Denis Lamoureux’s conclusion to his series on biblical genealogies

Today we conclude the 6-part audio-slide series by Denis Lamoureux on biblical genealogies (part 1 is here).

In this episode, Lamoureux summaries the main findings and conclusions of his previous episodes, namely how the genealogies of Jesus, the Patriarchs, and Adam function. He also reminds us of the “agenda” that drives him to make this series of slide shows in the first place.

The audio-slide show can be accessed here.

Lamoureux holds three earned doctoral degrees (dentistry, theology, and biology) and is associate professor of science and religion at St. Joseph’s College in the University of Alberta (full bio here). He is the author of I Love Jesus & I Accept Evolution (see first of the audio slide series on this book here) which is a great introduction to his view of origins called “evolutionary creation.”

are the Genesis flood genealogies literal? (Lamoureux on genealogies part 3)
who were Jesus' ancestors? (Lamoureux on genealogies, part 2)
the Bible's mythic worldview and why you should care (a brief review of a new book)
what are biblical genealogies and what do they do? (guest series by Denis Lamoureux)
  • Ross

    Yet again Denis, thank you for making your work freely available here. Would I be showing my age If I said I have waited, baited breath for each episode, in a similar way to how I waited for Buster Crabbe’s Flash Gordon to show in the local cinema!

    Carrying on with my forming (rambling?) thoughts from this series, I would say that if this sort of information bangs a final nail into the doctrine of “Original Sin”, then I might add “about time too”.

    Many arguments have been raised about the unfairness of “Original Sin” and why should we be held accountable for some ancient ancestor’s failings. I also believe that “Jewish” tradition has never held to the doctrine.

    So to my mind, reading of the fall, I can just as easily see myself as Adam and doing the same things. From this I can realise my own culpability, with no reason to blame anyone else (as if there was not enough evidence already :-( ). So I’m sure I can stand before the Lord with no excuse and say to the Judge “you fairly judge me for what I have thought and done”. Not that I’m setting up any particular theological doctrine here, just my own thoughts.

    I’m sure there are many things which are implied and meant by the genealogies and texts around them, I find different things at different readings. One thing as I mentioned before is formation of identity. Previously I mentioned that, the genealogies may well have been used to form or reinforce Jewish identity, particularly in terms of the Exile.

    I can also see hints or echoes around personal identity contained in the story of Adam. As I mentioned above, I can see myself in him. Looking at some Jewish tradition I think some have posited that the story of Adam shows more about individual identity. There are stories and traditions which use Adam to give lessons on the soul. Allegorically it shows that the soul originates with God (Adam with God in the garden), the soul is formed without sin, the soul enters the person in the womb, the person is born and at some stage the person gets to the point of choosing good or evil.

    I can also see allegorical links to the “innocence” of childhood and the sinfulness, or sinful possibilities that abound as the person grows up. Maybe somehow this would link to Jesus saying; “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”. Linking conversion to some form of re-attainment of the “original state of innocence”, which would be necessary to “once again” walk hand in hand with God in the Garden.

    Admittedly, getting rid of traditional views on “Original Sin” would pose some other issues with maybe explaining why the World itself is fallen, but there again the behaviour of the snake already seems to have caused problems with that one!

    As I said these are current thoughts, I’m not trying to nail down any particular doctrine at the moment.

    • Denis O. Lamoureux

      Hey Ross,
      Thanks for your kind comments. I’m about 80% done on my original sin paper and will have the draft online for everyone to critique it. Peter Enns has been kind enough to agree that he’ll put it on this webpage. Wait till you see Augustine’s views of biology. Original sin is entrenched in an ancient biology.

      And yes, like you, I see myself as Adam before God. My favorite verse is Gen 3:12. Adam blames his sin on God for creating Eve! Our human condition exactly.
      Blessings,
      Denis

      • Andrew

        Hello,

        Just reading this and I like your lectures. I was just looking for one about the ancient genealogies to send to a friend on facebook. Anyways, did you finish your paper on original sin and can I read it anywhere?

        Thanks,
        Andrew

  • Gary in FL

    Thanks, Professor Lamoureux, for your very insightful series, including this helpful conclusion. If I may, I’d care to ask a question about slide 11. Even while agreeing with you about the use of stylistic numbers, I can’t help but ask where you think the numbers came from. Were they pulled out of the air? Do the specific numbers have intentional meanings? Did they have meaning, but only to the original hearers? Or do you suppose them to be arbitrary? You’ve made a good case, so it’s got me me wondering how textual particulars might be explained. Again, many thanks & blessings.

    • Denis O. Lamoureux

      Hi Gary,
      Thanks for your question. If you go to the 4th episode and slide #5, I offer the speculation that the repeated use of 5 might be to indicate that the Hebrews viewed themselves as the people of the 5 Books–The Torah.
      Admittedly, this is just a speculation. The one thing we do know is that the ancients used numbers stylistically, and these carried meaning for them. For example, 7 is seen as a number of fulfillment, perfection, etc.

      Blessings,

      Denis


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