Re: How to interpret Adam (was: Re: Kerkut)

From: Dick Fischer <>
Date: Fri Feb 27 2004 - 21:50:26 EST

Peter wrote:

>I believe Adam was a true historical figure who lived around 7000 years ago.
>But I don't think he was created in the sense of being the first
>theologically genuine human. I take Gen 1:27 to refer to this creation,
>creation of a spiritual dimension in humans having evolved as far as their
>physical and psychological dimensions are concerned (the psychological
>dimension having been created according to Gen 1:21 in some animals having
>evolved before that). I take Gen 2:7 to refer to the call of Adam to a
>special task in God's plan of salvation. That means Gen 2:7 describes
>something that happened many thousands of years after what Gen 1:27 refers
>Of course, in another sense, Adam was created, just as every human is
>according to Isa 43:6-7 "... Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from
>the ends of the earth - everyone who is called by my name, whom I created
>for my glory, whom I formed and made."

George has problems with one Adam and Peter has two. I sort of fall in
between. No Adams at all I see as too sparse - who was the "Adam, son of
God" in Luke 3:38? Two Adams seems one too many in my estimation. But
then, if we advocate for two, maybe we can at least persuade some people to
believe in one. Not a bad ploy ...

Are Adam in Gen. 1:27 and Adam in Gen. 2:15-24 one and the same, or are
they two entirely different individuals separated by tens of thousands, or
maybe hundreds of thousands, or even millions of years? The mind boggles!

Let me advocate for one Adam who lived 7,000 years ago. That would mean
that Gen.1:27 and Gen. 2:15-24 refer to the same man.

There are a few reasons why this would make sense.

First let's look at the verses:

Gen. 1:27: "So God created man ('adam) in his own image, in the image of
God created he him; male ('ish) and female ('ishah) created he them."
Gen. 2:15: "And the LORD God took the man ('adam), and put him into the
garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it."
Gen. 2:16: "And the LORD God commanded the man ('adam) ..."
Gen. 2:18: "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man ('adam)
should be alone ..."
Gen. 2.19: "And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the
field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam ('adam) to see
what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam ('adam) called every living
creature, that was the name thereof.
Gen. 2:20: "And Adam ('adam) gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of
the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam ('adam) there was
not found an help meet for him."
Gen. 2:21: "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam
('adam) ..."
Gen. 2:22: "And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man ('adam),
made he a woman, and brought her unto the man ('adam).
Gen. 2 23: "And Adam ('adam) said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh
of my flesh: she shall be called Woman ('ishah), because she was taken out
of Man ('ish)."
Gen. 2:24: "Therefore shall a man ('ish) leave his father and his mother,
and shall cleave unto his wife ('ishah): and they shall be one flesh."

A small note: "Man" and "Adam" both are 'adam in these verses, whereas
"man" in conjunction with "woman" is always 'ish and 'ishah in Hebrew.

When questioned about divorce, Jesus referred to Genesis 1:27, "Have ye not
read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female"
(Matt. 19:4). Then Jesus quoted Genesis 2:24, "For this cause shall a man
leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife: and the twain shall
be one flesh" (Matt. 19:5). Linking these verses is one reason the "man"
created in the first chapter of Genesis is not simply "mankind," but Adam
of Genesis 2, first of the covenant, Eve's husband and Seth's father.

What would constitute the "beginning" if there were two beginnings?

And Paul refers to Christ as the "second Adam," who would actually be the
first Adam if there was no Adam, and the third Adam in the two Adams scenario.

In the New Testament, only Christ bears the image, and followers of Christ.

Quoting II Cor. 4:4: "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds
of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ,
who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

If all mankind is in the image of God, and Christ is in the image of God,
then what does that tell us about the uniqueness of Christ? Nothing. Paul
would be saying nothing at all about Christ. He would be no different from
any human being. If it is only Adam who is in the image, however, meaning
he is a representative of God, and Christ is a representative of God, then
that tells us something.

So in my belief, generic man is not in the image. Adam was the first
created in the image of God. The image passed to Noah, then Abraham, then
the children of Israel, and to Christ. We are in the image of God when we
conform to the image of Christ not by any birthright.

Dick Fischer - Genesis Proclaimed Association
Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History
Received on Fri Feb 27 21:51:56 2004

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