Re: Adam

Date: Thu Jan 03 2002 - 15:07:52 EST

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    Dick wrote,

    PS<< Dick speculates about the relationship of Adam to the founders of Eridu
    >(founded c. 5200 BC) but does not give a clear statement that can be
    >answered. He seems to identify the earliest settlers at Eridu with the
    >Adamites. But, it is all just a guess. That is, of course, all it can be;
    >but, any other guess is just as good.
     DF At the very least it could be called an educated guess, but the evidence
     runs deep enough that I believe it would be tough to put Adam elsewhere in
     some other time frame. And why would the writer of Genesis spend valuable
     time and energy telling us that the garden of Eden was at the junction of
     rivers - all of which have been identified. But even if only two rivers
     were named - the Tigris (Hiddekel) and Euphrates - where else do we have
     rivers so named? Eridu is less than 100 miles from this junction.
    DF The Israelites spoke Hebrew. Is it reasonable to suppose that the
     ancestors of the Israelites spoke a Hebrew dialect? Accadian is a language
     precursor to Hebrew, and Genesis says Accad was founded by Asshur, a
     Semite. There was no Sumerian influence found at Eridu, one style of
     pottery discovered was Ubaidan, the other was unidentified, but who else
     lived in the region at that time besides Accadians? And prior to the flood
     "Accadians" would have been Adamites.

    I am not in disagreement that Adam is described as inhabiting Mesopotamia or
    even that his date according to Scripture is c. 5000 BC; but, I see no
    probability that Eden was in Eridu. Only two of the rivers have been
    identified, the Tigris and the Euphrates. No modern scholar would say the
    other two can be identified with any kind of certainty. In addition, the
    meaning of the text is in dispute: there is as much reason to think the
    rivers passage (Gen 2:10-14) places Eden in Armenia as in Sumer.

    The Bible does not say Assur founded Akkad, but that he went forth out of
    Sumer and founded Ninevah (Gen 10:11); and even that was after the Flood. He
    is descended from Shem; but, so what? Does it mean that Shem spoke Akkadian?
    The other sons of Noah went out and founded other cities and lands where
    other languages were spoken. Ham's son was Egypt (Mizraim), does that mean
    Ham spoke Egyptian? Whatever Noah's language was, the Bible says it was
    confused at the Tower of Babel, so there is no sure linkage from the
    Israelites speaking Hebrew back to Adam's language.

    As for Eridu, the people who founded Eridu could have been Sumerians, that
    is, the people who ended up writing Sumerian, or Akkadians, or both, or
    neither. There is no hard archaeological evidence either way. Who else lived
    in that region besides Akkadians? Sumerians. And they were probably there
    first. I lived some years in Wisconsin, and the names of many rivers, towns,
    etc have Native American names. Why? Because they were there first. So, it is
    in Sumer. The names of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, as reflected in both
    Hebrew and Akkadian go back to the original Sumerian names. What is more
    important, the name Eridu itself probably goes back to the Sumerian name
    URU.DU(G), which could also be written ERI.DU(G). So, an educated guess would
    be that the founders of Eridu were speaking Sumerian, not Akkadian.

    Because the universal Adam of Gen 1:26 is directly merged with the personal
    Adam of Gen 2 in Gen 5:1-3, and because it is not unusual for either the
    Bible or ancient Near Eastern literature to give a general overall view and
    then come back and do a close-up, nearly all exegetes past and present think
    that "There was not a man to till the ground" (Gen 2:5) means that no other
    human beings were around before Adam was created. You interpret the verse to
    mean that there was no man in Sumer, where it does not rain and irrigation is
    needed: You say, "No one had irrigated the desert soil; thus no plowing had
    been done, so no crops could be grown."

