Monday, February 17, 2020

Maybe, just maybe, it's more complicated than you think

Although I believe that Adam and Eve are historical personages—real people in a real past—these cannot be their historical names. The names are Hebrew, and there is no Hebrew at the point in time when Adam and Eve lived. If these are not historical names, then they must be assigned names, intended by the Hebrew-speaking users to convey a particular meaning. Such a deduction leads us to the second observation. In English, if we read that someone’s name is “Human” and his partner's name is “Life,” we quickly develop an impression of what is being communicated (as, for example, in Pilgrim's Progress, where characters are named Christian, Faithful and Hopeful). These characters, by virtue of their assigned names, are larger than the historical characters to whom they refer. They represent something beyond themselves. Consequently, we can see from the start that interpretation may not be straightforward. More is going on than giving some biographical information about two people in history.—The Lost World of Adam and Eve, pp. 58–59

<idle musing>
I'm not as convinced that Adam & Eve were real personages as he is, but otherwise he is right on the money. There's more going on here than the surface reading would suggest. Remember, this is theological history, which differs dramatically from our mundane, cause and effect, closed box, history.
</idle musing>

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