Which Scenarios of Adam Will be Helpful?

Adam
Theology

(Jon Garvey) #37

@Guy_Coe

Just commenting from my point of view on the discussion arising from this post of yours, with a reiteration of something I said earlier.

Adam is important to redemptive history because he trangressed a command of God. But he is important on a greater scale because he was given a command by God, in a way that no other human before had.

Our models need to encompass what the Garden was intended to achieve for and through the human race created in his image, as well as what happened when Adam failed.

Adam was called from that race (whatever we conceive about their intellectual, moral or spiritual capacities) in order to be the forerunner in a new phase of creation involving covenant intimacy with God and, it would seem, an “absurdly” elevated role over God’s whole creation, including the angelic order. That role does not constitute “the image”, though it does embody what the image entailed, just as Abraham’s individual role was as forerunner of redeemed mankind.

The image was the basis and form of mankind’s creation, so could not be lost without mankind ceasing to be human. In any case, the calling of God is irrevocable - and that is also so for the positive role Adam was intended for in the Garden. That’s why it’s important not only that it is Adam’s descendants who are redeemed in order to be glorified with Christ, but that Christ himself should be of Adam’s line.

In the old theology of atonement (a strand neglected but still valid) Christ defeated Satan’s plan to dethrone Adam by achieving, as the son of Adam, what Adam failed to achieve. God’s choice of both humanity generally, and Adam particularly, was thus vindicated through the salvation of Adam’s line.

Since Satan no longer had a hold on the race through the accusation of sin, he can be justly punished, and mankind can be justly glorified. So God is indeed to be praised for redemption and remedying Adam’s sin, but even more for achieving the purpose he initiated before there was sin.

That’s why it’s worse to be “infra-Adamic” than “pre-Adamic”, but better to be a redeemed sinner than a pre-Adamite: Eden was a positive watershed (ultimately) more than a negative one.


Jeremy Christian's Timeline on Origins by Adam
(George) #38

@Revealed_Cosmology,

The problem with metaphysics is that they can “be” and “do” whatever someone says they are…

Growing up, after almost any ghost movie we might see, my teen friends and I would argue non-stop about whether a ghost could influence the location or movement of a material object.

It was all so “logical” - - no matter what we opined.

Hebrew Bible
The phrase “image of God” is found in three passages in the Hebrew Bible, all in the Book of Genesis (1-11):

Gen 1:26–28
And God said: ‘Let us make man in our image/b’tsalmeinu, after our likenesss/kid’muteinu; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’ And God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him, male and female created He them. And God blessed them; and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.’

Gen 5:1–3
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him. Male and female created He them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth.

Gen 9:6
One who spills the blood of man, through/by man, his blood will be spilled, for in God’s image/tselem He made man.

Extra-biblical sources

Pseudepigrapha
The Pseudepigrapha, as intertestamental books and elaborations on Old Testament writings, are helpful in learning of plausible understandings ancient Jewish communities possessed about the Image of God, as mentioned in Genesis 1:27. Although the Pseudepigrapha texts are numerous, the only book noted to make reference to the imago dei is 2 Enoch—namely, 2 Enoch 44:1-3 and 2 Enoch 65:1. And, quite fascinatingly, the text only makes reference to the concept twice, and each time shares a different understanding.

2 Enoch 44:1-3: The Lord with his own two hands created mankind; and in a facsimile of his own face. Small and great the Lord created. Whoever insults a person’s face insults the face of the Lord; whoever treats a person’s face with repugnance treats the face of the Lord with repugnance. Whoever treats with contempt the face of any person treats the face of the Lord with contempt. (There is) anger and judgement (for) whoever spits on a person’s face.

According to the translator and/or editor of The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, this verse has similarities in structure and meaning to Genesis 1:27 and Wisdom of Solomon 6:7, respectively. It is estimated the reference to “small and great” concerned ranking and responsibility. If such an estimation is to be credited as a valuable and acceptable interpretation within this pericope, then it would seem the writer of 2 Enoch 44 is arguing every human being, irrespective of social standing in societies, is an exact copy—a duplicate—of the LORD.

Certainly this passage exceeds Genesis 1:27 in its descriptive nature: 2 Enoch 44:1a details how humans are made in God’s image—namely, as duplicates of God’s “own face.” Although it can be argued the reference to God’s “own face” is a metaphor for God’s likeness, the passage carries the usage of “face” forward by emphasizing what is done to the physical human face is, in turn, done to the face of LORD—and, as is important for this writer, when one damages the face of another human being created in the very exact image of God’s face, one damages God’s face and will incur the expected consequences of such an offense.

