I’m Not Convinced

I just read James Anderson’s 12 prima facie reasons why Adam was a real historical individual.  His concluding paragraph said:

Taken together, these twelve points add up to a strong prima facie case for the traditional Christian view that Adam was a real historical individual. Any scholar who holds to the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, but denies this point, surely has a lot of explaining to do. If all we had to deal with were the first few chapters of Genesis, appeals to genre and other literary considerations might provide sufficient wiggle room. But the twelve observations above indicate that the historicity of Adam is a thread woven all the way through the Bible’s history, theology, and ethics. Pull out that thread and sooner or later the whole garment will unravel.

Immediately after reading this I saw that Justin Taylor had cited it approvingly, but I’m not convinced.  If the mention of Adam throughout the Bible is there to make a theological point then his real existence is quite beside the point.  The prima facie case to be made is not that Adam was a real historical individual, but that some of the writers of the Bible believed that he was.  The fact of the matter is that the Bible’s writers probably did believe that Adam was a historical individual, but that doesn’t of necessity make them correct.  They believed all manner of things that we don’t presently.



67 thoughts on “I’m Not Convinced

  1. “Any scholar who holds to the authority and inerrancy of Scripture . . .” Easy solution. Ditch the inerrancy.

    Who cares if Adam is a historical person? That’s missing the point of the biblical story about Adam. I believe if you hold to the authority of Scripture, you’ve got to listen to its message and not get caught up in silly historicity arguments about one biblical personality or another.

  2. Patrick: I’m with you but in fairness to James he was listing “reasons why an evangelical view of the Bible commits one to the existence of Adam has a real historical individual.” I don’t know that your and my view of Scripture is properly ‘evangelical.’

  3. The prima facie case to be made is not that Adam was a real historical individual, but that some of the writers of the Bible believed that he was. The fact of the matter is that the Bible’s writers probably did believe that Adam was a historical individual, but that doesn’t of necessity make them correct. They believed all manner of things that we don’t presently.

    This is a great point and, I think, one that many evangelicals struggle with. I can understand it to a point: the authors of Scripture were inspired and “inerrant,” therefore what they believed to be true in every respect was also inspired and “inerrant.” I understand this point, but I don’t agree with it. Like you allude to, just because Paul, et. al. believed the world to be flat does not mean that we must believe it as well or else be branded as neo-orthodox at best and heretics at worst.

  4. Have you read through the comments at Justin Taylor’s blog?

    I don’t understand why people want to turn this stuff around and take the much harder reading and call the plain reading (in all of Scripture, not just Genesis) “very highly literalistic” as if it’s not legitimate.

    I’m not good at debating so I’m not trying to win any arguments here. Just thought I’d say my piece and point out the comments on Justin Taylor’s blog.

  5. Might I suggest Walton’s first proposition in his The Lost World of Genesis One.

    Let’s forget about the bright lights of the New Testament. What do we have as we read the Old Testament? A historical or mythological Adam? I’m afraid that the answer is not that simple. My take.

  6. You say you are not convinced.

    But the question is which view we have better reasons to believe. He presented 10 good reasons. They may not be convincing, but show me that the reasons for not believing in a historical Adam are better.

  7. Prima Facie! Hah!!

    I’m not sure the writers of the Bible thought in in strict categories of myth and history (in fact it sounds anachronistic to even assume they thought in those categories at all). Their view of the events they narrated was probably a mix of the two, but I doubt they even thought of it in the categories we do and with the concerns we have.

    I’ve said this before, but even if Adam and Eve were not historical characters does that make sin any less real or any less of a problem that God had to send Jesus to fix? I don’t think so.

    Bryan L

  8. Hmmm. I wonder if one could argue that Paul himself did not necessarily believe Adam was historical, but may have simply written AS IF that were the case.

    And if he did that, perhaps we may do the same, at least some of the time.

  9. Hmmm…if Adam and Eve are a group and not the single original “Sinners”, then is it theoretically possible that there are people on the earth that are born without a sin nature? How can we be sure? What part would a crucified Christ play in their lives?

  10. Pat: My problem with the word ‘evangelical’ is that it’s too fluid. A lot of very different folks apply it to themselves so it’s nearly useless. But I’d imagine that my idea of ‘evangelical’ is akin to James’, i.e., I automatically think of very conservative non-Catholic Christianity when I hear the word.

