Believers in God’s creation of mankind have developed a wondrous variety of interpretations through the years. For brevity we can divide them into two major positions: (1) those who hold that God created mankind comparatively recently, say, a few thousands of years ago, and (2) those who find acceptable an earlier date for Adam’s creation, say, hundreds of thousands of years ago.
The first group, those who maintain that Adam must have been created within, say, the last ten thousand years, may themselves be divided into two main branches according to how they interpret the geology and the fossil remains: (a) those who accept the geological antiquity of the earth and who therefore interpret the ancient fossil types as pre-Adamic forms: (b) those who do not accept the geological antiquity of the earth and who therefore interpret the fossil types as the descendants of a recent Adam.
Those of category 1a, who accept geological antiquity but insist upon a comparatively recent Adam, have developed quite a wide variety of interpretations. Let us begin with the most unorthodox. J. M. Clark claims that “when Adam was created and placed in Eden, the human race was already long established.… (“Genesis and Its Underlying Realities,” Faith and Thought, Vol. 93, No. 3, p. 146). To arrive at this position Clark distinguishes between the creation of the first men (Gen. 1:26) and the creation of Adam (Gen. 5:2). His entire thesis rests essentially on this distinction. He examines all the Genesis references to Adam and concludes that separate meanings are necessary, “Adam” as “mankind” and “Adam” as the man put into Eden. Both of these he finds in Genesis 5:1, 2, holding that since God called the name of the first created men “Adam” they shared ...1
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