O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?


I thought it might be instructive to introduce an article by Carol A. Hill who has often published her works on the ASA site along with Denis Lamoureux. Carol takes a little different tact to Genesis than Lamoureux and at the Baylor ASA conference she presented her work in contradiction to Lamoureux and Seely’s approach of “Accommodation”. I have listed the slide presentation link and some of her excerpts. I’ve also linked her audio presentation as well as some of her pertinent past articles that she alludes to in this discussion at the end of her excerpts.

One of the interesting approaches that Hill brings in contrast to Lamoureux I believe is a better theological understanding of the first and second Adam’s which full Preterist may find especially interesting. In fact Carol Hill appears to be presenting a Covenant understanding of Adam similar to what Tim and Jeff have in their book. You will want to read the slides and determine for yourself how close Hill is to a covenant creation of Adam. I have selected several excerpts from her slides to give a taste of her work but she will also delve into the Biblical old ages and how they were derived and some other issues.

Over the years I have found Carol Hill a great resource for helping my understanding of Genesis but I do not agree with everything she presents as again she is lacking the full Preterist perspective but with this latest piece from her it seems she has moved closer to some observations of Preterism than she may have formerly held.

I would be interested in any feedback on any of Hill’s points in this presentation.

Norm Voss

By: Carol A. Hill


• The Bible goes to great lengths to establish the genealogy from Adam to Christ in Genesis, Chronicles, Ezra‐Nehemiah, Matthew, and Luke.
• If these genealogies are not composed of historical people, then where do the historical people start and the unhistorical people end? Minimalists deny this historical line up to and including the Exodus and even later.
So what impact does this have on the reliability/credibility of the Old Testament (and thus on the New Testament, which is based on the Old Testament)? An immense impact!
• The basic Christian doctrines of sin, grace, redemption for sin (etc.) are all tied up with this historical time line.

• The people, places, and events in this time line are real. However, the description of these people, places, and events is necessarily colored by the worldview of the biblical authors. To “beget” someone is a physical act – either it happened or it didn’t. But a descriptive interpretation of a real event is a cultural act that stems from a particular worldview.

• The stories in the Bible (especially Genesis) have a dual nature:
(1) Historical: They have a historical base.
(2) Figurative: The biblical author’s worldview is interwoven with this historical base .

• Creation of the physical world and humans could have taken place by a long process of God‐directed evolution.
• “Seven days” of Gen. 1 are not literal days. The number 7 was basic to the numerological worldview of the ancient Mesopotamians. God’s revelation was written down following the literary narrative style of the Mesopotamians: work was done in 6 days (broken down into 2 triads); rest was on the 7th day.

• Pre‐Adamites hinted at in Gen. 4:17 (Cain’s wife) ; Gen. 6:2 (“daughters of men”); “land of Nod” (Nodites), etc.
• Pre‐Adamites are the “male and female” of Gen. 1 that were created in God’s image. All humans have a spiritual awareness and innate capacity to see God in His creation (Rom. 1:19‐20).
• Did pre‐Adamites sin (murder, etc.)? Yes, because all humans have a sin nature. But were they judged by God for that sin? No, because sin is not imputed where there is no (knowledge of the) law (Rom. 5:13).
God did not spiritually confer the “knowledge” of good and evil to humans until Adam.

• God’s first intervention into human history. The story of Adam & Eve is told from the worldview of the creation narratives of that day, but differs significantly because of the revelation of God to the line of Adam.
• Adam: First human to be given a “soul” (spirit) (Gen. 2:7).

• Sin dispensationally conferred on the human race through Adam (Rom. 5:12); similarly, grace conferred on human race through Christ (Rom. 5:15). Grace not biologically passed down because Christ is not the biological father of any of us; similarly, sin is not passed down biologically from Adam. Therefore, all humans (from Adam’s line or not from his line) fall under the dispensations of sin and grace.
• First covenant with humanity set up in the Garden of Eden initiated the following chain of events: sin, judgment of sin, blood‐sacrifice atonement for sin, spiritual death and spiritual (eternal) life.

(1) Historical: Adam and Eve were real historical people.
(2) Figurative: But the text reflects worldview of biblical author; “play on words” typical of early narrative writing.
• adam (“man” = humanity in Gen. 1); Adam (“Man” = 1 man in Gen. 2).
• God formed man (Adam) from the “dust (or clay) of the ground” (Gen. 2:7). Poetic figure of speech, one used by the culture of that time.
• Eve formed from Adam’s rib (Gen. 2:21). Another “play on words.” Sumerian for rib = ti, which could alternately mean “life” in Sumerian; “lady of the rib” = “lady who makes live”, or Eve was the “mother of all living” (Gen 3:20).

