Let’s Discuss Adam, Eve, Noah, Faith, Intellect: How They Can All Co-Exist

by ShaunKing on January 31, 2011 · 144 comments

I was writing a very detailed blog post based on some “controversial” statements I made yesterday @ Courageous Church, but thought a conversation would be much better!  I will include much of my thoughts in our conversation. First off, let me say

I believe the Bible.
I believe in science.
I believe in miracles.
I believe God is at the center of all 3.

The conversation I want us to have is important because so many people have real questions about the Bible, history, science, faith, and facts, but they are discouraged from ever really pursuing them or are given faith based answers that don’t really add up for people with no faith.

With that said, I am not sure I believe that Adam & Eve were the first/only human beings created in the world by God and that all human beings came from them.  The Genesis account in the Bible does not say that, but instead says this in Genesis 1 about what God did on the 6th day:

26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” 27 So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” 29 Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food.30 And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.” And that is what happened. 31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.

I believe that the Bible is an account of God at work in the lives of a very particular people group in a very small swath of land in a very remote area of the world.  While God was at work there in a very special way, God was fully at work in other places and history/science bare this out very thoroughly.  Furthermore, according to Biblical chronology (the dates, years, ages, etc. included in the Bible), most CHRISTIANS say that Adam & Eve were alive at around 4,000 BC (google it or read your personal favorite book about the Bible).  This is a problem because actual factual history let’s us know that the Mesopotamians were fully active in 6,000 BC and that the ancient Egyptians were civilized between 5500-5000 BC.

Furthermore, I am not sure I believe that the great flood of Noah destroyed every human on the face of the earth and that all of humanity that was alive before that point in time died and that the world population started over from the people on that Arc.  Most historians suggest that the flood of Noah took place at around 2300BC according to the chronology of the Bible and its history.  The primary problem with this is that the world was diversely populated at that point in time before and after that period.  Noah likely experienced a real flood in the world as he knew it.

A great flood that engulfed the world likely happened at some point in time in the world, but it certainly did not happen in 2300 BC which is the time period that the Bible and Christian historians suggest Noah was alive.  Entire nations were fully active all over the world at that point in time and did not have a flood that killed them all and forced them to start over.

I believe in the Arc.  I even believe in Adam and Eve.  I even believe what the Bible says about them.  We’ve just added some extra layers on there that, in my strong opinion, get in the way of many people ever accepting our faith.  Hear my heart, I am not saying I have all of the answers, I just want to see how history, science, and the Bible can work together!

Now – let’s talk about it.  I have left out most of my thinking on this topic so we can discuss it.

I’ll take your questions and answer them the best I can.

  • http://trinitydigitalmedia.com Paul Clifford

    I think it's a great test to ask yourself how you'd feel if you got to Heaven and Jesus told you that what happened is exactly opposite of what you thought. If you really think it was 7 literal days, would you be mad if Jesus told you 7 was figurative showed you how it worked in the Hebrew?

    I've come to the conclusion that it's like food sacrificed to idols in the NT. It doesn't matter that much.

  • Questioner

    It is a good point. I always wondered how it was so diverse with only Noah's family on the Arc. But, how diversed was his family?

  • shaunking

    I am wide open to this. Said so yesterday @Courageous. It is not a core issue, but I disagree that it does not matter much. It might not matter much to you & I, but hundreds of thousands of people refuse to accept Christianity because we are saying that certain things are true that aren't actually in the Bible.

    A HUGE percentage of the world is now ambivalent to Christianity – in great part because we have overstated certain stories like that of Adam & Eve & Noah beyond the science and history of God.

  • Questioner

    On the 7 days, I never thought it was a literal seven days. God is infinite isn't he so how is time truly kept with that.

  • shaunking

    Refresh and read some content I added to the blog about that. Noah likely experienced a flood in the area he knew as the world, but the entire world was not flooded @ or anywhere near 2300 BC. Tribes, nations, races were fully alive and active in Africa, Asia, the Americas and more.

  • pastorcarlo

    I don't agree with you on your view of Adam and Eve etc., but I'm not mad at your viewpoints either. I too believe that the extra-biblical walls of Western Christianity far too often lead to people rejecting instead of accepting Christ. Anyway, based on what you believe, how do you explain the detailed account of Gen 2:4-25? Most scholars agree that Chapter 2 gives a more detailed account of what was briefly mentioned in Gen 1. What say you?

  • shaunking

    What don't you agree with about Adam & Eve? Maybe we do agree. Share your thoughts.

    I believe that God created all of humanity on the 6th day. I don't know what that looked like, but I also know that on Days 3, 4,5 God did not just created stuff in Israel, but created animals all over the world. On Day 6 I believe God created humans all over the world.

    Genesis 2 deals with what God did with 2 particular humans we know as Adam & Eve. This is a much truer interpretation of scripture than thinking, on Day 4 God created animals in all of the world, Day 5 he created more animals in all of the world, but on Day 6 God created 2 humans in one small place.

  • http://www.chasingphotography.com Chase

    I have never believed the story of creation in Genesis was a chronological order to being with, so agreeing with what you propose doesn't make sense.

    With that being said I need a day to get my thoughts together and will post more accordingly then.

  • shaunking

    It does not appear to be a literal 7 days. I am open to it being such, but it doesn't appear that way at all.

  • Hayes

    I like your comment – "A HUGE percentage of the world is now ambivalent to Christianity – in great part because we have overstated certain stories like that of Adam & Eve & Noah beyond the science and history of God." Very true!

  • shaunking

    Sure Chase. I understand. The Bible does include, for many reasons, how long people lived, when they died, who was in power, etc. Based on the chronology of the Bible, Adam and Eve were around at near 4,000 BC then, 1700 years later, everyone in the world except who was on the arc died in 2300 BC. Both of these dates present major problems for science and history…

    IF we demand that Adam & Eve were the first and only people – which the Bible does not say.

    Or if we demand that the entire world was destroyed accept for those on the ARC and not just the world as Noah knew it.

  • http://twitter.com/ANQDeuce @ANQDeuce

    I can only imagine that you get asked about the fall of man when you bring the creation of Adam and Eve into a greater global perspective of other humans being created on the 6th day… Many Christians consider the fall of man to be a consequence of original sin; mostly considered to be when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Did their sin lead to the fall of all humanity over the world? Do you consider the tale of their disobedience to be a reflection of all humanity at that time? Forgive me for asking questions that may not be a part of your answer… I'm not trying to box you in, lol.

  • shaunking

    Thanks Hayes. The problem is that we have imposed on the Bible a Sunday School mentality that makes it look so cartoonish that it is just downright silly to so many people. I love the Bible and think that it will withstand debate and scrutiny.

  • shaunking

    Absolutely! We must wrestle with these questions my friend. I still am.

    What I know, though, is that hundreds of thousands of people that lived tens of thousands of miles and often oceans away from Adam & Eve were alive, well, and civilized during the time of Adam, Eve, and Noah and to deny it is outrageous.

  • Hayes

    I think John Dominic Crossan put it best when he said "the Biblical writers wrote metaphorically, we read it literally and lose the actuality"

  • navets

    I don't understand your logic, Shaun, of simply discounting the truth of Scripture because it doesn't line-up with what you can wrap your mind around.

    You say above, "This is a much truer interpretation of scripture than thinking, on Day 4 God created animals in all of the world, Day 5 he created more animals in all of the world, but on Day 6 God created 2 humans in one small place."

    Saying "truer interpretation" is merging what the Bible says with the only way you can figure out in your head it must've happened is a dangerous thing, I believe.

    As far as the Noah-account. I've been fascinated with the story since childhood.. I still don't understand how it all happened, but I believe what the Scripture says: Genesis 6:17 – I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish.

    I'm curious about your blog-post. You called these "controversial statements" – were these controversial when you said them – as in how people responded at church?

    Thanks for opening up the conversation, brother!

  • Hayes

    Even in the Torah or Tanakh (Genesis) is referred to as a Creation Story – the essential issue is what do we "learn" from it. It's meaning is not in it's historicity, but in the higher "truths' that are transmitted through these stories.

