Was Adam real?


#1

Catholic Dogma

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.)


#2

Oh goodie, I get to post my new links.

Hypothesis one: Adam the Neanderthal

Hypothesis two: Adam the Upper Paleolithic homo sapiens

Yes, I think Catholic dogma is pretty clear Adam and Eve were historical. But BibleReader will have a different take…

Phil P


#3

[quote=PhilVaz]Oh goodie, I get to post my new links.

Hypothesis one: Adam the Neanderthal

Hypothesis two: Adam the Upper Paleolithic homo sapiens

Yes, I think Catholic dogma is pretty clear Adam and Eve were historical. But BibleReader will have a different take…

Phil P
[/quote]

I dunno yet. I’ll read your post #1 while I’m reading War and Peace. I’ll finish the two at about the same time.


#4

[quote=BibleReader]I dunno yet. I’ll read your post #1 while I’m reading War and Peace. I’ll finish the two at about the same time.
[/quote]

Aw, shucks! I hope you respond sooner rather than later – I can’t wait for this thread to heat up. :thumbsup:


#5

[quote=PhilVaz]Oh goodie, I get to post my new links.

Hypothesis one: Adam the Neanderthal

Hypothesis two: Adam the Upper Paleolithic homo sapiens

Yes, I think Catholic dogma is pretty clear Adam and Eve were historical. But BibleReader will have a different take…

Phil P
[/quote]

Unless I missed it where does H1 resolve this?

The whole human race stems from one single human pair. (Sent. certa.)


#6
  1. The first biblical texts to examine are the first three chapters of Genesis. Here we “enter into the setting of the biblical ‘beginning’. In it the revealed truth concerning the human person as ‘the image and likeness’ of God constitutes the immutable basis of all Christian anthropology”.4

The first text (Gn 1:1-2:4) describes the creative power of the Word of God, which makes distinctions in the original chaos. Light and darkness appear, sea and dry land, day and night, grass and trees, fish and birds, “each according to its kind”. An ordered world is born out of differences, carrying with them also the promise of relationships. Here we see a sketch of the framework in which the creation of the human race takes place: God said ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’(Gn 1:26). And then: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gn1:27). From the very beginning therefore, humanity is described as articulated in the male-female relationship. This is the humanity, sexually differentiated, which is explicitly declared “the image of God”.

  1. The second creation account (Gn 2:4-25) confirms in a definitive way the importance of sexual difference. Formed by God and placed in the garden which he was to cultivate, the man, who is still referred to with the generic expression Adam, experienced a loneliness which the presence of the animals is not able to overcome. He needs a helpmate who will be his partner. The term here does not refer to an inferior, but to a vital helper.5 This is so that Adam’s life does not sink into a sterile and, in the end, baneful encounter with himself. It is necessary that he enter into relationship with another being on his own level. Only the woman, created from the same “flesh” and cloaked in the same mystery, can give a future to the life of the man. It is therefore above all on the ontological level that this takes place, in the sense that God’s creation of woman characterizes humanity as a relational reality. In this encounter, the man speaks words for the first time, expressive of his wonderment: This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh (Gn 2:23).

As the Holy Father has written with regard to this text from Genesis, “…woman is another ‘I’ in a common humanity. From the very beginning they appear as a ‘unity of the two’, and this signifies that the original solitude is overcome, the solitude in which man does not find ‘a helper fit for him’ (Gn 2:20). Is it only a question here of a ‘helper’ in activity, in ‘subduing the earth’ (cf. Gn 1:28)? Certainly it is a matter of a life’s companion with whom, as a wife, the man can unite himself, becoming with her ‘one flesh’ and for this reason leaving ‘his father and his mother’(cf. Gn 2:24)”.

This vital difference is oriented toward communion and was lived in peace, expressed by their nakedness: “And the man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame” (Gn 2:25). In this way, the human body, marked with the sign of masculinity or femininity, “includes right from the beginning the nuptial attribute, that is, the capacity of expressing love, that love in which the person becomes a gift and – by means of this gift – fulfils the meaning of his being and his existence”. Continuing his commentary on these verses of Genesis, the Holy Father writes: “In this peculiarity, the body is the expression of the spirit and is called, in the mystery of creation, to exist in the communion of persons in the image of God”.

