Science in Christian Perspective
Soteriology: Adam and the Fall
Gavin Basil McGrath*
Protestant Proofs for Belief
North Rocks, NSW 2151 Australia
From: PSCF 49 (December 1997): 252-263.
This paper considers the soteriological issue of Adam and the Fall in a manner that is faithful to the Bible and science. It argues that "from the beginning of the creation" of man, when "God made" the first two human beings, Adam and Eve (Mark 10:6; cf. Gen. 1:27; 5:1, 2), he gave them perfect sinless natures (Matt. 19:3˝8). For the world inside Eden and its environs, in accordance with the classic Christian picture, there was no death, misery, thorns, or thistles; but outside Eden and its environs, in accordance with the classic scientific picture, there was. It was God's plan to expand Eden and its environs to cover the planet, but the Fall got in the way.
The genealogies of Gen. 5:3˝31 and 11:10˝26 may not seem to be prima facie capable of admitting further names. But in Gen. 10:24 and 11:12,13 (LXX), instead of Arphaxad begetting Shelah at 35 and living another 430 years (Hebrew), he begot Cainan at 35 and lived another 430 years (LXX). According to the Septuagint, Cainan begot Shelah at 130 and lived a further 330 years.1 If the Septuagint is correct, then the Hebrew really means that Grandfather Arphaxad begot his grandson, Shelah, at 35, i.e., in the sense he was in his son, Cainan, whom he begot when he was 35 (cf. Heb. 7:5,9,10). Then Grandfather Arphaxad died 430 years after the progenitor of Shelah (i.e., Cainan) was born. If so, then the genealogies of Gen. 5 and 11 are incomplete to an unspecified extent because when the Hebrew says x begot y, y might mean x's grandson or, many times, great-grandson. The period of years x is said to live after begetting y is really the period of years x lived after begetting the first "son" between x and y. This first "son" is known by the name of his and x's famous progeny, y, rather than his own name. Thus, for example, x might be long dead before his descendant y (whom he begot through many intermediate "sons") further begets. Importantly, St. Luke follows the Septuagint reading on "Cainan" (Luke 3:36), and thus endorses this esoterical meaning of the Hebrew.
How long might these missing gaps be? To the Hebrew mind, "son" (ben) could span many generations, as there is a sense in which a man "begets" all his descendants. Thus, for example, in NT times, a member of the Jewish race removed from Abraham by many generations of c. 2,000 years, can still refer to Abraham as his "father," and Abraham can still refer to him as his "child" (for example, Luke 16:24,25; cf. Luke 1:67,73; 13:16). That is, genealogies sometimes only included names which were regarded as the important ones.2
Notably, in the Genesis genealogies (on inclusive reckoning), there are ten generations from Adam to Noah and ten generations from Shem to Abraham. This seems to indicate that they are symbolic selections of important names. Abraham is usually dated at c. 2000 B.C. and David at c. 1000 B.C. Gen. 11:26˝32 seems to require that there was no such gap between Terah and Abraham, whom I shall therefore date at the same approximate time. Also, Gen. 11:10 requires that there is no gap between Shem and Arphaxad, whom I shall thus date at the same time. Therefore, for the ten names between Shem and Abraham, there may be seven gaps. Jesus, who is called the "son of David," was removed from King David by c. 1,000 years. Likewise using c. 1,000 years for the time gap between the various sons, it would mean that there would be 7,000 years for ten names before Abraham, putting Noah's son Shem at c. 9000 B.C. The story of the flood necessitates that there be no gap between Noah and Shem and Gen. 5:28,29 requires that there be no gap between Lamech and Noah. Thus I shall make Noah's approximate date the same as Lamech's and Shem's. The story of Abel and Cain, with Seth being born to replace Abel, necessitates that there be no gap between Adam and Seth. So I shall make Adam's approximate date the same as Seth's. Thus, for the ten names between Adam and Noah, there also may be seven gaps. Based on this calculation of 1,000-year gaps, Adam would be dated at c. 16,000 B.C.
Alternatively, various NT Jews who were racial "sons of Abraham" were separated by c. 2,000 years. Based on 2,000-year gaps, Noah and his son, Shem, are dated at c. 16,000 B.C. and Adam at c. 30,000 B.C. Members of the Jewish race are now separated by c. 4,000 years, and if 4,000-year gaps are used Noah and his son Shem could be c. 30,000 B.C. and Adam c. 58,000 B.C. Of course, the periods between the various "sons," Adam and Noah, and Noah and Abraham, may not be the same. For example, I think that the first human being, Adam, should be dated to c. 45,000 B.C. +/- c. 20,000 years, and Noah at c. 43,000 B.C. +/- c. 20,000 years.3
I will not repeat my raison d'═tre for being an evolutionary creationist.4 Rather, I simply state my view that (like other earth life forms5) humans were created progressively, that is, via theistic evolution. God took two hominids to become the first human beings, Adam and Eve (1 Tim. 2:13). In Eve's case, God provided the new genetic information needed to make her human by using some genetic material taken from "one of" Adam's "ribs," so she too would be of Adam's race (Gen. 2:21˝23; see "Adam" Luke 3:38 and "from one" Acts 17:26, NASB; 1 Cor. 11:8).6 Thus Eve's existence as a person was made racially dependant upon Adam; and these two alone are the rest of the human race's progenitors.
"God made man upright" (Eccl. 7:29, ASV), i.e., with original righteousness. Unlike fallen humankind, I think that God gave Adam and Eve the same type of sinless nature (i.e., they had no propensity toward evil) and bodily immortality that glorified Christians will receive after the Second Coming. Therefore, notwithstanding certain differences between these two events, the theology of glorification and resurrection bodies associated with the Second Coming provides a comparable (though not identical) example to show how it is theologically tenable to picture God creating a glorified human being from something lower. In this transformation context, it is notable that Isaiah pictures God making a "wilderness like Eden," a "desert like the Garden of the Lord" (Isa. 51:3).
Furthermore, from Gen. 4 and 5, I think it is necessary to recognize, as part of this Edenic perfection, that the genetic make-up of Adam and Eve was such that for a certain unspecified number of generations, it was possible for close relatives born from them to marry and have healthy children (Gen. 4:17; 5:4; 11:27˝29; 17:15,16; 20:11˝14; Exod. 6:20; although Gen. 19:30˝38 shows parent-child incest was prohibited for sociological reasons). But much later, this ceased to be possible; so biblical law later forbade such incestuous marriages (Lev. 18:6).
