who is from heaven
49 Just as we have borne the likeness of the man who was made from dust, we will also bear the likeness of the man from heaven.
50 Brothers, this is what I mean: Mortal bodies cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and what decays cannot inherit what does not decay
51 Let me tell you a secret. Not all of us will die, but all of us will be changed

The need for a change and the fact that Jesus who was without sin actually died supports the idea that eternal life requires a transformation in the very nature of our bodies.

All this points to an understanding that Adam was capable of dying in the garden. And the only thing keeping him alive is the same thing keeping us alive… God… if he had not sinned, God would have sustained his life.

Greg on the Tree of Life
(S. Joshua Swamidass) #115

A post was split to a new topic: The Jewish Conception of Original Sin

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #116

18 posts were split to a new topic: Side Comments: What if Adam Was Just Character in a Story?

(Jacob) #117

I’m sorry that happened - that should have no place anywhere. I wasn’t aware of that situation.

(Jon Garvey) #118

A reply to myself, from Gordon Wenham’s work.

At the very least we can explore the main point of the garden narrative from its sophisticated literary structure.

Hebrew texts contain a lot of elements of palistrophic or chiastic text, Basically, that means a chain of ideas leads up to your main point, and then the same or similar chain of ideas occurs in reverse order afterwards. The effect is to do this:

                                            >>>>>NOTICE ME<<<<<

Without going into detail, the garden story has a structure ABCDC’B’A’. But more than that, the central section “D” also has a smaller scale chiasm abcdc’b’a’. In both cases, the central point is Adam’s eating of the fruit. Damned clever writing - and one reason they gave up on attributing it to multiple sources around 1940!

So, whatever other important things there are in the story, this tells you that your non-canonical heading in italics should read, “Adam eats the forbidden fruit.”

Greg on the Tree of Life
(George) #119

Actually, 4 Esdras contradicts Original Sin.

You are confusing The Fall’s multi-generational consequences with the inherited guilt of Original Sin.

The results of Pandora’s box were multi-generational, but the Greeks didnt attribute inherited fault to all of Pandora’s descendants!

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #120

A post was merged into an existing topic: Don’t Provoke the Unnecessary Conflict