Grace Bible Church

4000 E. Collins Rd.   P.O. Box #3762   Gillette, WY  82717   (307) 686-1516


- Preaching the Living WORD through the Written WORD - 2 Tim 4:2 -







Grace Bible Church, Gillette, Wyoming

(The Bible Institute of Texas extension)

Pastor Daryl Hilbert




A.    Definition of Anthropology


1.     The word “anthropology” comes from two Greek words, ánthrōpos, which has the general meaning for man or human being, and lógia, which infers study or science.

2.     In its most basic meaning, anthropology means the branch of science, which studies humankind.


B.    Approaches to Anthropology


1.     Anthropology can be broken up into two approaches: the first being a secular approach, which observes man’s demographic origin, natural history, and social development.

2.     The second approach is a theological approach, which uses the Bible as its textbook and deduces man’s origin, nature, and moral condition. It is this second approach that is pursued in this class.


C.    Views Concerning Man’s Origin


1.     There are three major views about man’s origins. Each view is based on an interpretation (or theory) since no human being was present at the time of creation. Roger Patterson states, Just as evolutionists weren’t there to see evolution happen over several billion years, neither were creationists there to see the events of the six days of creation. The difference is that creationists have the Creator’s eyewitness account of the events of creation, while evolutionists must create a story to explain origins without the supernatural (Evolution Exposed, pg. 27).

2.     The three major views concerning man’s origin are Evolution, Theistic Evolution, and Creationism.

a)    Evolution

(1)   Evolution is a theory based on naturalism and precludes any supernatural intervention by God.

(2)   It is the major modern scientific theory that depends on time and chance. It is based on mutations and the “survival of the fittest.”

b)    Theistic Evolution

(1)   Theistic Evolution is a theory based on naturalism and limited supernatural intervention by God.

(2)   It attempts to bridge the gulf between Evolution and Creationism by means of divine sparks of life and divine jumps across species.

c)     Creationism

(1)   Creationism is a theory based on biblical revelation and the sole supernatural creation of God.

(2)   The Bible clearly states that God created man in His image from the dust of the ground (Gen 1:27; 2:7).

(3)   Creation scientists recognize that true science supports biblical revelation.


D.    Evolution


1.     Formula


a)    In order for Evolution to work as a theory, three major components must exist: spontaneous generation (S), natural selection (N), and time (T).

b)    The formula could be represented as, S + N + T = Evolution.


2.     Spontaneous Generation


a)    Spontaneous generation is the idea that living organisms could emerge from nonliving materials (Morris, Henry, The Biblical Basis for Modern Science, pg. 231).

b)    Spontaneous generation says that through the right chemical reactions, living organisms can suddenly appear.

c)     In 1953, Stanley Miller (Miller-Urey experiment) supposedly simulated the primordial conditions of earth and demonstrated spontaneous generation. Certain gases (water, methane, ammonia, and hydrogen), when charged by electricity, emitted amino acids. The problem however, was that amino acids are a far cry from life as we know it. In addition, the emitted amino acids, when exposed to an electrical charge, disintegrate.

d)    Louis Pasteur’s experiments with germs and bacteria in 1861 proved that life could only come from life. Therefore, spontaneous generation is scientifically impossible.

e)     Furthermore, the First Law of Thermodynamics simply put says that energy cannot be created or destroyed.

f)     Only God can generate spontaneously. In other words, only God can create out of nothing (ex nihilo, Ge 1:1; Heb 11:3; Jn 1:3; Col 1:16).

g)     Biblical miracles are divinely generated spontaneously at God’s command.

(1)   Fish and bread (Jn 6:9-11)

(2)   Grapes for wine (Jn 2:7-10)

(3)   Healings (Mt 12:10, 13)

(4)   Fish on the fire (Jn 21:9)

(5)   Adam and Eve (Ge 2:4-8; 2:20-25)


3.     Natural Selection


a)    Natural Selection can be defined as the evolution of living organisms through adaptations and mutations.

b)    “Adaptations” are the gradual processes of adjustment to new physical conditions exhibited by living organisms (i.e. “survival of the fittest”).

c)     Creationists agree that horizontal adaptations (microevolution) due to elements and conditions occur within a species such as, different strains within a species (ex. dogs or cats), predators and prey, pecking orders etc.

d)    However, Creationists do not agree with vertical adaptations (macroevolution) which cause a change of species. There are horses and dogs but we will never have horse-puppies.

e)     Vertical adaptations (macroevolution) were not part of the original creation (Ge 1:29-30; 9:1-3). Nor are they apart of God’s future program (Is 11:6-9; 65:25).

f)     In fact, there are many difficulties in the Vertical Adaptation (macroevolution) Theory.

