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Question: Were Adam and Eve real people?
Yes - 67 (63.2%)
No - 23 (21.7%)
Other (explain) - 16 (15.1%)
Total Voters: 106

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Author Topic: Adam and Eve: Historical People? (Poll)  (Read 17766 times) Average Rating: 0
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Alveus Lacuna
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« on: April 07, 2009, 12:48:20 AM »

This thread was prompted by a comment of Papist (a Roman Catholic) in another thread about Adam and Eve being created in a state of grace without original sin.  Now ignoring the "original sin" versus "ancestral sin" discussion, I am wondering what the Church requires of us (if anything) regarding Adam and Eve.

At this point in my life, I no longer regard Adam (Man) and Eve as historical, actual people, but rather view them as mythological archetypes that explain the origins and the condition of humanity.  In other words, their story seems to be more about the nature of good and evil in the world, and how humanity possesses a measure of faculty that distinctly sets it apart from all other creation in the natural order.  Our spiritual awareness is the product of this degree of self-consciousness we possess that exceeds all the rest of God's creatures.  As such, our knowledge of good and evil gives us the will and choice to pursue God in a way that no other creature can enjoy.

We are created in the image and likeness of God, but that image is tarnished, and our lives are an opportunity to reach out for a taste of whom and what we really are, which is a part of God.

All that being said, I find it difficult to engage in certain discussions about in what state Adam (or to me, the archetype for Every Man) was created; without "original sin" or whatever.  All statements about Adam really seem to pertain to humanity's condition in general; where we find ourselves in the cycle of life as people.

But am I wrong to understand things this way?  I know that many Orthodox Fathers understood everything in a very literal sense, but my question is not whether or not I must understand the world and Scriptures exactly the way that they did.  My question is rather whether or not I would be considered totally unorthodox in thinking this way.

Just to add to the context of the question, I also think this way about other mythological tales in Genesis, such as the tower of Babel and the Great Flood.  I do think that these mythoi are based on some historical facts.  The tower of Babel is probably tied in with the ziggurats of Mesopotamia.  There probably was a great flood of the Tigris and Euphrates that killed huge numbers of people.  And, as I stated before, Adam and Eve truly represent humanity being fashioned in a specific way.  Perhaps in that regard I am more of a Theistic Evolutionist, seeing humanity coming into being gradually, but the "spark" of cognizance and us finding ourselves in the state we are now was ultimately not an "accident." 

So anyway, the ahistoricity of mythoi do not rob them of their "truth" value, as the moral content and the spiritual teaching conveyed in them are completely true and divinely inspired.  In other words, saying that they are not historically accurate or did not "really" happen does not make them lies and falsehoods, but rather stories that helped shape and form the Judeans' self-understanding and the order of the world.
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2009, 01:00:13 AM »

I agree 100% with you...some may not...
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Alveus Lacuna
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2009, 01:28:16 AM »

As I final note, I will add that the Orthodox liturgical books speak of Christ as the "New Adam", as do the Holy Scriptures of Him as the "Last Adam" (1 Corinthians 15:45).  This reveals an understanding in St. Paul's mind that admits the archetypal nature of Adam, in that Christ Himself is called Adam in a different sense.  He establishes the new archetype; that of rebirth and deification: reunion with God.  So if St. Paul understood the archetypal nature of Adam, it cannot be completely unOrthodox!
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2009, 01:51:59 AM »

I agree with you and I don't believe that we are totally unOrthodox, at all.  Grin
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2009, 10:27:37 PM »

i think it is impossible to doubt their historicity and be in line with the Fathers and services of our Church.
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2009, 10:44:54 PM »

As I final note, I will add that the Orthodox liturgical books speak of Christ as the "New Adam", as do the Holy Scriptures of Him as the "Last Adam" (1 Corinthians 15:45).  This reveals an understanding in St. Paul's mind that admits the archetypal nature of Adam, in that Christ Himself is called Adam in a different sense.  He establishes the new archetype; that of rebirth and deification: reunion with God.  So if St. Paul understood the archetypal nature of Adam, it cannot be completely unOrthodox!
Assuming you understood St. Paul.  But honestly, I don't think the Fathers would classify 'rebirth' and 'theosis' (deification) as archetypes.  And as long as we cannot disprove that there was an Adam and Eve (Zoe) we cannot classify them as mere archetypes.  Having said that though, it is interesting that the Hebrew word 'adam' means 'mankind' or 'humans' and that 'zoe' means 'life'.  So the theory would seem to have some merit.  But again, these are just theories. 