(1) Historical: Noah = real person, Noah’s Flood = real flood (but local to Mesopotamian hydrologic basin).
occurred at end of Jemet Nasr Period at ~2900 B.C.
(2) Figurative: Text is based on numerological (sacred) numbers 7, 10, 40, 60, not on real numbers.
Total duration of Flood = 365 days or exactly one solar year.
• Noah = 600 (60 x 10) when flood started. Sexagesimal # 600 used only for very important persons.
• Noah waited 7 days inside the ark for the flood to start (Gen. 7:7).
• It rained for 40 days and 40 nights (Gen. 7:4).
• The land was flooded until the 7th month, 17th (10 + 7) day (Gen. 7:24).
• The ark rested on the mountains of Ararat on the 7th month, 17th (10 + 7) day (Gen. 8:4).
• The waters decreased until the 10th month.
• In 40 more days Noah opened the window of the ark (Gen. 8:6).
• In 7 more days Noah sent forth a dove (Gen. 8:10).
• Noah sent out the dove again in another 7 days (Gen. 8:12).

• The Worldview Approach is a new way of interpreting Scripture in the Science/Origins debate.
• It is similar to “Accommodation” (SA) in that it incorporates the pre‐ingrained scientific worldview of the biblical author(s) into the text. However, it differs from Accommodation in important ways.
• It is theologically important that Adam be a historical person through whom sin was conferred on humanity, just as a historical Christ (the “second Adam”) conferred grace on humanity and the forgiveness of sins. The doctrine of “Accommodation” rejects this historical and theological connection, and thus cuts into the very heart of the gospel message.
• If a “literal” view of Genesis is taken, instead of the “dual” view of the Worldview Approach, then the text becomes mythological and thus unbelievable. This applies to all three of the other positions of biblical interpretation (YEC, Progressive Creationist, Accommodation).

Conrad Hyers:
“Unwittingly, ‘literal’ or ‘concordist’ views are secular rather than sacred interpretations
of the text. To faithfully interpret Genesis is to be faithful to what it really means as it was
originally written, not to what people living in a later time (or coming from a different
worldview) desire it to be.”


The Garden of Eden: A Modern Landscape

Making Sense of the Numbers of Genesis

The Noachian Flood: Universal or Local?

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Actually Cyndi,

I've been saying "covenantal death" for a couple years now. I don't think anyone who uses the phrase "spiritual death" has any clue what they mean. It is just a place holder for some unknown form of death that is not physical.

From your comments, I've noticed that Hill hasn't separated Genesis from physical creation. Like John Walton, she's halfway there on Genesis.

It is common for people to suggest that Alulim was Adam.


Needless to say I don’t think Carol Hill has everything down pact yet but I think I’m seeing some progress.

I imagine that Carol will hang on to her physical reading of Gen 1 because she is probably a futurist who sees Rev 21 H & E as possibly physical also. I have sent her an email and will see if she responds. I’m hoping to remind her of Waltons 7 Day Temple literary framework for Gen 1 and see what answers she might have. If she is open she may respond otherwise she will probably continue to muddle through early Genesis theologically.

If you listen to her audio segment you will hear her get into a question and answer session in which she seems uncomfortable concerning her theology. If she had been hanging around full Preterist forums for years she would have been less intimidated as we have had to answer all of these issues many times over and are probably much more comfortable with our Pauline theology than she is. Even at that I’m surprised that she would pull a Covenant Creation for Adam out of her theological bag.

I think when some of these science types can put the mortal nature of mankind in perspective and that immortality (Image of God) only comes through Jesus Christ spiritually that they might start understanding that Gen 1 makes perfect sense as prophecy.

As far as I can see Carol really has a fair approach after Gen 2:4 even though I tend to see the authors of Genesis as more theologically astute than even she may be giving them credit. I like her work better than I do Seelys and Lamoureux as I believe the historical aspect of those before Abraham is similar to what Carol presents. However the question begs on many of these individuals found in Gen 2-5 on why they had names that bear a theological purpose. Adam was a generic name for man just as Noah’s name was a definition of what his purpose stood for theologically. I personally believe that these were not their real names but they were real people as understood historically in the Ancient Near East worldview developed by the Hebrews and represented the seed lineage.

But like I said the other day sometimes my adding 2 and 2 doesn’t always come out to 4 and so I’m constantly open to better ideas and thus the reason I read as many of these Genesis investigators as I can. I have probably learned as much from James Jordan a YEC than I have from people like Hill and Walton and the reason is that Jordan understands the overall Biblical hermeneutic better than any of them do.