(1)   For instance, the Bombardier Beetle could never have successfully adapted from another species. The Bombardier Beetle has two chambers that contain harmless solutions by themselves. However, when alarmed, the beetle mixes the two solutions together which create a potent noxious spray and creates a small explosion. If the Bombardier Beetle would have had to depend upon trial and error, chance, and time, beetles would be blowing themselves up with regularity and the species would never have survived.

(2)   Another example is the Giraffe, which possesses a long neck. When standing erect the heart pumps volumes of blood through the neck to the head. When the Giraffe bends down to drink water, the volumes of blood do not rush causing him to pass out. Instead, the arteries in the heart have valves that close when the Giraffe bends over. If the Giraffe would have had to depend upon trial and error, chance, and time, there would be multitudes of unconscious giraffes, and the species would never have survived.


(1)   Another example, which denies Vertical Adaptation, is the complexity of the human eye. Only a fully developed eye is useful. It is difficult to imagine such a complex organ developed from trial and error while the entire human race remained blind. The eye is furnished with automatic aiming, focusing, and aperture adjustments. It can function in almost pure darkness to bright light and is able to see objects from over fifty miles away to the close inspection of a fine hair. Even Darwin remarked about the incongruent difficulty of natural selection and the complexities of the eye.

b)    Further difficulties

(1)   The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics contradicts the process of Natural Selection. In a nutshell, the Law states, every system left to its own devices tends to move from order to disorder (Scott Huse, The Collapse of Evolution, pg. 112). Since everything is basically in a downward spiral, Natural Selection, involving macroevolution, is virtually impossible. The explanation of the 2nd Law of Dynamics is the fall of man (Ge 3:17-19) and at some point in God’s divine plan creation will be delivered from its continuous corruption (Ro 8:18-23).

(2)   A prime example of entropy (gradual deterioration) is a hybrid (the offspring of dissimilar parents or stock, i.e. a mule). While hybrids may be advantageous, one disadvantage is their inability to reproduce. Created organisms reproduce after their own kind as represented in the Bible (Ge 1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25 cp. 1Co 15:38-39).

(3)   Mutations, which are necessary for the evolutionary system, are structural changes within a gene or chromosome of an organism. However, the problem is that mutations are almost always (99.99 percent) biologically harmful, if not fatal. When they do occur, they are weaker and have a marked disadvantage in the survival of the fittest.


2.     Time


a)    Time, for the evolutionist, is the key for all evolutionary processes. Its natural processes and chance needs time in order to jump one organism into another.

b)    But is there enough time to support evolution? Could life evolve by chance? According to, Astrophysicist Sir Francis Hoyle, the probability of forming a single-celled organism by chance was less than 1 in 1040,000, a number so small it defies understanding. The chance of such probability, stated Hoyle, was that it was more likely for a tornado blowing through a junkyard to build a 747 than for life to be the result of chance! The fraction is so small that its probability is considered zero.

c)     In The Collapse of Evolution, Scott Huse writes, The probability of life arising in [a purely accidental and aimless natural process] is comparable to the probability of a monkey typing a perfect unabridged dictionary.

d)    Fossils are the proof of evolutionary theory since they are the remains of animals and plants from the past. However, the problem is that evolutionists claim that fossil dating is compatible with their theory even though it is without evidence.

(1)   Evolutionists use circular reasoning to determine the date of fossils. Fossils are dated by the strata in which they are found and strata are data by the fossils contained in them. A perplexing problem to evolutionists is that some fossils of simpler forms are found above fossils of more complex forms.

(2)   Carbon 14 dating is no longer universally accepted as an accurate method to determine age since we cannot be sure that the rate of radioactive decay has remained constant. (A candle can burn faster depending on the amount of oxygen it receives.)

