Re: Dating Adam

Dick Fischer (
Wed, 29 May 1996 12:02:38 -0500

Keith Miller wrote:

>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.

"The ancient orient shows us with ever increasing clarity that the purpose
and function of an image consists in representing someone," according to
Edmund Jacob who wrote _Theology of the Old Testament_. "An image, that
is to say a statue of a god is the real presence of this god ..."

In that context, Adam would have been God's representative to the world,
or conversely, the world's representative to God, but if Adam's time frame
is around 7,000 years ago as the Bible's manner of presentation suggests,
then Adam entered a populated world whether he was man's rep or God's rep.

Britisher Dominick M'Causland wrote in 1864:

"Adam then appears in the majesty of God's likeness, ushered
into the world in the fullness of time, to draw his fellow-
creatures to the development of the hidden treasures of wisdom
and knowledge in their widest and deepest sense. With other
races of human beings surrounding him, he is a more perfect type
of the second Adam, than if he had been a solitary individual
occupying the wide domain of the habitable earth, without a
fellow-creature to behold him a being made in the likeness of the

In Genesis 1:27, the "man" created in the image of God is 'adam in Hebrew,
not 'ish the common word for man, mankind, male, husband, etc. But if
there appears to be ambiguity in this passage it should be cleared up in
Genesis 5:1-3.

"This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that
God created man ['adam] 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 an
hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness,
after his image, and called his name Seth."

Who was created "in the likeness of God"? The man, Adam, who "lived an
hundred and thirty years, and begat a son," "and called his name Seth."
Who were not created "in the likeness of God"? Those who did not live
"an hundred and thirty years," and did not "begat a son" called Seth -
the indigenous populations.

In human history the beginnings of those "in the image" can be seen not
from statues of naked women, or evidence of pagan alters, but from signs
of animal sacrifice such as those found first in Southern Mesopotamia.

Catal Huyuk in south-central Turkey was abandoned around 5600 BC, and
although many shrines were discovered, there were no signs of animal
sacrifice. If animal sacrifice as a covering for sin began with Adam,
and was carried on by his descendants, then apparently Catal Huyuk was a
pre-Adamic city, and its residents were not "in the image of God."

Dick Fischer

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