Inside and Outside Eden
In the first Eden and its environs, death was unknown (Gen. 2:17), humans were vegetarians (Gen. 1:29), and so were the animals (Gen. 1:30). Likewise in the second Eden, "they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain" (Isa. 11:9). Therefore, in both the first and second Edens, the lamb and lion lay down together, for God also gave the animals in the first Eden and its environs the same nature they will have after the Second Coming (Isa. 11:6,7). But on my model, this was not so outside Eden and its environs. References to such violent and meat-eating animals as the "wolf," "leopard," "bear," and "lion" (Isa. 11:6,7; cf., 51:3) are thus quite significant. This theologically shows how it is viable to argue that God can change these animals' natures in a glorified world, i.e., the picture is not of new animals being created, but of old ones being given new natures.
There is ample evidence in the fossil record of carnivorous and omnivorous animals existing before the time of Adam and Eve. This is not problematic if Eden and its environs was a segregated geographical area rather than a planetary-wide phenomenon, a view supported by Gen. 2:10˝14. Furthermore, it appears that such creatures lived outside Eden and its environs contemporaneously with Adam. Hence if Adam had not sinned, the history of the planet would have been different. As humans gradually spread out, I think that the area of Eden and its environs would have been expanded. God would have changed the animals' natures in wider and wider regions and given them bodily immortality until the earth was coveredˇjust as he will in the second Eden (Isa. 11:6,7). But because of Adam's sin, humankind is fallen, and this plan was not realized. However, after the Second Coming, this plan will be realized as part of redemption. Humankind again will have access to the Tree of Life and Eden will be restored on a planetary-wide basis (Isa. 66:22; Rev. 21:1; 22:14).
Death before Eden
In Gen. 2:10˝14, we are given to understand place names, and reference is made to "gold" and "onyx stone" in certain geological layers. Since the deep geological layers under these areas are of the same general type as elsewhere on the globe (and must have been there when Eden was), it follows that they (and their fossil fuel deposits) are also pre-Edenic. This is also consistent with the presence of antediluvian "pitch" (Gen. 6:14). Therefore, a combination of revelation and reason leads me to conclude that there must have been both animal and plant death for hundreds of millions of years before Eden.
Scripture reveals that there are many worlds (Rom. 1:8, 20; 1 Cor. 4:9; 6:2,3; Heb. 11:3). St. Paul says that by Adam "sin" and "death" "entered into the world" (Rom. 5:12). But what "world"? Contextually, the anthropological world of "all men."
Death after the Fall
On my model, Adam and Eve were given conditional bodily immortality in Eden (Gen. 2:9,16,17) and human death is the result of the Fall (1 Cor. 15:22). St. Paul says: "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together║ and not only they, but ourselves also║ groan within ourselves, waiting║ the redemption of our body" (Rom. 8:22,23). There are sins of omission (Luke 12:47; 1 Cor. 7:3˝5, ASV; James 4:17) and sins of commission. On my model, Adam's act of eating the forbidden fruit constituted not only a sin of commission resulting in death to the human race, but simultaneously a sin of omission. Because of the Fall, the various animals (and much of the plant life) outside Eden and its environs, which would otherwise have received bodily immortality as Eden was expanded to cover the planet, have instead been subjected to the "futility" (NASB) of an unrealized greater potential. (By contrast, this greater potential did not exist in that pre-Fall time as a possibility for the various nonhuman species. Thus there is no sense in which the pre-Fall creatures were in this "bondage," since relative to this possibility of bodily immortality, their species did not suffer the "pain" of being "subjected in hope" to the "futility" of an unrealized greater potential until after the Second Coming.)
While the Bible does not provide a time scale for the envisaged expansion, the expansion of Eden and its environs to cover the earth (although not necessarily the full population levels of humans, plants, and animals) would have had to have been completed in the c. 45,000 years +/- c. 20,000 years between Adam's creation and NT times. This is so because St. Paul pictures "the whole creation" waiting, because of Adam's sin, for the bodily immortality that will come after the Second Coming.
Objections to my model
Newman and Kline claim that Gen. 2:7 requires "the same divine act that constituted" Adam "the first man║ also imparted to him life."7 But I note that while nephesh here can mean "being" (NASB), it can also mean "soul" (AV, ASV, and NASB footnote) and refer to that higher part of humans which distinguishes them from the animals. This understanding is supported by, for example, the parallel usage of "soul" (psuche) and "spirit" (pneuma) in 1 Cor. 15:45; quoting Gen. 2:7 (LXX), i.e., God breathed new life into a hominid; thus "man became a living soul" (cf. Eccl. 12:7). Theistic evolutionist Augustus H. Strong (1836˝1921) argues this very view in Strong's Systematic Theology.8 Moreover, unregenerate humans are "dead in trespasses and sins" until they are "quickened," and given the gift of faith alone by which they accept God's gift of salvation given by grace alone (Eph. 2:1,5,8). Thus this basic category of thought, in which God takes something that is physically alive but spiritually dead and breaths new life into it, is a biblical one.
It may be objected that the proposition that life inside and outside the world of Eden and its environs was qualitatively different is a theory without clear biblical proof. But it can be argued that this is hinted at, since the Lord originally "took the man" from an outer region's "dust of the ground" and put him in the inner region of Eden (Gen. 2:7,8,15).9 The borders of Eden (Gen. 2:10˝14) introduce a sharp contrast to this larger "earth" of, for example, Gen. 1:1,28 which Gen. 3:22˝24 indicates was habitable by humans. Elsewhere in Scripture, Eden is used in a metaphoric sense when it is clearly surrounded by non-Edenic regions (Ezek. 36:35; Joel 2:3). Thus Scripture allows, but does not require, my understanding.
Because the reference to vegetarian animals is placed after the focus on the creation of humans (Gen. 1:26˝30), rather than after the focus on the animals (Gen. 1:20˝25), I think this lends itself to the interpretation that these vegetarian animals are those of the humans' world, i.e., Eden and its environs, rather than the larger planetary world. But since Gen. 1 generally refers to the planetary world, and in this immediate passage reference is made to humankind's dominion "over all the earth," Gen. 1:30 also indicates God's future plan to expand Eden and its environs to cover the planet. This picture of Eden necessarily includes the environs of Eden since on the one hand, the world of Eden is smaller than the second world of Eden's environs and the third world of the wider globe. This is seen by the fact that Adam names "every beast of the field" (Gen. 2:20), which are a subset of the "beast[s] of the earth" (Gen. 1:24,25), and no water creatures are included in Gen. 2:19,20. But on the other hand, some "beasts of the earth" were also vegetarians (Gen. 1:30), i.e., in the second world. Because no water creatures are mentioned in Gen. 1:30, I think that this second world of Eden's environs had no sea-line and so could not have been particularly large relative to the globe. Eden and its environs were thus "the heavens and the earth" of the world "created, in the [sixth] day" (Gen. 2:4; cf. the sixth "day" of Gen. 5:1,2 and Gen. 1:26,27). (Alternatively, it might be argued, based on the general planetary focus on "the earth" in Gen. 1, that "the earth" of Gen. 1:30 is that of the planetary world, rather than the Edenic world and its environs, and that by extended analogy one can extrapolate and presume the view that the water creatures were also vegetarians. Thus Scripture allows, but does not require, either view.)