  • shaunking

    What scripture regarding the creation of the world am I discounting? If any, I don't mean to. Not being sarcastic either.

    Which chapters and verses regarding the creation story?

    What are your thoughts on the chronology and the population of the world? Do you just choose to ignore those things? I want to know my friend. Thanks.

  • shaunking

    Absolutely Hayes. My (very devout) Jewish Old Testament Professor @ Emory did not believe it was remotely intended to be thought of as a historical account.

  • Hayes

    @Navets – even by Biblical accounts, the waters are recorded as not exceeding the Ziggurats of Sumeria, or Babylonia much less the Pyramids of Egypt. Archeology proves that these structures which predate the Noahic chronolgy were NEVER under water!

  • pastorcarlo

    We agree that God didn't create just animals and grass in Israel. Logically, I can see why it would make sense that he also created humans everywhere. However, that thought doesn't line up with the rest of scripture in my opinion. Gen 6:5-8 says "The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the LORD said, 'I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.' 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD."

    Anthropologically, every race in the world can be traced back to the table of the nations in Gen 10. Gen 11 tells us that God scattered the nations (Babel). Even in Romans 5 Paul speaks about the sin of 1 man (Adam), bringing sin into the whole world.

    I think I feel just as strongly as you do that for far too long the church has fed people the "Believe it because we said so bull." I think both of our viewpoints still lead to the same place:
    The God of the Bible is real, and He's real enough to handle our questions and doubts.

  • shaunking

    How do you personally handle the chronology of it all? How do you handle that the pyramids of Egypt of cultures in Sub-Saharan Africa or the Eskimos of very Northern America were all around before the time of the great flood.

  • shaunking

    Where does it say that Hayes? Chapter and verse if you can?

  • http://twitter.com/johnandperla @johnandperla

    Salvation comes through faith in Christ. If one has faith in Christ, then faith for the rest should be easy, whether it's literal or not. I mean really – believing that one man's death keeps me out of hell – that one man's blood pays a price for sin – all of that is either insane or truth – unless we are debating whether or not that is to be taken literally as well….

    If someone says that their hurdle is certain 'unbelievable' statements, then their real hurdle is faith itself. Without that, they can never please God.

    And debates like this aren't getting anyone saved. Back to work.

  • pastorcarlo

    Sorry, I totally forgot to talk about Adam and Eve : )

    My thought are the same though. The thought that they were just 2 people amongst the rest of creation doesn't reconcile wth the language use in Gen 3:20 "The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. Or Gen 5:1-2

  • http://www.bradbateslive.com Brad Bates

    Shaun:

    I enjoyed reading your blog because it really make me think about how others may look at the Bible and the Christian faith. I have faith, but as a skeptic I tend to question whether things really happened the way we read, hear, are told, etc. However, as a seminary student I try my best to take the scriptures literally and accept things exactly as they are written. While it would make sense that there were others created in addition to Adam and Eve, Genesis only mentions God creating Adam and Eve, therefore, if the Bible is to be taken literally than I should believe that we are all descendants of these two people. Still the skeptical side of me still wonders if God's greatest creation was more than simply Adam and Eve.

    Theology teaches two separate views of Adam: the Representative view in which Adam was sovereignly appointed by God to act as the representative of the entire human race and the Seminal view that teaches imputed guilt and the inheritance of a sinful nature from Adam by his eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Based on these views our sinful nature is directly related to Adam's sin in the Garden.

    If Adam was not the only human created by God, in the Garden or elsewhere, then upon Adam breaking God's law by eating from the forbidden tree and taking on a sinful nature that we all are afflicted with today, what about the others that were created along with Adam? If Adam sinned and the other human creations did not, did they then also immediately go from a righteous to a sinful nature upon Adam's transgression? If there were others, were they under the same or similar commands of God and if so, if they didn't sin and perhaps they and their ancestors lived righteous lives, could we then assume that others have lived sinless lives?

  • Hayes

    Pastor Carlo – I respectfully disagree with the statement that every race in the world can be traced back to the table of nations in Genesis sir. How can you possibly account for civilizations that predate a 4,000 year story, i.e. China, Sumeria and Egypt?

    That's not science supporting faith, thats looking "religiously narrow" in the face of science. Just as the "Church" had to recognize that Copernicus was correct in asserting a Heliocentric cosmology instead a Geocentric cosmology, fundamentalist literal interpretations must give way to a world enlightened by scientific discovery.

  • shaunking

    I actually love your thoughts here. Surprisingly, my friend, when we had this conversation in our church yesterday, many people said it opened their heart to God and the truths of the Bible in a very fresh way. Don't discount the value of it all just because it's not what you think leads people to Jesus.

    Jesus did have some very lively discussions FYI.

  • Ramiro

    I disagree with you. From the bible we find that Adam is the first man created (Adam means 'man'). God saw that there was no suitable companion for 'man' so he took out a rib and created a woman. If God would've created other people, why was there a need to create another woman?
    And if there were other people, why were they kicked out of Eden if only Adam and Eve sinned?

    As for Noah and the ark, God saw that humanity was evil and he decided to wipe everything out. He just saved the one man who actually was godly and a few of the animals created. Why would he 'wipe' just a region if all of humanity was wicked? And why would Jesus say that in the end times the world would be like the days of Noah?

  • pastorcarlo

    I handle it by trusting scripture more than scientific carbon dating and guessing. I think it takes more faith to trust a historian than it does the Bible.

  • Questioner

    Jesus used parables to teach lessons. Could the creation story be as such?

  • http://twitter.com/ANQDeuce @ANQDeuce

    The time of Adam and Eve according to what calendar? I ask that because earlier you state that according to the chronology of the Bible places Adam and Eve around 4000 BC and that this date presents major problems for history and science. I most certainly agree that science debunks that chronology… what do you believe is the time of Adam and Eve?

    The greatest challenge for me with these questions are not the dates or people, but about the largely accepted Christian doctrine of Original Sin by Adam and Eve and the fall of man… the New Testament doesn't say directly that Adam caused the fall of man, but does say as in Adam (meaning his sinful nature). I don't wish to bring the entire doctrine of Original Sin into question. I need to be able to reconcile what I believe to be, its reality, with these questions.

  • Hayes

    Genesis 7:20 (King James Version)

    20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

    Fifteen cubits was half the height of the ark (43.8 ft). Thus, initially the waters rose close to 21.5 feet above the earth's surface.

  • Mike High

    What do you believe these two passages are referring to?
    http://bible.us/1Cor15.45.NLT http://bible.us/1Cor15.47.NLT http://bible.us/1Tim2.13.NLT

    I have not heard this argument before so I'm curious what your thoughts are.

  • shaunking

    It could be. If so, I would be ok with it. I would also be OK if it is fact. I think it is the story of God at work with a particular group of people in a particular area of the world.

  • Questioner

    I don't know that it is. Just a thought. Parable or not it shows God's amazing love and ability.

  • shaunking

    A few things Ramiro. Did you read the passage from Genesis 1 that I included above? Does that not leave room for God creating all of humanity? Genesis 2 tells us the story of 2 particular human beings that God created.

    By the rest of the world, I mean the people that were alive and kicking tens of thousands of miles away in China, Northern America, and Sub-Saharan Africa – not right around the corner.

    Question – how are you dealing personally with the chronology of it all. If Noah was in 2300 BC and hundreds of thousands of people lived all of the world at that point in time already and have no recorded history of a flood, how do you handle that?

    Finally – did the flood actually wipe away all wickedness from the world? If that was what God intended, how well did it work?

  • shaunking

    I agree.

  • shaunking

    I have been reading those for weeks Mike. In many ways, Adam & Eve were as old to Paul as they were to us. Not sure what I think other than the fact that Paul was a theologian and not a historian. Know what I mean?

