Re: [asa] Was Adam a real person?

From: <>
Date: Fri Apr 11 2008 - 01:53:04 EDT

The argument from Isaiah doesn't break down because that is a case of redaction, too.? I chose a simple, clear example to make the point because it was simple and clear.

Regarding the redaction with Adam representing someone real in the geneology but being a symbolic representative of humanity in the prior chapter:? your assertion that it doesn't make sense is just begging the question.? It's a reasonable hypothesis that the Adam-myth of the garden could have grown out of the real name found in a geneology.? Probably more than half of all myths start out with a real person or name from history.? The redaction of a myth with a geneology makes perfect sense if the redactor did not know what parts were myth versus history, or if he knew that there was a mixture of myth and history and did not mind their co-existence.? I can't imagine any reason why he _would_ mind, as long as he thought both texts were important to preserve.? I think _you_ mind because you are a scientific westerner, which makes you different than that redactor.

On the other hand, if you are correct that Adam is just symbolic in chapter 4 then the mundane, specific details of his life found in that chapter make no sense.? Why mention how many years between the birth of Seth and Adam's death if Adam is not real or not even a foggy memory of someone who was real?? I have to believe that the geneology is a fragment of, or a distant memory of, a real history.?

I see this as the main weakness of your view:? it does not give sufficient weight to the mundane details of the geneology and to the idea that its author must therefore have believed it to be history, not myth.? That was the consideration that led me away from adopting the same view.?

Two questions for you:

1.? Why do you think this redaction doesn't make sense, considering that the redactor wanted to preserve both texts??
2.? How do you explain the mundane details in the geneology if it is not supposed to be a memory of a real history?


-----Original Message-----
From: Don Nield <>
Sent: Fri, 11 Apr 2008 1:27 am
Subject: Re: [asa] Was Adam a real person?

Phil cannot dismiss Bernie's claim that Adam cannot be real in one chapter and not in the other as quickly as that. Phil's analogy with Isaiah breaks down. First, there is the well known break between Isaiah 1-39 and the rest of the book. Then there is the fact that prophetic oracles in poetry can be readily interspersed with narratives in prose without confusion.?
In the case of Genesis a redactor has juxtaposed the two chapters as they appear in the canonical book, and the redaction makes no sense if Adam is real in one and not real in the other. It does make sense if Adam is not real in either chapter -- the symbolism can differ from chapter to chapter. The assumption that Adam is real in both chapters leads to the difficulties that we are discussing.?
Don N?

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Received on Fri Apr 11 01:54:46 2008

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