Interpreting Sacred Scripture and How do we reconcile Adam and Eve vs Evolution, Dinosaurs, Homo Sapiens?

The Church teaches that God can be known with certainty from: (a) Divine revelation (Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture); and from the created world by (b) the natural light of human reason (CCC# 36-38; Compendium 3 & 4).  Therefore, the Christian faith is based on faith first, but also on reason.  Not “only” on faith (fideism) or “only” on reason (rationalism) [i].

God is Truth, so truth can also be known with certainty from the created world by the natural light of human reason.

We can learn truths from natural revelation (or the natural light of human reason) from simple things such as “gravity” (“what goes up, goes down”) to more complex things such as “photosynthesis”.  However, there are truths that go beyond our limited reason, those truths are learned by supernatural revelation (also known as Divine revelation or public revelation) which can be found in Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture.  “The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone.” – (CCC# 85).  So we can learn of supernatural revelation from the teachings of the Church.

Since Jesus Christ is the Truth (John 6:14), as Christians, we follow anything that is truth, that is following Christ.  If we deny anything that is truth regardless of its source, we deny Christ.

God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).  We can learn truths from a Saint and Doctor of the Church or from a simple illiterate beggar.  If an illiterate beggar tells us something that we realize to be truth, we adhere to it.  God created us in His image, with free will, the ability to reason abstractly.  We are body and immortal (spiritual) soul.  Therefore, not using our God’s given capabilities is not serving our Lord as He wills.  Anything that we can reasonably realize to be truth, we have the moral obligation to follow or to adhere to it.  Faith is above reason but they go together, we cannot separate them.  They are not enemies.

Many Pharisees of old did not follow Jesus because they saw that He was a poor man from Nazareth.  Jesus did not study the Jewish faith under honorable teachers of the law (teachers such as Gamaliel for example – Acts 5:34; Acts 22:3).  They disregarded or belittled Jesus’ teachings.  There is no way that they could have fairly denied His teachings because He Himself is Truth.  Thus, they rejected God.  Jesus called those Pharisees hypocrites because they were not sincere in following the truth but their own made traditions (lower “t”) and agendas contrary to the will of God.  Jesus can be telling us the truth through a beggar and if we disregard or belittle such beggar, we are in truth rejecting Jesus Christ just as those Pharisees of old.

Anything that is truth, we follow.

That being said, there are some elements from the book of Genesis that can be interpreted as non-literal figures or symbols due to the truths learned by natural revelation.  There cannot be two “truths” that contradict each other.  If that’s the case, one thing is true and the other thing is false, or one truth is understood well and the other truth is being misunderstood or misinterpreted.  In order to avoid misunderstandings, we must learn to interpret things with the guidance of the Magisterium of the Church and the help of God’s given natural light of human reason.  Our Faith is not completely blind, our faith is reasonable.  Jesus performed great miracles in front of many witnesses in order to support His Word (Matthew 11:3-6) (John 10:37-38) (John 11:41-42 . 45).

So, when we know of a well-evidenced truth which is presented in a manner of saying such as “A man melted when he saw her beauty” and natural law shows us that a man does not literally melt by the simple act of looking at a woman, we conclude that such truth is not literal but poetical or figurative.  When someone expresses his feelings by saying something like “I have told you a thousand times”, when in fact he has said so many times but not to the point of reaching exactly one thousand times; or “everybody knows that”, when in fact many people knows such thing but not literally “everybody”, we conclude that those expressions are hyperbolic.  Such is with Sacred Scripture, always guided by the teaching authority of the Church, of course.

“When science presents well-supported conclusions, we might need to adjust our interpretation of Sacred Scripture from a literal interpretation to a figurative one – though not on every point.  For faith is greater than reason, and theology is the most important of the sciences.” – (Adam and Eve versus Evolution).

The historicity, authenticity of Adam and Eve as real human persons is a dogma of the Catholic Church [ii].  Therefore, when studying the book of Genesis, we must keep this truth in mind.

Basic things to consider when learning from the book of Genesis:

  • Teachings from the Magisterium on the subject.
  • Though this book was inspired by God and it is the infallible Word of God, this book was written with the liberty of the sacred human authors, with ancient Hebrew language for persons with a culture of their time.  Words and meanings can vary with time.  Therefore, we cannot idolize one sole translation of the Bible, but we may use different translations always guided by the Teaching Authority of the Church [iii].
  • Keep in mind the linguistic genre of the narrative.
  • God also talks to us with natural law or reason (Matthew 24:32) (Luke 21:30).

For in depth analysis of Faith and reason, I invite you to read Pope Saint John Paul II’s Encyclical Fides et Ratio.

Here I am going to present to you what I consider a faithful interpretation of Sacred Scripture on the following subjects:

Creation

Creation, as described in the book of Genesis, covers everything: the visible and the invisible, not just the creation of our current planet earth.

I don’t interpret the six days of creation as our current literal one-hundred and forty-four hours timeline.  I’m not saying that God cannot do that.  But this is not a matter of being able to do it, but how He might have done it.  Recall that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day (2 Peter 3:8) (Psalm 89[90]:4).  Therefore, we cannot measure God’s own “time” because there is no a literal fixed time with God.

