I understand that you believe that Adam was a literal man. How do you understand the genealogies and the time between Adam and Christ’s existence? I know many theistic evolutionists say that generations were missed out (where?) but I don’t understand how, because in Genesis it gives the age that men were fathered so it seems to be literal! Particularly when the ages mentioned are 29, 32… Please explain your understanding of this. Also, in 1 Timothy, Paul writes that Adam was formed before Eve. Do you think he means spiritually or physically formed?


The fact is that it is common knowledge (at least amongst scholars of ancient Jewish culture) that, in listing genaeologies, "the son of" means a direct male descendant of. This could be a son, grandson, great grandson, or even further removed. In the genaeologies in Matthew and Luke, almost certainly there are many generations skipped. I believe this is the consensus of scholars, as well as common sense, if you look at the number of people in the genealogy and try to calculate time. For this reason, although it may appear that one can calculate the date of birth of Adam, it is very likely that one cannot do this with any kind of confidence. I do not believe we can say for sure when Adam lived. The Bible does not make it absolutely clear what is meant when, for example, Paul says that Eve was formed from Adam. I think it is very unlikely that Paul was making a scientific statement. I can think of a couple of possible interpretations. You mention two yourself. I believe that Adam and Eve were a special creation (ie their creation was a miraculous act), so I cannot absolutely rule out the possibility that God literally took some of the flesh of Adam and somehow (how…. I have no idea!) formed that flesh into the physical body into which he put the soul and spirit of Eve. You suggest some sort of spiritual forming of Eve from the spiritual stuff of which Adam is made. This seems more likely. It fits the context of 1 Timothy better. However, Paul is making a spiritual point, not a physical one in 1 Timothy, so I believe we will have to settle for not being sure the exact implication of this statement. It will remain, for now, one of those mysteries. John Oakes

Comments are closed.