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.
THE WORLDVIEW APPROACH TO BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION AND ORIGINS:
WHAT IT IS AND HOW IT DIFFERS FROM “ACCOMMODATION”
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).
“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?