Re: [asa] No Adam?

From: Murray Hogg <muzhogg@netspace.net.au>
Date: Sat May 02 2009 - 17:31:38 EDT

Hi Phil,

You wrote:
> Given that the Fall was real
> and occurred in evolutionary history, I think it's quite acceptable for
> Jesus and the apostles to speak of an Adam as the symbol representing
> mankind, because they had real things to say about humanity's Fall and
> it was most easily communicated through the genre of myth. Jesus
> referring to "Adam" is referring to the character in the story, much as
> if I said, "well, remember what Hamlet said...'" I would not be
> asserting that Hamlet was a real individual, only that something spoken
> by the Hamlet-character was real truth worth repeating.
>
> Even if I was unaware that Hamlet was not a real individual (as perhaps
> the apostles did not know that "Adam" was not a real individual), it
> would not be wrong for me (or them) to speak that way, because it is not
> my intention to make assertions about "Hamlet" (or "Adam"), but it is my
> intention to assert some of the truths that his story presents.

I thought this was very well put!

In my experience the single greatest problem facing people when they come to the question of whether Genesis is history or not is that they can't escape the idea that because Jesus and the apostles spoke of Adam as though he were historical, then Adam MUST be historical.

I try to make the simple point that that is how the genre myth is used - one simply can't listen to a person speaking about Adam (or Hamlet) and draw the conclusion that this person MUST think the person is a real historical character.

It doesn't follow from this that Adam (or Hamlet) are NOT real historical characters, by the way, only that you can't appeal to the fact that a person tells a story "as if historical" to make that determination.

Blessings,
Murray

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Received on Sat May 2 17:32:17 2009

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