Fall and Salvation History Image and likeness of God. Genesis 3. Ideas of the Fall & Original Sin. Stories of origins. Covenants: four major aspects. Creation and the Expulsion from Paradise
Core Christian beliefs about creation • God created the world by his Word. • The world was created out of nothing. • The world is not self-sufficient, but depends upon God. • Creation is a gradual process. • Creation (in its original state) is good. • Creation has order and purpose. • God created humans in his image and likeness. • God sustains the world. N. B.: ‘core beliefs’ are not the same as literal details of one of creation accounts in Genesis!
Are we qualitatively different from animals? “He [man] engages in play, is capable of abstract thought, laughter, formation and use of symbols, of learning and using symbolic language, of learning to distinguish between good and evil, to feel reverence and piety.” --Theodosius Dobzhansky, The Biology of Ultimate Concern, p. 54.
How did the devil get into the story? • ‘For God created us for incorruption, and made us in the image of his own eternity, but through the devil’s envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his company experience it.’ • Wisdom of Solomon (late 1st c. BC or early 1st c CE) 2: 23-24.
Lucifer’s mysterious Fall • 12How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star [Lucifer], son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit on the mount of assembly on the heights of Zaphon; 14I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High." 15But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit. --Isaiah 14: 12-15.
The Idea of the Fall of Adam in Hellenistic Judaism O Adam, what have you done? For though it was you who sinned, the fall was not yours alone, but ours also who are your descendents. --4 Ezra (late 1th c. C.E.) 7: 118. 9 The first Adam, burdened with an evil heart, transgressed, and was overcome, as were also all who were descended from him. --4 Ezra 3: 21.
St. Paul’s Adam/ Christ typology Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned… Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come. --Romans 5: 12, 14.
Ever-increasing forms of evil The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclinations of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. (Gen 6: 5-6). Now the earth was corrupt and the earth was filled with violence. (Gen 6: 11). The inclination of the human heart is evil from youth. (Gen 8: 21).
Old Testament Stories of Origins 1.Gen 1 & 2: Origin of the world and of human race 2. Gen 3: Origin of moral evil (sin). 3. Gen 12-25: Origin of Israel. Patriarchs: Abraham—Isaac—Jacob—12 sons. Abraham lived in Ur of the Chaldeans (modern Iraq) ca. 1850-1750 BC.
Covenant • Divine introduction • Divine promises • Divine commandments (human obligations) • Symbolic actions (signs, oaths, curses, sacrifices)
Covenant with Noah Genesis 8:21-9:17 Covenant with Abraham Genesis 12:2-3; 13:14-17; 15:1-21; 17:1-27