  • http://twitter.com/ANQDeuce @ANQDeuce

    I do think debates like these can lead people to get saved… there are many Christians I have come in contact with who feel unprepared to share their faith, because they can't answer these types of questions in a honest way. They feel equally unprepared to know how to ask or answer their own tough questions about Christ. I believe that encouraging people to think about what they believe and "debate" with fellow believers are crucial things that have been missing from the lives of many believers.

  • Hayes

    And yet we have no evidence that Jesus himself understood the Genesis account literally, given His tendency to debate the Pharisees on such matters as the meaning of the Sabbath. A religion of Jesus has become a religion about Jesus; I’m not convinced that He would agree with you.

  • http://twitter.com/carlthomas @carlthomas

    Shaun,

    I disagree with your conclusions but feel no need to debate you on them. Just wanted to give you props for having the courage to post your beliefs. Sure to stir some problems for you.

  • shaunking

    In greater detail – 1. Cor. 15:45 is accurate – Adam is the first named man recorded in scripture. Paul is retelling Genesis 2.

  • Verdell

    i think this is awesome! there is enough proof to show that there were thriving cultures at the time the flood was happening. i think at some point we must realize that faith and logic don't have to conflict. what i've found in issues like these is that it's not the scripture that's in question, but what we were TOLD to think about the scripture. it's also important to note that according to jews, the idea of "original sin" that was passed down to people (i.e. paul's view) wasn't a part of their thinking. that was a christian addition. doesn't mean the christian addition is incorrect, it's just the story of history.

  • Hayes

    I think Shaun's initial intent was to question whether a literal belief in these accounts was a qualifying necessity in one walking righteously.

  • shaunking

    Is it saying that the highest water was 43.8 feet? Let me look at it myself too.

  • shaunking

    I agree. I hate carbon dating. I am not even talking about Carbon dating. That is a whole different conversation. Carbon dating is used to talk about humans that are hundreds of thousands of years old. I am not even opening that door.

    I am talking about known civilizations that every elementary school history book in our country states was around @ 6,000 BC.

  • shaunking

    Not being critical, but in essence, what you are saying is that either Eve was the mother of human beings that walked 10,000 miles to South Africa or sailed 10,000 miles to Alaska or they simply didn't exist before her?

  • http://www.chasingphotography.com Chase

    I am all for intellectual discussion, God gave us a mind and the way western man tries to read and throw away the mind is far from the the way the stories of the bible were told.

    Your launching point for the debate seems to be 4,000BC as to which certain principles are scientifically founded and to that I need to study more. And yes, I do agree with the point of chronology and dates in the bible to show historical paths. However, it is proven that Hebrew legacies leave large gaps unaccounted. I cannot pinpoint a hard date for this.

    As for others being around before Adam and Eve or Adam and Eve having Cain and Abel and one was killed, etc and where did the next generations come from (which to me would be the whole reason as to why this quesiton is even raised) Gen 5:4 says "The length of time Adam lived after he became the father of Seth was 800 years; during this time he had other sons and daughters." If there was only one original family, then the first marriages had to be between brothers and sisters. Such marriages in the beginning were not harmful. Incest is dangerous because inherited mutant genes that produce deformed, sickly, or moronic children are more likely to find expression in children if those genes are carried by both parents. Certainly, Adam and Eve, coming from the creative hand of God, had no such mutant genes. Therefore, marriages between brothers and sisters, or nieces and nephews in the first and second generations following Adam and Eve would not have been dangerous.

    Paul lined up Adam as the first man according to Romans 5:14 "Yet death reigned from Adam until Moses even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam (who is a type of the coming one) transgressed." 1Tim 2:13 plays some into that as well with "For Adam was formed first and then Eve." (he was more speaking to order of sexes, but still acknowledgement of creation)

    I believe more that the "days of creation" refer to an epic of time, not a chronoligocal week, but I could be wrong.

    The whole spawn of the discussion is the theory of the 4,000 BC date and I would tend to ask why that date?

  • navets

    Can't we interpret this to mean that even the highest mountains (read part 2 of the verse) were covered by 15-cubits of water and that the first part of the verse refers to where the water came up to on the side of the ark (about halfway)…

  • http://twitter.com/ANQDeuce @ANQDeuce

    I really appreciate the conversation… I haven't wrestled with this in years and got to the road-block of Original Sin and moved on, lol. Thank you for challenging me to work on it again!

  • http://twitter.com/wjking @wjking

    I almost posted these to you on twitter last night Shaun. Then as I read them closely, Paul says that Jesus was the "last Adam". Jesus was clearly not the last human. Paul is talking of Adam and Jesus as "types". It is figurative language. I'm not saying this proves anything, just that it doesn't seem to disprove Shaun's point outright.

  • shaunking

    Very good thoughts on this Verdell. I love the Bible. It has authority in my life. I am just seeing, as you said, that we've (they've) added a lot of stuff to how we are supposed to view it that really jams people up man.

  • shaunking

    Hayes,

    When posting your comments, click on the reply button beneath the comment you are replying on so people know it is for their particular comment. Understand what I'm saying?

  • shaunking

    Ahhhh. You are so smart you Asbury grad you :-) For real though, that is very insightful.

    @Mike – what do you think of that?

  • Hayes

    Ok, I thought I was, my mistake.

  • again

    What of Genesis 10 that states from these three sons all the peoplewho populate earth came

  • http://twitter.com/carlthomas @carlthomas

    I don't have anything to tell you that you have not heard before. Besides, I am not ready to stake a flag on my creation (or end time beliefs for that matter) in their totality.

    I just hope you have weighed the cost of being branded as not believing in the inerrancy of the word as will surly will come. Not saying that is what I think of you. Just saying thats how these folks work and their attacks are sure to come.

    I don't see an up side for you here but I respect your boldness to post it. Though I must question the wisdom of it.

  • Hayes

    To the ancient Israelite the whole earth is drastically different from what we understand today. They had no concept of China, Australia, Russia or the whole of the Western Hemisphere. Additionally, the creation accounts are heavily influenced by the great cultures that they interfaced with, Egyptian, Babylonian, Canaanite. There is a similar older account of creation, flood in all three of those civilizations. Even the story of Job who incidentally is NOT a Hebrew is found older cultures.

  • shaunking

    The upside for me is sparking a real conversation about how the Bible does not wilt under the pressure of science. The problem is that we have tried to make the Bible out to be saying stuff it's not really saying.

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  • http://www.thecitygoodhope.org P. Ngwolo

    Underneath this whole conversation, is a snake of unbelief that will wiggle its way to the greatest, most fantastic, and unbelievable miracle ever: a working class Galilean Jew who was sentenced to die in his century's electric chair, a condemned criminal who was given the the cruelest punishment for his alleged crime of treason, dies on a cross, is buried for 3 days, and then somehow in full body and spirit steps out of the grave, on top of this resurrection this death is suffficient to cover the sins of anyone who would believe in him that has ever existed on the planet earth. To believe that salvation comes through a death row inmate, I would argue is harder pill to swallow than anything written in Genesis. If you listen to the snake when he speaks about Genesis, you will eventually begin to listen to the snake when he speaks about the cross.

  • http://www.chasingphotography.com Chase

    Genesis 10:32

  • http://trinitydigitalmedia.com Paul Clifford

    I should have clarified that I mean that "it doesn't matter that much" means that I don't think it's a salvation issue. I think I've got tons of stuff wrong in my theology, etc. I agree that we shouldn't do things to keep people away from Christianity. Let the Holy Spirit do the work He does to clarify and guide people.

    By insisting too much in our favorite interpretation of minor old testament stuff, we do separate people. People are all that matter to God. Let's act that way.

  • shaunking

    Beautifully said. Here's the thing though – I am not disputing the story of Jesus or, for that matter Adam/Eve, Noah – just saying that science and history DO NOT rip them to shreds as much as we think they do if we view them differently.

    No unbelief here. I fully believe all that you said and more about Jesus.

    What is here is a willingness to not discount all that God was doing in the entire world just because the Bible does not mention it.