    Art: Exactly. I get the whole ‘God can’t err, the Bible is the word of God, therefore the Bible is inerrant’ line of reasoning, and it’s good so far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough. The human element needs to be added in and humans do in fact err, quite frequently at that. But we can’t fault Paul or anyone else for being a (wo)man of the times.

    Jeff: Perhaps because they don’t feel that they’re turning it around. In Longman’s case all he’s said is that Adam’s historicity is an open question for him. When I read through the comments on Justin’s blog I was a bit taken aback by some of the responses to that. A lot of those folks seemed to have taken it personally.

    TC: I don’t think it’s that simple either, which I think was Longman’s point in his video as well.

    Tron: I suppose that ‘better’ is in the eye of the beholder. To my mind there’s simply no passage that mentions Adam that necessitates his being a historical person and there’s plenty of things that go against it (e.g., the wordplay in the early chapters of Genesis where ‘adam’ can [and I think does] mean ‘mankind’; the relation of the word to ‘land/earth’ [and other such little features of the narrative]; and the fact that we’re told that he lived to be 930 years old which simply doesn’t comport with what we know of human life at any period of history).

    Bryan: Yeah, you’re probably right about the Biblical writers not thinking strictly in those categories (if they thought in them at all!). And I agree with your last point completely. Here’s the crazy thing about all of this: both sides believe almost the same thing. I believe that ‘Adam’ in Scripture functions as a representative of ‘mankind’ with the word literally meaning mankind. But the point of his being mentioned at all is to say that mankind has sinned against God and broken the fellowship it once enjoyed with him. People who believe in the historical Adam believe that that guy represented humanity and through his sin everyone else’s fellowship with God has been broken. The theology is the same either way.

    Bill: One could argue that of Paul, and while I tend to think that Paul probably believed Adam was historical, it wouldn’t matter in the least for Paul’s arguments if he wasn’t. Like I said in a comment on Art Boulet’s blog yesterday:

    “I don’t see folks going out of their way to argue that the rich man or Lazarus were historical people in Luke 16:19-31 even though Jesus speaks about them as though they were. But Jesus’ point would be the same whether or not those two individuals existed or not.”

    Nancy: I believe that even if we accept that Adam and Eve were historical people that we can argue that even they were created with a proclivity to sin, because in the narrative they sinned! I’m not of the mind that thinks the story presents them as in any way perfect (or immortal before sinning).

  11. I wouldn’t have the time to work out the hermeneutical implications, and bibliology, to say that Adam was not a real person. If you were to practice a hermeneutic here (systematically) that understood otherwise, the rest of your theology would also be questionable.

    If you cannot hold to a decent bibliology, you should get out of Christianity. I wouldn’t espouse and propagate post-modern epistemology if I disagreed with post-modern epistemology – which I do, and therefore do not. So, why would I say I’m a Christian but do not believe the biblical witness/authors.

    This discussion would then fall back onto the question of the essence of Christianity. What is the essence? The resurrection? Christ? Charity? Feeling?

  12. Michael:

    So, why would I say I’m a Christian but do not believe the biblical witness/authors.

    I don’t know, why would you? From my position the Biblical witness/authors introduce Adam into the story to make the point that mankind once enjoyed fellowship with God but this fellowship was broken because of sin. I personally believe that, but that doesn’t require the historicity of Adam any more than my believing that if one doesn’t believe the Scriptures then they wouldn’t believe a man if he rose from the dead to tell them what the Scriptures already say requires that I believe the Lazarus of Luke 16:19-31 was a historical figure.

    Jeff: I think you understand it but just don’t agree with it. I’m fine with that.

  13. Nick, that’s not intellectual in my view. I would say that’s a utilitarian argument at best: I disagree with everything you are telling me, but I agree with the end result. Ok, but would you postulate Christ, the second Adam, was also not real? There is a written record of his life. He is also a ‘theological’ person. The witnesses demonstrate that he dialogued with God and others (like Adam).

    Here’s my problem. If you’re going to believe this in my perspective you also need to explain your hermeneutics, and why, in the case of Christ, you would not hold this same view.

    The second problem, see my second paragraph, is that you would also need to formulate a curious bibliology that would allow you to deviate, in the case of Adam, from the biblical witness, and agree, in the case of Christ, with the biblical witness. That’s a lot of gymnastics.

  14. the fact that we’re told that he lived to be 930 years old which simply doesn’t comport with what we know of human life at any period of history).