(3)   Furthermore, no intermediate forms (“missing links”) between species have ever been found.

(a)   Dr. Austin Clark, a leading biologist of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, stated on the subject: No matter how far back we go in the fossil record of previous animal life on earth, we find no trace of any animal forms which are intermediate between the major groups of phyla. Scientists have sometimes come up with a few things that they have elected as candidates as transitions, but on a later closer examination these have been seen to be misinterpretations. There are no such things as missing links.... Missing links are misinterpretations.

(4)   Those fossils that at one time were credited by “expert testimony” and supported as the “missing link” have all been discredited.

(a)   Java Ape-Man: a skull, thighbone, and molar teeth discovered in 1861, though not together, were later concluded as not coming from the same creature.

(b)   Piltdown Man: the bones of which were allegedly discovered in 1912, were found to be a hoax through discoloration and filing of teeth.

(c)   Nebraska Man (a tooth): a highly publicized discovery for prehistoric man in 1922, turned out to be the tooth of pig.

(d)   Neanderthal Man or Men: skeletons, which imaginative evolutionary anthropologists constructed, that were simply human skeletons with osteoarthritis. In fact, the cranial capacity was 13 percent greater than that of modern man.

(e)   Lucy: a disfigured skeletal by-product of bones from different strata and more than 200 miles away, believed to have walked upright. However, the features are apelike in spite of museum enhancements of human hands and feet.

(5)   The Archaeopteryx fossil was once hailed by evolutionists as an example of a reptilian bird. Though it appeared to be a “transitional link” between a reptile and a bird, most scientists classify it as a true bird. No intermediate links have been found between reptiles and birds but other birds have been found in the same rocks. In addition, the difference in the structure of lungs (reptile lungs are tiny air sacs, bird lungs consist of tubes) between the two is too great to imagine a gradual evolution.


3.     Conclusions


a)    Evolution is foolish: It is the fool who says in his heart that there is no God (Ps 14:1, cp. Ro 3:10-12).

b)    Evolution is false: The Scriptures teach that God is the sole Creator (Ecc 12:1; Is 40:28; 1Pe 4:19).

c)     Evolution is false worship: When man denies the Creator, he turns to false worship (Ro 1:25).

d)    Evolution is ignorant of true science: Creation is to bring scientists to the understanding of the intelligent design of a Creator (Ro 1:20).

e)     Evolution is ignorant of man’s lofty origin: When man denies the Creator, he denies that he was created in the image of God (Ge 1:26-27).

f)     Evolution is ignorant of elementary truth: Those who know the Scriptures have more insight than their teachers (Ps 119:99).

g)     Evolution is deceptively persuasive: The believer is not to wander from the truth of the Scriptures especially by pseudo science (1Ti 6:20).


A.    Creationism


1.     Creationism is based alone on the biblical record of God as sole Creator. It is based on the literal interpretation of the Bible and not an allegorical interpretation. At least 17 times in Genesis, God is said to be the Creator as well as numerous times throughout the Bible (Ex 20:9-11; Ps 8; 104; Mt 19:4-6; He 11:3).

2.     God created everything that came into existence and He created out of nothing (creatio ex nihilo - Lat. creation out of nothing, Ge 1:1; Heb 11:3; Jn 1:3; Col 1:16)

3.     Faith in the word of God is required since God was the only witness. However, even those who embrace Evolution must supply faith (it can be debated that it takes more faith to believe in Evolution) since no one but God was there in the beginning.

4.     Creationism is supported by true science and not every secular scientist supports Evolution, some support Intelligent Design.

5.     There are various views within the proponents of Creationism. They are:

a)    The Literal 24-Hour Day Theory

b)    The Gap Theory

c)     The Day Age Theory


6.     The Literal 24 Hour Day Creation Theory


a)    The word “day” in Genesis 1 and 2 usually refers to a literal 24-hour day.


(1)   The Hebrew word for “day” is yom and while it can refer to long periods of time (Ge 2:4; Job 20:28; Ps 20:1), the context of Genesis suggests that it is a literal 24 hour day.