Through this same spousal perspective, the ancient Genesis narrative allows us to understand how woman, in her deepest and original being, exists “for the other” (cf. 1 Cor 11:9): this is a statement which, far from any sense of alienation, expresses a fundamental aspect of the similarity with the Triune God, whose Persons, with the coming of Christ, are revealed as being in a communion of love, each for the others. “In the ‘unity of the two’, man and woman are called from the beginning not only to exist ‘side by side’ or ‘together’, but they are also called to exist mutually ‘one for the other’… The text of Genesis 2:18-25 shows that marriage is the first and, in a sense, the fundamental dimension of this call. But it is not the only one. The whole of human history unfolds within the context of this call. In this history, on the basis of the principle of mutually being ‘for’ the other in interpersonal ‘communion’, there develops in humanity itself, in accordance with God’s will, the integration of what is ‘masculine’ and what is ‘feminine’.

The peaceful vision which concludes the second creation account recalls the “indeed it was very good” (Gn 1:31) at the end of the first account. Here we find the heart of God’s original plan and the deepest truth about man and woman, as willed and created by him. Although God’s original plan for man and woman will later be upset and darkened by sin, it can never be abrogated.


#7
  1. Original sin changes the way in which the man and the woman receive and live the Word of God as well as their relationship with the Creator. Immediately after having given them the gift of the garden, God gives them a positive command (cf. Gn 2:16), followed by a negative one (cf. Gn 2:17), in which the essential difference between God and humanity is implicitly expressed. Following enticement by the serpent, the man and the woman deny this difference. As a consequence, the way in which they live their sexual difference is also upset. In this way, the Genesis account establishes a relationship of cause and effect between the two differences: when humanity considers God its enemy, the relationship between man and woman becomes distorted. When this relationship is damaged, their access to the face of God risks being compromised in turn.

God’s decisive words to the woman after the first sin express the kind of relationship which has now been introduced between man and woman: “your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Gn 3:16). It will be a relationship in which love will frequently be debased into pure self-seeking, in a relationship which ignores and kills love and replaces it with the yoke of domination of one sex over the other. Indeed the story of humanity is continuously marked by this situation, which recalls the three-fold concupiscence mentioned by Saint John: the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life (cf. 1 Jn 2:16). In this tragic situation, the equality, respect and love that are required in the relationship of man and woman according to God’s original plan, are lost.

  1. Reviewing these fundamental texts allows us to formulate some of the principal elements of the biblical vision of the human person.

Above all, the fact that human beings are persons needs to be underscored: “Man is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created in the image and likeness of the personal God”.10 Their equal dignity as persons is realized as physical, psychological and ontological complementarity, giving rise to a harmonious relationship of “uni-duality”, which only sin and “the structures of sin” inscribed in culture render potentially conflictual. The biblical vision of the human person suggests that problems related to sexual difference, whether on the public or private level, should be addressed by a relational approach and not by competition or retaliation.

Furthermore, the importance and the meaning of sexual difference, as a reality deeply inscribed in man and woman, needs to be noted. “Sexuality characterizes man and woman not only on the physical level, but also on the psychological and spiritual, making its mark on each of their expressions”.11 It cannot be reduced to a pure and insignificant biological fact, but rather “is a fundamental component of personality, one of its modes of being, of manifestation, of communicating with others, of feeling, of expressing and of living human love”.12 This capacity to love – reflection and image of God who is Love – is disclosed in the spousal character of the body, in which the masculinity or femininity of the person is expressed.

The human dimension of sexuality is inseparable from the theological dimension. The human creature, in its unity of soul and body, is characterized therefore, from the very beginning, by the relationship with the other-beyond-the-self. This relationship is presented as still good and yet, at the same time, changed. It is good from its original goodness, declared by God from the first moment of creation. It has been changed however by the disharmony between God and humanity introduced by sin. This alteration does not correspond to the initial plan of God for man and woman, nor to the truth of the relationship between the sexes. It follows then that the relationship is good, but wounded and in need of healing.

santificarnos.com/module…order=0&thold=0


#8

buffalo << The whole human race stems from one single human pair. >>

Both hypothesis 1 and 2 above affirm that. The “Adam was a Neanderthal” article was sent to me by a Ph.D. in physics, he is Catholic and accepts Adam/Eve as historical, and that we descend from them, and original sin sprang from them to the entire human race. But he tells this in the form of a long story about the invention of the first (hypothetical) language.