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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2009, 11:07:41 PM »

But again, these are just theories.

Anal-retentive correction.  They are not theories; they are posited hypotheses.  Theorems require a huge amount of proof, while a hypothesis is the initially proposed idea.
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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2009, 12:20:42 AM »

i think it is impossible to doubt their historicity and be in line with the Fathers and services of our Church.
How so?  Can you defend this thesis?

BTW, welcome to the forum! Grin
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2009, 12:24:44 AM »

Seconded!  Welcome to the forum!  We are glad to have you here!
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2009, 11:15:12 AM »

This is probably one of the most interesting topics in Orthodoxy due to contemporary scientific knowledge.  Probably the best question to ask is not whether you're unorthodox or not, but how would the Fathers have reacted to the scientific knowledge given today, as well as the way the scientific methodology being used that is totally different from the speculative sciences of their day?  This would be quite an interesting dissertation to read, imo.

On modern opinions of this, the ex-atheist Christian geneticist Dr. Francis Collins also thought about it and looked to CS Lewis as his guide.  CS Lewis took an interesting approach saying that he more or less did not know, but keeping with the spirit of the fathers, he considered that there could have been a Fall, certainly not just one man and one woman, but many men and many women, or one man and one woman who were first in Paradise before many men and many women.  It's certainly may not be a tree (as Origen also implied), but some sort of disobedience that lead not just one, but took many others down with them to a "Fall."  Or if it was just these two, these two were simply fallen and could not maintain a grace for others to follow in exemplary fashion.  Either way, he maintained a belief that there had to be more than just Adam and Eve as well as keep in line with the doctrine of the Fall.  I tend to agree with this line of thought.  You don't have to necessarily take the trees, the gardens, the days of creation, even the mode of creation of Eve as literal, but as allegory.  But there are other core beliefs that have been held, especially the idea of the Fall.

In addition, in Coptic liturgical tradition, there are some prayers where we commemorate the specific figures of Adam, but the main prayers do not stress Adam, but stress that when "a man" disobeyed God's commandment by the deception of the serpent, "we fell" from eternal life and "were" exiled from the Paradise of Joy (Basilian Liturgy).  "I ate from the tree" (Gregorian Liturgy).  The story of Adam and Eve take a very personal tone, in which Christ was incarnate for my own salvation of what I had done when I was in Paradise.  So the case of allegory in Adam and Eve seems to have a strong case based on these prayers alone.

However, I doubt we would find consistency in this in any liturgical or patristic tradition, for it seems that it does not exclude the belief of an actual Adam and Eve.  I do know that allegory goes as far as not actually considering that the commandment was actually that of eating from a tree or that the demon actually appeared as a snake with legs, but that these specific things were allegory.  One then wonders how far these Alexandrian-oriented fathers went with allegory, and if so if this includes Adam and Eve as purely allegory themselves?

God bless.
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2009, 12:22:38 PM »

Alveus,

I, too, cannot imagine that there was a time when there were just two humans on this planet. It makes absolutely no sense from the point of view of the most basic biology, sort of like a statement that the earth is flat or that the Sun and the planets are orbiting the motionless Earth are completely incompatible with the most basic astronomy that we know today.

