Re: [asa] Was Adam a real person?

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Wed Apr 09 2008 - 16:37:23 EDT

In the tradition we've been discusing, the Watchers were angels who
descended from heaven to take mortal human women as their wives. The angels
referred to in Jesus' response to the Pharisees are "in heaven," and thus
the Watchers are not among them. Thus, assuming Jude and 2 Peter's allusion
to 1 Enoch would require us to affirm the Watcher tradition, there would be
no conflict with Jesus' statement that angels do not marry, contra your

Personally, I don't think we are obligated to affirm the Watcher tradition,
which renders your reductio ad absurdum below off point.

On Wed, Apr 9, 2008 at 4:23 PM, D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>

> I hadn't realized that some angels were terrestrial rather than
> celestial, and mortal rather than immortal. The mortal, terrestrial
> evidently married. Were the offspring haploid? Are some angels not
> "ministering spirits" but physical entities? Are some of them, or their
> offspring, still around? I ask because Noah is certainly, in Hebrew usage, a
> son of God.
> Dave (ASA)
> On Wed, 9 Apr 2008 15:11:06 -0400 "David Opderbeck" <>
> writes:
> Interesting. Matt. 22:30 and Mark 12:25 are distinguishable b/c they talk
> about angels "in heaven." Luke 20:34-36 seems to tie not marrying to a
> state without death, and angels to the state without death, though the
> syntax in English is unclear. And Jesus is responding here to Pharisees who
> knew of and presumably accepted (?) the Watcher tradition, so it seems
> unlikely that they would have seen Jesus' comments here as contradicting
> that tradition. More likely it is those angels "in heaven," rather than the
> fallen Watchers, which have a share in the eschaton where there is no
> marriage.
> On Wed, Apr 9, 2008 at 2:57 PM, D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
> wrote:
> > Let me come at this from a different angle. Are you going to accept
> > Enoch's claim that the "sons of God" are angelic beings, or Christ's
> > statement in Matthew 22:30, Mark 12:25, Luke 20:34-36?
> > Dave (ASA)
> >
> > On Wed, 9 Apr 2008 10:47:46 -0700 "Bethany Sollereder" <
> >> writes:
> >
> > David,
> >
> > I'm not sure if the Hercules analogy was the best possible. Perhaps a
> > reference to popular hagiography would have been better... perhaps like St.
> > Boniface and Thor's Oak. Powerful legend (that after the first axe stroke,
> > a wind blew the tree down to reveal its rotted inner core) is built around a
> > kernel of historical truth.
> > In Adam's case, it behooves us to consider the mythologies of the
> > nations surrounding post-Exodus Israel and how dialogue with those cultures
> > shaped how they saw the world and themselves. The incredible similarities
> > in terms of motifs like seas of chaos, magical trees, serpents, gardens,
> > exile, floods and so on cause the dissimilarities in regards to the nature
> > and character of God and humans to stand out in stark contrast. The "kernel
> > of historical truth" need be little more than "God created, every human
> > sins, and God has since been working towards redemption". If nothing else,
> > the character of God that is portrayed is certainly historical truth!
> >
> > I agree that "this is one of those questions that requires careful
> > treading" but I don't think that after long, deliberate, and careful study
> > we should hesitate to draw conclusions that we can hold confidently, even if
> > also provisionally.
> >
> > Bethany Sollereder
> >
> >
> --
> David W. Opderbeck
> Associate Professor of Law
> Seton Hall University Law School
> Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology

David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
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Received on Wed Apr 9 16:38:41 2008

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