Here is my intro to this story via my Facebook page for this site (added to just a tad):
A recent story has caught the attention of many in mainstream culture… but is starting to filter down to the myopic persons (like myself). It is this, that eve was not created from a rib ~ (really, something to do with Adams side — probably involving DNA, like adult stem-cells or something… bottom line is though, WE DON’T KNOW) ~ but from Adams penis bone (or, “baculum”).
I didn’t stutter. I said, Adams penis. While I can only imaging the furor and angry clambering across the gender feminist sub-culture (and smile inwardly at this writhing), I HAD to post on this topic.
Another tidbit I learned from cruising the internet about this story is that an extinct walrus is known to have a 22-inch bacula. (The picture to the above/right is of a four-foot walrus bacula)
Keep dreaming boys!
When I first saw the below story… I thought the professor HAD to be a lib! Why? Because progressives have a tendency to sexualize e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g ~ which is why sex-education starts in kindergarten now. Anyhew, here is the “bulk” of the story via The Blaze:
A professor of the Bible in California has posed the theory that the Adam and Eve narrative in the book of Genesis was mistranslated and that Eve was created not out of Adam’s rib, but his baculum, or penis bone.
Ziony Zevit, a professor of biblical literature and Northwest Semitic languages at American Jewish University in California, recently presented his argument in an article in Biblical Archaeology Review based both on what he believes to be an erroneous translation for the Hebrew word for “rib” and also on the unique anatomy of the human male, one of the few mammals lacking a baculum.
He also pointed to the fact that men and women have the same number of ribs and that men have an even number of ribs, suggesting none are missing….
Using the logic from the story I have read… Adam had two??? But I digress… apparently, literally. However… my amateur musings aside, here is the logic of professor Zevit:
A rib seems like an unlikely origin for Eve because male and female humans have the same number of ribs.
Ribs also lack “intrinsic generative capacity”, which penises have “in practice, in mythology, and in the popular imagination”.
Most mammals – and especially primates – have bacula, humans do not.
It is therefore “probable” that Adam’s baculum was removed to make Eve, and not a rib.
The Hebrew is really just saying “from his side.” That is it. “a “rib” is just a cultural “guess” at what took place, but we really do not know.
So after hanging out at a friends house for his birthday, I mentioned that I think the professor mentioned in the story is liberal. [Plus, as a fan of Dennis Prager… I knew the odds were in my favor. See Prager’s “Explaining Jews, part V: Why are Jews liberal?“] So when I got home, I looked him up. This is his background:
University of Southern CA, B.A. 1964
University of California, Berkeley, M.A. 1967
University of California, Berkeley, Can. Phil. 1970
University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. 1974
Um… Berkeley… in the seventies?
I read an interesting article on Professor Zevit’s piece that I think was helpful. The article is entitled “A Flaccid Interpretation of Eden,” and is by Joseph Ryan Kelly. A very informative piece, I suggest reading it in its entirety.
…Novel interpretations like this one occur from time to time throughout Zevit’s re-reading of the second, third, and fourth chapters of Genesis. He maintains that Eden was a real location in the Armenian highlands somewhere west of Lake Van (Eastern Turkey), the most northern corner of the inhabited world known to ancient Israelites. Adam was not created from dust, light in color, dry, and loosely compacted. God formed him from apar, a “clod” which, like humans, is rich in constitution and ruddy in complexion. Following the transgression of the divine command — or the “oblique instruction,” as Zevit prefers for the grammatical informality of the command — God’s curses transform neither the bodies of the individuals involved nor their environment. Rather, as performative speech acts, they transform somewhat negatively how the serpent, “Hawwa” (Zevit refers to Eve by her Hebrew name), and Adam perceive an element of their lives.
Is Zevit just out to present novel, if philologically and historically sound, interpretations of the Garden of Eden? I asked myself this question with increasing frequency as I found it more and more difficult to hold together in my mind’s eye the picture of Eden Zevit was painting. What themes tie together a far northern location for Eden, creation out of clod, ossifical castration, and curses functioning as performative speech acts? This cacophony of novel (and sometimes not-so-novel) interpretations does not resolve harmoniously — at least not into the familiar narrative of sin and death that characterizes Western culture’s tradition of a fall. Zevit’s narrative becomes clear only near the end of the book. Forget sin and death; this is a story about human nature, the acquisition of knowledge, and ethical self-awareness. A story not about loss, but gain. Not a decline, but a rise.
