Bilbo–I Mean, Adam–Was a Historical Person (and Ken Ham has a poster to prove it)

Before I get going here, I want to be crystal clear about something. I am not remotely interested in trying to change Ken Ham’s mind about Genesis. Nor am I trying to raid his flock and steal his sheep.

But quite often he says things that are transparently wrong and highly misleading. My concern is for those who are being mislead and have perhaps begun to sense it, and might be looking for voices to confirm their suspicions and finding a way forward.

Which brings me to today’s topic, the “wall chart” (a.k.a., poster) you see below.

On the Answers in Genesis website, you can purchase this 11 x 17 poster for $1.99 or download it for 99 cents. It is recommend for ages 12 and up, and its “technicality” level is described for the discerning customer as “adult.”

The poster is further described as follows:

Attempting to bridge the gap between evolution and the Bible’s clear teaching about creation, some Christian leaders have tried many creative ways to reinterpret Scripture. Today a new focus is upon Adam as a real, historical person. Did God create the first human being from nonliving matter and breathe life into him, or is another interpretation possible? Scripture doesn’t leave room for doubt. This exclusive wall chart shows that the Bible is clear: Adam was a historical person.

So, to sum up: Ham (or, to be fair, likely Ham’s biblical advisors) feels this poster summarizes an adult-level argument for why his position on Adam is the only one worthy of Christian consideration, and any resistance to the plain truth of Scripture futile.

Leaving this sales pitch to the side, I am more interested in the substance of the five points:

1. Genesis 1-3 is written as literal history.

2. Adam’s activities require a physical body.

3. Adam is the first man in Christ’s unbroken genealogy.

4. The rest of the Bible references Adam as a literal person.

5. The Gospel depends on a literal Adam.

Putting on my Old Testament scholar hat–and in the interest of space–I am only going to make some remarks here about the first two points. I may decide to come back to the other three in the future.

The arguments given under each of these two main points are hard to see on the picture I’ve posted, likewise on the website–even if you enlarge it. But I was able to squint a bit and see exactly what Ham is getting at.

Simply put, the “arguments” made here are standard ones from Answers in Genesis, and they are utter nonsense. Rather than offering sound reasons for the historicity of Adam, Ham is displaying his own misinformed opinions.

No one with any background in biblical Hebrew or who is minimally conversant with the nature of biblical narrative–or just narrative in general–would tolerate this type of confused reasoning.

I know that sounds harsh, but no one should interpret this as a personal attack. We are discussing ideas and Ham enterains bad ones in a very public venue. To accuse someone of having glaring gaps in their knowledge is not a personal attack. We all have such gaps about a good many things, but the wise man or woman will know what those areas are, tread carefully, and be open to wise counsel (Proverbs 1:5).

Anyway, we are told in this poster that (1) Genesis 1-3 is written as literal history. How does Ham know this? Because:

a. These chapters show no poetic parallelism, but are narrative–just like the narratives of the rest of the OT, which are historical. Therefore Genesis 1-3 is historical, too.

b. All of Genesis is one seamless history, and since the rest of Genesis is historical, so are the first 3 chapters.

c. Genesis is united by the recurring refrain “these are the accounts of.” Hence, all of Genesis is historical.

d. Since Genesis 1-11 refers to things like day and night and mentions locations like Mt. Ararat where the ark rested, it is therefore historical.

Ham’s second point argues in a similar vein:

e. Since Adam did things like name the animals, slept, tended a garden, and had a lifespan, he must be human.

“Historical” Bilbo.

If I may be blunt, it does not take much effort to see a crippling problem with Ham’s reasoning, especially with respect to d and e, but also indirectly a-c: Fictional stories also have characters who do physical things and recount the flow of time.

Pick your favorite completely made up, fictional story, and you will see (1) characters who do things that require a physical body, (2) characters doing things that require the passage of time (i.e., “history”), and (3) a world with day and night and places that have names.

The fact that Genesis does these things does not make Genesis historical anymore than the characters in The Hobbit or the Epic of Gilgamesh “must” be historical.

