The reason I ask about Adam and Eve is for a couple of reasons. We have to know the story of Adam and Even clearly right? They are the first two “humans” to receive the Breath of Life from God.
The Bible says that God makes known the End from the Beginning (Isa 46:10).. This is the story of the first spirits, the story of sin, and the way of eternal life. The Bible also says that every story written in the past was written, and chosen to be in the Bible, to teach us (rom 5:14).
Without understanding the beginning we cannot understand the end, God’s plan or redemption for all of us.
You say, “As Christians we believe that the first human beings lived in perfect harmony with God, but that through their free turning away from God, that death and pain entered the world, and that Adam and Eve were these first human beings.
But then you go on to say, “Whether God gradually brought people up over time using evolution, and then infused a human soul and elevated them to the garden, or whether He created them instantly in the Garden, or some other possibility, I do not think anyone can claim with any certainty.And also Whether these numbers are precise, or not,.. whether it's 6K years to Adam or not.. how old the Earth is… all of those questions I find fascinating, but unfortunately some people try to squeeze the Bible and get science out of it, when all you're going to get is morals. After all, it's a book about theology, not science. It's full of allegories, metaphors, morals, history, and precise truths. Who knows exactly which verse is which? I'd say, no one except God and the original author." In Jn. 6:44-46 the Bible tells us that those truly taught by Jesus have been taught by God, therefore those who belong to the true Church should know the truth of life contained in the creation story. You say the Bible is full of allegories and metaphors, but you think the garden of Eden literally existed somewhere in Iraq. Has anyone ever come across this garden? Has anyone ever come along a tree guarded by two guardian angels with flaming sword, the Tree of Life?
Matt13:34-35 shows us that Jesus revealed that which had been hidden since the creation of the world. What has been hidden since the creation story? The garden of Eden, the place where we once had eternal life!
Whether the timeline to Adam and Eve is 6,000 years is an interesting question. I would like to see some studies on whether that is enough time to account for the diversity among nationalities in people. If it's not, then those that hold to a 6K year timeline should probably re-examine their estimate. The confusion I think stems from "day" in Scripture not always referring to a literal 24-hour period. The timeline back to Adam is not in question, his lineage is documented clearly. You may research it for yourself, but the earth was already geographically populated 6000 years ago (national geographic had a good documentary about it). And this is partially the point I would like to talk about.
"I am going to answer your question about the Earth's age and Adam and Eve. Listen... time is a concept of man. God has dominion over everything. Time began when man came along." Oscar, you are in error because you do not know the scripture or the power and administration of God. Genesis 1:3-…And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. Time was in existence before man was created. Man did not come along until the sixth day. Time is a concept of God, from the very beginning. This means that God has a time and a place for everything also (Ecc3:1). The End is made known from the beginning.
"Whether these numbers are precise, or not,.. whether it's 6K years to Adam or not.. how old the Earth is… all of those questions I find fascinating, but unfortunatelysome people try to squeeze the Bible and get science out of it, when all you're going to get is morals. After all, it's a book about theology, not science. It's full of allegories, metaphors, morals, history, and precise truths. Who knows exactly which verse is which? I'd say, no one except God and the original author." Then how do you understand the precise truth if you cannot clearly say which verses testify to what? Doesn’t sound like a precise truth really. The Bible is so much more than just morals (honestly we don’t need the Bible to have good morals. Many atheists are the nicest people) On one hand you say that the Bible is full of metaphors and allegories, and yet you also say that the story of the Garden of Eden is, “Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8). We know this was on Earth because the prophet Ezekiel states that the trees in the Garden came from Lebanon (Ezekiel 31:15-18), and that it was located between four rivers (Genesis 2:10)How do you know that this is not a metaphor? To take this verse literal and think that the trees of Eden were literally from Lebanon is a contradiction to your own belief on the scriptures. Is Lebanon known for their trees of knowledge of the good and evil and their trees of Life?
We can know that Adam and Eve weren’t the first two humans also because when Cain killed his brother and was banished in Genesis 4:10-17 he was sent to the land of nod east of Eden and was afraid that people would kill him; and he also found a wife. Notice none of those people’s names were recorded, b/c they did not have a spirit of life. If Adam and Eve were the first two people, the no one would have existed to kill Cain. Add in that geographically the earth was already populated by people (beasts) 6,000 years ago, we can understand why Cain would be afraid.
Since Adam and Eve weren’t actually the first people then, and the Earth was already created, then the creation story is not about a physical creation is it?