It is unfortunate that Zevit’s chosen path of discovering what really happened in the Garden of Eden elides other interpretive paths explored in Western culture. He focuses exclusively on philology and historical criticism as tools of discovery, but during the Enlightenment a number of philosophers could not regard as purely sinful humankind’s acquisition of knowledge. They too cast aside notions of a fall. Immanuel Kant, for example, saw humankind’s pursuit as a positive step for the development of humankind, even if human actions introduced evil into the world. The first human couple discovers the freedom that constitutes the foundation of human morality. This freedom and capacity for moral discernment is fundamental to Kant’s deontological moral philosophy centered on the categorical imperative.
Philosophers of the twentieth century continued to acknowledge the merits and necessity of human freedom, although they were less enthusiastic about its implications. The circumstances of their own day — world wars and the threat of mutually assured destruction — made it increasingly difficult to remain generally optimistic about human freedom. What they discover in the Garden of Eden is not the origins of sin but an explanation of human sinfulness. The fall is less an experience in history and more the culmination of the creation of humankind.
Acknowledging that “knowledge is not foolproof,” Zevit’s interpretation otherwise lacks the sobering dimensions of this twentieth century philosophical interpretation. The Garden story is a “positive and optimistic one.” Immediately following the events in the Garden, human knowledge leads to the development of urban centers, pastoral nomadism, musical instruments, forged metal tools, and manufactured materials. Where other scholars tend to see an embedded critique of Mesopotamian civilization, Zevit sees only the human capacity to create knowledge. These implicit elements of critique aside, the flood and the confusion of languages at Babel explicitly reveal a darker side of human freedom. Readers of the biblical text, like philosophers of the twentieth century, are justified in recognizing that human freedom has its tragic consequences.
Has Zevit pulled back the curtain on these early chapters of Genesis? While his use of philology and historical criticism forces us to reconsider interpretations often taken for granted, his approach does not produce confident conclusions. Does God really create Hawwa, Eve, out of Adam’s penile bone? Genesis 2:21 describes God removing one ofAdam’s ribs or ṣelaot. To incorporate this detail into his interpretation, Zevit translates the term ṣela as “lateral bone.” Imagining the baculum as belonging to a category of lateral bones strikes me as a specious argument. But perhaps more pressing is the way this proposed etiology differs from other etiologies involving humans in the Hebrew Bible. Elsewhere, biblical texts use past events to explain cultural institutions or customs.
What Zevit is proposing is altogether different. By removing Adam’s baculum and closing up the flesh, God forever changes physical features of the male anatomy. The eighteenth century French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck thought organisms could transmit to their offspring characteristics they acquire during their lifetime. However interesting Zevit’s Lamarckian interpretation may be, it seems atypical among biblical etiologies, if not anachronistic. Do other etiologies in the Bible betray a belief in the inheritance of acquired traits? One does not readily come to mind. Moreover, it seems counterintuitive that Israelites would have believed one could inherit acquired characteristics given the regularity with which they circumcised male penises. Though not a coup de grâce, this thought raises a pressing question about an already tenuous interpretation.
The challenge of interpreting enigmatic details like this one exemplifies the problem inherent in trusting that the tools of our academic disciplines will guide us to some supposed real meaning of the biblical text. Claims about the authentic meaning of any biblical text function best as a marketing strategy — a means of attracting a broad customer base for discussions about textual and sometimes historical interpretation that may otherwise fail to produce intrigue among the general public.
I appreciate that Zevit has produced a book discouraging scholars and the general public from taking for granted the interpretation of this classic biblical text. However, I question the value of perpetuating the misconception that the object of interpretation is to discover the one real meaning of a text. If a text contained only one truly authentic meaning, it seems reasonable to assume such interpretations would have long since been realized. That scholars like Zevit continue to use the tools of their disciplines to construct different plausible historical interpretations of biblical texts should indicate not the inadequacy of their tools, but rather the inadequacy of such a limited understanding of textual meaning. Despite the interesting insights Zevit derives from his imaginative interpretation of Genesis 2-3 — or rather because of them — we are no closer to discovering what really happened in the Garden of Eden.
BTW, “baculum” (Latin) is part of a fallacy in logic:
The following details a conversation that never really finished. The reason is because many who claim the mantle of Christianity (whether truly saved or not, only God knows) often times do not accept the words or positions given to them ~ clearly ~ in the Bible. And while we do not know the heart of those who claim to be Christ followers, when they start to rip out parts of Scripture, not accepting others, thinking portions of it has been changed over time, allegorizing still other portions of it… you can tell that someone else is sitting on the throne of their heart and not their savior.
I have a couple of neighbors who are dear friends, but one can only try to talk about baseball and movies and TV shows so much. Engaging in challenging discussions about worldviews and Christian accountability, is what I like. These lack of deeper conversations has really kept us neighbors, not sojourners to a better place.