I have no idea how Fathers would react if they learned that there exist DNA, genes, mutations, natural selection, genetic drift, evolution, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, etc. I also have no idea how would they react if someone told them that 1 Cor. 15:39 is a total nonsense, rubbish from the point of view of modern biology and 1 Cor. 15:40 - from the point of view of the modern astronomy and astrophysics. Or that you just cannot pass "sin" to your progeny (the comparison with the muddy water that streams from a contaminated source is also a complete nonsense, "genetically" speaking).

It really strikes me that there is very little room for maneuver - one either has to dump science and stick to mediaeval dogmas, or be honest and say that we don't really have a sound theology of fall and redemption. It does not destroy my faith in God, in the Logos incarnate, but it does make me extremely sceptical regarding the "book" theology.
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2009, 12:48:14 PM »

The genealogy in the Gospel of Matthew certainly wouldn't make sense if taken literally.
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« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2009, 01:18:22 PM »

The genealogy in the Gospel of Matthew certainly wouldn't make sense if taken literally.
How so?  Would you care to defend this thesis?
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« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2009, 01:18:58 PM »

How old do you suppose the earth is?  How far removed do you believe Abraham is from Adam?
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« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2009, 01:22:42 PM »

How old do you suppose the earth is?  How far removed do you believe Abraham is from Adam?
I'm going with the 4.5 billion years model.

BTW, Matthew's genealogy only goes back to Abraham.  It's Luke's genealogy that goes all the way back to Adam.  (Of course, there is that little detail that Matthew and Luke can't even agree on Christ's genealogy after King Solomon, but that's a different story unto itself.)
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« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2009, 01:25:29 PM »

I picked one example.  You're right though that Luke's is even more problematic.

How would you lay out those 4.5 billion years in light of those genealogies then?  When did humans appear?
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« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2009, 02:32:27 PM »

I picked one example.  You're right though that Luke's is even more problematic.

How would you lay out those 4.5 billion years in light of those genealogies then?  When did humans appear?
Do you honestly believe I disagree with you?  I just asked you to defend your thesis--one with which I agree, if I understand it correctly--because you had originally posted a vague one-lined statement that just demanded an explanation.  I had actually just finished working through the answer to your most recent question, but I thought, "Hey!  I asked HIM to defend his thesis, and here I am defending it for him.  Let him defend it himself, as I asked."  So I'm turning your thesis back to you.  You defend it. Cool
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« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2009, 02:36:23 PM »

Ahhhhh.

Yeah, people appeared way before the genealogies suggest they do and probably went through some form of evolution.  Probably half a million years ago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution

and other forms of life were around long before that.
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« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2009, 07:35:16 PM »

Ahhhhh.

Yeah, people appeared way before the genealogies suggest they do and probably went through some form of evolution.  Probably half a million years ago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution

and other forms of life were around long before that.
You call that a defense of your thesis?  Roll Eyes  Let me show you how it's done. Grin

If you add up the ages given in the Bible when each man in Christ's genealogy begat his son, you see that the time from Adam to Abraham the Patriarch adds up to 3332 years.  The time from Abraham to Jesus adds up to roughly another 2000 years.  Then you add in the 2000-or-so years that have elapsed since Jesus was born, and you have a sum total of about 7000 years from Adam to today.  The fossil record, though, shows that man appeared on this earth about one to two million years ago.  This is at least 140 times as long as the span of time that supposedly separates us from Adam and Eve.  Even if we go with the much stricter standard of the appearance of homo sapiens on the earth about 250,000 to 400,000 years ago, one still sees that this is much greater than 7000 years of Judæo-Christian history.

There! Angry  How's that for a defense of your thesis? Cool
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« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2009, 07:47:34 PM »

Alveus,

I, too, cannot imagine that there was a time when there were just two humans on this planet. It makes absolutely no sense from the point of view of the most basic biology, sort of like a statement that the earth is flat or that the Sun and the planets are orbiting the motionless Earth are completely incompatible with the most basic astronomy that we know today.

