Re: Exegesis or Eisegesis?

From: Dick Fischer (
Date: Sun Dec 30 2001 - 13:55:43 EST

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    George Murphy wrote:

    > I think Dick's approach is a valiant attempt at a concordist
    > interpretation of early Genesis, but I also consider such interpretations
    > in general to be futile & unnecessary. Adam & Eve are theological
    > figures who represent the first human beings, as part of the fact that in
    > a broader sense they represent all humans. That doesn't mean that they
    > are simply wax images that can be made to represent anything at
    > all. 'adham means "human" and Eve is given her name because she is "the
    > mother of all living." This makes it clear that they are representatives
    > of all humanity, not simply some subset of humans.

    Either Adam was a real-life, flesh and blood, God-fearing human being, or
    he wasn't. There is no intermediate position. We either have Adam wearing
    his fig leaf, or we have Adam who was only a figment. As much as you can
    couch the issue in theological mumbo jumbo, there is no escaping a
    fundamental fact. Adam existed in the flesh or he didn't.

    Let's assume he didn't exist. Let alone the Old Testament narrative in
    Genesis, look at parts of the New Testament and see what the effects are.

    Luke dutifully recorded the genealogy of Christ ending with Adam. Luke
    3:38: "... which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was
    the son of [non-existent] Adam, which was the [non-existent] son of God."

    Did Seth have no father? Maybe Seth was non-existent too? How about
    Enos? You could ask that question all the way to Christ himself. At what
    point could the real persons be phased in with those who had no life, but
    only fill some hypothetical, theological niche.

    Rom. 5:14: "Nevertheless death reigned from [non-existent] Adam to Moses,
    even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of [non-existent]
    Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come."

    I hesitate to ponder how death can come to a non-existent life. Plus, how
    did he sin? By not being born? How can an Adam who never was be the
    figure of Him who died for us? By implication, this calls into question
    the legitimacy of the death and resurrection.

    1Cor. 15:22: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made

    Men who don't live don't die. So just as non-existent Adam did not die,
    therefore we won't die, and don't require being saved by Christ. What a
    wonderful theological premise that is!

    1Cor. 15:45: "And so it is written, The first man [non-existent] Adam was
    made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit."

    Although Adam did not exist, he was made a living soul? Do we conclude
    that since the first man was not, therefore he was not made a "living
    soul," and "the last Adam" was not made a "quickening spirit"?

    1Tim. 2:13: "For [non-existent] Adam was first formed, then Eve."

    A non-existent Adam begs a non-existent Eve. Who needs a wife if you
    aren't alive to appreciate it?

    1Tim. 2:14: "And [non-existent] Adam was not deceived, but the
    [non-existent] woman being deceived was in the transgression."

    Of course Adam was not deceived, there was no Adam to deceive. No man, no
    woman, no deception, no transgression, no sin. It seems the one deceived
    was Paul. Apparently he believed there was such a person as Adam.

    Okay, I am treating this facetiously. The point is you can't climb into an
    ivory tower, take a theological position, and escape all the
    consequences. A fictitious Adam is fraught with unsavory theological

    The problem as I see it is that traditional, conservative, Christian
    beliefs about Adam are based upon both historical fact and erroneous
    assumption. Conservatives see Adam as both a flesh and blood human being
    and as the father of all humanity. When we began to discover enough about
    the world to see it was impossible to specifically identify the first human
    being, the fact was rejected by liberal Christians, and the assumption

    The answer as I see it is to recognize the historical Adam as the father of
    the Adamites-Semites-Israelites-Jews. To be sure, there are pockets of
    humanity that can claim Jephethite or Hamite ancestry, and both Arabs and
    Jews claim Abraham as their father, etc. But there is no person who lived
    roughly 7,000 years ago who could have been the ultimate father of all the
    people who presently inhabit the globe. What we are reading in Genesis is
    the history of the Jewish race, not the history of the human race. When we
    recognize that, some of the creation-evolution difficulties disappear.

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

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