Looking for Adam


#1

This thread about Adam and his spouse Eve is based on granny’s curiosity. :smiley:

For example:

What would be found in the first three chapters of Genesis?
Is the science of agriculture there?
Would the creative minds of Adam and Eve give them a beneficial edge when they started housekeeping in the wild?
What exactly is the original relationship between the first human and his Maker?
Why is the stupid Original Sin a big deal?
And the really big question – What in the world does the figurative language affirm?

A dollar to a donut is that answers can be found both in the first three chapters of
Genesis and in the teachings found in the universal Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition.

Here are my three favorite established truths. I list them because I do not intend to debate them.

  1. God as Creator exists.
  2. God as Creator interacts personally with each individual human.
  3. Every individual human has the inherent capacity to interact with God as Creator.

I am confident that eventually the above questions and additional questions will be answered in some fashion. Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.

Blessings,
granny

The search for truth is worthy of the adventures of the journey!


#2

Question…

Why look for Adam when you found Christ?

:smiley:


#3

Because the Creator goes after the lost sheep.


#4

I believe, and was taught to some degree, that the first Creation account does speak of the responsibility towards the rest of Creation i.e:- one another and the environment and animals.

Would the creative minds of Adam and Eve give them a beneficial edge when they started housekeeping in the wild?

What exactly is the original relationship between the first human and his Maker?

I think the Creator would have really loved both of them. As a doting Father loves His child. They would have been aware of His presence I think. Even if this awareness was in the form of an untainted conscience. They would have loved Him (IMO) as children love their parents but without maybe understanding the whys and hows (possibly?).

Why is the stupid Original Sin a big deal?

Because understanding OS helps us to understand the degree to which the Creator makes sure He returns us to Himself. Because OS helps us to understand ourselves, and the way things are, a little better. It helps us to know the root of our weaknesses. OS helps to remind us of the sheer hatred of the devil.

And the really big question – What in the world does the figurative language affirm?

Figurative language helps to affirm spiritual truths that cannot be described with literal language and that cannot be firmly placed in history and so while we can say that figurative accounts are not literal or historical we can still say that they are true and that they happened within a harmonious spiritual reality which is humanly impossible to fathom without grace-filled prayer and exegesis in the power of the Holy Spirit who initially authored the accounts through the lifted hearts and minds of divinely-inspired writers. (IMO).

A dollar to a donut is that answers can be found both in the first three chapters of
Genesis and in the teachings found in the universal Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition.

Here are my three favorite established truths. I list them because I do not intend to debate them.

  1. God as Creator exists.
  2. God as Creator interacts personally with each individual human.
  3. Every individual human has the inherent capacity to interact with God as Creator.

:thumbsup:

I am confident that eventually the above questions and additional questions will be answered in some fashion. Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.

Blessings,
granny

The search for truth is worthy of the adventures of the journey!

The journey counts, for sure.


#5

:confused:

The title says looking for Adam, he was not a lost sheep to begin with.

GM, which Adam are you looking for? The sinless Adam or the sinful Adam. Did Adam even change?


#6

Believe it or not. I am on the trail of finding the lost sheep Adam, mentioned by friardchips, post 3.

As for Adam changing – are there sunny days and cloudy days?

Some general information for everyone.
The difficulty which must be avoided is claiming interpretations which slide away from known CCC teachings. For example. Here are some of the known information about Eve; yet, there can be all kinds of interpretations and misunderstandings. Eve was the first human who tasted forbidden fruit, but she is not the first person of the human species. Eve could personally sin against God, but she could not commit the Original Sin.

When we try to follow the footsteps of Adam, it is a tad difficult to go from a sinless Adam to a sinful Adam. That dang question “why?” keeps tripping us. As a former old time journalist, it was my job to gather all the information, even the useless information.

When you are asking about which Adam, sinless or sinful, please, what is the information that is the base for your question?


#7

I look for Adam because the answers (plural intended) to this question in post 1 lead to the necessary Divinity of Jesus Christ. Question – What exactly is the original relationship between the first human and his Maker?

As a very young child, I learned that the world wide famous prophet Jesus Christ was the most amazing human in a long line of human prophets from various cultures. The Bible was a best seller because everyone, including non-theists, could learn how to live in a peaceful world based on the principles taught by this famous man described in the New Testament. In my young mind, this picture of an itinerant preacher was reasonable.

