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

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Fri Mar 30 2007 - 18:09:01 EDT

*I wonder whether a first century missionary in a world influenced by Greek
culture would have accepted Greek cosmology.*
But Peter was a lower class Jewish fisherman, and was not the "apostle to
the Gentiles." It's highly unlikely that Peter would have known much about,
much less accepted, Greek cosmology. The story in critical Biblical studies
for a while has been, if I understand this right, that Jesus, the gospel
writers, and the original apostles were solidly within a traditional Jewish
framework, while Paul Hellenized and systematized the nascent Christian

But even Paul, who certainly was far better educated than Peter and who
referred to Greek myths and literature in some of his sermons and letters,
was not a Hellenistic Jew, but rather was probably from the school of the
Pharisees. Paul's hermeneutic with respect to the Old Testament is often
solidly within the Second Temple framework (see Enns' "Inspiration and
Incarnation"). I haven't read NT Wright's stuff on Paul -- one of many
things on the "to read" list -- but as I understand it Wright has done a
good deal to diffuse the notion that Paul was a Hellenizer and
systematizer. In other words, the founders of the Christian faith were
Jewish to the core.

On 3/30/07, gordon brown <> wrote:
> On Thu, 29 Mar 2007, David Opderbeck wrote:
> > 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.?
> I wonder whether a first century missionary in a world influenced by Greek
> culture would have accepted Greek cosmology. It is hard to believe that he
> would have been unaware of it. Still, I can't detect a shift in the
> language between the OT and NT that would reflect the change in
> cosmologies, but then we haven't necessarily updated the idioms in our
> language to fit our present cosmology either.
> The Greeks of that era knew that the earth was spherical, and they had a
> pretty accurate calculation of its circumference. They also knew how big
> the moon was and how far away it was. On the other hand, if I recall
> correctly, the first century geographer Strabo thought that there was no
> land below the equator or in the area west of Europe and east of Asia.
> Gordon Brown
> Department of Mathematics
> University of Colorado
> Boulder, CO 80309-0395

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Received on Fri Mar 30 18:09:22 2007

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