  • http://www.chasingphotography.com Chase

    I agree with Verdell. I think a lot people hear that the OT was a book of account and poetry and that the NT written in greek and hebrew words hold different meaning than todays western culture but they dont know that, if you know what Im saying.

  • again

    Genesis 10:18-19 The sons of Noah who came out of the boat with their father were Shem,Hem, and Japheth. From these three sons of Noah came all the people who now populate Earth.

    It states that those people who fill the Earth came from them after they exited the arc. So, if all people from Earth came from them then wasn't all humans killed off that wasn't on the Arc.

  • http://www.chasingphotography.com Chase

    I wish people had the audacity of King here, my faith is not shaken by merely questioning something. God surely is not.

    Those who attack based on a pastor questions a popular held belief makes me wonder if they know "why" they believe what it is that they believe.

  • http://www.bradbateslive.com Brad Bates

    Shaun – please don’t misunderstand my reply; I am not trying to prove you wrong, but simply interested in continuing the discussion if you will allow.

    As you encouraged I went back and read Genesis 4, 5 and 6.

    Genesis 4 describes God creating “lights in the expanse of the sky to separate day from the night”, and “God made two great lights – the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night.” Sounds to me that God created the sun and the moon, both of which would light the entire earth.

    Genesis 5 then describes God filling the waters with “living creatures” and the sky with “winged birds”. The author of Genesis (Moses) didn’t say that the fish and birds were
    limited to one area of the earth so I would assume that being commanded by God be “be
    fruitful and multiply” that they too spread throughout the entire world.

    Genesis 6 then begins by God creating and filling the land with “livestock” and “wild animals”. Again, the writing does not say that the creatures were limited to one area so I have to assume that they multiplied and spread throughout the entire earth.

    Then God created man and gave him power to “rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” However, while the scriptures don’t say that they man was limited, it also doesn’t say that they were anywhere other than where God put them – in the Garden.

    An analogy would be to refer to Abraham when God promised to make him the father of all nations. God did not just give the nations to Abraham and Abraham didn’t even see God’s promise fulfilled in his finite life. However, over thousands of years the descendants of Abraham moved and multiplied, filling the planet and thereby fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham in making him the father of all nations through his descendants.

    The same analogy can be used in relation to Adam, who while ruling over the creatures of God in a limited space eventually ruled “over all the earth”, not in his lifetime, but like Abraham, over thousands of years and through his descendents who today have fulfilled God’s promise of ruling over the earth. In God’s command Adam was instructed to “fill the earth and subdue it” and that he was given every “plant on the face of the whole earth”.

    Could this not be likened to the promise of nations given to Abraham, not to be fulfilled in his life but through his being fruitful and increasing in numbers?

    Any man can stand for something but it take a man with passion and faith to stand against something. I have enjoyed our discussion and look forward to meeting you at the Velocity Conference.

    Brad
    @bradbateslive

  • Hayes

    Ummm, that's a STORY

  • http://www.chasingphotography.com Chase

    Im reading through John and Jesus lost a ton of disciples when he brought up partaking of his "flesh" and "blood" and the Pharisees sought to kill him right there, so ya, Jesus shook up a bunch of peoples brains.

  • Hayes

    @PNgwolo – What about the "snake" that spoke in Genesis? Do you believe in talking serpents?

  • http://thecitygoodhope.org P. Ngwolo

    I think a lot of pastors suffer from not understanding biblical theology. By removing some of the "stories" you are actually removing pieces out of the unbroken story that the bible is trying to tell as a whole. Instead of quibbling about the details of this that and the other. We should ask the question of the bible and of God, not what, but WHY an account in the bible. Genesis was meant to be read as a linguist reads and intricate story, not as a historian who is trying to gather facts and figures. Every detail is in there to tell a story. Adam/Eve are in the book to help us see how God intended the world to be and how sin entered the world. The flood serves many purposes: to show us a type of the judgment to come, to shows us the grace that God has on people who probably do not deserve it, to show us a type of the Christ, "the ark", and to show us God's plan of redemption through the seed of of the family of God. To put one more living person on earth is to take away from the point that God is making, it is grace through faith in God that salvation will be given to men who are sinners. Let's strive to help our people understand the bible the way God has written it, rather than try to punch at granite by having these type of discussions between people who are supposed to unfolding God's word to the world.

  • MelissaShaffer

    Thanks for this. I think wrestling with scripture is sometimes as important as worshiping our Maker. It's invaluable, especially to young persons who might grow up thinking "inside the box" is the only way. Later these same persons may leave their faith, or have a crisis of faith. I was so reassured in college (a Christian college) when a prof gave us "permission" to consider 7 days as 7 million (billion, etc) days if we were so disposed, etc. Far better to foster an atmosphere of faith that's big enough for the big ideas and questions. Even the ones without definitive answers. God is big enough, and this is good.

  • Ramiro

    Well, for me, the problem is with the whole 'dating' thing. I don't think people have the correct dates. I've always been fascinated with history so I like diving in. And when I became a christian, I decided to look at biblical events and see where they line up in history.
    I found an interesting study (archeological) that mentioned the Egyptian ruler Imhotep could be Joseph the son of Jacob who was sold into slavery. The two characters are identical! And even Imhotep's mummy is 'missing' from Egypt (didn't the Israelis take Joseph when they left?). If this ruler happens to be Joseph, he lived around 2600 B.C.! As we know, Joseph was many generations removed from Noah.
    Having said that, ancient history is full of 'guesstimates' so we can't be for sure if the Egyptians were an established nation by 5500 B.C., making both biblical and world history to not be taken as concrete.

    As for God wiping wickedness away: he punished those of that time. It's the only time in the bible that we see Almighty God regretting having created humanity. He took it all out on the earth. He wanted to show Noah the consequences of evil. If He would've wanted to rid evil completely, He wouldn't destroy earth but, rather, Satan.
    Remember that God promised redemption and that wasn't going to happen by wiping evil completely (Noah was still human after all). =)

  • http://thecitygoodhope.org P. Ngwolo

    serpents can communicate, so it would not be a stretch. In fact we see in the new testament that serpent was actually satan. If he is not talking then what God says in Genesis 3:15 which is the most important prophecy in the Old testament and the one thread that the whole bible depends on would not be true or at least doubtful in that passage he states: And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring[a] and hers;
    he will crush[b] your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”

    If the snake is not taken literally then the first gospel that is preached is at least in doubt. If God's word about the seed of the woman crushing the serpent's head one day is in doubt, then the belief that we have that one day the Messiah will come and win this bloody battle with Satan on the cross is in doubt. Then as Paul would say in 1 Corinthians 15 our faith is useless. We should find another god to talk about and live for.

  • Sharon

    Some of the "challenges" with the theory of Adam and Eve not being the first people are these:

    1) Even though the Bible doesn't explicitly say the phrase "Adam and Eve were the first man and woman", the context surrounding their entrance on the scene is the creation of the entire world. Although the Bible does span many different period, the chronology of it chapter by chapter is usually pretty consistent. It seems odd to go from, "First created ocean, first created land, first created fish in the sea…" and then randomly jump to "100th created man and woman."

    2) Sin entered the world through one man- Adam (and Eve). The Bibile DOES say this. If Adam weren't the first man, then theoretically there were other men and women around at t the time of the fall who *didn't* commit the first sin. The Bible also teaches that our sinful nature is "inherited", that is passed down through procreation, so this rules out Adam's sin causing any unnamed others who might have been alive to "catch" sin. Since we "inherit" sin through Adam, if there was some other guy around named Joe who didn't commit sin, wouldn't there be a race of people who didn't have a natural sin nature?

    3) Most people question whether they were the first man and woman because Cain took a wife from "somewhere" and feared that "other men" might have killed him when he was sent away after killing Abel. However, we know that Adam lived to be 900- he had many other children who probably spread out over the land. Cain most likely took a sister as a wife (since this was before the law given during the time of Moses forbidding sister-brother marriages) and the other men he feared were most likely brothers/nephews. The familial concept of "sisterhood" and "brotherhood" may not have been established yet, so the idea of being afraid of your relatives wasn't that outlandish (especially when you consider that Cain killed his own brother!)