Notice that the narrative of Genesis also tells us that God “rested” on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2).  But the truth is that God does not literally get tired.  He never literally rests. He is Omnipotent.  Therefore, the “rested on the seventh day” must be understood as a figure of speech.  It must be understood as a literal “ceasing” of things.

Everything was created by God, including time.  But our current twenty-four hours day is measured by our current known planet earth’s movement.  Our current [Gregorian] calendar day is measured by the period of time the earth completes one rotation around its own axis.

We need physical matter in order to measure our time.  At the beginning, however, God created Heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1).  But before Jesus’ Ascension (in body and soul), angels, who are pure spirit, were the only creatures dwelling in Heaven.  There was no physical matter to measure our time in Heaven.  Heaven was created in no time of ours at all because in the spiritual realm there is no physical matter.  Our known time can only be measured with physical matter.  Age of physical things does not determine age of spiritual non-corporeal things [iv].  This can suffice to understand that the seven “days”, the “evenings and mornings” of each “day”, were written in a poetical or allegorical way and can be interpreted as seven “processes”, seven “steps”, seven “stages”, or seven “periods”.  The number “seven” also has a symbolic meaning in Biblical literature, it can mean perfection or the just and necessary (Genesis 4:24) (Matthew 18:21-22).

Can the seven steps of creation be represented by seven of our literal days? –Yes, they can [v].

Also, at the very beginning, there was no earth to measure a twenty-four hours day as we know it today.  Our planet earth as we know it did not just pop up out of nothing and started moving immediately rotating around its own axis and translating around the sun like it does now.  Actually, at the very beginning, there was not even our sun yet.  The early verses of Genesis tell us that our earth was not created all at once, it but it was a process.  Notice that God only created the sun, the moon, the stars in order to measure the seasons, days, years, on the fourth “day” (Genesis 1:14-19).  So there was no real day of ours before that period of time because a real day of ours could not have been measured without those elements.  There was no a day of ours before the fourth “day”.  Only on the fourth “day”, is when we could start measuring a real day of ours.  So, any “Day” previous to that was another type of “Day”, not a day as we measure today.

Jesus tell us that (unfallen) angels in Heaven continually look upon the face of our Father, who is in Heaven (Matthew 18:10).  Being able to look upon the Face of God is having access to the Beatific Vision which is sharing the Eternity of God.

Now, Heaven is God’s creation, and as such, Heaven is a limited thing.  Therefore, Heaven is a “place”, but not a place as we know it here on this earth.  Since Heaven is a limited “place” (a creation), it must have a time, but such time cannot be a time as we know on this earth either.  Why? – Because the nature of this earth is not the nature of Heaven.  Heaven is not Eternity.  God Himself is Eternity.  But creatures in Heaven can share the Eternity of God once allowed to the Beatific Vision.  Do not confuse Eternity (God Himself, not a creation) with Heaven (God’s creation), though we can share the Eternity of God in Heaven (that is, when allowed to the Beatific Vision).

It’s good to keep in mind that, at the very beginning, though angels were in Heaven, they did not share the Eternity of God (the Beatific Vision) before they passed their respective test.  Not all angels passed such test (Revelation 12:4).  Therefore, it can be said that there was a “time” in Heaven (which is not our earthy time) when angels did not had access to the Beatific Vision [vi].

The creation story in the first Chapter of Genesis includes everything, that is Heaven with its angels, Paradise with its creatures, our current earth with all its creatures, our universe, etc.  The “time” of limited creatures in Heaven is not our time, the time in Paradise in not our time, the time in Purgatory is not our time, and so on.

About Paradise and this fallen earth

The Paradise of Eden is a place not of this fallen earth or of this entire fallen universe because Paradise is unfallen.  In our fallen universe, there are no physical directions to go to Paradise.  Paradise is not even located by the farthest of the planets.

The unfallen Paradise is also discontinuous in time with this fallen earth.  Paradise is set apart from our fallen earth’s timeline.  Our timeline here on this earth is different than the timeline in unfallen Paradise.  Other places are also discontinuous with this earth such as Purgatory or Hell.

Since Paradise is discontinuous with this earth and Paradise’s space is unknown to this world, it cannot be determined where it is located within our realm.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, this earth is linked (or associated) in a mysterious way with the Paradise of Eden.  When we read Genesis 2:10-14, the narrative tells us of four rivers, two unknown to us (Phison and Gehon) and two well known to us (Tigris and Euphrates).  By this figure, Scripture tells us that the Garden of Eden was like earth (with animals, plans, soil, sky, etc.), but also unlike our earth.

Many Angels fell first

In Revelation 12:4 we read:

{12:4} And his [the dragon’s] tail drew down a third part of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth.

Taking in consideration the physical realm’s timeline, before Adam and Eve fell from grace, many angels who failed their particular test before being allowed to the Beatific Vision, fell from Heaven.  They were expelled by God from Heaven to this earth that became corrupted due to Original Sin [vii].  Fallen angels started to corrupt this earth as well.