On the other hand, when it comes to Catholic teachings, Jesus Christ is still an itinerant preacher with the supreme distinction that He is also the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. Jesus Christ is not only human, He is Divine. Going back to Catholic grade school, as a very young student, the Divinity of Jesus Christ was immediately taught along with Adam’s Original Sin. Today, I can suggest that understanding the full Divinity of Jesus Christ is starting to slip when it comes to chapter 6, Gospel of John. In my humble opinion, a kind of religious symbolism is altering the real meaning of Transubstantiation. Perhaps, this is part of the casual approach to the Sunday Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

But I digress. Still, centuries ago when I learned about the Divinity of Jesus Christ, it was connected to the nature of Adam. No more, no less. Today, I am looking for Adam because I need to know why Adam’s nature is important when it comes to the Divinity of Jesus, the ultimate preacher of God’s kingdom. I do not want to depend on a granny memory.

I look for Adam, because he is connected to Jesus Christ in John 3: 16 and to chapter 6, Gospel of John. I do not want a child’s picture book version of two people appropriately standing behind some fast growing bushes. This last sentence of CCC 389 has to be explored.
“The Church, which has the mind of Christ, knows very well that we cannot tamper with the revelation of original sin without undermining the mystery of Christ.”


#8

Please, is there a double meaning to Genesis 3: 9

“The Lord God then called to the man and asked him: Where are you?”


#9

Hi. I would think (though I cannot say for sure) that your lovely insight here seems to fit the account. He is always going out to find His lost sheep. Very nice insight of yours to tie that in. I was not thinking of that line when I suggested the ‘lost sheep’ analogy, as I meant the lost sheep only generally to do with Him coming to save us, and so this is a really lovely insight that you’ve come up with in response. A treasure of a discovery! Maybe something for Advent. :slight_smile:


#10

What I don’t understand is how Original Sin could exist because of mythology? The mythos of Genesis is just a story, probably handed down through oral tradition until finalized in text. Catholicism is not fundamentalism; as Catholics understand that much of scripture is Allegorical–meaning that what it says in scripture may or may not be the correct account of things. If it is not the correct account of things then how could we know for sure that the current state of humanity is related to any “fall of Adam”?

Much of Genesis is comparable to ancient Babylonian religion/mythos; such as the flood. How are we to know that what we attain in scripture is not in fact another account of Babylonia mythos?

I mean the word Adam in Hebrew means “male human being”. The story could be talking about any human being, not some guy named Adam. Anyways, I believe the world to be too diverse, having theoretically spread out everywhere over 6000 years from one single man. It just seems that racial characteristics would take more than 6000 years of the bible to develop.

I think all that theologians* have going for them in scripture is not the proof of original sin; but rather, the typological-intertextuality that compares Jesus to Adam, even if Adam really didn’t exist, neither the story of Genesis as an actual account of actual things that occurred.

*All that theologians have in Genesis, the beginning of…


#11

Hi. I gave some kind of answer to this thinking here: ‘Figurative language helps to affirm spiritual truths that cannot be described with literal language and that cannot be firmly placed in history and so while we can say that figurative accounts are not literal or historical we can still say that they are true and that they happened within a harmonious spiritual reality which is humanly impossible to fathom without grace-filled prayer and exegesis in the power of the Holy Spirit who initially authored the accounts through the lifted hearts and minds of divinely-inspired writers. (IMO).’

Just because accounts were handed down by oral tradition does not make them false.

Much of Genesis is comparable to ancient Babylonian religion/mythos; such as the flood. How are we to know that what we attain in scripture is not in fact another account of Babylonia mythos?

There area various theories. One is that these came from Moses and the other is that they were written during the ‘priestly’ tradition. There is a difference in the angelic make-up ranging from Babylonian myths to Jewish accounts. This is what I gauged anyway from my brief time studying these differences. Also, the prophets (the Isaiahs) preached against idolatry and so I find it hard to believe, and very tenuous to believe, in the newish (not jewish :p) theory that the OT was in any way inspired by Babylonian myth. Also, for it to be a story, it would then not have any meaning when read with Christological insight and yet the accounts not only have meaning, they absolutely give root to the NT. My opinion. There will be many that differ. :slight_smile:

I mean the word Adam in Hebrew means “male human being”. The story could be talking about any human being, not some guy named Adam. Anyways, I believe the world to be too diverse, having theoretically spread out everywhere over 6000 years from one single man. It just seems that racial characteristics would take more than 6000 years of the bible to develop.

