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

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Thu Mar 29 2007 - 23:23:54 EDT

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Jack
  To: George Murphy ; David Opderbeck
  Cc: ASA list
  Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2007 7:56 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

  I don't think there is any implication of geography in this text. I disagree with this statement: "I do not see how that language about the coming destruction can reasonably be understood as less than universal. My original point was that this appeal to the flood would carry no weight in this argument if the flood were not understood by the author & his readers to have a similar scope."

  Genesis mentions "scoffers" before the flood, and this text mentions scoffers in the last days. The scoffers in Genesis suffered a judgment from the flood, but it did not necessarily have to be worldwide for that to happen.

  Where does Genesis mention scoffers before the flood? I don't think it does. The parallel appealed to in II Peter is simply the destruction of the world, not the fact of scoffers in both cases.

  What about the extent of v 7? You obviously think that this refers to a global destruction. I think that is not necessarily the only way to interpret "heavens and earth." I think Peter used heavens and earth, just as Christ, Haggai, and the author of Hebrews used that term, in other words not as a universal judgment, but as an end to the old covenant, the end of the age.

  It isn't just v.7 but the whole passage vv.1-10. In 10 e.g., "the earth & everything that is done on it." OK, I'll try to be very conservative. This means at the least the whole inhabited world - whatever the extent of that habitation was understood to be. Otherwise you're left with the idea that there are some human beings who just aren't affected by the whole thing - an idea inconsistent with, among other things, the concept of a general judgment.

  So if the heavens and earth is not universal in v 7, the geographic extent of the flood in v 6 does not necessarily have to be. If nothing else, I am saying that this passage is no help in determining what Peter, or others of his day, thought about the extent of the flood, I don't think it says anything about it.

  I am impressed with the imagery of fire and water. v5 "out of Gods word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and with water." v6 "By water also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. v7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. " Fire is also mentioned in v 10, and 11. I dont fully understand what the meaning of this is, but it seems that he is contrasting the flood v the last days.

  Ultimately, I am not sure if Peter was saying the flood was universal or not. But I dont feel bothered by it if he did. But what is potentially troublesome is the scoffers. The text in Peter seems to indicate that the scoffers are in the future. So far so good. But Jude claims that the scoffers are present. So if there was no judgment of the scoffers in the first century, Jude was wrong. And, Christ, Paul, John, and others who clearly expected a first century fulfillment were also wrong, and this I find very troubling.

  No, the scoffers are in the present of the writer. II Peter has a number of indications of being one of the latest writings of the NT (e.g., the reference to the writings of Paul as scripture in 3:16), & it's hardly surprising that by that time the problem of the delay of the parousia had become bothersome for some Christians.

  II Peter doesn't say that the scoffers mentioned in Ch.3 will experience the judgment he speaks of in their lifetimes. In fact, he's in the process of arguing that the parousia may be a long way off - though it's still certain. To the extent that Jesus & Paul expected the parousia very soon - yes, that's a problem of sorts but a broader one than is involved in the interpretation of II Peter. (John is different - his eschatology is primarily realized.) Jude, which is probably earlier than II Peter & seems to have been used as a source for II Pet.2, sees the scoffers it deals with as a sign that the last times hgave arrived (v.17), but there's no indication that they're scoffing about the delay of the parousia. Again, the scoffers of Jude/II Pet.2 shouldn't automatically be identified with those of II Pet.3.


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Received on Thu Mar 29 22:24:57 2007

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