What does the Bible mean when it says that God made man from dust?


No one takes the statement that God made man from the dust of the earth literally–at least not that I know of.  As far as I know, no one believes that God literally swept up some dust and miraculously turned a pile of dust into a human embryo or into Adam or Eve.  The way I understand this passage is that God created humans our of already-existing “stuff.”  Humans are made out of physical atoms.  We are physical beings.  We come from “dust” and we return to “dust.” Not literally…  A decayed body does not become dust literally.  It more likely becomes organic matter in the soil.  This idea that we come from dust is a kind of idiom.  We come from disorganized matter and when we die, our bodies return to disorganized matter.  To use the language of physics, our bodies come from a massive reduction in entropy, and when we die, our bodies return to a state of very high entropy.

John Oakes














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