Re: Dating Adam

Keith B Miller (
Tue, 28 May 1996 09:38:06 -0500

I just want to make a brief comment relative to the the discussions
concerning the time of appearance of adam.

I believe it is a mistake to focus on the either anatomical or behavioral
characteristics. What is at issue I believe is the meaning and
significance of the "image of God." That image rests on our relationship
with God and the rest of creation. As the image of God Adam was God's
representative, His appointed governor over all that He had made. Adam was
to be God's image on Earth. Gerhard Van Rad ("Genesis: A Commentary",
1961, Westminster Press. p.57-58) emphasizes this understanding of the
image. He states: "The close relation of the term for God's image with
that for the commission to exercise dominion emerges quite clearly when we
have understood 'selem' as a plastic image. Just as powerful earthly
kings, to indicate their claim to dominion, erect an image of themselves in
the provinces of their empire where they do not personally appear, so man
is placed upon earth in God's image as God's sovereign emblem."

Clearly our anatomy is not the issue. God has no body, so that cannot be
the basis of our imaging God. Anatomy and behavior is only significant to
the extent that it permits us to have a conscious awareness of our position
before God and creation. The image then refers to our purpose for being,
our relationship with the divine and the created world.

In Christ,


Keith B. Miller
Department of Geology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506