(2)   When yom is used with numerals, it always refers to a literal 24 hour day (Ge 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).

(3)   In this context, the phrase, “…there was evening and there was morning,” refers to a literal 24 hour time period as it usually does in the Pentateuch (cp. Ex 18:13; 27:21; Nu 9:21; De 16:4).

(4)   The seven-day pattern for man given by God is taken from God’s seven-day creation week (Ex 20:9-11; 31:15-17).

(5)   When God calls the light “day” and the darkness “night” in Ge 1:5, it is consistent with the literal 24-hour day. Not only does God accomplish this on the first day, but it agrees with the usage of day found in Ge 1:18 in speaking of the greater and lesser lights (sun and moon).


b)    The creation chronology makes sense with a literal 24-hour view.


(1)   In Ge 1:11-13, God created the vegetation and the plants on the third day but the sun was not created until the fourth day. If the days were geological ages, no plant life would have survived without the sun. For that matter, nothing on earth would have survived during those geological ages without the sun.

(2)   Also in Ge 1:11-13, God created the fruit trees on day three before creating marine life on day five. This is in direct opposition to Evolution’s timetable, which has marine life before the fruit trees.

(3)   God created insects (“creeping things”) on the sixth day after the plants (Ge 1:24). According to Evolution, plants would not have survived without insects.

(4)   Finally, God created the birds on the same day as fish (fifth day - Ge 1:20), but according to Evolution, birds followed reptiles.


7.     The Gap Theory


a)    The Gap Theory (also called the Ruin-Reconstruction Theory) attempts to harmonize the biblical account of Genesis 1 and geological time periods.

b)    Specifically they allege that there is a gap of time between Ge 1:1 and Ge 1:2.

c)     During that “gap,” the earth was populated with Pre-Adamic plants, animals and men. It was at that time that Satan rebelled and God destroyed the earth by a universal flood. All of the fossil records and geologic timeframes come from this Pre-Noahic Flood. God then re-created the plants, animals, and humankind (from Adam) that we see today through the six-literal day time period recorded in Ge 1:2ff.


(1)   Arguments:


(a)   In Ge 1:2, the word “was” (haya) should be translated “became” and thus supports a reconstruction creation and not the one original creation.

(b)   The phrase “formless and void” (tōhu and bōhu) reflects an evil sense and is used elsewhere to refer to God’s judgment (Is 34:11).

(c)   The word “darkness” is quite often used as a symbol of sin and evil.

(d)   The Hebrew word asah (“made or fashion” from existing material) is not a synonym of bara (“create” Ge 1:1, 21, 27) in the creation account. Therefore, Ex 20:11, which uses asah, argues for a reconstruction not an original creation.


(2)   Problems:


(a)   While haya can often be translated “became,” “…the word order and sentence structure in Genesis 1:2 (and in a number of other passages [cp. Ge 29:17]) does not permit this translation.” (Whitcomb, John, The Early Earth, pg. 146). Furthermore, “…the Hebrew verb haya usually is followed by the preposition le when it means ‘become,’ and that is not the case here [cp. Ge 18:12]. (MacDonald, Believer's Bible Commentary in loc.). If the Ruin-Reconstruction Theory were true, then the fossil record contained in the earth would have no connection with our reconstructed world.

(b)   There are certain instances where tōhu and bōhu (“formless and void,” Is 34:11) suggest an evil sense or judgment from God, however, there are instances where that is not the case. Tōhu can also mean desert or space such as in Dt 32:10 and Job 26:7. Since we read of no biblical account of Pre-Adamic inhabitants or judgment, and since God pronounces His work “very good” (Ge 1:31), Ge 1:2 should be interpreted as a formless and void world that God made inhabitable. In addition, futility, death, and judgment were not brought into the world until the fall of Adam (Ge 3:1ff; Ro 5:12; 8:20-23).

(c)   Darkness is a symbol in the Bible that has many connotations, evil being one of them (Jn 8:12; 1Jn 1:5). Yet darkness is quite often literal and not symbolic (Ge 15:12; Ex 10:21-22; Dt 5:23; Ps 104:20). It seems quite natural in Ge 1:4-5, 18, to take “darkness” as literal and therefore Ge 1:2 should be taken in the same sense.