I finally bit-the-bullet due to the many “interventions” on my FaceBook via this neighbor’s brother (who himself is a friendly acquaintance). I have become more bold with my neighbor and her brother in regards to topics that do not deal with cute, fluffy kittens. The internet already has enough of those.
Being a “Christian” means something… and it has never been a libertarian island of self. Never. So, one of these important worldview discussion came by way of the Pope recently saying — at least in sensationalized headlines — that God is not “a magician, with a magic wand.” I guess there was no “magic wand” involved in Jesus’ Resurrection either? CBS even went further to note that,
“Galileo Galilei could have used Pope Francis. The church branded the astronomer a heretic for arguing that the Earth revolved around the sun.”
I swear, people do not know history well. But that dumb historical statement on part of CBS is-neither-here-nor-there.
Another side-note is the Church’s activity in the “staus-quo” of accepting secular science (via Creation.com):
The heliocentric (from Greek helios = sun) or Copernican system opposed the views of the astronomer-philosophers of the day, who earned their livelihood by teaching Aristotle and Ptolemy, and so were biased against change. They therefore either ignored, ridiculed, destroyed, or hostilely opposed Galileo’ ’s writings. Many Church leaders allowed themselves to be persuaded by the Aristotelians at the universities that the geocentric (earth-centred) system was taught in Scripture and that Galileo was contradicting the Bible. They therefore bitterly opposed Galileo to the extent of forcing him on pain of death to repudiate his findings.
This was because:
The Church leaders had accepted as dogma the belief system of the pagan (i.e. non-Christian) philosophers, Aristotle and Ptolemy, which had become the worldview of the then scientific establishment. The result was that Church leaders were using the knowledge of the day to interpret Scripture, instead of using the Bible to evaluate the knowledge of the day.
They clung to the ‘majority opinion’ about the universe and rejected the ‘minority view’ of Copernicus and Galileo, even after Galileo had presented indisputable evidence based on repeatable scientific observations that the majority was wrong.
They picked out a few verses from the Bible which they thought said that the sun moved around the earth, but they failed to realize that Bible texts must be understood in terms of what the author intended to convey. Thus, when Moses wrote of the ‘risen’ sun (Genesis 19:23) and sun ‘set’ (Genesis 28:11), his purpose was not to formulate an astronomical dictum. Rather he, by God’s spirit, was using the language of appearance so that his readers would easily understand what time of day he was talking about.3 And it is perfectly valid in physics to describe motion relative to the most convenient reference frame, which in this case is the earth. See the sub-article Sunspots, Galileo and heliocentrism.
This plain meaning (the time of day) is perfectly satisfied by the language of appearance and does not demand the secondary deduction that it is the sun itself which moves. Indeed, this is exactly the same thing that scientists do today in weather reports when they give the times of ‘sunrise’ and ‘sunset’. They are using the language of appearance, and using the earth as the reference frame. A convenient figure of speech does not invalidate science; nor does it invalidate the Bible.
Likewise verses such as Psalm 19:6 and 93:1, which the writer(s) clearly meant to be poetic expressions, were given a literal meaning…
Theistic evolution is not compatible with the Bible. It just isn’t. And much like atheists and skeptics I deal with, I have come to the firm conclusion that while they have read an uncountable number of fiction books, they have never walked into a Christian book store and bought and read a single book by a person who specializes in making proper distinctions between Intelligent Design, theistic evolution, and evolution. Because neo-Darwinian theory is not compatible with the Christian faith, no matter H-O-W much one tries to fit the square peg through the round hole.
A Longer Presentation That Hash Out Theistic Evolution/Neo-Darwinian Failures
At any rate, I engaged in conversation to try and get a person[s] who is not use to having meaningful conversation about personal subjects such as faith to engage and engage in a way that their stated beliefs would have to have a logical conclusion. A consequence. If they cannot follow this deduction, then there is a cog in the wheel somewhere. You will see where.
What follows is that discussion [minus names to protect privacy and edited for aesthetic purposes and ease of use here ~ with commentary] where I try and get the people involved to latch onto the ideas of the Author of the universe, CLEARLY presented in the Bible. Here is the conversation, and note that if you are regular church goer how this conversation would have gone differently in your mind:
RT, I will do this here instead of on your Facebook. It will be a series of pretty easy questions. There is a point… but it requires honest dialogue. It may seem too simple and come across as demeaning… it is not meant to be. LKD may want to watch or be involved as well. It is partly based on this point in an aforementioned book, here is the page[s] I am thinking of (click to enlarge):
We ~ as Christians ~ should enjoy deep conversation about our Savior that yes, may even challenge our own opinions. It may not change them, but for heaven’s sake (*said like a gray haired older grandma with care and concern*), to insulate oneself from the basics of The Way that challenge assumptions presumed is not the road to growth.