Phil P


#9

newadvent.org/cathen/01129a.htm


#10

[size=3]Okay, this opening shot exceeds the 5,000 character limit, and the website program is telling me that I must publish it in three pieces. So, here ’goes…

Now, the thing which instigated this thread is that in another thread I said that “Adam is a hypothetical character,” or words to that effect.

Before I get to Adam…

When I say that “Adam is a hypothetical character,” do I mean that “there was not a first man”? No. I do believe in evolution – that the anthropological view of man’s ancestry is fundamentally correct: We are descended from Ramapithecus or a Ramapithecus-like ape, where at some point our ancestors were soul-less tree-dwellers who probably by climatic change were driven out of the trees into the grass, where evolutionary dynamics changed our ancestors from bent-over tree-dwellers, physically structured to grasp and ambulate in tree limbs, to upright walkers physically structured to walk and run through high grass to efficiently hunt wild game with rocks and sticks.

God, of course, would have been behind all of this, in a hands-on way. (Believe me, I’m a devout Catholic.)

Now, at a particular point, God infused this race of tree-dwellers-turned-ground-dwellers with a soul. The first man would have been in that group.

In other words, there was never a “belly-button-less” man and woman walking around on Earth. That concept is absurd.

So, what did God do when He infused our line with a soul? In other words, Do I accept monogenism – that we are all descended from two, meaning, Are we all only descended from two particular soul-infused *Homo sapiens-*es, whom the literalists here refer to with the Biblical names “Adam” and “Eve”?

Before I answer this, let’s discuss “purpose.” Why is it important that we all be descended from two particular soul-infused *Homo sapiens-*es? What is the purpose of such a teaching?

Is it to avoid a history of functional bestiality, where our soul-infused ancestors were seeking-out and engaging in sex with and generating soul-infused offspring by non-soul-infused sex partners?

No. The monogenism concept *clearly * pre-existed this new evolution concept which arose in the 1800s, to the effect that man had ancient non-*Homo sapiens *ancestors. In other words, it never occurred to anyone, before Darwin and company, to deny that our sapient ancestors had sex with non-sapient ancestors, during a change-over soul-infusion period.

[/size]


#11

So, we ask again: What is the purpose of such a teaching, if it is not to argue that soul-infused ancestors did not beget descendants by non-soul-infused ancestors?

Oddly, the purpose is the opposite of what most people imagine. It is not to argue that our ancestors were only noble, sapient members of the Homo sapiens line who did not make love to soul-less apes. Rather, it is to stoutly maintain that we are all made of the same disgusting, sin-prone, lower-than-dogs, garbagey flesh that Adam and Eve in the story are made of, so that we need saving.

When one of mankind , willed by God to be noble and sin-free, spits on God’s will by committing mortal sin, who is more noble? The sinner, or a feces-sucking fly?

The feces-sucking fly. It is an innocent creature of God.

That is why the fly does not go to Hell, but the mortal sinner, if he does not find contrition, does go to Hell.

Remember that: Monogenism is important because it serves a more important concept – the theology underlying monogenism: We are sin-prone garbage, so that, but for the constantly-flowing grace of the cross, we would all be damned to Hell by a God happy at the victory of perfect justice.

So, if there are two people, A and B; and A believes in “monogenism,” but DOESN’T believe that mankind is made of sin-prone garbage, and DOESN’T believe that mankind HAD TO BE saved, but because he believes in “monogenism,” he thinks to himself, “What a good boy am I!”; and B doesn’t even THINK of “monogenism,” but he DOES believe that mankind is made of sin-prone garbage, and he DOES believe that mankind HAD TO BE saved; WHICH OF THOSE TWO IS CLOSER TO THE CATHOLIC FAITH?

B.

In other words, if you don’t understand that, outside of the ennobling grace won by Christ on the cross, we are made of garbagey sin-seeking flesh, which when attached by God to a free will is alienated from God, less innocent than a feces-sucking fly, then you can think that you are a loyal, Catholic “monogenesist” all you want, but you don’t really understand Original Sin or the most basic concepts in Catholic theology.

So, go ahead: Beat those monogenesis drums! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! “I’m a monogenesist!” “I’m a monogenesist!” Does that make you feel good?

Good. Have a happy day, monogenesist!