(d)   While asah can suggest, “fashioning from existing materials,” it can also be a synonym for bara. Ge 2:4 is a prime example of the synonymous use of asah. Ge 1:21 states that God “created” (bara) fish, reptiles, and birds. According to the Gap Theory those categories would have to have been leftovers from God’s first creation (cp. Ge 1:1). It would also state a contradiction  in Ge 3:1. Therefore, asah, in Ex 20:11 would have to be declared a synonym of bara.


8.     The Day-Age Theory


a)    While proponents of the Day-Age Theory believe God is the creator, they see the word “day” in Ge 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, and 31 alluding to geological ages instead of a literal 24-hour days.

b)    Some take the word day as a literal 24-hour day but have ages in between each day of the creation week.


(1)   Arguments:


(a)   There can be no solar days without the sun, which was not created until the fourth day Ge 1:16). Therefore, day had to mean and age.

(b)   God’s rest is more than a day according to Heb 4:9-10 and fits into the Day-Age View.

(c)   Other writes think in terms of the Day-Age Theory, for example, in 2Pe 3:8, Peter suggests that to God, a day is as a thousand years.

(d)   Since the appearance of the earth is ancient, the word “day” in Genesis 1 must refer to an age.


(2)   Problems:


(a)   Once again, though “day” (yom) can refer to periods of time, it also can refer to literal 24-hour days. However, only its context can determine its meaning. Furthermore, if the term “day” means a “solar day” on the fourth day (Ge 1:14-19), then “day” would mean a solar day (literal 24-hour day) before the fourth day.

(b)   The word “rested” in Heb 4:9-10 is used in a soteriological sense that exhorts man not to attempt to work his way to heaven but have faith in Christ. But the word “rested” in Ge 2:2-3, is used in a literal sense from which God designed man’s week (Ex 20:9-11; 31:15-17).

(c)   2Pe 3:8 is not speaking in terms of creation but with reference to God’s judgment. Note that it says that a day is “like” (hṓs) a thousand years, not that it actually is a thousand years.

(d)   It should not surprise us that an all-powerful God can accomplish in a short amount of time what it takes man in long periods of time. When God supernaturally creates, it quite often contains what appears to be age and maturity. However, the Bible implies that Adam and Eve were created with age and maturity (Ge 2:4-8; 2:20-25). Trees bearing fruit were created with age and maturity since they were created already with fruit. In addition, God gave permission to eat fruit from any tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Ge 1:29; 2:16-17; 3:2-6). What evolutionists believe took billions of years in producing the right atmospheric pressure and oxygen level, God did supernaturally in order that man could inhabit the world. James Ussher (1581-1656), using the chronologies of Genesis 5 and 11, along with other passages arrived at the conclusion that creation began on October 23, 4004 BC. Even if the chronologies contained some gaps, it would gives us an earth approximately somewhere between 6 -12,000 years old.




A.    The Image of God


1.     At Creation (Ge 1:26-27)


a)    In Ge 1:26, it is apparent that man’s creation was accomplished by a divine Creator. In fact, we see evidence that the entire Trinity was involved with man’s creation. Note the use of the first person plural in the expressions, “Let Us,” “Our image,” and “Our likeness.” The evolution of man is refuted by the fact that man alone was created in the image of God, being the pinnacle of God’s creation.

b)    The passage states that man was made in God’s “image.” The Hebrew word for image is tselem and means a representation or likeness sometimes in a concrete sense.

(1)   Adam’s offspring was in his own image (Ge 5:3).

(2)   Man is not to commit murder because man is created in God’s image (Ge 9:6).

(3)   Deified idols were also called “images” (Nu 33:52; 2Ch 23:17) and their worship was prohibited (De 4:15-19).

(4)   Likeness (demuth), is a synonym of “image” (tselem) and means resemblance or similitude (Ge 1:26 cp. 27 cp Ge 5:1) and sometimes in an abstract sense.

c)     Together, these words were the author’s description of the complex idea of man created in the image of God. In order to understand the phrase “image of God” certain deductions can be made from the Scriptures that fit within the range of these words.

