“Ask a Priest: Weren’t Adam and Eve the Result of Alchemy, Not Creation?”

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Q: So I was just wondering if God the Father created everything from nothing, how it is that he created Adam from dust and Eve from Adam’s rib? I’m sorry, that’s not creation, that’s alchemy. Also, Christ said call no one on earth “father.” Pretty sure he wasn’t joking around about that. – M.S.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: Even if God formed Adam and Eve with the use of pre-existing material (dust or a rib), God is still the ultimate creator of that dust and rib. In any case humans are comprised of body and souls, and their souls have to be created “in the moment,” so to speak. So in a real sense a person (a unity of body and soul) isn’t created until “in the moment” — by God, of course.

As for Jesus’ comment about not calling people father, his intention was to drive home the idea that God the Father is a Father in a singular way for each of us. God is Father in a far more perfect way than anyone on earth could be.

Jesus certainly didn’t mean that we should ban the use of the title altogether. If we never called anyone on earth father, the very title, when applied to God, would have no meaning for us.

Besides, Scripture itself often applies the title “father” to humans. Just look at the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel:

— “He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers toward children” (verse 17).

— “The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father” (v. 32).

— “… according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever” (v. 55).

— “When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father” (v. 59).

— “So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called” (v. 62).

— “Then Zechariah his father, filled with the holy Spirit, prophesied …” (v. 67).

— “… to show mercy to our fathers and to be mindful of his holy covenant and of the oath he swore to Abraham our father” (vv. 72-73).

All of these verses, of course, are inspired text, with God as its primary author.

Besides, God commands that we show respect to our parents. What would we call the man who helped bring us into the world? “This guy who’s married to my mom”? That would hardly be a way to honor the Fourth Commandment.

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