The relationship between the Fall, the Curse, and the Gospel, and its incompatibility with theistic evolution
There was no death, violence or bloodshed prior to Adam’s sin.
The close relationship that exists between the Fall of Adam and Eve, the entrance of sin and death into the world, and the Gospel of Christ is greatly emphasised in the Scriptures. We must realise that all three of these areas exist in stark contrast to the time preceding the Fall. Thus, it behoves us to establish with some degree of certainty and clarity those conditions that existed prior to sin entering into the world. James Stambaugh has written an excellent article on these conditions.1 Though dealing specifically with matters of scarcity and predation, Stambaugh touches on a number of things pertinent to the topic at hand. There is, of course, no need to reproduce Stambaugh’s observations here. However, it is necessary to review the biblical basis for those conditions in order to provide some coherency for later conclusions.
Conditions prior to the Fall
To say that there was no death, violence, or bloodshed prior to Adam’s sin very adequately covers the conditions that existed, but there is an underlying principle that may need to be clarified so that the implications arising from the generality are likewise clear and consistent.
“It was good”
At the end of each stage of His acts of creation, God pronounced that “it was good”.2,3 Each time in those Genesis passages, the phrase is כּי־טוֹב (ki-tob). טוֹב (tob) is a very general term with a variety of uses ranging from general happiness to economic benefit, to moral goodness, and so forth.4 Therefore, when we think of something being “good”, we must ask, “good as compared to what?” After all, the Scriptures themselves make a distinction between man’s goodness and God’s goodness. For example, we would all agree that the man who cares for his family is performing a good service even though he may be totally estranged from God. And the Scriptures concur. However, the Scriptures also say “there is none that doeth good.”5 Clearly this indicates a disparity between God’s righteousness and man’s “righteous” acts. The Bible directly compares one with the other in Isaiah 64:6 when God tells us, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags”. While we would naturally assume our sinful acts are but “filthy rags” in God’s sight, Isaiah 64:6 declares our “righteousnesses” to be such. The Bible is obviously bringing such an indictment against our “righteousnesses” so-called by comparing them to God’s holiness.
When God declares something righteous, the standard of comparison is His character and holiness, not man’s. This is why II Corinthians 10:12 says, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise”. The reason those who compare themselves with others are “not wise” is because such a practice does not use the standard God uses. God does not compare us with other human beings, but with Himself. In other words, God does not grade on the curve.
It was important that God clarify this distinction to mankind after the Fall. Man inevitably seeks to establish his own standard, subsequently ascribing to it the same weight as that of God. He is ever enticed to compare his morality to that of another (whose morality is less than his own, of course). This gives man a sense of superiority to his peers and establishes himself in his own eyes.
The point is this: when God declared in Genesis 1 that all His creation was “good”, that goodness was with reference to His own holiness. There was no other standard with which the creation could be compared, nor would another standard be appropriate. It follows that the conditions existing prior to Adam’s sin had to be commensurate with the only operative standard at the time, that is, the absolute goodness of God. “The world in which Adam was to live … was a perfect environment in every way. No physical, mental, or spiritual need that he might have would be withheld.”6 Therefore, the ontological foundations of the pre-fallen world require that there be nothing below that standard. Such an environment requires the absence of violence, death, or bloodshed.
Genesis 1:29–30 says,
“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.”
These verses are clear that Adam and Eve and all the animals were vegetarian in the pre-fallen cosmos. This precludes any possibility of animal predation, including carnivorous dinosaurs. Those who argue that animal predation existed during this era have to do so at the expense of the clear language of Scripture. Appeals such as those by Bernard Ramm in his book, The Christian View of Science and Scripture, all seem to stumble at the same point because they fall prey to the irresistible urge to harmonise modern science with the Scriptures.7 In practical terms, this almost always results in the Bible being conformed to science, and not the other way around. This tendency leads one to begin making certain “concessions” to critics.8
A number of other verses imply the same conditions, though not quite as clearly as Genesis 1:29–30. For example, Isaiah 65:25 describes the lion eating straw and lying down with the lamb. Verse 25 concludes by saying, “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord”. Since the context is the restoration, the strong implication is that Adam and Eve and all the animals were originally vegetarian. While they ate plants, the Bible does not consider the “death” of plants as synonymous with the death of animals. After all, the life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11), and plants, fungi, etc. do not have blood. Besides, Genesis 2:9 is clear that God gave the plants for food in the first place.