An associated objection to my inside-outside Eden distinction is captured in William Blake's poem, "The Tyger," when he asks the tiger, "Did he who made the Lamb make thee?" In Job 38˝41, the Creator is glorified for making animals that are harsh, carnivorous (or like the raven, omnivorous), and dangerous (Job 38:39˝41; 39:13˝18, 27˝30; 41:23˝33); indicating that from God's perspective such creatures may be classified as "good" (Gen. 1:21,25). For example, eagles whose young ones "suck up blood" from the prey their parent has killed, are good because in acting this way they are obeying God's command. Likewise the clouds and waters of the second day can satisfy an ecological system "wherein there is no man" (Job 38:25˝27) and sometimes produce thunderstorms, floods, and hail; or the scorching sun of the fourth day is sometimes responsible for bushfires which burn some of the vegetation of the third day. But because the rain, frost, snow, thunder, whirlwinds (Job 37:5,6,9,10), and fire are "fulfilling his word" like all the "fruitful trees," "cedars," animals, or "stars," they "praise the Lord" (Ps. 148:1, 3˝10). Hence though man was not originally meant to live in such a world, this third world like the first world of Eden and the second world of Eden's environs was pronounced by God to be "very good" (Gen. 1:31; cf. Ps. 104)ˇalthough it is now sullied by fallen man's misuse and spiritual, moral, and physical pollution. On this principle, for soteriological purposes, death is only a bad thing in the context of it entering humankind's world (Gen. 2:17).
While at the time of the Creation God declared it all "very good," he was not finished with it. Unlike the second world of Eden's environs which he actively cursed by introducing thorns and thistles into it after the Fall, in the third world beyond Eden's environs, God passively cursed it by not actively moving it on to Edenic perfection. So this same third world paradoxically became by virtue of its incompletion, like the actively cursed second world, part of the Cursed Creation (Gen. 3:14,15,17˝19). Thus while the third world is not, like humans and the second world, fallen; like them, as a consequence of the Fall, it is cursed (Rom. 8:20˝23).
Isaac objects that "it would be hard to imagine" an inside-outside distinction for Eden, with "two radically different strains of animal life" existing "simultaneously in the world."10 But I note that within Gen. 1˝3, somewhat different strains of life are referred to in the form of animal life (fifth and sixth creation days), as opposed to plant life (third creation day). Surely the simultaneous presence of humans and angels on the earth (Gen. 3:22˝24) is a good example of two radically different strains of life. Furthermore, after his resurrection, Jesus Christ had a body that was radically different to other strains of life existing simultaneously in the world (Luke 24:31,37˝43).
To the extent the inside and outside Eden and its environs distinction is not contrary to the Word of God, I regard it as a theologically legitimate model.
Importantly, I maintain based on Scripture, for example, Rom. 1 and 2, that it is quite right to use a combination of reason and biblical exegesis. For instance, as a traditional evangelical Anglican, I endorse the Reformation Anglican view that a church tradition, such as the liturgical calendar, based on reason may be maintained, providing it is not contrary to the Word of God. But by contrast, the Reformation Zwinglian tradition holds that a specific biblical injunction is required to have a Gentile church liturgical calendar or stained glass windows. Thus while Scripture would allow for a variety of interpretations, my model is the consequence of both reason and biblical exegesis. To the extent the inside and outside Eden and its environs distinction is not contrary to the Word of God, I regard it as a theologically legitimate model. However, other evangelicals might be unhappy with the absence of a clear biblical statement to this effect.
I shall now consider some further objections to my model by reference to Dick Fischer's criticisms. Fischer, who argues that Adam should be dated at c. 4000˝5000 B.C., rejects my type of understanding of the Gen. 5 genealogy.11 He argues "the seventh from Adam" in Jude 14 requires an absence of gaps. But as I show in my above analysis, only prominent names are sometimes recorded. For example, St. Matthew refers to three lots of "fourteen generations" (Matt. 1:17) meaning significant generations; and I see no reason why on this precedent Jude 14 should not likewise mean the seventh significant generation.
But "more importantly," Fischer then asks three very probing questions. "How would livestock raising and farming" in Gen. 4:2 "have come before hunting and gathering?" The development of today's farming techniques is usually dated to c. 8000 B.C., whereas on my model Adam and his sons, Cain and Abel (whom I place contemporaneously with Adam), are dated to c. 45,000 B.C. +/- c. 20,000 years. Additionally, "how could metal working" in Gen. 4:22 "have preceded the Neolithic (Late Stone Age) period?"
On my model, after the Fall Adam and Eve ate "bread" from Adam's farming of the ground which God had cursed (Gen. 3:17˝19, 23); and Adam's descendants engaged in farming, metal working, tent-making, carpentry, brick making, and "city" building (Gen. 4:2˝4,12,17,20,22; 5:29; 6:14; 9:20,21; 11:3,4,5,8). Thus I must theorize the existence of civilizations that collapsed and were followed by uncivilized societies. For example, the Myan civilizations of ancient Central America collapsed, and from their ruins came some uncivilized people encountered by the Spanish Conquistadors; or the white man found only tribal Africans living near the collapsed Zimbabwe civilization. Concerning the metal working of Gen. 4:22, I note that beads made from meteoric iron dating from c. 3500 B.C. or earlier have been found in Egypt. This shows what may have been the source for such metals.
Fischer also asks how could the "sophisticated musical instruments" of Gen. 4:21 "predate simple bone flutes?" However one translates "harp" (AV) and "organ" (AV), the basic point seems to be that Jubal is the father of stringed instruments, "harps," and wind instruments, "organs." Such "organs" may have been bone flutes. If not, any number of reasons could be given about why such instruments might fall into disuse or why some less-sophisticated, bone made modifications might appear in later societies. Perhaps the most obvious reasons are a lack of requisitely talented people, difficulties of carrying more complex instruments in a hunter-gatherer society, or the availability of raw materials. Moreover, there are two broad possibilities about what is meant here by Jabal and Jubal being the "fathers" of tent-dwellers, shepherds, musicians, and smiths. It could mean that they are the originators among humankind, or it could mean they are the "fathers" "of all" such antediluvian Cainites. If the latter, then tent-dwellers, shepherds, musicians, and smiths may have existed prior to them among Seth's race, but not among Cain's race. In favor of the latter proposition, I note that long before Jabal and Jubal, Abel was a shepherd (Gen. 4:2,4).
Fischer's concerns about the absence of rain (Gen. 2:5,6), are answerable by my inside-outside Eden and its environs distinction. I consider that whereas Gen. 1:1˝2:3 largely has a global focus, by contrast, Gen. 2:4˝25 has a regional focus on the "heavens" (sky) and human-inhabited "earth" of Eden's world. Thus while God had not caused it to rain upon that world's "earth" after he cleared it in preparation to make it the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:8,9,19), Gen. 2:5,6 does not refer to either this land before he so designated and cleared it, or to other parts of the planet earth.
