Greek vs. Latin interpretations of Adam and Eve

(George Brooks) #1

**I went to a book the author recommended (or at least that she mentioned!).

It had some good chapters on Adam in the various parts of the Bible and in the lengthy timeline of the Christian tradition. Here was a compelling section relevant to the current discussions on the differences (and the advantages) of Eastern Orthodox theology:**

The author, Chloe Banks, recommended the book: “Adam, the Fall, and Original Sin: Theological, Biblical, and Scientific Perspectives,” edited by Michael Reeves and Hans Madueme © 2011. In Robert W. Yarbrough’s article, “Adam in the New Testament” (chapter 2 located in Part 1) we read:

“With respect to Christianity (Greek patristic and Eastern Orthodox, Latin patristic and early medieval), G. Anderson stresses the fork in the road between Greek and Latin tendencies.”

"The Greek Fathers in their exegesis of Adam texts were concerned not so much with sin as with “the corruptibility of the body. In their view Adam and Eve had angelic constitutions (see Matthew 22:30) prior to the fall. This correlates with the view that Adam and Eve’s clothing with skin post-fall (Genesis 3:21) meant their demotion to mortal bodies.”

“In the incarnation (“Christ enters the world by assuming the post-lapsarian state of Adam,” meaning the inglorioius bodies of current human existence. But at Christ’s resurrection 'he sheds this mortal body and assumes the bodily form that had been Adam’s in the Garden.”

“Anderson succeeds at showing the substantial differences that a few key moves, or rather affirmations of Hellenistic convictions (like the essential inferiority of created matter), by Greek Fathers have made for one of the major Christian communions through the centuries. (As of 2010, Eastern Orthodoxy accounts for over 10 percent of the world’s Christian population.)”

The Reluctant Convert: How I Found Faith in Christ and Peace with Science
(George Brooks) #2

That’s a pretty good title… thanks @BradKramer !!!

(George Brooks) #3


I find a pocket of millions of Christians, living and dying for 15 centuries, about whom I have repeatedly demonstrated, using their own documents, did not interpret Paul’s comments the way Augustine interpreted them.

And what’s more, they sooooooo didn’t agree with Augustine, that they won’t even use any argument about sin to explain why infants are baptized - - in those Eastern Orthodox communities that do baptize infants ! - despite the fact they do think Adam sinned and that all humanity has and will sin!

Oh, and Paul’s interpretation of Adam is the one part we have actually watched Evagelical “giants”, in abject enthrallment, literally say they have no idea how they could ever abandon Augustine’s interpretation of Paul …

And still we don’t think it is worth exploring how YEC’s (notoriously anti-Catholic in their doctrines) might actually be vulnerable in their fixation on the most Catholic thing in their whole world view?!

Is this too frivolous an accomplishment? Are the beliefs of Slavic communities, Greeks and Africans so irrelevant? Virtually nobody is interested? I see.

The YEC Kool-Aid has a surprising influence, even amongst the non-YECs.

It’s gonna be “amateur city” around here until the BioLogos leaders find a trusted Eastern Orthodox contributor to add Eastern credibility to your global library of writings. Is this too prejudicial? There are so few American believers, percentage wise, who oppose Augustine’s interpretation of Paul, that there isn’t even a Protestant denomination devoted to this point.

So… to actually have whole denominations, with ancient texts, successfully contradicting the Augustine view (successful in the sense that after 15 centuries they are still in existence, and aside from these communions, in America, are actually growing faster than most other denominations!) - - this is not noteworthy and even inspirational?

I encourage those who have a say to bring in the ancient professionals… the ones who have studied this argument for more than an eon. Let them come and teach…

(system) #4

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