The other strong implication about Isaiah 65:25 is the last phrase: “and they shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.” The language strongly suggests animals neither harmed nor killed each other in the pre-fallen world. This must mean no death, violence, or bloodshed if it is to be consistent with the character of a holy God who declared all of his original creation to be good.
There are other implications of the inherent “goodness” of the world prior to the entrance of sin. If the foregoing description of conditions antedating the Fall of Adam is correct, it would mean that the carnivorous dinosaurs would most certainly have been contemporaries of man following the Fall (the gap theory notwithstanding).9 Not only so, but it seems the animal fossils themselves, being in essence a record of death and decay, would have been impossible during the days Adam and Eve inhabited Eden and prior to the entrance of sin,
The conditions of God’s natural creation are of great interest, to be sure, but the condition of man during this time must be the focus if we are to understand the true ramifications of what transpired at the Fall. In Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make man in our image”. Of all God’s creatures, this is the only one whom God created in His image. This gives special significance to man’s origin. So in what sense was Adam created in God’s image? This cannot have reference to a bodily appearance, for God has no body—He is pure spirit (John 4:24). While there is much that we could say here, the most important aspect of man’s being is that he, too, is primarily a spiritual creature. It is not that the body has a soul, it is that the soul has a body. The most important part of a person’s makeup is not the part that is visible, but the part that is invisible.10 Man was created primarily a spiritual creature and was created a holy being. “This was the chief glory with which he was crowned.”11 As we shall see presently, this “chief glory” would also be the chief loss upon the entrance of sin.
The Fall, the Curse, and the Cross
The Fall and the Curse
In Genesis 2:16–17, God told Adam:
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Literally, the warning was “dying thou shalt die”.12 Man has had a tendency to view this penalty of death as not being commensurate with the specific transgression of eating a piece of fruit. Because man has lost sight of the true awfulness and utter depravity of sin, he prefers to see disobedience to God as a temporal act committed by a finite being in a temporal body.13 But we must remember that the only operative standard prior to the Fall was the absolute holiness of God. In truth, Adam’s transgression was an affront to God’s absolute holiness committed by one created in God’s image. That image, man’s spiritual nature consisting of goodness and holiness originally inherent in Adam, was marred. Adam, at the instant of his transgression, ceased to be holy.
As God had predicted, in the day Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they died. Many might consider the death primarily a physical phenomenon. We understand that man’s physical demise is one of the results of the Fall. At the same time, God told Adam in Genesis 2:17 that they would die the very day of their transgression. I believe therefore that spiritual death is the primary (though not the exclusive) focus of God’s warning. Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body; spiritual death is the separation of the soul from God. Adam’s physical death resulting from the transgression would occur many years later (although the physical decay began that very day), but the spiritual separation and estrangement from God occurred that very day. As God warned Adam, so He has warned all the ages: “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 8:20); “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This means spiritual death, primarily, culminating in eternal separation of the soul from God.
Such terrible consequences of one transgression may be difficult for us to comprehend, but they are illustrated clearly in that the tangential effects of the Fall were global in nature. In Genesis 3:17–19, God cursed the ground from which Adam had been formed.14 That the Fall had a global aftermath is also clear from Romans 8:22: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”15 Romans 8:21 says, “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God”. In this verse, “creature” is κτίσις (ktisis) in the Greek, and refers to the total of God’s creation.16 The phrase “bondage of corruption” literally refers to creation’s subjection to decay.17 Such a curse would provide a continual reminder of the horrible effects of sin. It was appropriate, therefore, that the curse include not only Adam, but the very Earth over which he had been given dominion. Not only had they forfeited a perfect environment, but their innocence.
In Genesis 3:4–5, the serpent said,
“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
As it turned out, the serpent was right, in a way. Adam and Eve did come to know good and evil, but not as they had hoped. Prior to the Fall they knew goodness as to its presence, and evil as to its absence. After they sinned, they knew goodness as to its absence, and evil as to its presence. From this point on Romans 3:12 became a reality18—the luring temptation of the serpent had borne its fruit.
