Ribs | thebereancall.org

TBC Staff

[TBC: Probably no book of the Bible has been attacked as consistently throughout history as Genesis. Consequently, those who would elevate Jesus on one hand, face a dilemma as they consider Genesis on the other. This essay (originally written in 1893) brings their dilemma into focus.]

The account of the formation of the first woman is one of these incredible narratives, and under the name of the "rib story" it has been the butt of ridicule to the irreverent critics, as it has been a stumbling-block to those who are styled reverent. But Jesus indirectly endorses the whole story in his discussion with the Pharisees about divorce. He says: "Have you not read, that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the twain shall become one flesh?" (Matt:19:4, 5). Here he appeals to what the Pharisees had read; and they had read it where we read it, in the second chapter of Genesis, the paragraph which describes the formation, of the woman. His appeal to the passage to settle a question as to the will of God, shows that he regarded it not as containing a myth, but as a faithful record of an actual event. Furthermore, he quotes, as presenting the main point of his argument, the last sentence of that record, which makes it doubly certain that he indorsed the record itself. But he goes even beyond the mere [26] endorsement of the record--he affirms, by a necessary implication, the divine inspiration of the man who wrote it. The verse which he quotes was written by the author of the book, and not spoken by Adam, as appears from the consideration that Adam as yet knew nothing about father and mother, and forsaking them to cleave to one's wife; but Jesus quotes it as the language of God, saying: "He who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause," etc. Now, the only ground on which it could be affirmed that God said this is, that the author was inspired of God to write it. Here, then, is not only an endorsement of the fact related, but an indirect affirmation of the divine inspiration of the writer. God said what this writer wrote (J. W. McGarvey, "Short Essays in Biblical Criticism" - 1910).