Re: Apologetics and Genesis

Adam Crowl (
Thu, 12 Nov 1998 13:29:37 PST

Hi Group,

Dick's post was certainly interesting, and comparing his approach with
Paul Seeley's makes them much of a muchness - Genesis is HISTORY, but
it's WRITTEN as UNIVERSAL. I essentially agree with that point of view,
since it's endemic to all origins tales that the "first couple" of
whatever race are the only people alive. There's two versions of the
Inkan origings myth - one which has the first couple appearing out of a
fog on the holy mountain, and the other telling of their migration from
elsewhere. Or so my imperfect memory tells me - I'll have to check it

Glenn finds such an approach unpalatable because it ISN'T Universal
enough. And admittedly the arguments of the Apostle Paul seem to be
roughly related to Adam's role in letting sin into the World - though
not via hereditary original sin as Augustine misunderstood Romans 5:12
to imply. Paul's argument on sin is one of analogy - as Adam sinned and
died, so we sin and die. In that light we don't strictly need Adam to be
the father of all.

Another point is that God created a nation from one man's children - not
out of the Earth, but out of a man. Perhaps we ask too much of the
Genesis text when we insist on a literal interpretation of the creation
of humans from humus.


>Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 15:20:55 -0500
>To: George Murphy <>
>From: Dick Fischer <>
>Subject: Re: Apologetics and Genesis
>George Murphy wrote:
>>I agree that the literal/physical aspect of Gen.1-11 should be
ignored. It
>>is talking about God's relationship with us & our world.
>Please correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is that Genesis
>does not fit your philosophical position that it purports to describe
>origins of mankind, that it fails on scientific grounds, and thus must
>serve some other purpose.
>My philosophical position is that Genesis 1-11 was written to tell the
>of their origination, including the region, the approximate time frame,
>etc., and therefore has an entirely legitimate "literal/physical
aspect" to
>the Jews that us outsiders are free to observe inasmuch as it has been
>incorporated in our Christian Bible.
>>I would refer again to the
>>"rivers section" of Gen.2 here. The fact that some of the rivers this
>refers to are
>>ones which we can identify is an indication that the text is talking
>our world >and not some mythical space. But that does not mean that
>> a. we should use the text to try to figure out the location of
Paradise, or
>> b. try to find out what each of the 4 rivers "stands for" in
>> fashion.
>If by "our world" you mean "your world," then no, Moses wasn't
>in your world or your beginnings. If by "our world" you mean "their
>world," then it most assuredly describes an identifiable region -
>Read the entire text. Genesis 2:13 mentions Cush, though Cush means
>"black," and has been rendered "Ethiopia" in some translations. The
>of the descendants of Cush, Noah's grandson, are identified on some
maps of
>Persia and the region is still called Khusistan to this day.
>Genesis 2:14 says the Hidekel (Tigris) "goeth toward the east of
>Can we locate Assyria on a map? Did the Tigris not go there?
>Please permit me to restate something I have said before.
>It says in Genesis 2:5 and 2:6 that "the Lord God had not caused it to
>upon the earth ..." "But there went up a mist from the earth, and
>the whole face of the ground."
>Some have contended that a vapor canopy surrounded the earth and came
>crashing down in a flood. Others have maintained that this is when God
>created rain. But the Septuagint version of Genesis doesn't use the
>"mist." It uses the word "fountain." There is a whopping difference
>between a fountain and mist. What this verse refers to is irrigation.
>Now, holding on to that thought, it says in Genesis 2:10, "And a river
>out of Eden to water the garden ..." Ezekiel 1:1 mentions the "river
>Chebar" in Babylon. The only river in Babylon is the Euphrates. The
>"river" Chebar is an irrigation canal. They named them in those days.
>we see that the OT sometimes uses the word "river" when it means
>And the word for "desert" in Sumerian and Accadian is "edin." Now
>substituting in Genesis we can see that "a (canal) went out of (the
>to water the garden." The garden of Eden was irrigated.
>And where were the cities irrigated? In Southern Mesopotamia.
>Just this one bit of understanding goes a long way toward Bible-science
>resolution. The early cities of Southern Mesopotamia were irrigated.
>the garden of Eden was in this region and in this time frame, around
>years ago, then the Adam of Genesis appears far too late in human
>to start the line of hominids from which human beings descended. Adam,
>one "created in the image of God," was the first of the Jewish race,
>the first of the human race, as we have commonly misunderstood.
>Now we come to Genesis 11. The beginning of this thread. Where did
>build mud brick platforms that grew into ziggurats such as the one
>described as the tower of Babel? In Southern Mesopotamia.
>I don't discount a theological significance to Genesis, George, it is
>that there is no necessity to divorce Genesis from its historical
>underpinnings. What is necessary is to reorient your philosophical
>Dick Fischer - The Origins Solution,
>"The answer we should have known about 150 years ago."

PS I like this approach because it fits observable history. Glenn's
plunges us into deep time and there's no way of knowing just who the
players in the drama of Man were 5.5 million years ago.

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