2 Enoch 65:2: 2 And however much time there was went by. Understand how, on account of this, he constituted man in his own form, in accordance with a similarity. And he gave him eyes to see, ears to hear, and heart to think, and reason to argue.

This chapter of 2 Enoch almost functions as its own retelling of the creation account, albeit in a very truncated manner. The verse preceding 2 Enoch 65:2 rapidly recounts the nonexistence of any created thing, and then quickly reveals God created everything, whereas the creation of humans may be spoken of and in more detail than the other created things were [addressed].

Interestingly, 2 Enoch 65:2 speaks of humankind’s relation to God as “constituted in his own image,” while simultaneously noting this image is “a similarity,” rather than something that is directly imaging God. This verse is quite similar to Genesis 1:27 in that it acknowledges God made human beings in God’s “form,” “image,” “similarity,” or “likeness,” but it fails to detail what exactly about human beings distinguishes them from other created things and makes them like God.

The Pseudepigrapha’s contributions to the discussion of the Imago Dei as presented in Genesis 1:27 surely heighten the controversy concerning interpretation, as it adds ancient select and unidentified voices and perspectives regarding the Imago Dei to the conversation. On the one hand, 2 Enoch 44 offers modern readers the understanding the imago dei is reflected in the face—possibly, simply meaning the very being of a human person—of a human, while 2 Enoch 65, on the other hand, suggests human beings are made in the Image of God, but it, like Genesis 1:27, is not defined and humans are left to figure out its meaning in light of many contexts.


A Catholic Approach to the Genealogical Adam
(Mark M Moore) #39

But I am talking about the text. It says what it says, and making sense of it all is their job. One which too many have forsaken. I do not consider the extra-biblical sources authoritative and most theologians don’t.

Another interesting fact is that in two of your three examples in Genesis the text is mistranslated “man” when the Hebrew is “ha-adam”, not “adam”. That is, “the man” or sometimes “of man”.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #40

A post was merged into an existing topic: Catholic-Notion of Genealogical Adam


(system) #41

#42

Humans with souls breeding with humans without souls amounts to some kind of bestiality. It’s theological nonsense, imo; not to mention, creepy.

And what happened to all those soul-less humans who lived outside the Garden? The story goes they were around for hundreds of thousands of years, but they seem to have disappeared.

I am Catholic and it disturbs me that my Church allows an evolution-friendly interpretation of Genesis 2:7 that makes it possible for Adam to be the offspring of a pre-existing creature. More theological nonsense. This verse can only be interpreted one way, imo - Adam was created directly and instantly from inanimatle matter. (I’m a progressive creationist, btw)


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #43

We found a solution to these objections here: A Catholic Approach to the Genealogical Adam.


(George) #44

Neither Genesis 1, 2, 5 nor Gen 9 implies that there arr any humans without souls!


#45

In that case, what was special about Adam? He was placed in a Garden away from the “other” humans.


Jeremy Christian's Take on Adam
(S. Joshua Swamidass) #46

Great question @Edgar. Depends on the precise model one is proposing. It certainly isn’t biology, but it could be a difference in status or responsibility to God, or perhaps a difference in spiritual abilities.


#47

Thanks, but that doesn’t sound very scriptural. My Progressive Creation model doesn’t require the torturing of Scripture.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #48

You have not even heard the Scriptural justification. Do not reject what you do not understand. At the very least, understand that what you reject.


#49

What is the Scriptural justification?


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #50

Working on the book now. You can get caught up somewhat here:


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #51

@Edgar, you might also appreciate: A Tentative Look at Nephilim


(George) #52

@Edgar

Your model requires overturn vast sections of Physics, Geology and Archaeology. Joshua’s G.A. does not.


(George) #53

@Edgar writes: “In that case, what was special about Adam?
He was placed in a Garden away from the “other” humans.”

Edgar,

Is there a reason you don’t seem to understand anything anyone writes to you?

Why do you think God placed Adam and Eve in Eden? Why do you think

Adam and Eve are special? Aren’t you the “really aligned” Christian who has

all the answers? It just seems you aren’t even trying to understand

“Genealogical Adam”. Maybe you can ask someone else to beat their heads

against the wall for a while. You and I are not getting anywhere.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #54

35 posts were split to a new topic: Jeremey Christian’s Take on Adam


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #55

2 posts were split to a new topic: Jeremy Christian’s Timeline on Origins by Adam


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #56

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Jeremy Christian’s Take on Adam