Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Long Lineage

Genesis 5 gives us a long lineage of people linking Adam through his third son Seth all the way to Noah. Why we need all this information, especially in light of the pending flood is not at all clear.
What is most interesting about the passage is the chronological ages it claims for each individual ranging from 777 years for Lamech (Noah’s father) to 969 years for the long-lived Methuselah (Noah’s grandfather).
And there was also Enoch who only lived to the tender age of 365 because he “walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” Yikes!!!
Biblical literalists have taken these ages at face value, added them all up, and determined that Adam and Eve lived approximately 6,000 years ago. This is what is known today as Young Earth Creationism and it presupposes that dinosaurs and humans were around at the same time since they couldn’t have been around any earlier.
Others have speculated that there was some misinterpretation in the scriptures and that months was mistranslated to read years, in which case the ages would be more reasonable with Enoch going away with God at age 30 and Methuselah living to the ripe old age of 80.
But that would also mean for the literalists that the Earth is even younger than the 6,000 years they already granted it.
But other Biblical scholars have suggested that these Old Testament chronologies were never meant to be a complete record of everyone born in every generation, but rather a quick reference that skips untold generations and focuses on key individuals throughout history.
Either way, it certainly skips over all the women. So far in the Good Book Eve is the only woman mentioned by name with the rest being dismissed as just “wife” or “daughter”.

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