God created humankind from Adam and Eve, who represent a group of individuals. God created them with His spiritual and mental abilities. He created human souls before creation and breathed them into nonhuman primates to create human beings. These living souls were uniquely given intellect, free will, self-awareness, consciousness of others, dignity, conscience, purpose, responsibility and self-control. God then gave humans knowledge to implement the potential to choose. Only with knowledge could humans conceive of evil in God’s very good creation. Evil could not exist in a creation where nonhuman members had no ability to comprehend the concept. Without knowledge from Eden’s “tree of knowledge,” nonhuman primates could not become human. God gave them that “knowledge of everything” to become human and have the ability to choose. Without knowledge, nonhuman life cannot suffer and comprehend that its existence is meaningless. That life cannot know evil, making it innocent and sinless; it exists in paradise. Humans equipped with knowledge to make choices can never live in paradise. They understand that the world’s evil results from human behavior, from human choices. Evil results from “sin (which is) explicable as an evolutionary survival from man’s animal origin.” Humans can choose to rule their lives using God’s gifts of soul and reason or choose to be ruled by their nonhuman instinctual remnants. Any evolutionary process God uses to create takes nothing away from His revelations of who He is and what He has done.
Origin Of Humankind
God reveals the cosmos’ reality by describing His creation and its goodness and by proclaiming its universal moral order that directs and protects His work. Origins of humankind are given in the first two chapters of the Bible. Genesis 1 and 2 describe how God created human beings and give information with which some students of the Bible dated His creation to 4004 years BC. On the other hand, many scientists believe that evolutionary processes produced humans from primitive forms of life over a period of millions of years. Some believe the evolutionary products result entirely from chance events while others believe that God uses evolutionary processes to create all life. No one can explain how evolutionary processes without divine help could transform any form of nonhuman life into a being having all the qualities of human life. Some suggest, however, that God selected a highly developed form of nonhuman primate, which was a product of evolution, to create the first human beings.
Biblical Origin of Humankind
Creation is by God
The Bible clearly states that God created humankind. Two accounts in Genesis describe that creation. In the first account (Genesis 1:27):
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
In the second account (Genesis 2:7):
“ …the Lord formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being.”
The God-created “man” (or called later “Adam” in Genesis
2:20) is thought by most believers to be the single first human being.(Figure 1) The English word “Adam”
is a transliteration of one of the Hebrew words for “man,”…where it has the
meaning “mankind”….1 Mankind
describes a group of humans, not merely one individual. “Adam is not the first
man who lived at a particular place and time in human history; he is ‘Everyman,’
the ‘Everyman’ in us.”2 Adam
named the God-created female Eve(Genesis 3:20), a name related to the Hebrew
word for life. She is part of the story of ‘Everyman.’2(Figure 2) This makes it possible that God did not create
humankind as descendents from a single individual but from a group of
individuals. Other human beings living at the time of Adam and Eve support the
view that God created humankind as a group. With “Adam” referring to the group
“humankind,” the name “Eve” indicates that the group includes “womankind,” more
than a single woman. Augustine, not the Bible, identified Adam as the ancestor
of all humankind.3
How God Created Humankind
In Genesis 1:26, God gives more insight into how He created human beings when He said “Let us make man (humankind) in our image, in our likeness,….” “In the image of God” suggests that human beings have spiritual qualities or capacities (soul, intellect, will) of God. (Whether humans look like God physically is conjecture based on literal translations.) Subsequent verses show God gave humankind unique qualities so people could represent God and form a partnership with Him for building His kingdom on earth. Human beings are not equipped to do God’s work by merely resembling Him.
In Genesis 2:7 God formed man as a
corporeal creation from dust of the ground. As already described, forming man
is the creation of all humankind. No one questions that corporeal
creation is from “dust” of the earth. But does “breathing the breath of life”
convey something more than life possessed by all animate creation? The Hebrew
word for soul means life, self, or breath, which suggests that all forms of
life have a soul and having a soul is not unique for human beings. But others
suggest that only humans have a soul.
Some believe that “Man, alone, has the breath of life blown into his nostril by God Himself.”4 Others note: “It is not said with regard to the animals that God breathed the breath of life into them.”5 The human being God creates is literally soul. “The words for ‘soul’…usually describe the nature of man as a unitary being who thinks, feels, and wills.”5 Jesus said in Matthew 10:28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” Thus, God gave us the human “potential” when He breathed life into our nostrils and made us distinct from all other life.
