Adam & Eve - individuals or types?
#1
In an effort not to derail this thread, I've extracted this exchange:

(08-03-2015, 02:37 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: No, Catholics have to accept that there was an Adam and an Eve. Even science accepts that. They just call her "Mitochondrial Eve." And there's a "Y-Chromosomal Adam" to go with. We Catholics can argue about what "a day" means in Genesis, about whether the forces of evolution have affected the human race after its creation, etc., but we can't argue against there having been an Adam and an Eve.

(08-03-2015, 04:10 PM)divinesilence80 Wrote: I am not sure about that. I'm pretty sure I remember a priest telling we don't understand it in literalist terms but I could be mistaken. Science has many theories about the origins of the human species. Many suggest that there was no 1 man or 1 woman, but groups.

Now I'm confused.

Hasn't it always been the Church's teaching that Adam and Eve were real people?  If they were not, wouldn't that negate the concept of Original Sin?  Wouldn't that have made Christ's death meaningless?
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#2
Well, Jesus and St. Paul seem to believe they were a couple and not types. One would have to show that these were opinions and not teachings, which is a very dangerous move to make when you're dealing with Scriptures.

And of course, I've never seen a Father of the Church interpreting the first three chapters of Genesis as meta-history.
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#3
They were real persons, for furthue information
Creation Research Society  and Daylight Origins Society, google both
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#4
Both. Literal, historical truth does not preclude additional levels of meaning, through allegory and typology. Adam and Eve are both actual, historic persons (commemorated as saints on their feast day, the vigil of Christmas) and are used as instruments within the narrative of Scripture to convey spiritual truths.
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#5
It seems there is debate about this issue. The CCC says the following:

Quote:How to read the account of the fall

390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.264 Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.[sup]265[/sup]

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/ar...s2c1p7.htm
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#6
(08-03-2015, 08:37 PM)divinesilence80 Wrote: It seems there is debate about this issue. The CCC says the following:

Quote:How to read the account of the fall

390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.264 Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.[sup]265[/sup]

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/ar...s2c1p7.htm

That doesn't indicate debate about the historicity of Adam and Eve; it shows, as Cyriacus said above, that "historical truth does not preclude additional levels of meaning, through allegory and typology." The CCC's reference to "our first parents" shows that the Church (and the CCC) teach that we had a set of first parents, and earlier it says that a primeval event did, in fact, occur. That it's possible that allegorical language is used in some aspects of the Genesis accounts doesn't negate all that.

From Humani Generis:

Quote:When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents.

Even if there were several original couples -- which I don't believe -- there was an Adam and an Eve through whom original sin descended onto all of us.

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#7
I think one can accept the historicity of Adam and Eve while still questioning a literal reading of the first three chapters of Genesis. There really does seem to be a disjunction between Adam the primordial man and Adam the patriarch and founder of a lineage. Perhaps this points to the fall being an event beyond our comprehension, occurring before the constants of our daily experience were in place and resulting in radical ontological rupture. 
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#8
I think it would make sense that the fall goes beyond our human understanding and that the way it is presented to us by God is the only way that we can understand it.
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#9
There have been attempts to reconcile polygenism with original sin (based on the understanding of Pius XII's quote
Quote:Now it is no no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.
which says that then (now), when he was writing this encyclical, it was in no way apparant, but 'now now' (in our days) it could be possible. But I think this 'now' is rhetorical, I don't know, however, what was the wording in the original. Anyhow, although certain interesting theories exist, I cannot help but feel like they make Genesis a total joke. Something has to be literal there, or else Dawkins et consortes will constantly attack us ('METAPHORICAL WHEN SPEAKING ABOUT ADAM AND EVE, LITERAL WHEN SPEAKING ABOUT KILLING GAYS!!!'). I, for that matter, believe in pretty much every event that happened in Genesis, only that in my opinion they occurred over billions of years.
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#10
One has to believe that there were two people. They sinned and the effects of that sin transmitted to the rest of their seed (all of humanity). Whether how this fact is transmitted to us by God is poetic or literal I don't think matters. The story of Adam and Eve has a decent amount of theological information that I think it's of higher importance than the literal happenings of the story... some of which point to Christ and His Blessed Mother.
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