Over the years I have simply browsed through his web site and just selected the articles that I find most applicable to my investigations. Here is the link.

I do not read all his stuff nor am I interested but what I am interested in is picking and choosing some ideas that I find consistent with Preterism and related to Genesis which he likes to dabble in. What I don’t find much usefulness in is his diatribes against Old Earth authors like M. Kline and crowd.

Here is an interesting article that I like and I simply compare notes with my knowledge and see what is useful.

I would also highly recommend his recent Daniel Commentary for those who are ready to broaden their perspective of the OT.

One of the things you will find is that Jordan like Carol Hill is not afraid of Biblical numerology which helps him. Here is an interesting article called 153 Large Fish

I have a hard time logically accepting numerology. Logically, it is the chicken or egg question...Did the Sumerians believe in numbers like 40, 7, 12, 360, etc., so therefore they wrote a compilation of stories in which such numbers were included? Or, are those numbers actually "divine", so therefore God included them in the bible, and the Sumerians simply observed what God had put in place?
If you answer the former, then numbers which drive prophecy (like 40, 1,000, 7, etc.) derived their authority from Sumerian numerology, and there is no significance whatsoever in their inclusion in scripture. If you believe the latter, then you must, logically, NOT seek Sumerian influence in Sumerian tales which happen to coincide with biblical accounts! To say that Mesopotamians used numbers to tell stories is perhaps true, but what does that have to do with the bible? If the tales of the Epic of Gilgamesh happen to coincide with biblical stories of the flood, then which tale are we supposed to believe has the most authority, the Sumerian texts or the Hebraic ones which correspond to influences of the cultures around them?
Numerology is universally considered to be a pseudo mathematical system, and it can virtually mean whatever the reader wants it to mean. Consider this text from Barnabas, as taken from Wikipedia:

"Influenced mainly by Biblical precepts, the Fathers down to the time of Bede and even later gave much attention to the sacredness and mystical significance not only of certain numerals in themselves but also of the numerical totals given by the constituent letters with which words were written. An example is in the early Epistle of Barnabas. This document appeals to Gen., xiv, 14 and xvii, 23, as mystically pointing to the name and self-oblation of the coming Messias.

"Learn, therefore," says the writer, "that Abraham who first appointed circumcision, looked forward in spirit unto Jesus when he circumcised, having received the ordinances of three letters. For the Scripture saith, And Abraham circumcised of his household eighteen males and three hundred.' What then was the knowledge given unto him? Understand ye that He saith the eighteen' first, and then after an interval three hundred.' In the [number] eighteen [the Greek IOTA] stands for 10, [the Greek ETA] for eight. Here thou hast Jesus ([in Greek] IESOUS). And because the cross in the [Greek TAU] was to have grace, he saith also three hundred.' So he revealeth Jesus in two letters and in the remaining one the cross" (Ep. Barnabas, ix).

Here the numerical value of the Greek letters iota and eta,, the first letters of the Holy Name, is 10 and 8, for 18, while Tau, which stands for the form of the cross, represents 300.

I consider this as being taken too far. If not careful, we can see all kinds of patterns which the bible nor God ever intended.

If the Bible tells us a history, then it should coincide, where appropriate, with other histories.

As preterists, we are concerned with audience relevance.

Is the common Sunday School story of Adam & Eve or Noah and the Ark the way it happened? Would the people 5000 years ago recognize our "stories" as being the same as theirs?

If Adam lived in the land we now call Sumer, we need to place him appropriately in space and time and culture with the other people who lived in Sumer. That is what we are trying to do.


I can appreciate your reluctance to acknowledge the Hebrew embracing of numerology in writing the bible but the evidence is so overwhelming that there is simply little doubt of its pervasive usage. The Hebrew people developed their writings historically from others as God did not just miraculously allow some Hebrew priest to conjure up these numerology skills out of the blue. It doesn’t really matter if the Sumerians and others utilized and developed numerology, the point is that it permeated the Ancient Near East world and was part of the communicative devices of those cultures and embraced by the Hebrew writers. There is nothing divine to the numbers in of themselves as they are simply a literary device in which their connotation brought specific emphasis to the story line or narrative in which they were inserted.