I have no idea how Fathers would react if they learned that there exist DNA, genes, mutations, natural selection, genetic drift, evolution, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, etc. I also have no idea how would they react if someone told them that 1 Cor. 15:39 is a total nonsense, rubbish from the point of view of modern biology and 1 Cor. 15:40 - from the point of view of the modern astronomy and astrophysics. Or that you just cannot pass "sin" to your progeny (the comparison with the muddy water that streams from a contaminated source is also a complete nonsense, "genetically" speaking).

It really strikes me that there is very little room for maneuver - one either has to dump science and stick to mediaeval dogmas, or be honest and say that we don't really have a sound theology of fall and redemption. It does not destroy my faith in God, in the Logos incarnate, but it does make me extremely sceptical regarding the "book" theology.

Or is it that we do have a sound theology based on the observable nature of mankind, explained to us through an ancient moral myth? Seems to me that the Creation passage is a great way to explain that mankind is flawed, but still longs for communion with a perfect Being. Ancient man wasn't stupid; any sensitive philosopher could look at man's condition and see that it is flawed, yet capable of so much more. Even if the "Fall" wasn't a historical event in the way that Genesis describes it, the need for man to aspire to greater things than base animal responses is still obvious for any with eyes to see it. Could this be one of the ways that inspiration works? There is always one man amongst the many who responds to Grace in a special way. I'm not sure how it worked, whether it was a "Damascus Road Experience" or just a thoughtful and observant being responding to his surroundings; and just knowing that man was capable of so much more. But I do see the Genesis story as perhaps the best way, if not the only way, that ancient man or men could have explained the Creator and His Creation - and ultimately our need for a Saviour to give us the ultimate communion with God.

As far as I'm concerned, the evidence of science is clear and God doesn't seem to have feared man discoverying the secrets of his beginnings. I see no need to throw over my faith, nor remain trapped in a medieval mindset. Perhaps we should simply accept that God believes we are mature enough to cope with the facts? If the fall wasn't a real event, the message of the story isn't altered; the basic thrust of which is that flawed mankind is in need of repair.
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« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2009, 09:07:10 PM »

Ahhhhh.

Yeah, people appeared way before the genealogies suggest they do and probably went through some form of evolution.  Probably half a million years ago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution

and other forms of life were around long before that.
You call that a defense of your thesis?  Roll Eyes  Let me show you how it's done. Grin

If you add up the ages given in the Bible when each man in Christ's genealogy begat his son, you see that the time from Adam to Abraham the Patriarch adds up to 3332 years.  The time from Abraham to Jesus adds up to roughly another 2000 years.  Then you add in the 2000-or-so years that have elapsed since Jesus was born, and you have a sum total of about 7000 years from Adam to today.  The fossil record, though, shows that man appeared on this earth about one to two million years ago.  This is at least 140 times as long as the span of time that supposedly separates us from Adam and Eve.  Even if we go with the much stricter standard of the appearance of homo sapiens on the earth about 250,000 to 400,000 years ago, one still sees that this is much greater than 7000 years of Judæo-Christian history.

There! Angry  How's that for a defense of your thesis? Cool

I disagree that the fossil record shows that man showed up 2 million years ago; I would agree that it is interpreted as such but is not definitive.  It still remains that the primary method of dating fossils is by the rocks in which they are found, and the primary method of dating rocks is by the fossils which are found in them.  The age of fossils are simply a guess fit into a preconceived theory.
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« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2009, 09:40:10 PM »

Ahhhhh.

Yeah, people appeared way before the genealogies suggest they do and probably went through some form of evolution.  Probably half a million years ago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution

and other forms of life were around long before that.
You call that a defense of your thesis?  Roll Eyes  Let me show you how it's done. Grin

If you add up the ages given in the Bible when each man in Christ's genealogy begat his son, you see that the time from Adam to Abraham the Patriarch adds up to 3332 years.  The time from Abraham to Jesus adds up to roughly another 2000 years.  Then you add in the 2000-or-so years that have elapsed since Jesus was born, and you have a sum total of about 7000 years from Adam to today.  The fossil record, though, shows that man appeared on this earth about one to two million years ago.  This is at least 140 times as long as the span of time that supposedly separates us from Adam and Eve.  Even if we go with the much stricter standard of the appearance of homo sapiens on the earth about 250,000 to 400,000 years ago, one still sees that this is much greater than 7000 years of Judæo-Christian history.