Why did they come to this physical earth when they are pure spirits? pure spirits do not need a physical place to dwell – Since God is Knowledge, Omnipresent, He is not trapped within time, He has the knowledge of Adam and Eve’s fall.  Since Adam and Eve fell, humanity needed a temporary physical place fitting for fallen creatures.  Humanity needed a temporary physical place fitting for their redemption and repentance.  Adam and Eve could no longer continue living in the incorrupt Paradise, so they were expelled by God to this earth that became fallen due to their sin [vii].  Adam was created from this earth when it was incorrupt so this connection causes this earth and physical universe to fall (or become corrupt) as well.  From Heaven, God sent the angels who also fell their respective test to this corrupting earth in order to test fallen humans’ fidelity to God during our exile here.

Now, since we are used to our timeline, this can be difficult to understand.  But when dealing with Heaven, Paradise, Purgatory, places that are apart from of our timeline, do not think chronologically.  Do not look at these events based on our earth’s timeline or from this earth’s viewpoint.

The creation of Adam and Eve

God miraculously created Adam and Eve as the first two true human persons.  He miraculously created both the bodies and the souls of Adam and Eve.

According to the private revelations given to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich [viii], God created Adam and Eve on this earth (not in Paradise) but when this earth was still unfallen [ix].  Adam and Eve were able to go back and forth from unfallen earth to Paradise [ix].  This means that, when this earth was unfallen, it had the same timeline as unfallen Paradise.  Once this earth became corrupted, it was separated by God from Paradise.  So fallen earth’s timeline became discontinuous with unfallen Paradise.

Blessed Anne Catherine’s private revelations also tells us that the unfallen bodies of Adam and Eve were different than the bodies after they fell from grace, thus, different than our current fallen bodies.

“The glittering beams on Adam’s head denoted his abundant fruitfulness, his glory, his connection with other radiations.  And all this shining beauty is restored to glorified souls and bodies.  Our hair is the ruined, the extinct glory; and as is this hair of ours to rays of light, so is our present flesh to that of Adam before the Fall.  The sunbeams around Adams mouth bore reference to a holy posterity from God, which, had it not been for the Fall, would have been effectuated by the spoken word.” – (The Lowly Life and Bitter Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother; Adam and Eve).

After the Fall:

“I saw Adam and Eve losing their brilliancy and diminishing in stature.  It was as if the sun went down.” – (ibid).

Our current fallen bodies might have been patterned after the highest form of lower fallen animals that existed previous to Adam and Eve’s coming to this fallen earth from Paradise (that is, having some similitudes), animals such as the ones anthropologists call “anatomically modern humans” within the Homo genus group.  But those lower animals were not human persons at all and did not conceive Adam or Eve for the Church teaches that Adam and Eve are our first parents.  Otherwise, our first parents are not Adam and Eve, but lower animals.  Sacred Scripture does not consider anyone before Adam as part of Jesus’ (who is fully God and fully man) genealogy (Luke 3:23-38).  Furthermore, the Council of Trent teaches that we all fallen sinners (human persons) are born propagated of the seed of Adam [x].  Adam and Eve were the first two real human persons [See this post].

In Paradise’s timeline, by the time Adam and Eve were unfallen, in union with God and enjoying unfallen creation, a third of the angels had already fallen and God permitted one of those fallen angels, Satan, to briefly dwell in the unfallen Paradise in order to put Adam and Eve to the test.  Everything was good in Paradise so Adam and Eve had no challenge there.  Since many of the angels had already fallen, God put one of those fallen angels, Satan, in Paradise in order to test Adam and Eve.

I believe that God initially allowed only one corrupt creature to dwell in Paradise, only for a brief period of time in order to test man.  Such creature was the devil or Satan.

How come a fallen creature, Satan, could be in an incorrupt place such as Paradise? – because, though it was an incorrupt place and Adam and Eve were in sanctifying grace with God, the Beatific Vision was not allowed yet.  Once we are allowed to the Beatific Vision, it is there where God opens Himself in an inexhaustible way to the elect, where we can see God “face to face”, “as He IS” – (CCC# 163, 1045) and there is no fallen creature at all or the risk of anyone falling away.

Why the test? – because God created us free, being able to love.  We are not able to love without liberty.  God wanted to test Adam and Eve’s love.  God is Love, so God wanted to test how united Adam and Eve were with their Creator.  “Proof of our love to God relies in our obedience to His advices, submission to His commandments, trust in His promises” [xi].  We are limited creatures, we are not God, we cannot do things apart from God.  That’s why God puts a limit:  “From every tree of Paradise, you shall eat.  But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat.  For in whatever day you will eat from it, you will die a death” – (Genesis 2:16-17).  If everything goes well without limits, we start to think that we can be gods apart from God (Compendium #75).  We start to think that we have no Superior and thus we don’t need to obey anyone but ourselves.  That is a break that causes chaos with God and others.  That is a break from Love.  That is a big problem.  We start to take everything for granted and start to forget that it is God who support us.  We start to think that we can do all relying on our own strength.  Therefore, we need the test before allowed to the Beatific Vision.