    Also, the Bible doesn't say that Adam and Even *weren't* the first man and woman- so that could be an "absence theory" argument. :-)

  • http://Website Verdell

    the reason why this matters is because there is something that will walk away from an awesome life with Christ because of the answers that WE give them. the issue of Christ isn’t on trial here. but the reality is that we have too many times jammed words in the margins of scripture to make our own lives easier, to supply answers for the questions that don’t have easy answers. i think it’s amazing that the MOST IMPORTANT THING has the easiest answer: Jesus. however, to dismiss issues such as this as not vital violates the god-given right to think, process, and reason. Those traits aren’t ant-christian. In fact, they are what make us like God (Romans 12:1-2).

  • Sharon

    As for the flood not being world-wide thing, the problem with assuming that it wasn't a world encompassing flood due to timing issues is that almost *NO* scientists can agree on a timeline for the Bible. For instance, the gap theory that takes place in Genesis is unmarked/unmeasured time as is the point in the Bible right after the discussion of Noah when it says (Genesis 9:18-19):

    18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah: and of these was the whole earth overspread.

    and then after delineating Noah's lineage in Genesis 10:32:

    32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and of these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.

    After this point, we don't know how much time passed between Noah landing and the tower of Babel. There are certain "hints" as to when these events took place, but they're based on VERY general pinpoints in time. (Carbon dating can be off as much as tens of thousands of years for instance- there's no real way to "know" when a carbon atom breaks down and you'd have to assume certain environmental factors to be the same in ever single circumstance- so no room for atmospheric or pressure differences).

  • Sharon

    Uh, yeah! If God is as awesome as we believe He is, Parrots can "talk" and Godzilla can use sign language. Not too much of a stretch! I believe he can give wisdom to animals so they they can talk, snakes (and donkey's) alike. Similarly, there was a king that He caused to have the sense of an animal due to his disobedience. With God these things are possible- He wouldn't be much of a God if it weren't.

  • pastorcarlo

    My point is that it takes just as much faith to believe the scientist who told us that a certain civilization existed 4,000 years ago as it does to believe the biblical account. How do we know? How can we prove? We can't. I'm choosing to put my faith in the biblical account. Biblical faith isn't logical or illogical, it's theological.

  • Sharon

    I don't know if anyone who had genuine faith would walk away simply because of something said here. Faith *persists* in finding out the truth- that is, the person would have to had come to that conclusion over a far longer period of time and have come under many attacks of doubt to have their "faith" eradicated so easily. I do know that we might not be helpful necessarily, but no one's going to walk away all of a sudden because of what's read here.

    1 John 2:19
    They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

  • pngwolo

    The bible was not meant to be read piecemeal like 66 actual books. It has a story line and each book has a place in the storyline of how the Messiah came. Who would go to page 4 of a love letter and start breaking down sentence 4 that says ("I hate you"), when that whole paragraph was talking about mixed feelings ("I love you so much I wish I could say "I hate you"). In this thread it has been pointed out time and time again that reading Genesis 1 out of context unravels the the story in Genesis and in the whole bible. I am not saying don't ask questions, I ask them all the time. I am saying do adequate exegetical observation before you come to a conclusion as to what a text means. You have to know what it SAYS, before you know what it means. You have to understand the CONTEXT, before you can adequately give the meaning to the TEXT. To do otherwise would be the opposite of the scholarly, pastorly, intellectual, western, thing that you are trying to do.

  • pastorcarlo

    Yeah. I'm saying I believe Eve was their mother. It takes just as much faith to believe a history book is accurate in it's timelines and dates as it does to believe the biblical account as is. I simply chose to put my faith on the Gen. account. Again, I still think both of our views end up in the same place. The God of the Bible is real.

    Thanks for starting such a great discussion!

  • shaunking

    Don't know you but you are one smart dude.

    I'm just talking and sparking conversation and you are the one that is making the scholarly, pastorly, intellectual western presentation.

    Go for it!

  • Verdell

    i'm sorry. i should have been more clear. i meant to say that the people that don't believe in christ would walk away from a chance to know him based on our answers to topics like this. i agree with you in the fact that anyone who truly believes in christ wouldn't be too shaken by this.

  • Verdell

    I think your comments above assume that people who have a different opinion haven't performed adequate exegetical observation. That's not the case. This is one of those things were you can do your due diligence and arrive at difference answers. You may disagree with them, but it doesn't mean they didn't "do the right stuff."

  • pngwolo

    Some good sources on old testament thought are Charles Spurgeon (dead white guy) and John Sailhammer (living white guy) and Graeme Goldsworthy (another white guy)…Lol. Great conversation by the way. I'm a little to passionate at times. Hopefully, I get that checked out.

  • Meghan Matt

    The Bible DOES say Noah and his family were the only ones spared and that the flood washed over all the earth. I'm a little disheartened that someone with your influence is speaking on something so divisional.

  • Sharon

    Ah- gotcha. ;-)

  • shaunking

    Hey Meghan,

    The purpose of this conversation is not to be divisive, it is to bring people together for a discussion. I do that all of the time. On this blog I spark conversations with a diverse set of people regularly and will do so many more times.

  • pngwolo

    No, I can tell by this particular thread that at least Genesis 10, was not taken into consideration by at least one person. In any event, no persuasive argument can be tendered without assumptions. Only newborn babies have no assumptions and can't make arguments. Although after crying a little, they begin to make assumptions about people (somebody will answer if they cry), and then they become even better arguers….lol

  • mcc

    Sharon, your points about original sin are very important. There very well could have been humans at the same time of Adam and Eve. If that was the case, then the NT doctrine of sin through Adam is flawed at best, completely wrong at worst. I am certainly open to this discussion…I love theology. But we have to remember that systematic Christian theology is intricately wired…everything is connected. Romans 5:12-21 is the core of orthodox Christian theology. If sin was present with other humans being in existence, then God had to choose that Adam and Eve would be the representation of sinfulness. Or, humans did not sin before Adam and Eve. Could the latter be true?

  • pngwolo

    I guess if my assumption is wrong then call me out on it. But you made the same assumption that assuming everybody on this thread did the work. So I guess we are both assuming, if we do a poll maybe we will find out whose assumption was right! lol.

  • pngwolo

    I believe that you do. when you are in houston, texas let's connect. im a youth/young adult pastor in the middle of third ward, texas and im used to the dialogue about lots of these things. Coincidentally, i am teaching a series out of Genesis right now.

  • pngwolo

    I think there was a guy named augustine that believed in original sin. Oh and some guy named Irenaeus. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_sin

  • Hayes

    Brad – how would you reconcile your thesis with fossil records that predate the Biblical chronology by HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS?

  • Hayes

    The "guesstimates" of science accurately predict where the planets are going to be 5,000 years from now. Such accuracy in contrast to the biblical narrative with all of its translations and transliterations seem stark in comparison.

  • Hayes

    Funny! Some might say that any Deity that needed the uterus of a 14 year old Hebrew girl in order to make a minor Deity isn't much of Supreme power after all…..but then again, if someone wants to believe that, they are certainly welcome

  • pngwolo

    I am the most conservative person you will ever meet as it relates to the bible. so I love it and think it is a great book and is true in every way. However, people are saved by the Jesus of the bible. And american evangelical churches don't do a good job in the proclamation of the gospel. That is why people are not converted. People who are under the sway of the devil will not be converted by our arguments, they may pave the way, but they are converted when they believe in the gospel. If we do a better job of talking about the big themes of the bible creation, fall, redemption, restoration and also how Jesus saves people we will see a revival unparalleled in American history. The internet is the new Romans Road. If we could use this tool to preach the truth of a living savior and how the bible fits into the context of that story. People.will.be.saved. Romans 1:16.

  • Hayes

    Well then you have a conundrum, the synoptics give different genealogies from Adam to Jesus and they can't be reconciled, so either one of them is incorrect, both are incorrect or contemporary literalism is not the intent.