There! Angry  How's that for a defense of your thesis? Cool

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« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2009, 09:45:47 PM »

I wonder if any of our opinions really matter?  Will our salvation be affected?  Can we still achieve theosis?  Should we still worship and pray to Him Who loves and aches for us?  As we draw near to the most blessed event in all of history; the most wondrous and awesome day that mankind can even dare to imagine; let us put away our opinions and squabbles and humbly, meekly say, "Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, have mercy upon me."    
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« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2009, 09:51:26 PM »

It matters if your faith rests on a literal interpretation of all this, because it's resting on a house of cards.
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« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2009, 11:25:55 PM »

"And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile;..." ~ 1 Corinthians 15:17

 I quote this verse to add some perspective to this topic.  Many people, not necessarily through fault of their own, never tire in using science in disproving this or that verse of the Bible and even Christianity itself.  As is evidenced by this and other topics here, even some Christians have taken quite a stand against having faith.  Yet the Fathers never advocated 'blind faith'; Christianity, after all, is a science like Psychiatry.  But when we as Christians assert that this or that verse cannot be true, or that it is rubbish, and especially by using science to 'disprove' it, we, perhaps unknowingly, make a mockery out of Christianity.  If we were to rely on science alone, who could believe that a being exists that is both God and man and that this being was hanged upon a cross and died and then came back to life?  Go and ask a biologist if this is possible.  She will say "Impossible!".  But the Church posses a huge repository that tells us "Not only is it possible, it happened!"  Every Christian is obliged to accept this.  Relying so heavily on science so as to question the Bible with a critical, logical eye can only lead us down paths which take us away from Orthodoxy.  Believing on the Bible, even literally, is never a 'house of cards'.  Rest assured that you will be ridiculed, but that has been the fate of most Christians.  Believing in and relying on science alone will cause your faith to become futile.
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« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2009, 01:09:24 AM »

"And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile;..." ~ 1 Corinthians 15:17

 I quote this verse to add some perspective to this topic.  Many people, not necessarily through fault of their own, never tire in using science in disproving this or that verse of the Bible and even Christianity itself.  As is evidenced by this and other topics here, even some Christians have taken quite a stand against having faith.  Yet the Fathers never advocated 'blind faith'; Christianity, after all, is a science like Psychiatry.  But when we as Christians assert that this or that verse cannot be true, or that it is rubbish, and especially by using science to 'disprove' it, we, perhaps unknowingly, make a mockery out of Christianity.  If we were to rely on science alone, who could believe that a being exists that is both God and man and that this being was hanged upon a cross and died and then came back to life?  Go and ask a biologist if this is possible.  She will say "Impossible!".  But the Church posses a huge repository that tells us "Not only is it possible, it happened!"  Every Christian is obliged to accept this.  Relying so heavily on science so as to question the Bible with a critical, logical eye can only lead us down paths which take us away from Orthodoxy.  Believing on the Bible, even literally, is never a 'house of cards'.  Rest assured that you will be ridiculed, but that has been the fate of most Christians.  Believing in and relying on science alone will cause your faith to become futile.
But who here is asking that we rely on science alone, as if to turn science against the Scriptures?  If you think we should take the literal meaning of the Scriptures to be the final word and should ignore science altogether, then come out with it and just say so.  No need to hide behind this rhetoric of "don't trust in science alone".
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« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2009, 07:29:47 AM »

"And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile;..." ~ 1 Corinthians 15:17