If Adam and Eve would not have fallen to the devil’s temptation, God would have expelled Satan from Paradise straight to Hell to join the rest of the fallen angels there.  The rest of the fallen angels would have been expelled by God straight to Hell from Heaven (they would not have gone to earth for earth would not have become corrupted).  Adam, Eve and their descendants would have remained in Paradise and unfallen earth enjoying God’s creation and allowed to His Beatific Vision.

Since Adam and Eve fell from grace, God also allowed them (two more corrupt creatures since the Fall) to briefly dwell in Paradise.  After the Fall and a short-lived stay in Paradise, all of these three corrupted creatures (Adam, Eve and Satan) were expelled from Paradise to this fallen earth which became corrupted due to Original Sin.

Just as Adam and Eve who became partially corrupted since the Fall [xii], this earth also became partially corrupted.  Not entirely corrupted.  Though this earth is now corrupted up to a degree, we can still enjoy some of what is left of earth’s original beauty and some of its original marvels (though in a lesser scale).

The reason for this is because there is a connection between Adam, earth, and the rest of our physical world.  The Lord God formed man from the clay of the earth (Genesis 2:7).  Animals and other physical creatures were also formed from the soil of the earth (Genesis 2:19).  And the corrupt bodies go back to the corrupt earth where they came from “For dust you are, and unto dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).

When Adam and Eve fell, this earth and entire physical universe became corrupted, and from the discontinuous realm of Heaven, God sent the fallen angels to this physical earth when those angels also fell in order to test mankind.

Now, here comes the question: If the corruption of this physical universe is due to man’s fall (CCC# 400), how could fallen angels have already been here on this earth even before Adam and Eve actually fell in Paradise? – It may look so from our chronological perspective or viewpoint, but the answer relies on the fact that Heaven and Paradise are discontinuous with this fallen earth.

When Adam and Eve fell, they were sent to this earth which became corrupted because of their fall.  Previous to that in our chronology (but discontinuous with Heaven’s timeline), when many angels fell, they were also sent to this earth.  The fallen angels arrived here way before Adam and Eve.  It is not that Adam and Eve took way longer to come here, it is simply because of a different timeline.

Fallen angels could have been on this fallen earth even by millions of years before Adam and Eve came, but remember that they came from the “no time” of ours of Heaven to the timeline of this earth.  God is Knowledge, Omnipresent, He is not trapped within time (2 Peter 3:8).  He has the knowledge of Adam and Eve’s fall.  It may seem as if the fall of many angels and the fall of Adam and Eve were on or about the same time and the corruption of this earth was in fact way before Adam and Eve’s fall according to this earth’s timeline, but the timelines of the places where they came from respectively are not the same as this fallen earth.

To give an example of this type of occurrence, it is entirely possible that the two witnesses from the book of Revelation 11:3 are Enoch and Elijah who were taken by God from the distant past of ours today and placed them in the distant future.  They were taken during their respective times and placed in their distant future without having to spend all those years traveling.  For them, they were taken and placed there in an instant.  The book of Hebrews tells us that Enoch was “transferred” (Hebrews 11:5).  So the theological opinion that Enoch (as well las Elijah) could have been transferred to the distant future is tenable.  This is entirely possible for God to do so because He is not trapped in our sphere of time.

In brief to conclude this section:

Jesus said:

[Luke]
{10:18} …“I was watching as Satan fell like lightning from heaven.

Heaven is out of our time and space.  Jesus is God, His Divinity is not limited by time and space.  He said: “before Abraham was made, I Am.” (John 8:58).

So, from “no earthy time”, fallen angels came to this earth’s timeline.  One particular fallen angel, Satan, was placed by God in Paradise only for a brief period of time to test Adam and Eve.

In the physical realm, many angels were already fallen when Adam and Eve were in Paradise.  If Adam and Eve would not have fallen, a fallen earth with fallen suffering animals and tempting demons, would not have ever existed.  God would have expelled the fallen angels straight to Hell from Heaven.

This earth became fallen because Original Sin.

The temporary existence of Purgatory was created by God out of our timeline for those humans who die in the state of sanctifying grace but still need purification and learning before entering Heaven [xiii].

Fallen Adam and Eve could not remain living in a pure/unfallen place.  Little after Adam and Eve fell, they as well as Satan (who was also in Paradise at the time), were placed by God on this earth fitting for fallen creatures.  Since this universe is fallen, it will not last forever.  It will entirely cease to exist as we know it.

There was no death in Paradise or in this earth when it was unfallen because of their incorruptibility status

There was no suffering (see this post), decay, death, or any kind of corruption in Paradise.

There was no suffering, decay, death or any kind of corruption on this earth before the Fall and its separation from Paradise due to Original Sin.

Prophet Isaiah tells us of a place where animals are not killed or kill each other (Isaiah 11:6-9).

-What about the things that could be eaten by Adam, Eve and the animals in Paradise? 

