Antiquity and Unity of the Human Race

From: Dick Fischer (
Date: Wed May 01 2002 - 14:02:32 EDT

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    Terry Gray wrote:

    >I don't normal jump to defend Glenn's views because I think that the
    >culture of the early chapters of Genesis is Ancient Near East (ANE)
    >and not in the 100,000's of years ago. Thus, I am sympathetic with
    >the questions raised by Davis Young in his Antiquity and Unity of the
    >Human Race: Revisited
    >( These sorts of
    >observations are what I believe have led Dick Fischer and Mike
    >Satterlee to their belief that Adam appeared at this time.

    When Christian Scholars Review received Young's article for
    publication they sent it to me for review. He referenced my
    articles, "In Search of the Historical Adam, Parts I and II"
    published in PSCF in 1993-94, and it was probably for that reason
    they asked me to be one of the reviewers. So I do have a degree of
    intimacy with that article.

    First, let me make a quick analogy. Doctors diagnosis illnesses on
    the basis of symptoms. If it is flu season, and we have flu
    symptoms, a doctor will likely presume we have flu. If there are
    other symptoms such as having been bit by an insect with a golf
    ball-size swelling, the doctor may look in another direction. The
    point is: that's the way doctors do doctering, and scientists do
    science. In matters of faith, however, a lemming analogy fits better.

    In the methodology I have proposed, I have tried to be a "doctor."
    In that regard, the "symptoms" in the form of data and evidence fall
    overwhelmingly on this method of apology. Human race old, Adam
    young, through intermarriage everyone has ancient ancestry, while
    some have adamic ancestry.

    I stuffed as much evidence and rationale as was practical in a 382
    page book. If I could have publish a three volume set, and could get
    everyone to read it, this method of apology would be as commonly
    accepted by Christians today as Big Bang cosmology is accepted by
    astronomers (in my humble opinion).

    >But the problem with all this, which I still don't believe Dick and
    >Mike have really adequately answered, is that the scripture seems
    >pretty clear that Adam is head, not only covenantally but also
    >biologically, of the whole human race--I don't find the attempts to
    >see two different human creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2 to be
    >convincing and a significant reconstruction of Biblical theology
    >would have to follow.

    As with flu symptoms, if all we focused on was a low grade
    temperature, or a runny nose, then a variety of possibilities might
    fit. If the focus is on Adam alone, it may not eliminate all the
    possible explanations. Instead, view all of Genesis 1-11 as a
    continuum of which Adam is an integral part. It fits in a historical
    setting (if you know the history).

    Just for openers, notice that the writer gave us the setting for the
    garden of Eden in the four rivers. Carol Hill did a nice article
    published in PSCF.

    So starting with Gen.2:10-14, we should be focused on southern
    Mesopotamia. All the principle cities have been excavated in that
    region. Not far from the junction of the four rivers is the oldest
    city, Eridu, dated to 4800 BC. And in Sumerian writings, Eridu is
    where it began with the first king, Alulim. Eridu is home to Adapa
    who has some of the earmarks of Adam. Graveyards are littered with
    corpses in the entire region bearing the name "Adamu," apparently
    named after somebody famous. The second king in the Assyrian king
    list is "Adamu."

    Cain builds Enoch, later corrupted to Erech, the Sumerian Uruk. Noah
    (Ziusudra) was king at Shuruppak, and Terah (Abraham's father) lived
    in Ur (Gen.11:28). Eridu and Ur are as close as Dallas and Fort
    Worth. Roughly three thousand years of history, all contained in the
    same locale, some information is biblical, some historical - and all
    is debatable on this list.

    > Glenn, I believe, is zealous to preserve the
    >scriptural teaching concerning the unity of the hunan race in Adam
    >more than the other harmonizing that others are attempting. He cites
    >much evidence for human-like activity that is much more ancient than
    >the historical record of the ANE; he also notes the recent
    >out-of-Africa vs. the multiregional debates and the impact they have
    >on our views here. Either view puts a last common ancestor of all
    >humans long before ANE, where Dick and Mike have placed Adam. The
    >recent out-of-Africa view seems a bit more palatable, although even
    >here we're talking 100,000 to 200,000 years--still quite far removed
    >from ANE civilization. If you accept the multi-regional view, then
    >we're talking 1-2 million years ago and maybe more.

    Not any of it part of biblical history, in my estimation.

    >While Glenn seems to be open to a local flood (his Mediterranean
    >flood is local) he wants a more cataclysmic event than appears to be
    >recorded in the ANE historical records and physical geographical
    >records for this time period.
    >Now, for Jim Eisele: it is this state of affairs that has led some
    >such as Paul Seely to the accomodationist perspective. They conclude
    >that it is simply not possible to have a satisfactory solution to
    >these problems and thus the creation of Adam account is God's
    >revealing his creative work in terms of the prevailing science of the
    >day. I struggle with this position as well because I think this move
    >tends to lower Biblical authority considerably.
    >So what are we to do? What do I do?

