Re: [asa] The rib...

From: <>
Date: Tue Mar 03 2009 - 00:51:25 EST

 I think it's a theologically motivated symbol and not literal.  Adam was taken out from the dirt because he is "united" with the earth in a special way.  Eve was taken out from Adam because she is united with Adam.  It shows connectedness.  It makes sense within the schema of the story to indicate that she was not separate and yet his equal in dignity and value.  The text even comments on this point (she is bone of my bone...).  But as a mechanism of creating Eve it makes little sense because what came from Adam's side would be too small and God could just as well make her out of the abundant dirt.

We have an excellent example in the
NT:  Jesus multiplied the fish and bread into a larger quantity of fish
and bread.  Kind of like taking a little part of Adam's side and growing it into a woman, right?  But again, this was done for the symbolic value.  Jesus didn't really
need some bread or fish as his starting point.  Jesus was
teaching that his disciples could feed the world with the gospel, as
few as they were and with the little as they had.  The connection to some
pre-existing fish and bread was to show how a small thing can grow into a large thing when we trust God.  It was teaching via the
connectedness of what comes before to what comes after.  For the same reason, the Genesis story uses Adam to make Eve to teach their connectedness.

But if taken literally as a mechanism of creation (apart from its symbol
ic value), I can't see much logic in it for exactly this reason.  Lots more material would need to be added to whatever small quantity came out of Adam.  This material would need to be changed into proteins, DNA, RNA, cell structures, tissues, etc., in more than 1 trillion cells.  Or, this new material would need to be made ex nihilo.  So even if some DNA from Adam's biological material were used in one or more of Eve's brand-new cells, there would still be billions of times as many cells that God would need to make in which the DNA were simply created de novo or ex nihilo apart from Adam's DNA.  (There is no process of chemistry or physics that would allow the small quantity of Adam's DNA to replicate outside of a womb into a trillion cells.  Mimicking the gestation process but outside of a womb would require the wholescale abandonment of physics and thus in the final analysis would be no different than simple de novo creation of the "replicated" cells but with the window-dressing of mimicking a biological process without the physics that ordinarily drives biology.)  So if his DNA wasn't needed in making the majority of Eve's body, and she was actually made out of dirt or other materials in the majority of her body, then it would appear that making her "out of Adam's side" is nothing more than window dressing.  (or actually symbolism!)

For this reason, I think the symbolic value is what it's all about.  It could have been a literal event with symbolic20value, or it could be a non-literal story of the "myth" genre to teach theology via the symbolism.  Either way, it's all about the symbolism.



-----Original Message-----
From: Dick Fischer <>
To: 'Dehler, Bernie' <>
Cc: ASA <>
Sent: Mon, 2 Mar 2009 4:35 pm
Subject: RE: [asa] The rib...

Ah, how did God make the axe head float?  How did God
resurrect Christ?  How did Christ feed the 5,000?  Wait until he gets


One of the things I found of interest in ANE literature is that Eve means "life" in
Hebrew and she was taken from Adam's rib.  The Sumerian word ti means both “life” and “rib.” 
A Sumerian pun on the words was: “The lady of the rib is the lady of
life.”  A curious coincidence or fraught with meaning?


Maybe, you should read John instead.


Dick Fischer, GPA president

Genesis Proclaimed Association

"Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"


-----Original Message-----

From: [] On Behalf
Of Dehler, Bernie

Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 1:18 PM


Subject: [asa] The rib...



I was telling my 7-year old kid the creation story, and he asked a
question I never thought of before. 
How did God create a woman from a
rib?  The rib is not very big, and it doesn't look like a female.


God made man from dirt.  That is easy to see- like building a
snowman then breathing life into it.  But the rib...






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Received on Tue Mar 3 00:52:15 2009

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