(1)   “The “image of God” does not mean that man was created to look like God because God is a spirit (Jn 4:24). However, man is in the image of God in the sense that he was created as God’s representative to rule and exercise dominion over all the earth and its creatures (Ge 1:26; Ps 8:4-8).

(2)   The image of God included intellect and rational ability such as to exercise dominion and carry out responsibilities (Ge 2:15, 19-20). This is evident with respect to man’s ability to understand and interpret God’s revelation from His Word (2Ti 2:15; 2Ti 3:16-17).

(3)   It included a spiritual dimension in which man could worship and have fellowship with the Creator (Ge 2:7; 3:8-9; Ps 95:6; Ecc 12:1; Ro 1:25). This is especially true when man becomes spiritually alive in Christ through the Holy Spirit (1Co 2:9-16; Ep 2:5).

(4)   It included God’s communicable attributes and a moral conscience to distinguish and choose between good and evil (Ge 2:16-17; Ge 3:1, 6, 10).

(5)   In summary, God created man in His own image to be a spiritual, moral, intellectual, volitional, and emotional representative of Himself.


2.     As a New Creation


a)    The question can be asked, “When man sinned did he destroy the image of God?” The answer is that man did not destroy the image of God when he sinned but he marred it.

b)    Sin has affected every part of man as a spiritual, moral, intellectual, volitional, and emotional being, and thus explains the term, “total depravity.”

c)     However, when a person becomes a believer he is a new creature in Christ and God begins to renew in him the “image of God” (Col 3:10).

d)    In fact, God’s goal of sanctification in the life of every believer is to conform him to the image of Christ (Ro 8:28-29).

(1)   God uses all things and every situation to accomplish this.

(2)   God has predestined all things to accomplish this.

(3)   God’s ultimate goal is for every believer to be in the likeness of Christ, who Himself is not only God, but the perfect “image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15; Ep 4:24).


B.    The Immaterial Aspect of Man


1.     The discussion between Dichotomy (“cut in two parts”, i.e. body and soul) and Trichotomy (“cut in three parts”, i.e. body, soul, and spirit) becomes an interesting study filled with arguments and Scriptures on both sides. Yet when we take a close look at the Scriptures, we find that both views lack the full biblical picture.

2.     Though Plato’s teaching differentiated between the material and immaterial parts of man, it differed from Biblical Dichotomy in that the body is the prison of the soul, which was an uncreated and immortal form in heaven.

3.     Aristotle developed Plato’s twofold division into a threefold division consisting of body, soul (animal soul or breathing aspect), and rational soul (intellectual aspect), differing from Biblical Trichotomy.


4.     Biblical Dichotomy


a)    Definition: Man is made up essentially of two elements, which are the body and soul (synonymous with the spirit).


b)    Arguments


(1)   The terms “soul” and “spirit” are interchangeable in the Scriptures (Jn 12:27 cp. Jn 13:21; Mt 11:29 cp. 2Co 2:13).

(2)   The body and the soul/spirit make up the unity of the “living soul” (nephesh - life or soul) in life and in death (Ge 2:7; Mt 10:28).


c)     Problems


(1)   There are passages which separate the soul and spirit (He 4:12).

(2)   Death is defined by a separation of man’s body from his spirit (Ja 2:26).


5.     Biblical Trichotomy


a)    Definition: Man is made up essentially of three elements, which are the body, soul, and spirit (spirit is separate from the soul).


b)    Arguments


(1)   The Trichotomy View suggests that the body relates to self, the soul relates to the world, and the spirit relates to God (1Co 2:14).

(2)   The spirit is where the spiritual aspect of man resides (1Co 5:5; Ro 1:9).


c)     Problems


(1)   To suggest that man’s spirit is the only aspect that is awakended to God is incorrect.

(a)   The soul is sanctified (1Th 5:23).

(b)   The soul worships (Lk 1:46).

(c)   The soul loves the Lord (Mk 12:30).

(d)   The believer’s soul resides in heaven (Re 6:9; 20:4).

(2)   Even God uses the term soul in reference to Himself (Mt 12:18).