Ham’s poster is not an argument for why Adam and Genesis as a whole must be historical. It is only telling us how Ham reads Genesis having already assumed the point that has to be argued.

“Historical” Gilgamesh (left) and “historical” half beast friend Enkidu defeating the goddess Inanna’s Bull of Heaven.

In other words, we do not see here an argument but an exertion of the will that relies wholly on rhetoric to be effective, with no substance whatsoever.

The poster tells us more about Ham than it does Adam or Genesis.

Similarly, look at point “a” about the alleged absence of poetry in Genesis 1-3. One one level I have no major quarrel with this observation, but more with how Ham manipulates this information.

First, “no poetry in Genesis 1-3″ is an overstatement, and therefore incorrect. Genesis 1 and Genesis 2-3 are widely understood to display different literary styles.

Genesis 1 is not poetic as one might see in, say Proverbs or Psalms, but it clearly has a more “poetic” structure than Genesis 2-3 or biblical narrative in general, as we can see by the six-day pattern. On Days 1-3 God provides the space for what he will create on Days 4-6. Days 1 (light) corresponds to Day 4 (sun, moon, and stars), Day 2 (division of waters above and below to create sky) corresponds to air and sea creatures created on Day 5, and Day 3 (dry land) corresponds to Day 6 where and creature, and humans, are created.

Genesis 1 is not “normal” biblical narrative. It certainly can’t be lumped into the same category as Genesis 2-3 (in part also because of how these stories describe differently proto-history, but that is another topic) or the rest of Genesis.

But I digress, since the main issue here is chapters 2 and 3, and here the point Ham is aiming for collapses under the slightest scrutiny. Ham seems quite intent to claim that Genesis 1-3 is narrative. Why? Because Ham mistakenly thinks that narrative is the proper vehicle for communicating history, whereas poetry is open to things like metaphor, imagery, and hyperbole. Narrative is what lets you get the “facts” across, whereas poetry may not.

But here the same point holds as above. A narrative presentation has no necessary correlation–none, zip–with historicity. Again, stories of various degrees of historical value–from zero t0 100%–are presented as narratives.

(I would add that poetic expressions can also be the vehicle for story/history. One example is Psalm 78, which rehearses Israel’s redemptive history, but again that is another topic.)

Bottom line, Ham mistakes his opinion for biblical argument, which is a recurring problem in his apologetic. What lies behind Ham’s alleged open and shut case for Adam is not what the Bible says, but what he presumes it to mean–what he needs it to mean. He assumes the very thing that has to be proved, and then unleashes himself on an unsuspecting text and–surprise–finds it.

Frankly, I’m really not sure why we are even discussing this. As an argument, the poster is useless. As propaganda, it is quite clever indeed.

  • http://www.tentatio.com Eric Robinson

    Well, now I know what Pete wants for Christmas…

    • http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A10ULJVWJGVUYD/ref=cm_pdp_rev_all?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview Paul Bruggink

      I wonder how many he’ll actually get. For $1,99 plus S%H it would almost be worth it.

  • http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A10ULJVWJGVUYD/ref=cm_pdp_rev_all?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview Paul Bruggink

    Good points, graciously made. It will be interesting to see Ken Ham’s response.

  • Brian Jonson

    Loved the last couple of paragraphs. I am so tired of Ham’s insistence that his interpretation is the only one. Sigh…

  • http://theamericanjesus.net Zack Hunt

    I don’t care what you say, Pete.
    Bilbo was a real person and I’m going to see the documentary about his life next Friday.

    • peteenns

      :-)

  • http://umbl0g.blogspot.com John Umland

    I, for one, am glad you haven’t tired, yet, from repeating yourself.
    God is love
    jpu

  • http://www.ja-nei.blogspot.com Hallvard N. Jorgensen

    Dear prof. Enns, first I must really thank you for your books, which I have read with great interest. Then a couple of questions for this post. One thing is to ask whether Genesis is really historical, judged by modern historical-scientific standards. I think you will say that much of Genesis is not historical in that sense; for instance Adam is not an historical person, that the Noah-story scarcely tells us anything about “what really happened” (in the light of ANE texts) etc.