    But, a de novo creation of man does not fit the first farmers in Sumer. The
    first documented farmers in Sumer who used irrigation were not at Eridu, but
    at Oueili near the old city of Larsa. (Biblical Archaeologist, Dec, 1992).
    The pottery which they used (dated before that at Eridu and hence called
    Ubaid 0) is so similar to the Chogha Mami Transitional Ware in Iran that
    Huot, the leading archaeologist at Oueili, says, "Ubaid 0 is thus clearly
    derived from the earliest culture to move into lower Mesopotamia, the
    Samarra. It remains to be seen if they came straight down the Euphrates
    valley or if they came from the Zagros piedmont and the Deh Luran Plain."
    (page 192).

    Michael Roaf in his Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia and the ancient Near East
    (1990), p. 52 similarly speaks of the culture of Oueili as having "affinities
    with the Samarran culture of central Mesopotamia." He adds to the evidence of
    the pottery the evidence of the architecture, saying, "A large building
    covering more than 200 sq. meters [this is the earliest building at Oueili,
    in Ubaid 0] had rooms of a similar size and shape to those in the early
    levels at Tell-al-Sawwan (a Samarran site.) Moreover it had been built of
    long molded mud-bricks that contained finger impressions like those from
    Samarran sites."

    It is quite evident from both the pottery and the architecture that the
    culture at Oueili is not de novo. The final phase of Ubaid 0 at Oueili is
    carbon-dated (corrected) to 6500 to 6000 BC. The lowest level at Oueili was
    not reached because it was below the water table, so there were men in Sumer
    over a 1000 years before an Adam of 5000 BC. And, I repeat, a de novo culture
    via a de novo Adam does not fit the evidence for these earliest farmers in

    In addition to the fact that a de novo Adam as the historical founder of a
    new line of human beings does not fit the archaeological data, it is not a
    convincing scenario. You agree that there were Homo sapiens all over the
    world at the time of Adam's creation and indeed that they mixed and mated
    with his line; so they are obviously the same species as Adam. Assuming that
    you are not espousing naturalistic evolution, what you are saying is that God
    produced hundreds of thousands of Homo sapiens by the process of evolution
    and then decided that none of them were worthy of his personal revelation.

    Your scenario suggests that God could not put his image in them because they
    were not created the right way. Perhaps God had made the mistake of creating
    people without personal involvement. He then realized his mistake and decided
    to make the very same species all over again, but this time he would get
    personally involved: He would make a little clay doll complete with little
    lungs and then personally put his mouth to its mouth and breathe into it the
    breath of life. Then to make a woman he would take a rib or more from Adam
    thus performing a miraculous medical operation and from that rib build a
    woman. She also would be the very same species he had made before by
    evolution, but this time he was more personally involved. These two new Homo
    sapiens would then receive his image which he did not feel free to give to
    the other Homo sapiens he had created previously.

    Excuse me. But, it is a lot easier for me to believe that the purpose of the
    story of the creation of Adam and Eve is to convey God's personal interest in
    mankind, not to tell us about a de novo creation of the very same species he
    had made by evolution. In addition, the image of God is linked to the task
    assigned to mankind in Gen 1:26-28, the task of (1) reproducing and (2)
    subduing the earth; and these are tasks carried out by all mankind, even the
    homo sapiens who were in Australia, inner Africa, and the Americas before the
    creation of the clay-doll Adam and whose descent was not interrupted by the
    Flood or by intermixture with the line of the clay-doll Adam.

    Without any admixture from the line of the clay-doll Adam, they too had and
    have the image of God. The image of God is NOT unique to a restricted
    particular biological line of descent. "Whoso sheddeth the blood of haADAM,
    by haADAM shall his blood be shed: For in the image of God made he
    haADAM."(Gen 9:6). This is not just about the line of a clay-doll Adam
    created c. 5000 BC. It is about ALL human beings who descended from the first
    human being, whom the clay-doll, Mr. Mankind, represents.

    The theological revelation in Gen 1-11is accommodated by God to the science
    of the times. You do not accept its astronomy (solid sky with the sun
    literally moving), its geography (flat earth floating on an ocean), its
    anthropologically universal Flood, or its linguistically universal single
    language before the Tower of Babel. So, why be hung up on a literal clay-doll



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