In the Genesis narrative, Adam was told by God to eat “from every tree of Paradise” except one (Genesis 2:16-17) or from the seed-bearing plants” (Genesis 1:29).  Breastfeeding infants is another option (Isaiah 11:8), which gives the possibility that, before the Fall, grown up men could have been able to drink milk from certain animals of Paradise or unfallen earth.  Animals could also eat from the trees or seed-bearing plants (Genesis 1:29-30).  However, there is no mention of killing and eating animals before the Fall.

There is the argument which goes something like this: “Since God told Adam to eat from every tree of Paradise except one or from the seed-bearing plants.  Therefore, in order to eat them, he would have to “kill” those fruits, or “kill” the living organisms of those fruits.”

This is a mystery because we don’t know how the fruits from Paradise were composed of, what kind of organisms they had.  We cannot compare the fruits from an incorrupt place such as the fruits of Paradise with the fruits which are organisms of this corrupt/fallen earth.  The fruits of Paradise were not composed of corruptible organisms.  It’s not the same.  Our corrupt bodies cannot be compared with glorified bodies.

St. Paul teaches that death entered through sin (Romans 5:12), and St. John that there will be no more death in the new Earth either (Revelation 21:1-4).  Therefore, we cannot conclude that the end of the temporary purpose of the fruits of Paradise is a type of literal “death”.

Is all of God’s creation a ‘living thing’? – Purgatory is a temporary place created by God.  When this place ends its purpose, Purgatory will cease to exist.  But we cannot thereby conclude that Purgatory will “die” in the literal sense.  So, not all created things are “living” things.

Is all of God’s physical creation a ‘living thing’? – I don’t believe so.  Inert things are not considered living things by scientists [xiv].  Even a moving thing that can reproduce (though not in its on capacity) such as a virus, is not considered to be alive by a group of scientists [xiv].  Furthermore, as explained above, we cannot compare things from this corrupt place (this earth) with the things from an incorrupt place (Paradise).

Some of God’s creation in Paradise had a temporary purpose such as the fruits that could be eaten.  I don’t particularly believe the digestive system of unfallen humanity would have been the same as our current fallen humanity.  According to Blessed Anne Catherine private revelations:

“I did not see the fruit taken into the mouth as we now take food in eating, but it disappeared between Adam and Eve.” – (The Lowly Life and Bitter Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother).

Again, our current fallen bodies might have been patterned from the highest form of lower fallen animals that existed previous to Adam and Eve’s coming to this earth.  Also, a hint to realize that unfallen bodies might not have been the same as fallen bodies, is the miraculous birth our Lord Jesus Christ as described by the private revelations of Saint Bridget of Sweden or Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich.  Our Lord was born miraculously, not the normal way fallen women deliver babies, shedding blood with pain.  The Roman Catechism teaches that Mary gave birth to Jesus without pain [xv].  Our Lord was in our Immaculate Blessed Mother’s womb, and then, in an instant, He was miraculously out of her womb [xvi].  So, I wouldn’t venture to say that fruits eaten in Paradise “died”, but simply ended their purpose.

After the General Resurrection, the glorified bodies of the just will be united to their respective souls and will go to a new Earth (an entire new Physical Universe can also be developed by God.  When we read that God created Heaven and Earth in Genesis 1:1, it also included this earth’s entire physical universe that also became corrupted after the Fall).  They can also go to the New Heaven (Revelation 21:1).   I think the new Earth will reconnect with Paradise as it was in the beginning between Paradise and unfallen earth.  But by then, persons are also allowed to the Beatific Vision forever which is way better.  We will be able to interact in body and soul with Jesus, our Blessed Mother Mary, Saint Joseph, and all the Saints as one big family in union with the Angels and the rest of creation.  Our Lord’s Kingdom.

We will be able to eat in the new Earth as well.  Jesus ate with His glorified body (Luke 24:39-43).  But I wouldn’t venture to say that there will be some kind of “death” in the new Earth, the “death” of the things that we will be able to eat.  The things that we’ll be able to eat in the new Earth or in Paradise can be inert, senseless, not alive at all, and will simply end their purpose.

Adam and Eve vs Evolution, the real evidence of fossils of animals such as Dinosaurs, Homo Sapiens, and other creatures that can be traced back to millions of years on this fallen earth

Here I’m going to give my quick analysis.  For an in-depth analysis and detailed information, I highly recommend the book Adam and Eve versus Evolution.

When Adam and Eve fell from grace, this earth (as well as the rest of our physical universe) became corrupted and it was set apart from Paradise thus becoming discontinuous with Paradise.  The timeframes of Paradise and this earth changed drastically when they were separated by God because of Adam and Eve’s fall.

When Adam and Eve came to this earth from Paradise, this earth was already fallen, millions of years have already passed, demons were already roaming, death already existed, and many of its creatures have become extinct.  Many prehistorical creatures such as the ones we know as dinosaurs and others have already become extinct by millions of years prior to Adam and Eve’s coming.  The species of lower animals within the homo genus group including its highest form which can be considered near-human, the anatomically modern humans (but not human at all, they lacked spiritual soul), have also become extinct by that time.  In the physical realm, many of this earth’s creatures, organisms, have been evolving, mutating, guided by God’s Providence.  In the spiritual realm, God appointed unfallen angels to be at our service.

