Adam and Eve? That's just mythology, says Pell

Isn’t that heresy to say that Adam and Eve weren’t real?

*]The Doctrine of Revelation Regarding Man or "Christian Anthropology"

*] The first man was created by God. (De fide.)
*] The whole human race stems from one single human pair. (Sent. certa.)
*] Man consists of two essential parts–a material body and a spiritual soul. (De fide.)
*] The rational soul is per se the essential form of the body. (De fide.)
*] Every human being possesses an individual soul. (De fide.)
*] Every individual soul was immediately created out of nothing by God. (Sent. Certa.)
*] A creature has the capacity to receive supernatural gifts. (Sent. communis.)
*] The Supernatural presupposes Nature. (Sent communis.)
*] God has conferred on man a supernatural Destiny. (De fide.)
*] Our first parents, before the Fall, were endowed with sanctifying grace. (De fide.)
*] The donum rectitudinis or integritatis in the narrower sense, i.e., the freedom from irregular desire. (Sent. fidei proxima.)
*] The donum immortalitatis, i.e.,bodily immortality. (De fide.)
*] The donum impassibilitatis, i.e., the freedom from suffering. (Sent. communis.)
*] The donum scientiae, i.e., a knowledge of natural and supernatural truths infused by God. (Sent. communis.)
*] Adam received sanctifying grace not merely for himself, but for all his posterity. (Sent. certa.)
*] Our first parents in paradise sinned grievously through transgression of the Divine probationary commandment. (De fide.)
*] Through the sin our first parents lost sanctifying grace and provoked the anger and the indignation of God. (De fide.)
*] Our first parents became subject to death and to the dominion of the Devil. (De fide.) D788.
*] Adam’s sin is transmitted to his posterity, not by imitation, but by descent. (De fide.)
*] Original Sin consists in the deprivation of grace caused by the free act of sin committed by the head of the race. (Sent. communis.)
*] Original sin is transmitted by natural generation. (De fide.)
*] In the state of original sin man is deprived of sanctifying grace and all that this implies, as well as of the preternatural gifts of integrity. (De fide in regard to Sanctifying Grace and the Donum Immortalitatus. D788 et seq.)
*] Souls who depart this life in the state of original sin are excluded from the Beatific Vision of God. (De fide.)

Yes, but given what I’ve read about anthropology, Adam and Eve would have looked rather brutal and likely closer to apes, though they’d be fully human, than to the way they’re usually portrayed in art. :slight_smile:

I would really question that.

Adam and Eve were the prototypical humans. I am betting they were stronger, better looking, smarter and healthier than we are.

Adam and Eve: Real People

It is equally impermissible to dismiss the story of Adam and Eve and the fall (Gen. 2–3) as a fiction. A question often raised in this context is whether the human race descended from an original pair of two human beings (a teaching known as monogenism) or a pool of early human couples (a teaching known as polygenism).
In this regard, Pope Pius XII stated: “When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains either that after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parents of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now, it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the teaching authority of the Church proposed with regard to original sin which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam in which through generation is passed onto all and is in everyone as his own” (Humani Generis 37).

The story of the creation and fall of man is a true one, even if not written entirely according to modern literary techniques. The *Catechism *states, “The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents” (CCC 390).

I saw Pell’s argument with Dawkins, Pell argues some rather ‘strange’ points which had me lifting my eyebrows.

Adam and Eve, as Pope Pius XII (as Buffalo has mentioned) stressed, are to be taken as important and real. Pell did argue for the ‘first human’.

Sadly, when Pell said God decided to use the Jews as the means, he worded it completely wrong.

Persia and Egypt were great and powerful civilizations, the Jews during this period were just a bunch of nomads without a homeland. What God achieved through these nomads would give Glory to God.

God Bless,


That might be true, but Adam and Eve portrayed as modern humans would more likely be recognized and accepted as the viewer’s first parents than if they were portrayed to look like Cheetah The Chimp. :slight_smile:

Your view wouldn’t be consistent with what we know about primitive man and his development from an earlier ape/man ancestor.

Excellent point. Even if human Adam and Eve dragged their knuckles on the ground and swung from the trees, your view would be a better portrayal of them as a teaching tool.

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

375 The Church, interpreting the symbolism of biblical language in an authentic way, in the light of the New Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were constituted in an original “state of holiness and justice”

390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.

We have not seen an original picture or drawing of Adam.

Thinking out loud - The fist Adam and the second Adam. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the first Adam was the image of the second.

This is a picture of the Chapel of Adam. It is below the Chapel of Golgatha.

Another photo of the altar is seen below with the rock of Golgotha behind the glass. The crack in the rock continues down to the chapel of Adam on the lower floor, and according to tradition the blood of Jesus dripped down the crack to the skull of Adam.

They were not real.
But the message of God is real.
I have no time to read the article now but I will do in 2 hours…
I read a little bit and the cardinal should have used “midrash” instead of myth.

Perhaps, but it all gets down to when the first humans were created, in the sense that they complied with #s 3 through 5 of post #2

I could read up to the 5th.
Confusing and boring.

Our body evolved like animals evolved.
Then, one or several days, we do not know, God started creating human souls that he “incarnated” into animal bodies.
That is how man began.
The force of the spirit made the human body evolve into a different shape of all other animals.
Up to now.

Now, man is a sinner and it is a mystery his state. This inner inclination to sin is described in Genesis.
Sin is a chosen state against God’s will. Individual men sin.

The Son of God came to liberate man from sin and drive humankind into His Bosom.

Pfaffenhoffen, since you are so sure there was no Adam and Eve, explain the Churches teaching on original sin. While you are at it, explain why the Church has baptized(wiped away sin) children under 7 that are incapable of personal sin since it was started by Christ.

Without necessarily taking a position on this, I think those who insist on a a literal reading of Adam and Eve overlook the possibility that it is a mythological explanation for a more complicated reality, one that, like the reality of creation itself, was beyond the understanding of the Hebrews and, perhaps, still beyond us today, involving as it does not simply evolutionary biology but theology as well.

That is, the teaching on original sin and baptism can be true even if the story of Adam and Eve is a (perhaps gross) simplification of reality.

Adam and Eve have been a constant teaching of the Church. Produce a Magisterial document and date that overturns it.

How many Magisterial documents have there even been on anthropology and archaeology?

That is not the question.

The pertinent question is not whether the Chuch teaches Adam and Eve, it does, but whether it teaches that it is literal history. The Church teaches the creation story too but the teachings on it do not rely on its literalism.

My guess, not having reviewed all the relevant documentation, is that it has generally been assumed to be literally true. But that is not the same as making a affirmative declaration that it is literally true.

The Church doesn’t even teach that the New Testament is historically accurate in every detail.

A definition of “myth” is:

a traditional story accepted as history; serves to explain the world view of a people

Myth does not always mean a fictitious story.

It depends what Cardinal Pell meant by ‘myth.’

Question: How can there be an original sin without a historical Adam?

Cain and Abel are connected to original sin, they are referred to as being human beings twice.

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