    Now my “problem” with your post above is the following: Would you not agree with Ham at least with the contention that Genesis actually wants to present Adam as a real, historical person? At least this is the way the rest of the Bible understands him. But Adam and Eve are part of the “seamless” history of Gen 1-11 (and continuing with the rest of Israel’s story), would you not say…? So that Genesis really wants to say that Adam and Eve were the first, literal persons? This is not to dispute the fact that there “mythic” (ANE-)traits in the text; I’m merely thinking about the issues of history. I’d be very glad to hear your thoughts on this!

  • http://www.liveloud.net Doug Stuart

    Thank you, Pete, for not making these articles about attacks on Ken Ham or whomever, but on the nature of the debate. Like many of your readers, I was once bone-headed enough to believe Ham’s arguments. It is a very stressful thing to engage these issues and come out on the other end, believing something different from those around me.

    To be honest, it isn’t really about embracing a “biblical” viewpoint for folks like Ken Ham, but rather being a victimized counter-cultural energy that views itself as the minority in the right, evidence be damned. As soon as its about embracing both science and the Bible, they run to the “they can’t be reconciled” argument, as if you HAVE to choose one or the other…not for the sake of being “biblical,” but for the purpose of being “anti-worldly.”

  • Stephen W

    I object to your assertion that Bilbo Baggins is not a real historical person!

    • peteenns

      Join the line….

    • John Shakespeare

      There is plenty of evidence that Bilbo Baggins is a real historical person. We will all soon be able to watch the documentary about some of his activities, and have already seen (a rather long) one that deals with his old age. Look carefully at him in the latest version and you will see that he sometimes works as a well-known British actor, appearing in a number of TV productions, such as ‘Sherlock’ and ‘The Office’. Many people have actually seen Mr Baggins in real life and can testify to his reality. I can’t understand the doubts that are sometimes expressed about Baggins’s real personhood. It follows that trolls and dragons are also real — not surprising, given that the Bible talks about dragons. I’ve got my doubts about the reality of Peter Enns: I suspect him of being nothing more than a photograph.

      • http://divinesalve.blogspot.com David Miller

        The Bible talks about dragons, and anyone who ever comments on web sites knows the reality of trolls. ;-)

    • CoolHandlNC

      Frodo lives!

  • http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A10ULJVWJGVUYD/ref=cm_pdp_rev_all?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview Paul Bruggink

    Re your ” I may decide to come back to the other three in the future.”: Please do. Your observations need wider and more frequent exposure and response.

  • http://hoxeyville.blogspot.com/ Eric

    I think my world has crashed. You mean there really wasn’t a Fred Flintstone either, or Wilma, Barnie, and Betty? They seemed so real. So you’re saying that when I leave work on Fridays and yell “yabba-dabba-doo” I’m probably vocalizing a fictional, if not mythical cheer?

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  • Derek

    This is an area I would like to study in depth more and I am certainly open to correction. Although I never read anything from Ken Ham I am leaning towards points 4 and 5 as my main reasons for accepting a literal Adam.

    I look forward to your future posts on those remaining points Pete!

    Thanks again & God bless!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/8601342@N03/ Gregory Peterson

    It was once reasonable to think that there were only two people in the world, and why not name them Adam and Eve…but not now. A population of humans became modern humans together over time and spread out from Africa.

    The cover of a Christianity Today issue with “The Search for the Historical Adam” painted Adam as a Neanderthal…I’m guessing that he met up with our modern human ancestors in the Middle East.
    http://dogmatics.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/ct_cover.png

    Somewhere, I have an ABeka textbook that claims that humans, namely Ham (not Ken Ham), immigrated to Africa from the Middle East.

  • rvs

    You are protecting Christians against the muddled and often devious hermeneutics of fundamentalism. God bless you. If only we could get more fundamentalist theologians into literary theory classes in English departments at Christian schools.