So we can say that fallen creatures existed on this corrupt earth because of Adam and Eve’s fall even though Adam and Eve did not happen to come to (or arrive on) this fallen earth for much of its timeline.

How could this be? Because of the different timeline between Paradise and this fallen earth.  Like explained above, God is not limited by time, and this earth is discontinuous with Paradise.

Since Satan and the rest of fallen angels are already commended to Hell by their free and irrevocable choice to reject God and His Kingdom, they will go there as their final destination when this fallen earth ends.

Christ came to this fallen earth to suffer with fallen humanity in order to atone for our sins and the gates of Heaven were opened for us.  Jesus came tho this fallen earth to rescue us.  Jesus did not come as unfallen humanity (Jesus did not come in the form of Adam and Eve before the Fall) for Scripture says: “God made Him who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the justice of God in him” – (2 Corinthians 5:21); or “who, though He was in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be seized.  Instead, He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and accepting the state of a man. – (Philippians 2:6-7).

Humans who die in the state of unrepentant actual mortal sin, will go to Hell as their final destination.  The rest of humanity will be saved and will go to Heaven to enjoy the Beatific Vision forever (many through Purgatory first).

-Francisco Figueroa.

Footnotes:

[i] “At this point, the Magisterium of the Church was obliged to be vigilant lest these philosophies developed in ways which were themselves erroneous and negative. The censures were delivered even-handedly: on the one hand, fideism and radical traditionalism, for their distrust of reason’s natural capacities, and, on the other, rationalism and ontologism because they attributed to natural reason a knowledge which only the light of faith could confer.” – (Pope Saint John Paul II; Fides et Ratio # 52, n2).

[ii] CCC# 390. See this post: Adam and Eve were Two Real Human Persons.

[iii] CCC# 40.  For more information, see this post: Is Pope Francis trying to change the Lord’s Prayer?.

[iv] “Age of body does not determine age of soul.” – (CCC # 1308).

[v] In Exodus 20:8-11 we read that the Lord commanded the people of Israel (and anyone who escaped from Egypt with them) to work for six literal days and to sanctify the seventh literal day, the Sabbath of the Lord, because He made all creation “in six days and rested on the seventh day”.  Notice that within those “six days of creation” the Lord mentions that He created Heaven as well (Exodus 20:11).  All creation, the invisible and the visible things are covered within those “six days”.  But, as explained above, the creation of Heaven does not fit our physical timeframe.  Furthermore, our Lord, as in the book of Genesis, says that He “rested” on the seventh “day” but our Lord does not literally ever get tired.  Our Lord is literally Omnipotent.  Therefore, the days of creation and the day of rest are a figure of the stages in which the Lord developed His plan and those stages can be represented by seven of our literal days.

[vi] “The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: “The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing.” – (CCC# 391).  [My comment: There was a time in the life of the angels.  A before and an after.  All angels were created good by God but many revealed and became evil by their own doing.]

I think Heaven without the Beatific Vision is the first Heaven and Heaven with the Beatific Vision is the New Heaven (Revelation 21:1).  The first Heaven is where only spiritual creatures (angels) dwelled.  Those who do not fail God’s test go to the New Heaven.

[vii] “Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man.  Because of man, creation is now subject “to its bondage to decay” – (CCC # 400).

[viii] The private revelations given to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich served to find the house of our Blessed Mother Mary located on the territory known today as Mount Koressos, Turkey.  The accuracy of the descriptions given was found to be remarkably good.

[ix] “I saw Adam created, not in Paradise, but in the region in which Jerusalem was subsequently situated” … “He was, as it were, born of the virgin earth.  God blessed the earth, and it became his mother” …” God led all animals before him in Paradise, and he named them” – (The Lowly Life and Bitter Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother; Adam and Eve).
“I think Adam and Eve went around Paradise three times” – (Ibid; The Fall).

[x] Trent: Session VI; Decree on Justification, Chapter III.

[xi] From the treatise on the psalms by Saint Hilary, bishop (Ps. 127:1-3, CSEL 24, 628-630) – The meaning of the “fear of the Lord”.  See also Sirach 2:18-21.

[xii] “but human nature has not been totally corrupted” – (CCC # 405).

[xiii] It is my opinion that Abraham’s Bosom or the Limbo of the Fathers (Luke 16:19-31) might be an upper level of Purgatory.  This is not a place of punishment but of learning before entering Heaven.  This place might be better than any place of fallen earth but still cannot be compared to Heaven where Angels and Saints enjoy the Beatific Vision.  The idea of Limbo as a permanent place needs to be discarded entirely.  There is no “third” permanent place (Matthew 25:31-46).  However, Limbo as a temporary place of learning before entering Heaven is feasible.  This upper level served as a place for the just of the O.T., but once Jesus Christ went there, preached His Word to the people there, and opened the gates of Heaven for us, it also serves (or was transformed) for all the just who thereafter die without proper or explicit knowledge of Christ and His Catholic Church, for the just who die without the formal Sacrament of Baptism.  Prenatals, little children, righteous non-Catholic Christians learn all the necessary truths they lacked on this fallen earth about Christ and His Church in this place (perhaps taught by Angels) and then they enter Heaven.  Prenatals and little children may also grow or develop in this place.  Jesus said “No one comes to the Father, except through Me” (John 14:6).  We need explicit (at least basic) essential knowledge of our Savior and His Church, who is His Body (They are One as in Marriage – Ephesians 5:29-32), before entering Heaven to enjoy the Beatific Vision of God.  “God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man’s immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it.” – (CCC# 1028).