Fischer's polygeny claim that Gen. 4:15 requires human beings outside Eden who were not Adamites reads too much into the text. This polygeny embraces at least some aspects of Pelagianism, and is inconsistent with the clear monogeny teaching that Eve is "the mother" of the human race and she was monogamously married to the father of the human race, Adam (Gen. 3:20; cf. 2:21˝24; 3:8,17,21; 4:1,25. Cf. 1 Tim. 2:13,14). Thus it is more natural to understand "Adam" as the name of "the first man," and then, because like Seth all human beings "have borne" his "image" (Gen. 5:3; 1 Cor. 15:45,49), to apply the Hebrew meaning of "man" to the human race as the Adamic race (Gen. 5:1,2; cf. Rom. 5:12,14; 7:18). (Human polygeny is also at variance with general soteriological doctrine, Acts 17:26,30,31, NASB; Rom. 5:12˝19; 1 Cor. 15:21,22.)
Any interpretation of "every one that findeth me" (Gen. 4:14) must recognize that Adam and Eve are the parents of the human race.
Hence any interpretation of "every one that findeth me" (Gen. 4:14) must recognize that Adam and Eve are the parents of the human race. For instance, might this refer to Cain's parents? Or Cainˇwhose wife might have been an Adamite sister born after Seth (Gen. 4:17; 5:4)ˇmay have been concerned that at some future point in time some Adamite(s) such as Seth (or of Seth's race) would seek "blood revenge." Alternatively, for example, Rev. John Brown (1722˝1787) conjectured that in Gen. 4:2, "Abel is born, perhaps with twin-sisters."12 Given that Hebrew genealogies only identify important names, it is certainly possible that Adam and Eve had other children at the time of Gen. 4:14.
Notably, the dough for Myan "bread" was rolled out cornˇa fact illustrating how "bread" (lechem) in Gen. 3:19 need not, as Fischer argues, be what has later come to be called bread. Indeed, the Hebrew word can simply mean "food" (Deut. 9:18). The Septuagint here translates the Hebrew word lechem with the Greek word artos. This is the same word our Lord used when he said in The Lord's Prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matt. 6:11).
I consider the logical conclusion to draw both then and now is that the known civilizations of c. 4250˝2200 B.C. are being used as symbolic types pointing back to some long lost and more ancient civilizations║
Fischer argues with reference to the Genesis genealogies, archaeology, farming, and metal tools that Adam's date "fits best" at c. 4000˝5000 B.C. On the one hand, I do not consider one can just assume it is a quaint coincidence that the genealogies prima facie place Adam at c. 4004 B.C. +/- c. 250 years. For example, in the Hebrew genealogies Adam is dated at c. 4154 B.C.; on the well-known Protestant chronology of the Anglican Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland, James Ussher (1581˝1656), Adam is dated at 4004 B.C.; and on the traditional Jewish chronology, Adam is dated at 3760 B.C. (year starts Oct. 3761 B.C.). But on the other hand, I regard Fischer's claim as an overstatement. After all, on the prima facie dates in the Genesis chronologies, Noah's flood can be dated no earlier than c. 2600 B.C. For example, on Ussher's starting date of 4004 B.C., the prima facie 1656 years in Gen. 5:3˝30; 7:6 ("500" in Gen. 5:32 and/or "600" in 7:6 and/or "100" in 11:10 is a rounded number) yielded Ussher Noah's flood date of 2349 B.C., and he then put the Tower of Babel at 2247 B.C. Or a similar calculation based on the traditional Jewish Adamic date would put Noah's flood prima facie at c. 2100 B.C. Since Gen. 11:10˝26 puts a prima facie 390 (Hebrew) or 520 (LXX to the extent arguably consistent with Luke 3:36) years between Shem and Abraham's birth, the prima facie flood date cannot be realistically pushed back earlier than c. 2500 B.C. (Hebrew), or if one includes the "130 years" of "Cainan" (LXX and Luke 3:36) c. 2600 B.C.
But Sinology shows that the Chinese civilization was established by then (Gen. 10:1713). With the well-known civilizations in Egypt and Mesopotamia of the late 3000s and first half of the 2000s B.C., who after c. 2600 B.C. could have believed that during c. 2600˝4000 B.C. there had been only two significant races of manˇCain's race and Seth's race (Gen. 4 and 5)? Or after c. 2600 B.C. "all" human beings had been killed in a flood (Gen. 6:12,13) and their present population levels could have grown so quickly from eight people? Or there had been "one" common "language" among all people till sometime after c. 2600 B.C. (Gen. 11:1)?
Therefore, I consider the logical conclusion to draw both then and now is that the known civilizations of c. 4250˝2200 B.C. are being used as symbolic types pointing back to some long lost and more ancient civilizations; and some relatively small flood(s) is (are) being used to type an earlier Noah's flood. Could this include the flood deposits at Kish in Mesopotamia (northeast of Babylon) dated to c. 2600 B.C.?14 Thus I consider we should carefully study these ancient civilization symbolic types.
This poses the problem of where to draw the line between symbol and reality. For example, bronze appears c. 2500˝3000 B.C. in the Tigris-Euphrates delta, and Tubal-Cain dates to sometime around the beginning of the Early Bronze Age (c. 3100˝2100 B.C.). Thus in Gen. 4:22 did Moses use a double entendre meaning something like, the "brass" (AV), "copper" (ASV footnote), or "bronze" (NASB) and "iron" metal working of Tubal-Cain's prima facie date of c. 2500-3100 B.C. points back to the metal working of Tubal-Cain? Peleg's prima facie dates (during which time the earth was divided at the Tower of Babel) are c. 2397˝2158 B.C. Is (Are) some ziggurat(s) from this period meant to symbolically type the much earlier Tower of Babel?15 Should the boat-like shaped object in the Akyayla Range of East Turkey be understood as a symbol of Noah's Ark resting on the mountains of Ararat?
A final objection is the evidence for the relatively small ancient civilizations I have theorized. Given they were very small and vanished a long time ago, given The World-Wide Deluge16 and other factors of climate and environment in southwest Asia; I consider the future recovery of archaeological remains is possible but improbable. (Of course, the Tree of Lifeˇand possibly all of Edenˇhas been miraculously preserved by God, to be returned after the Second Advent to the New Earth, [Rev. 2:7; 22:14].)