Philo believed that the Genesis 1 creation account describes a noncorporeal, spiritual being made in the image of God and the second account in Genesis 2 describes the origin of the corporeal being.6 Some ancient Christian fathers believed that “When God breathed into his nostrils, He united the soul to the body (Tertullian, Augustine, Ambrose) and placed some share of His own grace in man (Basil).”7 According to Scripture, a human being’s soul is made and known long before creating its corporeal form: “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;….’”(Jeremiah 1:4-5).
If God knew individual human beings before creation, He knew us as the soul He created. Individual’s corporeal creation could come anytime later and into any form that God would choose. As mentioned, the traditional beliefs are that God created one pair, Adam and Eve, who physically resembled God. Based on scientific knowledge supporting evolutionary theories, this has been difficult for many human beings to believe. John Stott has written “But there does not seem any biblical reason for denying that some kind of purposive evolutionary development may have been the mode which God employed in creating.”8 He goes on to suggest a scenario for God’s creation of humankind:
But my acceptance of Adam and Eve as historical is not incompatible with my belief that several forms of pre-Adamic “hominid” seem to have existed for thousands of years previously. These hominids began to advance culturally. They made their cave drawings and buried their dead. It is conceivable that God created Adam out of one of them. You may call them homo erectus. I think you may even call some of them homo sapiens, for these are arbitrary scientific names. But Adam was the first homo divinus, if I may coin the phrase, the first man to whom may be given the specific biblical designation “made in the image of God.” Precisely what the divine likeness was, which was stamped upon him, we do not know, for Scripture nowhere tells us. But it seems to have included those rational, moral, social and spiritual faculties which made man unlike all other creatures and like God the Creator, and on account of which he was given “domination” over the lower creation.8
Recently others have described a similar scenario for creation of humankind.
This historical event (God’s creation of humankind) would be God’s selection of one of the prehistoric creatures (Homo sapiens) living at the time of Adam’s creation. God placed this selected Adam in the Garden of Eden to be representative of all humanity.9
In summary, creation of humankind from
the dust of the earth is the corporeal formation that follows each individual’s
conception. Creation of each individual’s soul takes place before the beginning
of all creation (Jeremiah 1:4-5). Thus, God creates body and soul at different
times. God cannot be limited in what He can and will do, so God could, as Dr.
Stott suggests, have taken “hominids” resembling present-day humankind and
created human beings by breathing a pre-formed soul into each of these nonhuman
Difference of Humankind From Animals
Human beings’ unique difference from all other forms of life is possession of souls or spirits given by God. Some regard this gift as spirits and, as already mentioned, claim that animals as well as humans have souls because souls represents the essence of life without which they would be inanimate objects. Rhodes and others argue that the soul is possessed only by humankind and is different from life that God gives to all living beings:
God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” It is not said with regard to the animals that God breathed the breath of life into them. In other words, man is different from the animals, although, like them (vs 19), he is akin to the ground. The word translated “being” is literally “soul.” “Man became a living soul.” It is significant that the writer does not say that man has a soul. The words for “soul” in both Testaments have many different meanings, but they usually describe the nature of man as a unitary being who thinks, feels, and wills.10
Sarna’s beliefs are similar:
Man, alone, has the breath of life blown into his nostril by God Himself…The creation of nothing else in the cosmogonic process is preceded by a divine declaration of intentions and purpose, “Let us make man”(Gen 1:26).11
God creates a being with attributes possessed by no
other life: intellect, free will, self-awareness, consciousness of the
existence of others, conscience, responsibility and self-control. Only this
creation possesses dignity, purpose, freedom and tremendous power. “No longer
is man a creature of blind forces, helplessly at the mercy of the inexorable
rhythms and cycles of nature.”11
God Himself testifies: “…man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil”
(Gen 3:22). Human beings have knowledge to enable powers that no other life
Human beings also know that only they are made in the image of God. In the image of God, humans with their newly-acquired knowledge are “aware that the Creator is the Eternal Love who calls men into existence that their willing response to his love may fullfil his creative purpose.”12 Creation is the Creator’s absolute gift, indicative of His divine love, in endowing the act of being and the conditions for its reception.13 Creation is not compelled by laws of “nature” but chosen by the grace of God. Without knowledge from Eden’s “tree of knowledge” the absolute gift would be incomplete.
