QUESTION: Did Adam & Eve Only Have Sons?
No. The idea that Adam & Eve had three sons and no other children is a popular myth cultivated by those who haven’t read Genesis 5:4. The Genesis text says that Adam and Eve had many OTHER sons and daughters in its genealogy section. It only names three of the sons, but that doesn’t negate the existence of the other sons and daughters.
QUESTION: Were Adam & Eve the Only Hominids at the Time?Furthermore, although a forbidden hermeneutic among YECs, some Christians who have read the early chapters of Genesis very carefully have realized that, in fact, (1) Genesis doesn’t actually state that Adam and Eve and descendants are the only hominids. It says that they are the only creatures endowed with the IMAGO DEI (“The Image God”), which theologians have said for centuries is largely a set of SPIRITUAL and spirit-related attributes, because God is a spirit, not a biological organism. So, technically, that means that there could be other hominids, even other Homo sapiens perhaps (?) but just not ones which have the Imago Dei attributes in them.
Now, before you complain that that sounds far-fetched, ask yourself if there are OTHER HOMINIDS mentioned in Genesis. If you say no, then what of (a) the wife of Cain, who he may have found in some other area, even though Adam & Eve aren’t said to have had other children until perhaps later, and (b) there surely had to be more than a few siblings for there to be people who inhabited the city that Cain built after the murder of Abel. Furthermore, (c) a mark was put on Cain to designate him as a murderer so that others would not kill him. Now if the only hominids in the area who might kill Cain were the brothers and sisters of the murdered Abel, does it really seem likely that Cain would have to be MARKED so that the avenging brother or sister would know which one was Cain? Yes, there LOTS of little clues of other hominids outside of the lineage of Adam and Eve. They just can’t have the IMAGO DEI endowed upon them or whatever that means. (Actually, theologians have debated for centuries exactly what “The Image of God” means. They usually say it involves having “a will” and “emotion” and “a sense of conscience; the ability to distinguish right and wrong, though not until after they failed the fruit test.” Some even say it includes the attribute which makes man inclined to worship and seek out a connection to god/gods/God.)
Lastly, if you still don’t think there could be other non-Adamic hominids in the area, (d) what about the mention of “the sons of God” and “the daughters of men”? These have been variously interpreted through the centuries, but one hypothesis is that the “sons of God”: were non-Adamic hominids (the Nephilim) who were larger and strong than the Adamic descendants who had the Image of God. After all, in many ancient cultures, there is a tendency to call larger and strong individuals (or even entire tribes) “sons of God”, meaning they are like one would imagine the children of gods to be! Accordingly, “the daughters of men” could refer to the Adamic females, who being smaller and more petite would hardly be a disincentive to those great big “sons of God” tribesmen! Indeed, the Genesis text says that the sons of those “hybrid” unions were “the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.”
I could write much more on these topics (and I’ve spent years doing so, in fact) after careful studies in the Hebrew Tanakh. The general public forgets that even though the YECs have very narrow, and selectively literal, interpretations, other Genesis readers approach the text without insisting on imposing traditional baggage into it. Indeed, one can even take a VERY literal interpretation of Genesis and see the early chapters entirely compatible with the Theory of Evolution and even suggest that Adam was born to a mother in the conventional—and that what was unique about him was that God decided to endow him with the Imago Dei, and that attribute was passed on to Eve and all descendants, including those who had non-Adamic ancestors. Accordingly, for example, Cain (an Adamic human) married a wife from another area (a non-Adamic human, and therefore, no Imago Dei), but their children might be assumed to have inherited the Imago Dei from their father.
Now before you think that interpretation is too far-fetched, be aware that IMMEDIATELY after the strange verses which tell of the strange couplings between Adamic descendants and the NEPHILIM “giants in the land”, we see the beginning of the Noah story. And how does the Noah pericope begin? The text says, “But Noah was pure in all of his generations.” Now the text there is tricky and so translations very in how to render the Hebrew words. But I appended above one of the traditional translations—-and we obviously are prone to wonder: What did it mean for Noah to be PURE IN ALL OF HIS GENERATIONS? Some think it refers to a kind of “racial purity”, a mixing of the “Sons of God” and the “Daughters of Men” to where there was intermarriage between Adamic and non-Adamic creatures. In other words, those humans who had the Image of God in them were taking mates who were NOT endowed with the Divine Image! So perhaps it is saying, “Noah had a 100% blood-line of only Adamic ancestors.”
