RE: [asa] The rib...

From: Dehler, Bernie <>
Date: Tue Mar 03 2009 - 12:46:18 EST

Phil said:
"But if taken literally as a mechanism of creation (apart from its symbolic 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. "

I see a difference with the rib and Jesus feeding thousands. In the case of Jesus, it was duplication. In the rib, it was more of a 'seed.'

Maybe the idea of the rib, in making woman, is that they were thinking of horticulture. They would know that with certain plants you can take a cutting, which is a small part of a plant like the rib is a small part of the body, and plant the cutting and it will grow into a new plant. Or they could have been thinking of grafting- taking a little branch of one vine or tree and grafting it into another. Maybe they thought God could do that with the human body. It is almost feasible, except for the roadblock of the XX and XY sex genes. If it wasn't for that, then one COULD build a body from a body part- that's what cloning is. Maybe this is another case of ANE ideas being out-of-step with modern science (it is impossible to build a woman from man's DNA, just like it isn't true that the Earth was made before the Sun).

Bill Powers later said:
"This view, I think, would miss much of the point. I am not prepared to argue this cogently, but I suggest it has to do with the fact that God is in a very important sense embodied, incarnated, enfleshed in the world. I don't mean by this only Christ. I mean this is evident in every page of Scripture, even in the Scripture itself. It is God's Immanence. He is palpable, earthy, alive. If this can make sense to you, then the means is not merely accidental. The means is exalted because it is God with us. He is history, in flesh, sweat, and tears. His hot breath is upon us. He is where we are."

I don't understand what you mean by God being enfleshed in the world, beyond the incarnation of Christ. Jesus said God is Spirit. How is God "palpable, earthy, alive" other than in Christ? If not referring to Jesus, how is "God's breath upon us" literally (you seem to imply it is literally upon us).

George Murphy said:
"Creation is in fact for the sake of the Incarnation & that uniting of all things with the incarnate Word."

This is off-topic, but if true, it means that God knew Adam would sin and thus need a Savior in Christ from the beginning (since creation was for the sake of Christ's incarnation). Adam never really had a chance- it was a set-up from the get-go. Maybe that's not good or bad; just the way it is?


From: []
Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 9:51 PM
To:; Dehler, Bernie
Subject: Re: [asa] The rib...

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 tr ust 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 symbolic 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 symbolic value, 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 older.

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 12:46:59 2009

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