Humankind’s endowment of being in the image of God permits humans to rebel against that endowment but they cannot destroy it.14 Animals, not being in the image of God are unable to rebel against their endowments (having no capacity to know Him or to receive His knowledge and wisdom). If human beings were able to destroy God’s endowment making them human, they could revert to an animal and lose all that goes with being in the image of God. Human beings may claim that they have no endowment of being created in God’s image because God gives them nothing to know Him. Paul tells us something different in Romans 1:20:
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
Human beings are not innocent by claiming to not know God.
Unbelievers remain cursed; they cannot destroy the understandable information
that God reveals in the fabric of His creation.
God gave humankind the capacity to choose, and with the God-given free will to decide for themselves they can choose to live autonomously in an island to themselves, or live in a relationship with God. Animals have no capacity to choose:
God gave human beings a freedom of choice not known to other forms of life, freeing them from determined behavior directed entirely by physiological needs. For example, our first human ancestors did not have to relate to each other by sheer instinct, driven for procreation, satisfaction of hunger, or maintenance of a territory. Freedom of choice as part of their human potentiality enabled them to be party to a conditional covenant with God, something impossible for mere animals. The token of human obedience to God exacted in that covenant shows that the “spiritual life” breathed into them indeed made them more than “beasts of the field.”15
Scientific Theories On Humankind’s Origin
Time of Creation by God is Disputed
Based on calculations using genealogical information in the Bible, God created “Adam” about 4004 BC. Literal interpretation of Genesis 1 indicates that God created the entire cosmos in a matter of days. This conflicts with scientific findings that suggest the universe is billions of years old.
The Bible was written under God’s direction for people having little knowledge and understanding ofthe cosmos. “God began the dialogue at the level at which man was to be found.”16 It had to be written in ways that people could understand. For all humankind, then and now:
God’s Word is infallible, for what he has said is true. But no Christian individual, group or church has ever been or will ever be an infallible interpreter of God’s word. Human interpretations belong to the sphere of tradition, and an appeal may always be made against tradition to the Scripture itself which tradition claims to interpret.17
The tradition is established as to how a “day” is interpreted in God’s time, but this is not possible when God exists outside of time and so is timeless. On the first "day" God created "light" and separated it from darkness but the creation of day and night did not happen until the fourth day.(Figure 3) (Figure 4)Understandings of what God reveals are based on human experiences with God at any given time.
It would be better to begin by conceiving of revelation as an historical and continuing intersubjective communion in which man’s answer is part of the revelation.18
in science accept dates ranging from 400,000 BC to 4004 BC for Adam and the
Garden of Eden, for the first appearance of human beings. Belief in earlier
dates permits one to accept scientific theories on the time human-like primates
have existed but there is no scientific evidence that they lived with the
unique gifts of being human. In a very old universe, Adam as the ancestor of
all human beings could have appeared around 4004 BC.3
Evolutionary Development For Humankind
Belief in evolutionary development of humankind for some are convictions that all life began by chance from a “primordial soup of matter” in which molecules forming spontaneously developed into primitive forms of life which subsequently evolved into human beings after billions of years. Others believe evolutionary processes are used by God to create all forms of life; nothing is by chance. Many believers maintain that God uses evolutionary processes but only to make minor changes in His created beings.
Evolution as a Threat to Christian Beliefs
Evolution theories threaten Christian beliefs when they appear to contradict the Bible. Evolution theories do not threaten Christian beliefs if God gives humans gifts to empower them with knowledge of how He created the cosmos. God has so empowered them only recently, in the last few centuries. Also, evolution theories do not contradict any of God’s divinely inspired verses of the Bible. The theories conflict only with some people’s interpretation of certain Scriptural passages. They believe their interpretations are as “infallible” as God’s words.
Evolution threatens beliefs in God only when He is removed as the Creator and all creation is attributed to chance. Belief in chance requires a new religion with a faith that defies all odds of probability for anything being created by chance. Furthermore, nothing can be either good or evil when it is created by chance. Chance is indifferent to creation of anything having value.(Figure 5) Design by chance is improbable or impossible.
All Of God’s Creation Is “Very Good”
Was God’s Creation Excellent In Every Way?
In Genesis 1 and 2, God created the universe and all that it contains, and after each work was completed He pronounced itgood. Human beings attribute evil as well as good to God’s creation despite God’s characterization of it as good. God was satisfied with the human beings created in His image. God could not be satisfied with any imperfections in His ultimate creation, in human beings with attributes of evil as well as good. An imperfect creation in the image of God who is perfect is irrational, making no sense. But God did allow His new creation to choose to become imperfect when He gave them free will and the ability to make choices.