6.     Explanation of Soul and Spirit


a)    At times, soul is interchangeable with spirit, but quite often it is used in reference to man’s whole person. In other words, when speaking of the fact that man is material and immaterial, the term soul is used.

b)    When man’s immaterial aspect is in view, the term spirit is often used. Since Paul deals primarily with the “inner man,” the term spirit is used predominantly in Paul’s writings. However, ultimately man is not described as a spirit (immaterial aspect), but as a living soul (whole person).

c)     Furthermore, man is multi-faceted and is described with other aspects such as, heart, conscience, mind, and will.


C.    Transmission of Man’s Being


1.     We understand that the material aspect of man is passed on by natural generation. But how is the immaterial aspect passed on?

2.     There are several traditional views: Preexistence, Creationism, and Traducianism.


3.     Preexistence Theory


a)    This view suggests that in the beginning, God created all human souls, which were confined to human bodies in punishment.

b)    Souls go through various incarnations (i.e. Reincarnation or Karma) as an attempt to rid themselves of the sin they incurred in their lives (plural).

c)     Proponents of this view are Greek philosophy, Hindu traditions, and other theological systems, including Kabballa and a number of minority Christian groups (e.g. Cathars).

d)    This view gives no account of Adam’s sin, Orthodox Christianity has never held to this view, and it is not consistent with biblical teaching.


4.     Creationism Theory


a)    This view teaches that the parents create the body by natural generation but only God could create the immaterial soul at the moment of conception (Nu 16:22; He 12:9).

b)    God did not create the soul with sin, but it came in contact with inherited guilt through the body. Christ could only be sinless if God created His soul.

c)     Charles Hodge defends this view, as do many other Reformers along with Roman Catholics.


5.     Traducianism Theory


a)    This view promotes that the soul is transmitted along with the body through the process of natural generation.

b)    William G. T. Shedd argues that:

(1)   He 7:10 describes a rational act on the part of unborn Levi.

(2)   Ge 2:1-3 argues that God rested on the seventh day from all fresh acts of creating.

(3)   Under the Creationism Theory, each sinless soul created by God would have to fall.

(4)   Man is always seen as a union between body and soul.

c)     J. O. Buswell also agrees with this view because it provides a more natural explanation, though he adds that it cannot be firmly established on any explicit scriptural teaching.




A.    The Views on the Fall of Man


1.     Not everyone holds to the view that Adam was a historical figure who sinned and plunged the entire human race into sin and judgment.

2.     The Liberal View believes that the fall was a legend and there was no truth or factual basis for the account of Gen 3.

3.     The Neo-Orthodox View believes that the fall was an allegory, not factual, but a lesson on sin from Gen 3.

4.     The Orthodox View has always held to a literal and historical account of Gen 3.

a)    Jesus held to the literal and historical account of Genesis (Mt 19:4-5).

b)    The Scriptures affirm the account of the fall of man as a fact (1Co 15:21-22).

c)     If Adam’s fall was a myth then Christ’s death could also be a myth (Ro 5:12-21).


B.    The Test of the Fall of Man


1.     Why was there a need for a test for Adam and Eve? The reason God gave Adam a moral test was that obedience could only be true obedience with the possibility of disobedience.

2.     Though Adam and Eve were given several responsibilities (exercise dominion - Ge 1:26; be fruitful and multiply - Ge 1:28; cultivate the ground - Ge 2:5, 15), they failed by disobeying God’s one prohibition, which was not to eat from the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Ge 2:9, 16-17).

3.     The nature of sin was revealed because Adam and Eve ate from the one prohibited tree in the midst of a paradise permissible trees.

4.     Adam and Eve were created innocent an upright in a perfect environment. Therefore, their sin stemmed from a simple choice to disobey (Ecc 7:29).


C.    The Tempter of the Fall of Man


1.     The originator of sin was Satan, who rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven (Is 14:12-14; Eze 28:16-19).

2.     Satan took upon himself the disguise of a serpent because a serpent would have been familiar to Eve and would not have caused suspicion (Ge 3:1). Eve was not surprised that the serpent spoke to her.