    What does any Christian do? If we don't have the time or inclination
    to look everything up ourself, we can pencil in something that makes
    sense, is consistent, takes a high view of Scripture, and has data
    and evidence to support it. We can look up some of the references.
    I have the Library of Congress and Virginia Theological Seminary
    within 30 minutes drive. There is more stuff out there that confirms
    my method of apology that wasn't there six years ago, and some stuff
    I missed at the time.

    Earlier you stated, "the scripture seems pretty clear that Adam is
    head, not only covenantally but also biologically, of the whole human

    I believe the opposite. The Israelites were well aware they were not
    alone in the world, that Adam was their first patriarch, and at least
    some gentiles came from elsewhere. The Genesis 6:4 "Nephilim" a case
    in point. But I believe this is reflected throughout the OT. The
    following may come as repetition to some, but I think it is important.

    The biggest problem is that translators sometimes ignore sound
    hermeneutics when it doesnít fit their foregone conclusions. Psalm
    49:1-2 is a case in point: "Hear this all ye people; give ear all ye
    inhabitants of the world: both low and high, rich and poor,
    together." The two Hebrew words bene 'adam, translated "low" in the
    second verse, are literally - "sons of Adam!"

    What comes to us as "high" is the Hebrew bene 'ish. 'Ish is a more
    general term meaning "man," "male," "human being," or "mankind."
    Instead of "low and high," which bear no semblance of meaning from
    the original Hebrew, either "sons of Adam and sons of man," or
    "Adamite and Non-Adamite" would have been literal translations,
    faithful to the Hebrew text.

    Ah, but who could the sons of man be who are not sons of Adam?
    Non-Adamites? How could that be possible? So, the translators of
    the authorized version avoided certain controversy by substituting
    the benign "low and high," virtual synonyms for "poor" and "rich."
    Modern translators of newer versions have simply followed along.

    So now correcting for the original Hebrew: "Hear this all ye people;
    give ear all ye inhabitants of the world: both sons of Adam and sons
    of man, rich and poor, together." Who are rich? Sons of Adam. Who
    are poor? Sons of man. Together they comprise "all the inhabitants
    of the world."

    This technique of substituting words of convenience where 'adam and
    'ish are contained in the same sentence is used also in Psalm 62:9,
    where we do not read, "Surely vanity are the sons of Adam, a lie are
    the sons of man ..." Instead we read, "Surely men of low degree are
    vanity, and men of high degree are a lie ..."

    In Isaiah 2:9, do we see the Adamite bow down, and the Non-Adamite
    humble himself? No, we see instead, "And the mean man ('adam) boweth
    down, and the great man ('ish) humbleth himself ..."

    This is a quote from Dominick MíCausland:

             ěThe words "Adam" and "ish" are clearly different in meaning;
    and to use them
             indiscriminately, as having the same signification, tends
    obviously to obscure the
             true import and significance of the Scripture text. Had the
    translation been literal,
             the sense of the sacred record would have been more readily
    discovered, and the
             reader would recognize at a glance, that the history which he
    has conceived to be
             a history of the origin of all mankind, is simply a record of
    the creation of "the Adam,"
             the last, and not the first of created men, and a history of
    his lineal descendants.î

    Psalm 8:4 is another case in point: "What is man, that thou art
    mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" How are
    men different from sons of men? Why the redundancy? Aren't all men
    sons of men? Yes, but not all men are sons of Adam! God is
    "mindful" of "man" ('ish), but it is the sons of Adam ('adam) that He
    visits." This verse reflects the special relationship Israel enjoyed.

    In Psalm 80:17, "Let thy hand be upon the man ['ish] of thy right
    hand, upon the son of Adam [it should read] whom thou madest strong
    for thyself." See what a clarification it makes in Numbers 23:19:
    "God is not a man [generic man], that He should lie; neither the son
    of man [Adam!], that He should repent ..." All men are capable of
    lying, only sons of Adam repent and receive forgiveness.

    The prophet Jeremiah likens the fall of Babylon to the destruction of
    Sodom and Gomorrah. By way of translation, in one sentence he
    appears to say the same thing twice: "... so shall no man abide
    there, neither doth any son of man dwell therein" (Jer. 50:40). Here
    again 'ish and 'adam are both translated "man." Had the translators
    let 'adam be "Adam" instead of "man" we would know that neither
    Adamites nor Non-Adamites live there.

    >This may seem like an apologetic disaster, but I would
    >suggest that apologetics and evangelism doesn't start with Genesis,
    >but with the cross and the empty tomb.

    And I would start with Genesis, because in my Bible at least, Genesis
    comes first. And in the New Testament, Adam is mentioned in the same
    breath as One who sacrificed on the cross and emptied the tomb.

    Yours in Christ,

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

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