Are Adam and Eve figurative people?

Discussion in 'Sacred Scripture' started by Pax_Christi, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. Pax_Christi

    Pax_Christi Member

    Posts:
    81
    Likes Received:
    85
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Protestant Christian
    I'm wondering what the view of people on this board on Adam and Eve. Are they the parents of the human race?
     
  2. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,222
    Likes Received:
    1,978
    Yes. That is what Genesis teaches.
     
  3. Pax_Christi

    Pax_Christi Member

    Posts:
    81
    Likes Received:
    85
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Protestant Christian
    I agree! :) I'm just curious how someone could reconcile the belief that Adam and Eve weren't real people with Original Sin. If they are any on here, care to explain?
     
    Mercy and Stalwart like this.
  4. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,419
    Likes Received:
    1,092
    Country:
    Canada
    Religion:
    Anglican
    I believe the geological & genealogical record can be reconciled with Adam & Eve by a careful reading of Genesis 2:7-8.

    And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

    Note that man was not created in Paradise, but was placed in it after his creation.

    I believe Eden is "in" eternity. As evolution went on outside, humans other than Adam & Eve clearly developed - for Cain had a wife outside Eden. Once our first parents entered the world, however, the stain of impurity corrupted the creation. The infection of sin spread like a contagion.

    For clarity about eternity vs. time, think of the relationship between "Our World" and Narnia in C.S. Lewis' tales. There may be more to fiction than we fantasize about... :)
     
    MatthewOlson and Stalwart like this.
  5. Jeff F

    Jeff F Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    377
    Likes Received:
    359
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Conservative Believer
    The time honored trick in liberal theology is whenever you encounter a difficult verse (or just one that you don't particularly like), it must be allegory or from a counterfeit manuscript.;)

    Jeff
     
    Pax_Christi and Mercy like this.
  6. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    689
    Likes Received:
    500
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Franciscan - Anglican
    I believe the creation stories of Genesis are beautiful pieces of Hebrew Biblical narrative which explain the origin of all things including the human race.
     
  7. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    490
    Likes Received:
    548
    Religion:
    Reformed
    Adam and Eve were the first pair of human beings on earth, directly created by God in His image, as Scripture plainly states.

    How is this reconciled with the modern evolutionary thesis which presupposes polygenism, among other inconvenient things such as death as a necessary mechanism of life instead of a curse brought about by sin? It's not. I don't believe in the modern myth of origins, I never have, I believe in the word of God. It will eventually be vindicated again.
     
    MatthewOlson, Pax_Christi and Toma like this.
  8. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    493
    Likes Received:
    544
    Country:
    Scotland
    Religion:
    Christian
    Found this article written about scientific evidence for an ancestral human couple, quoted here:

    The Mitochondrial DNA is the same double helical as all other DNA. The uniqueness is the location - outside of the nucleus. When an egg is fertilized inside the woman’s womb, the sperm provides 23 chromosomes that enter through the cell wall and into the nucleus to join with the 23 chromosomes in the egg, creating 23 pairs. Outside of the 23 chromosomes from the sperm, the rest of the egg and all of it ingredients are produced by the woman. This means that 99.99% of the Mitochondrial DNA is inherited from the mother only. Since the Mitochondrial is only inherited from one person, there is never any genetic mixing. In other words, the Mitochondrial DNA from the mother is passed on to all her children, and the father has nothing to do with this. Therefore, if we were to read the Mitochondrial DNA code of our brothers and sisters, they would have the exact same code. But when we realize that our mother inherited the Mitochondrial DNA from her mother, our maternal grandmother, then all the descendents from her would have the same Mitochondrial DNA, meaning not just our brothers and sisters, but all of our cousins. We could continue back to our maternal great grandmother, and realize that the Mitochondrial DNA is passed on to our second cousins as well. This can continue back through the 3rd, 4th 5th generations and farther until we find a common ancestor. In other words, we can read the code of the Mitochondrial DNA and determine if we are related or not. The expectation of this study in the 1980’s expected to find many family trees, possibly explaining the different races. The study read Mitochondrial DNA from the placentas of a sample of women from all continents and races. Late in 1987, the results were published and the conclusions amazing. Although, there were minor mutations, the evidence clearly pointed to a single ancestor from which the entire human race descended. They named this woman, Mitochondrial Eve, the mother of all humans.
    If we all descended from a common woman, is there a common man in our ancestry? This was a little more difficult, requiring us to look into the nucleus. A unique pair of chromosomes in the cell nucleus determines our sex. An XX pair of chromosomes is a woman, while an XY would be a man. During fertilization, the egg can contain only an X chromosome, because that is all the woman has. The man,
    however can provide an X or a Y chromosome and thus determine the sex of the baby. Since the Y chromosome is only inherited from the father, the same reasoning as above can be used to determine if we descended from a common man. The results published in the early 1990’s clearly showed that men from all different continents and all races have the exact same Y chromosome. Again, this can only be explained by one common ancestor, a Y chromosome Adam, the father of all humans.
    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CE0QFjAD&url=http://www.universitycad.com/creation/articles/English/Is_there_any_scientific_evidence_for_Adam_and_Eve.pdf&ei=zy5UUcz6Iaqj0QX7sIGQBA&usg=AFQjCNFbG9o_krl5QjQMVg22LI2e9_Vpnw&sig2=MXndas_h6L9p9t-eiRKBIA&bvm=bv.44442042,d.d2k


    Does this mean science agrees we are all descended from a single human couple?
     