Some people of the O.T. who did not go to Hell, also went to lower levels of Purgatory to be cleansed by a temporary punishment (there is no punishment in the upper level as mentioned above).  The upper level serves as a cleansing of knowledge for those who still need it.

For non-formal baptisms see this post.

[xiv] Basic Criteria for being alive: perform metabolism, capacity for reproduction, response to stimuli, cellular composition, complex growth.  See also: https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/14-characteristics-of-living-things
To this date, scientists have not reached to a conclusion whether moving and self-reproducible micro-organisms (though not in their own capacity) such as viruses are actual living things.  It is still a debatable issue.

[xv] “To Eve it was said: In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children.  Mary was exempt from this law, for preserving her virginal integrity inviolate she brought forth Jesus the Son of God without experiencing, as we have already said, any sense of pain” – (Catechism of the Council of Trent – Second Part of This Article: “Born of the Virgin Mary).

“Yes, she [Mary] is betrothed, but she is a virgin because she is a type of the Church which is immaculate but a bride: a virgin, she conceived us by the Spirit; a virgin, she gave birth to us without pain” (In Ev. sec. Luc., II, 7, CCL, 14, 33, 102-106).” – (Pope Saint John Paul II, General Audience, Wednesday, August 6, 1997).  [My comment: It can be said that Mary gave birth to us without pain because she gave birth to Christ without pain.  We are His Body (1 Corinthians 12:27).]

[xvi] Revelations of St. Bridget; TAN pgs. 25-26.
Also, The Lowly Life and Bitter Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother; Birth of the Child Jesus.

 

 

 

Gallery | This entry was posted in commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Interpreting Sacred Scripture and How do we reconcile Adam and Eve vs Evolution, Dinosaurs, Homo Sapiens?

  1. Christine says:

    1.”Abraham’s Bosom or the Limbo of the Fathers might be an upper level of Purgatory.” Is it still today?
    2. Which place does “Paradise” refer to? Heaven or the highest level of Purgatory?
    3. When Jesus said to the thief: “Today you will be with me in Paradise…” Did this mean that during the 3 days when His body was in the tomb, He went into that upper level and opened the gate of Heaven for them? Or?
    4. Did Saint Paul see the upper level of Purgatory? He said that he was in Paradise…
    5. The Paradise that Adam and Eve were walking in, is discontinued. It was never on this earth. It was a physical place. Was it a physical place outside the Universe or within the Universe?
    If you can straighten my thoughts out, I will be very, very grateful.
    All the Best to you and to Ron.- Stay well!

    • Ron Conte says:

      I will let Francisco answer your questions. 1. I think the upper level of purgatory still exists and may be used for little children who need spiritual development before heaven, but do not have sins that need to be punished. 2. Paradise is Heaven. 3. Heaven is beyond time, so the thief could go to Heaven after the particular judgment, and after Jesus opened the gates of Heaven, without actually waiting.

    • I agree with Ron’s answers. I’ll just add that after Jesus opened the gates of Heaven, anyone who goes there have access to the Beatific Vision which is sharing the Eternity of God. Therefore, anyone going to Heaven enjoys Paradise, new Earth in the Eternity of God which is beyond time.
      #4. I don’t think St. Paul went to Purgatory (not even to the upper level) but straight to Heaven. Paradise is not the upper level of Purgatory. Purgatory is a temporary place. Paradise is a permanent place.
      #5. The following is an opinion (not a dogma) which I think is sound: Before the Fall, Paradise and earth were not discontinued. They were “connected” sort to speak. Earth was not fallen at that time. Adam and Eve could go back and forth to Paradise from earth (see footnote # ix). I guess you could say that they were part of the same universe. But when Adam and Eve fell, this earth became corrupted, separated by God from Paradise and thus discontinued with Paradise.

      You too, be safe and healthy!

  2. Nicholas says:

    I agree and commend you for posting this idea:

    “When Adam and Eve came to this earth from Paradise, this earth was already fallen, millions of years have already passed, demons were already roaming, death already existed, and many of its creatures have become extinct. Many prehistorical creatures such as the ones we know as dinosaurs and others have already become extinct by millions of years prior to Adam and Eve’s coming. The species of lower animals within the homo genus group including its highest form which can be considered near-human, the anatomically modern humans (but not human at all, they lacked spiritual soul), have also become extinct by that time. In the physical realm, many of this earth’s creatures, organisms, have been evolving, mutating, guided by God’s Providence. In the spiritual realm, God appointed unfallen angels to be at our service.”

