Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

From: George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com>
Date: Wed Mar 28 2007 - 12:49:22 EDT

Dick -

If I understand you correctly, you're arguing that the Noachic covenant gets narrowed down to Israel so that the covenant with Israel is the covenant with Noah. To which I would reply, yes and no.

Yes in the basic theological sense that there is only one covenant, that with Jesus Christ - God's election of Jesus Christ before creation, the covenant for the sake of which creation has taken place. (If this sounds like Barth, that's no accident.) & all the others that we refer to - the covenants with Noah, or at Sinai, or the "new covenant in my blood" - are different expressions or reaffirmations of that one covenant.

But that is something that we see only in retrospect, from the standpoint of faith in Christ. Historically, & the way the biblical story unfolds, there are diifferent covenants. That at Sinai makes no reference to Noah, & the Noachic covenant makes no reference to a covenant with Adam - for the simple reason that in the biblical story there is, strictly speaking, no covenant with Adam. (The first use of the word is in Gen.6:18, looking forward to Ch.9.)

Your statement that the covenant with Noah applies only to Shem, not Ham or Japheth, is simply wrong. "God blessed Noah and his sons" (9:1) and "I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you" (9:9). (If fact it goes on to include all living things.) Ham & Japheth are not excluded - which doesn't mean that they may not be unfaithful. As Paul says about a later stage of the covenant, "The gifts and call of God are irrevocable" (Rom.11:29).

This doesn't invlidate your basic argument about the historicity of Adam but it does mean that it's wrong to suggest that the stories about Adam are just the family history of Israel. They belong equally to the people of Tarshish in Spain, the Ionians, &c - & given what I said earlier, to the Aztecs & in fact everyone.

I continue to think you're wrong about Mizraim & Egypt: They aren't 2 different things or people. Your argument would be less forced if you would adopt something more loike Westermann's view of the table of nations, & I don't think that would affect your basic argument about Adam.

Shalom
George
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Dick Fischer
  To: ASA
  Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2007 2:02 PM
  Subject: RE: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

  I believe the "moral law" or covenant was first established with Adam, reestablished with Noah and further established with Abraham. Mosaic law was established at Sinai. Occasionally God likes to restate things for new people so they keep updated. The Sumerians, Egyptians and everybody else was outside the camp so to speak. (But there are lots of people more poetic about this than I am.) Egypt existed before Mizraim got there so when the OT uses Mizraim for Egyptians it may mean everybody or just those from him. Elamites were named for Elam but originally they spoke an unrelated language so presumably those original aborigines were unrelated to the Semites or Sumerians even though later they were dubbed Elamites.

  The covenant relationship seems to follow the line of promise from the beginning. That is it does not appear to follow family relationships once they branch off. The covenant with Noah followed Shem not Ham or Japheth. The covenant with Abraham followed Isaac not Ishmael. The covenant with Moses followed the children of Israel and remained with them until the time of Christ. Of course Christ established the New Covenant with us all. All this in my humble opinion.

  Dick Fischer

  Dick Fischer, Genesis Proclaimed Association

  Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History

  www.genesisproclaimed.org

  -----Original Message-----
  From: George Murphy [mailto:gmurphy@raex.com]
  Sent: Friday, March 23, 2007 10:06 PM
  To: Dick Fischer; ASA
  Subject: Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

  OK, that's clear. Now sometimes you've said that Adam was the ancestor of the Israelites & sometimes of the "covenant people." What covenant do you mean? If it's just Israel then presumably it's the covenant at Sinai. I have been assuming that that's what you mean & that's why I described the fact that the peoples listed below (& more) are portrayed as descendants of Noah - & thus of Adam - as "devastating" for your view. But maybe you mean the Noachic covenant. That would mean that the Egyptians, the Ionian Greeks (Javan) & many others - but not the Chinese or Native Americans &c - are descended from Adam. So which do you mean?

  Shalom
  George
  http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/

    ----- Original Message -----

    From: Dick Fischer

    To: ASA

    Sent: Friday, March 23, 2007 12:36 PM

    Subject: RE: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

    Hi George:

    I think it would be well nigh impossible to fabricate a list of patriarchs retroactively based upon discovery of ancient populations and then ingeniously devise who begot who. And it would be the mother of all coincidences that peoples discovered just happened to bear the names of Genesis patriarchs. It seems far more logical to me that the people who bore the names of their ancient forefathers came from actual people. So yes, put Westermann and me in separate camps on this issue, however, Westermann was a first class scholar and I am in agreement with many of his conclusions. It's just that I have the benefit of close proximity to the Library of Congress where most others don't.