The creation of Adam, his disobedience to God and his subsequent fall, and the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ because of sin, are all vitally connected and mutually dependent upon one another.
Crucial to our understanding is the awareness that the situation in which man found himself did not take God by surprise. Scripture reveals God’s purpose to have always been man’s redemption. Revelation 13:8 says that Jesus Christ was “slain from the foundation of the world”. This means that prior to the creation of Adam, God knew that Adam would sin. He knew that the rest of humankind would be “in Adam” (which will be discussed shortly), and therefore sinful. He also knew that the wages of sin is eternal separation and punishment. God likewise knew that to redeem mankind He would have to send his only-begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to pay the price for sin. God knew all those things before He created us, yet He created us anyway. In doing so, God persisted in the only course that would ensure man’s redemption.
In considering the relationship between the Fall of Adam and the Cross, let us first consider I Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” The key to this verse rests in the meaning of the phrase “in Adam”. The context of I Corinthians 15 is that of physical death and physical resurrection. Since Adam was the federal head of the human race, all are partakers of Adam’s sinful nature. Just as Adam died physically as a result of sin, so must all other individuals.
But physical death was only one of the consequences of sin. As mentioned earlier, God told Adam that his death would occur the same day in which he partook of the forbidden tree. This spiritual death is also a consequence of sin as passed on through Adam. Romans 5:12 says, “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”. This is why David said in Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me,”19
From this perspective, mankind is depicted as imprisoned in a desperate situation: conceived in sin just as David had expressed. On the other hand, the book of Hebrews illustrates that this principle of being “in Adam” is actually a wonderful blessing. Hebrews 7:9–10 says, “And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.” This simply means that Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedec, but since Levi was unborn at the time (“yet in the loins of his father”), there is a sense in which Abraham’s paying of tithes was credited to Levi. This is because Levi was “in Abraham” in the same way that we are “in Adam”.
How does this relate to the Cross? In every way. Two things were required for our salvation:
- the payment for sin (physical and spiritual death), and
- the cleansing from sin (the shedding of blood).20
So we wouldn’t have to suffer the eternal punishment we deserve, a substitute had to be punished in our place. Because a man sinned, the substitute must be a man (Hebrews 2:14). He also had to be sinless, so He didn’t have to pay for His own sins (Hebrews 7:27). No mere creature could endure God’s infinite punishment (Isaiah 53:10), so the substitute must be fully God as well as fully man.21 Via the incarnation, Jesus became a man while at the same time retaining His full deity. As our substitute, Jesus died our death for sin; as God, He offered His blood in the heavens for our cleansing from sin.22 II Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”.23 Hebrews 10:12 says, “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.”
By placing us “in” Himself through faith, we are said to be “in Christ”. In the same sense in which the actions of Abraham were credited to Levi (because the latter was in the former), so the actions of Christ in paying the price for our sins are credited to us (because we are “in Christ”). This is why I Corinthians 15:22 can proclaim with such certainty, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” This spiritual principle thus declares that the entire human race was plunged into sin once Adam disobeyed.24 At the same time, it became the vehicle whereby the death of Christ is made available to all mankind and efficacious for those who come to Christ in repentance and faith. Romans 5:18–19 says,
“Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
At the point of repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, all the sins of the creature are credited to Christ (though Christ never personally sinned), and all of Christ’s righteousness and His dealing with sin are summarily “credited” to the new born Christian.25 The believing sinner is cleansed of his sins and “adopted” by Christ as one of His family.26 He finds himself in a new positional relationship to God. He stands justified (δίκαιος dikaios; legally acquitted).
Hopefully one can see that the creation of Adam, his disobedience to God and his subsequent fall, and the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ because of sin, are all vitally connected and mutually dependent upon one another. If one is removed, all other elements are affected.
