What kind of account is Genesis 2?

Tue, 22/01/2013 - 11:37 -- James Oakley

One of the values of having a blog, is it gives me somewhere to put notes that will almost certainly not make it into the next sermon, but may interest some people. "If you're interested, for further reading,..."

Here's Bruce Waltke on Genesis 2:

“Like the creation account, the account of the heavens and the earth has historical solidarity. The story is based on events in time and space, a real Adam and Eve. But it is not merely a historical account. The style is artistic and figurative rather than scientific and literalistic. The scenes of creation are painted as an artist might envision them: God, as a potter, forming the man; as a gardener, designing a garden of beauty and abundance; and as a temple builder, raising the woman from the rib of the man.

“The suprahistorical dimension is also essential for the theology of this account. On this register, Adam and Eve represent every man and woman (Gen 3:16-19; cf. 2:24; Matt 19:4-6; Rom 5:12). They represent our own rebellion, fallenness, and need for God’s grateful redemption. This is as important as the historical dimension. Therefore, both the historical and the suprahistorical should be held in proper tension.” (Page 80)

His comment that Adam and Eve were real figures in history has the following, helpful, footnote:

“We should assume Adam and Eve to be historical, since the narrator makes no distinction between the narratives of Adam and Eve and the patriarchs. Adam is connected to Abraham by a royal genealogy that extends to David in the book of Ruth, and to Jesus in the New Testament. The Chronicler (1 Chronicles 1) and the NT (Matthew 19:4-5; Luke 3:23-38; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; 1 Timothy 2:13-14) assume the historicity of Adam and Eve.”

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