    Isn’t that getting into dangerous territory? What if that were applied to everything we don’t know of human life (or a whole lot of other things) in the Bible?

  15. Michael: Well, you’re entitled to hold wrong views about whatever you’d like. Far be it from me to stop you from thinking something is not ‘intellectual.’

    The fault in your analogy is that what we read about Jesus is predicated on eyewitness testimony. Moses (or whoever one wishes to believe wrote Genesis) makes no claims to have known, seen, heard, or touched Adam. Paul on the other hand gives a list of people who had seen, heard, and known Jesus in 1Cor. 15.

    Another fault in your analogy is one of genre. The Gospels, which are our best sources of information about Jesus are ancient biographies so we’d expect different things from them than we’d expect from the early chapters of Genesis (for some thought provocation check out John Hobbins’ post on The Genre of Genesis 1).

    So now let’s bring it back to my analogy which is much more appropriate. Do you argue with the same vigor for the historicity of the ‘rich man’ and Lazarus as they’re presented in Luke 16:19-31? If not then why not? Lazarus is mentioned by name and Jesus referred to the ‘rich man’ as a ‘certain rich man.’ He likewise mentions Abraham and Moses by name thus adding to the historical plausibility that the ‘rich man’ and Lazarus were historical individuals, right? If you would argue with the same vigor for the historicity of these individuals as you would for Adam, then would you also condemn as ‘not intellectual’ all of the conservative Evangelical commentators who suggest that these were not historical figures but merely characters in a parable (e.g., Joel Green or Craig Evans)?

    Jeff: Such as? The fact of the matter is that we know things now that people didn’t know back when the Bible was being written. Nobody who wrote anything that is recorded in Scripture actually saw someone live to be 900+ years old, btw, nor can I recall a claim that they had (point me to one if you know of any). By the time Moses was writing people were living into their 100s, funnily enough, like they do now. Perhaps they wrongly believed that people lived to be 900+ years old, or perhaps they didn’t believe it and recorded those ages to make some other point. Either way, we know better now.

  16. I think it’s fairly clear that the Biblical authors believe Adam to be the literal, first man along with all other Jewish authors for whom we have extant lierature. Reading Paul or Jesus as expressing theological truths alone rather than theological truths through comparisons between historical people and historical instances seems to me to be quite contrived. That of course doesn’t mean that there was a historical Adam (I think there was), but I think they believed he was. And I that’s more important than some would like to think.

  17. Derek: Like I’ve said above, I think they more than likely believed Adam to be a historical person as well, I just don’t think they were necessarily correct. But I’m of the opinion that it doesn’t matter all that much, at least no more than it matters that the author of Genesis had a flawed cosmology or something of the like.

  18. Nick, so we only believe in the biblical characters that have an eyewitness testimony?

    I wouldn’t take issue, while during hermeneutics, with any of your above mentioned items (e.g., literary genre). But, you neatly dodged the hermeneutical implications that first prompted me to enter the discussion.

    The fact of the matter is that the Bible’s writers probably did believe that Adam was a historical individual, but that doesn’t of necessity make them correct.

    If the biblical authors are wrong, what is the hermeneutical criteria you are using to identify when they are wrong? Or is it simply when you find yourself disagreeing with them?

    Can you explain how you are practicing your responsible hermeneutics mentioned in your above comment when you are making this statement?

    So now let’s bring it back to my analogy which is much more appropriate.

    Why don’t we? Your comment, in terms of hermeneutics, deserves merit, but your post is just awful.

  19. Further, the essence of Christianity would need to factor into the discussion. If we are editing the Apostolic witness, what is the essence that must be retained if we are to retain Christianity. It’s not a criticism against you, just the hermeneutics involved. I’m going to a hermeneutics class (ironically). I’ll stop by later.

  20. Here’s a question: When the Divine Author communicated His word to the Bible’s human authors, did he intend for them to think Adam was a real historical individual, or a metaphor?

    Since they apparently *do* believe Adam was an historical person, did God deceive and mislead them? (And, by extension, us?)

  21. Does Jesus have to be omniscient about history to be God or Messiah? Maybe you’ll say no but then what? Does he only have to be correct about the things in history that he specifically spoke of? Can Jesus have wrong beliefs about history but it still be ok if he doesn’t actually speak those wrong beliefs? If he did speak them then it’s still of if they didn’t get written down? This comes down to the question of Jesus’ humanity and to the extent that he became one of us (with the limitations that we all share).