It is at this point that Evangelical Christianity has witnessed the entrance of perhaps the most subtle, yet dangerous adversary into its ranks—theistic evolution.27 Because of the impact of theistic evolution in the evangelical community at large and upon evangelical hermeneutics in particular, it is very important to demonstrate briefly why theistic evolution is not an option for the true evangelical Christian. This is especially true in light of the subject at hand.28
The fallacies of theistic evolution
The Gospel of Christ is predicated upon the literalness of the account in Genesis. That is to say:
- Adam and Eve were real historical individuals, and not just representative of humanity;
- the story of the Fall in the Garden of Eden is a historical reality, not an allegory; and
- their deaths (physical and spiritual) because of sin were likewise real.
If any one of these three elements in Genesis is reduced to something other than a historical event, the whole of Scripture is called into question and the Gospel of Christ begins to crumble. It is likewise axiomatic that if theistic evolution is true, then not just one, but all three of the aforementioned criteria are false and must be jettisoned.
First, if (1) above is false, it is obvious that (2) and (3) have no meaning. It is nonsensical that figurative people can inhabit a literal Garden (the account of the Fall is reduced to little more than a fairy tale). It is likewise illogical that figurative people can have physical or spiritual deaths that are real (or vice versa). While some theistic evolutionists would say that Adam and Eve were real people but not directly created by God, they still face insurmountable problems with the plain teachings of Scripture; for example, the inherent sinful nature, the continual upward progress demanded by most versions of evolution, and so forth. This is not to mention the fact that such a position completely undermines the need for the atonement of Christ at all. Therefore, to hold to theistic evolution and a literal Adam and Eve requires the logical conclusions of each to be incompatible with one another and with Scripture. This is why most theologians who hold to theistic evolution require Adam and Eve to be representative of humanity—they spot the eventual inconsistencies quickly. Thus, (2) and (3) fall.
Second, if (2) is only symbolic and not historical, then a literal couple (Adam and Eve) could not inhabit Eden (again, a literal “something” cannot be placed into a metaphorical “anything”) … exit (1). The alternative requires Adam and Eve to be reinterpreted as figurative, so (1) and (3) could not be real either.
Third, if (3) is only symbolic and not real, then (1) and (2) cannot be real. Real people experience real physical and spiritual death (at least in the context of Adam and Eve and sin with its consequences). If their deaths because of sin were not real, then the logical conclusion is that the pair were themselves only figurative. If that were true, then logic requires that (2) be figurative as well, since the figurative cannot occupy real space in a real place.
I will leave to scientists the task of demonstrating the scientific weaknesses of evolution. Theologically, however, there are two major areas in which theistic evolution fails the test of orthodoxy: its incompatibility with Scripture itself, and its incompatibility with evangelical theology.
Incompatibilities with Scripture
There is all too evident today a temptation among evangelicals to desire the approval of the academic/scientific community, even at the expense of a homogeneous Scriptural hermeneutic. If we truly hold to an authoritative Bible, specifically, an inerrant Bible,29 we must acknowledge that there are certain priorities or principles that must not be compromised—certain concessions that cannot be made. Among those, the accuracy of Scripture is paramount, for therein lies the source of evangelical theology.
Theologians who consider themselves evangelical, but who have succumbed to the guesses of theistic evolution and an old Earth theory, have the impossible task of trying to harmonise the Scriptures with the evolutionary presuppositions. There are a number of points at which theistic evolution simply cannot be harmonised with the plain reading of Genesis. While we recognise that the theory of evolution has itself evolved from the Darwinian model of the 1800s, all concepts of the theory share some common elements.
For example, virtually all versions of evolution require an incredibly old Earth, spanning millions, if not billions, of years. These theories are incompatible with the Genesis account of creation and subsequent passages of Scripture. It is fairly easy to demonstrate that the Hebrew יוֹם (yom) (day), especially when used with numbers as in Genesis, refers to a literal 24-hour day.30–32 Not only is יוֹם (yom) used with numbers there, but it is also used with עֶרֶב (‘ereb) (evening) and with בקֶר (boqer) (morning).33 Skinner points out that not a single instance in Scripture can be produced where these two words mean anything other than the literal entities implied.34 Only hermeneutical confusion, inconsistency, and eisegesis require that “morning” and “evening” represent the normal literal entities, but “day” refers to an age of thousands of years when all three terms are repeatedly juxtaposed as they are.