#12

To answer the question up above – Am I a monogenesist? – my answer is, “If you want me to be; okay; I’ll commit myself to that; but I believe that that – monogenism – teaches that we are made of sin-prone, sin-seeking garbage, inherently alienated from God at birth, lower than a feces-sucking fly.”

Next post: Where in the creation accounts in Genesis does it teach that mankind is made of sin-seeking garbage, and that outside of saving grace we are lower than a feces-sucking fly?


#13

[quote=BibleReader]To answer the question up above – Am I a monogenesist? – my answer is, “If you want me to be; okay; I’ll commit myself to that; but I believe that that – monogenism – teaches that we are made of sin-prone, sin-seeking garbage, inherently alienated from God at birth, lower than a feces-sucking fly.”

[/quote]

Speak for yourself.

Do you have children? I can’t imagine any parent viewing his child as a “sin prone, sin seeking garbage… lower than a feces-sucking fly.”


#14

Could someone explain the refs in the original post Sent. communis ect…


#15

[quote=pilchard]Could someone explain the refs in the original post Sent. communis ect…
[/quote]

§ 8. The Theological Grades of Certainty

  1.    The highest degree of certainty appertains to the immediately revealed truths. The belief due to them is based on the authority of God Revealing (fides divina), and if the Church, through its teaching, vouches for the fact that a truth is contained in Revelation, one's certainty is then also based on the authority of the Infallible Teaching Authority of the Church (fides catholica). If Truths are defined by a solemn judgment of faith (definition) of the Pope or of a General Council, they are "de fide definita." 
    
  2.    Catholic truths or Church doctrines, on which the infallible Teaching Authority of the Church has finally decided, are to be accepted with a faith which is based on the sole authority of the Church (fides ecclesiastica). These truths are as infallibly certain as dogmas proper. 
    
  3.    A Teaching proximate to Faith (sententia fidei proxima) is a doctrine, which is regarded by theologians generally as a truth of Revelation, but which has not yet been finally promulgated as such by the Church. 
    
  4.    A Teaching pertaining to the Faith, i.e., theologically certain (sententia ad fidem pertinens, i.e., theologice certa) is a doctrine, on which the Teaching Authority of the Church has not yet finally pronounced, but whose truth is guaranteed by its intrinsic connection with the doctrine of revelation (theological conclusions). 
    
  5.    Common Teaching (sententia communis) is doctrine, which in itself belongs to the field of the free opinions, but which is accepted by theologians generally. 
    
  6.    Theological opinions of lesser grades of certainty are called probable, more probable, well-founded (sententia probabilis, probabilior, bene fundata). Those which are regarded as being in agreement with the consciousness of Faith of the Church are called pious opinions (sententia pia). The least degree of certainty is possessed by the tolerated opinion (opimo tolerata), which is only weakly founded, but which is tolerated by the Church.        With regard to the doctrinal teaching of the Church it must be well noted that not all the assertions of the Teaching Authority of the Church on questions of Faith and morals are infallible and consequently irrevocable. Only those are infallible which emanate from General Councils representing the whole episcopate, and the Papal Decisions Ex Cathedra (cf. D 1839). The ordinary and usual form of the Papal teaching activity is not infallible. Further, the decisions of the Roman Congregations (Holy Office, Bible Commission) are not infallible. Nevertheless normally they are to be accepted with an inner assent which is based on the high supernatural authority of the Holy See (assensus internus supernaturalis, assensus religiosus). The so-called "silentium obsequiosum." that is "reverent silence," does not generally suffice. By way of exception, the obligation of inner agreement may cease if a competent expert, after a renewed scientific investigation of all grounds, arrives at the positive conviction that the decision rests on an error.

#16

[quote=carol marie]Speak for yourself.

Do you have children? I can’t imagine any parent viewing his child as a “sin prone, sin seeking garbage… lower than a feces-sucking fly.”
[/quote]

His comparison to sin seeking garbage is relatively accurate. It does go a little overboard though. Through sin, man has become less than animals basically because it was our free choice to sin. We choose to make ourselves corrupt and nothing. Without contrition and the sacrifice of Christ, we are truely nothing.


