Re: [asa] First human/Adam, A parenthesis

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Mon Oct 12 2009 - 13:21:41 EDT
Thanks for the amplification. My only motivation was to indicate that this Adam discussion was alive and well very early on. JimA

George Murphy wrote:
The idea that the Genesis creation accounts have to be straight history is wrong but it's possible to go to the other extreme, & Origen is in fact an example of that.  The search for allegorical and "mystical" meanings can easily result in a de-emphasis of the relevance of the creation accounts to the physical world.  Even though they should be read as theological statements and not modern science or history, they are theological statements about the real world.  Origen's interpretation, OTOH, has to do primarily with an ideal world of pure intelligences and only secondarily with the physical world that God created to provide bodies for those intelligences when they fell away from God.  Colin Gunton's essay "Between Allegory and Myth:  The Legacy of the Spiritualing of Genesis" in the volume _The Doctrine of Creation_ (T & T Clark, 1997) which he edited may be consulted on this.  
----- Original Message -----
From: Jim Armstrong
Sent: Monday, October 12, 2009 11:36 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] First human/Adam, A parenthesis

This from Origen in the early 3rd Century,

"Who is found so ignorant as to suppose that God, as if He had been a husbandman, planted trees in paradise, in Eden towards the east, and a tree of life in it, i.e., a visible and palpable tree of wood, so that anyone eating of it with bodily teeth should obtain life, and, eating again of another tree, should come to the knowledge of good and evil? No one, I think, can doubt that the statement that God walked in the afternoon in paradise, and that Adam lay hid under a tree, is related figuratively in Scripture, that some mystical meaning may be indicated by it."      -  On First Principles

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