  • http://www.bradbateslive.com Brad Bates

    Hayes:

    Are they human? Animal? Rock? I agree that geologist have proof of material having existed for millions of years. My post is not debating time or that animals were on earth before humans. I believe I pointed on in my post that in Genesis 4 and 5 it states that God created animals (fish, birds, livestock, etc.) and told them to be fruitful and multiply BEFORE He created man. So, I'm also curious how your argument for fossils that predate "HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS" before man has anything to do with mine that isn't an argument for animals or material – but man.

  • pngwolo

    How do you make a leap from the fact that they genealogies are not facially the same to contemporary literalism is not the intent. Anyone who has read enough books, no that poetry is not read the same as a historical account, as a parable, as a admonishment, or a lawbook. My argument as I have said in so many other ways on this thread, is that the bible should be primarily read as theological account. It is a story about God's plan for redemption that is fulfilled in his Son Jesus. It has history, but it is not primarily historical. It has law, but it is not primarily legal, it has geneology, but it is not primarily genealogy. It has parable, but it is not primarily hyperbole. Great example: Leviticus is written to the people of Israel. In parts of Numbers the writer is talking about the people who the law is given to. The book is not primarily legal, because we are reading about what God has given to Moses and the people of Israel on tablets of stone. We are not reading the stones, we are reading the stories about the stone. So the question should be asked why would what God gave to Moses be included in the bible. Someone who thought it was legal would get caught up in the details of what God is asking them to do first. But someone who was looking at it in the right lens would see that (1) the people of God were given a law that they could not fulfill (2) and that hopefully later on in the story God would present a remedy to the condemnation attached to anybody who is assigned the obedience of this law. Do we get the details of where the stones are now, and the molecular composition of the stone? No. Why? Because its not a scientific or historical work, it is a theological work. The main actor is God.

  • Hayes

    Lets follow PNgwolo's instruction to read the text in context:

    1) Hebrew is no where close to being the first written language, not even Paleo-Hebrew! Long before we know Sumerians were writing in Cuniform, and they have a written creation account that closely parallels Egypts. BOTH of which pre-date the Mosaic account. Then again, seeing that Moses was educated in the Egyptian mystery schools, he would have already heard them. Kind of like why the ark of the tablets looks like the Pharaonic benchs found in Egyptian tombs.

    2) The Hebrew word you translate as SIN is very different.

    3) The Hebrew word for Man is Adam = גבר
    Woman is Eva = אישה
    Relation translates to Greek as "rib" – צלע

  • Hayes

    It is NOT the job of the scientist to "agree" on a timeline for the Bible, so that statement is very problematic. You certainly don't want to build a defense on that!

    The Pyramids in Egypt that are OLDER than the alleged date of the flood were never covered in water much less destroyed!

    Neither was Stonehenge!

    EVEN THE ASTROPHYSICIST AT THE VATICAN WILL ADMIT TO THAT.

  • amikk

    If you consider those 2 verses to be merely a STORY, why is it that you accept the rest of the Bible as truth?

  • http://twitter.com/wjking @wjking

    While I appreciate this comment, Crossan and the Jesus Seminar would have us believe anything outside the bounds of logic probably didn't happen. They discount the miracles and healings of Jesus. While I am willing to talk about the literal nature of some OT stories, the NT in my personal faith is not something to call into question. The historical Jesus and the Jesus of the NT are one in the same to me.

  • Hayes

    The essential question raised by Shaun was pointed to make an inquiry about the "literal" interpretation of the accounts as listed in Genesis. There are a significant number of less than fully informed individuals that make the claim that the account is a historicity of what happened. Such views are off the mark. You have argued my point all along, they wrote metaphorically, we read it literally and lose the actuality.

    It is not my belief that the 66 books as organized into the canon we refer to here, is the perfect result of a divine plan, but a most imperfect work that we are still struggling with. Even the name Israel is a Theoforic which means a people "struggling with God".

  • Hayes

    I never made the claim I "accept the rest" – a compilation of manuscripts redacted by hundreds of contributors over a thousand years, I appreciate the "essence" of the text, but I in NO way find it inerrant.

  • http://lizburr.com Liz

    Seven 24-four hour days? Probably not. Our days are defined by the rising of the sun but God didn't even make the sun until day 4. So perhaps He is on a different time clock than us. The Bible didn't say a day = 24 hours.

    You might want to check out the book, The Science of God. The author uses science and math to break down how the 7 days of Genesis played out over millions of years in our time…and in short, science and Genesis actually confirm each other.

    There's lots of fancy math and physics equations in the book, so it may go over a lot of people's heads. But if you're a Christian who is also well versed in advanced physics and calculus, you'll be amazed at what is laid out in this book. I may be biased because the author and I both went to MIT but it's pretty solid stuff. I've been meaning to circle back to it, as I haven't read it since my freshman year.

    Based on what this book did for me, I honestly have second thoughts about questioning things in the Bible that do not "make sense" to most people in our society. Had I not gone to MIT and been in the throws of my calculus and physics (and bio and chem) core classes, this book would not have had such an impact on me. Meaning, sure I could just take his word for it in his book, but I happened to be learning the same mathematical principles in school so it felt doubly impactful for me.

    At the end of the day, whose to say there isn't some other scientific explanation or information about the flood and Noah? Just because I or anyone else in my circle of knowledge or thought doesn't have an explanation doesn't mean the Bible is wrong in how information is expressed. I think scientists and theologians don't know enough about the other's terrain to confirm or discredit each other enough.

  • Meghan Matt

    but you are questioning the literal translation of the Bible. you either believe the Bible or you dont… we arent supposed to understand every aspect of every story of the Bible. can you explain how God made the sun literally stand still for Joshua? or how a wall in Jericho fell because people marched around it? or how people were raised from the dead? i cant… and i know it cant be proven by any logic or discussion… but i believe it because the Bible says it. and i think it's dangerous to start allowing people to interpret scripture however they think it works for their little finite brains…

  • pngwolo

    but the author or the compiler as you would call Him made intelligent decisions as to the order and choice of the materials he decided to use. His intent was theological and was based in history. It would be hard to say that you agree with some and not all. It's like saying I don't eat pig, but I eat chitterlings. If you eat chitterlings you eat pig. You may have not have known you are eating pig, and that's fair because although some people don't know what they are reading. Jesus helps to put this materials when he tells the disciples in Luke 24 and about 53 that the old testament speaks of Him.

  • Hayes

    I think there is room for quite a bit of the "illogical" in that debate. The essence of the Jesus Seminar was not to rule out miracles or healings, but to examine and distinguish early sources from later tradition. The NT often takes a high Christology which is evidence of orthodoxy more than anything else. I think Crossan, Sheehan or Borg would say the Yeshua of history and the Christ of faith are and must be distinct.

    Good points though!

  • ReneZepeda

    I so want an answer for this one… :)

  • ReneZepeda

    how do we interpret this ones ?
    Romans 5

    12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—
    13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.
    Do we now say that those who lived before adam did not die?

  • ReneZepeda

    i totally agree with navets …

  • Aaron Alexander

    I'm a Christian, and I believe in evolution (micro), the big bang, etc. I feel no tension between academia & faith – because God is at the root and beginning of all of these things for me. God spoke, and the world was created. Animals & humans have evolved over millions of years, but that does not detract away from my faith in God. I believe in Jesus as the son of God sent to save humanity.

    It's possible. So often we throw out science b/c we think it can't coexist with faith, but I argue otherwise.

  • Hayes

    Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plain, the Pyramids along the Nile and the Ziggaruts on the plains of Mesopotamia as well as a whole host of other archeological finds that are in tact were NOT destroyed.

    And the Epic of Gilgamesh has a flood story that is much much older than Genesis, this preexistent account is the basis of the Noah story.

