Reading Genesis With Ancient Eyes

Reading Genesis With Ancient Eyes March 10, 2014

John Walton discusses the interpretation of Genesis’ creation stories. HT Allan Bevere

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TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
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  • Pauline soteriology assumes a literal Adam. A mythological/metaphorical/allegorical Adam doesn’t work:

    For just as through the disobedience of the [figurative/literal] one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the [figurative/literal] one man the many will be made righteous. ~Romans 5:19

    For as in [figurative/literal]Adam all die, so also in [figurative/literal] Christ all will be made alive. ~1 Corinthians 15:22

    Second, if Adam and Eve were metaphors, and the source of original sin is mysterious, then we have no idea why Jesus died. After all, his death and Resurrection occurred precisely to save us sinful humans from the transgressions of Adam and Eve. If you have to turn that story into a metaphor, then Jesus died for that metaphor. That’s not too palatable to Christians.

    Scientists Try to Reconcile Adam and Eve Story, Whiff. Again.
    Jerry A. Coyne, Professor of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago
    newrepublic.com/article/115759/adam-eve-theologians-try-reconcile-science-and-fail

    • The problem with that argument is that Paul is actually ignoring the literal sense of the creation story, because all he is interested in doing is using it as a foil for Jesus. A literal reading would have to say that through two human beings, or through one man and one woman, sin entered the world. The contrast in Romans 5, despite what conservatives often claim, shows that Paul was not concerned with the literal factuality of the Adam story, but of using it to make his claims about the significance of Jesus.

      • The patriarchal viewpoint is that sin is passed on by the man.

        In the Roman Catholic tradition, Original Sin is, as I mentioned, passed down from father to child…
        Who Was Born Without Original Sin?
        catholicism.about.com/od/beliefsteachings/p/Who-Was-Born-Without-Original-Sin.htm

        You and Ken Ham are trying to do the same thing, that is, protect traditional soteriology. Ham does it by trying to manipulate how the evidence of biological evolution is interpreted. You are tying to defend soteriology by manipulating how the Bible itself is interpreted.

        Yours is the smarter choice, simply because the Bible is more malleable than scientific evidence.

        The Bible is such a gargantuan collection of conflicting values that anyone can prove anything from it. ~Robert Heinlein

  • Gary

    Or creation through ancient Hindu eyes. Interesting, that one scholar thought the ancient Hindu’s took it literally. One thought they did not take it literally.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03k289f

    Ps, next week is a podcast on the Trinity, that I’m going to have to listen to…

    • Gary

      I would find it interesting to find out if Hindus are divided into 2 camps today. Literal and non-literal. I doubt it. That is, probably not too many into the Golden Egg approach, unlike talking snakes and death from picking fruit.