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  • James

    I have come to the conclusion the first task of biblical interpretation is to place ourselves as much as possible in the pre-modern mind of the human author. And we have lots of ‘critical’ studies in ancient literature and archaeology to help reconstruct biblical culture and history as best we can. Yet we look for a deeper God-person story that is true–primarily due not to the skill of the modern scientist or critic but to the oft hidden stamp of divine inspiration on the text. Further, we would like to place the smaller story of a book (Genesis) within a larger canonical context in order to perceive major themes, direction and ultimate end, frankly, the mind of Christ. In the process we ask for the illumination and empowering of the Holy Spirit in order to align our personal stories with the Grand Story of God’s gracious intent in Christ for all creation. So, why is it so important to prove or disprove, in modern terms, the literal historicity of Adam?

  • Sandbur

    Without a literal Adam and Eve the policy of “Original Sin” falls to pieces. This is why thy are so adamantly opposed to evolution and a non-literal Genesis.

    • rvs

      Original sin, the only part of Christianity that can be proven, as G.K. Chesterton amusingly quips.

      • http://divinesalve.blogspot.com David Miller

        I was once asked, in a denominational interview, how my theology had changed after having served as a full-time pastor for two years. My answer was that I now believe in total depravity.

    • http://spiritualmeanderings.wordpress.com/ Sentinel

      I’ve heard it argued that the doctrine of Original Sin depends on a literal Adam and Eve who are literal ancestors of every human on the planet, but personally I’m not convinced that it’s necessary. There are some thoughts on the topic here if you’re interested:
      http://spiritualmeanderings.wordpress.com/2010/08/21/the-innocence-of-children/

      And Peter, thanks for another great article. Keep them coming! :)

      • Josiah

        Given that God will redeem/remake the heavens and earth (Romans 8; Revelation 22), I was under the impression that the curse in Genesis 3 extends to all of this creation. Following from this, its not about ones bloodline (original sin) but whether one belongs to this creation/reality that underlies the need for a saviour.

  • gingoro

    Pete
    I’d like to see some posts on the following topics
    1. Although I have only read posts and your books that claim Gen 1 -11 is not historical, I can’t help but wonder when you consider the OT to start being mainly historical, after the exile, the kings, the judges, Moses, Abram??? Please note that I am not talking about Job or Jonah etc.

    2. I agree with you that much, probably even most of Gen 1-11 is not historical but I fail to see how one can go from that to no history, by which I understand no historical events at all behind the stories.
    DaveW

    • peteenns

      So, you want me to write a book? :-)

      • gingoro

        If that is what it takes. I would buy your book.
        DaveW

      • Peter

        I’d buy it too. In the meantime, any recommendations about good reading material on common sense interpretation of the Flood narrative?

        • peteenns

          I’m tempted to say “the Bible” but I know you’re looking for more.

        • http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A10ULJVWJGVUYD/ref=cm_pdp_rev_all?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview Paul Bruggink

          If you’d like a lot of material, both technical and theological, head over to the American Scientific Affiliation home page (http://network.asa3.org/), scroll down to the lower left corner to “Learn More,” then select “Bible and Science” and scroll down to “The Noachian Flood.” It so happens that the first of a number of entries will link you to three articles on the BioLogos web site by someone who can’t decide whether his name is Pete Enns or Peter Enns.

          If you want the short version, try Chapter 6 of the new book “Genesis for Normal People: A Guide to the Most Controversial, Misunderstood, and Abused Book of the Bible,” co-authored by Peter Enns.

          • http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A10ULJVWJGVUYD/ref=cm_pdp_rev_all?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview Paul Bruggink

            p.s. Margaret Gray Towne has an interesting 10-page, 50-question list of questions to ask Young Earth Creationists regarding the Noachian Flood in Chapter 10 of her book “Honest to Genesis: A Biblical & Scientific Challenge to Creationism.”

            p.p.s. Denis Lamoureux has an interesting 11-page discussion of “The Historicity of Noah’s Flood (Gen 6:5 to 9:19)” in chapter 6 of his book “Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution.”