3.     It was a real serpent because both Satan and the serpent were cursed (Ge 3:14; Ge 3:15).


D.    The Temptation of the Fall of Man


1.     Satan begins his deceptive plan to cause man to sin by addressing Eve. Perhaps he went to Eve first since the commandment was not given to her specifically. On the other hand, perhaps she was more susceptible to deception than Adam was (1Ti 2:14). Or, it is quite possible that Eve was the best avenue in order to bring about Adam’s fall (Ge 3:6).

2.     Satan’s first approach to deceive Eve was to question God’s Word, “has God said” (Ge 3:1). This remains Satan’s proven method even to this day.

3.     Satan’s second approach to deceive Eve was to question God’s character. Satan implied that God was not truthful (“You surely will not die!”, Ge 3:4) and that He was withholding good (“For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil”, Ge 3:5).

4.     Satan tempted Eve from three aspects (Cp. 1Jn 2:16):

a)    Lust of the Flesh (“good for food” - Gen 3:6a)

b)    Lust of the Eyes (delight to the eyes” - Gen 3:6b)

c)     Pride of Life (make one wise” - Gen 3:6c)

5.     Eve was the first human to sin, but Adam, as mankind’s representative, sinned and brought sin and death upon all mankind (Ro 5:12).


E.    The Penalty of the Fall of Man


1.     On Mankind (Ge 3:7-19)

a)    Just as God had warned, man experienced death because he sinned (Ge 2:17; 3:3).

b)    Man began to experience gradual physical death (Ge 5:5).

c)     Man immediately experienced spiritual death in which, he died spiritually (Ep 2:1), lost fellowship with God (Ge 3:7-8), and incurred God’s penalty for sin (Ge 3:15-19).

d)    Man also experienced the guilt of sin and self-justification (Ge 3:8-13).

2.     On the Serpent (Ge 3:14)

a)    The serpent was cursed with the degradation of becoming the lowest species (Ge 3:14a). Snakes now carry a bad and evil connotation.

b)    As a consequence of having the lowest status, the serpent would crawl on its belly (Ge 3:14b, evidently originally its posture was erect) and he would eat the dust from which man was created.

3.     On Satan (Ge 3:15)

a)    Speaking to Satan, God pronounced an enmity that would always exist between Satan and the woman’s seed (Christ). Satan’s battle plan has always been “Anti-God” and “Anti-Christ.” Satan also hates all those who belong to Christ (Jn 8:44; Jn 15:18-19 cp. Ep 2:2).

b)    In this enmity, Satan will bruise Christ’s “heel” by way of crucifixion. However, Christ will crush Satan’s “head” by ultimately defeating and destroying him (Heb 2:14; 1Jn 3:8).

4.     One Eve (Ge 3:16)

a)    The woman, who was instrumental in influencing man’s spiritual death, would experience pain when bringing forth physical life.

b)    At the same time, the Scriptures say that her “desire will be for her husband.” This phrase has several interpretations.

(1)   The first is that “desire” (teshuqah) refers to “sexual desire” (cp. Sol 7:10) for her husband even though she has pain during childbirth.

(2)   The second is that “desire” refers to a longing for her husband’s headship and rule.

(a)   The same word is used in Ge 4:7 and lends support to this interpretation.

(b)   New Testament exhortations imply that women will struggle with submission to their husbands (Ep 5:22-24, 28; Co 3:18; 1Pe 3:1).

(c)   New Testament exhortations also imply that men will struggle with being domineering over their wives (“he will rule (mashal - have dominion, Ge 4:7 - “master”) over you”).

5.     On Adam (Ge 3:17-19)

a)    Included in Adam’s punishment, the very ground man was to cultivate, was cursed (Ro 8:20-22).

b)    Man would have to endure “toil” and “sweat” in order to bring an increase upon the ground, now filled with “thorns and thistles.”

c)     Man’s life would be filled with hard labor until he dies and returns to the dust from which he came.

d)    In addition, man was expelled from the Garden, which was both a geographic and spiritual symbol of broken fellowship with God.


F.     The Ramifications of the Fall of Man


1.     Sin breaks fellowship with God (1Jn 1:9).

2.     Contrary to Satan’s lie, sin always includes a penalty (Ro 6:23).

3.     Sin always has far-reaching consequences.

4.     Christ is the only solution to fallen man, both in atonement (He 2:17) and temptation (He 2:18).



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