So, a respected person from my church disagrees with the ideas I put forth in “When God Created Man: or Don’t Shoot the Messenger”. Which is fine, don’t get me wrong. If I was afraid of being disagreed with, I wouldn’t write a blog and ask for comments and questions. To demonstrate an opposing view-point, this person posted a link to an article to explain things to me. It’s a well written scholarly piece with excellent research, as those thing go, it’s well done. It’s one of those articles that professors write as part of their tenure process in order to add to the scholarship of the institution of learning. In other words, it’s a nice word study on various words and usage for vegetation with the basic point that there;s no reason to think that it never rained on earth until Noah’s flood. But that’s it. Read it your self it you have the mind to and tell me if I’m wrong. It happens all the time so I won’t be shocked.
Unfortunately, it does nothing to counter anything I said in my previous article. That Genesis 2 uses a different word for vegetation than Genesis 1 has no bearing on whether or not Adam was created by God on the third day. In fact, one could counter this easily by merely pointing out that these are two separate narratives. Genesis 1 lays out all of creation in a quick summary. God created everything. I get it. Absolutely. It says seven days. I’ll go with that. Then Genesis 2 begins a new story. It’s the story of Adam who, as the Apostle Paul points out, is a precursor to Christ. In this story we delve into the question of good and evil. Why is the world the way it is if God created it and declared it to be “very good”? They are two very different stories with two very different purposes.
Are both stories true? Yes, they are both absolutely true. I have no issue with looking anyone in the eye and claiming that God created the world in seven days and that humankind was created on the sixth day. That is exactly what the Biblical text says.
I can also quote Scripture that says:
When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground—then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
(Genesis 2:5-7 ESV, emphasis added)
From that it is obvious that “the man” in question must have been created on the third day because that’s when God created all the vegetation that is mentioned in Chapter One. I, you, we, no one has to like it but that is what the text says. “When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up…” means BEFORE that had happened. Remember that Genesis Chapter One doesn’t get specific about plants, only Chapter Two does. Chapter One just says that God created the plants and on the sixth day, it is implied that they are all for humankind to utilize.
So what we have is one story saying that God created vegetation on the third day of creation and that that vegetation is for mankind’s benefit. Then we have a concurrent story that informs us that a singular man was created before that vegetation was created not to mention before animals were created. A Biblical inerrant, literal view must, then conclude that Adam (the “Man” of the original post) was created on the third day. And then we must deal with the revolutionary implications of this textual fact.
As always, comments and questions are absolutely welcome.
Read all the articles in this thought provoking, original series: