The Problem with Bible Genealogies

“When shall we date Adam, then? The chronology which was added in 1701 to the Authorized Version of the Bible (1611) was calculated by James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh, from the biblical genealogies. By working backwards he reckoned that Adam was created in the year 4004 BC. But the genealogies never claim to be complete. For example, it is written in one of the genealogies of Jesus that Joram “begat” Uzziah, whereas we know from the Second Book of Kings that he was actually not his father but his great-great-grandfather. Three complete generations have been left out. And recent Near-Eastern studies have confirmed that such omissions were a regular practice in genealogies. Certainly the purpose of the biblical tables was more to establish the line of descent (for example, that Jesus was descended from David) than to provide a comprehensive family tree. If, then, they do not profess to be complete we have no ground for complaining about their omissions. Nor can we use them to calculate a detailed chronology.” -John Stott, Understanding the Bible

Noah: A (Not Quite) Second Adam

“With Noah there is a new start, but Noah is not starting at the same place Adam started. The flood did not permanently solve the problem of sin and death.” -Keith Mathison, From Age to Age, pg. 31

Progressive Revelation from Genesis to Exodus

“The nomadic patriarchs are few in number and know/experience God as El Shaddai (El/God Almighty), the only patriarchal divine name of El compounded with a descriptive word and not restricted to a given altar. But the patriarchs have never known/ experienced the name I AM. To be sure, the patriarchs invoke the name I AM, but the patriarchal narratives never assert that the patriarchs “know/experience” this name.” -Bruce Waltke, An Old Testament Theology

How the Bible Demythologizes Other Ancient Religions

“On the fourth day, God creates the sun, the moon, and the stars. Aside from the creation of man on the sixth day, more attention is given to this aspect of creation than to any other. The probable reason for such detailed attention is that the sun and the moon were considered to be important gods in ancient Near Eastern thought while the stars were believed to impact human lives. In its account of the fourth day of creation, Genesis makes it clear that the sun, moon, and stars are a part of God’s creation called into being by his mighty word. They are not gods to be worshiped or consulted.” -Keith Mathison

‘Take And Eat’ Brought Sin, In Christ It Bestows Salvation

“the language ‘take and eat,’ which Christian recite at the Lord’s Supper it is impossible not to recall the later use of this pair of verbs. ‘She took… and ate.’ ‘So simple the act and so hard the undoing,’ someone has said. ‘God will taste poverty and death before ‘take and eat’ become words of salvation.'” -D.A. Carson

How Did Humanity Become Like God ‘Knowing Good and Evil’?

“This is an entirely subversive promise. God knows good and evil with the knowledge of omniscience: he knows all that has been, all that is, all that will be, all that might be under different circumstances–he knows it all, including what evil is. But the woman is going to learn about evil by personal experience; she is going to learn about it by becoming evil.

An illustration may help. My wife is a cancer survivor. She is a fairly highrisk survivor, and so the doctors still watch her very closely. The oncologists know a great deal about the disease–from the outside. She knows cancer from the inside. God knows all there is to know about sin, but not by becoming a sinner. The woman will find out about the knowledge of good and evil from the inside. In that sense, what the serpent promises is a total lie.” -D.A. Carson