Yes, the racist implications have caused that translation variant to fall into the background in recent years—-but some believe that is the best way to understand the Noah text. Indeed, the PREFACE to the Noah’s Flood account seems to be saying that all of those hybrid marriages had produced a lot of unruly giants, unable to relate to God and have good ethics—-because, after all, they weren’t endowed with the Image of God within them!—–and so the Great Flood was sent by God to wipe out all of those “hybrid humans” and start over again with a “pure” Noahic lineage which was the Adamic lineage.
Now if that is not startling enough, the Nephilim also seem to reappear AFTER the flood. How could this be? Well, I”ve got another bombshell for you. Nothing in the Hebrew text describing Noah’s Flood says anything about the ENTIRE PLANET EARTH being covered by water. Instead, it keeps talking about a flood of the ERETZ, the Hebrew word for “land”, “nation”, “country”, or “region”. IN FACT, even the KJV Bible usually translates ERETZ as land/country/region except for in the early chapters of Genesis! Why? Actually, even the KJV Bible was largely COPIED (often word for word) from prior English Bible translations—-and the ERETZ=”earth” rendering in the early chapters of Genesis was already established and expected.
Now here’s another bombshell: Translating ERETZ as “earth” is not necessarily an error or a poor equivalence. You see, in 1611, the English word “earth” did not bring to mind “planet earth”! Instead, the first meaning that would come to mind for “earth” was “soil” or “dirt” or “the opposite of sky”. That is, “heaven and earth” was really an idiom for “everything”. That is, “heaven and earth” carried the idea of “sky above and earth below”—-and that idiom is like using our word for UNIVERSE today. To them, earth and sky were the totality of their “world”.
So the problem with the KJV 1611 translating ERETZ as “earth” is that in King James’ day, that “earth” made people think of “dirt” or “the ground” and not a big spherical planet orbiting the sun. But today we do! And that makes it a very misleading translation today. [And now you know why most modern translations play it safe by using the word “earth” but also have a footnote at the bottom of the page saying, “or LAND.”] Likewise, YECs see Noah’s flood “covering the earth” and they think “covering planet earth!”, but in 1611 AND in ancient Israel with the word ERETZ, a flood covering the ERETZ was simply covering the ground! Indeed, when the Old Testament refers to “the circle of the earth/ERETZ”, it does NOT mean what the YECs try to claim: “It’s referring to spherical planet earth”. No! The ancient Hebrews didn’t think that way. They had a very good way of conceptualizing the ERETZ: “the circle of the ERETZ” is that CIRCLE we call the HORIZON. That is, if one stands in place and rotates 360 degrees, you are looking at a circular horizon bounding a big disk of ERETZ (earth)! Accordingly, when reading the Noah’s Flood story, it never claims “planet earth” was flooded. It says “everything under the sky” [yes, that circle of the earth again…all the way to the horizon.]
Indeed, if God wanted to tell Noah that a huge flood would cover his ERETZ and all the other ERETZ lands around his country, the text could have used ERETZ in the plural! But it doesn’t. Now we begin to see why there’s no evidence of a global flood from geology: There’s no evidence of a global flood in Genesis either!
As you can imagine, YECs hate me when I explain this to them—-and since I’m an ex-YEC anyway, one who used to speak at their conferences and church events and even debate scientists but later renounced YECism, I now have to use a pseudonym and remain in the WPP (Witless Protection Program, for ex-YECs who would be shot on sight.)
Some say that a major YEC donor whose identity shall remain nameless promised the late Drs. Gish and Morris that he would triple the bounty reward promised for my “silencing”. But you just can’t believe everything you hear. (But using a pseudonym on-line can be a very wise idea, just the same.)