    It takes some courage to share an idea like this so God bless you. I’ve believed in a similar idea for almost a decade. I’ve found a handful of people on the net who also think this. Assuming faith, to me it is the only possible reasonable understanding in light of natural history. I don’t place a whole lot of weight on what evolutionists say anymore, cause I’m older and I see how the world works, bias, vested interests. They are always revising, etc. There is a good deal of irrational ideas, speculation, and fantasy in their thought too. But no question there is a vast history that a believer has to face and in light of Adam and Eve this is sort of a riddle that I almost think God uses to probe our minds.

    I first started to think similar to your above because of Enoch and Elijah. I thought if Enoch and Elijah could be in Paradise for thousands of years and taken down back to Earth for their mission, perhaps a similar idea could be explored for Adam and Eve after their sin. Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich also encouraged me. The way she describes Adam and Eve’s expulsion from Paradise is, (how do I want to say this), strange even by her standards of describing all this mystical phenomena:

    “Where I saw them, they could scarcely get a glimpse of Paradise, and they were constantly descending lower and lower. It seemed as if something revolved, and they came at last, through night and darkness, to the wretched miserable place upon which they had to do penance.” —Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, Mysteries of the Old Testament)

    It seemed as if something revolved.

    There have been other ‘signs’ and ideas along the way too. For me it is interesting to think about, but I don’t see how it matters much in the grand scheme of things. I almost would rather just be enlightened and surprised by God’s explanation at this point. If this sort of idea helps people strengthen their Faith in the face of the blitzkrieg of faithless ideology unleashed in the world, then that is good. If not then oh well, it is a great test of Faith.

  3. King Robert the Bruce says:

    So where are Adam and Eve now after they died didn’t Blessed Ann Catherine Emmerich say that they,re bones or the bones of Adam were buried directly under Calvary but were are the souls of both of them has God forgiven them.

  4. oddleifr says:

    Wow. I mean no disrespect, but, as a self-proclaimed Catholic, wouldn’t it be better to rely on the scriptures rather than to come up with such wild ideas and speculations (referred to as “your analysis”)?

    Adam and Eve were real people, created by God. They lived a few thousand years ago. Non-human life forms were equally created by God, each after their kind. There is no compelling reason to assume that the earth is billions of years old or that certain species existed hundreds of millions of years ago (and there is much evidence that contradicts these ideas).

    Darwinian evolution has long been refuted. The current guardians of mainstream science (most of them atheists or agnostics) will never admit this, of course, because they simply don’t have an alternative theory that could explain the manifoldness of life without resorting to supernaturalism or an intelligent designer. And that’s a no-go for them.

    It is thus quite safe to believe that the world, mankind and all species (including the extinguished ones) are only thousands and not billions of years old, exactly as the Bible teaches. There simply were no ‘fallen’ homo or dinosaur species “millions of years” ago (as recent soft tissue finds in dinosaur fossils prove).

    And yes, the earth is also stationary and doesn’t revolve around the sun, exactly as the Church has always taught. Copernicus was wrong. Galileo actually retracted and died in good standing with the Church.

    Science is wonderful because hypotheses can be refuted with a single counter-example. According to Kepler and our current “heliocentric model,” the American solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, should have moved from East to West. However, factually, it did move from West to East.
    There is a massive deception going on. Nothing is what it seems.

    God bless,
    Christian

    • As Catholics, we rely not only on Scripture, but on Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium.

      The Church does not condemn Evolution as long as it does not deny doctrine revealed by God (ie: the existence of God, Adam and Eve as the first two real human persons, etc.). The way you express yourself is as if we should reject our gift of reason or science in its entirety or not trust science at all. Not all in science is deception or false. This simplistic approach is the error of fideism which Pope St. J. Paul II rejects (Fides et Ratio). Science has given us proofs that certain fossils trace back to millions of years ago, not only thousands of years ago. This is not something that we should blindly deny. There can be fossils that only traces to thousands of years ago. Ok, but there are also fossils that trace back to millions of years ago. With this I’m not saying that we humans have lived for millions of years. Never said that. I do believe that since Adam and Eve were expelled from Paradise, only thousands of years have passed on this earth. Faithful Catholics such as Priest and Scientist Georges Lemaître supported the theory of what we now know as the Big Bang which traces back to millions of years ago. Actually, he was one of the originators of this theory (if not the originator himself).

      You say that Darwinian evolution has long been refuted. But you don’t present any argument, nor your sources. The way you say it is as if this has been refuted in its entirety which is false.

      There can be certain aspects of Evolution that can be rejected. Ok. But not ALL aspects of evolution have been entirely refuted. Darwin actually talks about “the Creator” in his book The Origin of Species. Any Godless approach, yes, we must reject. But as long as science bring us well supported evidence that does not deny our doctrine, we should not reject it for it can be God Himself revealing us something new through the means of science.

      Pope Pius XII taught us:

      “For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church *does not forbid* that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter – for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God.” – (Humani Generis #36).

Comments are closed.