    Pax_Christi and Toma like this.
  9. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,222
    Likes Received:
    1,978
    If Adam and Eve were only figurative, then original sin and its effects are only figurative, which means the need and promise of a savior is only figurative. I'm sorry, but I don't see how liberals think they make a warm and fuzzy god out of one who would send anyone, let alone his own Son, to be tortured and die on the cross for the sake of fleshing out a metaphor. If Adam is not really and truly our first ancestor, then how can Jesus really and truly be our savior and lord? It seems a rather hollow system to me...and yet, I read a bible commentary on biblegateway, written by a respected evangelical scholar, that said that anyone who read the creation story as literal was "a fool". When did biblical scholarship give way to shame and ridicule?
     
  10. Jeff F

    Jeff F Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    377
    Likes Received:
    359
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Conservative Believer
    I concur brother. I look at the educated idiots that Harvard, Yale, and Princeton (Bart Erhman) have been churning out the in the last decade, and I just shake my head. The problem (in America) as I see it, is that conservative scholarship is mainly coming from the evangelical seminary's such as Dallas Theological or Moody, but they tend to reject historic Anglican doctrine. May we never have to choose between the Eucharist and scriptural salvation!

    Jeff
     
  11. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    490
    Likes Received:
    548
    Religion:
    Reformed
    When Modernism started to make huge inroads into all mainstream Western churches in the end of the 19th century. This is a problem that has been going on for quite some time now.

    As for the "respected evangelical scholar," I plead guilty: I am a fool. And so were thousands and thousands of Christians down the ages that believed what the Bible actually says.
     
    Pax_Christi and Lowly Layman like this.
  12. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    490
    Likes Received:
    548
    Religion:
    Reformed
  13. Robert

    Robert Active Member

    Posts:
    93
    Likes Received:
    59
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (Anglo-Catholic)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegorical_interpretations_of_Genesis

    They qoute Fathers of the church from early on and none of them were liberals. I have seen more than what is listed but for the sake of my point noone could consider either St Gregory or St Augustine liberals. I will see if I can find more.

    Origen of Alexandria, in a passage that was later chosen by Gregory of Nazianzus for inclusion in the Philocalia, an anthology of some of his most important texts, made the following very modern-sounding remarks:
    For who that has understanding will suppose that the first, and second, and third day, and the evening and the morning, existed without a sun, and moon, and stars? And that the first day was, as it were, also without a sky? And who is so foolish as to suppose that God, after the manner of a husbandman, planted a paradise in Eden, towards the east, and placed in it a tree of life, visible and palpable, so that one tasting of the fruit by the bodily teeth obtained life? And again, that one was a partaker of good and evil by masticating what was taken from the tree? And if God is said to walk in the paradise in the evening, and Adam to hide himself under a tree, I do not suppose that anyone doubts that these things figuratively indicate certain mysteries, the history having taken place in appearance, and not literally.[16]

     
  14. Robert

    Robert Active Member

    Posts:
    93
    Likes Received:
    59
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (Anglo-Catholic)
  15. Robert

    Robert Active Member

    Posts:
    93
    Likes Received:
    59
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (Anglo-Catholic)
    What about Christians that don't believe in Original Sin?

    Also how is that Genesis only records Adam and Eve (though no marriage between the two) and their offspring yet there are other people not of Adam mentioned of later on when Cain is being exiled?
    How is it that God causes the generation of the human race to come about from incest which is listed as an abomination unto the Lord and those that commit abominations cannot enter the Kingdom?
     
  16. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

    Posts:
    545
    Likes Received:
    241
    Religion:
    Unhinged SC Anglican
    I enjoyed reading the Origen quote and clearly Gregory approves it, so, plenty of food for thought there. I still think that Adam and Eve must be literal people though, because it's through their singular actions that we have original sin. And for those who want to retrench themselves solely within the truths of the New Testament, and write off the Old Testament as allegorical, the NT clearly speaks of them as literal people...

    I believe that's a heresy.
     
  17. Robert

    Robert Active Member

    Posts:
    93
    Likes Received:
    59
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (Anglo-Catholic)
  18. Robert

    Robert Active Member

    Posts:
    93
    Likes Received:
    59
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (Anglo-Catholic)
    You are aware that the Eastern Orthodox do not believe in Original Sin? Where is Original Sin even mentioned in the Bible? To my knowledge nowhere. It is to my understanding a theological belief inherited from St Augustine and handed down solely in the West. The EO do believe in an Ancestrial Curse.
     
  19. Robert

    Robert Active Member

    Posts:
    93
    Likes Received:
    59
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican (Anglo-Catholic)
    Well there very well could have been a first man and woman out of a larger number of humans that came into existance at about the same time. I think that would lead to questions about what makes us human:morphology, intellect, a soul etc. In reference to the bolded part of response I have noticed that many Christians get touchy relying on writings about the Jesus and the Early Church that are written even a few decades or centuries after the event but Genesis was written by Moses thousands of years later and they accept it wholeheartedly. I find that mindboggling.
     
  20. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    493
    Likes Received:
    544
    Country:
    Scotland
    Religion:
    Christian
    In the New Testament Jesus points back to Adam and Eve as the source of the divine institution of marriage (Mat 19:4-6). And in Genesis 4:1 Eve is referred to as Adam's wife. Therefore they were married by God

    If you think of the age these early humans lived to, Adam and Eve and their offspring could have produced a vast population reasonably quickly. The text doesn't say that Cain's wife was not descended from Adam, or that the land of Put was filled with people of a different genealogical origin.

    On the matter of incest there was no prohibition at this time. God is sovereign and is capable of making something He allowed before to later become a transgression of His law. Some have speculated that it had to do with the genetic corruptions. Early on there would have been few genetic mutations, however over time they have increased and its a known fact that offspring of close relatives increase the chance of hereditary illness. Its one explanation anyway so I don't see a necessary contradiction
     
    Old Christendom likes this.