I don’t think it is fundamentalism to believe in the accounts. Whether the first man is a man called Adam or someone not called Adam, it doesn’t matter because at some point, humans developed the ability to reason and question existence, and this had to have happened at some point. But this account also speaks of a spiritual reality and so it is hard to call it historical. The other thing I’d ask is: if the Creator could work all these other miracles, then why is it so difficult to believe that His first humans, or beings, let’s say, we called Adam and Eve. I would say that considering all names have derivational meaning, then surely these people would too.

Evolution does not do away with the Creation stories. They are allegorical and yet also tell of their spiritual relationship with the Creator and in relation to Creation; therefore, they are real.

Christians also believe that the writings were divinely inspired and this is most certainly not fundamentalist.

It is stated that these writings were written in various ways with the use of modern exegetical methods. This does not take away from their legitimacy. Don’t forget the NT mentions these accounts by people who were filled with the Holy Spirit. And I definitely don’t think they were fundamentalists.

I think all that theologians* have going for them in scripture is not the proof of original sin; but rather, the typological-intertextuality that compares Jesus to Adam, even if Adam really didn’t exist, neither the story of Genesis as an actual account of actual things that occurred.

*All that theologians have in Genesis, the beginning of…

It doesn’t change the relational character of the Bible.

:thumbsup:


#12

It is questionable? In what way is “figurative” real? How does that translate into actual substantial reality? If I’m saying I’m thinking of a red ball in my room and there is not actual red ball then how does that make what I’m thinking of actual? What is its presence? Is it a spiritual reality? You must not forget that the way people read scripture in the past was a literal account of reality, concerning Genesis. People actually believed that the earth was made in seven days. Should we discount their interpretation of scripture and say that scripture was misplaced with them until the current day?

Concerning oral tradition, how much of its context survived being handed down through history? Have you ever told the same story, exactly the way you said, twice?

Israel existed in the same general locality of ancient Babylon? Do you say that nothing is transferred between cultures? I can’t honestly think that you believe Israel was so isolated that no interculturalism existed.

I wasn’t speaking of evolution. I know that the spirit of life guides all things. But it takes time. Look over the past five hundred years at the melting pot of the world the united states. We don’t look like native americans.

I agree with you that the writings were divinely inspired but I also do know of human error. Look at some of the mistakes that have printed in bibles of the past. Do I say that the misprint is the exact divine experience? Or do I say that there was error in its printing? If the smallest of mistakes could be made then the largest mistakes could also be made. Yet, I still believe that the Scripture is the inspired word of God.

I agree with current exegesis. The bible was indeed interpreted and written in many different ways. I like the poetic aspect myself. Raises questions does not hinder my faith in God nor does faith make me feel guilty for raising such questions. Questions of that which I have not answered for myself yet. To tell you the truth sometimes I feel like a fundamentalist.


#13

Because the figurative language denotes a spiritual place in time or space in which the fabric is relational love, and so it is, that with the use of the language of love, the Truth can be described in such a way that it threads all of Creation into a rooted design of which can only be understood with enlightened insight looking back - Christological illumination; thus proving that the Creator was the Author of this artistry.

You must not forget that the way people read scripture in the past was a literal account of reality, concerning Genesis. People actually believed that the earth was made in seven days. Should we discount their interpretation of scripture and say that scripture was misplaced with them until the current day?

The exegit understands that the Holy Spirit inspired these works. There were many reasons these accounts could have been written - layers upon layers of reasons, but such is the Divine Genius of our Creator, that He can provide for all, in all times. There can be practical reasons and spiritual reasons, but what we can guarantee, is that there is always meaning, because the Creator is the Meaning - He is.

Concerning oral tradition, how much of its context survived being handed down through history? Have you ever told the same story, exactly the way you said, twice?

People in Biblical times, and preceding, would have had far superior memories. Take the stories of Homer, for example, pre-dating Christianity - these were recited. This is so unbelievable to us now but these were actually learnt and recited. These cultures were story-telling cultures. It is probably true that many Biblical Jews knew their Scriptures inside-out. How and when to some degree doesn’t matter because prophecy is so very discernible from Holy Scripture that we know it contains the truth in whatever form. Such dedication for learning is hard to fathom because religion in the West is not studied with the same degree of meticulousness.

