George emphasizes the theological richness of the first chapters of
Genesis. Let me come in on the simple side. God had some things to
communicate to ancient human beings. He could not use the knowledge we
have amassed to do so. They would not have understood that the sun is 93
million miles away and that we can see a blob 2 million light years away
with light travelling 300,000 km/sec. The first chapter was in terms of
the cosmology of the time. But it clearly communicated that Elohim alone
is God, and what have been worshiped as gods are his handiwork.
Similarly, the next chapters could not be in terms of billions of years
of evolution. In simple terms it sets down that God sets the rules and
man disobeys them; that man is made for better, for eternal life; etc.
There is that which would be understood at the time, but there is a great
difference now that we are looking back through the Incarnation, with all
it entails, and through the development of the several sciences. Now
there is another aspect that we miss, the play on words in the original.
At best, it may be perceived by those who have mastered Hebrew, but I
wonder if it is currently possible to grasp matters as those who read it
in their native tongue. It seems obvious that, if a joke has to be
explained, it's been pretty much lost.
t'other Dave (ASA)
On Sat, 4 Apr 2009 16:35:37 -0400 "George Murphy" <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>
It's not entirely true that The Cosmos in the Light of the Cross doesn't
deal with this - see the last full paragraph on p.125 & the 1st on p.169.
But it's true that I didn't deal with the issues of sin & salvation in
great detail in that book. That's one of the things I'm working on now,
the PSCF articles at http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2006/PSCF6-06Murphy.pdf
being one aspect of the work in progress. This is not, however, a
detailed exegesis of Gen.2 &3.
There is a great deal of theological significance in those chapters.
Briefly, the human as God's creation & object of God's special care -
while still a being of the earth, the task of humanity to "guard & serve"
the earth, the human ability to understand the animals & his superiority
over them, marriage & society as God's purpose for humanity, humanity
being called to observe limits set by God & the transgression of them as
sin, the reality of temptation, & God's care for humanity even as sinners
are just a few important themes. In addition, the difference between the
pictures of God's activity in Gen.1 & Gen.2 is significant - in one case
a transcendent sovereign creating by fiat & in the other an immanent
creator who gets down in the dirt to form the human. Having 2 accounts
gives a fuller picture of the creator.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave Wallace" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "ASA" <email@example.com>
Sent: Saturday, April 04, 2009 2:48 PM
Subject: [asa] Adam, Eve, Garden Myth
> Assuming a theology without a literal Adam and Eve, I have been
> wondering what the purpose of the Adam and Eve myth is? The Cosmos in
> the Light of the Cross does not deal with this issue. The whole
> in Gen 2 and 3 does not seem to serve much theological purpose. What
> are we to make of details like the garden, the rib, naming the animals,
> the snake, the apple, the tree of life, God clothing Adam and Eve and
> on? Of course one possibility is to assume that these 2 chapters
> not have been included in scripture and thus ignore them totally.
> Here I am using myth as:
> **" traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to
> unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice,
> or natural phenomenon"
> I am not saying that I accept a theology with Adam and Eve, just that I
> would like to understand.
> Dave W
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Received on Sat Apr 4 19:12:30 2009
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