          • peteenns

            Never heard of this stuff.

    • Paul D.

      The Mythic Past by Old Testament scholar Thomas L. Thompson would be a good place to start. Another interesting-looking book I haven’t quite gotten to is Israel’s History and the History of Israel by Mario Liverani.

      The short answer is that almost all the story narratives you read in the OT were composed in the Persian and Hellenistic periods to address contemporary theological, cultural and political concerns of the Jewish people (particularly the elite priesthood). Of course, tradition is often rooted in real history, but the point of religious texts is not usually to give an account of “what really happened” in the sense modern readers expect.

      • http://hamiltonmj1983.wordpress.com Matthew James Hamilton

        @Paul D.

        The problem with Thompson (and Davies, Lemche, et. al.) is that the minimalists are so polemical in their writing that their arguments are worth about as much as the arguments of the fundamentalists. Yes, most of the OT was pieced together in the Persian/Hellenistic periods, but to claim that it was composed completely (created ex nihilo?) is about as persuasive as the claim that Moses wrote the Pentateuch.

  • Nancy Rosenzweig

    Pete, how can you doubt Ken Ham? He’s got Adam’s honest-to-goodness FINGERPRINT! Case closed.

    • peteenns

      How could I have missed that.

  • Jim

    Sorry, but I gotta go with Ken on this one. If all humans didn’t come from Adam, then why do men have an Adam’s apple? That’s got to add a lot more anatomical weight than just a finger print.

    • John I.

      Yes, and what about the unalterable fact that men have one less rib than women? The anatomical weight just gets heavier and heavier, doesn’t it.

      • Beau Quilter

        Gee, I hope you’re being ironic, John I. It’s hard to tell with you.

  • Amanda

    Wait, Bilbo isn’t historical? But that makes the story meaningless! Now I’m starting to doubt the very existence of Tolkien.

  • Beau Quilter

    I don’t understand the constant debate on this topic. There is no reason to doubt that the first human was Manu, the progenitor of all humans, also known as Satyavrata, and his wife is Satarupa. We have this knowledge directly from the holy Mahabharata, and there is no misunderstanding in translation from the original Sanskrit.

    We likewise have no reason to doubt that the revered author of this holy text was Veda Vyasa (also known as Krishna Dvaipayana), who in the holiest Vaishnava traditions is regarded to be an Avatar of the highest God Vishnu, himself.

    Why are we so prone to doubt our holy scriptures?

    • peteenns

      Point well taken.

    • Paul D.

      Don’t the Hindu scriptures teach a cosmological history spanning billions (or trillions?) of years? They were actually closer to the mark in that regard.

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  • pete head

    Are you saying you don’t believe in a historical Bilbo?

  • John I.

    And now that the corrected version of Tolkein’s story has been published, we have a more sure and faithful witness to the original story. Indeed, more certain than the latest UBC/NA version of the Bible.

  • http://hamilton1983.wordpress.com Matthew Hamilton

    @Paul D.

    The problem with Thompson (and Davies, Kemche, et. al.) is that the minimalists are so polemical in their writing that their arguments are worth about as much as the arguments of the fundamentalists. Yes, most of the OT was pieced together in the Persian/Hellenistic periods, but to claim that it was composed completely (created ex nihilo?) is about as persuasive as the claim that Moses wrote the Pentateuch.

  • http://hamilton1983.wordpress.com Matthew Hamilton

    *Lemche

  • Beau Quilter

    Speaking of Adam and Eve, have you seen the most recent Nonsequitur cartoon take on the issue?

    http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2012/12/08

    You might want to post this one, Pete.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/8601342@N03/ Gregory Peterson
  • Jim

    Regarding the Omphalos hypothesis, we also now know that Satan and his demons went around planting dinosaur bones everywhere just to make the earth look very old. Maybe that’s what the serpent was doing when Eve met him in the garden.