As far as the comparison of the other cultures developing stories similar to the Hebrews it is what it is. The Hebrews wrote their stories down by contrasting them with the pagan stories of multiple gods. The stories of the ANE are their historical means of perpetuating their history in a manner that served some kind of purpose to their society. If we want to judge the ancient Hebrew people by our modern sensibilities then I’m afraid we have simply gotten off track due to our unease about how the ancients viewed the world and the Hebrews were part of that world. It possibly says more about our own modern cultural superciliousness than instructive about the ancients. The authority of the Noahic flood story in contrast to the Gilgamesh one is derived by its usage by the Covenant people of God and not the pagan version. The Gilgamesh epic is simply the story derived by the peoples outside of God through their pagan worldview. The Hebrew world view would eventually supplant and replace the paganism of the ANE and today’s world is a result of the Hebrew Godly world taking precedent over the ancient pagans.

As far as seeing patterns in numerology; I don’t see a problem if it can be determined that this was very possibly the Hebrew intention. If it wasn’t their intention then it should be discarded but you have to immerse yourself in the study of Hebrew numerology to be able to intelligently make a judgment. To simply discard it out of hand because it makes one nervous doesn’t make sense to me as there is just way too much evidence for its usage. Besides I doubt that very few Biblical scholars are going to completely refute biblical numerology out of hand as books like Revelation are constructed with its implications. One simply can’t pick and choose what they want and don’t want in the Bible as it is what it is.

Here are a couple of examples of Biblical numbers that James Jordan examines in which I provide the link to the full articles. The first one concerns the 318 men found in Gen 14 and the second is the 153 large fish caught in the net by the Apostles in John 21:11. These numbers do not appear to be arbitrary numbers but indeed seem to fall into the category or Biblical numerology emphasizing their Hebrew importance.

Genesis 14:14 says that Abram mustered his trained men, “born in his house,” to rescue Lot, and gives their number as 318. It is clear that the precise number is provided for some reason, but what is it?

S. Gevirtz notes that 318 is the sum of all the prime numbers between 7 and 7(squared), to wit: 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, & 47. [“Abram's 318,” Israel Exploration Journal 19 (1969):110-113.] There are twelve primes in this set. Certainly, then, 318 is an interesting number, incorporating both 7 and 12.

The number 153 can be factored as 3 x 3 x 17. We can examine the number 17 in the Bible, and we will find that it does occur in some important places. Of course, the numbers 7 and 10 are both numbers of completeness or totality. They are related to each other as 2 + 5 and 2 x 5. (Compare the relationship of 7 and 12: 3 + 4 and 3 x 4.) Both Book 3 and Book 4 of the Psalter contain 17 psalms. Also, notice the following:

Patriarch lifespan factored sum of factors

Abraham175 = 7×5x5_7+5+5 = 17
Isaac____180 = 5×6x6_5+6+6 = 17
Jacob____147 = 3×7x7_3+7+7 = 17

This can hardly be a coincidence.

Now, since both 7 and 10 are numbers of completeness and totality, their presence here would indicate a complete catch of large fish, of the nations of the world (see below). Multiplied twice by 3 this might indicate God’s total permeation of this redeemed world. I believe, however, that there is an even better understanding available.

Long ago, Augustine of Hippo pointed out that 153 is the triangular of 17. This means that if we add 17 + 16 + 15 + 14 … + 1, we come up with 153.

End of Jordan excerpts.

Eze 47:9-10 And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. (10) Fishermen will stand beside the sea. From Engedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets. Its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea.

Joh 21:11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net up on the land, full of great fishes, an hundred fifty and three, and though they were so many, the net was not rent.

Mat 4:19 and he saith to them, `Come ye after me, and I will make you fishers of men,'

I almost forgot.

Oh by the way in the Patriarch life spans the sum of all three of Joseph’s forebears are
5 squared = 25,
6 squared =36,
7 squared=49.

25+36+49=110 which is the lifespan of Joseph.

Jordan left thar tidbit out that other biblical scholars have recognized.
JL and Norm,
I think you misunderstood my posting. I am not arguing against the concept that numbers are all over the bible, and that they mean something. What I meant to convey is to ask a fundamental question about the "divinity" of those numbers.
I have often heard it said that 7 is the number of completion. If that is so, then is that the reason God created the earth in 7 days, or is there really something very mystical and even supernatural about the number 7 itself?
What I am hearing many people say is that these numbers in and of themselves have some kind of magic attached to them. You hear it all the time when, say, people want to play the lottery, or bet on a horse. You hear about "lucky numbers" and other such nonsense (in my opinion)

That said, I would then ask the question about how the Sumerians understood numbers. In short, did God lay out the creation in a literal 7 days, and so the Sumerians adopted the number 7 and incorporated it (and other number systems) into their storytelling? Or rather, did God lay out things with no particular numerical pattern intrinsically in them, but ancient people, in order to comprehend and attach meaning to what God did, attach numers into their stories?