Israel existed in the same general locality of ancient Babylon? Do you say that nothing is transferred between cultures? I can’t honestly think that you believe Israel was so isolated that no interculturalism existed.

I think there seem to be similarities in some of the stories. And maybe ideas switched. But we know looking back that if we were to try and find the same rootedness in Babylonian stories, for the NT, we might find a little symbolic something but nothing of any magnitude. I think it more likely that stories were passed down through the generations, preceding the Babylonian Exile. Some say they were written during the priestly traditions after the Babylonian Exile, as celebrations of freedom.

I wasn’t speaking of evolution. I know that the spirit of life guides all things. But it takes time. Look over the past five hundred years at the melting pot of the world the united states. We don’t look like native americans.

I agree with you that the writings were divinely inspired but I also do know of human error. Look at some of the mistakes that have printed in bibles of the past. Do I say that the misprint is the exact divine experience? Or do I say that there was error in its printing? If the smallest of mistakes could be made then the largest mistakes could also be made. Yet, I still believe that the Scripture is the inspired word of God.

Some say that the Bible ‘contains’ the Word of the Creator. In terms of misprints, there would have to be examples. The starting point for any serious exegete will begin: “Now is this true?”, rather than, “Is this false?”. (I think St. Augustine said this). The Scribes who collated the Holy Scriptures and the scholars who interpreted them poured hour upon hour - this was their whole life - into making sure the interpretations were accurate. Again, this is hard to fathom, this level of meticulousness, but all was done in prayer and grace. These Scriptures were not just nice writings, these Holy Scriptures were venerated - in Dei Verbum, we are told that we are to hold such writings as sacred - because Scripture was and is the collective memory of a holy peoples, the prayer-filled roller-coaster journey through hundreds of years of passionate love expressed in relationship with a Creator who was experienced by people to be revealing Himself to them as the one and only Creator, and who seemed to guide them through rough waters - this journey was the very path that guided their suffering and ordeals into a purposeful narrative.

I agree with current exegesis. The bible was indeed interpreted and written in many different ways. I like the poetic aspect myself. Raises questions does not hinder my faith in God nor does faith make me feel guilty for raising such questions. Questions of that which I have not answered for myself yet. To tell you the truth sometimes I feel like a fundamentalist.

There is pure discovery to be had when it comes to applying methods. I only just got going before I didn’t feel the need to continue. The expression of the people in love with the Creator are of what the Hebrew Scriptures witness to. You don’t have to feel fundamentalist to believe in miracles and the Hebrew Scriptures are full of them. Whether allegorical, literal, poetry, praising song format, a psalm etc, etc…all we have to do is remember that all of it was a collectively lived prayer, because in the light of the Holy Spirit, all is prayer. I think of the relational love between us and the Creator starting from Genesis as a kind of song. A dance. A rhythm. Of love. All is prayer.


#14

Originally Posted by grannymh

When we try to follow the footsteps of Adam, it is a tad difficult to go from a sinless Adam to a sinful Adam. That dang question “why?” keeps tripping us

Ain’t that the truth…

When you are asking about which Adam, sinless or sinful, please, what is the information that is the base for your question?

You have answered that for me, you are looking for the sinful Adam. Can’t say I understand why though, I’ll reread your next post, maybe it’ll dawn on me…


#15

Jesus was Divine, Adam was not. The only connection I see between Jesus and Adam is their male humanity.

*John 3:16New International Version (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.*

What connection? God gave his one and only son, so we could believe in him and have eternal life. Adam wasn’t created or given to be believed in. He was the first of the human race, created good and holy, but not Divine as Jesus was?


#16

Finally, I need to admit that I do not know what “degree” you are referring to when you say “Because understanding OS helps us to understand the degree to which the Creator makes sure He returns us to Himself.”

Because OS helps us to understand ourselves, and the way things are, a little better. It helps us to know the root of our weaknesses. OS helps to remind us of the sheer hatred of the devil.

In addition, while a correct understanding of Original Sin does help us understand our wounded human nature, that is not the main purpose of Adam’s Original Sin. One of the reasons I am looking for Adam is that I want to understand the nitty-gritty going deeper than platitudes.