 I quote this verse to add some perspective to this topic.  Many people, not necessarily through fault of their own, never tire in using science in disproving this or that verse of the Bible and even Christianity itself.  As is evidenced by this and other topics here, even some Christians have taken quite a stand against having faith.  Yet the Fathers never advocated 'blind faith'; Christianity, after all, is a science like Psychiatry.  But when we as Christians assert that this or that verse cannot be true, or that it is rubbish, and especially by using science to 'disprove' it, we, perhaps unknowingly, make a mockery out of Christianity.  If we were to rely on science alone, who could believe that a being exists that is both God and man and that this being was hanged upon a cross and died and then came back to life?  Go and ask a biologist if this is possible.  She will say "Impossible!".  But the Church posses a huge repository that tells us "Not only is it possible, it happened!"  Every Christian is obliged to accept this.  Relying so heavily on science so as to question the Bible with a critical, logical eye can only lead us down paths which take us away from Orthodoxy.  Believing on the Bible, even literally, is never a 'house of cards'.  Rest assured that you will be ridiculed, but that has been the fate of most Christians.  Believing in and relying on science alone will cause your faith to become futile.
But who here is asking that we rely on science alone, as if to turn science against the Scriptures?  If you think we should take the literal meaning of the Scriptures to be the final word and should ignore science altogether, then come out with it and just say so.  No need to hide behind this rhetoric of "don't trust in science alone".
I thought my words were pretty clear; I'm not asking for science OR faith alone, nor have I accused any one else of adhering to an either/or stance.  But it's become very common here to see the scientific community's influence on us.  This isn't always a bad thing, PtA, but scrutinizing every chapter and verse is an exercise in futility (there are many aspects of Christianity that are a mystery) and reveals that we don't fully understand that faith "can move mountains".  Anyway, people will do and believe whatever they want, they always have and always will.  I just hope that my brothers and sisters (myself as well) don't go too far in trying to understand everything within a scientific or logical fashion.     
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« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2009, 07:44:59 AM »

Whether or not Adam and Eve were real people does not matter to me. I do know that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. I do not see the two issues as linked. Protestants say "If one verse isn't true..none of it is true". Orthodoxy is bigger and better than that.
I believe that the Hebrew Bible may not contain every story as literally true but I know that it contains Eternal Truth.
Just because we are Orthodox Christians does not mean that we have to check our brains at the door.
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« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2009, 07:47:13 AM »

Whether or not Adam and Eve were real people does not matter to me. I do know that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. I do not see the two issues as linked. Protestants say "If one verse isn't true..none of it is true". Orthodoxy is bigger and better than that.

Not everyone shares that opinion.
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« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2009, 07:50:56 AM »

That is fine with me....I just know what I believe....I am not going to bludgeon everyone into agreeing with me..."God does not compell". He waits on us in the stillness of the air and in the midst of love"
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« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2009, 08:42:23 AM »

That is fine with me....I just know what I believe....I am not going to bludgeon everyone into agreeing with me..."God does not compell". He waits on us in the stillness of the air and in the midst of love"

That is a good trait to have, I wouldn't listen to anybody, including me.

You will have people tell you that you aren't Orthodox though, and without a literal Adam the whole system of salvation worked out on top of this comes crashing down.
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« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2009, 10:42:53 AM »

Can you prove that there was no Eve? Science has proved that there was a single human ancestor to all modern humans.

Scientists have done research on the mitochondrial DNA in the blood of living people of different races and from different continents. The mitochondrial DNA is genetic material that is inherited only from the mother. It is passed down through generations, unmixed with paternal genes, and so is easily traced, the have discovered that all humans are related to a single woman.

Also, in the book The Seven Daughters of Eve, the author found a gene, which passes undiluted from generation to generation through the maternal line. After plotting thousands of DNA sequences from all over the world, he concludes that all humans are related to seven women.
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« Reply #32 on: April 09, 2009, 11:37:07 AM »

Can you prove that there was no Eve?

Depending on what meaning you put in this. If you believe that there was a time when there was only one woman and only one man, and only they were truly and fully humans, and every single life form around them was not human - then yes, I can very easily prove that this is absurd.