  • msnan

    Shaun,
    I am only speaking because I have recently gotten wrongly swept away in judiaism. The Hebrew roots of our faith are absolutely astounding and we rob ourselves of its fullness by not studying them. That being said, if your professor was truely devout, there is little doubt that he is steeped in Talmud. These jewish teachings add mens opinion to the Word of God. When we add our opinion to the Scripture it can be very dangerous.(Rev. 22:19)

    Mr. Hayes,
    Please believe me that I am not being ugly, but Torah and Tanakh are not interchangable.
    Torah refers to the books of Moses. Tanakh is a word composed from three otherHebrew words,(Torah, Neveim, and Ketuvim) which mean Law, Prophets, and Writings respectively. Genesis is B'resheet in Hebrew which means 'beginnings'.

    I say all of this with the upmost respect to you both.
    Blessings

  • Sharon

    Hayes, your reliance on scientific timelines require much more faith than believing in the inerrancy of the Bible. The "process" of dating things has been largely disputed for years; carbon dating, radiometric dating, archealogical mapping- it's all conjecture at best.

  • Sharon

    You're also forgetting that God moves in and out of time- and if there are two HUGE undatable/unmeasurable periods in the Bible, how can you say the flood happened at this date or that date? We don't know HOW long Adam and Eve were in the garden or how long the period between Noah's landing and the Tower of Babel was.

    Geological dating is retarded as well- think about it. God created the world in 7 days (because He's awesome and can "speed up" natural processes that would take millions of years at this point in time). So if He raised the Pangea up out of the ocean in one hour and then caused the earth plates to split apart and the waters to fill the gaps, it would look to US in our scientific lense that it took "millions" of years to do that because the observable movement of the earth's crust right NOW is about one inch per year. But that's not taking into account the fact that God is powerful enough to move it one thousand MILES in ten seconds. He's not subject to physical laws.

  • Sharon

    Mcc, that's a good point. I suppose if Adam and Eve had people before them, wouldn't those people have had kids their age? There would have been other people who didn't sin around them at the same time. And then those "sinless" people had kids- how could they "inherit" sins from another "family line"? (Again, I'm postulating that sin is passed down/inherited because the Bible says it's passed down through Adam's seed, that is his lineage).

  • Sharon

    There's also the question of how woman was created- if there were other people when Adam was created, why did God need to create a woman for him? Were there not other women around already that were suitable? If there were, there'd be no need to put him to sleep to create one? Or if there were already women around, why weren't they "suitable" for him? (Genesis 2:18-24) Notice that AFTER God said, "It's not good for the man to be alone." He paraded all of the ANIMALS in front of Adam and said there wasn't a helper suitable for him. If that's the case, why didn't He parade other WOMEN in front of him if there were already some available? I don't think there was any!

  • Sharon

    1) I don't recall saying that Hebrew was the first language- that's the most "recent" language that the Word was written in at the time of its transcription. If I write history, I'm going to write it in English. That doesn't mean the history didn't happen because the subjects of the historical recounting were not English speaking. Also, just beacuse someone else's account of the "creation" of the world came before Moses's doesn't mean it was more accurrate or even true. The Greek mythological accounts of creation perhaps came onto the scene before the Native American's accounts of creation- doesn't make one more true than the other.

    2) I've not been made aware of an alternate meaning of "sin"- and don't forget that the Bible was also written in Roman, Aramaic, and Greek. If the Roman and the Aramaic meaning of "sin" are the same, isn't it healthy to assume that the usage of the Hebrew in this instance is the same even IF it had a secondary meaning?

    3) That's interesting- does that discount whether or not Gensis was referring to the "first" man or woman?

  • mcc

    Shaun, great discussion! But as you process all of this, think long and hard that if there were humans in other parts of the world with Adam and Eve (which could be the case), you (or systematic theologians) will have to SUCCINCTLY and EFFECTIVELY explain Romans 5:12-21. When you get into the long-standing, orthodox understanding of the purpose of Jesus (the redeemer of sin…don't think this is a debatable position, at least in my opinion, as all of the NT points to this), then there are many more questions to consider. No one has been able to comment on Sharon's views on sin as related to Adam. I'm a Candler alum, and I'm with you in fusing faith and science. Just think the question is deeper than a timeline for humanity that may or may not be right.

  • http://Website DRock

    Titus 3:9-11
    9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

    I would also plead all readers to go read Colossians 2:8.

    Then pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

  • Johnnie

    wow. ummm, hmmm. This is the problem we Christians get into when we discount the Holy Spirit and feel that it's our place to draw people to Christ. The next thing people will say is that Mary wasn't "really" a virgin, the Bible writers meant it figuratively because really how can a virgin give birth, that's not scientifically possible. See the point. you can do that all day long. God operates within and without the laws of Science. He created Science, Miracles are acts done by bending science. It's impossible to heal a blind man, but Jesus restored eye sight by reconnecting damaged tissue, things we are trying to do today through science. The Bible says Jesus said, "Lift me up and I will draw all men unto me" Who cares (harsh I know) if more than half the world is put off to Christianity because of Adam and Eve, Noah, Mary etc. It's our place to preach Christ in Love, the Holy Spirit will draw them.

    Oh, and the Bible also says that most will find the preaching of the Gospel foolishness, this is because of their heart. Stop trying to be people's best friend, or favorite Pastor, or wainting everyone to like you, sometimes the truth hurts, sometimes Christianity makes no sense because you have to see it through the eyes of Faith, sometimes people are going to reject you because of Christ.

  • http://starvosaof.wordpress.com Starvos

    I am very much a follower of The Way, not necessarily Christianity. I wholeheartedly do not believe that Genesis 2 is a historical account of an actual event. I do in fact believe that God is the creator of all including science. In fact God is the greatest scientist. I have been a theistic evolutionist since about age 15 (almost half my life). We could examine the the similarities of pig and human fetuses at certain stages of we could examine our relationship to primates, esp chimps. Moreover we could look at our own genetic adaptations to given climates over time.

    I believe that the story is meant to be just that, a story. It is the attempt of a primitive people to explain the world around them. This story is no more fact than the explanation of why serpents (not the Devil/Satan/Lucifer) crawl on their bellies. We cannot accept the story hook line and sinker without looking at the story that immediately precedes it. Genesis 1 is in a completely different order and implies that God created man and woman simultaneously. I say this to say that we must look at the context. Yet I don't believe either story is meant to be literal. They both serve as a reminder that God is indeed the creator and catalyst of all. My belief does not discredit my God but rather makes me realizes how intricately and perfect God's plan is.

    I also don't believe that I should accept the story based upon the concept of original sin as this has basis in Paul's theology and Christology as well as Augustine's and not in orthodox Jewish beliefs, were there is no "original sin". We often get so caught up in being "saved," that we lose sight of the selfishness that leads to sin. Jesus was very much focused on how we treated people here and not simply on storing treasures in heaven or being saved.

    I have studied religion in every facet of my education in some form from kindergarten to seminary/grad school. My knowledge has at times threatened to be the enemy of my faith, but has ultimately led me closer to God through the ability to question and seek beyond what I was taught. Science/academia do not have to be the enemy of faith. Instead they work together to bring a better finite understanding of an infinite God. Much more to say, but I'll stop here for now.

    Thanks for opening the discussion bro.

  • Steve B.

    Shaun, I want to give you props for encouraging people to think about their faith 24/7 through this blog and other social media. I find too many people think they are true Christians by just going to church once a week.

    Next, thank you for opening up this discussion. The biggest issue I have with the Christian faith is people taking the Bible literally. The Bible was written by man and translated numerous times, who is to say which is the accurate version? Furthermore, in every culture across the world, elders pass along morals through stories and songs that have been passed down through the generations. Are you telling me that this is the one story that is 100% literally correct?

    I won’t claim to be an expert; in fact I was pushed away at a young age due to a literal reading of the Bible (Prov. 13:24). However that may be a blessing in disguise as it has opened my eyes to multiple other faiths and shown me the true reasons for religion, guiding ourselves in living good, moral lives in service to others.

    To me, the story of Adam and Eve tries to show us that we are all alike regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, by telling us that we all come from the same metaphorical ancestors while at the same time showing us what we can achieve (the Garden of Eden) by resisting the temptations of our life (greed, lust, etc.) and living unselfishly in the service of others.