    Bryan L

  22. Genesis 1 represents the historical creation.

    Genesis 2 isn’t literal. Adam is intended to represent the way mankind used to be (ie, our youth). We start off in God’s graces, then we sin and separate ourselves from God. And unless we change and become like children (again), we will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    Genesis 1 and 2 can’t both be literally true.

  23. Michael: I’ve not said that we should only believe in the Bible characters that have eyewitness testimony; I was simply pointing out a flaw in your analogy. Your reasoning (at least as it seems from your comments) is that if the Bible is wrong about one thing it’s wrong about everything. This seems (and please correct me if I’m wrong) to be what you consider a consistent hermeneutic. I’m not of that mind. The criteria I use to determine when the Biblical authors are wrong include history, philosophy, science, etc., that is, all the same considerations that go into determining when they’re correct. My mantra is not ‘The Bible says it, that settles it.’

    And simple disagreement can play two roles: (1) it can be that which leads into further inquiry which will either (a) confirm my disagreement, (b) remove it and bring about agreement, or (c) leave me undecided because I can’t find enough one way or the other to convince me; or (2) it can be the result of studying a verse/passage/book that I otherwise had no prior disagreement with.

    And I understand that you feel strongly about this subject (that much is obvious) and I’d never ask you to not express your feelings on my blog, but I would appreciate something to push the conversation forward if that’s at all possible. The questions are good, thanks for asking them, but the opinion about the awfulness of the post isn’t helpful when you’ve yet to offer an alternative. So far I can only speculate as to what you consider consistent, responsible, good (or whatever other descriptor you can think of) hermeneutics to be. It seems to me that any hermeneutic you consider valid will have to be built upon a presupposition of Biblical inerrancy, and if that is actually the case then you’ll not consider any hermeneutic I set forth to be responsible.

    Andy: I can’t possibly answer that since I’m not God and can’t speak to what he was thinking. I can say that I think they would have already, as practicing religious Jews, had a belief on the matter and that belief would have been expressed in their writing.

    Jeff: I believe that is very possible. I take the assumption of humanity in the Incarnation to mean that he assumed all the frailties of humanity save sin. That means being wrong on certain issues, being ignorant of others, and everything else that we as humans experience.

    Bryan: You got it.

    Professorvandelay: Could you flesh out what you mean by ‘represents’ in your first sentence. I think everyone involved in this debate would be happy to say that Genesis 1 ‘represents’ the historical creation, but some of us would probably mean different things by that. Thanks.

  24. Nick, where do you see the Genesis account going from archetype/allegorical people to actual historical people?

  25. I’ve come too late to this very lengthy discussion. It seems to me, though, that the prima facie (and it’s important to leave that in, because there may well be more telling evidence than first present) case does indeed favour an historical Adam.

    Here’s the question: if the Bible authors were making a theological point, even though mistaken about an historical Adam, what does this do to our hermeneutic? If the theological point still stands, then it is not built off, not articulated from, the historical.

    I note someone raised the question of Jesus as an historical figure. Now, while you can defend the historical reliability of Jesus on stronger grounds from the textual evidence, the same problem arises – the NT authors build theology off the historical events of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. If one can hold the theology of sin and fall without an historical Adam, when the bible authors seem to predicate it on an historical Adam, what prevents a similar separation between theology and history for Jesus?

  26. Seumas: Other than Paul saying that if Christ is not raised then our faith is in vain, nothing. And there are many ‘liberal’ Christians who take a position just like that (i.e., no literal bodily resurrection). I’m not one of them, but they’re out there.

  27. Thank you for your response Nick. After rereading my comments (as usual) the kindness you’ve shown is undeserved.

  28. Michael,

    After reading your attempt to make bibliology require a historical Adam, I must say I think you’re in the same confusion that most evangelicals are in.

    The fact of the matter is that, as Christians, we are called to believe the apostolic kerygma because it is the *preaching of eyewitnesses*, esp. those *sent by God*. The authority of Scripture for the Church is actually authority on loan from the kerygma, and it is only those events that make up the kerygma that Christians must affirm to be biblical Christians.

    There is absolutely *nothing* in the belief system of the earliest Christians calling for a bibliology of inerrancy, infallibility, or even inspiration! We don’t believe the apostles because they were inspired. We believe them because they were eyewitnesses.