My preferred location for Eden and its environs is the Persian Gulf region. From c. 70,000˝17,000 years ago continental conditions existed in most of the Persian Gulf, the sea withdrew to the Hormuz Strait, and at maximum regression the basin was a large river carrying Tigris-Euphrates water directly into the Gulf of Oman. But there was a partial return of the sea, previously thought to be either c. 30,000˝45,000 years ago (Fairbridge) or c. 25,000 years ago (Curray), although now thought to be c. 29,400˝22,800 years ago (Swift et al.).17
What about Gen. 2:10˝14? This passage means that Eden's entrance waterway was connected to the Shatt al-Arab. I think that this waterway's parting includes both its entrance and exit waterways. Is the Pison a southern exit route that flowed into the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, and the Red Sea? In Gen. 2:11,13, sabab while it can mean "compasseth" (AV) also can be used figuratively, especially with reference to borders, to mean curve or turn round (Num. 34:4; Josh. 15:10; 16:6; 19:14). There can be no doubt that the waters from the Pison curved round the southeastern, southern, and western sides of the Horn of Africa, and thus round Havilah in Arabia (Gen. 25:12˝18; 1 Sam. 15:7).18 I think that the Gihon was also an Edenic exit waterway. The waters of Gihon and Pison joined, or had already joined, when they reached the waters of the Arabian Sea. Thus, there can be no doubt that the waters from the Gihon curved round the southeastern, southern, and western sides of the Horn of Africa via the Gulfs of Oman, Masira, and Aden, and flowed into the Red Sea and the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba, and then southward, at northern Somalia, down the eastward side of Africa. That is, opposite biblical Ethiopia on the east of the Gihon's waters in the Red Seaˇcomprising a joint Hamite-Semite western strip on the Horn of Africa (something like Alsace-Lorraine) from "Sheba" (Gen. 10:7b,21,28) in the "south" (1 Kings 10:1; Matt. 12:42), through "Midian" east of the Gulf of Aqaba (Gen. 25:1,2,6; Hab. 3:7ˇwhere "Cushan" and "Midian" are placed in Hebraic poetical parallel; and Moses' wife Zipporah is described variously as Midianite or Ethiopian, Exod. 2:15,16,21; Num. 12:1)ˇand Havilah east of Egypt (Gen. 10:7a, 21, 29; 25:18); and biblical Ethiopia comprising northeast Africa south of Egypt (Gen. 10:6, 7a; Ezek. 29:10) i.e., west of the Gihon's waters in the Red Sea below Egypt, and west and south of the Gihon's waters in the Gulf of Aden around north Somalia. Thus the Gihon "compassed" around (biblical) Ethiopia. Hence the intermingling of the waters from the Pison and Gihon to form a joint Pison-Gihon waterway "compassing" (what in Moses' day were called) Havilah and Ethiopia is contextually similar to the intermingling of the Tigris-Euphrates waters in the Shatt al-Arab to feed the Edenic waterway.
The plausibility of the Flood in this region has been shown by Olson, who demonstrated the existence of two basins in the Persian Gulf. During the late Ice Age, the western basin had rich soil and sunshine. Thus he says, "It might even be the site of the Garden of Eden." (On my model, it might be the fertile legacy of Eden's environs. But it is also possible that Eden and its environs was somewhere else in this same general area of southwest Asia, and either it was totally destroyed by the Flood and/or some other environmental factor[s] or its remains have not been discovered.) Around 9500 B.C. the eastern basin flooded due to glacial melting, and this caused a sudden flood in the western basin killing nearly all people and domestic animals, with a few survivors reaching the Zagros Mountains' foothills either "by ark or by land" where they re-established agriculture and housing.19
These same contour lines, which allow for "a sudden and catastrophic flooding in the area of the Persian Gulf" c. 11,500 years ago,20 also mean these basins may have been supernaturally flooded before this time. An associated downpour and coastal flooding could have taken Noah's ark to the Zagros Mountains' foothills,21 i.e., one of "the ends of the earth" under the "heavens" (sky) on "the earth" of the antediluvian's "world" (cf. Gen. 7:19; Matt. 12:42; Heb. 11:7; 2 Pet. 3:6,7).22 Might these basins and/or water from a number of Shatt al-Arab exits be some or all of "the fountains of the deep"? (Gen. 7:11; 8:2). The fact that the Zagros Mountains extend from the Armenian Knot, southeast along the Iraqi border, down to the Persian Gulf's northern shore in South Iran; plus the fact that by the time Moses wrote Genesis, the southeast "Ararat" border was the Zagros Mountains southeast of Lake Urmia,23 must raise the possibility that the Ararat/Armenian Mountain Range (Gen. 8:4) included all of the Zagros Mountains and thus its southern regions. The absence of later biblical references to Enoch, Nod, the Gihon, and the Pison is consistent with my theory that from c. 9500 B.C., the remains of the Edenic region went under the waters of the Persian Gulf.
The absence of later biblical references to Enoch, Nod, the Gihon, and the Pison is consistent with my theory that from c. 9500 B.C., the remains of the Edenic region went under the waters of the Persian Gulf.
This same problem of a hostile environment emerges north of the Persian Gulf. In c. 4000 B.C., the northern shore line of the Persian Gulf extended c. 250 miles/400 km north of its present position.24 Since the Euphrates and Tigris flood annuallyˇand have done so for thousands of years, the whole Mesopotamian region southwest of Baghdad, down to the Persian Gulf, is a well-known flood region. Certainly, if one wanted regions that would preserve relics of small long lost civilizations, these southwest Asian areas would be unfortunate choices.
But archaeology and geology are not the only possible extra-biblical witnesses. There is the human witness, and here there is a positive piece of evidence from anthropology. There are many flood stories from cultures around the world where there is a general agreement with the broad biblical picture i.e., the whole human race was killed by a universal flood except for a few individuals protected by some being(s) with supernatural powers.25 I think that these stories are consistent with, and act to strengthen the plausibility in the extra-biblical data of, Noah's flood. Another positive piece of anthropological evidence is the location of racial and linguistic groupings which look like they spread out from Southwest Asia. Therefore while geology, archaeology, and anthropology show it is plausible to theorize that such small ancient civilizations may have existed; in the final analysis such a theory is neither proven nor undermined from this extra-biblical data. Thus within the parameters of reason given above, an act of faith is required. But surely these Gen. 1˝11 stories were written (at least in part) for this very purpose, i.e., to elicit faith! For "without faith it is impossible to please him" (Heb. 11:6).
Humankind's common descent from Adam (Deut. 32:8; 1 Chron. 1:1˝23) is important for recognizing the universal Fatherhood of God (Luke 3:38; Acts 17:28,29) and brotherhood of humankind (Luke 3:38; Acts 17:26, NASB) with respect to God's creatorship and our common humanity in the genetic unity of the human race respectively; although the spiritual Fatherhood of God (John 8:41˝44; Gal. 4:4˝6) and associated spiritual brotherhood of men (Mark 3:33˝35; Gal. 4:31) belong exclusively to Christians. It is also important for the soteriological teachings of original righteousness and original sin26 (and thus original guilt27); and associated Christological distinction of the incarnate God having a sinless human nature like Adam before the Fall,28 and overcoming where Adam failedˇrather than where fallen men always fail29; although eventually redeemed Adamic racial slaves of sin and death will be emancipated from our bondage (Rom. 6:15˝8:25, NASB).