Nonhuman living beings have no perception of good and evil. Only human beings understand and comprehend good and evil. If God created humans from a nonhuman hominid, the pre-human form would have had no capacity to understand and contemplate good and evil. Thus, with God creating all things good, evil did not exist in the universe until God created a being that could conceive of good and evil.
Humans believe that corporeal death is creation’s ultimate evil. Thus, their ideal world would be a creation without death, a creation having eternal life. Such an “evil-free” world (without death and human beings) could not maintain creation’s abundance and rich diversity, a hallmark of God’s goodness. So, death is essential to maintain that goodness; death is not an evil, except for people who are not satisfied with a limited corporeal existence.
Humankind’s Unique Power To Identify “Good” and “Evil”
God creates human beings to recognize and determine what is good and evil; no other life has such powers. These powers enable humans, better than animals, to recognize threats to their existence. God created all life with protective biological defenses, and He gave humans unique protective powers in their abilities to think and reason.
To enable human intellectual and reasoning abilities, God gave humans information. A nonhuman hominid could notbe human until God gave it important useful information. Such information was possessed by Eden’s “tree of knowledge of good and evil,” the tree of all knowledge.19 God’s new human creation was advised that the tree’s information would make them like God. If God clearly stated that human beings were made in“the image of God,” why should He deny them access to all knowledge. Without that information, humankind could never know what is good, what is evil, what is sin that would separate a person from God, and what is good and needed for a personal relationship with God.
Without the tree of knowledge’s information, the hominids God chose to make human could never know as good and evil the instinctual behavior of their nonhuman primate ancestors.(Figure 6) Without the tree’s information, the newly-created human beings would continue to exist by “survival of the fittest,” as does all nonhuman life.
God gave human beings information so they could now choose, using their new gift of free will; they no longer had to be driven by biological necessity. The freedom to choose required information for making decisions on “good and evil” that would determine the best chances for survival and for growth of the full human potential designed by God. The human potential is essential for a personal relationship with the Creator.
Ancient scholars and writers have expressed similar thoughts on information possessed by the tree and that it was given human beings as a gift from God:
…Nor did all see the thirst for wisdom as the motivating factor behind Adam and Eve’s disobedience. The writer of Sirach, for example, describes knowledge and wisdom as God’s gifts. Although linked to creation, they are not something forbidden to humankind and acquired through stealth (17:7 and 11).20
Humankind’s life began in Eden, a state of paradise. Adam and Eve entered Eden as “innocent and sinless” beings. They were innocent and sinless because they began their new existence without knowledge of good and evil. Eden was a paradise until God’s new creation received information to make them fully human. Paradise was not possible after human beings gained the opportunity to make choices.(Figure 7) A human being never has enough information to know whether a choice will result in good or in evil; humans with free will can not be innocent. Yet in Genesis 2:17 the newly-created humans were denied information for making a God-pleasing choice. Without information, the pre-human hominid could not become human and a concept of paradise is not possible for any life other than human beings. With the information, human beings with free will to choose can never be innocent; paradise is never possible.
The Hebrews were never able to fully obey God’s laws when they had all the information they needed from the tree of knowledge. They could have remained sinless if they had no information to be conscious of good and evil, remaining innocent in their ignorance and animal nature. Indeed ignorance is bliss (Ecclesiastes 1:18)—life in paradise where free will doesn’t exist and no choices can be made because blissful beings have yet to acquire information and the capacity for its use.
Many human beings deny God because He created the world with suffering. They argue if God is unlimited in what He can do and if He is “good” how could He create a world with suffering? Many who question God would never consent to the creation of a world in which even one innocent must suffer, the creation of a world with both good and evil.
Suffering cannot be a condition of human life in any paradise where there is no evil—the situation would not stand up to being a paradise. Nonhuman life does not understand suffering because it does not comprehend good and evil. All forms of life are designed to experience pain at appropriate times when needed for protection. Pain is considered a form of suffering by human beings but nonhuman forms of life cannot comprehend the subjective experience of suffering. God did create the possibility for suffering when He created humans from a nonhuman primate. Human beings cannot exercise free will and the ability to choose without a risk for suffering—paradise is lost.
