Re: classic arguments

George Murphy (
Mon, 08 Dec 1997 21:34:00 -0500

Arthur V. Chadwick wrote:
> At 05:43 PM 12/8/97 -0500, George wrote:
> > Of course Genesis was authoritative for Jesus, but again -
> >establishing authority & truth do not settle questions of genre &
> >interpretation. Jesus was also (because he was who he was) free to add
> >to Genesis - note Mk.10:9, even though Genesis 2 had not previously been
> >understood to oppose divorce.
> That's an assumption I would like to see support for.

No assumption - read the earlier verses. The law (Dt.24:1-4)
allowed a man to divorce his wife (but not vice versa). If Gen.1 & 2
had been generally understood to forbid divorce, the Pharisees would
have said this in replying to Jesus' question in v.3.

> & it's consistent with that that Paul
> >gives Christ priority over Adam in Romans 5,
> Huh? Consistent with what?

Consistent with interpreting the Hebrew Scriptures in light of

> so that trying to
> >understand human nature in terms of an historical Adam is henceforth a
> >mistake.
> Whoa! You had me with you right down to that last line. Where did you
> uncork that one? Is that a logical conclusion? I think not. Perhaps you
> can track the logic somehow, but it is not a premise I would accede to
> based on this line of reasoning.

In Romans 5 Adam is simply the human as sinner. It is Christ
who is humanity as humanity is supposed to be. & in fact, if you try to
take Adam as a model of genuine humanity you don't have much to go on,
because interpret as literally as you will, the Bible tells us virtually
nothing about Adam. It does tell us about Christ.

>I thought those who wanted to reject an
> historical Adam did so on the basis of something more substantive than this...

IMO it's not a matter of "rejecting an historical Adam". My
point, as above, is that the first human or humans tell us essentially
nothing about God's will for humanity. Christ does.
Perhaps the reason for your puzzlement is that you haven't
realized that some Christians like myself who accept human evolution
have not done so _only_ because they feel forced to because of
scientific evidence, but also because they feel that it provides a
better theological understanding.
I will be electronically incommunicado until Friday, teaching
seminarians about (inter alia) evolution.

George L. Murphy