    Take Asshur, Noah's grandson, as one case alone.

    Asshur (Gen. 10:11) began the Assyrian empire in the northeast corner of Upper Mesopotamia where the Tigris runs from northwest to southeast. A vassal treaty of Esarhaddon (681-669 BC), son of Sennacherib (705-681 BC - see 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles and Isaiah), who had been murdered while on the throne, carried a seal naming "Ashur," founder of Assyria, as a god. And appropriately, Esarhaddon named his son, who was crown prince at the time, "Ashurbanipal" in honor of him. Just as Tubalcain descended from Cain so too some Assyrian kings were named after their famous forefather, i.e. King Ashurnasirpal II of Assyria (833-859 BC) and the 38th king on the earliest Assyrian king list was "Puzar-Assur."

    This quote is from The Cambridge Ancient History:

    The knowledge about some of the cities buried under these mounds was never lost. That the mound of Nimrud on the east bank, close to the point where the Greater Zab flows into the Tigris, was the town of Kalakh mentioned in Genesis 10:11 was told by the natives to a British representative of the East India Company who explored the site in 1820. They even knew that the country to which this town had once belonged was named 'al-Assur'.

    Dick Fischer

    Dick Fischer, Genesis Proclaimed Association

    Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History

    www.genesisproclaimed.org

    -----Original Message-----
    From: George Murphy [mailto:gmurphy@raex.com]
    Sent: Friday, March 23, 2007 1:48 PM
    To: Dick Fischer; ASA
    Subject: Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

    Yes, many of the names listed in Gen.10 can be identified with nations known from secular history in the ancient world. I was going to go on to the implications of that but it wasn't what I was asking. Are these _just_ names of nations or do you think this chapter in fact gives genealogies of real individuals from whom those nations descended &/or were named? Westermann (Genesis 1-11, p.504), e.g., takes the 1st view. In reference to the "sons" of Japheth: "The 'sons' are peoples or countries. The genealogical pattern is only the form of presentation; it is not meant to indicate descent. Only Japheth is a person; he does not stand for a people or country. The same holds for Shem and Ham; all three are only the names of persons and they are part of the tradition history of the flood. They do not belong to the table of nations, but act as a connecting link with it."

    This seems plausible to me, though I'm a little cautious about saying what the biblical author "meant." In any case, can I assume that you don't hold that view but think that the references to Gomer &c as sons of Japheth, Ham & Shem are to real historical individuals?

    Shalom
    George
    http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/

      ----- Original Message -----

      From: Dick Fischer

      To: ASA

      Sent: Friday, March 23, 2007 10:11 AM

      Subject: Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

      Hi George, you wrote:

      Just so we're not talking at cross purposes, am I right in assuming that you read Gen.10 as a collection of real genealogies - i.e., that the people who are listed there are biological descendants of Noah's 3 (real) sons?

      Working back from Abraham we can trace as far as Shem's children, Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. Elam refers to a people, ElymŠans, concentrated around Susa initially, the ancient capital. Elamites are encountered first as Persians speaking a non-Semitic language. Scholars place Elam at the head of this Persian culture, and he is listed as a king in Persian history books. Asshur, of course, founded Assyria. Arphaxad is known as the forbearer to the Chaldeans, Arphachshad was called Arruphu by the Akkadians, and was known to Hurrians in the Nuzi tablets as Arip-hurra.

      Scholars from the time of Josephus have concurred that the Lydians descended from Lud, called the Luddu from the annals of Ashurbanipal. Lydians were famed archers in the ancient world. In Josephus, "Aram was father of the Aramites, whom the Greeks call Syrians ..." The Aramaeans, founded by Aram, situated themselves in various parts of Syria and Mesopotamia, and the Aramaic language stems from the children of Aram.

      In short, almost every one of the enumerated children stemming from the three sons of Noah can be found somewhere in the ancient world. It's in my upcoming book.

      Dick Fischer

      Dick Fischer, Genesis Proclaimed Association

      Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History

      www.genesisproclaimed.org

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Received on Wed Mar 28 11:50:17 2007

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