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

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Thu Mar 29 2007 - 14:24:57 EDT

----- Original Message -----
  From: David Opderbeck
  To: George Murphy
  Cc: ASA list
  Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2007 11:48 AM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

  George -- I think you are making the context of Chapter 3 too specific and literal. The context is simply that judgment will come suddenly. The example of the flood is a response to the scoffers in verse 3 who say "Where is this judgment he promised?" These are like the people of Noah's day, who rebelled against God, not believing God would judge them. The point is summed up on verse 10: "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief." The passage has nothing to do with proving that God is powerful enough to judge the earth -- that is assumed.

  Several no's to this. 1st, the scoffers are not represented as saying (in v.4) "Where is the judgment he promised?" but "Where is the promise of his coming?" (Pou estin he epangelia tes parousias autou) They go on to say that "all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." Nothing is said here about judgment by either the scoffers or the biblical writer.

  & the issue isn't just whether or not "God is powerful enough to judge the earth" (though to say that the scoffers assume that he is is far from obvious). It is rather whether or not the earth can be destroyed, & the story of the flood is appealed to show that it can.

  I would grant that Peter's language might reflect his Second Temple presuppositions about what the Genesis texts mean, but I don't think Peter is teaching anything about those presuppositions in this passage. Moreover, if you really want to apply the hermeneutic you're endorsing, what would it mean for Peter to say that the earth will be destroyed at the final judgment when Peter would have had no idea at all that the Earth is a globe and that there were people living in what we now call Australia, North America, etc.? If Peter's Second Temple period presuppositions are being authoritatively taught in this text, does that mean the Day of the Lord will affect only the "earth" as it was known to Peter at that time?

  The author believed that the whole world had been destroyed in the flood and would again be destroyed by fire. What he thought the extent of the whole world was isn't the point. If you'd talked to him just after he wrote this & convinced him that there were inhabited lands beyond the pillars of Hercules & then asked him if they too would be destroyed, I see no reason to think that he wouldn't have said "Yes."

  I agree that this passage can be interpreted in various ways by folks with an axe to grind, but I think more often than not the axe is either a YEC looking for a proof text to support a global flood, or a non-YEC looking to read the passage just as literally in order to discredit the truthfulness of the text.

  Or a non-YEC who is presenting a reductio ad absurdum argument to try to convince a literalist that there are other ways for a text to be true.
  But in this case I'm not doing either. I'm not arguing that there actually was a worldwide flood but am arguing that the author of II Peter thought there was.

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Received on Thu Mar 29 13:25:44 2007

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