An exercise in biblical inspiration: Did Adam live 900 years?


You completely lost me on this one :smiley: But I appreciate the previous post directed at me. Thanks.


I for one have no difficulty at all with the nine-hundred years.

There is no compelling reason to treat them as myth, other than, “The human body as now known does not live so long, therefore it must be myth.” Not convincing.

That the beginning of Genesis has the genre of myth is well-established in Catholic circles, even in the magisterium. Myth NOT in the sense of FALSE, but in the sense of literary approach and genre. The Catechism, to put it mildly, says that Genesis speaks “symbolically” and in “figurative language.”


I agree. I believe that the physical decline of man was gradual, as sin multiplied in the earth, so man’s lifespan declined just as God told Adam , would happen.
Genesis Ch.5 records that Enoch became the father of Metusaleh at age 65, and that Enoch was ’ taken up’ by God at age 365. Enoch called his son Metusaleh. Metusaleh means -
’ When he dies - Judgement ’ Metusaleh, the longest-living person recorded in the Bible died at age 969. He died in the same year that God judged a sinful world with the ’ Great Flood ’ of Noah’s day


Symbolism and figurative language is used in all books including nonfiction.

Genesis uses figurative language and symbolism however that does not mean that the events in Genesis should not be taken literally.


That’s explicitly stated in Genesis 18:11. Isaac’s conception and birth was a miracle, in which God reversed the effects of menopause on Sarah’s body, albeit only for the sake of producing this one child.


Genesis uses figurative language and symbolism however that does not mean that the events in Genesis should not be taken literally.

Uhhhhh well, I guess it depends on what aspects you are talking about. For example, was the world literally created in 6 24-hour “day”? No. And the Church has always had a tradition that this aspect (among others) is figurative and allegorical (think way back to Augustine and Origen). And indeed, the Church today in its official capacity as teacher (magisterium) has indicated by various means that the creation account in Genesis indeed uses “figurative language” in its way of expressing history.


I like your term, ‘open to the possibility’. I use it often in discussions regarding matters of faith and Catholic belief. There are so many things I am open to the possibility of in interpreting scripture, Catholic dogma, doctrine, and practice. It is a good term.


Sure. Human errors.
Not errors of inspiration.


If ‘Adam’ is a figurative construct (not the actual person – whose existence we as Catholics affirm – but his mythic representation in Genesis), then how is his 900-year-lifespan not likewise ‘mythic’? :thinking:


Adam was the prototypical human with pristine genetics. After the fall genetic entropy is taking place. No problem at all with long lifespans in the past.


I do not agree. After Creation and before the flood the environment was different as well as Adam and his progeny had pristine genetics. After the flood the environment was radically altered.


Well, that’s a biological assertion, all right, but… the Bible is making assertions that are about God and His plan of salvation for us. You can find a number of things stated in the Bible… but not the assertion that Adam had “pristine genetics.” From what source would you make that claim?


That’s a nice interpretation. Would be unheard-of in the animal kingdom, but then again Man itself is quite unusual. In principle the hypothesis could be tested because we have human remains of when these men are thought to have lived. Finding human remains with evidence that people at some point lived for centuries would be sensational.


But, where’s the tower? That’s a fundamental part of the Bible’s tower of Babel episode.


Adam was immediately and directly created by God. He was the first human. God called His creation “good”.


Yes, I agree with this. These are all theological statements, and they are all correct.

Where are you getting the scientific statement “pristine genetics”, though?


I read about the canopy of cloud hypothesis in a science magazine many years ago. It estimated an average global temperature of 72 ± 2 or so degrees. The article had nothing to do with Genesis, just science. An earth covered in cloud before the flood would explain the rainbow as a sign of the new covenant. :wink:


God gave Adam the preternatural gifts of bodily immortality and freedom from sickness. Destructive mutations had not yet started.


Respectfully toward, opinion only. Does not the Bible itself state other wise maybe, it does have errors?

First one does not take the Bible literally, why? Questioning and examining.
We are not sheep are we?
Jesus was not a door or a gate?
Did the donkey talk? etc

Questioning with examining the Bible itself, is it not full of metaphors? parables? poems? stories? songs? recording different Nations, their history? records different customs and cultures? rituals? records those who worshiped other gods? records other Nations and their historical history, rulers, their wars?

Questioning has the bible not been written, where oral traditions came first, then written?
Bible has been copied over over, by many many different hands >>over thousands of years?
Separate writings, that were not all gathered into what we now call the Bible today?

All historical writings, were gathered from all over from within other nations and put into One Book, what we now hold and call the bible, is this true?
We are human beings, human fact we error, such occurs, thus variants also within is there not?

Jesus tells us for a reason right? Let your ears hear? Test all Spirits? Search the Scriptures?

Jeremiah 8:8 " How can you say, “We are wise, we have the law of the Lord? Why, that has been changed into falsehood by the lying pens of the scribes”.

Who were scribes and what role or service did they preform?
Scribes were they not teachers,of the Law?

Is it a common theme throughout the bible?
Like Jeremiah,calls out the scribes does he not?
Like Malachi calls the scribes out does he not?
Like Amos calls the scribes out also, does he not?
Like Jesus calls out, his own Scribes > teachers of the Law, his own Temple highly learn men, Pharisees, Sadduccees, Jerusalem Sanhedrin Court, does he not? Why?

Jesus quotes heavily, refers back to OT,in all His teaching, preaching, from His great Prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Ezekiel, Malachi, repeats the Laws of Moses and others does he not? Why?

At the beginning of Matthew Chapter 23, Jesus rebukes, denunciation of the Scribes and Pharisees, first brings attention to the >> Torah Law of Moses, that they >have taken the seat <of Moses, Jesus is not pleased is he? Why?

Jesus calls out his own Temple Scribes? Judges them? rebukes them? Why?

In Mathew Chapter 23:13, 23, 25, 27, 29 Woe to you scribes…
Jesus calling out?>Matthew 23:16 calling them blind guides?

John 5:39 " You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life, yet it is they that testify on my behalf" Who is they?

John 5:46 " If you believe Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. "

Do not believe Adam lived 900 years a metaphor?or too many 0’s? does not flow with you will surely die, if you eat from this tree maybe? Peace :slight_smile:


Respectfully how do we know Adam never got sick living 900 yrs? And 900 years what about the rest of His family population during such times etc?
Just because it was not written, can one give evidence that physical sickness, or physical hunger, or there was a lack of physical pain, did not exist, or occur during 900 years? God tells us they will labor all the days of their life for their wants and needs etc, does he not? Peace:)
Child birth for one and surely all did not go well did it in such ancient times?

How did they in Adam time, measure time also?

Or does Adam age ( metaphor instead) lived 900 years>>> represent or a measurement of Adam’s>> generation era ended and a new generation era, rose up, begins?

Highlights of different Historical time periods from one generation to the beginning of a new generation like

Adam (900 yrs of his generation to > Noah generation era> time period ends and >Abraham’s generation begins, then ends and a new generation rises up > Moses>etc

Kinda like Egypt had 28 dynasties? When one ended an another generation began?

The word >year> did it even exist in Adam age or generation period, how did they measure time, years 7,000 years ago?

Went by the Sun? Stars? Moon? Seasons even in Jesus time did they not, still for their yearly Feast days? Imagine now Adams time period?

Mutation is not a physical sickness is it?
Peace :slight_smile:

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