Re: Apologetics and Genesis

Adam Crowl (
Fri, 13 Nov 1998 20:31:35 PST

Hi Group,

More insights from Dick...

>Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 16:42:54 -0500
>From: Dick Fischer <>
>Subject: Re: Apologetics and Genesis
>George Murphy wrote:
>> Dick Fischer wrote:
>>> My philosophical position is that Genesis 1-11 was written to tell
the Jews
>>> of their origination, including the region, the approximate time
>>> etc., and therefore has an entirely legitimate "literal/physical
aspect" to
>>> the Jews that us outsiders are free to observe inasmuch as it has
>>> incorporated in our Christian Bible.
>> I think this limitation to the Jews is quite wrong. Gen.1-3 speak
>> creation of the universe & humanity & a problem of sin which pervades
>> human race.
>Well, that's what makes horse races. I don't think the Jews knew much
>about humanity outside their immediate surroundings and cared less.
>only mention of any outside the Adamic line were the Nephilim (giants)
>Genesis 6:4. Unless you count Cain's wife.

Maybe, maybe not, though George and Glenn's insistence on Universality
makes a historic Genesis a dim hope - however attractive Glenn's theory
maybe, the multi-hundred thousand year gaps make me uncomfortable with
claiming Genesis as histroical. What's the point of the truncated
chronology? Of course there's Zechariah Sitchin's solution [multiply the
periods by some forgotten multiple], but that makes me even more
uncomfortable, and it doesn't fit Glenn's timescale.

>> There is no picking out of any "chosen people" until Abraham.
>Abraham was the first to venture out of Southern Mesopotamia. But
>certainly Noah was chosen. Oh, I forgot, you don't believe in
>historical Noah.
I wouldn't say George is averse to such, just not convinced by any
current reconstruction. My own position, but then I haven't read your
book Dick.

>> Trying to get a match between the early chapters of Genesis &
>> historical & archaeological results by limiting those chapters to
>> the people of Israel is an example of throwing out theological
>> meaning for the sake of a supposedly literal interpretation.
>On the other hand, discounting the historical underpinnings of
>the Genesis narrative, which certainly is of some importance to the
>Jewish people as well as to Christians, is to throw out a perfectly
>good literal interpretation for the sake of theological pandering.
But how then do you handle the "universal" readings of the passages?
History the tales might be referring to, but Universal history they
ain't - as you know, but your solution is unclear. Why should a tale of
Adamites read as HUMAN history?

>If Genesis is presented as history, yet isn't history, how do I know
>it has any valid theological significance? What's the theological
>significance of the Odyssey?
Hope you're not implying that the Odyssey was just myth.

>> Of course Genesis uses mid-eastern rivers & not the Mississippi
>> or Yangtze - the writers were from the mid-east.
>More specifically, they were Mesopotamian rivers. Where's the Jordan?
>How about the Nile? Also the cities are all Mesopotamian or Assyrian
>Genesis 1-11. Also some of the biblical phraseology is similar and
>is identical to writings from that region and that period of time.
Which is another reason why I have trouble with Glenn's Mediterranean
Flood from 5.5 mya - the geography is well known to the author. We can
say God inspired the tales, but what meaning would events from 5.5 mya
have for people in 1500 BC or so?

>>> 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
>>> between a fountain and mist. What this verse refers to is
>> NRSV has "stream." But your final sentence is bare assertion.
>No, the word "fountain" used in both Accadian and Sumerian writings
>refers to irrigation. In the Genesis flood narrative the phrase,
>of the deep" comes right out of Atrahasis.
Your point is a fact long ignored by too many who have propagated the
"mist" nonsense.

>>> Adam, the one "created in the image of God," was the first
>>> of the Jewish race, not the first of the human race, as we have
>>> commonly misunderstood.
>> This makes hash of the Christ-Adam imagery of Paul.
>Quite the contrary. Just as Christ was not the last human being,
>Adam was not the first. And just as Adam was the first of the old
>covenant, Christ ended the old covenant.
"Without law there can be no sin" - Adam needed a covenant to break I
guess, but it does make me wonder how the curse passed to us all and
made us mortal.
>And Glenn Morton wrote:
>>I am disturbed by the trend I see in theology for making Adam not the
>>father of the entire human race and making him the father of only one
>If there is a trend, all I can say is hallelujah, my message is not
falling on
>deaf ears. Glenn and George notwithstanding.
Glenn's disturbed by the potential for racism and anti-semitism, which
is understandable, but there's plenty of room for such in his version of
things too. That's always been the danger for any multi-regionalist
view-point - if races were apart for any great length of time, then
people might make them seem truly different. But let's stick with facts,
rather than how we want them to be or what we want them to say.
Ideological manipulation of data is always a danger and one that must be

Take the Japanese. They wanted genetic findings to show that they belong
to the Jomon people who lived in Japan from late in the last glacial
advance, rather than the Yahoi people who seemed to come from Sth.
Korea, c 400 BC. Many still teach the long period of isolation, but the
current data places them squarely amongst the late migrants from Korea,
and the Ainu amongst the Jomon. A bit damaging to self-image, but
hopefully the facts will help breakdown some of the old enmity between
Korea and Japan. Maybe.

>Dick Fischer - The Origins Solution,
>"The answer we should have known about 150 years ago."

Whence sin? A Darwinian origin for humans makes sense of sin's origin -
it's a part of the Creation process, a result of the gift of freedom
that God couldn't do without in order to create, rather than engineer.
That's been debated here before I'll bet.


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