Many humans suffer with claims that the world has no intrinsic meaning, all life is meaningless and the world is intrinsically absurd. Only human beings can know and understand a concept of whether or not God’s creation has meaning. Nonhuman life is born, lives a life driven by physiological processes, and subsequently dies. But no form of it can contemplate suffering, meaningless existence and death. Life gained the potential for meaning when God took a species of nonhuman beings to make human beings with free will. Human beings are now able to see that meaninglessness is “complete” for human creatures that choose to merely biologically exist as did their nonhuman ancestors. God has enabled humans to choose between the alternatives of “to be or not to be…..” Human beings can choose to seek the full human potential or to remain in their animal instincts.
God can choose to create a paradise but this condition can be known and understood only by human beings. Nonhuman life is unable to comprehend paradise. Paradise can be known and understood only by a being that is able to think, feel and choose. The newly-created human being required knowledge in order to choose. (The word “to know” in Hebrew often includes the meaning of “to choose.”) God created human beings with free will to choose. It would be irrational for God to create a being with the ability to know and choose and then deny them access to knowledge for making choices. The relationships of people with God their creator shows that God reveals Himself to human beings to give them information on how He wants them to live. Then people have power to make choices on how they live.
The tree of knowledge of good and evil (representing the knowledge of everything, as mentioned earlier) could have represented the source of information God gave the newly-created human beings to make choices. The first human beings could not have disobeyed without any knowledge, especially about death, in their completely “innocent” condition in paradise. Without knowledge (no indications before the temptation that they had any human powers yet to choose) they were not yet equipped to make choices, especially choices that would determine life and death. The “tree” must represent knowledge God gave the first humans to equip them for making choices.
In Genesis 3:1-5 God equipped humans by giving them knowledge through the encouragement of a serpent, an agent with an ancient reputation for being shrewd and a messenger of wisdom. Was the serpent sent by God to be the messenger? The God did not question the serpent for being a bearer of the wrong message. The nonhuman species was equipped to be human by partaking of the information God placed in the “tree.” Refusing to acquire information from the “tree” would have prevented the creation of any fully human being. From then on God reveals the limitations all human beings must consider in using His gift in making us human, a free will to choose. But since their creation people do not want a freedom within God’s laws but a license without limit.21 Nonhuman animals do not have a limitless license because they do not have the power to choose, being driven by their biological necessities.
After committing evil, a sinful disobedient act, the first human beings were cursed by God. Their curse was not to continue living as nonhuman life but to gain the perception that they have received a curse. A curse cannot be a curse unless it is perceived by someone as a curse. Nonhuman life cannot be cursed because they have no ability to think, feel and make choices. Is it reasonable that God would create human beings so He could curse them by committing them to live as nonhuman life that is unable to comprehend curses, suffering, evil and death? Rather than being cursed, God testifies: “The man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:22) God also states that human beings will not be allowed to live forever (If human beings were able to live forever in life on earth they would continue to suffer and would never be able to return to live with God). What this means is:
In other words, man does possess the possibility of defying the divine word, and therein lies the secret of his freedom.…Freedom and responsibility are burdens so great for man to bear that he is in vital need of discipline….In short, we are being told by the Garden of Eden story that evil is a product of human behavior, not a principle inherent in the cosmos.22
Thus, evil is not inherentin God’s creation. How then
can we account for it?
Origin of Sin
Sin is separation from God. It comes from a human being’s choosing to not belong to and follow God, and the being chooses to not know God. God gave people free will to make that choice. How can sin be accounted for?
According to a widespread modern view, brilliantly expounded by Tennant,23 sin is explicable as an evolutionary survival from man’s animal origin. Sin is our conscious misuse of impulses and instinctive passions which are part of our animal inheritance. In themselves these primary incentives to sin are neutral and non-moral. Indeed, they are not only biologically but morally necessary to our growth as men; they are the raw material of our moral life, and as much the condition and occasion of virtue as of vice. Animals can neither sin nor achieve sainthood; man, as a responsible moral agent, can and does. His inborn conative tendencies are morally neutral, but his will which shapes and uses them is not The will may be good or evil and as such it alone calls for moral approval or disapproval. Thus propensities not in themselves sinful are the condition and the explanation of sin’s emergence when responsible man is evolved from the irresponsible animal.24
Human liberty (free will) and choice based on knowledge “of
all things” becomes bondage to sin when God’s grace is ignored and human beings
become the author of their curse. Satan convinces humans that their animal
instincts are normal, a part of God’s design and creation’s goodness that God
proclaims. The modern view tells us what Satan says, that we are not evil. But
we are created to be more than animals.