Another example has to do with Genesis 1:31. There the Bible says that Adam was created on the sixth day. Genesis 5:5 tells us that Adam’s lifespan totalled 930 years. This had to include some years following the sixth day of creation because all was still “good” throughout the sixth and seventh days. It is likewise evident that most of Adam’s years were after the Fall and expulsion from Eden. If the days of creation were vast stretches of time, then Adam lived from whatever point in the thousands of years of the sixth day at which he was created, and then through all of the thousands of years of the seventh day. Yet, his life totalled only 930 years. Obviously, something is amiss.
Theistic evolution tries to get around this by saying that Adam and Eve were representative of humanity instead of a literal couple. Of course, this creates far more problems than it solves, because it requires the Bible to attribute to a figurative individual 930 literal years.
I submit that there is no such thing as a figurative ancestor of real individuals.
What about Adam’s progeny? Genesis goes on to record the birth of Seth (Genesis 5:3). Apparently we are expected to believe that this figurative first couple had a literal son with a literal name. Or are we expected to believe that Seth and all the other sons and daughters mentioned in Genesis are also figurative?
What about Adam’s other descendants? The lineage of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of Luke specifically mentions Adam as one of Jesus’ ancestors (Luke 3:38). All the others mentioned in that genealogy were real individuals. By what system of hermeneutical gymnastics are we to conclude that God inspired Luke to list the ancestors of Jesus, all of whom were literal individuals except one? I submit that there is no such thing as a figurative ancestor of real individuals.
Obviously, those who have no problem with contradictions in Scripture have their explanations; but for the evangelical Christian who holds to an inerrant Bible, the difficulties are legion.
Incompatibilities with Orthodox Theology
If the Scriptural difficulties with theistic evolution are insurmountable for the evangelical (and I believe that they are), then the theological conclusions that spring from it are likewise unacceptable.
Reference has already been made to I Corinthians 15:22, which says, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” The wording of this verse requires Adam to be a historical figure if the Gospel is to have any meaning at all.
The point is secured by the use of two conjunctions; “as” and “even”. The second word in the English text, “as”, translates ὥσπερ (hōsper). When used in the first part of a comparative clause with a finite verb followed by οὕτως (houtōs) as here, it is “an emphatic marker of similarity”.35 The word “even” translates οὕτως (houtōs), which means “thus”, “in this manner”, and is used “to intensify what precedes”.36
The point is that in accordance with the same principle whereby all die in Adam, so in Christ are all made alive. The context of I Corinthians is that of physical death and physical resurrection. But even if one allows the contextual violation to mean that “in Adam all die” is only figurative, then why is our death literal? If man is only in Adam in some ethereal, figurative way, then our being “in Christ” is also true only in some ethereal, figurative way.
Such a conclusion is impossible to reconcile with Scripture and orthodox Christian theology. The context of I Corinthians 15 is that of physical death and physical resurrection. But even if one allows the contextual violation to say that “in Adam all die” is only figurative, then why is our death literal? If all die in Adam only figuratively, these conjunctions demand that we are made alive in Christ likewise, and only, figuratively. This cannot be. Our salvation is not figurative, but real.
Theologically, the most basic assumption of theistic evolution makes the whole of God’s redemptive plan unnecessary. Most evolutionary theories (particularly theistic evolution) assume an upward spiral of progress, including the development of man. This runs completely counter to the whole of Scripture. The Word of God is clear that “there is none that doeth good, no not one” (Psalm 14:3). The rationale of such an anthropology should be obvious. If Adam is only symbolic and is representative man, there was no literal Fall of man as described in Genesis.37 But if there was no Fall, then there was no original sin, and man does not possess a sinful nature. If man is not sinful, then Jesus need not to have died on the Cross and offered His blood for our sins as Hebrews 9 clearly states. In short, if man is truly on an upward spiral of progress as evolution demands, then all he needs is a boost from below instead of a birth from above.