Here is an interesting media example from an unnamed Catholic.

" …Catholics who ask, “Were there an Adam and Eve?” would be better off asking another question: “Are there an Adam and Eve?” The answer, he said, “is a definite ‘yes.’ We find them when we look in the mirror. We are Adam, and we are Eve. … The man and woman of Genesis … are intended to represent an Everyman and Everywoman. They are paradigms, figurative equivalents, of human conduct in the face of temptation, not lessons in biology or history. The Bible is teaching religion, not science or literalistic history.”

The journey counts, for sure.

Yes. Even when it turns down a dark alley.


#17

I realize that Friardchips answered that question in post 13.

However, there is still the challenge to find the actual “figurative language” about Adam in the first three chapters of Genesis. The real problem is that not every verse in Scripture automatically becomes a complete Catholic doctrine, duly defined and properly declared by a major Catholic Church Council.

Personally, I am curious as to which verses are actually “figurative” to the point that they can actually be translated into substantial reality. Note: items like knowing if the organic fruit was an apple or some other fruit will never see the light of a Catholic doctrine.


#18

The reason I keep referring to the original relationship between Adam and his Maker is because, as you said, Adam was not divine.

John 3:16New International Version (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God gave His only Son… because Jesus is Divine and Adam is not Divine.

What connection? God gave his one and only son, so we could believe in him and have eternal life. Adam wasn’t created or given to be believed in. He was the first of the human race, created good and holy, but not Divine as Jesus was?

The connection between Jesus and Adam is that Adam is not divine; therefore he could not repair the shattered original relationship which God had created. Destroying humanity’s relationship with God is known as the Original Sin. The connection is that Jesus stood in place of Adam and thus He, being Divine, could repair the Divine relationship whereas Adam could not.

Good gave His only Son, so that the relationship between humanity and Divinity could be restored. Jesus is True Man and True God and thus, He alone could restore by His obedience that which Adam lost by his disobedience.


#19

Yes. All of us are Adam and Eve to varying levels of seriousness but with the help of our Holy Mother, we become, well, self-giving motherly and fatherly sons and daughters who tend to Him as she did.

We can’t fit these happenings into an historical external time-frame which is why figurative language is used. One can’t fit spiritual realms - which is what the sanctified state is - into time and space in a literal time-squeezy capacity. We have to look inward. Our Creator - outside of time - is inward. We go into outer space we get a bit lost. We go into that secret place in our hearts and we become found. Out the garden - oblivion. In the garden - love. And we relate to Him, in relation to creation, outwardly. But to Him directly, inwardly. Like the tunnel the white rabbit jumps down accept this tunnel is real and leads to eternity. The tunnel is our souls. We know this account must have happened because the devil is real and the Biblical prophets including St. Paul spoke of Adam & Eve. We know the Tree of Life exists. We are talking about spiritual reality. So these occurrences possibly describe what must have taken place in the hearts of the first parents. The love between them in their primitive states in their hearts and in their consciences. We know we had first parents and so it is not inconceivable to understand these beings were real. The inclusion of angels means we have to think on this level, because we know that Angels communicate via thought, and the subconscious, as well as being able to manifest via visions. If this is the case, and we read in Genesis that the Angels led them and guarded them from the Garden, this would mean that there was a darkening of the knowledge that had taken place in the souls of Adam and Eve. Their state had fallen to a lower state in which they, according to various sources, became fearful of the Creator. They had left their inward relationship. They lost a continued sense of harmony (I don’t like that word but it will do). To attempt to place Adam and Eve in a purely external setting does not work because they exist in the Divine Language (The Holy Spirit - the Breath) of Divine Wisdom - The Word. IMHO (so far).


#20

…to add, that this is one of the reasons we were told: “It is children such as these to whom Heaven belongs.” To believe in our Divine Author’s Language, we must enter into the Heavenly Mysteries. These Mysteries bring surprises. We must be so open to His miracles that we can believe the types of happenings which, not unlike when children are told stories by their parents they sit up wide-eyed in happy astonishment, can bring us to experience wonderment and joy. Not because the stories are fiction in the Creator’s Book but because His tales are real, not fairy tales, and so all the more astonishing. And in His Book, the success of the spiritual reality cannot be paralleled or understood with one-dimensional, worldly thinking.


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