History, Humanity, Life matters

Account of origin of man, sin and death

Bro Wilfred Lambert was one of the foremost Assyriologists of his generation.  He wrote quite explicitly about the connection between ancient near eastern ideas (about which he was an expert) and the impossibility of reconciling Gen 1-3 with science.  Some of his specific observations in the previous and following article are:

  • The antiquity of the earth and man is unquestionably longer than biblical literalists can allow
  • Gen 1 and Gen 2-3 are separate events and cannot be read as literal/scientific accounts
  • The solid raqia was a common/borrowed understanding of the sky
  • Humanity is far older than 7,000 years

At the Christadelphians Origins Discussion we can find about the story of the beginning of everything:

The Second Account (Genesis 2:4–3:24)

This narrative begins in one respect like the previous one.  It does not concern  itself with the origin of matter, but starts with an existing earth, which was at that time unproductive for lack of rain.  God made it productive, a man was created, and the Garden of Eden was brought into being to serve as his home, which he shared with his specially created wife and with the animals, lacking but not needing the amenities of human material culture.  There is no need to repeat the remainder of the account.  The difference between the two accounts is immediately apparent even in their styles. The first is solemn and dignified.  The second is more picturesque, indeed it reads like a good story with the dramatic climax as the first couple are driven from their paradise to live in the workaday world of toil and finally death.

Like the first, the second also has purposes other than giving information about creation.  The main one is to explain the origin of sin and death.  In the world created by a holy, all-powerful and just God, how can one explain that moral evil exists in the cream of his creation?  Other aspects of human society are also explained, namely marriage, the need for hard work to sustain life, and the human dislike of snakes.

English: Adam and Eve are being sent out of th...
English: Adam and Eve are being sent out of the garden of Eden Русский: Адам и Ева изгоняются из Эдемского сада (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The logic of arranging the two accounts in their present sequence is clear.  The first account deals more with the creation of the whole universe than does the second, and its account of the human race is general.  The second account centres on the first human pair and their development.  This leads on to the following chapter, since the Pentateuch is an account of God’s revelation to man through his chosen people.  Thus the line of descent of the human race is followed from Adam and Eve up to Abraham and his descendants, at first giving some account of the whole race, later concentrating on the family from which the Israelite nation developed.  It was therefore appropriate for the inspired writer to put the account of Adam and Eve second, because it could be followed by the generations leading in due course to Abraham.

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Preceding

An openingschapter explaining why things are like they are and why we may have hope for better things

Bereshith 1-2 The Creation of the World – The Seven Days

How did the original readers understand Gen 1:1?

We haven’t always insisted that Gen 1 is literal 6*24 hours

Starting from a point in time when two elements existed

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Additional reading

  1. A viewpoint on creation
  2. Means of creations
  3. The World framed by the Word of God
  4. Coming to the creation of human beings in the image of God
  5. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #1 Beginning of everything
  6. Creation of the earth and man #13 Formation of man #5 Living soul
  7. Creation of the earth and man #16 Formation of man #8 Dust, flesh, blood,breathing and life
  8. Creation of the earth and man #17 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #1 In the image and after the likeness
  9. Creation of the earth and man #21 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #5 Spiritual and animal body
  10. Creation of the earth and man #22 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #6 Spirits, spiritual bodies and illusory perception
  11. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  12. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  13. A multifold of elements in creation and a bad choice made
  14. Cosmos creator and human destiny

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Further reading

  1. Why would God put Adam and Eve in a situation to fail?
  2. Adam and Eve
  3. B’Reshith: Seeing the Image of God
  4. The Root of Free Will
  5. Image of God: A Design Gone Wrong
  6. Favorable Death – In the Beginning 2
  7. Made for relationship with God; made in the likeness of God; made of God…
  8. holistic vision of the human’s role in creation
  9. Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil.
  10. Imagination and the Problem of Evil
  11. 5 Indicators of an Evil and Wicked Heart
  12. Being Human, Becoming Imago Dei – Part 9a: Into the Wasteland
  13. All Have Sinned14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) – 9th July 2017
  14. Not God’s Original Plan
  15. Hiding from God

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