SO, here is the first question: “Who is the founder of Christianity?”
Here is the first response, and it is one I am use to from atheists and skeptics, but I think pride plays more of a role here — something we all exemplify ourselves:
Nope. I am a Christian because I am “what” like?
You must think we are retarded. I said Paul because I heard a debate on that once.
Let me say that if I were to have this conversation face-to-face, LKD would realize how monotone and calm I am in asking this question. The keyboard is an amazing thing, something my wife (for instance) is not immune to. She will read an email to me but put here emotional assumptions or current feelings onto the text that the original sender probably had not in any way meant to convey. (We are reprobate creatures and battle tirelessly with our dual nature with guidance from the Holy Spirit… it is natural we put onto others this emotional state we are experiencing and not the best of intentions.) In previous conversations I have shared my “legal statement” to get this point across, I will place that here for clarity, then back to the conversation:
“By-the-by, for those reading this I will explain what is missing in this type of discussion due to the media used. Genuflecting, care, concern, one being upset (does not entail being “mad”), etc… are all not viewable because we are missing each other’s tone, facial expressions, and the like. I afford the other person I am dialoguing with the best of intentions and read his/her comments as if we were out having a talk over a beer at a bar or meeting a friend at Starbucks. (I say this because there seems to be a phenomenon of etiquette thrown out when talking through email or Face Book, lots more public cussing and gratuitous responses.) You will see that often times I USE CAPS — which in www lingo for YELLING. I am not using it this way, I use it to merely emphasize and often times say as much: *not said in yelling tone, but merely to emphasize*. So in all my discussions I afford the best of thought to the other person as I expect he or she would to me… even if dealing with tough subjects as the above. I have had more practice at this than most, and with half-hour pizza, one hour photo and email vs. ‘snail mail,’ know that important discussions take time to meditate on, inculcate, and to process. So be prepared for a good thought provoking discussion if you so choose one with me.”
I think the same thing is happening here so I circle back to my original introduction to reintroduce this idea:
I have already written in the OP (original post): “There is a point… but it requires honest dialogue. It may seem too simple and come across as demeaning… it is not meant to be.” I asked for honest dialogue. Do you feel like talking about Christ is a trap of some sort?
And no, I do not think you are retarded (nor do I think RT is dumb). But do I think some people, rather than coming to logical conclusions about important issues in a faith they aspire to in some way (even if it disagrees with their own opinions), obfuscate the issues at hand? Yes. Mark 8:38:
“For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation,the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
I know this is VERY simplistic — again — it is NOT meant to be demeaning. Professor Jay Wegter? You want to join in for some very simple talk about the faith? The question is “Who is the founder of Christianity?” A hint from H.G. Wells:
“I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. ____ _____ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”
Who was this mystery person Wells was talking about?
I’m going with The Trinity. God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior and the Holy Spirit aka Ghost which I never cared for as a child.
Okay… I don’t don’t know why you won’t give a simple answer, but you sorta answered the second question. (the H.G. Wells quote did not encompass the doctrine of the Trinity, but simply placed Jesus Christ as this person.)
The next question is “who did Jesus claim to be, which eventually got Him crucified?
The only way to God. The Romans crucified anyone who they deemed as false kings.
He claimed to be God in fact. Right?
That takes me back to the Trinity which is God.
The Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Spirit is God.
In Matthew 22:43, citing Psalm 110, Jesus said, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’ [Messiah]?” Jesus stumped his skeptical Jewish questioners by presenting then with a dilemma that blew their own neat calculations about the Messiah “Lord” (as he did in Ps. 110), when the Scriptures also say the Messiah would be the “Son of David” (which they do in 2 Samuel 7:12.)? The only answer is that the Messiah must be both a man (David’s son or offspring) and God (David’s Lord). Jesus is claiming to be both God and human, at the same time!
See also John 8:58 and 8:59 — they were gonna kill Jesus for claiming equality with YHWH (God of the Old Testament)….
Theology 101 is fun.
I learned ALL of this starting 50 years ago and actively studied via Zion Lutheran Church and the Navigators for 20 years, you don’t forget this stuff.
[There was some small talk back-and-forth.]
