Re: In the Image

Dick Fischer (
Sat, 01 Jun 1996 02:13:29 -0500

Dave wrote:

>I found Dick's archived post on what it means to be "in the Image."
>Do I hear right? --
>Adam is not the progenitor of the human race, but is the first to be
>"In His Image" by virtue of a covenant -- this covenant bears resemblance
>to Abraham's and Christ's in some way (not at all clear). It entitles
>Adam to "represent God" on the earth.
>Is this really what everyone else means by "in the Image?" This sounds less
>like a harmonization with science and more like a new "revelation" -- one
>I'm not inclined to follow. In particular -- and this seems true for the
>earlier Adam picture too -- there is such a selectivity about what to treat
>as literal and what to interpret figuratively. Not a literal 6-day creation,
>but a literal Adam and covenant, for example. I don't mean to offend,
>but this seems very contrived. Why not just interpret all of early Genesis as
>what it is -- an early Creation myth. The parable of Adam and Eve is likely
>to have been created during countless re-tellings of stories, perhaps
>originally about a real Adam character. That doesn't make it history, but
>it makes it a psycho-spiritual tale about the development of moral conscience.
>Surely this moral conscience has been 10's of thousands of years in the
>making (at least) and didn't spring fully developed from one individual.
>Isn't this the "simplest" hypothesis?

I can't deny the possibility of its being a myth, but Adam of Genesis
didn't live "10's of thousands of years" ago. The entire context of the
narrative is the Tigris - Euphrates valley that wasn't settled prior to
7,000 years ago. Brass and iron-working wasn't going on that far back
either. The concept of space-time being curved rather than linear isn't
the simplest hypothesis, but it works.

Dick Fischer
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