This cannot be what Jesus Christ had in mind when He told Nicodemus, “You must be born again”.38 If there had been any way to redeem mankind other than the Cross, does it not stand to reason that God would have chosen that course? Romans 1:16 tells us that God’s power to save is vested only in the Cross of Christ. God will not save any other way. Adam was real. Because all of mankind is “in Adam”, the Cross was a divine prerogative and a human necessity if man’s redemption was to be secured.
- Stambaugh, J., Creation’s original diet and the changes at the Fall, Journal of Creation (CENTJ), 5(1):130–138, 1991. Return to text.
- Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25. The King James Version is used throughout this paper. Return to text.
- Hebrew transliteration has not been fully standardised. The transliterations used for this paper are based upon: Harris, R.L., Archer Jr, G.L. and Waltke, B.K. (eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Moody Press, Chicago, 1980. Return to text.
- These and other uses of this term are clearly delineated in Harris et al., Ref. 3, Vol. l, pp. 345ff. Return to text.
- Psalm 14:1, 3; 53:1, 3; Romans 3:12. Return to text.
- Morris, H.M., The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, p. 90, 1976. Return to text.
- Ramm, B., The Christian View of Science and Scripture, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, pp. 334–335, 1954. Return to text.
- It is very interesting that when Ramm wrote this in 1954, he was considered “an evangelical’s evangelical” in many respects. His book, Protestant Biblical Interpretation, published by Baker Book House in 1970, is considered one of the best in the field. In that work, however, he makes clear capitulations to those who see contradictions by explaining them in terms of a corrupted text (p. 206). By the time he wrote After Fundamentalism: The Future of Evangelical Theory, published in 1983 by Harper & Row, Ramm seems to have come under much the same influence of the Enlightenment as did Karl Barth, and basically adopted him as a mentor. In fact, After Fundamentalism is essentially an interpretation of Barth’s theology and a defence of Barth as an evangelical and orthodox theologian. Return to text.
- Skinner, D.R., Studies in Genesis 1–11, Olive Branch, Mississippi, pp. 38–47, 1992. While a linguistic analysis of Genesis 1:1–2 is not possible here, the waw circumstantial, among other things, prohibits the type of time period required for the insertion of dinosaurs, etc. Skinner’s book gives an excellent explanation of the gap theory and why it is incompatible with the Hebrew text. See also: Grigg, R., From the beginning of creation: does Genesis have a “gap”? Creation 19(2):35–38, 1997. Return to text.
- This accounts for Jesus’ statement prioritising the soul in Mark 8:36–37: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Return to text.
- Pendleton, J.M., Christian Doctrines: A Compendium of Theology, Judson Press, Valley Forge, reprint 1971, p. 160, 1879. Return to text.
- Skinner, Ref. 9, p. 76. מ֥וֹח חָּמֽוּח (mot hamuh)—Qal infinitive absolute with the Qal imperfect. “The use of the infinitive absolute before the finite verb intensifies the penalty for disobedience”. Return to text.
- Pinnock, C., Inclusive Finality or Universally Accessible Salvation, Annual Meeting (San Diego, California) of the Evangelical Theological Society, Mobiltape Co. Inc., Valenca, California, Audio cassette, 1989. That such concepts have made startling inroads into the evangelical community is evidenced by this address. Pinnock, a longstanding member of the Evangelical Theological Society, argues for a universal salvation. One of his basic tenets is that a loving God would not condemn someone eternally for a temporal act committed in a temporal body. Pinnock also denies biblical inerrancy and God’s perfect foreknowledge. Return to text.
- Though clearly part of the curse, God said, “cursed is the ground for thy sake” (Genesis 3:17). Even in the curse, God’s purposes were redemptive and restorative. Return to text.
- The phrase “the whole creation” is πᾶσα ἡ κτίσις (pasa hē ktisis). The same word translated “creation” here is translated “creature” in Romans 8:21. Return to text.
- BibleWorks for Windows, Hermeneutika Computer Bible Research Software, Big Fork, Montana. Return to text.
- Stambaugh, Ref. 1, pp. 135–136. Again, this is an excellent survey of some of these issues. Return to text.
- “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Return to text.
- Lest there be any misunderstanding, David was the son of Jesse. There is no indication that David was conceived of an illicit relationship. The only viable meaning of this verse is a reference to an inherent sinful nature at conception. This would also mean that, scripturally, David’s life began at conception. Return to text.
