Re: [asa] Was Adam a real person?

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Tue Apr 08 2008 - 21:17:58 EDT

The possibility that a "supposed burial site" of Jonah in Nineveh might be the product of the imagination of or believers centuries later might be considered. Ditto fvor other "proofs."

Anyone who's been to Israel knows of the many gospel sites identified by "pious Christian tradition" - i.e., by Christians centuries after the events took place. E.g., the site traditionally identified as that of the wedding at Cana is wrong, but it's more accessible for pilgrims than the out-of-the-way real Cana. Of course this doesn't mean that all the traditional identifications are wrong. (E.g., there's good evidence that the Church of the Resurrection - aka Holy Sepulchre - really does enclose the site of Golgotha & the tomb of Christ. OTOH the traditional via dolorossa is wrong.) But just a tradition of pointing to some spot & identifying it with a biblical event or person proves next to nothing.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Dick Fischer
  To: ASA
  Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 8:17 PM
  Subject: RE: [asa] Was Adam a real person?

  Hi David:


  Job is one issue - who was there to witness the sons of God gathering together and could have transcribed the conversation between Satan and God? Jonah is another issue. There are two crumbling mounds in Mosul (ancient Nineveh) today. One is called the "mound of repentance." The other is called the mound of the nebi Yonas (prophet Jonah.) Plus, there is a mosque erected over the supposed burial site.


  Abraham rebuked his father Terah who was an idolator in Jubliees. Josephus said, "In the tenth generation after the flood there was a man among the Chaldeans who was just, great and knowledgeable about heavenly phenomena." That would be Abraham. He was further described as ".a person of great sagacity, both for understanding all things, and persuading his hearers, and not mistaken in his inferences. So he began to have higher notions of virtue than others had, and determined to alter and change the opinion all men then had concerning God; for he was the first that ventured to declare that there was but one God, the Creator of the Universe; and that of other things whatever contributed anything to the happiness of men, as only according to his appointment, and not by its own power."


  Berossus wrote: "... a man named Abraham, a man of noble race and superior to all others in wisdom. Of him they relate that he was the inventor of astrology and the Chaldean magic, and that on account of his eminent piety he was esteemed by God. It is further said that under the directions of God he removed and lived in Phenicia (sic), and there taught the Phenicians the motions of the sun and moon, and all other things; for which reason he was held in great reverence by their king."


  One archaeologist, Hilprecht, from the University of Pennsylvania visited the tomb of Daniel. I read his book and he described the journey to the tomb. How can you question whether or not there was a prophet Isaiah? Who wrote the book? Somebody had to write the book and hand it to somebody else who would have known the authorship. Any imposter would have been discovered immediately.


  Joseph and Mary traveled to the city of David. For whom was the city named?


  Dick Fischer. author, lecturer

  Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham


  -----Original Message-----
  From: [] On Behalf Of David Opderbeck
  Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 4:18 PM
  To: Dehler, Bernie
  Subject: Re: [asa] Was Adam a real person?


  Bernie said: I think the prodigal son in no way presents itself as a historical story

  I respond: Fair enough. How about Job or Jonah? Even some conservative scholars allow that these might not be "historical" figures. There are historical problems, BTW, with just about every major figure in the OT. Abraham -- no extrabiblical evidence. Joseph -- nothing in archeological or historical records to indicate there was ever a Hebraic governor of Egypt. Moses -- no evidence for a mass exodus of Hebrew slaves from Egypt. David and Solomon -- many scholars think them largely mythic. Esther, Daniel, Isaiah -- likewise. The issue isn't really "affirm Adam as a real person or the dominoes fall". The issue is more like "to what extent does scripture count as testimonial evidence, however contextualized it may be" and/or "what is the historiography of the OT?"

  Bernie said: It looks like the abstract indicates it will answer this question, but I have to pay $10 to find out. Does anyone know the free answer?

  I respond: if you could pay $10 for a clear answer to this question, seems to me it'd be worth it. The free answer is that there is no clear answer. (For $20, I'll give you a link that resolves the antinomy between predestination and free will).

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Received on Tue Apr 8 21:22:03 2008

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