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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

20 July 2005

The Origin of the Races

Q: My daughter asked me, “If we are all descendants of Adam and Eve, how did the different races develop?” Not a biggie, but I can’t answer it. Any thoughts?

A: The races likely originated from several factors. The Flood brought catastrophic changes in climate and overall environment. The “fountains of the deep” opening up likely brought many mutation-causing substances to the surface, while the loss of the cloud canopy implied in Genesis 2:6 may have allowed harmful radiation to pass to the earth’s surface and create further changes.

The post-Babel scattering of people across the earth followed by the division of the land masses at the time of Peleg (Gen 10:25) kept certain genetic factors together while favoring the development of traits suitable for different environments. Finally, we cannot overlook the possibility of the “hands-on” involvement of God, who might have directly and intentionally furthered the separation begun at Babel and continued in Peleg’s day by making us different from each other and thus, because of our sinful minds, making us feared by each other.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.


Blogger Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

I recall reading a pamphlet some time back that attributed some racial diversity to Noah's curse of Ham in Genesis 9:20-27. Have you heard of this?

20 July, 2005 10:45  

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