#17

[quote=pilchard]Could someone explain the refs in the original post Sent. communis ect…
[/quote]

They are degrees of certainty of teachings.

de fide are dogmas. They are absolutely required beliefs. Sent. certa. are teachings that are not dogma, but they are extremely important because other teachings rely upon them. The important sent. certa. in this case is where it says that all decend from one couple. Bufallo is saying that without that Original Sin is defied. BibleReader says that it is not violated. Sent. communis. is a common teaching.


#18

Okay, here’s the continuation of my Adam-and-Eve material…

[font=Arial]One of the common interps of the Adam and Eve story is that God really did create two perfect people, Adam and Eve, in an Earthly Paradise; that these first two people – Eve first, and then Adam – sinned, and that because He is a sovereign with the sovereign right to do so God, in response to the sin, in His sovereignty, kicked Adam and Eve out of this perfect place, subjected them to death and other weaknesses, made the world an imperfect, dangerous place, where lions roar and eat people instead of licking hands, and somehow, by a mechanism no one ever explains, this first sin “stuck” like glue to previously perfect Adam and Eve and their offspring in the form of special sin-proneness – concupiscence.[/font]

[font=Arial] [/font]

[font=Arial]First, does the Bible story teach that Adam and Eve were somehow specially “perfect” and lacking in sin-proneness?[/font]

[font=Arial] [/font]

[font=Arial]Well, in Genesis 1:26-31, note that God is portrayed as making mankind on day number six.[/font]

[font=Arial] [/font]

[font=Arial]In the Bible, “six” is the Six Type, symbolizing “evil.” [/font]

[font=Arial] [/font]

[font=Arial]Next, though Genesis specifically calls light “good,” Genesis 1:4; the separation of land from sea “good,” Genesis 1:10; the bringing forth of vegetation “good,” Genesis 1:12; the establisahment of lights in the sky “good,” Genesis 1:18; the creation of fish and birds “good,” Genesis 1:21; the creation of wild animals “good,” Genesis 1:25, *the Book of Genesis does not actually say that the creation of mankind, specifically, was “good.” *Check for it. It’s not there. Instead, Genesis says that after God created man, God looked at “everything” He had made, and found it “good.” * *Genesis 1:31.[/font]

[font=Arial] [/font]

[font=Arial]But if mankind has “evil” in him, why would God include mankind in the group of things He found to be “good”?[/font]

[font=Arial] [/font]

[font=Arial]The answer is this: Mankind was created with a package of other things: On Day Two God created the “firmament”; in the Bible, “two” symbolizes “Church.” The “firmament” is a picture of the “Church.” On Day Three God created the “trees”; in the Bible, “three” symbolizes “God’s will” or “the commandments.” It’s not a coincidence that the Fig Tree in the Bible symbolizes the “Old Covenant” – the “commandments.” On Day Five, God created “fish” and “birds”; in the Bible, “five” symbolizes “Christ”! Lo and behold the Bible symbolizes Christ with both fish – Tobit 6:3-6, Matthew 14:19, where we see Christ in fish form being eaten as the Eucharist – and birds – Leviticus 14:1-9, where the bird being slaughtered, and its blood being splattered on a second bird, is Christ.[/font]

[font=Arial] [/font]

[font=Arial]So, *the package – *evil mankind supplied with the Commandments, with the Church, with Christ – is good.[/font]

[font=Arial] [/font]

[font=Arial]Next, the Bible says that the Lord God formed man out of the “clay” of the “ground” – that is, out of the aphar of the adama. Literally it reads, “out of the dust of the red [stuff].” Aphar, dust, is the Biblical symbol for “sin.” See, for example, how Moses grinds the golden calf down into aphar, Deuteronomy 9:21.[/font]

[font=Arial] [/font]

[font=Arial]Next, the Bible portrays Eve as being made out of “sleeping stuff.” Genesis 2:21-22. In the Bible, “sleep” = somehow “dead in sin.” Mark 13:35-37.[/font]

[font=Arial] [/font]

[font=Arial]So, the Bible says that we are made of aphar, or dust, which symbolizes “sin.” It says that we are made of “sleeping stuff,” which symbolizes “sin.” It says that we were made on Day Six, which symbolizes “sin,” and it refrains from calling us, specifically, “good.”[/font]
[font=Arial][/font]
[font=Arial]To be continued.[/font]


#19

Next, the Adam-and-Eve story is a collection of puns, improbabilities and absurdities. It is a “Dr. Seuss story” which teaches theology. Even ancient Hebrew children must have been aware of this. They would gawk in astonishment at the intelligent people today who think that they are reading “history.” For them, a modern Catholic telling them that the Adam-and-Eve story is history would be like a room full of fellow adults, with sober faces, telling me that I really will find the Cat-in-the-Hat upstairs in the bathroom, taking a bath.