Okay, continuing along the dialogue — and keeping it simple. Jesus is God, which is classically defined as:
▶ God is often conceived as the Supreme Being and principal object of faith. The concept of God as described by theologians commonly includes the attributes of omniscience (infinite knowledge), omnipotence (unlimited power), omnipresence (present everywhere), omnibenevolence (perfect goodness), divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence.(Wiki)
He is part of the Trinity, was involved with creating man in “Our” image (Genesis 1:26), was part of the convo with YHWH [that is the Hebrew designation for God that practicing Jews cannot say, they will put in something else there, like Adonai] on earth speaking to YHWH in heaven (“Then the LORD [YHWH] rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD [YHWH] out of heaven.” Genesis 19:24) all the way to Christ Himself in John 8:58 saying he is the Great “I Am” from Exodus (Exodus 3:14), getting Himself “dead” eventually.
So yes, Jesus is God (omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, omnibenevolence) — correctly defined by LKD as part of the Trinity, God proper because of that.
Now, here are some Scripture, where God proper is commenting on nature. I do not want to focus on them all, but rather, want to, as people who understand who Jesus CLAIMED to be — and PROVED it by resurrecting his own body…
A SIDE-NOTE FOR THE WINNER OF THE SUNDAY SCHOOL (@LKD) POP QUIZ:
Here is the Trinity involved in raising Jesus from the dead: God raised Jesus from the dead: “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.” (Acts 2:32 KJV); The Spirit raised Jesus from the dead: “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Romans 8:11 KJV); Jesus raised his own body from the dead: “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.” (John 2:19-21 KJV)
…Okay, here is the portion… and I want you to ignore the age issue, but focus on Adam and Eve. And we can get to the depth in our understanding of where you differ from evolution in believing in where we came from (rocks, or the Creative Hand of God):
….Now, when we search the New Testament Scriptures, we certainly find many interesting statements Jesus made that relate to this issue. Mark 10:6 says, “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’” From this passage, we see that Jesus clearly taught that the creation was young, for Adam and Eve existed “from the beginning,” not billions of years after the universe and earth came into existence. Jesus made a similar statement in Mark 13:19 indicating that man’s sufferings started very near the beginning of creation. The parallel phrases of “from the foundation of the world” and “from the blood of Abel” in Luke 11:50–51 also indicate that Jesus placed Abel very close to the beginning of creation, not billions of years after the beginning. His Jewish listeners would have assumed this meaning in Jesus’ words, for the first-century Jewish historian Josephus indicates that the Jews of his day believed that both the first day of creation and Adam’s creation were about 5,000 years before Christ…. (http://tinyurl.com/n6eahjy)
[Added info of the prevailing views around Jesus and Moses: “In Christ’s day, the prevailing philosophy on origins included evolution and long ages of earth history. Their view, of course, was not Darwinian evolution, but it held that the earth and the universe, acting on itself by the forces of nature (which were given names by some) had organized itself into its present state, and was responsible for all of life. The same was true for the philosophy of Moses’ day, as he prepared the book of Genesis.”]… (ICR)
The most basic thing I want to glean from God’s (Jesus’) own lips is that he believed in a literal Adam and Eve — again, whether you think mankind (homo-sapiens) are millions of years old or thousands, Jesus makes clear that they were created, as He did in Genesis (making them in Our own image). I do not want to debate all the nuances you RT or LKD may have. Jesus Himself believed “a”, so you ~ by understanding ~ this have already tweaked the classical evolutionary story of “goo-to-you.”
SO THE QUESTION IS THIS: “Did Jesus believe in a historical Adam and Eve?”
This is where the conversation effectively ended. Many people do not want to submit all parts of their thinking under God. Jesus believed in a literal Adam and Eve. This goes against evolutionary theory as many understand it. They have no idea what Intelligent Design is and how it responds to many of the issues in an acceptance of an unBiblical theistic evolution.
An Aside for those that LOVE the Bible and their Creator — In talking to Dr Edgar Andrews (see his bio) he points out some verses as well:
…If you want to limit yourself to the words of Jesus Himself (as distinct from NT testimony as a whole) you have I think only two specific texts to argue from:
1) Matt 19:4 ‘And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ (repeated in Mark 10:6 “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’) In Matt. 19 it is important to notice the words that follow; “and SAID ‘For this reason …“, quoting Genesis 2:24. But this latter text doesn’t say ‘God said’ … which means that Jesus attributes the simple statement of Gen. 2:24 to God, thus testifying to the divine authorship of this verse and by implication the whole book of Genesis.
2) The other useful text is Mt 24:38 “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, etc”. Here Jesus testifies to the historical reality of the flood, Noah and the ark. Most theistic evolutionists believe that the first 11 chapters of Genesis are mythology and not to be taken literally or as historically true. (But this may not apply to everyone who accepts macro evolution).