On my model (which I premise on theistic evolution, but which could also be used by some old earth separate species creationists, or some of those who adhere to various combinations of old earth separate species creation and evolutionary creation), in the Garden of Eden and its environs all was rosyˇand there were no thorns on the rosebushes. Humans were made by God with a perfect sinless nature and given conditional immortality in Eden, but because of Adam's sin every member of the human race is imputed with the first Adam's sin, for which reason humans have sinful natures and are a fallen race; and together with the physical world around us, are subject to death. But Christ, who had a perfect sinless human nature with no innate propensity towards evil, has proven Adam before the Fall need not have sinned; and those who accept the gift of eternal life (Eph. 2:1, 8, 9) obtained by his vicarious and substitutional atonement, are imputed with the second Adam's righteousness (Rom. 5:6˝8, 12˝21; 8:3, 4, 17˝23, 32; 10:3, 4). Thus the first Adam's story of Paradise Lost, is reversed with the second Adam's story of Paradise Regained (1 Cor. 15:45; Rev. 21˝22). Alleluia! Amen!
1Unless otherwise stated, all biblical references are to the Authorized Version (AV).
2In Matt. 1, Nahshon dates from pre-Conquest times (Num. 1:7; 2:3; 7:12, 17; 10:14), Rahab from the Conquest period (Josh. 2:1, 3; 6:17, 23, 25), Boaz and Ruth from the period of the Judges, and three generations are omitted in vs. 8, cf. 2 Kings 8˝15; 2 Chron. 21˝26.
3Cf. J.O. Buswell III dates Noah at c. 15,000˝100,000 years ago (J.C. Whitcomb, & H.M. Morris, The Genesis Flood, [Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Co., 1961], 484, footnote #1); or H. Ross c. 30,000˝35,000 years ago (Facts & Faith, Reasons To Believe 10, no. 5 : 5).
4See my article, "Religious Liberty in Conservative Liberalism," American Journal of Jurisprudence 40 (1995): 229˝85, at pp. 235˝64. Unlike creation by law religious liberals who deny the possibility of creation miracles (Ibid., pp. 235, 240˝1; 255˝63), for example, A. Peacocke and J. Polkinghorne; my own creation by law and divine intervention religiously conservative view, which allows for the possibility of creation miracles, and having done so, then recognizes the reality of such miracles, is closer to that of, for example, St. G. Mivart, A.H. Strong, or G.C. Mills (for example, compare, "I also maintain that at times God║ specifically altered the genetics of a given creature" Ibid., p. 255, with G.C. Mills, "A Theory of Theistic Evolution║ ," Perspectives on Science & Christian Faith 47 : 112˝22; "DNA Sequences║ ," Perspectives on Science & Christian Faith 48 : 241˝9). I note that the criticism of divine intervention as "God of the gaps theology" (47 PSCF op. cit., pp. 112; 117˝8) is a non sequitur, since all models are "Theories of the Gaps"ˇDarwin's theory, theistic evolution, etc. Furthermore, the view that God supplied new genetic material is not founded on the negative basis that "we currently cannot explain" genetics, but on the positive basis that we can currently explain genetics so well, that we know that (in Mills' words,) "science will never provide a naturalistic answer to" the "question: What is the source of new genetic information?" I also concur with Mills that God has "a continuing involvement in creation" as the "sustainer" of the "natural processes" he made (Ps. 104:19, Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3). By contrast, invoking "miracles" in support of Young Earth Separate Species Creationism or the Old Earth Gap Theory is indefensible, since such models violate established geological facts. Moreover, if unlike A. R. Wallace, J. Orr (in The Fundamentals) et al., Darwin's view is followed and one denies God specifically intervened in the process to create man, then this necessarily results in embracing at least some aspects of Pelagianism.
5I consider that the story of God's cursing the serpent shows the extent of supernatural change sometimes accomplished in a moment of time through theistic evolution. That is, while God guided the evolution of snakes over long periods of time outside of, and before Eden, in Eden and its environs he appears to have greatly modified this creature so that it did not slide along on the ground. Thus if Adam had not sinned, as God moved snakes onto immortality, it seems that he would have also quite substantially modified them. But as part of the Fall and in consequence of Satan's demonic possession and usage of the serpent, God placed a curse on serpents so that they are now very similar to, or the same as, what they were outside of Eden and its environs. Thus when we see a slithering snake, we would do well to remember that this creature is only like this because of God's curse on it at the time of the Fall.
6The phrase "bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh" (Gen. 2:23) clearly indicates (Adamic) racial commonality, since this type of phraseology is used elsewhere to indicate genetic commonality, whether it is clannish (Gen. 29:14; Judg. 9:1,2) or ethnic race (2 Sam. 5:1 parallels 1 Chron. 11:1; 2 Sam. 19:12) commonality.
7M.G. Kline, "Space & Time in the Genesis Cosmogony," PSCF, 48 (1996): 2˝15, at p. 15, endnote 47; R.C. Newman, "Scientific & Religious Aspects of the Origins Debate," PSCF, 47 (1995): 164˝75, at p. 170.
8Augustus H. Strong, Strong's Systematic Theology (Philadelphia: Judson Press, 1907), 465˝76, at 465, 466˝7, 469.
9Re: "the dust of the ground" (Gen. 2:7, 1 Cor. 15:47˝49) see G. Schroeder, Genesis and the Big Bang (NewYork: Bantam Books, 1990), 52, 114˝5, 149˝52.)
10R. Isaac, "Chronology of The Fall," Perspectives on Science & Christian Faith 48 (1996): 34˝42, at p. 37. His "most important" view, that "the spiritual truths in Scripture║ are never in question" in the models he refers to (p. 42), is an unorthodox opinion since some of the models he isolates embrace various aspects of Pelagianism. N.B., forsaking his originally orthodox position that "The sinnerhood of man is traced to a historical fall" (Protestant Christian Evidences, [1978; reprint, Chicago: Moody, 1953], 245), B.L. Ramm later came to typify some such contemporary efforts to promote elements of the Pelagian heresy (Offense To Reason, [San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985], for example, pp. 27˝8, 51, 76). As a Federalist, I certainly do not regard St. Augustine's relevant discourses to be without error. (For example, I do not regard normal sex between a man and his wife as sinful. It was ordained before the Fall, Gen. 1:27, 28; 2:24; and after the Fall, it is a remedy to sin, 1 Cor. 7:1˝9, ASV.) But Ramm's attempt to trivialize the Augustine vs. Pelagius debate to a personality clash, is indefensible. Pelagianism is also condemned by, for example, Jerome, the Council of Ephesus (431), Luther, Melancthon, Calvin, the Anglican's 39 Articles, and Presbyterian's Westminster Confession. See, for example, Strong's Systematic Theology, pp. 597˝627 (An Augustinian's View) & Berkhof's Systematic Theology (1976; reprint, Banner of Truth Trust, 1939, 1958), 211˝43 (A Federalist's View).