Evidence that it is a “Dr. Seuss story”…

(1) God is portrayed as a potter making man exactly the same way a pot is made. Genesis 2:7.

(2) Note that the author referred to as the Final Redactor was unconcerned about which tree was in the “middle” of the Garden – at Genesis 2:9, it is the Tree of Life. At Genesis 3:3, Eve uses the “middle-ness” of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil – the other important tree – to identify it to the serpent. (Why did this error occur? Probably because the author was pulling together a number of fictional accounts of the Adam-and-Eve story, by a “cut-and-paste” method, to create the one we have today. He was unconcerned with historical accuracy, because it never occurred to him that he was writing anything but a fairy tale.

(3) Next, as I previously pointed out, God is portrayed as being “stupid” – God foolishly searches among the animals for a mate for Adam, to relieve Adam’s loneliness. Finally, after a set of failures, God is portrayed as conceiving the idea of “woman.”

(4) Next, when Adam says, “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken,” that is an ancient Hebrew joke – a pun. In effrect, in ancient Hebrew, Adam is calling Eve a “HERMAN.” Substitutring the Hebrew back into the verse clarifies the joke…

“This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called ‘ishshah,’ for out of ‘ishah’ this one has been taken.”

(5) The story portrays the serpent as an animal which talks the same language as Adam and Eve. (The story doesn’t say the Devil talked – although I agree that the serpent symbolizes the Devil. But in the plaintext, literal level, the story portrays the serpent as a talking animal, much like Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Goofy.) The Cat-in-the-Hat talks, too, doesn’t he?

(6) At Genesis 3:20, Adam is portrayed as calling the woman “living,” “Eve,” because she is “mother of all the living.” She hasn’t had any children yet. There is a joke built into her name, too: Adam calls Eve “Eve,” an Anglicization of the Hebrew term ewwa, which means “living.” In Babylonian, however, the word for “Lady of the Living” nin-ti, is a homonym for “lady of the rib,” *nin-ti. *Familiar with the language of their Babylonian neighbors (much as we say “adios” like our Mexican neighboirs to say “goodbye”), and remembering the fact that Eve was taken out of Adam’s “rib,” the narrator’s audience would have laughed at this, too.

(7) Next, the story refers to a “Tree of Life” which, when the fruit is eaten, enables people to live forever – a “fountain of youth” tree! Genesis 3:22. Do you really believe that, historically, a Fountain-of-Youth Tree existed?

(8) Next, the story says that a “fiery revolving sword” was stationed outside the gates to the Garden of Eden.

What happened to those – the fiery revolving sword and the Garden? Do you really think that these were physical realities on Earth?

In sum, did God really make Adam like a pot? Was God “stupid” by trying to match Adam up with animals? Did Adam really call Eve a “herman”? Could serpents talk, like Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse? Why did the Tree of Knowledge change places with the Tree of Life in the “middle” of the Garden? Did Adam know that Eve would be “mother of all trhe living” before she conceived and bore any children at all? Is it a coincidence that the Babylonian version of Eve’s name is a Babylonian joke? Did a Fountain of Youth Tree really exist? What happened to the “fiery revolving sword”? What happened to Eden?

It’s a fairy tale, which teaches theology.


#20

Now, think about it. If you’re not willing to admit that Adam was made like a pot, by God acting like a potter; that the trees did switch places in the Garden; that God erred in trying to match Adam up with animals before giving up that enterprise; that Adam called Eve a “herman” in Hebrew; that serpents talked like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck; that Adam called Eve “living” because she was “mother of all the living” before she bore any children, and achieved a Babylonian joke when he did so; that a Fountain-of-Youth tree really existed; that a perfect Paradise on Earth really existed; and that a spinning fiery sword existed…

…then why do you assert that there was an “Adam”?

These things are Adam. They are what we know about him.

Suppose we say, “Well, there was a George Washington; that wasn’t his name; he wasn’t born of the parents historians say; he never fought in the Revolution; he wasn’t President. *But, *there was a George Washington…”

What does that assertion mean?


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.