Believing in literal Adam and Eve (i.e. that there was thins big earth filled with plants and animals and with just two "first" human beings living on it) is not any different from believing that the earth is flat, or that the planets and the Sun are orbiting around the motionless earth. Both misconceptions can be very, very easily dismissed by most basic, elementary school-level science.
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« Reply #33 on: April 09, 2009, 12:15:32 PM »

Can you prove that there was no Eve? Science has proved that there was a single human ancestor to all modern humans.

Scientists have done research on the mitochondrial DNA in the blood of living people of different races and from different continents. The mitochondrial DNA is genetic material that is inherited only from the mother. It is passed down through generations, unmixed with paternal genes, and so is easily traced, the have discovered that all humans are related to a single woman.

Also, in the book The Seven Daughters of Eve, the author found a gene, which passes undiluted from generation to generation through the maternal line. After plotting thousands of DNA sequences from all over the world, he concludes that all humans are related to seven women.


You're misinterpreting the scientific study.  There's something they named "Mitochondrial Eve" and another ancestor of humanity called "Y-Chromosome Adam," both of which existed at least 100,000 years apart.  So no, that does not prove there was one Adam and one Eve.  This simply means that the genetic information we share seems to go back a certain amount of time to a certain ancestor, whether or not she/he might have been homo sapien.

God bless.
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« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2009, 08:32:54 AM »

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11020.msg309310.html#msg309310
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« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2009, 02:17:52 PM »

So what's your point in bringing up this statement from a one-and-only-one-time poster about how he won't even grant the title "Archbishop" to one who believes in evolution?
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« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2009, 04:59:21 PM »

How so?  Can you defend this thesis?



 ...... well, theres a lot i could post but i dont have much time right now. basically, every Church Father I have read that mentions Genesis speaks of it literally, and many of them explicitly say that the days were 24 hrs long -- the Church even adopted a calendar that tells us that we are in the 8th millennium from the creation of the world. regarding the prayers of the Church -- i don't recall hearing any that mention Adam and Eve in a manner inconsistent with a literal understanding.
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« Reply #37 on: April 10, 2009, 05:01:59 PM »

So what's your point in bringing up this statement from a one-and-only-one-time poster about how he won't even grant the title "Archbishop" to one who believes in evolution?

Bet he ain't the only one.
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« Reply #38 on: April 10, 2009, 05:03:22 PM »

oh and most importantly, if God created via evolution then God is the author of death and death is good. so why did Jesus come to defeat death if its good?
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« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2009, 05:28:49 PM »

...... well, theres a lot i could post but i dont have much time right now. basically, every Church Father I have read that mentions Genesis speaks of it literally, and many of them explicitly say that the days were 24 hrs long -- the Church even adopted a calendar that tells us that we are in the 8th millennium from the creation of the world. regarding the prayers of the Church -- i don't recall hearing any that mention Adam and Eve in a manner inconsistent with a literal understanding.

If this is true, then how can you explain the following quote from Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware), a very well-known, respected scholar, expert in ecclesiastical history and an Orthodox bishop:

"The opening chapters of Genesis are of course concerned with certain religious truths, and are not to be taken as literal history. Fifteen centuries before modern Biblical criticism, Greek Fathers were already interpreting the Creation and Paradise stories symbolically rather than literally."

http://www.intratext.com/X/ENG0804.htm
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« Reply #40 on: April 10, 2009, 05:29:33 PM »

oh and most importantly, if God created via evolution then God is the author of death and death is good. so why did Jesus come to defeat death if its good?

I don't see how biological evolution supports the notion that death of a human being is "good."
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« Reply #41 on: April 10, 2009, 05:35:11 PM »

Why would a good God give us a theory of salvation, and then give us a natural record and the understanding of it that makes the theory look like a big lie.  That would not make a whole lot of sense to me either, at least in logical terms as the question of how death came about was posed.

