Category Archives: Genealogical Adam
In the last post I laid out a case for a pervasive contrast between two kinds of temple architecture in Scripture, arising from what I take to be a deliberate contrast between the sacred space described in Genesis 1:1-2:3 and that of Genesis 2:4ff. Here’s a further example – a textual problem that, to me, makes most sense when seen as part of a deliberate set of contrasts.
This is a restatement, and reminder, of one of the significant internal reasons to regard the narrative of Genesis 1 and 2 as mainly sequential, rather than parallel – the significant changes in temple imagery between the two. It relates to my understanding of the Bible’s overarching metanarrative as Yaheweh’s desire to fill the whole cosmos with his glory, and to do it through his earthly creation, mankind. Since this is not necessarily a familiar view, I need to keep bringing it to attention. In so doing I’ll add some new thoughts, which I hope will clarify it.
I’ve been suggesting in recent months that the Bible is usefully seen as a story in three parts, the very first of which is about the purpose of God to bring in a new spiritual creation, in which his glory would fill all things, through Adam – a purpose which proved abortive because of the temptation of the serpent and the sin of Adam and Eve. If that’s a reasonable assessment, then the whole of the history of Adam’s race (that is, us) has been a story of exile from a world, and a role, that was glimpsed and then lost, and not simply a story of how natural mankind … Continue reading
When I was doing a home Bible study on the Genesis creation narrative a few weeks ago, one guy asked me, “Who was there to write it down?” I’d not yet explained how to approach the text, so it was a good introduction to that, as well as a good question, and you’ll guess the answer wasn’t “God saw the whole thing,” although he certainly did.
My maternal great-grandmother was Emma Tyler, who came from a non-conformist family (Brethren, Primitive Methodists or Independents to a woman) that I can trace right back to the sixteenth century in Braintree, Essex. There it was, coincidentally, that I ran a back pain clinic for the last two years of my medical career. Many of the Tylers were bakers and confectioners in the nineteenth century, and any older readers who knew Cambridge “back in the day” may remember that the best bread came from Tylers bakery opposite St Johns College. That was started by my 3X great-grandfather’s brother English Tyler in around 1840.
I was reminded to return to the subject of “universals” by a comment on an old post by a new subscriber, Mark Chenoweth. It seems worth raising again, given the new degree of rapprochement between some TEs, IDists and OECs, characterised by the forthcoming Dabar Conference in Illinois. And also by the fact that I recently cut my hand by falling out of our field into the lane whilst chasing a squirrel… don’t ask.
Does Genesis 2 follow from Genesis 1, that is? One of the objections made to the Genealogical Adam hypothesis is that the idea that the story of the Garden follows sequentially from the Genesis 1 Creation account is wrong, and that they are actually different accounts of the same events.
Some things in the Bible are probably unknowable from our current state of knowledge – and conceivably, our future state, too. This may seem hard to accept since the Scriptures are God’s revelation to us, but then nature is also God’s revelation, and the limits of our comprehension themselves remind us to be humble before God. We see through a glass, darkly, but tend to forget that in our pride.
Basil of Caesarea is not only one of the Fathers I cite in God’s Good Earth as a supporter of the teaching of an unfallen creation, but he wrote a complete series of homilies on the days of creation, expounding Scripture in conjunction with the science of his time. In other words, he was both deeply interested in, and a great admirer of, the creation. So I was struck by reading an apparent anomaly in his other writings yesterday:
One of my current research aims is to demonstrate that the Bible itself has an awareness of other people existing in the world at the time of Adam, despite being overtly silent about them. I approached this from the point of view of the “compositional strategy” of the Torah and Tanach here, and from the point of view of hints about people other than Adam in the text here.