  • http://www.natejohnsongallery.com Nate Johnson

    Here is an interesting article that would related to Gen 1-11 and its historicity. Ballard has great repute an an underwater archaeologist. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/noahs-biblical-flood-actually-happened-suggests-evidence-070044699.html

    • Beau Quilter

      The Noah references here are a bit tongue-in-cheek. As Ballard says in the article, “At some magic moment, it broke through and flooded this place violently, and a lot of real estate, 150,000 square kilometers of land, went under …”

      Ballard is talking about a very large, but regionally isolated ancient flood. Many archaeologists have suggested that ancient regional floods inspired early the flood story told in Gilgamesh epic (and later co-opted in Genesis). There is no suggestion here of a worldwide flood, of course.

      • http://timdedeaux.com Tim Dedeaux

        150,000 square kilometers is about 300 km by 500 km, right? Or about 200 miles by 350-ish miles? That’s about the size of Georgia or Illinois.

        Wow, that’s a big flood, but nowhere near worldwide.

        I guess it could be “Noah’s flood,” so long as you take the Bible’s use of “the world” to mean “the world as Noah knew it,” not “the entire planet.”

        • Beau Quilter

          Of course, you’d still have to deal with the fact that the writers of Genesis plagiarized their flood tale from the much older Sumerian flood myths. I’ve just reread a translation of the Gilgamesh flood tale and was fascinated by the ethical discussion in Gilgamesh that is totally absent in Genesis. In the Gilgamesh epic, as told by Noah’s counterpart, Utnapishtim, a conspiracy of gods decide to unleash the flood, but one of the gods, EA, secretly tells Utnapishtim so that he can escape. After the flood, EA, accuses the other gods (Enlil in particular), saying that the punishment of the flood is far out of proportion with what the humans truly deserved.

          • peteenns

            And in the Atrahasis story, the gods sent the flood because the humans were making too much noise :-) In Genesis, the ethical issue is handled differently. Not “what’s wrong with the gods, acting out of proportion” but “human are in God’s image, and so they have a higher responsibility to reflect that.” I’m not defending the flood story but simply trying to get at the logic of the story vis-a-vis some of its ancient counterparts.

          • Beau Quilter

            OK, but which God are humans in the image of? Yahweh or Elohim?

          • http://hamiltonmj1983.wordpress.com Matthew James Hamilton

            The problem with using words like “plagiarized” is the anachronistic nature of that statement. Plagiarism didn’t exist in the ancient world.

            I would also question whether these ideas were copied / borrowed, as some say, or intentionally alluded to (intertexuality between the OT and the ANE texts).

  • http://TheBereanObserver Bob Wheeler

    I would like to second the motion of Hallvard N. Jorgensen above. If all we had in the Bible was Genesis 1-11 we might have a hard time discerning whether this was actual history or myth. There are a couple of considerations, however, that I think should give us pause. First of all, how do these chapters fit in with the literary structure of the Torah as a whole? Doesn’t the Pentateuch present itself as history, starting with “in the beginning”? If the first chapters are myth, then when does the narrative transition to actual history? Secondly, does it not seem likely that there are two different underlying sources for Genesis 1 and Genesis 2&3? If both sources point back to the same person (Adam) then how likely is it that they are both myths? Doesn’t it seem more likely that they both intend to be understood as history, and that there was an actual historical person behind the two accounts?
    There is also the problem that the Bible as a whole present an apologetic that God can be know through His mighty acts in history, and biblical writers in some places specifically disavow teaching myths. But if the whole edifice rests on a myth, then it all comes crashing down. Paul simply didn’t know what he was talking about and his arguments are invalid.

  • Candi

    Dr. Enns, I am no Hebrew scholar nor do I claim to be but on the basis of logic it seems rather foolish to believe in Jesus and not Adam. If Adam didn’t cause death to come into the world why did Jesus come to save us from it? It makes no sense whatsoever. It is certainly within your right to believe as you choose but I would suggest that you investigate the logic behind your claims as it just doesn’t add up.