- Hebrews 9:22. Return to text.
- Hebrews 7:24–27; I Peter 1:19; et al. Return to text.
- Hebrews 10:4; 8:1–2; 9:12–14, 22; 10:19; Ephesians 2:13; I John 1:7; I Peter 1:18. Return to text.
- “For he hath made him to be sin for us” reads in the Greek New Testament τὸν μὴ γνόντα ἁμαρτίαν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἁμαρτίαν ἐποίησεν (ton mē gnonta hamartian huper hēmōn hamartian epoiēsen). The significance of ὑπὲρ (huper) cannot be overstated. It is the strongest word in the Koine Greek for the performance of an act in the place of another; hence, substitution. Return to text.
- Romans 8:1; 12:5; 16:3, 7, 9, 10; I Corinthians 1:2,30; 3:1; 4:10, 15, 17; 15:18, 19, 22, 31; 16:24, etc. It becomes readily apparent that this concept is very dear to Paul. Return to text.
- II Corinthians 5:21. Return to text.
- Colossians 1:13; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5. Return to text.
- A personal word of explanation might be appropriate here. While in college, the author became enamoured with theistic evolution and adopted its presuppositions as his own—all the while claiming evangelical Christianity as compatible, and seeking to harmonise the assumptions of evolution with clear statements of Scripture. Upon entering graduate and post-graduate studies in Hebrew and Aramaic, there came the realisation that the clarity and conciseness of the Hebrew text undermines theistic evolution at its philosophical and theological foundations. Return to text.
- Youngblood, R. (ed.), The Genesis Debate: Persistent Questions about Creation and the Flood, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1990. A testimony to this is to be found here. Youngblood is considered a firm evangelical throughout theological circles. While there have always been questions about Genesis 1–11, those views which by clear implication would have undermined the veracity of Scripture would not have been entertained by orthodox Christianity. That is no longer the case. Return to text.
- I mention an inerrant Bible because, unfortunately, there are those claiming evangelicalism who will argue for the authority of Scripture while denying its inerrancy. To me, the former is completely dependent on the latter. Return to text.
- Stambaugh, J., 1991. The days of creation: a semantic approach. Journal of Creation (CENTJ) 5(1):71–72. An excellent study at this point. Return to text.
- Keil, C.F. and Delitzsch, F, Commentary on the Old Testament in Ten Volumes. Volume 1, The Pentateuch, J. Martin (trans.), William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, p. 51, 1973. Keil says, “ … if the days of creation are regulated by the recurring interchange of light and darkness [as Keil argues], they must be regarded not as periods of time of incalculable duration, or years or thousands of years, but as simple earthly days.” Return to text.
- Skinner, Ref. 9, pp. 48–52. Return to text.
- See, for example, Genesis 1:5, וַֽיְהִי־עֶ֥רֶב וַֽיְהִי־בֹ֖קֶר י֥וֹם אֶחָֽד (wayehi-’ereb wayehi-boqer yom ‘ehad) (and the evening and the morning were the first day). Return to text.
- Skinner, Ref. 9, p. 50. Return to text.
- BibleWorks for Windows, Ref. 16. The preceding context in I Corinthians 15 stresses the significance of Christ’s resurrection. This word places verse 22 in direct parallel with the previous truths. Return to text.
- BibleWorks for Windows, Ref. 16. Return to text.
- Of course, if Genesis 1–11 are not to be considered historical, then the most pressing question is why did God use deceptive language? The most straightforward reading of the text would cause one to conclude that the events occurred as they are depicted—at least such was the case with virtually all of Jewry and Christendom until the 1800s. Return to text.
- John 3:7. Actually, double entendre may be at work in John 3:7. Δεῖ ὑμᾶς γεννηθῆναι ἄνωθεν (Dei humas gennēthēnai anōthen) (You must be born again). Ἂνωθεν (anōthen) (again) is a compound of which the preposition ἀνά (ana) is a part. Ἀνά (Ana) can mean “above” or “again”, depending upon the context. In truth, either meaning fits this context, and both may well have been intended by Jesus. Return to text.