“There was no miracle wrought in executing the sentence under which Adam and Eve placed themselves . . . We dissent from our correspondent’s ‘notion’ that all creation became corrupt (by which we understand him to mean constitutionally impregnated with corruptibility) at the fall. We believe that the change consequent upon that calamity was moral, not physical. The natural system was the same the day before the fall as the day after.” 
The solid dome of Genesis 1 was THE reading of Gen 1 until the age of Galileo. But then things had to change. Now literalists try hard to read Genesis 1 in any way which avoids the obvious. A detailed review undermines the effort – but more eloquently so did a duck. Birds categorically fly underneath the clouds according to literalists but even ducks dislike their solutions. Continue reading
Literal creationists often claim there was no death in the world pre Adam’s sin. Nothing died – it was all in a strange “very good state”. Then Adam sinned so God re-engineered everything to make it die (a misunderstanding of Romans 8 doesn’t help). The male yellow footed antechinus comes of age at around a year old. It mates (sometimes for 14 hours with one female!) non-stop for up to 3 weeks. It doesn’t eat, drink or sleep. Its fur falls out. Body organs fail and start to dissolve. Then it dies. We hope happily, but doubt it. We wonder how this taught Adam anything…
Literalists point to the beauty of creation but ignore the ugly parts (Cecil Alexander trumps Eric Idle). If pressed they blame Adam. Odd.
The Anchor Yale commentary on Genesis 2 includes some interesting comments on the inclusion of Sumerian loan words. This speaks to the age of the history. It also provides us with clear direction on the location of the garden of Eden. While some might like to locate it in Israel (perhaps based on overzealous loyalty), the chapter seems clearly to point to a southern region in Mesopotamia. Continue reading
but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground Gen 2:6 NRSV
Historically this was understood to mean as indicated in the KJV that there some heavy humidity which provided the water, because it wasn’t raining. The only other occurrence of the word translated in the KJV as “mist” is in Job 36:27 – where mist is clearly the meaning. However cuneiform evidence (both Akkadian and Sumerian) now indicates the word could be understood to mean either the annual floodwaters or an underground spring. as also stated in Brown Driver Briggs Continue reading
In Genesis 1 humanity is created to image God. Gen 2-3 tells a different story, presenting God and Adam in partnership to cultivate the earth. God is the provider/planter while Adam is to till the ground and enhance the cultivated land. Genesis 2:5 is an odd verse, its connection (or rather contrast) with Genesis 1 is often noted. However it sets up a remarkable partnership.
“PURITY OF DOCTRINE – This has always been at the centre of inter-ecclesial controversy. The main issue on this point is just how far we go in certain matters, some will always wish to go further than others. It is therefore essential that all concerned should keep closely to the actual agreement reached and not try to go further.”
Dangerfield, AC (1973) “The Unity Book – Conclusion” The Australian Christadelphian Shield Magazine, page 110 Vol 76 # 5