  29. Hmmm…If the inspired eye witness-authors of the HOLY Bible could get things a bit confused and slightly wrong in places due to their “human” characteristics…what about “human” scientists? All things being equal and us left unable to KNOW it all…In any given quandary which explanation do we choose and why might that be?

  30. John,

    I think you misunderstood my comment. I nowhere said bibliology requires us to believe Adam was a real person. I said I didn’t have the time to work out a systematic bibliology that would allow for this reading without doing harm to the rest of the Scriptures.

    How could you read my comments and come away thinking I tried to rationalize a historical Adam through bibliology? I nowhere said or developed anything like that.

    Honestly, your views of bibliology are too liberal for me. The bible does talk about itself and it seems reasonable to develop a doctrine out of it.

    You mentioned the kerygma, but even some of the earliest Christian creeds talk about the Scriptures (cf. 1 Cor. 15:3)!

  31. Whether my bibliology is liberal depends on what one means by “liberal”.

    If “liberal” means out of keeping with what most Christians down through the ages have believed, then, yes, it’s liberal.

    But if “liberal” means out of keeping with what Scripture itself attests and what the first-century Church believed, then, no: my view is more conservative than that of most evangelicals.

  32. John, a few more places where Scripture is seen authoritative and God-breathed (inspired) within the kerygma would be Acts 3:18, 21, and 4:25. Not only does the early Apostolic church regard Scripture as authoritative, it also affirms that Scripture was spoken by God.

    Can you explain to me how a conservative bibliology could make the leap from this view of Scripture to the view that what is authoritative is only that which agrees with the modern scientific community and has an eye-witness account?

    You said: The authority of Scripture for the Church is actually authority on loan from the kerygma, and it is only those events that make up the kerygma that Christians must affirm to be biblical Christians.

    This is to put the cart before the horse. The kerygma rests on the authority of Scripture. It doesn’t establish it. Jesus himself said “the Scripture cannot be broken.”

  33. Nick…that would never do…I would just be wondering if the apparition was truly Nicky N or just an fictional internet character…Best let me get there first.

  34. Michael: I don’t want to butt in on your and John’s conversation but I disagree with this statement: “The kerygma rests on the authority of Scripture. It doesn’t establish it.” The kerygma rests on the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. The NT writers interpreted the OT in light of the ‘Christ event’ but it was the ‘event’ itself that came to bear on their interpretation and established them as authoritative.

    Nancy: I could be a bot.

  35. Nick, you’re alright. And you’re correct in that the content of the kerygma rests on Christ and the gospel. But within the foundation of the kerygma is also the Apostolic view of Scripture, which obviously includes inspiration.

    It seems illogical to deduce a bibliology that agrees with the message of the kerygma but not accept what the kerygma itself says about the Scriptures and their inspiration.

    Really, kerygma is a peripheral discussion in formulating a bibliology and I think John C Poirier reduces the Bible to this because it allows him to cave to pressures from the scientific and cultural communities.

    It would be more responsible to survey what all of Scripture regards itself and its authors as — the mouthpiece of God.

  36. Michael,

    I’m not sure where you’re getting the “pressures from the scientific and cultural communities” stuff.

    I don’t have time to give a quality response to your claims that Scripture “regards itself as . . . the mouthpiece of God”, but briefly I would just say that I don’t really believe that Scripture claims any such thing. That old view really needs to be put to pasture.

    I’m currently writing a paper that I’m supposed to present next Spring, dealing with the meaning of *theopneustos* (from 2 Tim 3:16). My take is that it does *not* mean “God-breathed* at all. Rather, it literally means “God-breathing”, and as such refers to Scripture’s *life-giving* power. (Throughout the OT, the image of God breathing into someone signified the giving of life.) In what sense was Scripture “life-giving”? Answer: In the sense that it contains the gospel.

    This interpretation of *theopneustos* is confirmed both by the context of 2 Tim 3:16, and by philological considerations. I cannot present these details at the moment, as there are just too many things to say, but the long and short of it is that Warfield really flubbed the philological argument for *theopneustos*.

    I strongly disagree with your statement that the kerygma is peripheral to bibliology. It is not peripheral at all. The kerygma was the authority for the apostles’ mission, and Scripture, for them, was simply a witness to the kerygma.

    P.S. I have an article giving my bibliology coming out in the Bird/Pahl volume.

  37. John will you be dealing only with 2 Tim. 3:16 and that specific word? Your paper sounds excellent and I know you said you don’t have a lot of time here, but how would you understand the following verses with regard to inspiration:

    Acts 3:18 But the things God foretold long ago through all the prophets – that his Christ would suffer – he has fulfilled in this way.

    Acts 3:21 This one heaven must receive until the time all things are restored, which God declared from times long ago through his holy prophets.

    Acts 4:25 who said by the Holy Spirit through your servant David our forefather…

    The Apostolic Church seems to be putting a great deal of emphasis on the fact that the person and work of Christ was foretold in the Scriptures. Notice, they are not only saying they are eyewitnesses but that another facet of the authority of their testimony is that it was foretold in the prophets — prophets inspired by God and whom God spoke through.

    I’m getting too lengthy… Thoughts?

  38. The Apostolic Church and Jesus himself all held a view of the Scriptures that was very authoritative, and regardless of the exact definition of theopneustos in 2 Tim. 3:16, its clearly used to indicate a positive quality of the Scriptures that makes them authoritative with regard to forming doctrine. To move from this position to one that says we may disagree with Scripture (your position I believe) causes a great deal of tension for me.

  39. Michael,

    The verses you cite refer to “the prophets”. What the “prophets” said was (is) authoritative because it was (is) prophecy, *not* because it was Scripture.

    This is also the view of 2 Pet 1:21.

    The Bible records prophecies (here and there), but that does not make Scripture itself (through and through) prophetic.

    Certainly, you’re right about Scripture being authoritative, but I don’t believe that already in the first century it was considered in a way all that similar to what today’s evangelicals think of it. Today’s evangelicals seem to have a bibliology more similar to that of the Rabbis than to that of the early Christians. (Of course, views changed, and already by the third century, a more evangelical view of Scripture had taken root in the Alexandrian stream of Christian tradition, much of it derived from Philo.)

  40. And what about (I’m assuming you know the relevant passages) Jesus’ views of Scripture? His views are about as high as you can get — “the Scripture cannot be broken”, “jot and tittle”, etc. Christ also uses law and/or prophets as a substitute for the entire Scriptures. He does not make the neat classification of only the prophets (with regard to inspiration) as you have suggested. I’ll try to find the reference verse for this, I’m not in front of the books currently.

  41. Well, it’s hard to say what Jesus actually said, but assuming that he *did* say what the gospels attribute to him in this connection . . .

    The reference to “jot or tittle” refers to the Law *qua* law of Moses (revelation from Sinai) and not necessarily to Scripture *per se*. That’s clearly what Jesus is talking about.

    When Jesus says “and the scripture cannot be broken” in John 10:35, he is trying to catch “the Jews” in a trap. It is *they* (“the Jews”) who espouse this view, and Jesus repeats it at this point to force the “The Jews” to agree with what he says in 10:35a. I’m not saying that Jesus necessarily disagrees with what he says here, but literarily it functions to make the Pharisaic Bible-bangers eat their own words. (This tactic is similar to that of Justin Martyr.) But, of course, I really don’t think this verse tells us anything about the historical Jesus. Most NT scholars think it’s hazardous to move from the Fourth Gospel to the historical Jesus.

  42. Matthew 19:4-5

    19:4 He answered, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female, 19:5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?

    Jesus quoting Genesis 2 saying God said it.

  43. Nick, I think I understand your point. I could be mistaken though. In Genesis 2 God does speak, but he is no longer speaking in the portion that Jesus quotes him as having said. Even though Genesis doesn’t say God said this part, Jesus attributes these verses to the mouth of God.

  44. Michael: Not exactly. I’m saying that Moses said Genesis 2. I don’t think Jesus quoting what God said (as reported by Moses) can be equated with God saying Genesis 2 (as in authoring it). That might be even more confusing but it makes sense in my head.

  45. Michael,

    I’ve never seen an argument like that made from Matt 19:4-5. It assumes that the words “and said” in v. 5 have “the Creator” as their subject, and not Jesus. (That is, that Jesus *said* the words “and said”.) My NRSV punctuates it the way you read it, but I’m not sure that’s right. Stylistically, *kai eipen* in v. 4 may just be a satellite of the expression *ho de apokritheis eipen* in v. 4.

    I shall have to keep this passage in mind, however, in the future.

  46. Nick’s right: that’s who I am. But the school hasn’t actually started classes yet (we’re in the fundraising stage), so my teaching career has barely started. We’ll probably start up in 2011.

    To pay the bills, I work at a steel mill.

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