  • MelissaShaffer

    Can you peruse the comments and indicate what you find to be quarrelsome? I am a fellow follower of Christ and I not find this to be a hollow or deceptive exercise. This is not a divisive quarrel. It is a conversation, for some, a much needed one. Are we not free to wrestle with the big questions? I believe the Author of our faith is not offended by our wonder at creation. God bless.

  • shaunking

    Great insightful thoughts brother. For real.

  • http://SwordOfGoliath.blogspot.com LaVonne

    I believe that too many people think that they "know all" and end up restricting themselves (they can't restrict God). The Bible itself tells us that there are great things about God and creation that we don't know and can't even imagine even if we tried. Too many Christians spend too much time arguing about what they don't believe, and they lose many souls in the process when they try to pass of their beliefs as the only right one.

  • TB_BT

    " i think it's dangerous to start allowing people to interpret scripture however they think it works for their little finite brains"

    ~~ But isn't that what denominations have done for years? Is that the basic premise behind different groups of "Christians?"

  • Sharon

    Again, the dating processes used in most science circle are extremely flawed. And AGAIN there are two large undatable/unmeasurable periods of time in the Bible- there's no way to date the Bible pre-Tower of Babel.

    If you think it can be dated tell me this:

    1) How long were Adam and Eve in the Garden before they ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and fell? Two days? Two years? Two eons? Two million years?

    2) How long was the period between the end of Noah's genealogy outlined in Genesis 10 and the creation of the Tower of Babel?

    The presence of other great flood stories in other cultures doesn't mean that these cultures were around at the time of the flood. Just as most religions have their own creation stories, their own origin of man/evil stories, there are plenty of other stories that *sort of * resemble the ones out of our Bible. Even if you could accurately date the stories, you can't date when the real flood actually happened in the Bible. So to say one came before the other is not a truly positive statement.

  • Sharon

    I would just like ask why people are prone to accept the theories and findings of scientists as gospel truth? I BEG OF EVERYONE ONE HERE: Please, please, please ASK MORE QUESTIONS and don't just assume that every scientific process in infallible. There are numerous studies and documentaries about the flawed technique of most of our "dating" processing. Radiometric, carbon, geological mapping, archeological relative dating: they're all conjecture at best. Carbon dating is almost embarrassing it's so inaccurate and prone to forcing scientists to make VERY gross assumptions about timing.

    Let's say you have an apple and I ask you to tell me how long it would take to decompose. You would have to ask:

    1) What kind of apple is it? 2) What is the size of the apple? 3)What is the temperature of the room/matter surrounding the apple? 4) What is the moisture level around the apple? 5) Does the apple ever get moved? 6) Is the apple at a constant rate of moisture/temperature/movement? 6) Is there anything else touching the apple? If so, ask the same 6 questions of those other items and figure out how that would affect the first apple.

    Ladies and gentleman, I give you carbon dating. Assuming that a particular element will break down at the same rate under CONSTANT, unchanging circumstances, you can say that this element has a half life of 10,000 years. So if the state of this element is in its broken down phase, the artifact that contains it must be at least 10K years old, right? WRONG! The problem is: FEW OF THOSE THINGS EVER STAY CONSTANT!!! Rain, wind, soil, other organic materials can either speed up or slow down the breakdown of elements DRASTICALLY. By the time we look at them we would have to ASSUME that the element stayed in the same circumstances for 10,000 years for it to be 10,000 years old.

  • Sharon

    Proverbs 13:24 says, "Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him." (ESV)

    I take it you don't believe in corporal discipline for children from time to time, then?

  • Robert Hagedorn

    But what is the tree of knowledge of good and evil? Do a search: The First Scandal.

  • http://Website DRock

    Shaun, if you are so open for discussing various viewpoints on this subject, why was one of the most revealing arguments deleted?

  • Shironda

    Just two questions…

    1) Regarding Genesis 2:8 when it says "And the Lord planted a Garden eastward in Eden and there He put the man whom He had formed" – Why would it say "THE man whom He had formed" instead of "A man" or "one of the men"?This would only make sense if He only formed one man. And if He only formed one, that would mean Adam was the first. Otherwise, where did the others come from?

    2) When God said in Genesis 2:18 "it is not good that the man should be alone," does that not mean Adam was alone? Why would God created people all over the world, but only put one in the garden? And if He created people all over, why not just bring one to the garden instead of creating Eve from a rib? Or, since we "need" to reconcile scripture and science, how do you create a woman from a rib? If this is contrary to science, does that mean there has to be a logical explanation for it?

    Not everything is going to make sense. That's just the way it is. As Jesus said, "he who has ears to hear, let him hear."

  • http://dustn.ws/p05td Dustin W. Stout

    I found this comment to be the most compelling and relevant –

    @DRock:

    It is exactly what the Devil used in the very book in which is in discussion. When the serpent first deceived mankind, it was not by turning them against God, but just slightly bending what God said.

    Genesis 3 tells the story of how the serpent only needed to get them to question, "Did God REALLY say that?" The serpents deception was so subtle, so crafty, so appealing that even those who WALKED with God in the garden were led astray.

    Are we free to wrestle with big questions? ABSOLUTELY. I could not agree with you more. I believe, as you do, that the author of our faith is delighted whenever we draw nearer to him. Is this conversation quarrelsome, well maybe it isn't a hostile quarrel, but even a polite and civilized quarrel is a quarrel nonetheless.

    You'll notice that the majority of those in agreement with Shaun are those who don't believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God. The devil's deception is in full swing. The same people who would question the hundreds of contributors, thousands of years, and various translations of the Bible would never add such scrutiny to the works of their academic-based history books, even though the contributors are more numerous, encompassing greater lengths of time, less original transcripts, and even documented corruption and errors.

    I believe, as you do, that the Bible will always stand up to whatever is thrown at it. The scriptures I mentioned are all too relevant for this discussion, I believe, because this conversation is begging the question "Based on the basic principles of this world, how can we make the Bible make 'more sense'." (See Colossians 2:8 again)

    Despite Shaun's effort to bring people to a higher understanding of God, I think he's only gained favor for himself in the eyes of those who have already decided God's word isn't the ultimate authority. The majority of those agreeing with him agree to not only the Bible being flawed, irrelevant, or they just flat out don't care what it has to say. However, I do believe that Shaun has found a great way of drawing attention to his blog, and all the lovely paid ads on the side. All these hits will look great for his investors and advertisers.

  • DWTuggle

    Has anybody ever heard of the Urantia Book, that actually explains all this?

  • Radpet

    Why did Adam name the woman Eve? The name Eve means mother of all, not mother of some.

  • Caleb

    Shaun,

    I've admired your ministry, but have to part ways with you on this one. With your views, you run into too many Biblical issues.

    1. If the world wasn't created in 6 days, why does it say throughout the Torah (and OT) that the world was created in 6 days…not just in Genesis

    2. Scripture seems to make it very clear that it was a global flood… the burden of proof is on you to prove that it was local, not worldwide

    3. When you say that you want science, the Bible, and history to work together, it seems as if they are on equal playing fields. How about we put the BIble first, and let science and history come in underneath it

    Sorry man, but I think you have a lot more research to do… in the Bible, that is

  • Bobby

    1) If a Christian believes in macro-evolution as the process by which God "created" then they must believe that Jesus Christ is in the lineage of an ape!
    2) What did the “covenant rainbow” mean when God gave the accompanying promise to Noah and man? If it was a promise not destroy man again in a “local” flood God lied to us!
    3) Kind of dumb for Noah to spend over 100 years building a huge Ark in the middle of the desert for a local flood!
    4) God should have just told Noah to go to the nearest mountain and await the “local” flood event Shaun proposes.

    When man begins to question the Bible and authenticity he goes down the same road that Adam and Eve began introducing death to all men. The Bible may not be a science book but it is a first person account of the beginning of the cosmos from the only One who was there. <” ))>><

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