As mentioned earlier, the fundamental instinct of nonhuman life is the drive for survival. Survival is determined by power. Humans exercise this instinct when they do not comprehend or heed the information and limits given by God. Human manifestations ofpower include pride, man’s greatest sin and cause of estrangement from God, and self-sufficiency or autonomy, in seeking to “do things my way.” Many want minimal fellowship with God, even though He created us differently from nonhuman life so fellowship could be possible. Human beings must give up their power in any significant fellowship with God.
Human corporeal life begins in newborns with little more than animal instincts for survival. These instincts can be understood as “Original Sin” because they persist as human lives gradually gain the information God gives human beings to be more than nonhuman life. What God gives humans is “the rational part that rules (which) is distinct from the animal part, which is ruled.”25 If there is “original sin” ruling our lives because we ignore what God gave us to be human, we are doomed to a practice of despair:
…for the seething power of despair is more dangerous and insidious in many other contexts of wretchedness, anxiety, and greed…..we look to a self-sufficiency, a self help approach to deal with despair….”It is inescapable, if one’s past is burdened by self-invention and one’s future tense is limited to self-sufficiency.26
By definition, self-sufficiency leaves God out. With God left out, we have only the animal instincts we were born with. We have chosen to ignore information God gives us to complete our human potential. We prize our individualistic autonomy that ignores God; we follow Satan instead who tells us to live by our animal instincts. Human beings can understand the remnants of instincts they bear from an appreciation of evolution, an understanding that takes nothing away from God’s revelations of who He is and what He has done in the cosmos. God reveals His creative powers in the evolutionary processes He has designed. These processes contradict nothing from His Word. Evolution theories which remove God as the Creator, however, doom human beings to the power of despair and human existence truly becomes meaningless in a meaningless creation.
1. Arnold B. Rhodes, The Mighty Acts of God (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1964), 40.
2. Robert Davidson, The Cambridge Bible Commentary. Genesis 1-11 (London: Cambridge University Press, 1973), 11.
3. John A. McIntyre, “The Historical Adam,” Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, 54, (September 2002): 150-157.
4. Nahum M. Sarna. Understanding Genesis, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966) 4-5.
5. Rhodes, The Mighty Acts of God, 37.
6. Kirsten E. Kvam, Linda S. Shearing and Valarie H. Ziegler eds. Eve & Adam Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999), 42.
7. Andrew Louth, ed. Ancient History Commentary on Scripture Genesis I-II Old Testament (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2001), 48.
8. John R. W. Stott, Understanding the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984) 55.
9. McIntyre, “The Historical Adam,” Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, A reference in this article indicates that “Berry has also made a somewhat similar suggestion, ‘This Cursed Earth,’ 39.”
10. Rhodes, The Mighty Acts of God, 37.
11. Sarna , Understanding Genesis, 4-6.
12. J. S. Whale, Christian Doctrine (London: Cambridge University Press, 1941), 44.
13. Kenneth Schmitz, The Gift: Creation (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1982), 127ff.
14. Whale, Christian Doctrine, 45.
15. Donald R. Strombeck, The Reason For Science (Davis: Stonegate Publishing, 1987), 9.
16. Gabriel Moran, Theology of Revelation (New York: Seabury Press, 1979), 49.
17. Stott, Understanding the Bible, 177.
18. Moran, Theology of Revelation, 50.
19. Davidson, The Cambridge Bible Commentary. Genesis 1-11, 34.
20. Kvam, Eve & Adam, 43.
21. Rhodes, The Mighty Acts of God, 42.
22. Sarna, Understanding Genesis, 27.
23. Tennant, In the Origin and Propagation of Sin (1903) and The Concept of Sin (1912).
24. Whale, Christian Doctrine, 47.
25. Louth, ed, Ancient History Commentary on Scripture Genesis I-II Old Testament. 65.
26. Walter Brueggemann, “A Text That Redescribes,” Theology Today, 59 (January, 2002): 526-540.
© Copyright 2002
Paper presented at 2003 American Scientific Affiliation meeting at Colorado Christian University
Illustrations from Michelangelo's paintings on Sistine Chapel ceiling
Creation of Adam: "Everyman"
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Creation of Eve:
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God said: "Let there be light,"...and He separated
the light from darkness… ─ the first day
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God made two great lights: the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light
to govern the night ─ on the fourth day
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God is not throwing dice to determine how the earth and its creatures
will be formed ─ a creation by chance having no value
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Adam and Eve receive the knowledge that makes them human beings;
they can now choose to not follow their animal nature
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With the knowledge making them human beings Adam and Eve are driven
from the garden “paradise.” Knowledge made them sinful beings
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