In other words, did GOD inspire these stories, or are they inventions of men intended to create comprehensibility out of the incomprehensible? If you answer the latter, then as time wore on, did God just go along with this concept and kept on revealing Himself to later cultures with the same numerical pattern laid down by the most ancient originators?
As for your second part. We have a problem with the meaning of "inspiration."

It seems to me that each writer of Scripture wrote what he wanted to write and did so from his own knowledge and understanding. From the writer's point of view, the process appeared natural.

Yet we have a decidedly supernatural document.

Personally, I see Genesis 1 as a temple dedication. Compare the days to the 7 days of the dedication of Solomon's temple. Six days of "creation" followed by an eternal day of rest. The question to figure out is, "What was created?"


That's not what is meant by numerology. The numbers don't have anything magical, mystical, or supernatural about them.

Numbers then were used in ways we don't use them.

For example, in Hebrew and Greek, every letter is a number. Every word is consequently a number. It was not uncommon to leave messages to people replacing names with a number. Everyone knew the number of his name.

But that number did not specifically mean anything.

In contrast, in modern numerology, my name is the number 7 which supposedly grants me magical properties. All bunk. That is not what is being said in Scripture.

However, these numbers were stand-ins for words. And they had symbolism involved in that stand-in status. About the only thing we have equivalent in our culture is purposeful exaggeration. I tell my Scouts, that 100 years ago, when I was their age ... Was it 100 years ago? No, but it might as well have been. The world has changed more in that time than they can imagine. I saw my first computer just weeks after my 16th birthday. Everybody around me knows what I meant (except for an occasional 11-year-old).

By numerology (that is a poor word, but it is the only one we have), the number is a symbol. It is not the literal number. It is a metaphor of sorts, like the belief that some preterists have that the "millennium" represents an "eternal" quality of life. It is not 1000 years. It is life, like Adam had in the garden.

It is a difficult subject. We have very little info in the Bible and the info from the surrounding peoples is not widely available.

I hear what you are saying. But I have to ask again.

We see numbers still embedded into everything we do even in modern life. Using 7 and 12 as examples - can anyone tell me why there are 7 days in a week? What's special about that except that it came to us from the Hebraic concept of things laid out in the creation account? Or, why are there 12 months in a year? That is decidedly NOT Judaic, as Hebrews had their monthly pattern divided into a lunar cycle of 360 days with an intercalary month added every so often to keep the lunar and solar cycles in sync. As near as I can tell, the 12 month cycle comes from the belief that there are 12 constellations, and so each constellation had to have its own month.

No matter where they came from, numbers definitely DO have an influence in all we do, even in modern life. In fact, its so embedded that we simply take them for granted. Why, for example, are there 24 hours in a day or why is it further subdivided by multiples of 12? And then there are length and weight units of measure too, and the reasons for their establishment are lost in antiquity, but we use them nonetheless!

Maybe mankind universally needs numbers as a supplement to language to express things which can't be expressed linguistically. I do know that words fail me often, but that numbers and images (visions) are an unmistakeable language of sorts, comprehensible by all men as long as the culture can relate to them by common things we all share (such as heavenly cycles, or natural objects like plants and animals) Perhaps then God put natural cycles into our daily experience and let us figure out how to assign heavenly meanings to earthly objects and happenings. Is this something you would agree with?

The earliest known examples of writing are ancient Sumerian accounting documents known as ration tablets. The 7 day week is part of there form. The seven day week predates writing.

The earliest narratives are temple dedications. They are in the same form as the ration tablet.

Genesis 1:1-2:4 has precisely the form of a Sumerian ration tablet, specifically a temple dedication.

Wiseman makes the case that the original text for Genesis 1:1-2:4 is the oldest, or nearly oldest piece of writing.

Some ancient astrologies have 13 constellations to handle the leap months. 12 months in a year clearly comes from lunar cycles. The constellations from the need to order the months, not the months because of the constellations.

The Jews, like all ancient cultures had months of varying lengths, which they called 30 days.

Twelve hours apparently comes from 12 months.

That the first writing appears to be accounting documents shows that men likely developed writing to facilitate trade and record keeping.

These things you suggest are a part of it, but some of the reasons appear to go the opposite direction. The 1st dynasty of Egypt kept 3 calendars. 360-day, 365-day, and 365 1/4 day. They knew all of this before they first developed writing. How? The patterns drive the numbers, but the numbers turn around and drive the patterns. Which came first? It's an interesting question and in many cases we will probably never know.





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