11R. Fischer, "In Search of the Historical Adam: Part 1," Perspectives on Science & Christian Faith, 45 (1993): 241˝51.
12Brown's Bible Revised Edition by the Rev. Drs. Porter & Cooke, (London & Glasgow: Gresham, 1778), 61, Brown's Chronological Index.
13Cf. Isa. 49:12. I consider the Mongoloids are Hamite-Japhethite admixed, with their Hamitic component from Sineus, and their Japhetic component possibly from Magog (Gen. 10:2). A.C. Custance, Noah's Three Sons (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1976), 90, 105˝7.
14L.R. Bailey, Noah (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1989), 33 (map), 35.
15I consider Babel was in southwest Asia, and the later Mesopotamian Babel was named after it; like, for example, Birmingham, Alabama, USA was named after Birmingham, England, UK.
16I consider The Table of Nations requires that the Flood was (anthropologically) universal since it includes, for example, the common ancestry to African Negroids ("Cush" Gen. 10:6) and Caucasian Caucasoids (Gen. 10:4), and so in Noah's family one has gone far enough back to also have the common ancestry for the rest of the human race. Moroever, if the Flood was limited to a portion of humankind, then the message would surely be, "It could happen again!" But the clear message of Gen. 9:8˝17 is, "It cannot happen again!" That is, "the earth" here must mean the human inhabited world and the animals of that world, which due to the expansion in Gen. 10 and 11, is so geographically widespread as to be safe from a second anthropologically universal flood. Depending on context, Genesis conceptualizes "the earth" either regionally and ethnocentrically (Gen. 41:57, NASB), or globally (Gen. 1:1). Hence it is prima facie possible for the Flood to be either regional or global. But I consider the scientific data only allows for a regional flood. Thus I understand the terrain (Gen. 7:19,20) and "all" the animals referred to on this land/"earth" (for example, Gen. 6:13,17), to be those in this human inhabited "world." That is, there are good biblical reasons for characterizing the Flood as "world-wide" (N.B., "world" in Heb. 11:7; 2 Pet. 2:5; 3:6), however the relevant "world" is not the globe, but the human inhabited world of Noah's day. (N.B., the preservation of a regional eco-system is consistent with the principles of Deut. 20:19,20; 22:6,7. But the command to populate the earth is global in Gen. 9:1,7; cf. 11:8, and thus Gen 9:3, 4 looks forward to man's environment including a global world of animals who [for the first time] will experience "fear" of man, and the rainbow covenant of Gen. 9:9˝17 is thus also global since its orbit must expand as the human inhabited world expands). Though a number of the particulars differ, compare A.C. Custance, The Flood: Local Or Global? (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1979); H. Ross, The Universal Flood & Noah & the Ark (1991); "The Flood" and "Extent of the Flood" in Halley's Bible Handbook, pp. 73, 74; "Tower of Babel," ch. 7, s. 4 in Philo's Biblical Antiquities; and J. Orr in The Fundamentals (First ed. Vols. 486, final ed. Vol. 1).
17P. Kassler, "The Structural & Geomorphic Evolution of the Persian Gulf," in B.H. Purser, (Ed.) The Persian Gulf (Berlin & New York: Springer-Verlog, 1973), 1˝32, at pp. 24,32; S.A. Swift, et al., "Gas venting and late Quaternary sedimentation in the Persian (Arabian) Gulf," Marine Geology, 129 (1996): 237˝69.
18How far south Havilah extended on the Horn of Africa is uncertain. North of Mecca, gold has been mined at Mahd Al-Dhahab (c. 160 km or 100 miles southeast of Medina) since the second millennium B.C., and so it is a candidate for King Solomon's Mines (1 Kings 9:26˝28). Given the phenomenon of shared border regions, the fact that "Sheba, and Ophir, and Havilah" are mentioned together in Gen. 10:28,29 means that it is certainly possible that if Mahd Al-Dhahab is Ophir, it was on the southern border of Havilahˇa fact also consistent with the more southerly Queen of Sheba hearing about Solomon (1 Kings 9:26˝10:13). Further north, gold has also been found at Sukhaybarat (about 300 km or 185 miles east of Medina). (J.E. Peterson, Historical Dictionary of Saudi Arabia [Netuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1993], 96˝7.) Thus both Mahd Al-Dhahab and Sukhaybarat must also be candidates for "Havilah║ gold" (Gen. 2:11). If Mahd Al-Dhahab is both Ophir and the source of Havilah gold, then the "precious stones" there (1 Kings 10:11) might have included "bdellium" and/or "onyx" (Gen. 2:12); or "aromatic resin" (Gen. 2:12, NIV) might have come from Ophir or elsewhere.
19W.S. Olson, "Has Science Dated the Biblical Flood?" Zygon 2 (1967): 274˝7.
20L.R. Bailey, op. cit., pp. 40˝3, 46, 51.
21It is possible that due to the relatively flat nature of the terrain here, with only gradual contours down towards to sea level, that the flood water could have accumulated and simply taken a long time to flow out through the Gulf of Oman. It is also possible that God may have created a temporary dam, presumably somewhere around the Strait of Hormuz (cf. Exod. 14).
22Recognizing that "with many║ floods" of the past, "most traces║ have long been swept away" (Cambridge Ancient History, 3rd ed., Vol. 1, Pt. 2 [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971], 243), given that from the time the flood waters started, to the time they were completely dried up, was 370 days, and bearing in mind that the waters of the Persian Gulf now cover the area where the antediluvians lived; see, for example, Schroeder, who considers "[s]ediments from so brief a period" as "the Biblical Flood of Noah's time," "would probably not be extensive and, therefore, firm archaeological evidence may never be found" (Schroeder, op. cit., p. 28).
23L.R. Bailey, op. cit., p. 57.
24G.A. Cooke, "Reconstruction of the Mesopotamian Coastline in the Holocene," Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs (1985): 552; W.R. Dickinson, "The║ Holocene saga," Geological Society of America Bulletin 107 (1995): 1˝7, at p. 3.