This is one of the reasons book theology is essentially pointless.
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« Reply #42 on: April 10, 2009, 06:16:44 PM »

Here's a quote I read from Francis Collin's book, "The Language of God".  I must admit though, I haven't read C.S. Lewis' book where he got this from:

Quote
For long centuries, God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself. he gave it hands whose thumb could be applied to each of the fingers, and jaws and teeth and throat capable of articulation, and a brain sufficiently complex to execute all of the material motions whereby rational thought is incarnated. The creature may have existed in this state for ages before it became man: it may even have been clever enough to make things which a modern archaeologist would accept as proof of its humanity. But it was only an animal because all its physical and psychical processes were directed to purely material and natural ends. Then, in the fullness of time, God caused to descend upon this organism, both on its psychology and physiology, a new kind of consciousness which could say "I" and "me," which could look upon itself as an object, which knew God, which could make judgments of truth, beauty and goodness, and which was so far above time that it could perceive time flowing past.... We do not know how many of these creatures God made, nor how long they continued in the Paradisal state. But sooner or later they fell. Someone or something whispered that they could become as gods.... They wanted some corner in this universe of which they could say to God, "This is our business, not yours." But there is no such corner. They wanted to be nouns, but they were, and eternally must be, mere adjectives. We have no idea in what particular act, or series of acts, the self-contradictory, impossible wish found expression. For all I can see, it might have concerned the literal eating of a fruit, the the question is of no consequence. (C.S. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 68-71)

In some way, C.S. Lewis preserves the idea of "The Fall."  I think this is a very relevant quote, and something that aided me in my belief.
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« Reply #43 on: April 10, 2009, 06:21:18 PM »

Here's a quote I read from Francis Collin's book, "The Language of God".  I must admit though, I haven't read C.S. Lewis' book where he got this from:

Quote
For long centuries, God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself. he gave it hands whose thumb could be applied to each of the fingers, and jaws and teeth and throat capable of articulation, and a brain sufficiently complex to execute all of the material motions whereby rational thought is incarnated. The creature may have existed in this state for ages before it became man: it may even have been clever enough to make things which a modern archaeologist would accept as proof of its humanity. But it was only an animal because all its physical and psychical processes were directed to purely material and natural ends. Then, in the fullness of time, God caused to descend upon this organism, both on its psychology and physiology, a new kind of consciousness which could say "I" and "me," which could look upon itself as an object, which knew God, which could make judgments of truth, beauty and goodness, and which was so far above time that it could perceive time flowing past.... We do not know how many of these creatures God made, nor how long they continued in the Paradisal state. But sooner or later they fell. Someone or something whispered that they could become as gods.... They wanted some corner in this universe of which they could say to God, "This is our business, not yours." But there is no such corner. They wanted to be nouns, but they were, and eternally must be, mere adjectives. We have no idea in what particular act, or series of acts, the self-contradictory, impossible wish found expression. For all I can see, it might have concerned the literal eating of a fruit, the the question is of no consequence. (C.S. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 68-71)

In some way, C.S. Lewis preserves the idea of "The Fall."  I think this is a very relevant quote, and something that aided me in my belief.

To me, the Occam's razor cuts all of that out. Simply: Adam, that's me. Smiley
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« Reply #44 on: April 10, 2009, 06:28:27 PM »

How so?  Can you defend this thesis?



 ...... well, theres a lot i could post but i dont have much time right now. basically, every Church Father I have read that mentions Genesis speaks of it literally, and many of them explicitly say that the days were 24 hrs long -- the Church even adopted a calendar that tells us that we are in the 8th millennium from the creation of the world. regarding the prayers of the Church -- i don't recall hearing any that mention Adam and Eve in a manner inconsistent with a literal understanding.
But all this is based on your limited experience.

"Every Church Father I have read..."  How many Fathers have you actually read?

"I don't recall hearing any [prayers] that..."  What prayers have you heard?  Have you heard all the Church's prayers?

"the Church even adopted a calendar that tells us that we are in the 8th millennium from the creation of the world."  What calendar?  Can you give us a link to the online version of this calendar, or at least tell us what calendar this is?
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