    • peteenns

      Candi, I definitely hear where you are coming from and I appreciate the point. But one thing I would say is that the “logic” of it is something that has been talked about for a very, very long time by many, many people.

    • http://timdedeaux.com Tim Dedeaux

      Humanity’s need for a savior is obvious, every day, in every generation. We oppress the weak, kill the innocent, take what we want, gossip, bully, manipulate, and lie. We even lie to ourselves to make it seem all right.

      If every generation before this one had been saintly and perfect, this generation alone would be sinful enough to need the blood of God.

      We don’t need Adam. But we clearly, truly, deeply, undeniably need Jesus.

  • http://www.haitichurchofchrist.org bob valerius

    It’s sad that this guy Ennis tries to make a living by taking pot shots at Ken Ham. What a sad man.

    • peteenns

      The name is Enns.

    • Beau Quilter

      How silly. Ken Ham takes unsuccessful potshots at the entire scientific community and every Christian that doesn’t agree with his odd way of interpreting scripture.

  • David Brown

    Enns is leading people down the wrong path. Either you believe the Bible or you don’t. He obviously doesn’t. The Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible word of God. Picking pieces out and claiming them to be false is clearly putting the thoughts and ideas of a sinful, fallible, errant man over the clear written word of God. Idolatry with Enns as his own God. Sorry, but that’s not Christianity.

    • Levi

      I must have missed the verse that says the Bible is inerrant. Was it 2 Hezekiah 3:17 or 1 Peter 6:32?

      Young earthers like Ham are running about shouting “Inspired! Infallible!” like Vizzini shouting “Inconceivable!” My response is the same as Inigo Montoya’s: Scripture is true, but it does not mean what you think it means.

  • Adam Harwood

    Dr. Enns,

    If the Bible contained a story about Bilbo and included him in the lineage of Jesus, then your point would stand. But the Bible does not contain a story about Bilbo. It does, however, contain one about Adam. For that reason your point, although entertaining, fails.

    Respectfully,
    Adam Harwood

    • peteenns

      Adam (catchy name),

      You may have missed my point. My reason for bringing up Bilbo was simply to illustrate that for a story to include sequences of events, characters, passage of time, (and even genealogies) etc., etc. is not a mark of historicity, as Ken Ham continues to try to maintain. As for the genealogy of Jesus, I know how compelling that might seem, but it’s not. Have you compared the genealogies of Luke and Matthew, or perhaps had a chance to do some reading on the nature and purpose(s) of genealogies in the Bible and other ancient literature? That point might actually be the weakest one Ken Ham makes.

    • Jon

      Adam,

      My question about this is: Do you believe the Good Samaritan was a historical person? How about the merchant looking for the pearl of great price or the rich man and the beggar who sat at his gate named Lazarus? The stories about them include details such names and/or locations. The things that happened to them required physical bodies. They are not only included in the Bible, but were actually told by Jesus.

      Food for thought.

      Peace,
      Jon

  • http://DeansDiary Dean McClain

    What is life? Life is the Infinite revealed in the finite. God created the heavens and the earth with apparent age. Adam and Eve were likely an apparent age of 30. Adam may have had a photographic memory and if he wanted to write anything down he could have. The Bible does not tell us how long it was before the Lord Jesus created Eve from one of Adams ribs but He did. He tells us that He will destroy this earth and create another. Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 21.2 And I john saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

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  • Pingback: An examination of the claim that God decreed Adam's fall - Page 9 - Christian Forums

  • descalzo

    I agree that a narrative with realistic characters is not evidence of historical truth, and taken alone, it is a weak argument. But I think points 3-5 are more important. How did the original audience understand it, and does the gospel make sense without it? As I read Romans 5, I think Paul believed there was a single historical man named Adam who brought sin into the world.

  • http://datalaforge.wordpress.com/ DataLaForge

    In the second paragraph, please change “mislead” to “misled” and delete my comment.

    • peteenns

      what “second paragraph” and which comment do you want me to delete?


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