25See R. Noorbergen, The Ark File, (London: New English Library, 1980), 9, 30˝53, 147; F.A. Filby, The Flood Reconsidered (London: Pickering & Inglis, 1970), 37˝58; A.C. Custance, Noah's Three Sons, pp. 35,81,105˝6; and The Flood: Local or Global? pp. 67˝98; or J.G. Frazer, Folk-lore in the Old Testament (London: Macmillan & Co., 1918, reprint: 1919).The sceptical Frazer's incomplete work omits reference to, for example, Australia's Northern Territory (see R. Robinson, Aboriginal Myths & Legends [Melbourne: Sun Books, 1966], 85˝90); but nevertheless records over 100 flood and Tower of Babel stories in chapters 4 and 5.
26E.g., Art. 9 The 39 Articles, "Original Sin standeth not in the following of Adam, (as the Pelagians do vainly talk;) but║ naturally is ingendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is║ inclined to evil║ whereby the lust of the flesh║ is not subject to the Law of God║ "; Art. 2 Augsburg Confession; and ch. 6 Westminster Confession. But N.B., (1) Gen. 2:25; 3:7˝11,21; 8:21; (2) Job 31:33; Job's statement in Job 14:4, and (although they are not always right,) his friends' agreement in Job 15:14; 25:4; (3) Ps. 51:5; (4) Gen. 25:26; Isa. 48:1,8; Hosea 12:2, 3a; (5) Matt. 19:4˝8; (6) Rom. 5:12; 7:14,17,20; Gr. sarx or "flesh" (AV) in, for example, 7:18, 25; 13:14; (7) Pelagian teachings, for example,"everything good and║ evil║ is done by us, not born with us" (Pelagius); and (Pelagius' disciple, Coelestius:) "Adam was created mortal, and he would have died, whether he sinned or not," "Adam's sin injured himself alone, not the human race," "new-born infants are in the same condition as Adam before the Fall," "infants" who die necessarily "have eternal life," "it is not through the death or the fall of Adam that the whole human race dies." By contrast, see, for example, Augustine's Anti-Pelagian Writings.
27E.g., Art. 2 The 39 Articles refers to "original guilt" (in contrast to "actual sins"); although various Semi-Pelagians deny that original guilt attaches to original sin. Is a person guilty or not guilty of sin from the time of his conception? (1) On general biblical principles there is a nexus between sin and guilt (for example, Lev. 6:4), and so there must be a nexus between original sin and original guilt. (2) Due to his biological inheritance, from the time of his conception, a man is tainted with original sin (Ps. 51: 5). As a consequence of this racial curse, in moral and spiritual terms every man has a fallen/sinful human nature (Eph. 2:3, 5a). Thus every man is guilty of sin, irrespective of any actual sin(s). This is recognized by Placeans, Augustinians, Federalists, and (in a qualified way) Wesleyan Arminians (Strong's Systematic Theology, pp. 602˝3; 628; Berkhof's Systematic Theology, pp. 241,245, 250˝1). Significantly then, the racial theoretics for explaining man's sinful nature require that Adam is mankind's progenitor. (3) If a man is not guilty of sin, he cannot die, but if guilty of sin he can die, since for men, "the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). But we know that a man can die at any time after his conception, and so he must have been guilty of sin. Hence there must be a nexus between original sin and original guilt, for "in Adam all die" (1 Cor. 15:22). St. Paul says "all have sinned," and so "death passed upon all men." That is, all men are guilty of at least one actual sin, namely, the "sin" of the "one man," Adam, by whom "death" came "into the world" (Rom. 5:12 cf. 3:23) (for which reason they have sinful natures). Indeed, while on the one hand, before the law was given at Mt. Sinai humans had sinful natures (Gen. 6:5; 8:21), and there were various laws by which men were judged at a moral and civil level (for example, Gen. 9:6); on the other hand, violations of these laws were not deemed by God to be actual sins for soteriological purposes (as opposed to moral and civil purposes). But sin's wages of death meant that humans between Adam's and Moses' time still died. Why? Because they were guilty of Adam's primal sin (Rom. 5:12˝14). Thus by the sin of "one" man, death reigned over the race, and after the law was given, violations of the Moral Law were deemed by God to be actual sins not only for moral and civil, but also soteriological, purposes; and so transgression increased for these purposes (Rom. 5:15˝21; cf. 7:7). Thus original guilt involves guilt for Adam's primal sin, as recognized by Augustinians and Federalists. Augustinians consider all men were racially in Adam, and so all participated in a common primal sin with him (cf. Heb. 7:9,10). Federalists (such as myself) consider Adam's sin is imputed to the race, since he was appointed as the covenantal head because he is the human race's progenitor. Thus because humans' very existence as persons is racially dependant upon him, under the Adamic Covenant a God decreed condition for their personhood's existence is that they are imputed with any adherence to, or violation of, the covenant by its federal head, Adam (cf. Hosea 6:7, NASB). Significantly then, the racial theoretics for both Augustinianism and Federalism require that Adam is humankind's progenitor.
28E.g., Arts. 2 &15, The 39 Articles. See 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 7:26; 9:14; 1 Pet. 1:19; 2:22 parallels Isa. 53:9; 1 John. 3:5; The Council of Chalcedon (451); and "perfect man" (Athanasian Creed). The Son's existence as a person is not racially dependant on Adam since he existed as a divine person before the Incarnation. He became man "not through changing [his] Divinity into humanity, but through taking humanity into [his] Divinity" (Athanasian Creed). He is one Person, with both a human nature and a Divine nature. Thus he did not need to take the sinful nature common to other humans into himself; that under the Adamic Covenant is part of those who are racially dependant on Adam for their existence as persons. However, the Son came "in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Rom. 8:3) i.e., "Although the flesh of Christ was unpolluted by any stain, it had the appearance of being sinful, since it sustained the punishment due to our sins, and certainly death exerted every part of its power on the flesh of Christ as though it were subject to it. Because our High Priest had to learn by his own experience what it means to assist the weak, Christ was willing to undergo our infirmities║ In this respect too there appeared in him a certain resemblance to our sinful nature" (Calvin's The Epistles to the Romans & Thessalonians, cited in ICC on Romans, p.380). As represented by The Egyptian Antichristˇthe Coptic Orthodox Pope, Coptic Orthodoxy denies Christ's humanity via the monophysitist heresy (see 1 John 4:2,3, [NASB]; 2 John 7).
291 Kings 8:46; Matt. 6:12; Rom. 3:23; ch. 7, 1 John 1:8. For example, contrary to the claims of Roman Catholicism (Immaculate Conception teaching) and Antiochian Orthodoxy (sinless perfection of "Saints" teaching), Mary committed such sins as negligence (Luke 2:41˝45 cf. 2 Chron. 29:11a), ignorance (Luke 2:49 cf. Lev. 4:2,27,28), dishonesty ("Why have you treated us this way?" Luke 2:48,49 [NASB]), and presumption (John 2:3,4 cf. Ps. 19:13). Cf. Coelestius's Pelagian teaching, "there were men without sin before Christ's coming;" and the point raised against him concerning, "a man can be without sin, if he chooses."